Attention defecit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and inclusive activities.

by NicciLouise

ADHD affects both boys and girls, but boys are three times more likely to have this problem than girls. Parents often require extra amounts of patience and understanding to be an advocate for their child when no one seems to understand their unique needs. Although they often have an above average academic potential problems with finishing their work and remaining organized means they can struggle at school. Children with ADHD can also say or do things that get them in trouble both in school and at home [1].

Not only can they struggle when making friends, and have to sit at home uninvited to parties, but this can lead to bullying and their becoming socially isolated which leads to poor self esteem [1].

Also if a child is on medication this automatically makes them different from other children. This can be a concern for your child alone before the other children even notice and ridicule them [1].

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With support and plenty of praise things can be improved. Your child can learn new social, emotional, behavioural and social skills in the four major areas of concern: behaviour, school success, social development and self esteem. This is called emotional intelligence and researchers agree that this can be learnt in the same way as reading or playing a violin [1].

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In the ADHD workbook for kids there are 44 simple, fun activities to teach kids to improve attention, help them to deal with taking medication, control emotions and communicate effectively with friends [1}

Here is one example to help ‘predict what people do’

1) Write three things you might do that will give you a hug.

2) Write down three things that might get you yellad at or punished.

3) Write down three things that will get you good grades.

4) Write down three things that you might do that will make someone say ‘thank you’ [1]

Here is another to learn to sit still

Learning to control your body and to sit still and stop fidgeting is something that everyone can do. Exercises called isometrics may help and they don’t involve moving but just pressing body parts against each other or against objects [1].

For example:

1) Clasp your hands together in front of you and push them against each other. Push as hard as you can for one minute and then relax.

2) Sat in a chair push your knees together as hard as you can for one minute and then relax.

3) Place you hands palm down on the table and try to push the table into the floor. After one minute you can relax.

4) Press your feet hard into the floor for one minute and then relax [1].

I hope you have found these activites interesting and feel more able to support your child with ADHD or your child in understanding their classmate with it. Having worked in a school with children with ADHD I was time and time again struck by how sad the children would become in their struggle to ‘be good’ and how they excelled with one on one attention and praise. It seems important to me to concentrate on all the good things each child can do and try not to label them with things such as ‘gifted’, ‘naughty’, ‘hyperactive’ as these can be hard descriptions to shake or in fact live up to. We never really know what our children will become; it is not necesairly  the ones who struggle at school who end up in prison or the academics who end up with all the money. In fact it can often be the other way round. So why not just try to fill our child’s lifes with laughter in the meantime? Making a child feel accepted and proud of themselves seems a good place to start!

References

1) Shapiro, L (2010) The ADHD workbook for kids: Helping children gain self-confidence, social skills and self control. Instant help books: Oakland

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