Are you concerned that your child may have difficulties with attention? For many kiddos this can look like difficulties with focus, concentration, excess energy, being talkative, and/or impulsivity. Additionally, ADHD can also include challenges with executive functioning (EF). Executive functioning is often referred to as the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the brain. Just like the CEO of a company, our executive functioning oversees our more basic mental abilities by setting goals and making sure they are achieved. Some executive functions include planning, problem solving, organizing, controlling impulses, monitoring behavior, and thinking flexibly.
If you think your child may have ADHD or problems with EF, here are a few helpful tips for parents:
- Assessment for ADHD and EF capacities is best done via a comprehensive psychological evaluation. This can help identify areas of strength and vulnerabilities that can lead to intentional intervention and treatment approaches at home, in the community, and at school. Talking to your child’s doctors, teachers, and other adults involved with caring for your child is very important for continuity of care.
- Did you know that current research suggests that a focus on overall wellness and health such as diet, exercise, and sleep can positively impact an individual with ADHD? These steps in congruence with therapy /coaching and medication can be the BEST predictor of success. Minor changes can help reduce various symptoms of ADHD like inability to sit still, inattentiveness, hyperactivity in some cases, forgetfulness, impulsivity, and more. We love ADDitude Magazine and all the helpful tips and tools they have, particularly for parents: https://www.additudemag.com/category/parenting-adhd-kids/
- Establishing structure and consistency at home is a great way to promote EF skills in your child Helping your child organize activities and tasks in their daily life can help them learn important skills that can greatly impact how your child learns to manages symptoms of ADHD independently. Check out this article that goes into a deeper dive of some tips you can use when raising a little one: https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/parenting-tips#behavior-management
- Scaffold, teach, repeat! Like most people, individuals with ADHD can thrive when they have proper accommodations, are directly taught skills with supervision and support, and then provided with check-ins and opportunities to learn and practice these skills again!
- One of our favorite and LOCAL organizations is Untapped Learning. Brandon and his team are amazing coaches and mentors and take a whole-body approach to help kids, teens, and young adults regulate their bodies while teaching EF skills (studying, organization, time management, initiation, etc.) to ensure success! https://untappedlearning.com/
- Another GREAT and local organization is Results Learning. Cyle and his team offer excellent tutoring and coaching within and outside of the school environment. https://results-learning.com/
Written by Nava Hojreh, Office Manager at Elevated Insights Assessment https://www.elevatedinsights.org/