Parents of children with ADD are always looking for tips on how to help them be successful in school and in their daily lives. A structured environment helps. The more organized the patient’s life, the better. Daily routines are extremely important.
Here are some examples of ways to incorporate a schedule and routine in the lives of children.
- Morning routine:
- Wake up times, clothes should be out from the night before, everything that he/she is going to need in the same place, school bags should be left close to the door.
- Consistent times for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinners.
- Small size classrooms (max. 15 students) with a structured and dedicated teacher.
- Develop an effective communication system with the teachers. This way you can find out about problems immediately.
- Identify a child that has excellent grades and likes to help others. Meet the parents and get their phone number, so that if you need to find out information that your child might have forgotten to write you can call them.
- Create a WhatsApp group for the parents: It can be a good communication channel.
- Afternoon routines: after school activities
- Time of pick up should be the same.
- Study time should always be at the same time. The child or adolescent should have snacks and rest for at least 30 minutes after school before starting to complete assignments. The assignments should be done before engaging in any other activities; like sports. Study time should always take place at a desk and in a quiet place without visual or auditory distractors. Around 50 percent of patients with ADD, also have Central Auditory Processing problems and sounds easily distract them.
- Do not negotiate with the patient about the study time. Everything else should be done after schoolwork is finished.
- Encourage patient’s emotional growth and maturity of independent study (always review schoolwork, but do not do the work for them). This has to be started from 2nd to 3rd grade.
- Utilize positive reinforcement techniques; like going to see a movie they like, if he does everything by himself and behaves appropriately.
- If the child does many different after school activities daily, he/ she can have a calendar which should be reviewed in the morning.
- Assign home chores according to age. It is important to help sure child develop responsibility
- It is a great habit at any age. It helps the brain get organized.
- Teach your child to fill the agenda with assignments, events, and activities that will happen. You can use digital calendars and even create alerts.
- Screen time (video games, computer, TV)
- Limit during school days to 1 hour and 2 hours on weekends.
- After school activities (Sports, art and music classes, Boy Scouts, etc).
- Physical activity is super important and helps to improve attention and concentration. It can be as simple as going to the park.
- At least one hour per day.
- Do not let your child get too tired. It could affect his/her schoolwork. A short time of physical activity before doing homework increases brain metabolism.
I hope these tips can help you and your child.
ADD can possibly, when treated, be a foundation for skills such as multitasking and if you structure this ability it can actually help you or your child to be more successful in life.
This information is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.