5 Back-to-School Tips to Help Your Child with ADHD

August 2, 2018

As the last weeks of summer approach, the kids will likely be trying to squeeze every last drop of freedom they can from their vacation. From staying up late and sleeping in, to playing in the pool all day, the shift back to school can sometimes be a difficult one.

If your child has ADHD, back-to-school can be an especially stressful time of year. The shift in structure can create a few bumps in the road for the whole family. So how can you help nip some of those school stressors in the bud? We have a short list to help get you on the right track before school even starts.

  1. Visit the School (and Teacher)
    If your child is entering a new school this year, chances are they’re anxious about finding their way around. Try walking through the school before the first day to help get a lay of the land. Visit their new classroom so they know what to expect. If their schedule involves changing classrooms throughout the day, do a dry run (including trips to their locker to trade out textbooks).

    Also, see if you can set up a meeting with your child’s new teacher to discuss any concerns you have and find out what school accommodations can be made for children with ADHD. You two can look ahead to any bigger projects that will come up throughout the year and prepare (like buying any supplies now rather than trying to squeeze in a trip to the store when the school year is in full swing). Knowing what to expect is key to curbing some of the anxiety.

  2. Calendar
    It can be helpful to have a master calendar somewhere in the house for everyone to see. Include any extracurricular activities, fun plans (like birthday parties), as well as homework due dates. Talk about daily, weekly, and monthly schedules to figure out what works best for your family.

    Don’t forget to let your child have a say in setting up their schedule too; when they feel like they have some control over their lives, they’re more likely to stick with the schedule you two create.

  3. Home Command Central
    Once you have your calendar established, try hanging it in a “command central” area for the family. This area should be set up to house everything your child will need for the next day at school – hooks for a backpack, a dry-erase or chalkboard for to-do’s and reminders, a cubby for homework and lunches, and whatever else your child needs to get out the door on time.

    Having a spot for everything will help reduce anxiety and chaos in the morning when every minute is precious. If your child tends to forget textbooks needed for homework, consider asking the school for an extra set of textbooks to keep at home. Keep them housed in the command central so they’re always there when your child needs them.

  4. Organize, Organize, Organize
    Managing ADHD in school can seem overwhelming, so it’s important to help your child stay as organized as possible.
    In addition to having an area at home to organize school supplies, consider coming up with a similar system for your child’s locker. A messy locker is a common culprit for throwing off a child’s rhythm. Rummaging through clutter can make them late for class, it’s easier for them to lose homework or supplies, and is generally an avoidable stressor.
  5. Learning Goals
    It might also be beneficial for you and your child to sit down and set up a list of goals for the school year. You can address areas where you kid has done well in the past and where there has been room for improvement. Achieving goals helps to empower children, which is critical for kids managing ADHD in school. Once you two have established some goals, why not hang them up in the command center? A daily reminder to do their best is a great motivator in the morning.

Getting back into a routine can take some time, but structure actually helps kids with ADHD use their symptoms to their advantage. In addition to these at-home tips, Neurocore offers med-free Child ADHD treatment that could help your child overcome some of those challenges that come with ADHD in school. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more.

Jones, Jennifer. “10 Things To Do BEFORE School Starts.” Retrieved from https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/things-to-do-before-school-starts/
Perrault, Shane. (2010, July 28). “Back to School Tips for Children with ADHD: 7 Tips to Help Your Child Tackle ADHD.” Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/entrepreneurs-adhd/201007/back-school-tips-children-adhd-7-tips-help-your-child-tackle-adhd