If your child has Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder, you are well aware of the obstacles he faces every day. Kids with ADHD long for friendship, but they have a hard time getting along with their peers. Their classmates often shun them when they exhibit typical ADHD behaviors. They are disruptive, loud, and can suddenly lose control of their emotions. They lose their homework on the way to school, and lose interest in tasks before they complete them.
These kids are bright, enthusiastic, and eager to earn. They thrive in an environment of positive reinforcement and encouragement. They can learn how to minimize their inappropriate behavior and maximize their social skills. Here are some techniques to help your child be all that he can be.
Help Your Child Get and Stay Organized
Organization is difficult for a child with ADHD. Set a scheduled time and place for homework. Make sure you provide pencils, paper, and plenty of room to work. Keep an eye on your child’s progress and encourage him to complete one task before staring another.
Check over his completed work and guide him to put the work in a folder. Ask him to give you any papers or notes that need to be checked or signed. Have your child load everything into his backpack, and place it by the door. These steps will help your child begin the next day with confidence and a positive attitude.
Acknowledge and Reward Appropriate Behavior
Kids with ADHD seek positive reinforcement. They look to the adults in their lives to help them learn to do the right thing. If your child sits quietly while waiting to see the dentist, waits his turn when playing a family game, or follows your instructions without a meltdown or an argument, praise him for his compliance. Use phrases such as “I like the way you waited so patiently,” or “You did a great job taking turns,” to let him know exactly what he did right. Your praise will encourage a repeat performance.
Role-Play Social Skills
Make a game of role-playing with your child. Create short scenarios and model appropriate behavior and responses. Let him be the teacher, and you act as the student. Jump out of your seat, flagging your arms when he asks a question. Let him show you the proper way to respond. Talk about playground manners, and waiting in line in the hallway, or cafeteria. Enjoy the game, laugh with him, and help your child learn how to interact with others.
Be Patient and Persistent
A diagnosis of ADHD is the just beginning. Your child may not learn like other children. He may need extra pats on the back and more time for social skills feel natural and comfortable. ADHD is not a hopeless condition. Meet your child where he is and build from there. Give him the tools he needs to succeed and excel. Your child can grow up to be a positive, productive adult. Teach him well, and watch him flourish.