Help Your ADHD Child!

The first line of treatment for a child with ADHD is always seeking the help of a qualified physician or therapist. In addition to following the prescribed treatment plan, parents can help their child with ADHD maximize their comfort level and productivity at home by following these few simple suggestions:

Timing

There are probably many things you want your child to do in a day–homework, chores, reading and playing — but he or she just can’t seem to focus enough to do them. Part of the problem may be timing. You may want your child to do his or her homework as soon as he or she gets home because you want to make sure it’s done, but perhaps your child needs a break from school work before working on homework. Other children may find it best to do his or her homework first, since the information is still fresh in his or her mind. If your child is having difficulty getting something done, try rearranging your child’s schedule to better fit his or her needs.

Create Specific Places for Activities

Just like you have a place for all the objects in the house, there should also be a place for all the activities in the house. You probably already have a table where you eat meals, an area for paying the bills, and a favorite chair for reading or watching TV. Your child should have the same sort of order to his or her activities, as well. Set up an “office” for your child to do homework in. Ask about his or her preferences, it may be a desk in their room, a corner with a shelf and a bean-bag chair, or standing up at the dining room table. Make sure it is a well organized space with a cup for pens and pencils, a place for paper and books, and something to organize old work. It may also be helpful to have a play area, reading area, and eating place. The more structure, the better!

Establish an Escape Place

It is also very helpful to have an escape or time-out place, especially if your child is impulsive. Allow your child to go there when they are going to have an outburst. Provide him/her with a punching bag or pillows to hit or throw around. This way, your child can vent his or her frustrations without injuring themselves, other people or objects. Your child’s room may be a good escape place, except that often it feels like a rejection place because he or she may feel that his or her room is a punishment place. If this is the case, set up another space to be an escape place.

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Arthur Buchanan
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