Back to School Tips for Managing ADHD

October is ADHD Awareness Month!
Here are some quick tips to help you manage your child as they get ready for the new school year…

Define the house rules!


– Use clear and consistent rules that are applied in all settings
– Post rules visually (in writing for older kids, with drawings for younger kids)

When giving direction…


– Touch your child’s shoulder and encourage eye contact before giving a direction
– Only give a direction when you are able to follow through
– Have your child repeat directions and rules out loud in their own words

Rewards and punishments…


– Focus on the positive and give genuine praise and rewards frequently and immediately (Catch them being good!)
– Give mild but swift punishment for misbehavior
– Use high value rewards
– Change rewards frequently, every two to three weeks, to maintain their motivational value
– Behavior systems only work when they are being implemented, and they require ongoing monitoring and adjustment – Don’t give up too soon!

Other helpful suggestions…


– Establish consistent home routines
– Use clocks and timers for different activities and breaks
– Warn your child in advance of transitions (e.g., 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute)
– During homework, give frequent breaks (use a timer)
– Plan for problems: Identify times when your child tends to misbehave, discuss expectations in advance, and tell your child what will happen if they do not follow the rules

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