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3 Tips To Support Your Child With ADHD


Yup, ADHD is a complicated one! There are complexities, different types, new research, my child isn’t responding to the methods, and so forth. I get it. But, I’ll tell you a secret - ADHD has many wonders.


Even better? Here are 3 tips to help you with your child’s ADHD - I’ve got ya!


First, we need to understand what ADHD is. Why? If we don’t understand our child’s condition, we can never understand them. And if we don’t understand either, we can’t help them and their ADHD challenges. Remember, your child isn’t ADHD; your child has ADHD.

So let’s get started!

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a disorder; they struggle with it, and boy, it is a struggle. Especially when there is no accommodation for their needs. We don’t use the term ADD anymore; ADHD has three compartments.

3 TYPES OF ADHD
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I have worked with tens of kids with ADHD, and yes, it was challenging, but I saw THEM and not their disorder. I accommodated - it made a huge difference for all of us. They could actually get things done and not only manage but thrive.

Now that you know the symptoms and recognise your child’s ADHD behaviours. What do you do?

Remember! Consistency is key to everything!

Tip 1

Build a team - a game changer!

For ADHD to be diagnosed, a child’s ‘ADHD behaviours’ need to be represented in all environments; home, school, social, etc. So we can’t only do the methods at home and then at school it’s out - what use is that? Consistency remember? ADHD needs habits - in all sectors.

To meet a child’s ADHD needs and any needs, everyone needs to be on the same page. My work focuses on the whole child, and their needs are my number 1 priority. Why? Their needs tell us everything!! Their behaviours, feelings, moods, relationships, struggles, symptoms, etc., are all RELATED to their needs.

I’ll tell you why this adds value and why I’m emphasising that. When I was studying an ADHD case study, the boy didn’t get any support from his school. They would kick him out, suspend him, no professional help, the dad was basically talking to himself. What happened? The boy became extremely depressed and suicidal. This story actually led me to found my business - aiming at supporting a child’s academic and mental health needs - that’s how much it impacted me.

How do I build a team?


Communication

  1. This is absolutely key with consistency. We want rapport.

  2. Have a meeting with the teachers and principle

  3. Have a meeting if a professional is involved

  4. All parties need to be involved in building an effective team


Meeting Formula

  1. Each party must come to the meeting with a report

  2. Discuss supportive ways to meet the child’s needs

  3. Agree on communication strategy

  4. Build a care plan & follow-through - for a personalised care plan - send a message :)

  5. Review with child or teen

  6. Keep consistency

Why is a team important?

Through research and experience, having a team for and WITH your child (it is FOR your child, so they must be involved & guided in the process) is super helpful for ADHD. The child will also build habits and techniques. Remember, ADHD is shown in all areas, and hence unbroken support and strategies need to be present.


The most important parts of the team are communication, updates, and working WITH the child. Ask for their thoughts, how they are doing, what are they lacking, what they need help with, and so forth.


ADHD TEAM
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Tip 2


Break Things Down

The ADHD brain develops differently, affecting their cognitive, behavioural, and motivational functioning. Affecting mood and emotional regulation, and brain cell connection. When we consider this, we need to adjust how we approach their challenges. They are NOT their behaviour or diagnosis. It’s frustrating for them to confirm!

So because of this, breaking tasks, instructions, study time, coping techniques, and emotional regulation into smaller and simpler chunks will allow better management to succeed and feel good. Many kids and teens that I work with that have ADHD feel so frustrated and unmotivated because their NEEDS are misunderstood, and so are they. “I don’t mean to disturb. I want to concentrate”.

Metaphor: If we compare a child and their ADHD with a bee, they always move and buzz and when they feel threatened they sting, and need pollen to do their job and thrive. A child with ADHD has to move or help with attention and impulsivity. These are their techniques and guidance = pollen. When they are in a situation that ‘threatens’ their ADHD, their symptoms will sting them, and they will struggle and receive consequences. Showing and guiding them through “break things down” technique allows them to have the confidence to try and slowly heal and support. When we nurture bees, they thrive, and so too with ADHD.

How do we break down?


  • Instructions

  • Straightforward

  • Simple

  • Minimum words

  • Check if they remember

Examples: 1. “Take out a pencil” after → “Write date on the left”

2. “Please start getting ready” (wait a bit) → “Wear warmer clothes.”

3. “Please pack your books and stationery for today” (check: “What do you need to pack”?) after → “Check the list that you have everything.”

  • Studying

  • Make a timetable WITH your child (they will know what they can manage and need, show support, edit, share ideas, etc.).

  • Breaks! Each child concentrates, needs to move, etc., differently - so how is it for your child? Options: 20-25 min on, 10 min break, complete break! Let them put a timer, agree on one subject/task, break, do a physical activity, go outside, and not so much electronics.

