It’s probably every parents new (school) year’s resolution to get organized, but particularly the parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD.
With the school year finally beginning, let’s look at a few different ways to help organise the family get the kids to school on time and with everything they need.
Life is so busy making it difficult for all families to get organised each week, but for children with ADHD neurological processes that help them to organize information and prioritise what is most important (otherwise known as the executive function) is impacted by an abnormal level of dopamine levels in the brain.
Children who take medication to assist with ADHD will often show improvement in their ability to become and stay organized; however, like all children, they will need to be taught skills and supported to keep using these skills. Organisation skills rarely come naturally, so it is a parent’s job to teach such skills; incorporating your child in deciding which systems are put in place will assist them in being invested in the process and empowered in their budding independence and maturity.
Tips for staying organised at school
1. Communication between teachers and parents
2. Extra school supplies – one for home and one for school. This way there is less to remember and to bring back-and-forth helping to conserve mental energy for learning
3. Supplies that are right for your child – if their writing is quite large then use a note book with larger space.
4. Provide instructions in writing and a written copy of assignments placed in their notebook
5. Colour coding subjects
Tips for staying organised at home
1. Enforce time concepts – the understanding of time is essential and for children and adults alike, learning to keep time, stay on task and be organised is imperative to developing academic skills and later in the workplace. The use of verbal cues can help with first, next, then, before or after can help as new routines are formed.
2. Family calendar which acts and a visual reminder, a record to cross activities off the list.
3. Providing a place for everything – home organisation where school bags are kept, lunch tins, etc.
Life and organisation also provides many learning opportunities for logical consequences. If something important is lost when home organisation routines where not followed then this may be an opportunity for the your child to take responsibility and replace the item (for example, the brand new school hat that you just purchased).
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