January Notes from Your Counselor.......................................Gloria Silverberg
Happy New Year to all our Luxmanor families and friends!
Why Does My Child Have So Much Difficulty Paying Attention in School:
I am often asked about attentional issues in children and how to help them succeed in school. Having Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD) is part of who you are, but not all of who you are! The first recommendation is to talk with your
pediatrician or a pediatric developmental specialist
to determine what could be causing the distractibility.
Anxiety and ADHD
often look very similar. The following is some information that I hope you will find helpful.
of distractibility in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD
) usually means that people are unable to block out unimportant distractions in order to focus on the things they need to know or deal with. Many children with ADD/ADHD cannot work or pay attention if there is the slightest noise or they become distracted by their own thoughts. Others get distracted when something in their visual field changes. You send them up to their room to get something, and they become distracted by another thing on their way. Many children with ADD/ADHD lack the filters that most people have to block out environmental distractions.
Many children with ADHD are also distracted internally by their own thoughts. Too many thoughts compete for the child's attention. They may
hyper-focus on the things they love to do, ie: TV, Computers, Video Games
. Just like the external distractions, internal distractibility is treatable and responds to a
combination of medication, education, and behavioral techniques.
How to Help with Distractedness:
- Understand that the problem is related to your ADHD. There
are reasons for your distractibility.
- Inform your child about their ADD/ADHD and frame it positively
…ADHD means that you have a turbocharged race car brain. It can go really fast. The only problem is that sometimes it goes too fast, and it may need special motor oil so it won't overheat. That is why it is hard sometimes to pay attention in school. Your mind is zipping around all over the place, bursting with new ideas. That is why you will do amazing things throughout your life. With the right brakes and oil, it wins lots of races.
- If your
pediatrician or therapist recommends medication
after first trying some behavioral strategies, remember that
Medication can help one's internal filters function more efficiently and decrease the flow of irrelevant
. If you were a diabetic, you would take insulin. If you were asthmatic, you would use an inhaler.
- When speaking with others, remain aware of your problem and you can sometimes catch yourself before you change the subject.
- Practice Mindfulness Exercises to focus your brain.
- Maintain eye contact during a conversation as it helps you remain focused.
- Sit near the front in a class or presentation.
- Chunk your work into smaller segments with movement breaks in between.
- Keep a notepad near you to write down your distracting thoughts instead of blurting them out.
- Doodle while listening to a speaker or use a fidget toy to get your wiggles out.
- Sit on a yoga ball to give yourself some movement and take movement breaks throughout the day.
- Try to get morning exercise before school.
- Limit Video Games which encourages shorter attention spans.
- Contact the National Resource Center on ADHD for other useful strategies and support.
- Thank you to the families who so
generously donated new winter accessories and coats
to the children at The Children's Inn at NIH. A special thank you to the Cohen family, and especially Annie and Debra for helping to support this great program!
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
will be kicking off our
Pennies For Patients Fundraiser
starting February 1 with a Town Hall Meeting. Please consider donating online under your child's classroom.