One of the hallmark features of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a lack of organization and difficulty with self-initiation and time management. With the beginning of a new school year, it is important that there be an emphasis on establishing daily routines and structure for these children. Below are some strategies to implement prior to the start of the school year to make routines common.
School Routine For Kids With ADHD:
- Setting a structured morning with specific routines is important. Give the child ownership by allowing him or her to have a say as to what should be part of the morning routine as well as the order of importance for daily tasks. Use a visual schedule, consisting of either a white board or paper, in which the morning routine steps are clearly indicated. Depending upon age, have the child start taking ownership of the daily routines by crossing them off the schedule when they are completed.
- Try to establish a structured schedule for the day. First thing in the morning, sit down the child to go over what daily events are to happen that day. Then have the events printed on a separate visual schedule. This gives the child a key to go back to when needed to see what daily expectations are. The child can also again take ownership by scratching off the completed tasks.
- Changes with routine will happen. Even the most structured and rigorous individuals cannot anticipate all possible changes and events. Always try to prepare the child as soon as possible when there is a change with the daily routine. Try to have the change updated on the visual schedule so that there is a structured ‘change.’
Preparing for the structured school day should not have to wait until the first day of school. Try to keep structure and routine as part of the child’s day to day life to ensure a smooth transition into the school year.