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December 15, 2011

ADHD: 5 Top Tips / new ADHD E-Pamphlet

Hair-loss prevention
The behavior of children with attention deficit and hyperactivity can cause parents to pull out their hair. So, before you become bald, which clearly would add insult to injury, you may want some pointers. Fortunately, I have an approach to treating hyperactive kids that might save what’s left of your hair.

I love you just the way you are!

Remind yourself to love your child the way he or she is. Accept that your child is more active and easily distracted than most, and subsequently needs more attention, guidance, support, and love. Nevertheless, there are some specific things you can do to help.

Softer and closer yet again
First, the ‘softer and closer’ approach is vital (see my earlier post by that name). Hyperactive kids need individual attention, close proximity with eye contact, speaking firmly but softly, and to be taken by the hand and walked-through through their responsibilities including chores. I’ll be describing some specific strategies to promote independence but, no matter, for the time being, don’t expect your child to go upstairs, brush his teeth, put on his pj’s, clean-up after himself, and come downstairs without you repeating step-by-step directions and providing ample oversight. Your individualized attention is invaluable and vital. Enjoy this time of bonding. Don’t become frustrated but, rather, enjoy the opportunities to spend extra time with your child, helping him to complete daily tasks and to make good decisions. Keep in mind that there will be a day when he’ll be out of the home and, believe it or not, you’ll miss this time. In the meantime, in trying to promote independence, here ya go:

1.) keep the daily schedule and expectations as routine and consistent as possible. Your child will carry-out tasks easier if the responsibilities are completed at the same time, done the same way, and in the same manner on a daily basis; no guesswork.
2.) Use schedules, both written and visual; such cues are invaluable as reminders of ‘what to do next’ and can include, for example, to ‘turn out the light’ either in writing or a picture of your child turning out the light.
3.) Get eye contact, give direction in short phrases, and ask child to repeat the direction before beginning.
4.) Allow opportunities for ‘blowing off steam’ (ample time to run outside…). Provide vigorous exercise prior to expecting prolonged seat-work such as homework.
5.) Keep the homework area quiet, distraction-free, well-organized, and allow breaks as needed (complete one page, take a break...). Ironically, some children perform homework better with some background music.
6.) One more tip (here's a bonus tip); don’t forget behavior charts!! For example, child completes homework and gets a sticker that can be ‘cashed-in’ later that evening to watch his favorite show. Kids love it and it's increased motivation to stay on task.

These strategies can be faded as your child uses more mature coping strategies and becomes increasingly independent. Follow these steps, see the difference, and keep the hair on your head. Now, go and get softer and closer with your kids.

For more information on understanding and managing ADHD, request our new E-Pamphlet: Facts and Fallacies about ADHD. Request in the 'Comment' section of this blog, or email me at and I’ll get you the pamphlet pronto. God bless and Merry Christmas.

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