There are many causes of disorganized thought in children besides ADHD: emotional upsets, rejection, perceived issues and the like. None of us can understand children fully, but parents have a special insight into how their child ticks. If you don’t have this insight, check in with someone who can help you find ways to re-connect with your child when the situation is difficult. Even after 40 years of working with children in many capacities, I learn more about ADHD and children every day!
Check out your levels of hostility, peace and order among chaos. Here are some tips and tricks for working out more peace and order in an ADHD family.
1. ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE with labels and coordinated colors as much as possible.
2. SET ADULT ROUTINES that YOU follow and the child can follow suit.
3. SIMPLIFY your entire lifestyle with the child (less activities but more time spent doing them).
4. CALM BUT ENJOYABLE ATMOSPHERES. Too much disconnected noise, colors, and movement can hinder order, but ADHD kids needs some movement and freedom administered with joy. Try MODIFIED WHITE NOISE to help with learning (Soderlund et al., 2007, 841).
5. INVITATION: Activities, spaces, conversation, and frequent time with friends lessen feelings of rejection.
6. PSYCHO-EDUCATION is well received by most ADHD kids. They like to think and learn at a higher level in general. Teach them about ADHD, how they think, how it can change for their desired outcomes (EF Training enhances behavior skills (Schoemaker, et al., 2013).
7. ASK. Asking invites conversation, connection, and thought processes. Training to think critically helps ADHD kids use working memory and encourages ordered thinking with executive function development (See Diamond, 2014).
Diamond, Adele. 2014. “Executive Functions: Insights into Ways to Help More Children Thrive.” ZERO TO THREE 35 (2): 9–17. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1125265&site=ehost-live.
Schoemaker, Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hanna1 Mulder, Maja2 Deković, and Walter Matthys. 2013. “Executive Functions in Preschool Children with Externalizing Behavior Problems: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 41 (3): 457–71. doi:10.1007/s10802-012-9684-x.
Söderlund, Göran, Sverker Sikström, and Andrew Smart. 2007. “Listen to the Noise: Noise Is Beneficial for Cognitive Performance in ADHD.” Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry 48 (8): 840–47. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01749.x.