ADHD and Back-to-School: Are You Ready?

by ih-chi admin

Heading back to school is usually an exciting time for kids. There’s the anticipation of meeting new teachers and seeing old friends. But for some kids suffering from ADHD, back-to-school time can be quite the opposite. They may feel anxious about starting a new grade or keeping up with homework assignments and tests.

Here are a few ways to prepare and motivate them beforehand:

  • Go school shopping together. Grab your student’s school supply list and set off to gather all the materials they need for their first day. Let them choose what color folders, binders, and pens/pencils they’d like to use. Invest in a daily planner or bulletin or dry-erase board for school assignments, as well as desk organizers and storage bins to keep study areas tidy and free of distractions.
  • Update their calendar. In addition to a calendar for school assignments, create another one that schedules fun fall activities they have to look forward to…sports, music lessons, school clubs.
  • Reward them. Treat your child to something special after successfully making it through the first few days or weeks of school. Plan this before school starts so that they have a goal to work towards. It could be a special movie, meal, museum trip, or anything that motivates them to stay focused and do their best during the tough transition from summer to school.

Here are a couple ways parents can get ready, too:

  • Assess medications. If your child is normally on ADHD meds during the school year, check in with your doctor about any dosage adjustments or other new health issues that may have come up over the summer.
  • Meet with the teacher prior to the first day of school. Notify the teacher of any special seating preferences for your child…such as far away from doors or windows to limit distractions.  Establish a plan for the best way to communicate with each other on a regular basis throughout the year.

(Adapted from WebMD)