PORTLAND — Experts estimate that 5 percent of the general population has some form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For Portland’s public schools, that’s about 360 of the 7,200 students.

To provide support and information for parents of those students, the school district has started a group that will meet for the first time at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lincoln Middle School.

The ADHD Parents Network will help parents connect with each other, learn more about ADHD-related disorders and better understand how to help their children succeed in school.

“We want it to be more than a support group,” said Christopher Kaufman, the district’s lead psychologist. “The plan is to make the group informational, with formal presentations.”

The group will be led by Kaufman, who last year published a book, “Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students.”

Tammy Ryan, a parent, will coordinate the network’s activities.

The group targets parents of children who have deficits in critical cognitive skills known as executive functions, Kaufman said.

Such children often have trouble controlling emotions and behaviors, starting and finishing schoolwork, staying focused and planning for the future, remembering facts and being on time.

Kaufman said Superintendent Jim Morse encouraged him to start the group, in part because Morse met last year with several parents who expressed interest in the idea.

“The formation of this group reflects the superintendent’s goal to be more responsive to parents’ concerns and interests,” Kaufman said.

Morse also recently reorganized the district’s special education program, in the wake of a consultant’s review that was highly critical of its administration and services to students and parents.

At the group’s first meeting, Kaufman will outline various forms of ADHD, including symptoms and biological bases.

Future sessions will address challenges in academic and social settings; special education services and processes; medical and psycho-social treatments; and dietary factors associated with the disorder.

Future sessions will be held Nov. 16, Jan. 11, March 1, April 5 and May 3. The meetings will be free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.

For more information, contact Kaufman at 874-8134 or [email protected]

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]