Tips for improving attention & focus in ADHD child
Tips for improving attention & focus
in ADHD child
ADHD & focus are not usually synonymous, but there are ways to help children be more attentive & learn to focus so that their days are not composed of purposelessly moving around & fleeting from one activity to another. Your child may face difficulties in concentrating on tasks. Imagine yourself in a video game where everything is coming at you at once – every sight, sound & sensation is a distraction. For a child with ADHD getting through a typical day is something like that. And it explains a great deal about how they experience the world. Here, we will discuss few tips for improving attention & focus
Activities to improve attention & focus
Freeze & focus –
Explain your child that this can be done at any given time. Once you say “Freeze & focus” – Child has to freeze for 10counts in whatever position he is. Ask your child to describe 2 or 3 things he or she saw when he was frozen. You can eventually increase counts or complexity of his position for balancing.
I spy –
Scan & find things in hidden pictures or spot differences in similar pictures. You can ask your child to pick up things from his surrounding – particular thing like something that you can drink, point objects starting with letter “C” – clock, cup, chair, cupboard, etc.
Dancing sequence –
Let’s dance! Show your child some easy steps and ask him to copy your move. This creates body awareness, processing speed and also enhances imitation skills improving focus and also helps in various ways for performing daily living activities.
Card play –
Let’s play with cards. Lay few cards face down & shuffled. Take turns turning any 2 cards over table. If you turn over a matching pair you keep the cards and if the pair doesn’t match, turn the cards back over until it is your turn to try again.
Constructive play –
Engage your child in this activity in different ways – you can ask him to copy your pattern or ask him to make any particular object on his own or make anything of his own choice. You can use lego blocks, magnetic tiles, pegboards etc.
Think of it this way – To build up your muscles – you do strength training, similarly to strengthen brain muscles (enhance focus & attention) – perform these brain stimulating activities/exercises.
Read here about oral motor exercise for kids
Toys & tools to improving attention & focus
- Memory games
- Puzzles/ Maze books
- Spot the difference/ Spot it
- Perception board/ Mosaic art
- Carrom/ Checkers
Tips to improving attention & focus
- Encourage movement breaks – schedule 5-10 counts/minutes break after every activity or when you feel the break is required. Movement breaks are for child to vent out their energy and feel settled, making it easier to sit for longer time. Movement breaks can be dancing, Bouncing on ball or jumping or just walking in the apartment.
- Make time for play – give outlet to the excess energy. Exercise or engaging in physical play can lead to healthy lifestyle & also releases hormones that help to reduce stress. Studies show that it also enhances growth of brain cells in hippocampus (part of brain responsible for memory & learning). Play can be simple activity of throwing & catching ball or cycling etc.
- Use music – Music can influence one’s mood quite easily. Choosing right type of music is essential to set right mood of your child. Calming instrumental music can help child to calm down. Talk to your child in musical way to increase awareness about activity he/she is performing. Example – Brush your teeth/ comb your hair
- Essential oils – The way auditory system plays important role, so does Olfactory system. Olfactory system (System of smell) can directly affect arousal of baby. It can cause calming or stimulating effect. Just like aroma therapy helps adults to calm down, smell affects children too. Some smells like coffee can overstimulate and increase arousal whereas some smells like lavender, sandalwood can be calming for anyone. Though every smell affects every child in different manner. So, just check if there’s any peculiar smell around that might be the reason for your child’s behavior.
- Close the door & eliminate distractions – Keep surrounding organized & clean. They might get easily distracted due to the things kept around. So avoid cluttering their surrounding space.
- Use ‘Homework station’ – Set a particular place in your house as Home-Work station. Make sure it has ergonomically apt place for your child to be able to work – like space should be appropriately lit & airy, desk & chair for correct posture. But most importantly this space should be exclusively used only for work that means it cannot be your bed where you sleep or dining table where you eat or your play room where you have toys around, the space should be designated to work & work only.
- Practice deep breathing – Anxiety and stress can build up when trying things that are difficult. Deep breaths can help and relieve the stress.
Read here aboout Play Therapy for Children
If your child is struggling in paying attention, its not because they’re lazy or naughty or incompetent. Encourage your child & track their progress as they improve.
Working together is a win- win solution because it strengthens the relationship you have with your child. So go ahead & have some fun – Do the exercises along with your child & who knows you may find your brain working a little faster & smarter too!
Remember, that no single technique is cure-all. However, combination of few exercises or strategies may show better results & improvements than relying on one alone
Time, Patience & dedication are essential to improve your child’s attention & focus in any environment. If you don’t see the changes at first don’t lose heart. You’ve take first few steps to ensure development of your child – keep going!
More likely you’re stressed out or overwhelmed or frustrated or all of the above! And these emotions can interfere with our ability to cope up. Instead of yelling at the sky, try radically accepting the situation and where you are. In this case, a little kindness can go a long way in making sure you don’t give up.
To end it all, Don’t push yourself or your child too hard. Give yourself a break. You’re doing the best you can.
And if paying attention & focusing on task continues to be a challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for support, okay?