Make up Your Mind Already!

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Every kid does certain things well and other things, not so well. I used to think that decision-making just wasn’t Lesley’s thing. Somewhere I had read that a parent should give choices where the decision’s outcome solely affected the child. Would you like orange juice or apple juice? Do you want your sandwich cut into triangles or rectangles? Lesley never took these choices lightly. She pondered the benefits of pulp-free, calcium-fortified orange juice, and she finally concluded that sandwiches cut into triangles tasted better. As decisions became more complex, she thought harder and … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]