Huntington Connects


Connecting you to the latest news, tips and academic resources

Tips for Tackling Test Anxiety

Every time a test comes around the same symptoms start to crop up. Your child complains of headaches or stomachaches, has trouble sleeping, cries or becomes or irritable, and may even beg to stay home from school. Older kids and teens may tell you that they're worried about a test, say that they're going to fail, or fear that they'll panic and their mind will go blank when the exam is in front of them. Test anxiety is a very real problem that affects 25-40% of students, and occurs more often in kids and teens with ADHD. While a mild amount of anxiety can actual help with focus during study sessions and exams, the high levels of stress, nervousness, and fear that accompanies test anxiety will actually have the opposite effect.

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Handwriting and ADHD

Messy handwriting that results in illegible homework assignments and sloppy work is a frustrating problem for many kids with ADHD. Handwriting difficulties often leave parents and teachers wondering why kids who are bright and knowledgeable can seem to be so "careless" when they complete assignments. Kids and teens get frustrated because they lose points on homework and tests not because they didn't know the material but because their answers weren't legible. As kids get older and more of their written communication occurs electronically, having neat handwriting becomes less problematic on a day-to-day basis. But during the school years, handwriting weaknesses contribute to poor academic performance, anxiety, stress and lower self-esteem.

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Simple Strategies for Helping your Child Listen and Follow Through

When your child has ADHD getting them to follow through on seemingly simple requests can be frustrating and challenging. You've probably wondered more than a few times how your child is able to tune you out so effectively, to the point where he or she seems to literally not hear you when you ask him or her to do something. Or you struggle to understand what exactly happens when you ask him or her to go put on his or her shoes and socks only to have them come back 20 minutes later with a sock on one foot and no shoes in sight. Moments like these are par for the course when you have a child with ADHD, but there are things you can do to make these moments less frequent. The way that you give your child instructions can have a huge impact on his or her ability to follow through. And, when you pair these effective instructions with praise for a job well done, you'll see big improvements and less frustration all around.

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Understanding Executive Functioning Skills and ADHD

In the past few years there has been a surge in our understanding of executive functioning skills and how they overlap with ADHD. As a parent of a child or teen with ADHD you've likely come across articles about executive functioning online or heard the term mentioned by teachers at your child's school. However, many parents don't feel as though they really understand what executive functioning skills are or how they relate to ADHD. Developing a clear understanding of executive functions can help you think more broadly about your child's ADHD symptoms, and might even help you identify new strategies for helping your child succeed at school and at home.

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Clean Your Room! 8 Steps to Help Your Child Get and Stay Organized

Clean your room! This single sentence is all but guaranteed to trigger a cascade of arguments in any family with an ADHD child. Kids with ADHD struggle with organization, and their apparent resistance to keeping their room clean causes tremendous stress and frustration for parents and kids alike. It's typical for a parent to send a child with ADHD off to clean his or her room only to check on him or her an hour later and find that nothing has been done. Or to have their child proudly announce that he or she has finished cleaning when in fact he or she has only picked up a handful of items off of the floor. Does he or she not see the mess? Does he or she not care that his or her parents are becoming frustrated and threatening to take away privileges if he or she doesn't clean up? Many parents start to wonder if the frustration and hassle is worth it. Maybe they should just pick their battles and let their child's room stay messy?

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Helping Your Child Get Rid of Stuff!

Opening presents over the holidays was fun and exciting, but now just a few short weeks later those presents have probably just been added to the mound of "stuff" that is cluttering your child's space and your home. For kids with ADHD, this extra stuff can make it much harder to stay organized, keep track of their things, and find what they need when they need it. As disorganization increases, so does frustration over lost and misplaced items, arguments over messy rooms, and difficulty focusing on important tasks like getting ready in the morning and getting homework done. For kids with ADHD, tackling clutter and staying organized is especially challenging, and most of the time it's not something they can manage on their own. They need extra help from parents to create and stick with an organization plan that works. The first step involves helping your child whittle down the amount of stuff that he or she has have until he or she is left only with the things that that he or she really needs or enjoys and uses regularly.

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