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...]

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...]

Take Five!

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It's amazing what can be accomplished in five minutes. When your child is feeling particularly overwhelmed, check his to do list, and point out one task that will only take five minutes. Set the timer, and watch the relief as one item can be crossed off as finished. This hint also works great for parents. If you have a small task you've been dreading or putting off - like washing a window or writing a thank you note - set the timer for five minutes and get it over with!   … [Read more...]

The Chore of Chores

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Chores. Do you ever feel like giving chores is more of a chore for you than for your kid? My boys never got over the need to be nagged to do their chores. We had a checklist*, which helped immensely, but the boys themselves never morphed into creatures that walked in from school and immediately started to empty the trash. Chores, however, are very important - for several reasons. ADHD children are, by nature, self-centered. They often lack the ability to feel what someone else is feeling, or think like someone else. So they reckon that if they aren't upset by the dirty pair of underwear … [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...]

Staying on Task

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Staying on task is HARD. Trying to write this, I keep getting distracted, and I don't have ADHD. To help bring attention back to the task at hand, our family LOVES a little gadget called the Triple Tell Timer. It flashes, buzzes and/or beeps at regular intervals to simply remind you - or your kids - of what you are supposed to be doing. You program it with the frequency you need, and it does the rest. Our guys used to fight over this thing. Of course, there are many variations on the theme. There are lots of cool gadgets - medication reminders, watches, alarms, you name it! Check out our new … [Read more...]