View Full Version : My letter to my ADHD son's teacher

concerned mom
08-16-04, 08:51 PM
I would like input on my letter I wrote to my son's teacher.. Negitive or Positive. Thanks

Dear Teacher:
My son Stephen has been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder., Oppositional Defiant Disorder ,Slight Dyslexic and Post Tramtic Stress Disorder. As a parent, I expect my child to behave in an acceptable manner at school and anywhere else. However, I have had to recognize that certain behaviors are characteristic of his conditions. Some of these behaviors may be inconvenient or unexpected, but they are not necessarily unacceptable or "bad". They are simply different.
Stephen's learning style may also be different than the other learners in the classroom. Again, this is not a bad thing. It is simply a difference.
Please keep these differences in mind as you teach my son. Correct when you must, and please accomodate -or tolerate- when you can. Please contact me if there are any questions or problems. I have also included a few pages I came across I thought you might want some strategies for ad/hd children at school/home. If you like, I can provide you with more specific information about his conditions and my child.
Thank you.
Because Stephen has these conditions, you may expect to see these behaviors:
Physical Behaviors
Fidgeting, squirming, or otherwise being in "constant motion".
May fall down a lot
Bumping into other students or objects in the classroom
Educational Behaviors
May not listen to instructions
Will begin work without waiting to hear or read instructions
Poor penmanship
Will lose or misplace papers, pencils and other materials
Will probably be at your desk more often than most students
Will often ask questions which may or may not relate to what you are discussing
Will give unexpected responses to questions
May well finish classwork, tests, etc first, but with lower quality than possible
Will occasionally "Hyperfocus" on a topic to the point of fixation.
Social Behaviors
Tends to be "bossy" with other children
Tends to object strongly to what is perceived as "unfair".
Interrupts other's conversations
Intrudes on other's games or activities
Trouble waiting in line
May ignore others or simply walk away during a conversation
Emotional Behaviors
Sudden and sometimes drastic mood swings
Has feelings hurt easily
Easily frustrated
Tends to overreact to correction or criticism
May appear disheveled-- even five minutes after being bathed and dressed. (We TRY, honest!)
Often lost in thought
May "self-talk" with silent lip movements

concerned mom
08-16-04, 09:13 PM
Ok I decied to add this in too ( sorry about spelling I havent spell checked it lol )

Stephen is on medication and seeing a counslour if his behavior changes good or bad please call me or e-mail me. ( ) Stephen might not give me the note if you send one home .I am not at school so I am unaware of his behavior and theirfor I can not tell if his medication is working or if we have to work on something at the counslours.

08-16-04, 11:49 PM
That sounds good to me, Steph! You've given the teacher a very good idea of what to expect, and let her know that you expect her to communicate with you. Let us know how it goes.

08-17-04, 12:42 AM
To me, this kinda shines a bright light on the negatives. Maybe try to add the reason why your son does what he does. For example, instead of saying "He interrupts other's conversations" you could mention that he gets excited by his own thoughts & ideas, and often interrupts conversations to share his ideas.

Also, I suggest the following two changes:

May not listen to instructions
Will begin work without waiting to hear or read instructions
CHANGE the sequence of these two items, and replace the "does not listen" to something like what I've listed below.
Will begin work without waiting to hear or read instructions.
Even when he attempts to listen to directions, he has difficulty processing & retaining directions

May well finish classwork, tests, etc first, but with lower quality than possible
CHANGE TO: May finish classwork & tests first, but with lower quality than his actual abilities

You might want to offer suggestions for each category of how to accomodate his behaviors and learning style.
Physical behaviors -- ask Stephen to pass out papers or bring notes to the office
Educational -- during independent work activities, after the rest of the class has begun the activity, check in on Stephen to make sure he heard the directions & is following them.

That's all the ideas that are coming to me right now, but I'm sure there are other suggestions you could make for how the teacher can accomodate to Stephen's needs & learning style.

concerned mom
08-17-04, 09:39 AM
Thanks .... That was a good idea..... I did attach some stuff I printed off a adhd mag. It has alot of ideas how to help out children who are adhd.. like use a homework assignment sheet that must be initialed by myself and the teacher to make sure my son brings home and does his work and then turns it in. Also it explains developing a gesture or other method of conveying to the child that he is interrupting and needs to stop. Only something that the child and they teacher will need to know what going on . OLetting the child stand and walk around between lessons it should help him out with the fidgeting. ect .. there is 10 pages .. i hope the teacher does read it

11-18-04, 09:47 PM
Stress the positive aspects, the adhd mind is highly creative. too many times these highly creative minds are not allowed to develope and are medicated into submission by the school system, drug companies, Doctors, and well meaning parents. ECCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

11-19-04, 12:33 AM
i liked the letter- it was informative without being defensive and thats a hard note to strike when dealing with something so close to your heart like your dear son! i hope that stephen has smooth sailing with his teachers and plenty of empathy coming his way in school...
i really liked gingagirls suggestions..excellent...
tell us how it went?

11-19-04, 01:43 AM
I see that you PM'd me.

I think perhaps you have the wrong impression of me. After much personal research and quandary, I have reached this decision... I'm all for meds, for those who make that choice.

11-19-04, 01:57 AM
Stephens Mom,

I think you did a great job and by tweaking it just a bit like the others recommended you have a wonderful letter. Keep up the great parenting! : )


11-19-04, 02:02 PM
WOW! Steph, are we mothering the same child?! I'm thinking maybe I should do something like that. I thought your letter (plus some of the revisions) was great. You put some stuff in there, like being at her desk more than other students, that I never even though of. I think it's good to keep the teachers informed. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

11-19-04, 03:25 PM
Dear Steph and Stephen-

Looks like your initial posts began in August, so I presume your school year is underway, and you have some feedback from Stephen's teacher.

How did things go?

I will be very interested, on several levels, to see how things worked out.

Kudos to you and Stephen, for trying to be direct, and sharing what you know with people who will be coming in contact with you both!

11-19-04, 03:54 PM
I like it,
But the situation with us is we went though all the IEP stuff and sitting with the teachers for long hours. Then a month or so later they ( The Teachers ) allmost forget the meeting conversations we had 2 weeks ago.....very upsetting.
They give my daughter very detailed work that requires lots of organizational skills.
It has her in tears and as a father who has ADD i battle with anger and how to express it when they hurt my little girl and make her cry.