As any parent of a child or teen with ADHD knows, constantly losing track of time is practically a hallmark ADHD symptom. It’s also one of the most frustrating symptoms since it impacts so many aspects of the child and their family’s life on a daily basis. People with ADHD struggle with time management for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they become so hyperfocused on an activity that everything else fades far into the background. Other times they simply become distracted by what is in front of them and discount the importance of anything less immediate. So, if a teen is planning to leave the house in 5 minutes to catch the bus on time, and a text message pops up on the phone, their brain prioritizes the text message over the less immediate (but more important) task of getting out of the house on time. Losing track of time is also problematic during homework, especially when kids or teens spend excessive amounts of time on one small piece of an assignment at the expense of completing their homework on time. For each of these situations, using a timer as a tool can be extremely helpful. It’s a recommendation that can seem so simple that parents often doubt that it can be effective. But when used correctly and consistently it can have a big positive impact on ADHD symptoms and family stress.
So, how specifically can timers help? Which types of timers are best for each situation?
If your child or teen’s struggles with time management are taking a toll, try including a timer as a tool in your ADHD parenting toolbox. Work with your child’s therapist or school counselor to help identify specific ways that you can use a timer to help manage ADHD symptoms at home.
Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.
Huntington Learning Center is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students of all levels succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Call us today at 1.800.CAN LEARN to discuss how Huntington can help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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