Good Tips for Kids With ADHD Going Back To School

11 Aug

Kids with ADHD in SchoolBack-to-School Tips for Children and Teens with ADHD

A new school year is fast approaching. For many parents of children and teens with attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), the previous school year and any difficulties associated with it might seem like a distant memory. Unfortunately, such difficulties don’t always resolve themselves from one school year to the next.

As your child or teen prepares to head back to school, it can be helpful to evaluate how the previous school year went and to be proactive in making adjustments so that more success is experienced this time around. In looking back, ask yourself some questions.

Were you/your child/teen satisfied with his or her grades in each course? Do you/your child/teen feel that he or she could have done better? What percentage of homework did your child/teen forget to hand in? How did he or she do on exams in specific classes? How did he or she perform on projects? Did he or she put in enough time to study? Was there enough time in the schedule to complete tasks? Was your child/teen happy overall?

After you and your child or teen think about the answers to these questions (and perhaps others you thought about on your own), the next step is to figure out where you want to improve—and how.

Suggestions to Help Kids Going Back to School with ADHD

Here are some suggestions for addressing some of the questions above as well as general academic issues that are commonly experienced by young people with ADHD:

  • Get your child or teen a tutor to help with subjects that have proven to be difficult.
  • If your child/teen has an individualized education program (IEP), 504 Plan, or otherwise receives services through school, review those services and see what was helpful last year, what was not, and if additional services may be beneficial. Then, consider setting up a meeting with your child’s school to discuss desired adjustments.
  • If your child/teen struggles significantly academically and he or she has never been formally evaluated for ADHD, learning disabilities, or other related issues, consider having him or her evaluated to figure out the source of the struggles.
  • Consider setting up a meeting with your child’s new teacher, counselor, etc., to discuss concerns from the previous year and how to prevent them from recurring.
  • Have your child/teen work with an organizational tutor, ADHD coach, or therapist on time management, organizational, and/or study skills.
  • Help your child/teen set up binders, folders, and a solid organizational system before school starts back up.
  • Help develop a good place to complete homework, such as at a desk, a quiet area, or other feasible location.
  • Determine a method for checking homework completion that your child or teen is comfortable with, such as emailing you assignments each day and then again when he or she has finished; writing them on a whiteboard and crossing them off when they are complete; or even sitting down with you each day to talk about what was assigned and completed.
  • Increase use of modern study aids such as talk-to-text software, audio books, etc.
  • Determine an appropriate method to contact teachers when needed.
  • Help your child/teen feel confident in his or her academic skills by reviewing key concepts (math facts, etc.) daily or as needed.

Being proactive prior to the school year beginning is a great way to make sure that your child or teen improves academically. Social and emotional issues can impede academic functioning as well, so it is also important to ensure that your child or teen is doing well socially, isn’t experiencing (or is effectively managing) anxiety, depression, or related issues, and that other issues that might contribute to difficulties at school are addressed.

© Copyright 2015 by Carey A. Heller, PsyD, therapist in Bethesda, MD. All Rights Reserved.


Back-to-School Tips for Children and Teens with ADHD

Related CE Courses on the Topic of ADHD in Kids

Clinicians and teachers working with students struggling at grade level are committed to raising their students’ achievement potential by creating opportunities to learn. In order to accomplish this, they need to learn new techniques that can help encourage discouraged students – particularly those who have different ways of learning – by supporting and motivating them without enabling self-defeating habits. This course will provide strategies and techniques for helping students minimize the patterns of “learned helplessness” they have adopted, appreciate and maximize their strengths, develop a growth mindset, value effort and persistence over success, view mistakes as opportunities to learn, and develop a love of learning that will help them take personal responsibility for their school work. The course video is split into 3 parts for your convenience.Course #30-75 | 2014 |  21 posttest questions Click Here for More Information!


This is a test only course (book not included). The book (or e-book) can be purchased from Amazon. This CE test is based on the book “Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach” (2006, 246 pages). This book provides a detailed framework for effective, individualized intervention with highly oppositional children and their families. Many vivid examples and Q&A sections show how to identify the specific cognitive factors that contribute to explosive and noncompliant behavior, remediate these factors, and teach children and their adult caregivers how to solve problems collaboratively. The book also describes challenges that may arise in implementing the model and provides clear and practical solutions. Two special chapters focus on intervention in schools and in therapeutic/restrictive facilities. Closeout Course #60-95 | 45 posttest questions Click Here for More Information!


Children with difficult temperaments and those with developmental delays may have learned to express their dissatisfaction with challenging and defiant behavior like whining, anger, temper tantrums or bad language. They sometimes engage in negative behavior or “misbehave” because they do not have the necessary skills – communicative or otherwise – to make their needs known. This can be a cause of major frustration for parents who may respond angrily in kind. It can be equally frustrating for clinicians. Our time with our young clients is often short, so we need to be able to manage challenging and defiant behavior effectively. The purpose of this course is to teach clinicians effective and practical strategies to manage challenging and defiant behavior in their young clients. The course will also focus on how clinicians can educate parents on how to manage difficult behavior and avoid power struggles at home. The dynamics and techniques described in this course are intended for use with typically functioning children and those with developmental or language delays. They are not generally adequate or even appropriate for children with serious behavior conditions like oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorders.Course #30-62 | 2013 | 47 pages | 25 posttest questions Click Here for More Information!


Section I of this course involves a detailed discussion of the many ways that a lifetime of ADHD can affect a person’s life. This is important information for all clinicians working with adults who have ADHD, partly for their own understanding, but also to help clients understand their own ADHD. It will include descriptions of situations that can obscure ADHD and will highlight the executive, academic, occupational, psychological, and social aspects of adult functioning that are impacted by ADHD. The second section involves educating clients about the many ways that ADHD has affected their life trajectories. This goes beyond the obvious academic difficulties and includes current functioning as well, offering less pejorative explanations for their weaknesses. Included are techniques for involving family members, creating an ADHD-friendly lifestyle, and finding a better fit in the classroom and the workplace. This education is a crucial first step in the treatment of ADHD in adults and builds the foundation for medication, coaching, and therapy.Closeout Course #30-48 | 2009 | 32 pages | 20 posttest questions Click Here for More Information!


This course was written for professionals working in the mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice/criminal justice, and research fields, as well as students studying these fields. The authors’ goal is to make a case for the fact that juvenile and adult violence begins very early in life, and it is both preventable and treatable. The author draws on her 30 years of experience working in and researching violence to demonstrate that society must intervene early in the lives of children living in violent, neglectful, criminal, and substance-dependent families. This course provides information about the problems of violence — in its various forms of abuse, neglect, and just plain senseless killing — that takes place in this country. These are problems that are seldom handled well by governmental agencies of child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and mental health. This results in more problems, turning into a cycle of youth violence and sexual offending that will potentially continue for generations. However, with the correct intervention, this cycle can be broken, which creates a safer environment for all of society.Closeout Course #60-68 | 2006 | 136 pages | 36 posttest questions Click Here for More Information!

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); by the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); by the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


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