Starting the School Year for Kids with ADHD

August 29, 2023

Our top resources to help you start the school year off strong!

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We created The Childhood Collective blog to bring you simple, science-backed strategies to help you and your child with ADHD thrive!


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After a fun (possibly exhausting) summer, it’s time to send your child with ADHD back to school. As parents, these transitions can bring up ALL the emotions. Maybe you are feeling excited or a little bit relieved. Or perhaps you are anxious or even dreading the new school year. Keep in mind, just like we tell our kids… all emotions are allowed! But we are here to help relieve some of the stress by sharing some of our top resources about starting the school year for kids with ADHD.

Set Your Child Up for Success

  • For many ADHD families, one of the most challenging parts of the back-to-school transition is getting back onto a schedule. From sleep to morning routines, most of us are more relaxed in the summer. If possible, start transitioning your child’s sleep schedule a week or two before the school year starts. We know, easier said than done! If you are looking for specific ideas for setting up a bedtime routine for your child, you can find our favorite sleep tips here.
  • Morning routines are so challenging! It can be incredibly helpful to make a plan (have your child help you figure it out) and start practicing before school actually starts. You can check out our printable shop for customizable morning, after school, and bedtime routines. We are big fans of the Time Timer (affiliate link; use code “TCC” for a discount!) and visual schedules, but every family is different. For children who don’t do well with visual schedules, a more hands-on process can be helpful. For example, they can help you fill a laundry basket with the necessary items each night, making the mornings much easier. For more support with morning routines and other “challenging” parts of the day, check out our online ADHD parenting course, Creating Calm.
  • Make a screen-time plan as a family. Screens can be a challenging part of the back-to-school transition, especially if your child was allowed to use screens a lot during the summer. No judgement here, we all do it! We recommend sitting down as a family and creating a plan. For details about how we manage screens in our own homes, and our recommendations for a screen time plan, listen to this podcast episode: Screens and ADHD

Work with your child’s school

  • Many parents are afraid to talk with their child’s teacher about their child’s ADHD diagnosis at the beginning of the school year. This is understandable, because parents don’t want to stigmatize their child. However, sharing this information can be incredibly helpful for teachers. It also allows the teacher to be proactive and set your child up for success.
  • We were recently featured in a HuffPost article about setting your child up for success at school. One example we shared in the article is to write your child’s teacher a letter. To learn more, check out the article here!
  • Many times, parents struggle to get appropriate school supports for their child with ADHD. Because ADHD is widely misunderstood, and many children with ADHD do well academically, it can be challenging to get the correct supports in place. However, because children with ADHD have difficulty with executive functioning, it is highly likely that they will need some level of support at school to be optimally successful. The good news is, you don’t have to be a special education lawyer to understand the system. Our online course, Shining at School, can help your child with ADHD go from surviving to thriving at school!

What questions do you have about starting the school year for kids with ADHD? Let us know in the comments… we always love to hear from you.

Have a beautiful week,

Lori, Katie, and Mallory

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We are Lori, Katie, & Mallory.

We are two child psychologists and a speech language pathologist. But most importantly, we are mamas, just like you.

We created The Childhood Collective to bring you simple, science-backed strategies to help you and your child with ADHD thrive at home and school!

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Can you imagine having tools to help your child listen, manage frequent meltdowns, and connect with your child?