ADD/ADHD & Organization

Back to school time not only means that there is homework to complete, after school activities to enjoy, and tests to study for. It also means that there will be notebooks to organize, planners to write in, and a need to organize homework assignments and testing dates. How can we help our children do this successfully? The ultimate goal is for increased independence with this. After all, eventually parents won’t always be there (Gasp!). With this last sentence in mind, there has been a rising request for tutoring services related to the ADD/ADHD and executive function challenged child. I thought it would be appropriate to give a few ideas to families whose children struggle with this. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Just a few simple ideas that can get you started with organization and task completion.

–       Place a folder into your child’s bag… permanently. All correspondence and assignments go into this folder. Ask your child’s class or homeroom teacher to check it daily. This will avoid lost homework assignments or forms.

–       Use color coding. Example: all math items are yellow (folders, book covers, sticky notes).

–       Use visuals to match the words you speak. Make sure you have the daily schedule where it can be seen as well as discussed.

–       Remember to give structure. Kids need structure and consistency. Try to keep the routine similar daily and discuss any changes and note them on your written schedule. Remember structure!

–       Allow your child to ask for a “break.” If a subject or task is particularly difficult and frustrating set goals and allow a 1, 3, or 5 minute break. Use a timer for the break, discuss activities for the break (draw, walk around, dribble a ball…), and be aware of triggers.

–       Advocate at school – ask, or have your child ask, the teachers if there is a way to reduce the quantity of work to improve quality and understanding of the work. Teachers can modify the assignment to your child’s needs while still ensuring proficiency.

Hope this list is helpful. Do you have any other strategies you have found that work? Please share them with us.

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