If you’re a parent suddenly homeschooling a child with ADHD, here’s some expert advice

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 10:32 -- siteadmin

Are you a parent at home suddenly trying to teach a child with ADHD in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and unsure how to proceed? Or are you a parent at home suddenly trying to teach a child who exhibits behaviors that you never realized could be attributed to ADHD?

Trying to teach a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a different job than parenting. You know that ADHD affects the ability of children to learn in a number of ways — such children can be forgetful, easily distracted and impulsive — but you may not have seen how that plays out daily in the classroom.

Here is some advice from Maggie Sibley, a member of the professional advisory board of the nonprofit organization CHADD, or Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Sibley’s advice:

1) Behavior management is more helpful than brain breaks

When it comes to middle and high schoolers with ADHD, parents will need to help their kids sustain motivation and attention vs. preventing burnout (i.e., where brain breaks come in classrooms). Getting them engaged to begin with is what is going to be most challenging at home.

2) Antecedent control is key

Picking the right place and time, and how to remove distractions from the environment, is important to consider for success.

3) Contingency management is something to map out

It’s important to let kids use electronics for fun only if they have completed all of their academic tasks for the day. Parents will need to also understand how they can monitor student performance consistently.

4) Set meaningful daily work goals

Help your teens plan out their work in advance before they get started by using time-management strategies. Also, dividing the work into small portions can be helpful while ensuring they know what is expected of them, what the plan is, and then monitoring whether it’s completed.

5) Be mindful of how you interact with your teen

It’s important to recognize them for being on-task and getting work done. Refraining from micromanaging and taking over for them (which can be a temptation for a lot of parents) is important, as well as not giving attention to attempts to get out of work!

By Valerie Strauss

Source: The Washington Post