Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > Coping With ADHD > IEP Interventions and Transition to High School

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

IEP Interventions and Transition to High School

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: Our teenage son takes Ritalin® for ADHD. He also has ODD and LD in English. The ADHD and the ODD are mild, yet still get in the way. His core grades are always C and below. He tests average or above, with the potential to do so much better. He will be going to high school next year and we're putting together the IEP. What interventions should be in place? What books or videos should I get?

A: You are very wise to be proactive and plan ahead to meet your son's needs in high school. As the demands of school increase, it becomes more and more important to have a well-balanced plan that includes both accommodations and direct interventions. To start with, have a look at Harvey C. Parker's book, Problem Solver Guide for Students with ADHD. He has a good section on educational interventions for students with ODD. Many of the interventions suggested are similar to those recommended for any children with behavior problems:

Model appropriate social behavior.
Provide structure.
Post clear rules of classroom behavior and review them frequently, especially before a new activity.
Seat student near quiet students.
Use a behavior-modification program with clear goals and planned rewards for reinforcement.

An excellent website for more advice about specific behavioral concerns comes out of the Hunter College Special Education Program. You can send a question about a particular behavior and elicit a multitude of suggestions geared to your immediate needs.

As for books and videos, have a look at Thomas W. Phelan's book (and accompanying video) Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go Of Your 13-18 Year Olds. Another useful video on this topic is Managing Oppositional Youth: Effective, Practical Strategies for Managing the Behavior of Hard to Manage Kids and Teens by Arthur L. Robin, Ph.D. and Sharon K. Weiss, M.Ed. An excellent all-around guide for understanding issues specific to teenagers with ADHD is Harvey C. Parker's Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding Teenagers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This book includes over 200 educational accommodations for ADHD teenagers.

Once you've managed the behaviors that are getting in the way of your son's success in school, have a look at Leslie Davis, Sandi Sirotowitz, and Harvey C. Parker's excellent guide, Study Strategies Made Easy: A Practical Plan for School Success. This is an excellent guide for strategies on organizational skills, time management, improving reading comprehension, vocabulary development, test-taking skills, memorization, and communication. You have quite a bit of summer reading ahead of you! Good luck!

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.