5 Things Teachers Should Know About ADHD in the Classroom

By James Wiley, MD, FAAP It's back-to-school time, and as the father and brother of teachers, I get to hear firsthand the joys and struggles educators face in the classroom. One challenge is managing hyperactive and impulsive behavior in the 10% of students that have ADHD. Here are 5 tips that will help you keep your sanity and make your students with ADHD (and their parents) eternally grateful. 1. Let them move Research is in! Kids with ADHD perform better and learn more if they can wiggle while they work. Help them find less disruptive ways to do just that! A fidget pal — like an eraser or a small stress ball — can be helpful, but some kids will need more. Allowing students to sit on exercise balls has been helpful for some. Consider allowing students to stand at desks… Read More »

How To Ease The School Year Transition

Going back to school after a long summer can be very challenging for children to cope with. Add that transition to the anxieties that accompany ADHD, and you child is really dreading going back to school and changing his or her summer routine. But as the parent, there are steps that you can take to make the transition as easy as possible for your child. You can lessen the blow of a new teacher, classroom, and schedule by easing into the process. Here’s how: Talk with your child’s teacher to see if it is possible to meet him or her a few days before school starts. Meeting the teacher before the first day of school will help your child because it will be one less new face, and an authority figure that your child can start to feel comfortable around.… Read More »

Independence Day

by James Wiley, MD, FAAP [email protected] As Americans we are celebrating our nation’s history of Independence-- you know, when we told our mother country she no longer had to tell us what to do, supervise our every move, or run our financial affairs.  As parents of kids with ADHD, we look forward to the day when they can claim their own independence and make good decisions, and manage their time, relationships and finances without us. Unfortunately, there are times when ADHD, especially when untreated, can delay this independence.  It takes longer for our kids to "grow up", mature, and take care of their own business in a responsible way. They impulsively want that independence, yet spring forward without considering consequences. This usually doesn’t go that well (for them OR for us). How do we get them ready for independence? We provide… Read More »

Helping Your Child Find Organization In An ADHD World

Organization isn't easy for any child, but for children with ADHD, organizing, time management and prioritizing can be extremely difficult. There are several things that you can do to help your child with ADHD develop successful organizational skills. Here are 5 tips to help you coach your child through the process of getting organized: 1. Make a master calendar: A calendar is a multi-sensory tool to use to teach your child organizational skills because it can serve as a visual reminder of planned activities as well as an auditory reinforcement to boost retention of upcoming events. Calendars are a great way to also teach time management and accountability skills because the child will see when assignments are due and how much time they should spend on homework. 2. Make a place for everything: Help your child organize their school supplies… Read More »

Complexities and Realities of Diagnosing and Medicating ADHD

With the alarming amount of children in the U.S. currently on medication for ADHD, parents have concerns. But in reality, ADHD is over and underdiagnosed. It is over and under-treated. It is certainly true that many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD while their actual behavioral problems come from other factors. However, that does not mean that everyone is misdiagnosed. Some people really have ADHD and really need medication to live comfortable lives. While we fear the zombie effect of overmedication, many kids with ADHD are actually undermedicated. Overmedication can lead to kids acting like zombies, which is the #1 concern of parents. But the truth is that most kids are not even on enough medication to control their ADHD much less make them zombie-like. At Focus-MD we believe that the key to treating ADHD is careful, precise use of medication that lets… Read More »