+ Summertime Tips from an ADD Coach

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Here is a great site for information about living with ADD or ADD kids: http://www.addstudent.com.

Brenda Nicholson is an “ADD mom,” and an ADD coach of many years.

Summertime, with its endless free time, no “getting up” or “going to bed” time, can be distressing for kids with ADD.

Brenda says most ADHD kids thrive on structured, organized environments.  But every kid, and every family, is different.  Build in the structure that’s right for your household.

You might establish a set reading time — perhaps the hour after lunch, or mid-afternoon when it’s hottest.  Read to each other; almost everyone loves being read to.  Or read silently.  Turn off the electronics. 

Brenda sometimes creates a theme for the summer months.  International summer: each week they picked a country and learned about it.  They’d cook a meal that was typical for the country; make crafts tied to the culture of the country.

And she feels summer is a great time for experimenting with crafts.  Kids can use paints and glitter and glue with abandon at a table out on the grass.  Boy Scout (Girl Scout) handbooks are terrific sources for activities.

And don’t forget the library for books and local events.

She offers 5 tips:

  1. Encourage reading for pleasure.  Kids lose a portion of their reading skills during summer break.  This means teachers have to backtrack for a few weeks to bring them back up to speed.  And those reading skills directly impact math and science learning.
  2. Improve your children’s diets.  Take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Rely less on packaged or processed foods.  Brenda: “Take the words drive-through out of your vocabulary.”
  3. Give kids a chance to live by their own rhythms a bit, though.  Let them stay up later and sleep in (reasonably, of course.)
  4. Encourage time spent  outdoors.  Being outdoors seems to soothe the ADHD soul.    Let kids get dirty, watch insects, notice what sounds they hear and how it makes them feel.  Let them check how   water and rain affect sand or earth.  Put up a basketball hoop or a pool.  Join a pool.  Ride bikes; roller blade.  Go camping; put up a tent outside.  Plan your vacation in an outdoor setting or at a national park.
  5. Use activities they love to teach skills.  If  focusing is a problem, look for times or situations when he focuses well.  For example, if he can concentrate when he plays baseball, talk about how that works and feels; question him about what happens when he concentrates.  Discuss how to tranfer that to other activities.   

If you’re traveling with kids in a car, suggests Brenda, pack lunches and snacks and stop frequently at a rest area; they can get out of the car and really move.  The peace of mind will be well worth the extra time you spend.  

 Whether driving or flying, bring along DVDs or handheld games.  Have certain games and activities that are “just for the car” or “just for the trip.”  

Also, she says, Mother Nature can help you out: if you start the trip at 4am, some of the time can be spent sleeping.

Check out Brenda’s site.  It looks very helpful.  You can contact her directly for advice (she gives her email address), and subscribe to her RSS feed.

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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