#4 Steps to Insure YOU and Your Child “Survive” the First Month of School;
The beginning of school, for many kids and parents, can be an exciting time of the year, but for many parents and their ADD/ADHD children, it can be scary, nerve wracking, stressful, challenging and downright frightening!
Thankfully, there are many resources now for parents to access to help make the beginning of the school year a very happy (OK…somewhat happy!) and smooth transition into the next grade. I am going to touch on just a few that as a former Intervention Specialist, found exceptionally helpful for both the teacher and the child.
Whether you know it or not, many teachers of your children are going through the same emotions and spending countless hours setting up visuals and planning lesson plans. No matter what time is spent on preparation, you will always have an advantage that teachers’ really need, especially from the starting blocks; they don’t know your child; your child’s behaviors and/or the best way your child learns!
STEP #1: Plan ahead We hear this alot. PLAN AHEAD! But what does that really mean for a parent?
It’s great if you can get to meet with school personnel prior to the bell on that first day but if that wasn’t possible and we are now in the 2nd or even 3rd week of school, what can you do?
Don’t hesitate and get those meetings set up now! Include counselors, administration, psychologist and the teachers themselves to gauge feedback regarding your child. More importantly, share what has worked in the past! Teachers most often WANT solutions and if you can provide the successes you have witnessed for your child, now is the time to do so!
STEP #2: Communicate Frequently- Set up a time convenient for all so you can communicate, in person, frequently. Emails, progress reports, etc. are great for some of the small things but developing a working and collaborative relationship is vital for the success of your child.
Continue to educate each others and grow as a group that surrounds and supports in many ways.
Step #3: Share the Challenges: Share the challenges of your child and where they fall on the scale of performance for their Executive Functions! If you are not sure, what Executive Functions are and how your child uses them each and every day, educate yourself AND the teachers, if needed. Executive Functions and their Importance
Work together to solve the unknown and find processes that work for your child’s unique brain wiring! Many teachers understand the neurological wiring and diversities of the brain but sometimes, for many reasons, don’t apply the strategies that may need to be implemented for neurodiversity, which includes your child’s brain wiring.
Step #4: Share Successes! So often, parents and teachers get wrapped up in the year and forget to share what works and compliment each other!
As a former teacher, one of the unknowns was what happened to my ADD/ADHD students AFTER they left the school. I was just happy to get through the day and reflect on what went right, what needed to be tweaked and plan for the next day. Little did I know, the behaviors that happened in the afternoon and evening. Little did I know the extent of the arguments over homework or why it often was never completed. Little did I know how hard each child struggled to “hold it together” in front of their peers all day, only to come home with an empty Executive Function tank and take it all out on the parents.
Finding success and a happy child after the first day of school, after a month or after a year comes from hard work. But this hard work is shared all around with the child, the teacher and the parents. It’s important to build the relationships as soon as possible and develop it as often as possible.
Some of my toughest students were my most enjoyable successes, thanks to the relationships built between parent and teacher.
No one knows the answers and no one has a manual individualized for each child. ADD/ADHD presents itself differently in every individual. So, survival and achievement doesn’t happen alone but is truly a collaboration of caring individuals willing to learn from each other and especially from the child.
Judy is founder of ADHD CoachConnect, resides in Columbus, OH and works with ADHD teens nationwide. For more information, support or a Complementary Consult, visit www.adhdcoachconnect.com or email Coach Judy directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org. August 2017