Tactics to Help Your ADHD Child Learn

For expats looking to move overseas

Any family with an ADHD child understands the importance of being flexible, making compromises, and having a positive attitude when dealing with their ADHD child. The most important aspect of helping your ADHD child in every area of their life is to first educate yourself on their habits and tendencies. Many parents will know that instructions are likely to not be obeyed, disorganization is a constant, and tactless comments are often. However, dealing with ADHD within your family is very different from helping your ADHD child survive the learning environment of school. Children can be overwhelmed with the restrictions and guidelines that are enforced, while teachers may not understand your child’s abnormal behavior and quirks. This can be even more difficult in countries such as China or Singapore where ADHD is a condition that is criticized and belittled. As a parent, the main problem is trying to create a positive learning environment that includes a firm understanding of both the school and teachers. So how do you help both parties understand what’s going on?

ADHD Child

Finding a School that Understands Your Child’s Needs

Finding a school that caters to the needs of international ADHD children can seem like a dreaded process, especially when certain schools will specifically state that those with special needs should not apply. However, it’s important to remember that your child is not the only one with a learning disability, and there are schools that understand that ADHD children, when managed correctly, can be extremely insightful and intelligent. For example, Yew Chung International School in Beijing has developed a Special Education Needs Division that allows teaching staff and parents to work collaboratively in order to support students. Provisions such as the use of advanced learning software, curricula modification, and assistance with assessments and examinations are all available to students. In Singapore, the SJI International School houses a Learning Support Coordinator in-house who helps teachers and parents build a personalized plan for children with mild learning disabilities. These schools are just some examples of the premium foreign schools that offer specialized programs, which can make all the difference in your ADHD child’s learning environment. If you can’t find a school that has a specialized program, be sure to bring up your child’s circumstances before you officially enroll them, as it will then become important for you to talk with the teachers with whom your child will spend time. If the school feels uncomfortable with ADHD, you may want to reconsider enrolling your child there; it’s important that the school understands the value your child can produce, if they are given the right support.

Helping Teachers Understand Your Child’s Needs

If raising your child was the first time that you have dealt with ADHD, then you know how hard it was to understand the mental process of your daughter or son. Most teachers will also have difficulties understanding this process, especially if this is the first time they are dealing with an ADHD student. Even if the school has a special needs program, it’s always a good idea to get to know your child’s teacher, as there will be unique attributes to your child’s ADHD behavior. If the school does not have a special needs program, you must ensure that you are proactive, talk to teachers about ADHD, and if necessary, educate them about ADHD conditions. Make sure to emphasize that ADHD is a real medical condition, which doctors define as impairment to the executive functions (cognitive management system) of a person. The three most important things to notify teachers about are:

  1. Your child will have a lot of trouble controlling their behavior sometimes. Having ADHD can sometimes be very stressful and frustrating, and so sometimes when children are asked to do something, they respond in a negative way. Remind teachers that your child will do this simply because they are having a hard time handling all the stress.
  2. The method of punishment is very important for ADHD children. You have to make sure you inform teachers that embarrassing them in front of the class is very detrimental to them, as ADHD children sometimes have trouble making and keeping friends and responding appropriately during social interactions. It is more appropriate for teachers to privately discuss issues with the student, preferably in an area where they can focus on what the teacher is telling them.
  3. Posting the rules of the classroom somewhere is important. Since ADHD children sometimes forget to listen, it can be difficult for them to remember all the rules of the classroom. Additionally, let teachers know your child will need to practice following the rules more than other children, so they know that your child will need to be reminded of rules more often.

Informing your child’s teacher about these complications can create a happier classroom environment, not just for your child but also for the whole class. Remember that in order to create a positive learning environment, there must be understanding between you, the school and the teachers. Encourage understanding for all members involved, and then you can create the type of system wherein your ADHD child can learn most effectively.

About Author

Adam Ramsey is a New Zealand native, who not only has ADHD but comes from a genetic lineage of those with ADHD. While during his elementary school career he faced many problems related to his ADHD, though he was able to overcome many of these with special tutoring assistance. Today he works as a 5th grade teacher, and strives to help children with the same learning disability he has. Adam is currently working with YCIS, an international school based in Shanghai and Beijing.


Hello, I am a housewife and love my family. Also love to write on my blog when i am free.

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