Tips for Working with the School

Parents, schools, and teachers should work together to make sure that children learn all they can. Communication and collaboration between home and school is very important when a child needs extra help at school.  The National Resource Center on ADHD suggests that parents who think their child might require services or accommodations do the following:

  1. Ensure that your child’s ADHD treatment plan is in place and being followed.
  2. Meet with your child’s teacher(s) to share your concerns.
  3. Ask teachers to write down the learning and/or behavior concerns your child has and to give you a copy of that list.
  4. Request an educational evaluation of your child. You may ask at any time, but be sure to do it in writing. Make a written request even if you have already talked to a teacher or principal. Date the request and keep a photocopy for your records. For a sample letter, see Educational Rights.
  5. Take an active role in preparing the IEP or provide input for a Section 504 Plan. Before you meet with the school, make a list of your child’s problem areas and strengths and what you think might help your child.
  6. Follow up each meeting with correspondence (letter or email) documenting what took place. List the items you agree with and the items you disagree with and say why. Keep copies of all correspondence with your child’s educational file.
  7. Remember that the results of any evaluation are not final. You have the right to appeal the results. The school must tell you how to appeal.
  8. Remember that parents and children are guaranteed certain rights under federal and state laws. Check with the school or your local CHADD support group to find someone in your community who can help answer your questions and help you to advocate for your child.
  9. If you and the school disagree about what is best for your child and you cannot find common ground, then you may make a written request for mediation or a Due Process Hearing to help you get what you believe your child needs.
  10. Consider taking CHADD’s Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD course, which provides in-depth information about both IDEA and Section 504, as well as other important information for any parent of a child with ADHD.

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