Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) usually develops during childhood and is characterized by problems with attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can make it hard for children with this diagnosis to do well in school. Children with ADHD disorder may experience more obstacles in their path to success than the average student. As we head into the new school year, let’s take a look at how to increase focus inside and outside of the classroom.
Throughout the summer, some parents probably gave their children an “ADHD drug holiday” in which medication was stopped. Discontinuing medication often occurs during a vacation when it is perceived that focus and concentration are not required. While a decision might have been made during the summer months, it is important to ensure children are back on their prescribed medication in time for school.
According to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, children with ADHD who were treated with medication outscored children with ADHD who were not treated in math and reading. Additional studies have also indicated that ADHD medication has been proven to help attention and concentration issues in approximately 70-80% of children with the disorder. Once children are taking their prescribed medication, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between children with ADHD and their non-ADHD peers.
In addition to medication, there are strategies at home that can be used to help improve focus and comprehension.
- Establish a daily homework routine: It might take some time to figure out a routine that works best for your child to help avoid distraction or procrastination. This might mean a break between school and homework time or request breaks between individual assignments. This routine should also include a plan for getting completed assignments back to the teacher.
- Set up a distraction-free environment: Experiment with different spaces in the home until the ideal learning spot is found.
- Organize tasks: Help your child create a checklist of required tasks to help keep track of where they are in the assignment process.
- Supervise: Many children need significant adult supervision to stay on task. Let your child know that they can earn the right to monitor themselves more freely after demonstrating success by seeing their work through to the finish.
Only a professional behavioral mental health provider can properly diagnose your child with ADHD. If you believe that your child is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD or has already received a diagnosis of ADHD, please reach out to Aloha Integrative Health so that we can help. We offer many services to help relieve ADHD symptoms including psychotherapy, medication management, and counseling.
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