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How Schools Can Help Children with ADHD

​Your child's school is a key partner in providing effective behavior ­therapy for your child. In fact, these principles work well in the classroom for most students. 

Classroom management techniques may include: 

  • Keeping a set routine and schedule for activities
  • Using a system of clear rewards and consequences, such as a point system or token economy
  • Sending daily or weekly report cards or behavior charts to parents to inform them about the child's progress
  • Seating the child near the teacher
  • Using small groups for activities
  • Encouraging students to pause a moment before answering questions
  • Keeping assignments short or breaking them into sections
  • Close supervision with frequent, positive cues to stay on task
  • Changes to where and how tests are given so students can succeed (e.g., allowing students to take tests in a less distracting environment or allowing more time to complete tests)

Federal laws to help children with ADHD:

Your child's school should work with you and your pediatrician to develop strategies to assist your child in the classroom. When a child has ADHD that is severe enough to interfere with her ability to learn, 2 federal laws offer help. These laws require public schools to cover costs of evaluating the ­educational needs of the affected child and providing the needed services.  

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA) requires public schools to cover costs of evaluating the educational needs of the affected child and providing the needed special education services if your child qualifies because her learning is impaired by her ADHD.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 does not have strict ­qualification criteria but is limited to changes in the classroom, modifi­cations in homework assignments, and taking tests in a less distracting environ­ment or allowing more time to complete tests.

If your child has ADHD and a coexisting condition, she may need additional special services such as a classroom aide, private tutoring, special classroom settings, or, in rare cases, a special school.  

It is important to remember that once ADHD is diagnosed and treated, children with it are more likely to achieve their goals in school.  

Additional Information on

Additional Resources:

The following is a list of support groups and additional resources for further information about ADHD. Check with your pediatrician for resources in your community. 

Last Updated
Understanding ADHD: Information for Parents About Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Copyright © 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 6/2016)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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