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When Parents Refuse to See the ADD
"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 is a teacher who has focused on ADHD and learning disabilities since 1999. She coaches individual students and speaks frequently at ADHD and LD events. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.