Tips for Helping Your ADHD Child Calm Down

 

Hyperactivity is Both Physical and Mental

For many children with ADHD, sitting still is a near impossible task. Their constant physical activity can be frustrating for parents and difficult for teachers when a child’s hyperactivity disrupts a class. But, as Eileen Bailey at HealthCentral.com explains:

“… for children with hyperactivity, physical activity is not the only aspect. Their minds often don’t shut down. Thoughts go a million miles an hour and in many different directions. To help a child learn to manage or reduce hyperactivity includes strategies to help lower physical activity levels and to calm thoughts.”

Calming Suggestions

So what is a parent to do in these situations? She offers these tips to help parents keep their ADHD kids calm.

Yoga or meditation – It is important to teach your child methods for self-regulation. Some examples include: deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These can all help a child learn to slow down their thoughts and their bodies.

Daily exercise – Adding at least 20 minutes of exercise each day to your child’s routine can help reduce depression, anxiety and other ADHD symptoms. A short walk can be an excellent way to help your child calm down during periods of high activity. On days when outdoor exercise is difficult, try using video games that incorporate exercise to help your child keep moving and entertained.

Music – Soothing music, such as classical music, can help some children calm down. You can try out different kinds of music to find out what works best for your child. Use music in the background for times when activity levels should be low, such as homework time, dinner time or before bedtime.

Boredom boxes and fidget alternatives – When boredom sets in, your child may become especially hyperactive.. Create a box of activities which contains art supplies, Legos, models or whatever activity tends to hold your child’s interest. Switch items once in awhile to keep the activities novel and interesting. For children who are continually restless or must fidget whenever they are trying to sit still, provide a stress ball or other object they ca manipulate to help them release energy and keep moving without disturbing others.

Structure – Kids with ADHD thrive in a structured environment where there are rules and routines, and they know what to expect. Establishing regular, daily routines can help them to stay calm.

Finally, she recommends that you stay calm yourself. She says,

“Children react to your reaction. If you get upset, frustrated or angry, their hyperactivity levels may increase. Take a few deep breaths, go into the other room, and take a short break if you need one. Staying calm and reacting with a neutral voice will help your child remain calm..”

Other tips for helping ADHD kids calm down at home and in the classroom can be found at Understood.org. You may also find it helpful to engage a specially trained ADHD coach to help your child learn to stay calm and focused.

Help! How to Deal With ADHD Meltdowns

Hyperactivity has Positive Aspects

Hyperactivity can be the source of inappropriate behavior in some situations. However, many adults with ADHD appreciate their endless energy and feel they are able to accomplish much more than those without hyperactivity. You can turn hyperactivity into a positive trait, by helping your children learn to harness their excess energy and use it to help them accomplish their goals.

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Do You Know Your ACE Score?

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, neglect and violence in the home can be a predictor for major health problems, difficulty in school, trouble building relationships, engaging in criminal behavior or being a victim of a crime. The ACE questionnaire is a straightforward, research-tested way to help determine the degree to which an individual might be at risk.  .… READ MORE

Is your Student Lacking Emotional Intelligence?

You’ve witnessed the scenario, the semester starts off smoothly and the student is doing pretty well. The assignments are not too difficult and the academic year is flowing with relative ease. As the semester continues, usually shortly before mid-terms, turbulence takes over. The student suddenly becomes overwhelmed and overloaded, assignment due dates are rapidly approaching and time is running out. The student is not properly prepared and encounters difficulty finding the help needed to succeed. This may describe your ADHD student, but it can also define someone low in emotional intelligence. Those with ADHD may likely be low in emotional intelligence skills as well.

 

ADHD AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
When dealing with ADHD, we tend to focus on proficiencies related to time management, procrastination, organization, and memory. These skills are important, but we do not spend as much time discussing critical areas that relate to persistence, self-advocacy, flexibility, emotional control and stress management. These areas of personal development, called emotional intelligence, can be learned to help avoid academic disruption. Self-advocacy can help a student to politely and confidently say no to excessive campus activities; emotional control can help one properly confront a problem roommate; persistence can help a student to bounce back from a bad grade on a test to try again with new determination.

