Five Study Tips for Children with ADHD
ADHD or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by consistent attention-deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in an individual’s daily behavior. Given that the process of learning requires the need for implicit attention, it can be easily pointed out how having ADHD could make life difficult for a school child.
That is, difficult, but not altogether impossible. With early intervention and appropriate accommodations, any child with ADHD can breeze through school’s normal challenges. These accommodations do not need to be difficult nor expensive, it just takes consistent and patient effort on the part of the parent in terms of activities done at home and communication with teachers. Here are 5 study tips that a parent can employ to help a child with ADHD.
ADHD Study Tip No. 1: Routine is important
Since children with ADHD have difficulty controlling their impulses, there should be measures to allow them to understand what it means to have schedule and routine. Impulsive behavior also manifests because children don’t know what to expect and what is expected of activities. As it is, they have to learn that there should a proper time for eating, playing, watching TV, and for any of the innumerable activities that they would want to do.
Make sure that the child has an easy-to-follow and specific routine at home. From the time he wakes up until he goes back to bed, the activities should be planned so that the child would be familiar with a sense of schedule. Having a daily routine allows children to predict the sequence of activities that would happen in a day, which in turn becomes a precursor to learning about the concept of time and about proper social behavior. With a consistent daily routine, children with ADHD would learn to expect what event or activity comes next and respond accordingly.
ADHD Study Tip No.2: Schedule appropriate activities
After creating a daily routine, the next step is to observe how children fare regarding the schedule. Routine helps a lot but only if we choose the appropriate activities; we have to figure out the best sequence of activities that could help a child maximize his day.
For example, the time a child wakes up is definitely connected with the time he sleeps. If the household routine doesn’t permit an early bedtime (which happens for a lot working moms) then it makes sense to have a late morning rising. If the child goes to school, then there should be measures done so that an earlier bedtime is possible. A homework routine is also suggested after the child arrives home, preferably before dinner. If the child is home-schooled or is still not starting school, high-energy activities are best scheduled in the morning if we want the child to take an afternoon nap. Of course, the schedule of activities is dependent on each child.
ADHD Study Tip #3: Technology can help a lot
Today’s gadget-centric world is actually a boon for children, especially those who have problems with attention. Sure, we have the whole slew of entertainment devices that have proven distracting, but these same technologies can be conscripted to help your child out.
For example, aside from a steady diet of great books, we could supplement a child’s education with educational videos, documentaries, or even TV shows that correspond to his school topics. For those children who are more comfortable with aural approaches, mp3 players can be a great alternative. The trick here actually is to involve as many senses as possible to help a child with attention problems remember and retain what he learned in school.
ADHD Study Tip #4: Work with the teachers
A child spends a great chunk of his time in school so it makes sense for parents to work in tandem with the child’s teachers and school personnel. The importance of doing so is amplified for children who have ADHD because behavioral problems are part of the disorder’s landscape and the parent should always be updated about the comings and goings at the school.
Although schools already have their respective schedules for parent-teacher meetings, it’s suggested that parents constantly communicate with their child’s teachers on a weekly basis. Ask the teacher if there are complementary tasks that need to be done at home, and inquire about any additional assignments that the child may need to finish.
ADHD Study Tip #5: Remember ‘serious play’
Attention can be kept if a task is interesting and it’s something that’s a little bit challenging. Simply said, a child naturally gravitates to what interests him. Mixing play with learning is certainly a great strategy not only for remembering but also for increasing interest in school.
For example, if the child loves playing basketball, organize a bulletin board in the child’s study area with a basketball theme. Design something like a scoreboard on this bulletin board and have the child “score” whenever he gets a perfect quiz or an excellent project. A particular score might correspond to an interesting reward later that will reinforce good habits. With this strategy, a whole bunch of ideas is open for the creative parent.