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My child has ADHD - should I tell their teacher?

If your child has ADHD, the question of what - if anything - to tell the school is a common one. Should you tell the teacher about the ADHD diagnosis? Is it in your child's best interest for the school to know?

Disclosing an ADHD diagnosis is personal, but our bias is toward telling the school. Here's why we think it's important for the teacher to know about your child's ADHD:

  1. teacher and ADHD studentIt will be helpful for the teacher to know what might affect your child's focus and behaviour, and why. The more they know, the better the support they can give. By telling them, they can also alter their own approach and try out different strategies.

  2. Knowing about an ADHD diagnosis can help the teacher be more understanding. Without context, a teacher might assume negative behaviour is intentional. But, knowing ADHD is in the picture, this gives a different and much more empathetic perspective.

  3. With an ADHD diagnosis, your child has access to formal academic accommodations (see: Common Academic Accommodations for ADHD Students). But, you can only access these supports by communicating the diagnosis with the school.

  4. If the teacher knows about your child's ADHD diagnosis, you can work together to coordinate support. The teacher can give you helpful information about behaviours they see in class. Likewise, you can communicate to them what you see at home and what you have found helpful. The more everybody is on the same page, the better off your child will be!

 

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