Sep 3, 2008

Routines and Your ADHD Child

My 11 year old ADHD son does best if he knows what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. He flourishes on consistency. This is especially true during the school year. He also likes to "see" things. He's definitely a visual learner.

To help make our morning and after school routines run as smoothly as possible, I use charts. There are numerous free charts available on the Internet. Personally I prefer the ones at dltk’s website. They are completely customizable.

After customizing and printing the chart, I slip it into a clear sheet protector. This makes it reusable! We simply use a dry erase marker to check off each task as they are completed. Then, wipe it clean with a wet cloth and it’s good to go the next day.
My son's chart lists what he is to do each morning in the order he is to do it. For example:

7:00 Out of bed
7:05 Get dressed
7:10 Brush teeth and hair
7:15 Eat Breakfast
7:25 leave for bus stop
7:30 Bus arrives

Since my son can not tell time, he uses digital clocks to help guide him along. I placed a digital clock in his bedroom, the bathroom and in the kitchen. This keeps him on task and lets him know how he’s doing time wise.

Of course I still monitor his progress and give subtle reminders if necessary. However, for the most part, he is out the door on time and has completed all of the necessary tasks. This helps him feel more independent which he loves.

Also, to make sure our mornings go smoothly we prepare what we can the night before. His backpack if packed and waiting by the door. His shoes are there as well. He lays out his clothes the night before. We also place his medication and glasses on the kitchen counter so they will not be forgotten.

When my son was younger I used clip art to identify each task. Even though he could not read, the pictures told him what needed to be done.

My younger son (who is not ADHD) recently requested his own chart. He wanted to “be like Bubby.” I was happy to comply. Now they compete to see who can check off all of their boxes first each morning.

1 comment:

  1. Routine! Routine! Routine! These ideas are very practical and will work to help our kids stay focused in the morning.

    When my daughter was too young to understand and read the clock, I made her a picture chart to follow as she was getting ready for school in the morning. I literally went around the house and took pictures of what she needed to do to prepare for school....potty, sink (wash hands), clothes, shoes, breakfast, tooth brush.... I then glued the pictures on poster board in the order that she needed to complete each task. I gave her a dry erase marker and she could check off each item as she did it. It worked like a charm, and eventually she was able to get ready for school without the chart!

    Hope this idea helps someone with a younger ADHD child!


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