ADHD Home > ADHD and School

Coping with school can be challenging for children with ADHD, since a successful education usually requires paying attention and controlling behavior and impulses -- the key areas where children with ADHD have trouble. There are, however, many ways the school can help. For example, teachers and other faculty can design an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), and frequent breaks can be provided during the day.

ADHD and School: An Overview

School can be difficult for children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Success in school often means being able to pay attention and control behavior and impulses. These are the areas where children with ADHD have trouble.
 
Remember, you are your child's best advocate. To be a good advocate for your child, learn as much as you can about ADHD and how it affects your child at home, in school, and in social situations.
 

What Can the School Do?

There are many ways the school can help students with ADHD. Some students may be eligible to receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
 
Under the newest amendments to IDEA, passed in 1997, ADHD is specifically mentioned under the category of "Other Health Impairment" (OHI). The IDEA's definition of OHI is listed below.
 
Other students will not be eligible for services under IDEA. However, they may be eligible for services under a different law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In either case, you and your child's teachers should meet and talk about what special help your child needs.
 
Most students with ADHD are helped by supports or changes in the classroom (called adaptations). Some common changes that help students with ADHD are listed under "Suggestions for Teachers" below.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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