Dear Teacher: My Son Has ADHD

Dear Teacher: My Son Has ADHD | Focus-MD

Josh is a 9-year-old boy with dyslexia and ADHD, and is one of our valued patients. Last week, we shared the first part of a letter that Josh’s mother wrote to his teacher at the beginning of the school year concerning his issues with dyslexia. This week, we are sharing the second part of her letter as she discusses Josh’s ADHD.

Dear Teacher,

Josh is also diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a condition in which the brain is unable to properly regulate attention. Therefore, it is often the conception that children with ADHD cannot pay attention. Quite the contrary, they may simply pay attention to the “wrong” things. This also means they may not do a good job of regulating how they interact with the world.

Josh’s ADHD is different from many of his peers in its severity. He was diagnosed when he was very young and had challenges in preschool that resulted in some social delays. These are improving but are still clearly present nonetheless.

Here are a few notes about Josh and his ADHD:

  • Frustration tolerance — Regulating responses to frustration (which can include pushing through new types of math problems or even a change in the lunch menu) are a particular challenge for Josh. We have been working on managing his frustration for years by encouraging open communication with phrases such as, “I am frustrated because…”
  • Front-loading — We have learned that front-loading Josh with what is and is not happening is beneficial to his behavior. However, we also warn him often that plans may change. As parents, we do understand that life is full of surprises, and we do not expect you to front-load Jake constantly, yet do want you to know this trick for when it would help you.
  • Impulse control — Impulse regulation is another challenge of ADHD and one that is monitored very effectively by Josh’s medication. However, as his medication is kicking in and wearing off, you may see an increase in impulse control as a challenge for him.
  • Josh’s medication — ADHD medication is always a moving target. It is a constant struggle between finding the right amount to boost Josh’s focus to learn and make friends but that still allows him to be a 9-year-old boy. Additionally, there is always the challenge of timing: when it kicks in and when it wears off.

While we are aware that it is not your job to gauge Josh’s medication effectiveness, your feedback can help us to make the adjustments to make both yours and Josh’s lives easier.

Does this parent’s letter remind you of your child? Bring him to our office to be evaluated, and we will help get him on the right track to make this school year a successful one! Check our blog again next week to see what this mother has to tell her son’s teacher about his tics and how to best work with him.

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