My daughter has ADHD.
I have ADHD.
A 2019 article by Additude states that the diagnoses among children rises every year with an unprecedented increase in girls and moms. It goes on to say that one to three children in a every classroom of thirty students has ADHD.
As a former classroom teacher, I can attest to that.
Children with ADHD need to be taught strategies for overcoming the challenges that it presents. So, based on my 18 years of experience as a teacher as well as research, I came up with a list of ways to help.
7 Strategies to Help Your Child With ADHD
- Give one directive at a time and have your child check back after each completed task.
- Provide check lists. Set up a daily routine and create a to-do list for the morning, afternoon and evening. Turn that to-do list into a checklist that hangs where your child can see it, and refer to it regularly. For younger children, use pictures.
- Set up a homework station/center. We tend to think that this area needs to be distraction free…no t.v., no music, no people. But, that’s actually not the case. Take cues from your child. For example, my daughter prefers for us to be close by. What I learned is that our presence is a motivator for her to do her work. That makes complete sense considering many children with ADD are not self-starters.
- Stay organized with planners, calendars and lists to keep up with homework, tests, projects, etc. Refer to the teacher’s website to double-check assignment due dates, and to help your child plan a study schedule.
- Provide built-in breaks. A child with ADHD child needs scheduled breaks every so often. Often times, my daughter will ask if she can go take a shower and then finish her homework. Before I knew better, I would insist on homework being finished first. I’ve learned that breaks are okay.
- Organize your home. Clutter is overwhelming for anyone. It is stimuli for an ADD child. Designate bins for belonging, and set up a command center where your student can place papers that need to be signed such as permission slips, class information, order forms…etc.
- Create a predictable schedule for dinner time, t.v. time, homework time, bath time, and bedtime. Allow plenty of time for each activity. Rushing creates stress, irritability and anxiety. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I don’t for one moment minimize the challenges that come from having ADHD. But, as someone who had many students with the diagnoses, I saw another side to it. Those students had brilliant, curious, minds. They were creativity. I could see them one day becoming the world’s problem-solvers and inventors.
Anything is possible when we offer the help and support they need.
You’ve got this!
See you in class,