As a general education teacher with 19 years experience, I still struggle with two things all year long: (1) how to best bring the curriculum to students with learning differences, specifically ADHD, and (2) helping to educate their parents about the learning differences of their children. The interesting piece, here, is that many times, after learning about ADHD, many parents often see similar qualities in themselves or “great Uncle Carl”. Yes, ADHD does run in the family; and in my experience, when parents or relatives suggest that they do not struggle with it, it’s because they have developed coping skills over the course of their lifetime. Sometimes it’s a career that requires their particular type of creativity or maybe it’s a highly organized secretary, etc.
I’m also raising two boys with ADHD. Supporting them in their endeavors has always been my first priority. My experience with them has informed my career and vise versa. I certainly can’t say this makes me an expert, but I do believe that when you have someone with ADHD in your life, the Universe has gifted you with an amazing soul who can change your life.
Below are some resources that I have found helpful in whole or in part, as a parent, teacher, friend, or for my own self management. Maybe they will be helpful for you, too.
ADDitude Magazine is a straight-forward resource for anyone looking for information and strategies related to children and adults with ADHD. There is both a print and online version. I’ve referred to it personally and as a teacher.
is hands down one of my most used books in the classroom. I refer to often and copy reference pages for parents. There is a section for each aspect of ADHD from diagnosis to education to acco
mmodations to support at home. Love. This. Book.
Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention was a great book for our son to read. It opened the
door to con versation about our learning differences so we wouldn’t feel ashamed about our differences. We read it together and then he kept it in his room. We always spoke openly about this and other things. I wanted my children to always feel like nothing was taboo.
Parents and Educators Resource Guide to Section 504 Public Elementary and Secondary Schools.This a PDF copy. Frequently when instruction is not being delivered in the classroom the way students with ADHD can learn best, or if there are coping, behavioral or learning strategies that can be implemented in the classroom that are not, parents and schools can
collaborate to create a document according to Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The document is lovingly referred to as a 504 and can include nearly anything that levels the playing field. Because ADHD is a medical diagnosis, schools require such from a pediatrician or other MD. I highly recommend that when working with your school system be prepared… This is a guide for understanding and achieving that process.
This Youtube video is a TedX production. The speaker, Stephen Tonti, is a Senior Directing major at Carnegie Mellon. He is also the current President of Carnegie Mellon’s Film Club. He also has ADHD and speaks about it in this TedX talk.