ADHD Back To School Tips

Back To School Tips - ADHD Version


Back To School Tips


In This Blog, Back To School Tips

  • For elementary school
  • For High School
  • For College
  • For Parents and Caregivers

Kat Sweeney, MCLC

Back To School Tips - ADHD Version

Back To School Tips 

Guide for helping parents of ADHD kiddos get back to school on a good start.


It’s back to school time. If you are a parent with an ADHD kid, this time of year is either your favorite time of year, or your least favorite time of year.


For some parents, the back to school time feels like a gift from heaven. Freedom for 6ish hours of the day. Hurray! Some parents LOVE spending time with their kids but think a whole summer is just a little bit too much.


For other parents, the return to school feels like something to dread. Schedules to keep, supplies to buy, homework to argue about, what’s fun about that? Some parents really enjoy summer time activities and extra times with their kids and release from some of the day to day struggles.


If you want to know which parent was me, I’ll give you a hint.  About mid-way through August every year, while buying school supplies, I used to sing to my kids, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  Much to their annoyance and sometimes embarrassment.


Whether you are looking forward to back to school and all it entails, or you are dreading it, I have some tips to help ease the transition time.

Elementary school

  • Establish A Healthy Bed Time Ahead Of Time
  • Bring your child in to meet their teachers before the first day of school. Ideally let them see where their class is and what it looks like.
  • Do a practice run of your morning routine, including getting to school and locating the appropriate door to enter.
  • Purchase multiples of all the required school supplies – one to leave at home and one to leave at school.
  • Talk with your child about things like emotional regulation and social skills. As thoughtful questions and brainstorm with them what to do if they encounter a roadblock.
  • Whatever you can do to limit items going back and forth to school – do that. Pay for hot lunches so lunches don’t get forgotten. Assign one specific folder for correspondence with teachers.
  • Remind your child that school is about learning and progress, not being perfect.

High School

  • When allowed, create your teen’s schedule with them. Get the schedule ahead of time and discuss with your child any changes needed.
  • If this is a new school to your teen, bring them to the school for a tour. GO to the parent and the student orientations.
  • Encourage your teen to sign up to try different sports, clubs, and other activities. Be flexible if they try something and gets bored – this is a time for exploring.
  • Brainstorm a study strategy with your teen. Ask them what challenges they think they might face and work through how to handle them together. 
  • Create a safety plan with your teen. High school kids find themselves in situations they didn’t plan for – help them plan for what to do in various situations.
  • Purchase back to school supplies with your teen and allow them to weigh in on what they need.
  • Look into apps to help with executive function skills.


  • If your young adult allows it, help them go over their course selections and encourage early registering for the best selection of classes.
  • If your young adult will be living away from home – create a checklist of things they will need and start shopping early.
  • Help your young adult understand how to ask for services on campus if they need them.
  • Strategize with your young adult about creating routines, managing medications, and how to handle inevitable road bumps.
  • Remind your young adult that they can call you at any time and that you are a safe space for them.
  • If going away, pack and leave early with your young adult so that you can scout out local area grocery stores, bank and post office.
  • If your young adult is staying home while attending college, allow them to update or redecorate their bedroom or an office area – this might help them feel positive about the transition.

Parent and caregivers

  • For parents of elementary and high school students – go over your child’s IEP plan with them when appropriate, and with their teachers.
  • Help your student of any age set up a study/working space that works for them. Listen to what they need to feel good working. Consider all the senses – what lighting, sound, distraction level, easy access to supplies.
  • Also provide your student a landing space/hot spot – this is going to happen anyway, providing it gives you some say over where. It’s just a spot where your student can “dump” their things when they come in the door.
  • Get your students calendars when possible and mark all days off, concert dates, or any other important days on a family calendar.
  • Recognize symptoms in yourself – many parents are finding out they have ADHD only after they have their child diagnosed. If you see symptoms of ADHD in yourself, look into it!
  • Practice good self care – you deserve it and it models good self care for your kids.
  • Reach out for support if you need it. Coaches can help parents and/or students. Joining support groups, talking to other parents, whatever way getting support works for you!

How else can I support you?

One way I can support you is with Coaching.  For that reason I am offering a special for the next 30 days. Get your free discovery session plus THREE sessions with me for $105.  That’s 50% off my usual prices. Don’t miss out on the deal.


Besides coaching, I am offering tips and affirmations on Instagram, FB and all the other socials that you can follow for free. Signing up for my mailing list gets you access to freebies, specials, and resources.


If you have any topic or question that you’d like for me to talk about – please send it my way. I love hearing from you and your questions are always excellent!


Good luck with back to school planning!

Kat Sweeney, MCLC


🌻 Don’t Delay Joy 🌻

Kat Sweeney, MCLC


PS – If you didn’t get a chance to ready my blog from a few weeks ago about Why I love Working With Parents of ADHD Kids – check it out HERE.

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