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ADD Strategies for School Success

Child with ADD trying to study

When kids can’t focus and are having trouble in school they are often labeled as having a learning disability. And these days it seems that, more often than not, children with problems focusing or paying attention are given the ADHD/ADD label.

Some children genuinely have a complex medical condition in which their brain works overtime, impeding their ability to focus on a single thought or activity. But too many kids that are placed in the ADHD/ADD spectrum are kids who have simply not learned, or have not been taught how to pay attention.

Like reading, spelling, counting and writing, paying attention is a skill that children need to learn.

Here are some simple techniques to use in the classroom that will help children stay focused on the task at hand.

Share these strategies with your child’s teacher. Most likely, your child’s teacher will be very receptive to any tips that will help distracted children to pay attention.

  • Get Their Attention. Before addressing your child, say his name. When you say the child’s name you give him a cue that you are about to give information or directions.
  • Repeat Instructions. You’ve just given your child some instructions. Does she understand them? Have her repeat them back to you or explain them back in her own words.
  • Eyes Front. Have your child look directly at the person who is speaking to them. When the eyes wander, the brain follows.
  • Emphasize It. When giving key instructions be sure to repeat key words. Stretch them out. Say them louder.
  • Remove Distractions. If the classroom fish tank you got from is distracting, ask to have your child seated out of its direct sight-line, or have it moved to another area.

On the home front

Playing concentration games at home help to hone the skills your child uses in the classroom. Have a game night. Work on puzzles together, or do a crossword. Shut the TV off and spend quality time together paying attention to what you are doing, and to each other.

Put these strategies to use… and get focused on school success!

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