Communicating With A Student’s Family

Keeping The Communication Lines Open

A student spends about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with their teachers. Therefore, it is vital that a teacher works with their colleagues and remains close in every way with the child’s parent or guardian to make sure the plan at home matches the plan at school. The child can improve his or her behaviour greatly if he or she is supported consistently.

Teachers cannot diagnose a student with ADHD, only a specialist can. However, they can note changes and signs that they are witnessing in school and help the parents and ADHD team get a better understanding of what the child is like when he or she is away from home.

Here are the steps you, as a teacher, can take:

  • Have a first meeting. There, you will find out what the parents have in store for the child and what the doctor sees feasible in terms of growth and improvement.
  • Set up regular meetings or ways of communicating. Although face-to-face meetings are best, schedules can conflict for in-person meetings. If that is the case, you can set up phone calls or even a system for emails or letters. Many find a journal helpful, because it contains documentation from the very beginning.
  • Keep the child in the loop. Depending on his or her age, decipher how involved the child should be in this process. He or she may sit in on meetings, or maybe every few months, be a part of them.
  • Ask for the big picture. ADHD can be personal, and the child already feels he or she is “different”. But, it is important to find out from the parents when things began, how much has changed, the child’s triggers, and what they are trying to work on.
  • Have patience. Changes cannot happen in a day. However, as a group, you can all work towards improvement.

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