Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5 Tips to Help Your Child Tame Those ADHD Symptoms

This will be the first week back to school for many children across the country after the long summer break. Many students will be excited to start a new year. Others will be more than a little reluctant, and a significant number of children will be very anxious about returning to a new classroom at a higher grade level. This can be especially true for children challenged with focusing and attention problems or ADHD. At the same time and not surprisingly, the parents of these students may also be experiencing the same feelings, dreading the morning routine with a child who struggles to follow directions, complete tasks on time and prepare for the classroom, each and every day of the school year.

What can parents do to help better prepare their children or teens with these ADHD symptoms AND in so doing, experience a better academic year? We have made a list here of 5 tips to help. None of them are difficult. However, each of the tips WILL require consistency and the needed time to follow-through on each of them.

1. Incorporate Plenty of Exercise into Your Child's Day Every Day! Always allow for a good amount of daily exercise. It need not be strenuous, but consistent exercise that benefits all muscle groups and provides good aerobic benefits will go a long way in helping your child to get and stay focused in the classroom this year. About 60 minutes of walking, running, climbing or other safe activity is recommended each day by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These minutes can be broken down into smaller units of 10 to 20 minutes at a time to accomplish the daily goal.

2. Allow for Scheduled Breaks to Help Your Child Decompress. This can be especially important during stressful or homework times. A pause of 5 to 10 minutes from homework can make all the difference in both decreasing stress and improving attention levels for your child or teen. If needed, time the length of these breaks, too, so that they do not become "lunch hours" or "extended playtimes." For some children, a quick run to the backyard fence could also provide just the right amount of energy release to enable more focused reading or study upon their return to work.

3. Stimulate & Improve Focus with Worthy Learning Activities. Seek out meaningful learning activities and resources appropriate for your child's intellectual level. The internet offers a wide variety of these resources and so often without any cost to you. We have provided a few links to follow this article that you might find helpful for this purpose. Take a look at all of the resources before choosing the best one(s) for your individual child's learning style or interests. Be aware that maintaining some structure during school break and vacation times may go a long way in keeping your child or students in the "learning groove," especially when ADHD is a challenge. Choosing "worthy" activities for these more relaxed times will be helpful.

4. Make Use of Valuable Tools to Keep Your Child On-Task at Home & at School. There are helpful reading aids and other tools to help improve focus and attention both in and outside the classroom. These aids are available online and in some school supply stores. Some tools may assist your child or student with work that involves physical books and worksheets while others will be helpful with online reading and study. We have provided a few resources for you in the list at the ndo fo this article. Getting and maintaining a student's attention and focus is a hurdle that can be scaled with the right tools for each individual's learning style and needs.

5. Check in with Your Child at Least Once a Day. Have a brief but meaningful chat with your child each day. It may be your own personal challenge, but please turn off the omni-present phone and really look at your child without your own distractions getting in the way. Just 5 minutes where you give your child your undivided attention can be priceless and serve as an excellent example for the child to learn how to properly discuss or interact with another person. You will most likely notice your child relax and become less stressed or "hyper" after these few minutes together. Those precious moments together may actually affect you in the same positive way!

Resources to Help Tame Those ADHD Symptoms

How much physical activity do children need?
From The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Daily exercise for children is essential. Other related information is provided here.

Better Behavior at School: Help Teachers Manage Your Child's Distractions and Impulsivity
From the Editors of ADDitude Magazine
Share these winning strategies with your child's teachers to keep your student focused and on his best behavior in the classroom.

How Your ADHD Teen Can Thrive in High School
By Jill Murphy & Cynthia Enfinger
11 Tips for High School Success: High school demands better study skills, time-management tools, and organization skills in order to succeed. Use these tips to master those high school classes.

GREAT Reading & Learning Resources for Your Family's Spring Break (or Anytime!)
This article includes alternatives to the traditional "Spring Break" or other vacation time. In addition, you will discover many resources to keep kid's brains engaged even when away from the classroom for either a short or extended period.

Keep Kids Far from the "Summer Slide": Stressless Summer
From Kidlutions.com
You can help your child avoid the “summer slide” with just a little information and some careful planning. The tips and resources included with this article have been provided to help you do just that. Choosing to follow through on all or just a handful of the ideas here will help keep your child far from the “summer slide” this year!

Helpful Focus & Tracking Resources for Challenged Readers
The right strategies and resources for students with attention and focusing issues when reading can go a long way in helping them manage specific symptoms or even improve their reading experiences. This article addresses these needs with some resources specific to focus and tracking. The information presented here can go a long way to help positively affect the level of reading success for many struggling readers.

Helpful Focusing Tools for Books, Technology & More!
This article presents information about a group of low-tech and sensory-appealing literacy tools that help improve focus, tracking, fluency and comprehension (for readers of all ages---children, teens & adults). These tools can be inexpensive solutions for readers with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other issues that sometimes affect reading success.

APP: Overlays! (for OS X 10.8 or later: Price: $6.99)
Created by Abbie Gonzalez
Use to help with reading or sometimes to help following large tables and lists of data. Battle the wall of text, eyestrain and distractions with this on screen overlay to help you keep your place!
- Keep your place in huge walls of text, tables and lists.
- Pick the color, height and transparency that helps you read better.
- Use a lightly colored overlay or a completely solid line to help you keep focused. Pick what works for you!
- Easily access preferences from the menu bar icon.
- Works in full screen applications, and even over virtual machines.

APP: Reading Focus Cards (for Macs & Windows PCs: Price: $5.99)
(Patent 8,360,779)
From Brennan Innovators, LLC
This DESKTOP app is the digital version of the physical Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers. This app for Windows PCs and Macs provides practical READING SUPPORT for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. It promotes more FOCUSED online reading of almost ALL digital media (webpages, PDF files, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets & more.) In addition, the Reading Focus Card app is compatible with and supports touch-screen technology. The application can be moved on the screen over text by the fingers, mouse or arrow keys as needed.
1. For Windows PCs: Visit Gumroad at https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards
2. For Macs: Visit the Mac App Store and search for "Read and Focus" or go directly to
More information: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/research-based-literacy-tool-evolves-helpful-app-struggling-readers/

For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info and support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com