This is really a “mixed bag” to be sure. Most parents believe that “all” teachers understand and know how to teach this population. That is why it is such a big surprise when the teachers are not measuring up to the parent’s expectations. The parent’s feel somehow betrayed when the teacher expresses to mom or dad that their child is not able to stay on task and they have not been completing their assignments. The parent begins to read between the lines suddenly realizing that the teacher is subtlety telling the parent that they better get their child on track or their will be dire consequences. Parent’s can perceive that they are suddenly alone, not understanding why the teacher is accusing them of doing a poor parenting job.
In reality the average teacher does not have the training or expertise in this area. Typically, when a teacher realizes that they have an ADD student in their class there is a large sigh followed by the thought, “What am I suppose to do now? This student is so hard to handle and I have so many other students that I am responsible for that I know this year is not going to go well.” The problems that usually follow in this teacher’s scenario look something like this: 1. Meet with the parents. 2. Describe the problem to them. (However, due to legal restrictions by the school districts, the teacher’s are not allowed to tell the parents that they suspect ADD or the related disorders. Therefore, months may pass while the teacher infers that there might be a problem to the parents before the parent’s begin to follow through with the necessary steps toward help for the child. This is unfortunate for the student as precious time is wasted that could have been used in the remediation processes.) 3. The school counselor is brought in to help. 4. Finally, recommendations are finally presented to the parents. (This can take up to a year for some people.)
What is a parent to do? Simple. If you suspect that your child is ADD, dyslexic or any of the other learning differences, then get testing from a private diagnostician. Secondly, get together with an ADD coach or academic language therapist to create effective strategies in moving forward. If you need more information in this area just let me know. Parenting an ADHD child does not have to be frustrating anymore.