  • Use tools: Let them stand, sit on a pilates ball, have a band on the legs of a chair, have a stress ball, fidget cube, sensory object on the table, colour code, music, clock, tick off list.

  • Interactive (such a help): Use games, art and crafts, online resources, sensory objects (e.g. clay), creating obstacle courses, record videos for explanations (teens love it).

  • Design WITH them a study area (last blog to see how): Least distractions, ADHD support tools, timetable, to-do list tick off.


  • Tasks

  • Break down tasks into smaller chunks and use steps: Getting ready for bed: Step 1 - Bathroom (brush, wash) Step 2 - Dress, Step 3 - Read book.

  • Use visual reminders: Tick off as they go, use images as reference reminders, design a reminder/tick off chart with sensory touch (e.g. pegs).

  • Can use productivity/to-do list/routine apps for teens.

  • Smaller kids: They can come back to you after they finish each step to ask what’s next. For fun: Use an hourglass/clock/stopwatch; you can also both be doing one step of a task; whoever gets back first to the kitchen wins that round.


As you can see, I emphasise WITH. Why?

  • We guide our kids during their developmental time, not doing or deciding for them.

  • It teaches them responsibility, independence, autonomy, teamwork, and decision making.

  • Keeps them in control (when often they feel they are out of control)

  • They lead their way through their challenges and triumphs.

  • Expressing their needs.

  • Part of the team (tip 1)

Do you need one on one support for you and your child? Go to breakingthechalk.com for a personalised consultation.

New Year’s special! First intro session, free!

Follow our Instagram and Facebook - breakingthechalk


Tip 3

Techniques

We have impulsivity, hyperactivity, & attention. That is a lot of behaviours, so we need to journey through them and see how we effectively ‘technique this’ ;)

  • Routine

As much as kids say they don’t like it and fight you on it, they thrive off routine and teaches them many life skills, just like we go through.

  • Short time slots

  • Break down tasks within the routine

  • Plan and adjust routine WITH your child

  • Make it attractive - use colours, textures, interaction (stickers, pegs, throwing a ball into a bucket when they completed a task), visuals.

  • Simple instructions/words

  • Present the routine with accessibility (phone, room, front door)

  • Triggers

Children with ADHD are curious; they want to move, impulsive, and are intrigued- they are bored with repetition, stillness, and doing one thing for a long time. This can be frustrating for others who are working with the child. Their concentration leaves, and you get frustrated, and so do they.

I provide therapy for a girl with ADHD, and if I don’t include a game or interaction, there will literally be no therapy. So what is her trigger? Sitting and just talking and expressing. I know this, so we adapt, and she learns to do this, as well.

Knowing their triggers and making them aware with repetition allows them the skill to pick up and be mindful too. “Ah, when I am in this environment, I get bored, so how can I help myself”? Which is a life skill.

How do you notice triggers?

  • When the ADHD symptoms increase

  • Easily lose concentration

  • Fidgety

  • Disruptive

  • Changes topics

  • Gets frustrated quickly

  • Racing thoughts

  • Defiant

  • Not co-operating

  • Overstimulation (Too much sensory input - sounds and sights)

What do you do?

  • Start writing down situations that trigger and share them with your child. Ask their thoughts, whether they agree or can add another situation, etc. Involve them.

  • Handling the situation so it will be less of a trigger.

  • Trigger: Sitting and doing homework for 45 minutes straight. Solution: Break down the homework time, ask how they wish to complete their homework, have breaks, and adjust accordingly.

  • Check-in whether it’s working and keep track - readjust when needed.

NB! Share these triggers with your child’s teachers!

  • Consequences & Rewards

The most effective is that consequence relates to the behaviour.

Doesn’t do homework - can’t go to friends (unrelated)

Doesn’t do homework - will have double tomorrow, which means less tv time, because it is incomplete and we have to complete duties (related)

Always explain WHY!

Reward your child for helpful behaviour (co-operation, sharing, etc.)

  • State the behaviour, affirm the positivity, explain why it’s helpful - start to notice patterns (communicate with teachers)

  • Behaviour

  • How to regulate their emotions and behaviour - they are totally linked! When we can manage our feelings = managing our behaviour.

  • Emotional regulation techniques (breathing, space, hug, pause)

  • Anything to make them calm and think, what is the best behaviour right now?

Do you need one on one support for you and your child? Go to breakingthechalk.com for a personalised consultation.

New Year’s special! First intro session, free


Follow our Instagram and Facebook - breakingthechalk


So yes, ADHD has a lot of components, so I chose to be pretty detailed. Remember, each child is different, responds and experiences differently. Readjusting and doing this WITH your child and their professionals is vital. Understanding THEM with their symptoms, they are not ADHD.

Consistency and patience for progress and support = besties!




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