View Full Version : How do I help my child with school?

11-08-12, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post. My son has ADHD-inattentive type.

He's six years old and in the first grade; He won't be 7 until the last week of school, so basically, he's 6 the whole school year and one of the younger ones.

He is EXTREMELY inattentive. His attention is everywhere but where it is supposed to be. He's a bright child...reading at nearly a third grade level. However, he continuely brings home schoolwork that says he needs to follow directions and stay on task. He'll often miss every question on the worksheets. The most frusterating thing is...he knows the material. He just can't keep his focus long enough to check his answers.

At our parent/teacher conference, his teacher said that he is "in his own little world" a lot. The real problem, is to meet my son, you'd never think he has ADHD. He has none of the "stereotypical" hyperactive/defiant activities that often accompany this diagnosis. However, sit down with him for any time, and you can quickly see how his mind bounces like a tennis ball...from one thing to another. EVERYTHING distracts him...even things like birds chirping outside (something most kids wouldn't even notice).

Anyway, I tried to set up a 504 plan for him, but we were turned down (despite a letter from his psychiatrist).

Does anyone have advice or ideas on how I can get him to focus at school, or simple ways I could get his teacher to help..w/o a 504? I feel so helpless.

Many thanks! :)

11-08-12, 09:01 PM
You might try some of the suggestions in the book Smart But Scattered. Also see the Wrightslaw book and website for suggestions on how to build a case that a 504 or IEP is needed.

11-09-12, 06:04 AM
Hi, is he on medication? I would fight to get a 504 plan. Kids need help to start tasks and stay on track and it wouldn´t take much for a teacher to help him with this, to make sure he knows what is required (kids sometimes need step by step instructions) and to start the task. She can check regularly to see how he is progressing.

It would be quite difficult for him to be self regulating and do this on his own.

11-09-12, 08:12 AM
Thank you for your replies. :) He is on Buspar for G.A.D., and it has helped the anxiety, but it has not helped the ADD. He has only recently been diagnosed.

11-10-12, 12:56 PM
I also hage a 6 year old who is probably ADHD inattentive, but we are on a 5-6 month waiting list to get an appointment with a developmental pediatrician (so no meds right now). At home she tends to get her assignments done, as well as works well one on one with her tutor. But in school she needs tons of prompting and one on one help to do anything, and even then she doesn't get much done. Her teacher is very frustrated and wants to test her to get an IEP at school. I'm generally okay with that, but I just wonder what can be done to actually get her to do more at school, the way she does at home. I'm at a complete loss for how to translate the progress she makes at home to school, where she does so much less than she is capable of. The thing that I don't understand is that they say the prompting and the one-on-one is the problem for them, but isnt' that part of what the IEP provides for? Are there any other common strategies in 504s or IEPs that help without medication (while we are waiting for evaluation by doctors)?

11-11-12, 10:08 PM
I also would recommend reviewing Wrightslaw. My wife and I had a hard time getting the diagnosed and a 504 set up. I do want to remind/inform about 504 plans "The "504" in "504 plan" refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. "Disability" in this context refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems."

I copied this from: There is a link to each states implimentation of 504s

11-12-12, 12:46 AM
Attention with ADD is not something that you can do or control. You cannot force your child to be able to focus for extended periods of time. It's not possible.

The ADD brain is like a flickering light, concerning attention. Sometimes it's on and quickly, it's off. Focus comes and goes just like that.

I'm not a parent, and my advice may not be what you'd expect to hear. Tell him that you love him no matter what he does or doesn't do and continually focus on what he's good at. His interests should be emerging around this time, and I would FOCUS on what he's interested in.

Public schools want children to be good at everything. That's fine if you have a normal brain. For the ADDer, he might not be good at a subject, like math. Don't be the parent that focuses on him not being good at math. Be the parent that accepts and shows him that it's OK not to be good at something.

Focus on his strengths. Show him love despite his weaknesses. Accept him as good enough, always.