How can I get my child to focus? We all ask this at some point but for parents and teachers of children with ADHD it could be a very frustrating, daily quest.
Children and adults with ADHD have a tough time tuning out distractions, whether its stimuli from their environment, ideas whizzing through their minds, or the good old daydream! As a result, they might find they miss vital information and instructions, which can impact on learning and relationships.
I was really excited to read this article from ADDitude, an online magazine with daily articles on all things ADHD. They report that engaging in a ‘fidget’ activity that uses a sense other than the primary one required for the task, can enhance focus and ultimately improve performance.
Check out their 7 fantastic fidgets, ideal for children and adults with ADD and ADHD…
1. Listen to music. It helps children to stay on task when studying, reading and even going to sleep.
2. Use objects to fiddle with, without distracting from the original task. Fidget spinners, squidgy ball, Unifix cubes, beaded bracelets, clothes with interesting textures – find one that works for your child.
3. Play, walk and talk. Non-strenuous activities will engaging your child in important conversations that they might otherwise tune-out of. Try walking, jigsaws or drawing together.
4. Stand up and move around. Give your child a reason to move their restless bodies. Running errands is perfect, as is a spot of 'mindful moving' (more to come on this!).
5. Doodle! A technique helpful for visual learners, where standard note taking may disengage. Plus it’s helpful with ADHD adults for long meetings and phone calls.
6. Use coloured pencils and pens. Colour and variety can help your child to stay engaged during writing and comprehension tasks. Scented pens work well too, yum!
7. Sweets! Chewing gum and other sweets may help children to concentrate for long periods of time – I’m wondering whether this outweighs the effects of the sugar intake?!
Just as our brains are all different, so too are our needs and preferences. Not all of these strategies will appeal to the ADHD child or adult but have fun finding one or two that work…
I’d love to hear what strategies you find work … GOOD VIBES ONLY PLEASE, we’re here to help, share and grow!