Parents of Children with ADHD Support Group

This community is designed as an open forum where the parents and guardians of children with ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) can give and receive support, as well as discuss ideas, techniques, concerns, surprises, and challenges they may face with their children.

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For those of you who have IEP's for your children, I was wondering if you could share a few key points in terms of what you've included to help your child. I know they are obviously tailored to each individual child's needs, but I also know that there are some things that are pretty standard across the board, or some great things that some of us may have overlooked that we should consider.
Any thoughts?



There are sooo many things I want on my son's IEP but the school won't comply! Lots to list but here are a few: sit him at the front of the class, close to the teacher; DO NOT take away recess, break large assignements down in smaller ones, give them challenges not 3 pages of multiplication (where they get frustrated with b/c they're bored), REWARD good behavior, give them time to themselves and time to think and cool off when they need it. Acutually, I just found this information on a website I was on last night:

There are many classroom modifications that can be put in place to help improve school performance, memory and attention, impulse control, organization, and self esteem. You should discuss implementing these techniques with your children's teachers.
Improving memory and attention span:
o Seat the child in an area with the least amount of distractions, near the teacher if possible. Consider using a study carrel, especially for independent work and keep her work area uncluttered.
o Make instructions clear and unambiguous.
o Keep oral instructions brief and repeat them at least once.
o Consider providing written instructions and directions to supplement oral instructions.
o Use visual aids.
o Break up instructions, assignments and homework into small steps.
o Improve reading comprehension by teaching her to underline key words or topics with a highlighter.
o Improve listening comprehension by teaching her to take notes of key concepts.
o Provide special signals or cues to remind her to get back on task.
Improving organizational skills:
o Establish a daily checklist of assignments.
o Keep a special notebook in which she can record homework assignments, project or report due dates, and test schedules.
Improving productivity:
o Divide work sheets and assignments into sections.
o Reduce the amount of homework and written classwork, especially repetitive assignments such as math problems and spelling words that she can do accurately.
o Vary the type of activities that she is doing.
o Vary the way that material is presented.
o Provide one on one instruction or small groups to introduce major concepts.
Improving performance:
o Provide extra time to complete assignments and tests.
o Consider providing oral testing instead of or in addition to written tests.
o Remind the student to slow down.
o Give extra weight to the content of an assignment when grading, and do not take off points for poor handwriting or minor spelling errors.
Protecting self esteem:
o Avoid humiliating children who perform poorly in front of the other children.
o Give positive feedback when she stays on task, pays attention or works hard at an assignment.
o Find things that she has special interest or strength in and encourage her to do these activities.
Improving behavior and impulse control:
o Provide special signals or cues when she is beginning to misbehave.
o Give clear expectations of what behaviors are expected in the classroom.
o Be consistent in your expectations and in the consequences for misbehavior.

I know they cannot put all these things in the IEP but maybe highlight the ones that you think would apply to your child.

my son's school told me he did not qualify for an IEP and they did not have to make any acomidations for him and his ADHD. cuz he dose ok. so if you have one lucky you..

Hlight, I would keep pushing your school for the IEP if your son needs one. I know different school boards and/or areas have different qualifications, but where I am, ADHD doesn't meet the criteria for a disability or exceptionality, BUT, still, ANY and EVERY child that is struggling in school in any area can and should have an IEP.

KeriW, Thank you SO MUCH for this informative list!! I'm going to highlight the ones that are most important and make sure they're included. A lot of them I have already included, but there are definitely a few more that I need to add.

I know what you mean about the school not complying with all your requests, as I had a bunch of things in his IEP last year, and they made me condense it immensely. I know they can't possibly meet ALL our needs, which is why we're encouraged to select the most important ones, but on the other hand, a lot of it is so easy and no extra work on their part.. seating arrangements, consistency, and verbal praise, for example.

One thing for sure I will make sure is in there this time around is for the teacher to help him with his agenda, and writing down deadlines, homework assignments, etc. Last year, his teacher kept telling me that she didn't have time to help him with that, and that she has an entire room of students, and it was my son's job to remember to do it all. It was horrible. She had no clue how hard it was for my son to even remember where his books WERE, let alone write down all the assignments! He'd be able to perform so much better with the proper supports, which is what it's all about.

