What mechanisms of support can help a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a learning barrier that can be detrimental to your child’s self-esteem. A parent needs to be proactive in observing whether their child is coping at school. This can be as simple as noticing that your child is staying in at break to complete their work or that you are constantly being called in to discuss their behaviour. ADHD is not linked to a child’s intelligence, however, it influences their performance in class as the child is struggling to maintain their attention on a subject. It is important to seek the appropriate medical help for the child, but here are a few tips that you can implement at home.
ADHD is as frustrating for the child, as it is for the parents and teacher. Let the child know that you can see that it is difficult for them to maintain their attention but that you are there to help. Provide a support system for the child.
Provide routine and structure into the child’s day. Plan scheduled times throughout your child’s day for them to complete their homework, eat, play and rest. Simple arrangements can help provide structure in your child’s environment. You can put stationary dividers in their draws and colour code their books (by wrapping their school books in different colours) so that they are able to find their stationary and books easily. This type of structuring reduces the child chance of being distracted from the main task at hand.
Find a place where there are little to preferably no distractions for your child to work. The T.V. room for example is a bad idea.
Break up the child’s work period (when doing homework at home) into reasonable time slots and make sure that the child has adequate breaks in between.
A sport’s extra mural (such as soccer, swimming etc.) may help the child release their energy in a healthy way.
If the child is less hyperactive and more of a “daydreamer”, make sure that the child has someone to remind them to get back to the task. This could be a conscientious learner who may sit next to them at school, a school facilitator or a person to help them with homework.