Saturday, August 3, 2013

BEST Study Tips for ADHD, Dyslexia & Other Challenges

As this year's back-to-school season gets underway, parents and their children are busy shopping for school supplies and other needed materials to help start the school year in the best way possible. If you are one of those families juggling school supply lists AND a budget that just won’t budge, we have something to offer here that will help contribute to your child’s success in school this year but won’t add a penny to your back-to-school bills.

This week, we have a list of study tips for you or your child that should certainly help start this year of study on the right foot. We hope you will consider adopting the study strategies listed here to enable your child to have a more successful school year for 2013-’14. Have a GREAT year!

BEST Study Environment

1. Study Space: Establish a quiet and structured space for daily study.

2. Desk & Chair: Locate or re-purpose a sturdy desk or table for your study space. It is an added bonus if this piece of furniture can provide a file or supply drawer. In addition, find a supportive but comfortable chair to meet your needs.

3. Bookshelf: Next to the desk (or table) and chair, set up a small shelf for your school text books so that they will be within reach.

4. Temperature & Lighting: Be sure that the temperature of the space where you plan to study is comfortable and adjustable for your varying needs. For some students, lower lighting and/or temperature may be more helpful than bright light and warmer temperatures.

BEST Study Strategies & Tools

1. Read Summary Questions FIRST: At the end of a section or unit of content, there is sometimes a set of questions that will emphasize the most important points of that section. Before you begin the actual reading of the section, read these questions FIRST. They will help direct and focus your thinking while you read that particular section.

2. Highlight Key Words and Phrases: Using a highlighting marker in your favorite color, mark important ideas in the text that you read. Be careful to limit this highlighting to ONLY those words that are important. Key words, main ideas and topic sentences are important. Highlighting every line of a paragraph will be self-defeating and not provide any study benefits to you.

3. Use Reading Focus Cards: To help you focus, concentrate and retain more information more easily, consider using study tools such as the Reading Focus Cards(Patent 7,565,759). These teacher-created and customizable reading tools isolate 1 or 2 lines of printed text and block out more surrounding text than other tools available. They can be especially helpful for children, teens and adults with ADHD, dyslexia and other issues that impact reading success. A choice of 3 colored filters (recommended by developmental optometrists) is included with the tools.

4. Make and Use Flashcards: Create sets of flashcards from 3” X 5” index cards (place each set in small box or on a large binder ring to flip for study of facts, dates, terms, new vocabulary or other important content). If writing these out seems like a daunting task, the flashcards can be computer-generated, saved and printed for your use instead.

5. Short Breaks: Take short breaks as needed during your study session, but remember that these should be just breaks, not distractions that lead to other activities.

Other Important Tips

Eat & Sleep: Getting the right amount of sleep and maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging when one is a committed student. Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep on school nights and eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein to help you be at your best each day. Remember to drink plenty of water rather than soft drinks throughout each day of the week.

Exercise: Be sure to include physical activity that promotes good muscle tone and aerobic benefits each day. This will help you feel ready to study and learn.

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators, LLC:

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