Family road trips are fun and exciting, but they can also be stressful when one or more family members have ADHD. Some of this stress comes simply from being in close quarters and having to stay seated in the car for long stretches of time. While you can’t do much to cut down on the amount of driving that’s required for your trip you can tackle another source of stress – disorganization. When you’re in the car with kids, especially kids with ADHD, things can get messy quickly. You may start off with a clean car, but buckle kids into the back seat with their games, drinks, and food and the car can go from clean to a disaster zone in 5 minutes or less! This chaos makes it hard for kids with ADHD to keep track of their things, and can be the source of arguments, whining, and even tears. Often this backseat chaos doesn’t get left behind once you reach your destination. When things are disorganized at the beginning of a trip, it is very hard for kids to become organized once they’re on the road. As a result, the hotel room quickly mirrors the messy car.
Everyone looks forward to summer family vacations! This fun, memory-making, quality family time can be the highlight of the summer. Unfortunately, before the fun can begin parents of kids with ADHD must endure the long trip to the vacation destination. Without fail, long car and plane rides stir up some of the most challenging ADHD behaviors in children and cause sibling squabbles to reach new heights. In an effort to keep the peace and minimize boredom, most parents rely heavily on tablets, phones, and in-flight movies. They do this with good reason - screens can be very effective at keeping behavior in check. Unfortunately, for kids with ADHD, long stretches of screen time can have negative effects on their attention and behavior for hours (and sometimes days) after the journey is over. Many kids with ADHD have difficulty regulating their attention around screens. They become hyper-focused when they’re watching a show or playing videogames, but when the screen is taken away struggle to transition to another activity. In fact, research shows that some kids with ADHD continue to “crave” screen time for hours after they have spent a significant amount of time in front of screens. For these kids, taking the device away at the end of the trip can lead to meltdowns and outbursts, as well as seemingly constant begging for more screen time during the entire vacation. Not an ideal way to start off your family holiday!
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.
When you have ADHD it’s important to make studying as fun as possible. After all, it is much easier to focus on something that you find interesting, right? With ADHD, knowing how to study for the SAT is half the battle. While nothing can take the place of a structured SAT study program, these fun activities can be great supplements. Since they’re fun and interesting, you’ll be able to stay focused even after you’ve reached your attention span’s limit with your traditional test prep materials.
This year for the first time the College Board will be offering an SAT test date over the summer. The August SAT presents a very appealing option for teens with ADHD who feel too busy or overwhelmed during the school year to tackle SAT test prep. In addition, the August SAT gives seniors the opportunity to take the test twice, once in August and once in October, before having to shift gears and focus on writing college application. For juniors, taking the SAT in August can alleviate some of pressure they will fell during what is typically the most academically rigorous year of high school.