August 1 has always been the date that I begin to prepare for the upcoming school year with my children. I begin reviewing with them math concepts, give them worksheets to complete and gather up the school supplies. During this month of August, I will be preparing the Health Central ADHD site for back to school. I will be writing articles on ADHD in education, for parents, for students and for teachers. I hope that you will find the information over the coming weeks helpful in preparing your students for the upcoming school year.
I have decided to begin the month with one of the most popular features I have had. This list has been compiled by teens with ADHD. They have kindly shared with me what is important to them and what they find most frustrating in working with teachers and parents. (Editing has been done to improve clarity.) Throughout my son's high school career, I have copied this list countless times, giving each of his teachers insight into his behaviors and feelings at the beginning of the school year. Teachers, parents and administrators around the country have asked numerous times for permission to reprint the following list to share with others. At the bottom of this posting are links to email this page, please feel free to email this to any other parents and teachers that may benefit from this. There is also a link to print this page. Share this page with all that you may feel it will help.
12 Things Teens with ADHD Would Like Their Teachers to Know
1) I forget things, even important things. There is a myth that states, "If it is important enough, you will remember it." Please understand that this is a myth, my memory may not work the same as yours. Just because I forget does not mean that it doesn't matter. I am not trying to be a smart alec or arrogant when I say "I forgot." I really do forget.
2) I am not stupid. I may sometimes lose my place during your class or take a few minutes to get my thoughts together before speaking, but I am not stupid. ADHD does not have anything to do with intellect.
3) Please be patient if I ask the same question many times or ask too many questions. I am not trying to be arrogant, I am trying to understand. I am trying to comprehend and I am trying to remember what you have said.
4) I really do want to do good. For many years, I have struggled with schoolwork. It is frustrating for me. I want to pass your class, I want to do my best, I want to feel good about the work I have done.
5) I do complete my homework. I often lose papers, leave my homework at home or in my locker. I often don't know where my homework is when it is time to hand it in. But I do complete it. Loose papers are the most difficult to keep track of, if it is possible to complete my homework in a notebook, I will be able to keep track of it better.
6) ADD is not an excuse, I should not use it as one, and neither should you. ADHD is a real disorder. It causes me to forget things, to be impulsive, to act without thinking, to lose track of my belongings, to be inattentive and sometimes it causes me to process information I little more slowly. I do not like being different and would very much like to be "normal." I do not like to be made fun of for being different.