If your child arrives at school without brand new sneakers, she will survive. If she shows up feeling overwhelmed or doubting herself, however, the academic and emotional impact may last for months.

In this video, learn how to start off on the right foot by initiating important back-to-school conversations with your child, her teacher, her doctor, other loved ones — and yourself.

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7 Conversations to Start the School Year

Last year’s academic and social challenges can cast a shadow of doubt and defeat over your child — and that’s no way to learn!

Set the stage for back-to-school confidence by having these important talks now.

1. Identify ADHD’s superpowers.

Kids with ADHD may suffer low self-esteem. Talk about your child’s strengths and ADHD superpowers.

Use phrases like: “You have a turbo-charged brain churning out tons of great ideas.”

2. Ask about your child’s friends.

Who are your child’s new classmates?

Listen for clues about similar personalities or interests, and help her connect with friends early.

3. Compliment the teacher.

A child may stop trying is she doesn’t connect with her teacher — or thinks the teacher doesn’t like her.

Mention off-hand how you like the teacher’s introductory letter or school web page.

4. Introduce your child.

Write an email that explains your child’s strengths, interests, and academic and social challenges.

Highlight learning strategies that have worked in the past.

5. Assess your treatment plan.

Make an appointment with the pediatrician at least three weeks before school starts.

Make sure that medication will last through afternoon classes. Fine-tune the dose and timing of meds or therapies.

6. Connect with other parents.

Don’t try to hide your child’s ADHD, but also don’t disparage it.

Speaking openly about your child’s diagnosis shows that ADHD is nothing to be ashamed of.

7. Open up about family challenges.

Ask your child to describe what ADHD feels like — and how you can support her.

Encourage every family member to propose solutions.

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