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ADHD at School

Should I tell the teacher?

I tried to post this last night but I got distracted…haha.
My son, after 3 years was diagnosed with ADHD (mild/inattentive) .  The teachers and principal thought I was crazy because I was having him tested.  He doesn’t have much trouble in school with the exception of zoning out occasionally and he notices that other kids can spit out answers quicker.
I would love to hear from you the pros and cons of telling the school.


The school shouldn’t think you are crazy maybe they are since they are judging you for wanting what’s best for your child. If he is ADHD of course the school should know so proper protocol is taken when dealing with your son

Posted by Anthony18Mommy on Mar 04, 2014 at 8:25pm

Hi MomHasItToo,
I am wondering why you would want to withhold the information from the school.  You absolutely do not have to tell them that you have it too, but it is important for the school to know about your son so that they will be better able to meet his needs.
Often it is the school that pushes parents to get a diagnosis because they are having trouble managing the child at school.  It is great that so far your son is not having difficulties at school, but, in time that could change (and often does as school gets more demanding and requires more effort and organization). 
Unfortunately, once the school becomes aware that a student is having difficulties it can take a fair amount of time to organize the required meetings in order to put a plan in place.  While waiting for the school to begin providing the required accommodations it is unlikely that your son will receive all of the accommodations that he both requires and is legally entitled to.  The delay often contributes to unnecessary frustrations.  While waiting for accommodations to be put in place, the difficulties often effect a student’s self-esteem and general attitude towards school.
I always suggest to clients that even if they don’t believe their child requires accommodations, have an IEP including all accommodations developed as early in the process as possible.  If he doesn’t need the accommodations, he won’t use them.  But if (more likely when) the day comes that he faces some obstacles due to his ADHD, everything will already be in place.
To sum it up, It is always better to be proactive than reactive.
Wishing you and your son continued success on your journey!
Carrie Silverberg (BA Psyc), RECE
ADHD Consultant and Coach
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by on Mar 05, 2014 at 3:32am

Is there ever a time when it is not in the best interest of the child to tell the school? Does it make it harder for the child, especially in private school? Does the school
start to try to weed out the more needy students? How do you know ahead of time if the school works well with
the families of adhd/ld kids.?

Posted by teddy123 on Mar 15, 2014 at 5:34am

Hi teddy123,

I personally can’t think of any time when it would NOT be in the best interest of the child to tell the teacher they have ADHD. A student with ADHD needs help and accommodations to achieve academic success. If your child’s teacher doesn’t know there’s a medical reason for their inattention, disorganization, etc., they will likely be punished for it. That’s like punishing a child in a wheelchair for not getting up and walking.

Now, private school is a whole other animal, because they often aren’t subject to IDEA and ADA laws. My experience is that they will ask a student to leave if they aren’t successful in their school. I was told a private school couldn’t teach my son 2 months after he started there. They had a policy against taking special needs students in their handbook, but it wasn’t provided to me. I provided all my son’s diagnoses, evaluation reports, 504 Plan, IEP, etc (coming from public school) with his application and they accepted him (found out later because they were struggling financially).

Be very careful of private schools. But, if your child is doing well there, telling them about their ADHD shouldn’t make any difference. It’s when they’re a disruption in a private school that you have a problem.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:32pm

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