ADHD Supplies – Things that Aren’t On the List from the School

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As school starts back (sigh!), we're all scrambling to buy everything on the school list, and to stock up on those things we're going to need. (If you're not stocking up, you need to read School Supplies for the ADHD Inattentive Family.) Lately, however, we've run across some other things that you might want to consider, items that really might help your child slow down and pay attention...ADHD Supplies. 1. Cushions and Ball Chairs. We keep hearing about how helpful seat cushions and ball chairs are for kids and adults with ADHD - or not! Wiggly kids need to get wiggles out, and … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Paying Attention is a Balancing Act

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In their quest to pay attention, ADHD kids are often fidgety. They have all those annoying habits, like tapping their pencil, chewing on their pigtails, shaking their leg, picking at scabs, or doodling. One of our boys' teachers combatted his fidgets by simply letting him stand up. Other teachers have found the benefit of letting kids sit on a cushion, or even on one of those ball chairs. I read an article this morning in the Star Tribune about a middle school classroom that is completely outfitted with these bouncy chairs. I know that they are useful for schools (and offices), but have … [Read more...]

Are You Focusing?

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While your child often needs one on one monitoring to do homework, it shouldn't always be necessary. While she is working solo, it helps to frequently say something like, "Stop. Are you focusing?" Get her to notice whether she is paying attention to her work and what she is reading/doing. If she is reading, ask if she is thinking about something else. Help her to become aware of when her attention wanders, and teach her to put effort into keeping it from happening! … [Read more...]

Reminder Watches

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"Pay attention."     "Go to the bathroom." "Get a drink of water."     "Eat." "Take your meds."    "Pay attention."     "Move to the next problem." Hearing the nagging voice of a teacher or a parent all day long is enough to drive anyone to distraction. Thankfully, there are products on the market that can alarm, buzz, vibrate, and/or blink, reminding our child to do what he or she is supposed to do. Our boys fought over our timer. And boy did it help them stay on task, especially when they were cleaning their room! Timers for ADHD are invaluable. But what about when your kid is on the … [Read more...]