How to Combine Learning and Nutrition this Summer for your ADHD child

Shutterstock 96136955Summer break is a great time to engage children in developing their meal plan.  This is a great way to teach them about healthy eating. A study by UCLA School of Medicine states, “We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function”. Helping your ADHD child create healthy eating habits may improve their overall focus and ability to improve cognitive skills.

Here are some ideas on how you can integrate learning and nutrition to help prevent “summer brain drain” this year:

  • ·Read some story books with your child that are based on nutrition. There are many fun books for children on healthy eating. There are also nutritional guides for teens that are designed to keep their attention and simplify healthy eating.
  • ·Teach your child about the vitamins...

How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss.

Shutterstock 104366477Summer 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 wrong with playing video games or...

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9e3b49de 0b71 4171 8ec9 De43260b2b13 "Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, control our impulses, and focus attention. Weak executive function is closely related to ADHD.

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Dehydration and ADHD Symptoms

Shutterstock 417028033Hydration research by the National Institute of Health says: “Water, or its lack, can influence cognition. Mild dehydration impacts important aspects of cognitive function such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory.”

In the past, health professionals have told us that we need eight 8-oz glasses of water per day. Ongoing research has stated that this is not based on concrete evidence, and there are too many variables that can affect your personal hydration. These variables range from body size, environment, amount of exercise, age, and diet. It’s better to go by two rules, drinking water when you are thirsty and monitoring the color of your urine. Well-hydrated urine should look pale yellow or colorless.

If you have ADHD, it may be even more important to ensure you are staying properly hydrated throughout the day to better support your attention and memory. ADHD...

How to motivate your ADHD child to exercise

Boy On Mom Back Piggyback Both SmilingWe are constantly being told how much daily exercise will improve symptoms of ADHD. One study showed that as a little at 30 minutes of daily exercise will improve your child’s focus, mood, and cognitive functioning. Now the question is, how to get them moving? Finding an activity your child enjoys is key to consistent exercise. If they are pushed in the wrong direction it could turn them off exercise completely. Here are some helpful ideas I found at http://www.chop.edu:

Make a list of their interests. If everything they say includes screen time, ask them what they would do if the had no electronics available. Even if you’re just walking around the mall, it’s a good start to getting them up and moving. Get creative with sedentary activities. 

Watch videos: Have them sit on a stability ball, use a standing desk, or setup a stationary bike. 
Drawing...

ADHD - Friendship Destroyer?

Teacher IntervenesSocial skills and building relationships can be a challenge for children and adults with ADHD.  Issues with social skills usually stem from the inability to pay attention to social cues that others take for granted. They also are challenged with impulsivity that leads to a multitude of difficulties, from hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally to acting out in a physical manner.  These challenges can cause turmoil in the school, home, and workplace.

ADDitude magazine has a great article that discusses how the lack of executive function can have a negative impact on social skills.

 How ADHD’s Executive Dysfunctions Impact Behavior

" Certainly there are times when a child seems stubborn or selfish, but neuroscience suggests that it is a lack of skills, specifically the brain-based “executive function” skills, that hold him back — not willfulness or...