What To Do When They Just Can’t Sit Still

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You know the type. You can easily recognize her in a classroom setting. The teacher’s talking, and he’s in constant motion. She’s drumming her fingers on the desk. His leg is bouncing up and down with a rhythm to match the tune in his head….except he doesn’t recognize that he’s moving. The good news is that often, the wiggling and jiggling is an attempt to pay attention. The bad news is that the constant movement looks like distracting and annoying hyperactivity. Aside from starting gym class a little early, what can you do? Take a look at the following tried and true tips to help the ones … [Read more...]

Walk, Run or Jump to Your Nearest Study Break

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To an ADHD-inattentive child, homework seems endless. It starts after school, stops for a dinner break and can sometimes go until bedtime. In hindsight, it's fairly easy to say the whole time wasn't productive, but at the time, the whole family can be caught up in the "crisis du jour." Maybe it's like this at your house. You hear "AHHHHH. One English lit test, a history essay and 35 math problems." That's your first clue that it's going to be a long night. "Okay, ask me these questions. I think I'm ready…." would be Lesley's usual request, but often we both realized after the first … [Read more...]

Back to School…and Reading Lists

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Lesley and Mike have gone back to school, and each of them has a reading list that is longer than they would like. Lesley had a summer list, so she got a head start. Mike had his list this summer, too. But...well. Let's not chalk everything up to being of the male persuasion... Both Lesley and Mike are having to read classic titles that make me think of Mark Twain’s definition: “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” We've taken two effective approaches to slogging through these books. First on the list is reading aloud. One of Lesley's … [Read more...]

Ten Classroom Strategies to Help Focus

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Everyone struggles to focus at some point. At the most recent back-to-school night, as I shuttled from 9th grade classroom to classroom, I was reminded of how much listening a student does in any given day. Because I've heard so many "back-to-school" speeches, I noticed that I was zoning out after the first few minutes, and suddenly I had renewed empathy for anyone diagnosed with ADHD. While no one helpful hint is a cure-all or expected to work every time, it helps to have a ready arsenal of creative ideas to initiate or regain a child's focus. Take a look and see what works for your … [Read more...]

How Do You Help Your Child Focus?

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Teaching our kids to focus appropriately is one of the most valuable skills we'll share with them. ADHD - hyperactive and inattentive - is defined by the inability to sustain attention. But paying attention is a key piece to success in school, in relationships, at work - for life in general. What hints do you have to help your child focus? Share them in the comments below! Get 100 Ways to Help Your Child Pay Attention in Focus, Pocus! … [Read more...]

Screen Out All Distraction – ADHD and Television

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First there was the television….then the computer….the Wii….the iPad and cell phones that do everything from cruise the internet to take pictures. Screens full of information can easily distract your ADHD-1 teen or tween from doing anything productive. I know that a kid who says he's working on a term paper on his laptop can have windows active with Facebook, Youtube videos and several virtual chatting conversations. Despite the excuse you may hear - "But Mom, I need to get on Facebook to get my assignment from Jessica!" - most screen time isn't that fruitful. How can you, the parent … [Read more...]

Five Focusing Hints – A Preview

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Here are some of the helpful hints from Focus Pocus - 100 Ways to Help Your Child Pay Attention. 7. For multi-step tasks, have kids pair a task to a finger. If you want your son to pick up the bathroom, empty the trash, feed the dog, then sweep the front porch, have him ‘put’ one task on each of his fingers. Then have him count back to you – as he holds up the first finger, he says, “Pick up the bathroom.” On second finger, he should say, “Empty the trash.” This will help him remind himself, and ensure that he heard you in the first place. 13. Pick your fidgety child to be the ‘server’ … [Read more...]

Focus Pocus – 100 Ways to Help Your Child Pay Attention

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Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder all have one thing in common - the inability to sustain and focus attention. But every child - ADHD or not - occasionally has problems staying on task and avoiding distraction. As parents and teachers - we try to conjure up ways to help them focus. As if they were magical spells, we say such things as, “Listen!” “Pay attention!” “Stop daydreaming!” “Think!” “FOCUS!” But the spells rarely work. To complicate things, once we find a trick that works, the magic wears off, and the clock strikes twelve. As a result, we are constantly … [Read more...]

Focus Pocus

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"Focus Pocus" was Ron's Facebook status the other day. I didn't ask him about it, but I can only imagine why he posted. Maybe in the throes of studying, Facebook beckoned. More likely, in the throes of Facebooking, his conscience called him to study. Anyhow, it's a great title. There are many little 'magical' strategies that help improve focus. None of them work all of the time - nothing works all of the time for our kids! All of them work some of the time, and chances are one of the following will work for you today: Limit the Viewing Area - Cut down on distractions by limiting what the … [Read more...]

Modification for Classwork – Helping Kids Stay Focused

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"With math homework we modify doing odds or evens if there are more than 10 questions. Also we just implemented a "dot" system. When she is doing classwork, she has to check in after doing X amount of problems and if she stays on track and finishes it in class she gets Dots. This encourages her to keep focused and helps the teacher know when she is struggling and needs help. The Dots are then sent home for us to use on assignments. We then use the dot's on homework. One dot for one question she doesn't have to do. For example, if she has ten math questions, but earns five Dots in class, she … [Read more...]