So You Think Your Child Has ADHD

By Eileen Bailey

So you think your child has ADHD! Teachers tell you he is easily distracted. Friends shy away from activities that include your child. Other children make fun of your child. Relatives say he is immature for his age and will snap out of it. You've checked the lists and he fits the criteria. Now what?

Contact the School

Contact the school guidance counselor and begin a relationship with those that are in a position to help. Set up a meeting with the guidance counselor and the teacher(s) to discuss your child's progress. Make it clear that you want positive steps to ensure your child's progress. This is not a "bash your child" session. DO NOT allow it to become one. Take notes and ask for specific examples of misbehaviors:

  • Walking around during class
  • Sharpening his pencil often
  • Looking out the window, at the other kids, at the floor
  • Losing his supplies
  • Not handing in homework you know he has done

Get as many specific examples as you can.

Work on Specific Accomodations

Ask the teacher what special adaptations she is willing to put into place. Some examples are:

  • Seating him in front
  • Tapping his desk when his mind seems to wander
  • Writing homework assignments down
  • Giving extra time for homework/tests

Set up a meeting the following month. Use this time to look objectively at behaviors and come up with some possible solutions. Review what is working and what needs changing. If necessary continue monthly meetings. Once you receive an official diagnosis, bring it to the school to be kept on file, should special education be required.Start the process with the school as soon as possible. Many teachers are willing to make reasonable adaptations. It is in the best interest of your child if all the major adults in his life are willing to work together.

For additional information on accomodations, see Classroom Management of ADHD


Read the symptoms of ADHD. Keep a checklist of what symptoms you feel your child shows and write down examples. Read as much literature as you can. ADHD shows up differently in different children. Some may be overly impulsive, with little or no hyperactivity, while others may be extremely distracted and have trouble sitting still. Look over information to determine the symptoms your child is exhibiting. Keep a detailed list of symptoms and examples.  

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