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Blog

ADHD Parents are Super Heroes

Father Hugging SonMeltdowns, fidgeting, interrupting others…bedlam.  That’s ADHD.  Parents are key to establishing the “saturation point,” both in school and at home.

Parental involvement is especially critical to the identification and instruction of students with ADHD.  This is particularly true in inclusion classes (general and special education students in the same class).  Everyone has to let go of perfection, improvement is more like it.

Traveling on the Wayback Machine…

Nothing prepares you for your first day as a Special Educator…Nothing! Why? Everyone’s favorite special education mom shows up before school even starts. Worst of all, she’s looking for you, RUN! I discovered 3 types of special ed moms: Tiny, Smiling Mom…Scary Mom…No-nonsense Grandma.

Looks can be deceiving though. She wore the “Tiny, Smiling Mom” suit, but she was really the Scary Mom. Somebody save me. What could possibly be her beef? School hadn’t even started yet. Then I noticed papers in her hand. “I brought my son’s IEP and I wanted to go over it with you.” Smile turns into a growl….Where’s Guidance when you need them?

Over the course of several months, I came to respect her. She would fight any fight to make sure that her son received the Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) that he was due under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Being the rebel that I am,

I armed her with the fact that parents like her used Brown v. Board of Education, the civil rights case used to integrate classrooms with Blacks, for students with disabilities. She smiled, heading off to the principal’s office.

The first step in providing success at school is by creating a successful home environment.  Positive experiences set the foundation.  Make sure that older students with ADHD are given opportunity to determine the guidelines.

Create structure at home to avoid being upset by the unexpected.  With age comes responsibilities.  Schedule homework and time priorities to reduce later battles.  Having a disability doesn’t mean limited responsibility.  Schedule a chore chart with areas to monitor progress.

  • Get enough sleep.  Serotonin improves happy chemicals.
  • Grow a garden.  Outdoor activities increase confidence and reduce stress.
  • Crank up the tunes.  Music improves visual and verbal skills.
  • Don’t forget exercise.  Have fun and improve self-confidence at the same time.
  • Call a friend.  Peer interaction provides shared experiences.

It is critical to establish an immediate connection with administrators and teachers.  The key connections are special educators and counselors.  Both receive additional training to meet the needs of children with ADHD.

Connecting school staff to family provides opportunities to collaborate.  What works at home may be effective at school with modifications.  Parental help connects well with at-home work.  Schedule a 5-minute break for every 20 minutes of work.  Having textbooks at home avoids missed opportunities.

More than 27% of students with ADHD drop out of high school, compared to 11% of the general student population. Parents should know resources that define what 21st Century education looks like to better advocate for their children.

“Our kids” struggle, more than most.  Remember…Knowledge is power.

2 comments

  • Maggie Moffitt Rahe
    / Reply

    Your articles are really helpful.
    Thank you.
    I am a teacher at a preschool and I like reading your articles.
    Keep up the work in educating everyone.

    Thanks.
    Maggie

    • Edie Brown
      / Reply

      I appreciate your feedback. Let me know if there’s anything of interest for young kids. Maybe reading?

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