You can never be too prepared or too organised. At the start of a new school year, there is a lot to organise and it’s wise to start it early. Make sure you know what resources your child may need. This could include any uniform changes, new equipment, and ensuring that all the resources your child needs to have a successful day at school are in place.
ADHD kids may also have sensory needs. It’s a good idea to allow them to ‘wear in’ their uniform if they need time to get used to it. This is particularly important for shoes or any items of uniform such as a tie that may feel restrictive.
Help your child to stay organised with what they may need on different days. Encourage them to take ownership by getting them involved in the process. Create checklists, timetables and clearly label items to make this as easy as possible for your child.
Imitate The School Routine
Children with ADHD need to have a consistent routine. This ensures that they know what to expect and helps to keep them focused. A good morning routine will help to ensure that your child is calm prior to starting school, setting the tone for the day ahead. Equally an after-school routine is just as important. This may include some downtime or homework study time.
If your routine has changed over the holiday period, start setting an alarm at the time you need to get up for school a few days before school starts. You can also practice doing a few concentrated activities around the time the school day begins. This gives a child with ADHD time to adjust to the new routine.
If your child is young enough, you could do some role-play activities where you can play schools and let them be the teacher. This is a great way to find out what they really think about school and address any concerns.
If your child senses you are worrying about how they will cope at school, they will worry too. While it’s completely understandable for a parent to have these thoughts, it’s better if you and your child can look forward to starting school again. Be sure to praise their achievements and provide them with stability if they require support. Returning to school can be a big step for kids with ADHD, especially if they get anxious and/or are transitioning to a new school.
Meet Other Children And Parents
If possible, encourage your child to meet up with other children from school before they go back. It helps to cement and maintain friendships and means the first day back may not feel quite so strange. It can also benefit parents to meet other parents, especially if you have particular concerns in relation to the educational setting.
Take It One Day At A Time
Remember nobody knows your child as well as you do and it might take time for them to settle back into school. It may take anything from a few days up to a few weeks. It’s especially important that you use the aforementioned strategies during this settling-in period to reassure your child and communicate any issues to the school as soon as you can.
It’s also worth remembering that school children have faced huge change and uncertainty over the last couple of years due to the pandemic. As a result, they may still be anxious about certain aspects of school such as being in crowded spaces or missing school due to illness.
Last But Not Least…
Remember to monitor ADHD symptoms carefully as they may be affected by changes in routine and environment. If your child takes ADHD medication, it’s worth monitoring this too, especially if they have been on the same dosage for a while or had a growth spurt.
Further Help And Guidance
At The ADHD Centre, Our clinical team of Specialist ADHD Consultant Psychiatrists, Coaches and Therapists are highly experienced and offer only the latest evidence-based treatments to ensure that our clients get the help that they need quickly, safely, and effectively. We offer a wide range of effective treatments which are always individually tailored to best suit your specific needs.
If you would like further support with managing symptoms for you or a loved one, then contact us at the ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via firstname.lastname@example.org We offer private ADHD assessments for children (and adults) and ADHD treatments.
Our FREE E-Book Helping Children with ADHD to Thrive is full of information about child ADHD and has some useful tips for parents and carers.
If your child loves technology you might find this blog useful The Seven best apps to help kids with ADHD thrive
Updated August 2022