Five Tips to Help Children Diagnosed with ADHD Be Successful


Five Tips to Help Children Diagnosed with ADHD Be Successful

 Whether your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or you are wondering if he may have ADHD there are strategies you can implement to make life easier for all.

  1. Protect sleep. Sleep deprivation disrupts the ability to focus, control impulses and remember rules. In other words, fatigue exacerbates every symptom of ADHD. Aim for 12 hours of sleep for preschoolers, 11-12 hours of sleep for kindergarteners and 10-11 hours of sleep for school-age children.
  2. If your child snores, ask to have a sleep study done. Twenty-five percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have a sleep disorder that prevents them from ever going into deep restorative sleep. If you child is in bed the recommended amount of time, yet you are dragging him out in the morning, contact your pediatrician about scheduling a sleep study.
  3. Check iron levels. Low iron, specifically low ferritin levels disrupt sleep and will, as a result, intensify ADHD symptoms. At your next pediatric appointment ask to have them checked. 
  4. Schedule time outdoors. Studies show that when outside time is SCHEDULED, children spend more time outside. Exposure to morning light will set the body clock, making it easier to fall asleep.  Large muscle play will naturally increase soothing/calming hormone levels, helping children to remain calmer and more focused. Time spent outside also reduces, without any fights, the amount of time spent on electronics.
  5. Use visual plans. Help children be successful by using multiple ways to communicate directions.  A visual plan is laid out like a cartoon with one step of a direction drawn in each frame. Visual plans allow children to both hear and see what you want them to do, making it easier for them to process the information and work with you. Visual plans also let everyone to know what to expect and eliminate surprises which all too often trigger meltdowns.

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Ed.D.

"Raising Your Spirited Child"

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