 

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Daniel Goldman, the father of emotional intelligence, states that life success involves only 20% intellect and 80% the ability to connect and build strong relationships with others. Those that are skilled at building strong relationships possess emotional control, self-advocacy, stress management, persistence and other such skills.  Emotional intelligence is defined as using emotions well to guide thinking and behavior. Studies show students with high emotional intelligence do better academically. High emotional intelligence also improves a person’s social interactions and helps one develop friendships and lasting relationships.

Low emotional intelligence stifles healthy social interactions. Low self-awareness and low self-confidence disrupts positive relationship building. The student may lack a healthy network of friendships and relationships with others, which can be crucial in social problem solving and motivation while in college. A student with low emotional intelligence is not comfortable approaching a teacher for clarity on an assignment or feel weird going to the disabilities office and asking for the necessary accommodations needed for academic success. This is because they have not built the relationships and comfort with those persons that would make interacting with them relatively easy. In some instances, the student is not even aware that an intervention is needed. Too often, instructors assume that the student is unwilling to try or not interested in learning.

 

DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Believe it or not, for some people, emotional intelligence comes naturally. This means that it is easier for them to create the bonds and obtain the information they need to achieve their goals. These are the people that can connect with everyone in the room. They may have been the class clown or the teacher’s pet in school. They were probably a part of the popular crowd. The good news is, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be practiced and developed.  Research suggests that by making a person aware of the skills that they are lacking and practicing the proper responses, one can develop the skills needed to improve their emotional intelligence. For a student, this can mean better friendships, better relationships with professors or improved interactions. For students with ADHD, developing emotional intelligence can ease the mid-semester rush and equip students with the tools needed to finish the semester as smoothly as they began.

 

Steven McDaniels is an Edge Foundation coach. He serves as the Director of Fitness and Athletics at Beacon College, where he previously served as the Director of Life Coaching.

How Can Teachers Better Support Students with ADHD

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How Can Teachers Better Support Students with ADHD

This article features Jenn Pedde.  Jenn is the community manager for the MSW program at the University of Southern California in the Virtual Academic Center, which enables students to become social workers.  She’s an avid traveler, and enjoys photography.

As children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) grow older and enter adolescence, some of the outward signs of their condition may decrease. Although they may be less active and have more control over impulsive behavior, many middle school and high school students continue to experience problems with focus and attention in the classroom. Issues related to poor concentration and distractibility may intensify, affecting their grades and their ability to learn. Without intervention, many teenagers with ADHD develop poor self-esteem, difficulties in relationships and substance abuse problems.

The U.S. Department of Education has identified the following three components of a successful educational program for students with ADHD and this may be of some help to teachers who struggle with keeping the focus of their students.

Academic Instruction Tips for ADHD Students

Many students with ADHD have problems staying organized and keeping track of assignments. Strategies can be adopted in middle school and high school that will help these students throughout their academic career. One of the ways that teachers can help is to provide a daily organizer and devote classroom time for copying assignment information (all students can benefit from this type of support). Daily expectations for each class should be clearly defined and posted in written form.

ADHD students in middle school and high school can also benefit from assistance in developing study skills. Teachers can provide instruction for note-taking during class. These students can also benefit from tips on how to keep their workspace uncluttered to minimize distractions.

Whenever possible, teachers should identify areas where an ADHD student needs extra assistance and create strategies that will help the student review material that was previously presented in class lectures.

Feedback is also important for ADHD students. Providing timely progress reports to parents can help keep older ADHD students on track. As with any student, parents and teachers should avoid criticism and sarcasm when discussing areas for improvement, and should instead try to provide reassurance and support.