Thanks again SO MUCH for the list!! :)

You're very welcome! Glad I could share some of what I'm learning. I'm reading this book called "Superparenting for ADD" which is excellent. It also includes a section with a letter to our children's teachers, sharing much of what I copied below.

I think the reason why the school won't "comply" with what I want in the IEP is that firstly, they didn't believe me when I said he was diagnosed with ADHD, and secondly, they had already formed their opinions that he was just a "difficult child". He's in a new school now, so hopefully we'll make better progress.

Good luck to you!! Keri

We just set up a 504 plan for my son. My son is currently performing at or above grade level academically (even though he doesn't complete many assignments), so he doesn't qualify for IEP.

This link explains the differences between 504 and IEP.

My son's psychologist sent his evaluation to my son's school and he attended the 504 meeting too. The school cannot argue that your kid does not have adhd if you get the doctor involved.

That list was great! Thanks for sharing it!

As to IEP's, my gs isn't in school yet, but those are so many of the reasons that I homeschooled my son. The quiet, the one=on-three instruction, the breaking down of assignments and even of problems to get him through the steps without missing one!

I used to set timers, break down his assignments, and give him 10 mins (increased as he got older), to accomplish that section of his daily lesson. They could never do that in a school setting.
Eventually we progressed to no timer, gradually making the periods longer and longer.

We used charts and awards and all sorts of things the schools just don't have available.

While I don't think he behaved any better at home (possibly even worse), I am sure he learned better. I've had psychologists comment on his reading abilities and he passed his HSED's without hardly even studying. So, while he didn't appear to be learning, HE WAS!

So take heart! If it's one thing I learned from raising an ADHD child, they can learn even in the midst of chaos! :)


Do you have a link for that list?


My is in the 9th grade and had an IEP since 3rd grade. It is under "other health impairments" since ADHD is considered a learning disability. Helpful things on his IEP are

-second set of books to keep at home
-seating away from distractions
-extended time to take tests
-if classwork is not finished he can take it home to finish.
-option to take tests outside of classroom in a small group setting.
-weekly progress and behavoir report from all teachers.
-the teachers must read instructions to him and make sure he understands them if needed
-he is allowed to leave the room for a few minutes if he is feeling anxious

An IEP is a legal document and the school must make the modifications. When I was having trouble with a teacher, I called for an IEP meeting with all his teachers and administrator. I also contacted the school board and found out who my parent advocate was and she came along with me. You should have saw the look in their eyes when they saw here. They knew I met business.

You can also set up a behavoir modification plan if needed. He does not have one. At the beginning of each school year I email his teachers with a letter introducing my son and things that are helpful to him. I also remind them to review his IEP. I explain to them that ADHD is a REAL genetic disability that is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. I let them know that my son will act up and will get in trouble in class and we will work through this. I am in constant communication with his teachers. They would allow him to stand in the back of the room if he needed to as long as he was not distracting people. That was in elem and middle school. He is now in HS and things are so different. The teachers and administration dont care that much.

They expect alot out of you in HS. I am constantly reminded how my son needs to be more responsible in HS. My answer to this is...ADHD doesnt disappear when you enter HS. It would be a blessing if it did.

My advice to all the parents is.....educate yourself. I kept quite the first two years and trusted the school system. Since then, I have educated myself. I will NOT keep quite any longer. My son has rights and they will be met. I am his only advocate. Love, support and be patient with you child. ADHD is very challenging and you just need to step away and take a deep breath. My son WILL BE successful and ALL of his dreams can come true. It just takes a different way to achieve them.

Thanks so much to everyone.. this is a great help to all of us, I'm sure! :) Stacyd1, thanks for the advice on highschool as well. My son is only 10, and still has another year of elementary school to go before he transfers schools, and then it's high school after that, but I have already started worrying about that. How it's great that things are in place for my son now at his school, but that may all change when he gets to a new school and a new school system. I think that's great advice for us all, to educate ourselves now and to continue to educate ourselves, because, as you said, we are their advocates. Thanks!!!!
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