Starting primary school with ADHD

Your child’s transition or movement from kindergarten/preschool to primary school is an exciting time. Your child may move with some of the same children to school but there will also be other children that will be new to them and the environment of school will be much larger. This can be a challenge for many children and each child manages it differently.


It is usual practise to have transition days to the primary school of your choice during your child’s last months of kindergarten/preschool year. This will give children a chance to familiarise themselves with other children, staff and the school environment. If you know that your child has a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or suspect that they may have difficulty, then together with the kindergarten/preschool teacher you will be able to help prepare your child for this transition experience.

There are many things you can do to help your child with the transition to primary school. The following are some suggestions you might like to think about:

  • Drive to the school you have chosen on the weekend and during school holidays, take photos, explore the school grounds
  • Use the photos you have taken and make a story about your child’s new school
  • Ask your child questions about what they would like to know about the school and get the answers for them
  • Tell them stories about when you or their siblings started school to allay any fears they may have
  • Make further times for visits to the school if you think this will be beneficial
  • Prepare a profile of your child’s needs for the school
  • When information about your child’s class and teacher is provided see if it is possible to see the classroom and meet the teacher prior to the school year commencing

During the primary school years your child will develop and change. There will be constant transition points in your child’s life. If your child can learn strategies to assist them early in their school years then this will prepare them for the future. As they progress through school managing daily routines, the school workload and homework will require further support structures. If your child has the added complexity of other learning disabilities such as an Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or Intellectual Disability(ID) then further information and supports for school and home management will be required.

This is an exciting time in your child’s life. Your knowledge of how your child managed during the kindergarten/preschool years, the planning and preparation, communication with the school, organising supports and strategies will all assist to make this a successful transition.

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