ADHD Behavioral Intervention

Many older students with ADHD are still learning to control their behavior. A variety of intervention techniques can be used to help these students with self-control in the classroom. Using punishment for poor classroom behavior is a temporary solution that rarely changes a student’s attitude. Instead, teachers should use consistent and sincere verbal praise to help reinforce positive behavior. Providing an ADHD student with an “escape valve” (such as leaving the classroom on an errand) can sometimes be used to defuse undesirable behavior and allow the student to burn off excess energy.

Parents of ADHD students should be viewed as partners in the educational process. Teachers should communicate frequently with parents about behavioral concerns and involve them in intervention strategies.

Peer mediation can also be an effective tool for mediating disputes between students and reinforcing positive behavior.

ADHD Classroom Accommodations

Many of the classroom strategies recommended for younger students with ADHD are still effective for students in middle school and high school. Teachers should try to seat ADHD students at the front of the classroom or near the teacher’s desk to make it easier to monitor their progress and attention level. An alternative seating arrangement is to place an ADHD student near a peer role model who can provide academic and social support. If space permits, a quiet area of the classroom with few distractions should be provided to ADHD students for study sessions and test taking. Teachers should be discreet about assigning students to this area to avoid any stigma or the appearance of punishment.

Additional recommendations that can help older students with ADHD succeed in school include classes with low teacher-student ratios and regular meetings with private tutors or peer tutors. The Department of Education also suggests using technology and audiovisual materials for instruction and homework, as these media can be more interactive and thereby increase focus.

Editor’s note:  For more ideas on accommodations that help ADHD students and can benefit your entire class to become better learners, visit http://mypage.iu.edu/~rllsmith/ADHDweb.htm or http://www.ldonline.org/article/8797/.

Don’t give up. Give the Edge

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The ADHD Parent Care Package:
Support and Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Young Adults with ADHD

Was your high school student just diagnosed with ADHD and you’re not sure how to help him?

Is your ADHD daughter off at college and you’re worried sick she’ll stumble without you to watch over her shoulder?

Are your tried and true parenting methods going out the window now that your child has become a teen?

Are you a concerned grandparent, neighbor or friend who wants to learn more about ADHD and teens?

The FREE ADHD Parent Care Package was written for you!

Get the ADHD Parent Care Package today!

ADHD can be a challenging condition for both you and your child. The ADHD Parent Care Package is filled with ideas, facts, resources and encouragement designed to make your job easier as a parent of a teen or college student with ADHD.

Do you know:

  • Which ADHD symptoms get better and which ones cause new challenges as your child grows?
  • What are the 7 other conditions that often accompany and complicate ADHD?
  • What are the 8 areas of executive functioning and how they impacts your child’s ability to learn?
  • What legal protections does your child have when diagnosed with ADHD?

The ADHD Parent Care Package covers the scientifically-based facts about ADHD and how it impacts your child’s brain and his ability to learn in school. It also includes:

  • Life saving tips to mitigate the risks of an ADHD teens – especially as they are learning to drive or keeping their medication secure on campus
  • Changes in your child’s legal status when she turns 18 and how it impacts parenting
  • How ADHD coaching provides a non-medicated method proven to work with ADHD
  • Steps can you take right now to help your child become a better advocate for himself

“Yes, please send me my ADHD Parent Care Package today!”

But wait, there’s more! The free Care Package also includes:

  • A glossary of special education and disability-related terms that you’ll need to know if you are seeking accommodations for ADHD.
  • A list of some of the best ADHD parenting books we’ve read and reputable on-line resources you can trust.
  • 7 vital facts about ADHD to share with family and friends
  • What’s special about girls with ADHD

You’ve already put more time, energy and resources into your child than the “average” parent. Helping your child learn to manage his own ADHD symptoms is a lifelong journey. You’re here because you’re convinced that your child is capable of standing on her own but needs something more – perhaps a push – in the right direction. And we agree with you!