7 Ways To Help Your Child With ADHD Transition Back To School

The new school year can be an exciting but challenging time for any child. For a child with ADHD, the transition may be especially difficult. ADHD symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can make it harder for a child to adjust to the routine, structure, and demands of school. As a parent, there are several things you can do to support your child with ADHD and set them up for success as they head back to the classroom.

  1. Reestablish routines at least 1-2 weeks before school starts. Children with ADHD thrive on structure and routine. Start waking your child up earlier, have them get dressed, eat breakfast, and practice their morning routine at the time they will need to for school. Build in scheduled homework and quiet reading time. Mimicking the school schedule early helps with the adjustment.
  2. Organize and prepare school supplies. Set up your child’s backpack, pencil box, folders, and notebooks so materials are neat and accessible. Having an organized system will help minimize distractions and time spent searching for items. Check in with your child periodically to tidy and reorganize as needed.
  3. Meet with your child’s teacher before school starts. Discuss your child’s ADHD symptoms and needs. Set goals for the school year and talk about strategies that have worked well in the past. Having open communication and being on the same page will optimize your child’s learning.
  4. Tour the new school and classroom if possible. Walk your child through where their locker, desk, bathroom, lunchroom, and each classroom will be located. Getting familiar with the layout and visualizing the space ahead of time will help first day jitters.
  5. Connect your child with school resources. Many schools have counselors, social workers, or psychologist support staff. These professionals can be wonderful assets to help your child with ADHD succeed socially and academically. Set up introductions before the school year or on the first week.
  6. Set up an organized homework space at home. Choose an area without too much visual or auditory distraction. Make sure needed supplies like pencils, paper, computer,calculator, etc. are stocked and accessible in this space. Use folders, binders, or trays to help keep work organized.
  7. Collaborate with your child’s doctor before school starts. Discuss medication options, doses, and timing. Extended release medication dosing may need adjustment to provide sufficient coverage for the full school day. Update any medical forms, disability benefits, or 504 accommodations that need renewed for the school year.

The new school year presents new opportunities for your child with ADHD. Preparing ahead of time, organizing supplies and systems, connecting with teachers and support staff, and collaborating with your child’s doctor will help set you both up for success. With structure, routine and the right support your child can have an outstanding school year!