Treatment Information (Home and School)

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So what can I do at home?

·        Structure, structure, structure!

·        Set clear limits with clear, consistent consequences.

·        Don’t get wordy;  these kids need short, clear sentences. 

o       Don’t:  Stop jumping and shouting, you are going to wake the baby up your noise!  You are going to get a time-out if you don’t stop.

o       Do:  No jumping or shouting.  Stop or time out.

·        Be predictable.  Maintain clear rules, consistent eating times, bedtimes, play times.

·        These kids need minimal stimulation.  Maintaining a calm environment helps sustain attention.

·        Always make eye contact with the child when giving directions.  Ask them to repeat it.

·        Encourage homework activities in a quiet area with minimal access to distractions, including other family members.

·        Got a kid with a lot of energy?  Burn it out!  Swimming, back yard races, jumping on the bed (how many times can you jump before I count to ten?), swinging on a swing set.  Have the child sit on an exercise ball and bounce while watching TV or reading.  If you can work something in before school, it will really help your child the first few hours.

·        Be a soft place to land.  Support your child at home, love them, be a consistent, reliable parent that they know they can always turn to for acceptance.

How can I help at school?

·        Purchase a “wiggle cushion,” a special cushion that allows a child to wiggle in place without being disruptive. 

·        Theraband, rubber tubing used for resistance exercises, can be looped on the legs of your child’s chair at school.  Your child can hook his/her legs in and push against the band providing stimulation to the central nervous system and causing a calming effect.

·        Talk to an occupational therapist about an appropriate ‘fidget.’  Some kids benefit from something quiet like a golf ball sized piece of play-doh to mess with while listening to instruction from their teacher.  Others do well as long as they can chew gum.  Pay attention to activities that your child finds calming at home and tweak them a bit for school.

·        The key to supporting your child at school is not to expect them to go from hyperactive to complacent, still and attentive, even with medication.  Give them socially acceptable ways to cope with the hyperactivity like those listed above.

·        Keep a spiral bound notebook for you and the teacher to communicate.  Send it to school on a daily basis with any questions or concerns (or warnings) you may have for the teacher.  Ask them to communicate areas your child is struggling with (transitions, writing, outbursts, etc.) and how they are handling it in order to provide consistency in discipline.  Also, (and this is important!) ask them to communicate your child’s successes so you can celebrate them with your child at home.  This provides an opportunity for everyone, teacher included, to recognize the good parts of the day too.