Helping a Child With ADHD Succeed in School

Have Realistic Expectations

When I was young, my parents expected me to do my schoolwork, follow the rules, and bring home only A's and B's on report cards. When my son started school, I had to accept that his ADHD and learning disabilities meant he was unlikely to earn all A's and B's under general education standards. Although he has a high IQ, his inability to finish classwork in the time allotted for "typical" students his age, his dysgraphia (a neurological disorder that causes him to write incorrectly or in a distorted style), and his inability to work independently prevent him from earning good grades in every subject. Instead of carrying over the expectations of my parents, I maintain an entirely new vision of school success tailored just for my son, revolving mostly around his self-esteem and happiness. After a couple of years of battling with the school and trying to change my son's, I adopted a come-what-may attitude -- I can't change him and I don't want to. The less anxiety he feels, the better he will do academically. Provide the necessary tools and accommodations and allow your child to find his own version of success in life. Accept him for who he is and never give up.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

Penny Williams is a WEGO Health's Health Activist and the creator and editor of the blog A Mom's (and Dad's) View of ADHD ( When not writing, she can usually be found behind a camera (

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