Back to School Tips and Tricks: ADHD - Tory Williams

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When a child with ADHD is getting ready to transition back to school, it can be both exciting and challenging. I know that my child with ADHD does best with a very positive, compassionate, caring connection with teachers so that he feels like he can do things the way that are expected in the classroom and for learning.

Before the school year starts, I like to reach out to the administration, the principal, and make a request that my son is placed with a teacher that has a more compassionate side. When I was growing up, I did not know that I had ADHD. There were some things about school that were really difficult for me, and I didn't understand why.

I really like the ability to be able to communicate with my son and try to be the role model and say, this is tough, but there are strategies to help us. And these are the ways that we can be brilliant in this world.

The types of conversations that I would have with my son to help prepare him for the new school year would include trying to help him have a positive attitude, remind him that it's a new year and he's going to make new friends, and that his teachers care about him and want him to succeed and do his best, and that he should always feel empowered to speak to his teacher or myself if there's anything that's making him feel uncomfortable.

For parents who are listening to this, I feel one of the best tips there is no matter what your kid has done to just keep your cool and don't get mad and use it as a teachable moment and ask them how they think they would like to solve the problem.

My biggest piece of advice is to focus on what they do well. Focus on their strengths. Focus on their interests. With ADHD, there is so much attention on behaviors. And behaviors are not the issue. I think ADHD is just a different way of brain development, a different way of sensing the world around us, and tuning into different details. And that's going to come with its advantages.

By tapping into their special interests and the things that they do want to focus on all the time and reminding them of those subjects in school that will help them be successful in those domains, you will help build their confidence when they go back to school.