Your ADHD Education Guide: Teacher Trouble

Experts and parents answer questions about getting uncooperative teachers and school officials on your child’s side.

Work with the school to help your child with ADHD.
Dear ADDitude: Part 7
Our readers ask: How can I work together with my child’s teachers?



Question 1:

“My child’s teacher gave cupcakes to the whole class, but told her she must complete her work to earn one. How can I help the school understand that rewards and consequences must be fair, and specific to my child’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to work?” Read the answer.


Question 2:

“My son’s teacher gives him so many time-outs — for fidgeting, invading others’ personal space, avoiding work — that I’m afraid he’s facing expulsion. Now my son says he doesn’t like school because his teacher shouts at him. How can I resolve this problem constructively with his teacher?” Read the answer.


Question 3:

My son feels his teacher hates him, which only makes him respect her less. My first instinct is to defend him, but I also know my son can misinterpret words and actions. How can I help him without making an enemy?” Read the answer.


Question 4:

“My son’s math teacher called his IEP ‘that silly piece of paper,’ and insists he must complete the same work and tests as everyone else. He accuses my son of being difficult or not trying when he says he doesn’t understand something. How can we get him to comply?” Read the answer.


Question 5:

“My son’s algebra teacher refuses to accept his late work or provide a quiet room for tests, despite accommodations to this effect in his 504 Plan. His grades are suffering as a result, so the school wants to move him down to repeat pre-algebra. How will that solve anything?” Read the answer.


Question 6:

“My son’s grades did not raise any red flags this year — until 8 weeks before summer vacation, when his teacher told me his skills are far below grade level and he needs significant help — particularly in reading. Can he be held back because of his teacher’s lack of communication and guidance?” Read the answer.


Question 7:

“Can my daughter’s IEP include specific guidelines for communication between school and home? The school doesn’t talk to us about behavior problems until it’s too late, so there’s little we can do to help.” Read the answer.