With summer-like weather upon us and many weeks spent without a structured school schedule, kids with ADHD are struggling to focus on their schoolwork like never before.
If you are a parent of a child with ADHD and feel like you are hanging on by a thread, you are not alone. As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, emotions are running high and patience is running low.
As a parent of a child with ADHD, you have undoubtedly spent a great deal of time advocating on behalf of your child. With that in mind, how can you best begin preparing them for the times in adulthood where they will need to advocate on behalf of themselves?
Kids with ADHD need clear and consistent expectations in order to thrive at school and at home. Expectations provide structure and consistency and help kids strive to reach their full potential.
When you think of a child with ADHD, a certain stereotype may come to mind: a child who is bursting with energy. While there have always been many reasons to challenge this stereotype, findings from a recent study about physical activity and ADHD have added one more.
ADHD and homework mix about as well as oil and water. The biggest challenge is typically the extreme amount of time it takes kids with ADHD to get their homework completed. Here are some helpful ways to make homework time less stressful.
“Why don’t you think before you act?!” Students with ADHD hear this over and over from teachers, parents, and even peers who are frustrated by their impulsive behavior. Acting without thinking about the consequences is actually a defining feature of ADHD for kids who have the impulsive symptoms of the disorder. Putting on the breaks and acting thoughtfully and patiently is not something that students with ADHD can do regularly without support. Fortunately, consistently using targeted behavioral strategies in the classroom can go a long way toward reducing impulsive behavior.
Everyone feels anxious on the first day of school. Even kids who love school and look forward to the first day feel some butterflies in their stomach as they wonder what their new teacher and classmates will be like. For kids with ADHD who have struggled with school in the past and whose relationships with classmates have often been challenging, the back to school jitters that they experience are often more intense than most. Even if they don’t talk about feeling nervous, the anxiety will still be there and may show up in other ways – like uncharacteristic irritability, difficulty sleeping, and complaints about stomachs and headaches. As a parent it can be hard to know how to help your child cope with his or her anxiety. In addition to strategies that help with everyday anxiety, like taking deep breaths or distracting yourself from anxious thoughts, there are a few important things you can do to help your child cope leading up to the first day of school.
Many parents consider having their child take a break from his or her ADHD medication over the summer. Research shows that there are in fact some benefits to summer medication holidays for children who take ADHD medication. For kids who experience medication side effects, such as insomnia, decreased appetite, or slowed physical growth, a summer break can provide relief and chance to catch up in weight gain and growth. Summer medication breaks also give parents an opportunity to observe their child’s ADHD symptoms when his or her medication is not in effect.
Summer gives kids with ADHD the opportunity to take a break from the pressure and hard work that comes with staying focused and on-task all day long. They have more time to explore their creative side, burn off their extra energy while playing outside, and become absorbed in activities that they truly enjoy.