ADHD in the Classroom: What to Do When the Teacher Has Concerns

shutterstock_82937980_miniWhen a child has been having problems in the classroom, such as not completing assignments, fidgeting in their seat, not paying attention, or talking during class, their teacher may begin to think ADHD.  I’ve heard of a few cases where a teacher asked a parent to take their child to their doctor to get ADHD medication.

Here are a few tips on how to handle this situation if it happens to you:

First, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss the situation at length. Ask the teacher to write down all of her concerns. This way you can go over them with your child to get his input; if you decide to visit your child’s physician, this information will be valuable to your doctor as he evaluates the situation.

Second, talk with your child about what’s going on and carefully listen to his perspective. Ask him how he feels about school. Ask him how he feels about his teacher. Ask him about how he’s getting along with the other kids in his class and at school. Ask him what’s easy for him at school, what he likes about school, what is difficult for him at school, and what he doesn’t like about school.  By doing this, you will be better able to discuss the situation with others at school and if necessary your child’s physician. Reassure your child that you are on their side and that you want to work with him and the school to make things better.

Third, ask to have a meeting with the principal of the school. Discuss the concerns shared with you by the teacher and say that you want to get help for your child but before you go to your child’s physician, you would like the school to do a full psycho-educational assessment of your child so that you will have all of the information that your child’s doctor will need to make a thorough assessment.  This is extremely important because during this assessment other possible causes for your child’s difficulties at school other than or in addition to ADHD may be discovered, such as a learning disability, delay in language development, and anxiety issue, and more.

Related: The Missed Importance of Social Development for Kids with ADD and ADHD

Finally, after the assessment has been conducted, meet with your child’s teacher to discuss the results. At that time you will know whether a trip to your child’s physician is in order. On the other hand, it may be discovered that your child could benefit from services provided by the school.

Don’t panic if you’re faced with this situation. Many parents worry about their child being placed on medication for ADHD.  Children who have an ADHD diagnosis and have severe ADHD symptoms may benefit from immediate use of medication. On the other hand, those with mild to moderate symptoms may only need a comprehensive psychological approach such as that offered by Total Focus. Furthermore, even those on medication will benefit from such a program, which can lead to less medication or the possibility of coming totally off of medication. ADHD medication controls symptoms while a psychological approach results in actual changes in brain function that will continue and increase as your child develops.