Parenting Information

The ADHD Parents Guide: Questions for the School

Here is something that you might want to keep if you are thinking about changing your child's school next fall or if you are planning to have your child tested by the school in the near future. Let me say this, if you are planning to have your child tested by your district, do not put off doing the paperwork. Sign them up today! Typically districts have 10 weeks in which to do assessments, but the clock doesn't start until you fill out the paperwork. This can be a long process, and if you delay at doing the paperwork you may not be able to get the assessment done until next year!

Parents, here are some good questions that you might ask the school to ensure optimal management of your child with ADHD.

1. Does your school have any strategies in place for addressing the needs of a child with ADHD?

2. If my child is going to have an educational assessment, will someone explain the evaluation procedure, due process rights, and time line to me? Who will do that?

3. If more than one person will be evaluating my child, who will those people be? When will I meet them?

4. Is someone on the assessment team planning to meet with us to obtain a careful family history, a good developmental history, and a medical history, as well as current assessments and observations? When would they like to meet?

5. Is a school psychologist doing achievement and ability testing? What all is included in the test battery, and what are the goals of the assessment?

6. Did my child do better on the achievement testing which was given in a one-on-one situation than we would have predicted based on his classroom performance?

7. Does the assessment report from the school psychologist show any distinctive features of style and speed of my child's performance?

8. Does this school district provide my child with a case manager or advocate?

9. What interventions are being used now in your school to meet the needs of other ADHD children?

10. If my child has to use medication, who is the designated adult on the school site responsible for its administration? Or, is your system set up to make it my child's responsibility to remember to take his medication. How does the school make certain that a child takes his medication?

You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the ADHD Information Library at

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of Incorporated.



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