Find the Right Tutor for Your ADHD Child Quickly & Painlessly

parenting kids with adhd

Finding a tutor for your child with ADHD can be challenging, if you don't know where to start looking. However, if you understand what resources in your community to tap into, finding a tutor can be a quick and painless experience.

Where to Begin the Search

When you realize your child with ADHD needs a tutor, you probably find yourself in a time crunch. It is red alert, all hands on deck - basically, you needed a tutor a week ago. For the ADHD student, time is of the essence. Often an ADHD child needs additional time anyway for processing and working through content, so when they find themselves in a situation where they need to catch up, it can cause a great deal of anxiety. The anxiety, in turn, just increases their academic struggles. So you want to find the right tutor as expediently as possible.

Start By Shopping At Your Local Colleges

Colleges are a great place to start your search for a tutor for your child. First, college students tend to have flexible schedules that are easily worked around a traditional school day for your child. Secondly, there are few college students who will turn down the chance to make a little bit of extra money. Finally, by starting with a college, you have at your disposal nearly every possible content area you can imagine. If you need a math tutor, there are math majors. If you are looking for someone with the skills to work with a child with ADHD, there will be students majoring in special education or psychology who will have those skill sets.

The most straightforward way is to call your local college's career center and place an online advertisement for your tutoring position. Be as descriptive as you can in your goals for the tutoring sessions. Layout the level of help your child needs in the particular subject area(s). Is it just homework they are struggling with, or do they need remediation in math or reading? You may also want to include in your advertisement that your child has ADHD, or at least describe the symptoms of ADHD that may influence their tutoring experience. You and your child will have a much more positive experience with a tutor when you lay out the situations and goals upfront. Additionally, you may want to give a salary range that works for your budget.

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Once you have gotten responses to the ad, meet the tutor for coffee or talk over the phone about the goals you and your child have for the tutoring sessions. It is, essentially, a job interview. You can ask them questions, and ask for references. Quality tutors will have no problem answering as many questions as you need to feel comfortable or supply you with references. Finally, especially if you intend to leave your child unsupervised with the tutor - even if it is a public place like the library - check their name and information in the sex offenders registry. You can't be too careful!

Find Tutoring Agencies

If you don't want to screen the tutors yourself, there are some other options at your disposal to locate a tutor for your child. For example, you can use the National Tutoring Association website to locate tutors in your area. Associations like this one charge their tutors a fee to register, and typically require background checks and sometimes even training for their tutors. This will give you some peace of mind about the quality and safety of the person you are employing as a tutor for your child.

There are also private tutoring companies that will provide you with tutors who typically work as an employee of the company itself. Sometimes these companies have offices where your child can go to receive tutoring on any number of subjects, although there may also be the option for the tutor to come to your home or provide tutoring in a public location such as a library. The company will typically provide you with a questionnaire to assess your child's tutoring needs, such as is it one subject or multiple subjects. They will use that information to match your child with a tutor that suits them and their special needs as a child with ADHD.

While there are some national companies such as Sylvan Learning Centers that provide tutoring services to work on skills such as reading, writing, or math, most are local to your area. In any case, always ask how they screen their potential tutors. For example, some tutoring companies only hire tutors who are certified teachers or have a bachelor's degree in the subject area they will be tutoring in.


Don't Be Afraid To Ask Around

Finally, don't be afraid to ask your child's teachers, guidance counselors, even friends and coworkers if they know anyone who tutors in the areas your child needs help in. Sometimes as parents, we are embarrassed that our child needs help. We shouldn't feel that way because odds are everywhere you go whether it is a church, work, or sporting events, there will be a few parents who have been in a similar situation to yourself and your child.

Teachers and guidance counselors often have a natural pipeline to quality tutors, because they will have had other students in their subject areas who have used tutors as well. In some schools, they may even have tutors who come in for specific subject areas such as math or reading that you can tap into. Some schools receive funding from different grants or other programs and partnerships. It is always worth your time to ask.

Your friends and coworkers may have high school seniors, or college students of their own, who would make an ideal tutor for your child. They may know people in their church or any number of other community organizations that work as tutors. Retired professionals, especially retired teachers, may be looking for an opportunity to work a little bit to stay active. This group will often have flexible schedules that will work well for you. In some cases, you may even be able to find a tutor who can pick up your child from school and work with them as a tutor/caretaker every day until you get home from work if that is what you need.

By Rachel Tustin
February 2017
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