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A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ADHD Student to Start School On Time

The key to starting remote school on time starts the night before. Since kids with ADHD may have sleep issues, a solid sleep routine can help your child be successful with their morning routine.

Begin the sleep ritual early. Turn off any electronic devices well ahead of bedtime, if possible. We know this is tough when school is currently remote and kids’ laptops and netbooks are their only real connection to their learning environment. It’s also challenging if your student is up late studying, but aim for an early bedtime as much as you can. Try a non-electronic ritual—like reading together or setting out the next day’s outfit—to help ease your child’s transition towards bedtime. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed can help the body get into sleep mode. Some kids with ADHD like to settle down with a book on tape or on Audible, but if that is too stimulating a white noise machine can help your child tune out noise and settle into sleep easier. If possible, try to avoid evening sports or lessons as these may overstimulate your child, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Try different strategies until you come up with a sleep routine that works well for your child.

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The Case for Handwritten Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes are an Important Tradition

The holidays are about traditions. Some holiday traditions are generic and some are unique to the family, some are old and some new. At some point, the job of passing on these traditions shifts from the grandparents, to parents of young children. It’s not discussed, it just happens that way. Family traditions need repetition in order to carry on, much like good habits need repetition to stick. In our half Jewish family, we do a great job with the traditions surrounding Christmas, but we are lousy about lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. This year we only remembered the first day, shame on us. Actually, shame on my husband and me, because we need to be the ones to carry out these traditions so that they become ingrained in our children’s experience of the holidays. It’s that whole lead by example thing. Something else the kids won’t continue, if we don’t,

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A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ADHD Student to School On Time

The key to getting out of the house on time starts the night before. Since kids with ADHD may have sleep issues, a solid sleep routine can help your child be successful with their morning routine.

Begin the sleep ritual early. Turn off any electronic devices well ahead of bedtime. This can be challenging if your student is up late studying, but aim for an early bedtime as much as you can. A sleep app like SleepyTime: Bedtime Calculator can help your child determine what time you they need to get to bed based on when they need to wake up. Taking a hot shower before bed can help the body get into sleep mode. Some kids with ADHD like to settle down with a book on tape or on Audible, but if that is too stimulating a white noise machine or app can help your child tune out noise and settle into sleep easier. If possible, try to avoid evening sports or lessons as these may overstimulate your child, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Try different strategies until you come up with a sleep routine that works well for your child.

Waking up can be a challenge for those with ADHD. Some recommend using two alarm clocks, one positioned out of arms’ reach. If the first alarm clock fails to rouse your child, they will need to get out of bed to turn off the second alarm.

Prevent morning stumbling blocks by getting ready the night before. Write up a checklist and go through it with your student each night until it becomes second nature. For younger children include a photo of the task you would like them to perform. Post the checklist where your child performs the task. Here is a sample:

  • Homework complete?
  • Forms signed?
  • PE clothes or sport equipment packed?
  • What afterschool activities or appointments are on the calendar the next day?
  • Clothes and shoes picked out?
  • Showered, teeth brushed?
  • Phone plugged in? (not in bedroom)
  • Lunch packed?

 

ADHD specialist Leslie Josel has a brilliant way to help your child get a sense of when certain morning tasks need to be completed. Shown in this short video-tip, Leslie Josel describes “billboarding for time management.” In each room where your child needs to complete a morning task, next to an analog clock, post a large sign which says what time your child needs to be done in that room.

Packing school lunches the night before can also be a big help with staying on track in the morning. Keep the lunch box on the counter as a cue to grab cold items from the fridge.

It may help to write up a simple morning checklist and review it with your student every morning until it becomes second nature. You can include what time each task needs to be complete or set a timer to help your child know when it is time to move to the next task. Here is a sample:

  • Dressed?
  • Bed made?
  • Teeth brushed?
  • Breakfast eaten?
  • Medicine taken?
  • Lunch packed?

 

A healthy protein breakfast is critical, but if you are running late, keep some good protein bars or shakes on hand for the on-the-go breakfast.

Keep the mornings very simple. Keep the TV off so your student doesn’t become absorbed by it. The same goes for video or phone games; it’s difficult to pull children away when they are playing games.

Lastly, attempt to leave the house 5 minutes earlier than you need to. This extra bit of time will give you a little wiggle room for last minute hiccups like lost shoes or missing sweatshirts.

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How to Help Your Student Own their Responsibilities

help your student

August is here and that means the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. You are probably already submitting school forms, buying school supplies and clothes. Help your student get a head start toward being able to own their responsibilities with these invaluable tips from organizing consultant, coach and ADHD specialist Leslie Josel.
Leslie notes that children are capable of managing responsibilities depending on their “brain” age, not necessarily on their “chronological” age. Therefore, we cannot expect that at age X all children will be capable of mastering the same tasks. Leslie Josel works with

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