Why Good Manners Matter to Your ADHD Teen

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Learning to be polite and consider the needs of others shouldn’t be a hardship – even for a 14- year-old teen diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive. Your teen may not clamor to learn about manners any more than she clamors to memorize algebraic formulas, but she stands to greatly benefit from both types of knowledge. As a parent, you may find that you often return to the role of the take-no-prisoners manners police: “Don’t talk with your mouth full….Take your baseball cap off…Hold the door open,” etc., etc. The good news is that most teens behave better for someone else – anyone else – other … [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...]

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...]

Timers for ADHD

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Looking back over the last ten years, one piece of equipment keeps showing up - the TIMER. Timers have been essential in our house. There are all sorts of timers - free ones on the computer or your microwave. Timers that come as a function on a watch or a cell phone. iPhones have special timer applications. There are visual timers, timers that buzz/flash/beep, timers that sing. (Here's a whole post about reminder clocks.) We've used timers for all sorts of things - like on Halloween night we set the countdown for 30 minutes and let the kids eat all the candy they wanted. That is NOT a … [Read more...]

Wii For ADHD?!

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A parent recently made a blog post on the ADDITUDE website, telling about how two medical professionals had recommended that she get a Wii for her ADHD daughter. More and more, I'm hearing that the latest generation of games is helping kids with their focus. If any of you have experienced success with video games - the Wii or something like PlayAttention - please share it below. In particular, what Wii games would you recommend? And yes, as I mentioned in the newsletter, part of me remains skeptical, probably because my boys will STILL hyperfocus on video games and do nothing else for … [Read more...]

College Homework and ADHD

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Recently, our oldest came home from college for a weekend, homework in tow. I know the child is 23 years old, but I was happy that he was able to find the assignment (okay, so it was online, but still). I was even happier that he had the correct book. Ron's homework was to write a comprehensive summary of three chapters in one of his business textbooks. Talk about boring. He's pretty interested in it, though. He explained enough to show me he had a good grasp of the subject, although for the life of me I can't remember what it was. We had a good discussion about how hard it is for him to … [Read more...]

A Homework Nightmare

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Last week in the newsletter, I mentioned that all of our kids had come home for the weekend - Ron with college homework in tow. While he was taking a break, I read him an article I wrote back when he was in the tenth grade. Read, it, multiply it by four, and you'll understand why I'm able to write stuff like Waking Up from the Homework Nightmare and Focus Pocus! "Did you wash jeans? My Algebra assignments were in my pocket." Sure enough, crumpled up in the trash was a freshly laundered yellow sticky note, with penciled assignments too faded to read. So he pored through the Algebra II … [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...]