Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ADHD 101 - Week 3

I'll Be the Biggest Fan of Your Life

Happy Wednesday! Thank you for attending another week of ADHD 101. You may be wondering what the title of this blog has to do with tips for school. Stay with me, we'll get there! Success in school begins at home by building an understanding and appreciation of what works for your child. By doing this, you can be his/her best advocate when discussing his/her needs with the school. 

When you're working with your child at home, remember these important points:

1) The more your child is told to focus, the less likely they are to respond.  It’s the way his/her mind is wired. Your frustration will keep growing until you embrace and love your child’s beautifully wired brain. The same brain that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat and blow your mind with its energy and/or random thoughts. 
Dr.Amen, physician, certified psychiatrist and teacher, is the author of a book entitled "Healing ADD." In his book, he goes into great detail about the neurology of ADHD and breaks the disorder down into six different types.  I highly recommend this book. The information is extremely important when it comes to fostering an environment that is most conducive to your child listening, processing and retaining information.

2) Discover how your child enjoys learning and his/her way of processing information. Have your child draw a picture, write a list, use playdough to sculpt, etc. to show their preferred method of learning. Take notes of the different ways he/she expresses their preferred method. 

You ask your child a math problem from his/her homework assignment: “What is 8+2?” 

By using play dough, ask your child to build (whatever he/she's into that week – Transformers, Trains, Shoes, Soccer, etc.) 8 objects from one of his/her interest groups.  

Soccer is the theme: “The coach is starting practice and asked you to go grab 8 soccer balls.”  Once he finishes the eight balls, then point to the plus sign and say, “The coach is really happy two more players just arrived.  He needs two more balls.”  Have the child physically count each ball and answer what is the total number of balls needed for this practice. 

This exercise can be carried over into school by helping your child modify the fun math activity. Have him use a scrap piece of paper to draw 8 soccer balls then two more.  I’m a big advocate for children having either scrap paper or journals as they mature to work through problems using images and examples their mind understands. It also allows them to capture their great random ideas that tend to come bursting out of the mouth while the teacher is trying to teach. 

I often tell all my little friends during sessions that their amazing ideas are worth keeping! That is why having scrap paper or a journal is so important. When those awesome ideas come to mind, I tell them to write them down, draw it out on a picture, etc. Then they can earn a couple minutes with the teacher at lunch time or at some point of the day to share that captured memory as opposed to bursting out during class. This will not only allow them to remember their wonderful ideas, it will keep them from the hurt and embarrassment of getting in trouble by the teacher during class.

So what do you take away from today's lesson? That having a child with ADHD is a gift! They  have beautifully crafted minds full of exciting and interesting thoughts and ideas. Instead of trying to control them become the biggest fan of their life! Love them, cherish them and understand them because when it comes to school, your positive influence and home environment can make all the difference.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions. Have a wonderful week!

All the best,


No comments:

Post a Comment