Executive Function and School Success

2018 08 06When it comes to doing well in school, we must provide our students with the right tools for the job.  But how do you determine what your child needs in his toolbox? Do you find yourself wondering, “Why does my child continually to struggle and fail in school when he is so bright?”  He knows how to read, how to write, how to do math and yet cannot seem to keep up. What is your child missing in his toolbox?

Strong executive function may be the missing link.

As reported in Additude Magazine, “Up to 90 percent of kids with ADHD struggle with executive function challenges that impair goal-directed behavior.”

Think of executive function as capacities for self-control that allow us to sustain action in problem solving toward a goal. It is goal directed problem solving and goal directed persistence. Certain cognitive functions support executive function. They include attention...

How How to ease your child back into the school year sleep schedule

3829Children with ADHD can have a hard time adjusting to new routines.  Therefore, transitioning from the late, lazy mornings of summer to getting up early for school can be a challenge. If you fell off your regular sleep schedule this summer, here are some tips to help you get back on track and make certain your child gets enough sleep for a happier start to the new school year.

  • Start waking your child up a little earlier each morning and put them to bed a little earlier each night.
  • Give 30 minutes of downtime before lights out. Avoid electronic devices and find a calming activity like reading or listening to music.
  • Get back to your bed-time and morning routines. This includes when they eat, get dressed, brush their teeth, etc.
  • Make sure your child eats well and exercises daily. This will affect how quickly they fall asleep and for how long.
  • Avoid napping during the day. After...

Color me happy! Coloring can improve focus and decrease anxiety

ColoringRemember when you were a child and you got a brand new box of crayons? Remember how happy and excited you were as you opened the box and saw all of those bright, beautiful colors?  Maybe it is time to start coloring again and relive that memory.  Your brain might thank you.
 
If you are looking for a simple, creative activity that will improve focus and decrease anxiety coloring may be for you.  Adult coloring has been trending lately but there may be more to it than just reliving a memorable childhood experience.  Many researchers and art therapists have been touting the act of coloring as good for mental function.  Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have even suggested coloring as an alternative to meditation.
 
In a CNN Health reportMarygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant...

Meet the Teacher

Your child is nervous about the first day of school. It’s normal and natural. We all want to establish a good relationship right from day one

It’s important that both you and your child have a positive relationship with the teacher. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s teacher if he/she would have a moment to meet with you before school begins. If time will not allow for this, write the teacher a personal letter.

Things to keep in mind for the meeting/letter:

  1. Keep it positive. You may have had some bad experiences in the past. Do not bring that experience with you. Start things on a positive note.
  2. Discuss your child's strengths. Often we are so keyed into discussing accommodations, social issues, etc. we forget that may children with ADHD have strengths that their peers may not. These could include being the classroom errand person to release some pent up energy, or wiping down...

A Teen's Guide to Limiting Sugar for Improved Brain Function

CupcakeConsuming natural sugar in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy gives us energy and can help improve your heart and brain health. However, eating and drinking too much added sugar can cause weight gain, hyperactivity, inattention, and poor memory. Psychology Today references two studies that explain why refined sugar causes cognitive deficits and memory loss.

Adolescents are the greatest consumers of high-energy, sugary junk foods and sweetened drinks.  This is a concern as studies have shown that a high sugar diet can have many negative effects especially on the brains of teenagers.

"Recent research in rodents has shown the adolescent brain is at an increased risk of developing diet-induced cognitive dysfunction. Adolescent, but not adult, mice develop memory problems after consuming high-fat diets. The brains of the adolescent sugar-diet rats...

Short Exercise Routines to Manage Anxiety

162561 OVGRK9 196When you have ADHD, emotions can be more intense, harder to manage, and can get in the way of everyday life. Anxiety is one emotion that is often exacerbated by ADHD.  The National Resource Center on ADHD states that about 50% of adults and 30% of children with ADHD are also diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. 

Scientists have shown evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety. The effects may be temporary but taking short breaks throughout the day for some physical activity can lead to lower stress levels. 

Here are some exercises you can do that only take 10-15 minutes:

  • Take a brisk walk outside so you can focus on your surroundings and get out of your head.  
  • Practice Yoga to encourage deep breathing and stretching which relieve muscle tension. Some specific poses to relieve anxiety are cat cow, child’s pose, standing...