It’s a high-wire act without a net when you talk to children, because you never know what will come out of their mouths, and particularly so with ADHD kids. Or is it that ADHD kids have such great insight? That’s the case with Lucy, a seven-year-old, who is very interesting and articulate about sharing her ADHD insights, experiences, and strategies.
Lucy describes ADHD as “really, really, really” challenging, and sometimes it won’t work. She is learning calming strategies like taking ten deep breaths, relaxing her shoulders, and other things she learned from Sesame Street. She describes ADHD as having a racecar brain, because when you’re in the zone you’re going so fast that it’s hard to stop.
For Lucy, the zone is a good place. She says it’s a time when you’re not talkative, just going slowly but getting stuff done right. To get into the zone, her advice is to focus really hard, but if you can’t get into the zone, just try again. If that still doesn’t work, don’t pressure yourself but just go on.
When you’re stressed out, Lucy says, don’t get mad or yell or act out. Instead, do jumping jacks or something physical, but not cartwheels in the house. Take a calming breath or play the Sesame Street game. In the classroom, just act calm, ask to be excused to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom. Or just stop what you’re doing, put your pencil down, and think positive thoughts, like the time you got 100 on a test or when you were working very hard and finished something,
As an ADHD and attention coach, I find that emotional self-regulation is fundamental to learning. A parent can model behavior, like social charades. Kids pick up social cues in a playful atmosphere. If children have difficulty articulating what they are feeling, one coaching technique would be to ask what superhero would the child want to be. The answer may reveal the inner thoughts that the child is unable to express.
If you are a parent of a pre-tween or a parent who thinks your ADHD child can benefit from hearing this ADHD seven-year-old talk about her own ADHD challenges, please listen to our episode with Lucy on Attention Talk Radio, http://tobtr.com/8912579