Discussing ADHD with teachers

In the classroom

Discussing ADHD with teachers

This section helps parents, carers and teachers to: 

  • Discuss how ADHD affects a child, and the support the child will need.

On this page:

  1. Starting discussions with the school ↓
  2. Working with your child’s teacher ↓

Starting discussions with the school

Success at school for a child with ADHD may be improved by parents or carers developing a positive working relationship with the child’s teachers. It is important not to assume that teachers will be unsympathetic or know very little about ADHD.

Instead, aim to:

  • Share information and experience on ADHD
  • Work with the school to gain resources and support for the child
  • Give the teacher a concise account of the extent of the child’s ADHD.

Starting discussions with the school

Areas to consider could include how the school: 

  • Uses policies and procedures to address the needs of children with ADHD
  • Provides specialised support for children with ADHD, e.g. a special education coordinator
  • Helps parent and teachers to work together, share information and monitor progress
  • Helps to make sure that children with ADHD are supported appropriately and takes any prescribed medication correctly. 
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Working with your child’s teacher

As a parent/carer, you may want to consider meeting up with the teacher who is most involved with your child as early as possible.

The following discussion guides aim to help when meeting to introduce ADHD to teachers. It helps teachers, parents and carers to:

  • Share experience of ADHD
  • Identify how the school can help
  • Work together to develop a strong case for getting support and resources for the child.

Have regular, follow-up meetings to ask questions, clarify information and discuss areas of concern. You may want to discuss:

  • Have there been any disciplinary issues concerning the child?
  • Are there any specific questions or concerns?
  • What school subjects have engaged the child most previously?
  • What are the child’s talents and interests? 

Parents/carers and teachers should respond quickly to any concerns and work together to address problems. 

Introducing ADHD to teachers (for use by teachers)

A discussion guide to help teachers meet with parents and carers to introduce ADHD

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Introducing ADHD to teachers (for use by parents)

A discussion guide to help parents and carers meet with teachers to introduce ADHD

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References 

Coghill D, et al. Child Adol Psychiatry Mental Health 2008; 2(1): 31.

Dosani S. Calm your hyperactive child (2008). Oxford, UK: Infinite Ideas Ltd.

MTA. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999; 56: 1073-86.

O’Regan F. How to teach and manage children with ADHD (2010). Nottingham, UK: LDA.

Pontifex MB, et al. J Peds 2013; 162(3): 543-51.

These materials have been produced with practical advice and guidance provided by the expert European ADHD Awareness Taskforce.

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