Parent-Teacher Partnerships to Help Children With ADHD

Teaching children with ADHD can be challenging at times. It is important to remember that working closely with your child's teacher will help your child with ADHD succeed in the classroom. Here are some tips for how you and your child's teacher can work together:

  • If your child is challenging to work with (and most children with ADHD are), let the teacher know you appreciate how difficult it can be to work with your child. Regardless of whether you and the teacher agree your child has ADHD, it is helpful if you can agree that your child has some very challenging qualities.
  • Try to identify the teacher's concerns about your child. Let the teacher know you would like to help address these concerns, and select one problem to work on initially.
  • Analyze the problem with the teacher. Talk to your child's teacher about events that may trigger, reinforce or maintain your child's problem behavior. Then, work with the teacher to create a plan that will bring about the desired behaviors. Identify the tasks you and the teacher will do.
  • Plan ways to monitor your child's performance so you and your child's teacher can observe progress as it occurs. Brief checklists are helpful and easy ways to measure progress. Grades on worksheets, homework assignments, and tests also can indicate improvement.
  • Make sure you follow through on tasks you have agreed to accomplish.
  • Look for evidence that your child's teacher is applying the strategy and trying to be creative and positive when working with your child. Find ways to let the teacher know you appreciate his or her efforts. Sending brief notes to school is one way to do this.
  • Meet with the teacher periodically to review progress and modify the intervention plan.
  • When you find yourself getting frustrated with your child's teacher, try not to be critical. Review earlier steps and continue to support the teacher and positively reinforce positive, creative efforts.
  • Refrain from criticizing your child's teacher even though he or she may do some things you do not like.
  • Remember that the teacher ultimately is in charge of the school domain, and you are in charge of the home domain. Therefore, telling your child's teacher what to do is not effective unless the teacher requests your advice.
  • When all else fails, invite a consultant to meet with you and your child's teacher. Make sure the teacher knows about the consultant and agrees to meet. Consultants may be school psychologists, guidance counselors, or other teachers who are effective in working with parents and teachers.