New Year’s Resolutions for Students with ADHD: Improve Focus
A practical resolution for a child with ADHD is to get focused for the new year. However, it's not so easy for children with a condition that leads to developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention.
Because “focus” is such a broad term, examining the different aspects of focus is essential. Concentrate on only one or two of these aspects at a time, and remember that because children with ADHD require so much adult supervision, the success of your child’s resolution depends on you and other adults being consistent and proactive while gradually empowering the child with strategies that lead to success.
What Focus Means
Better focus for ADHD children often takes the shape of listening more in class and at home, interrupting less and practicing more self-monitoring. As such, one ADHD resolution for focus could be to complete more tasks (more homework assignments, for instance), while another could be to focus more on speakers/listening skills (and conversely, to interrupt less).
The Path to Success
Several strategies can help your child with ADHD improve focus this year.
Assess Environmental Factors Assess your child’s environment for obstacles that may inhibit his or her focus. For example, at the dinner table, does your child face the street where he or she can see everything going on outside? Change environmental factors such as seating arrangements to improve focus.
Establish Routines Set up routines for tasks such as homework; you may need to experiment to find a routine that suits your child. For example, ma
Children with ADHD need a mental break before starting homework after school. Allowing your child to play outside for an hour may help burn off energy and get the brain ready for homework. Review the homework assignment with your child to ensure he or she understands what to do. In fact, you should glance over his assignments first to figure out ways to break the tasks into more palatable chunks. Later, you can teach your child to complete this strategy independently. Build breaks between assignments; motivators such as five-minute play times will help your child complete tasks.
Be Persistent One good resolution is to simply keep trying. Experiment with various methods of maintaining focus. For example, many children with ADHD enjoy studying while playing sports. Grab a Frisbee, and toss it around while helping your child practice for his spelling test. Fun and games are powerful motivators for kids with ADHD. Changing up the environment and timing kids are two ways to introduce some of that novelty and challenge into activities that require focus.
With your input and encouragement, you can help your child with ADHD achieve better focus this year, which can have an impact on his or her success inside and outside of the classroom. However these strategies will not completely end the struggle in the way that The Brain Balance Program can. Our drug-free, integrated approach brings parents and kids together to achieve a common goal of improving the child’s focus and attention, leading to a more successful academic and personal life.
If you suspect your child has ADHD or has already been diagnosed with ADHD, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.