So many articles are out there guiding parents on how to paint the picture of their child. This painting consists of the bright colors (areas where they achieve), the dark colors (the struggles that impair them) as well as the purples and greens (the abilities that could arise from adequate support from the school.
Starting out on positive notes such as this is certainly good advice. After all, a good relationship with a teacher who is working with ADHD in the classroom can enhance much needed communication between home and school. Does this attempt at both positive relationships with the child and parent create a better teaching environment for the child? Of course! But with significant effects of ADHD and possibly a learning difference, access to learning may be compromised despite positive relationships. But the contributing factor here is that because of the positive perspective on the part of the teacher toward her student as well as the family, there is more of a chance for a positive, effective paper trail. The paper trail of communication is imperative for us as parents in order to understand our child’s struggles in the classroom, what accommodations/modifications are working in an IEP or 504 plan, and if there is a need for tweaking.
Teachers are in the classroom to make a difference. But once it is determined that a child is struggling despite various attempts to support him, it is important to go further in this investigation as to why the dark colors of this picture is predominant. Again the investigation is helped by the paper trail: the objective data of teacher comments, grades, and executive functioning deficits that reflect concern and the need for further evaluation.
The end game here is to see in the child’s painting, areas where his bright colors can shine, the purples and greens are discovered, contributing to success, and the dark colors disappear with the knowledge of consistent strategies.