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What works for your ADHD child?


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I need ideas for my 9.5yo dd. She is constantly on the move. One thing I've found that helps is to have her sit on an exercise ball when we're doing lessons at the table because it gives her a way to move while still (mostly) paying attention to her work. The only times she is still is when she's engrossed in a book, playing on the computer, or asleep. My mother-in-law and dh's brother both deal with ADD themselves. MIL teaches public school and thought the exercise ball was a great idea.


We do some wiggle time before we start the day's lessons (Hokey Pokey, lol) and sing some songs, which is my attempt to get them all prepared to be still for a little while. Sometimes it works. ;)


What do you find helps your active children? Are there specific programs that you find work better to keep their focus? TIA! :)

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My DS age 10 is not yet homeschooled (he wants to start next year) but he has an inflatable donut on his seat at school so he can wiggle a bit same effect as the ball. Frequent breaks are important as are frequent reminders. It is hard because at his age teachers expect him to take resposibility for his work and he is very forgetful. I have to be very diligent.


A watch with an alarm helps him not hyperfocus and loose track of time.

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Medication, a visual timer, not feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work, medication, protein breakfast, having me sit next to him an point at his book/paper every time he spaces out, and did I mention medication?



All of the above ... as well as a predictable schedule (no wondering what's next or how much more to do), reward system, fun games to reinforce math & phonics (great change of pace), and no video games before schoolwork (it seems to make it much harder to pay attention). Without medication, none of the above would be enough.

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Without Ritalin, my 13 year old DS is absolutely unable to focus at all. Just a whirling dervish of activity.


He takes meds Monday through Thursday, which are our school days.


Other things that help, in no particular order:

protein, especially at breakfast

physical activity

big rubber exercise ball to sit on and bounce

constant reminders from me to focus

a fairly consistent schedule/routine

no long breaks, such as summer off. I take three weeks off in December, and that is the longest break of the year. We school year round, which I highly recommend for ADD kids.


As for curriculum, IN GENERAL, ADD kids do well with a lot of hands-on activities to keep them interested and focused. I stress the "in general", because there are exceptions to everything, and my own DS is one. He also has fairly severe LD's, including visual/spatial issues, and hates anything hands-on with a passion.


Understanding and accepting that some days are better than others, and we do occasionally have a day that is so ADD that I know learning is not going to happen, and give DS the day off.


My DH also has ADHD, so it's just a way of life around here.

Michelle T

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