Welcome to Gifted With ADD

by Margit Crane on May 4, 2015

 

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Grasshoppers vs. Inchworms
Guest post by Sara Kuhl M.Ed

Does the thought of returning to school this fall make your child shudder?
Do you find it hard to understand why your smart kid underplays his or her hand at school?
The reason may not be lack of effort – but lack of awareness of how to learn.

Over more years than I’d care to mention, I’ve worked with bright kids who do not perform well in traditional school settings. Even when they put the time in, there can be disappointment and frustration because the study methods they used produced spotty, unpredictable results.

What I’ve found is that once students understand their natural preferences for taking in information, and how their brain is hardwired to process that information – they find the learning process easier, more fun…and are more successful.

Of course, because we’re all hardwired differently, there is no cookie-cutter formula for teaching kids how to learn.

I suggest that about 35% of all students, and probably 99% of ADD/ADHD students are right-brain dominant and also kinesthetic learners.  These are people with creative imaginations who learn in leaps – more like grasshoppers than inchworms.

The thoughts of our right-brain dominant, kinesthetic learners come randomly rather than sequentially. They come up with the right answers intuitively, but get frustrated when they have to show their work. They’re big picture thinkers, not much into details, so they frequently miss the fine points of an assignment since they quit listening once they got the general idea.  They think in pictures rather than words, so often have trouble telling you what they learned.

Unfortunately for them, school is geared to left-hemispheric learning that is language-oriented, sequential, and time-based, typically rewarding analysis over creativity.

The learning challenge boils down to engaging the whole brain by bringing the right hemisphere off the sidelines and into the game, to participate productively in the learning process…rather than de-railing it!

Here are some suggestions for ways to engage the whole brain and minimize distractions:

Fidget to Focus:  Movement awakens and activates mental activity causing information to pass between the two hemispheres of the brain.

  • Use a stress ball or silly-putty will keep hands busy while energizing thinking.
  • Read on an exercise bike or listen to a foreign language walking on a treadmill.
  • Sit on a large exercise ball or a chair with rollers at your desk to open mental connections.
  • Stand-up desks allow movement, flexibility and increase energy levels & focus.

Pick a Color: Color keeps the eyes from wandering, focuses attention and releases endorphins that can make many people feel more comfortable and stronger for an extended period of time.

  • Limit visual distractions with a desk blotter in a favorite color on your desk.
  • Transparent color overlays on top of reading materials draw the eyes to the page for longer.
  • Color-coding notes includes the right hemisphere in the processing – great for memorization and test prep.

Add a Soundtrack Music can intensify learning by engaging the right side of the brain and prevent it from wandering.

  • Choose “audio wallpaper” that creates an inviting study environment, blocking out other noise.
  • Pick carefully as music can become the focus – if you can’t stop singing along, the effect are lost.

Maximize your Prime-Time We all have an internal biological clock that regulates our energy rhythms and makes some of us early birds and others night owls. It’s easier to deal with distractions when you’re feeling alert and strong. Be aware of the best time for you – and use it to tackle your most challenging work.

Practical strategies for building concentration and focus can be especially empowering for ADD/ADHD kids. But discovery into how-to-learn successfully should not end there. Choosing the right strategies for retaining & retrieving information, physically & mentally preparing for tests and time-management skills are all essential for today’s students.

Summer break is a good time to help your child calmly reflect, regroup and develop some skills that will help turn their future efforts into great results.

Sara Kuhl M.Ed, creator of Brain Camp

 

 

 

 

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Parents in Denial About Their ADHD Kids

July 1, 2015

Tweet Pin It   Are you or your spouse/partner/ex in denial about your child? Does your child have ADHD or ADD and is still untreated? In any way? Check out this point of view from Nicole Knepper, author of Moms Who Drink and Swear. Note: Nicole has no filter! She cusses, for one thing, but [...]

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Summer Parenting + Summer ADHD Coaching

June 29, 2015

Summer is a great time for family coaching. When the weather is warm and there are no school pressures, kids are more willing to make changes (and so are parents!) Special summer offer ends June 30!

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FREE TELECLASS: 3 Secrets to Grabbing the Attention of Your ADHD Child or Teen

June 24, 2015

Tweet Pin It Is this a daily issue for you? “She said she would remember to turn in her homework, but she didn’t.” “He said he heard me, but then didn’t do what I asked.” “I set a timer to get off the computer, but he ignores it.” “I speak very calmly, in a very [...]

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Interview | Getting Along With Tweens and Teen

June 22, 2015

Tweet Pin It   As a writer and business owner, I was interviewed for this great writers blog, Writers in Business. And if you haven’t checked out my book, How To Train Your Parents in 6 1/2 Days, you really must. Not to toot my own horn, but why not? I spent two years writing [...]

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Bach Flowers and ADD/ADHD

June 22, 2015

Bach Flower Essences can help your child or teen calm down, be more alert, be more decisive, clear his/her head, and can even increase self-esteem.

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The Culture of Parenting Overwhelm

June 22, 2015

Seattle ADD ADHD Coach, Margit Crane, asks: Why have we become desensitized to overwhelm? Why do we sacrifice our precious days on the altar of Stress? What if overwhelm is a habit that can be undone?

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Top 5 Things ADHD Kids Would Change About Their Families

June 3, 2015

Tweet Pin It   When I’m working with families, I always have a private conversation with each person and I ask what he or she would change about their family. Over the years, what I’ve learned is that, generally speaking, parents are reluctant to ask this question because they’re afraid that they’ll be blamed for [...]

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Starting a New Thing When You Have ADHD

June 2, 2015

Tweet Pin It   People with ADHD are charming. You can choose to look at our inconsistencies and divergent thoughts as being confusing, frustrating, or irritating, but I choose to look at them as charming and somewhat comical (in a charming way, of course). Even shiny things can be a challenge But new things are [...]

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It’s Excruciating When Your Child Does Something Harmful or Illegal

May 26, 2015

Tweet Pin It   First off, if your child does something harmful or illegal, appropriate action must be taken right away. Don’t do what Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar did. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate the Duggars. I think they go overboard at times but I also think they have some good ideas [...]

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