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Your Distracted Young Learner

distracted learnerIs your child struggling with the same behavior challenges in school without making progress? Does he or she have ADHD-like symptoms?

You’ve just received a report from the teacher saying that Derrick had another bad week – he was too distracted to complete his work, he constantly interrupted the teacher, and he continues to bug the kids around him. You’ve talked to the teacher until you’re blue in the face and time outs just aren’t effective. What do you do?

Take a deep breath, and remember that he is not doing this on purpose. He wants to do the right thing, but sometimes has great difficulty doing it. Children with signs of ADHD often have issues with things like organization and planning, completing tasks and controlling impulses–sometimes referred to as executive function tasks.

Educate the teacher about your child’s needs. Ask the teacher to make modifications to help build his executive function skills. A balance between structure and choice would help a child like Derrick. For example, a posted, daily class schedule that creates a routine helps him know what to expect. He also needs an environment flexible enough to provide opportunities to develop his strengths. For example, when he’s given an assignment to write a journal entry, he’ll have better success if he’s given options to express himself by drawing a picture, creating a song, or recording a video clip. This self-directed flexibility builds self-confidence and helps a child enjoy learning instead of forcing him into a one-size fits all mold.


Care Managers can arrange a free 30 minute Care Consultation so you can explore options with an expert. We invite you to call or email our Care Managers at 650.688.3625 or caremanager@chconline.org to set up an initial Parent Consultation appointment.

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