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When Parents Refuse to See the ADDFiled Under: Diagnosing Children with ADHD, For Teachers of ADHD Children
"One of my students seldom remembers to turn in his homework, and when he does, it's illegible. I'm certain that he has ADD, but his parents refuse to hear of it. What should I do?"
Are you the first teacher to mention ADD to his parents? If so, you should know that it's going to be difficult to be the first messenger.
Things might go a bit more smoothly if you try to establish a relationship with them. Start by telling them about their child's talents and positive traits.
Then, ask questions: "What happens at home during homework time? Has your son forgotten to turn in homework in past grades?" Once the parents see you as a partner, they may be more receptive to your ideas. And remember - although you play a vital role in describing the student's behavior, only a doctor can diagnose ADD.
Karen Sunderhaft has been a teacher for 16 years, and has focused on ADHD and learning disabilities since 1999. She completed her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Philosophy at Boston College and a special education degree with a concentration in learning disabilities at Northern Michigan University.
Over the years, Karen has taught at prominent private schools such as Laurel School and University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio and Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware. For four years, Karen Sunderhaft was one of only two teachers asked to be part of the national ADHD Experts on Call campaign.
Karen is currently working on an interactive program with an ADHD simulation to assist teachers, parents, and students. She coaches individual students and speaks frequently at ADHD and LD events. She can be reached at email@example.com.