Attention Problems: What Can Be Fixed?

gorilla Blog - Play AttentionYou can do far more than you'd think.

Can't pay attention. Can't finish homework. Trouble with social skills. Intelligent, but doing poorly at school or work. Struggling with behavior.

Our brain is our greatest asset, but what do we do when it doesn't function optimally? Are we stuck? No.

The brain is incredibly moldable. Scientists refer to this as neuroplasticity. It constantly rewires itself based on its exposure to the environment. Learn multiplication tables? The brain rewires itself. Learn a new word? The brain rewires itself. Learn karate or to play the piano? The brain rewires itself. We've known this for many years. We know how this works even down to the molecular level. Do we apply it to attention problems? No. Odd isn't it?

Attention is a skill. So, how do we teach it? It's relatively easy to teach multiplication tables; you can use things like flashcards, blocks, and...

Avoid Summer Brain Drain!

BrainrcHow to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss

Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three months math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain. This makes starting the following school year difficult. 

Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.

Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren't there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.

Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That's a bad idea. While there's nothing...

ADHD Children More Likely to Live Unhealthy Lifestyles

New study sheds light on improving symptoms

Unhealthy Lives 150x150A recent study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders [1] looked at the health recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their recommendations include:

*Drinking more water
*Decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks
*Exercise at least an hour
*Limited screen time to a maximum of one to two hours daily (laptops, phones, tablets, TV)
*Get 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night

The study examined a group of 184 children ages 7 to 11 with ADHD and compared them to a group of 104 children who did not have ADHD. Children with ADHD were reported to adhere to fewer of these recommendations, regardless of taking medication for their ADHD. That means that the ADHD children in the study ADHD drank less water, drank more sweetened beverages, spent more time in...

Travel Tips

Summer Travel 200x300Whether you're an ADHD adult or the parent of a child with ADHD, preparing for travel can be very stressful. Organizational skills are usually not inherent for someone with ADHD; therefore, planning for a trip can be daunting. Here are some tips that can be used by adults and parents alike:

1. Make a list of items that need to be packed. This can be started weeks in advance so that items can be added as things come to mind. 

2. Many people pack more than enough clothes for their trip. Consider scaling back. If you're renting a house for the week, it will likely have laundry facilities. One load of laundry during the week will freshen clothes to be worn again.

3. Bring entertainment for the trip. Boredom during a long car ride can be a nightmare. With onboard DVD players, travel versions of board games, or a favorite hand-held device, there are plenty of options.

4. Be prepared...

What to do this summer?

CampEineyComposite 150x150With your childs thirteen week hiatus right around the corner, now is the time to plan for the summer. Whether its a week at the beach, some academic tutoring, or just some well-deserved down time, planning is the key to a stress free summer vacation. 

Make a Plan Children with ADHD do much better when they know what to expect. So when you're planning out summer activities, it's best to calendar them out. That way your child has a visual on upcoming activities. This information should include any summer school, play dates, family vacations, summer camps, and your Play Attention sessions.

Get Them Involved Involving your child in planning your summer vacation. Think of several ideas and let them help do some research. Whether your vacation plans are to visit Disney Land or have a restful week at the beach, teaching your child to plan will help with their organizational...

Planning and Surviving a Summer Family Vacation

Summer Travel 150x150Summer travel means a transition from routine and structure. Summer break means just overall excitement. All of this can add up to a stressful vacation for a parent of a child with ADHD. However, there are some steps that can help you have a happy, stress free family vacation.

Hold a planning meeting Solicit the family's ideas on what they want to do for a summer vacation. Whether it's a trip to the beach or a voyage overseas, every family member should have a vote. After all, how relaxing is the vacation going to be if everyone hasn't bought in?

Be Realistic If your family vacation has time limitations, don't plan one far away. It will be no fun to be in the car for three days and at the beach for two, just to turn around for a three-day road trip back home. Try to plan a vacation that will only take a day of travel time each way.

Assign Duties Once you've determined where the...