Of all the accommodations recommended for the child with ADD, perhaps the most important is an established system of parent teacher communication. We all know of the school disasters and heart breaks that can occur as a result of faulty parent/teacher communications it is best to be proactive and as early as possible in the ADD child’s diagnosis formulate a parent/school communication plan.
The best ADD school communication procedures are established every year before school begins. A phone or email exchange is often required to establish how best to pursue ongoing communication throughout the school year but it really never too late in the school year to begin. You may meet with some resistance as some teachers prefer to communicate only as needed but this may not be the best plan of action for children with ADD.
Ongoing communication is required for several reasons. When communication only occurs when there is a problem, teachers dread having to inform the parent of the problems and parents perceive the communication as a reprimand or a failing on their part. With an ongoing communication plan, these emotional exchanges between parent and teacher can be avoided.
Helene Goldnadel says that prior to setting up the ongoing communication procedure the parent and teacher should meet to discuss the areas of difficulties that the child has had in past school years. Behavioral, organizational, attention and social issues should be discussed. The parent and teacher should agree on a communication ‘form’ that addresses all these areas.
In addition the ‘update’ form should have information regarding the school work and homework that the child will be required to complete and the time frame that the child has to complete each assignment. Many teachers draft an outline of weekly work and the teacher need not redo this outline. Simply attaching the outline to the update form will be sufficient communication.