Health Education

Helping Students with ADHD or Learning Disabilities Stay Organized At School

Helping Students with ADHD or Learning Disabilities Stay Organized At School

February 21, 2013

In a recent article, Donna Goldberg of ADDitude Magazine outlined various ways to help students with ADHD or learning disabilities manage their time and develop their organizational skills. Learning to prioritize, stay organized, and manage time can be difficult for any child, but this is especially difficult for children with ADD or ADHD. However, with practice and the development of positive habits, parents and children can work together and move toward better organization at school. To help your child develop their organizational skills, get started with these simple steps:

  1. Time Management: Teach your children sequence lessons in order to develop their understanding of time and time management. Asking questions such as “What comes next?” or “Do you remember what happened first” are good ways to start teaching sequence. Pointing out words that are related to time or having your child give you directions can be another way to reinforce their understanding of sequence.
  2. Calendars: A weekly calendar helps children learn the days of the week, as well as develops their understanding of yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc. A monthly calendar may be too much information at once, so sticking with a weekly calendar and having your child help fill out activities for each day of the week can further explain the concept of time management.
  3. Clocks: Analog clocks are a great way to teach children about time because they are able to see a visual representation of time passing throughout the day.
  4. Planners: A notebook planner to keep track of class schedules, homework, friend’s numbers, and due dates, can help your child learn to plan ahead and manage deadlines.
  5. Prioritizing: Going over homework assignments and ordering them by their due date and level of difficulty is a good way to teach kids about priorities and can help them manage their homework load.
  6. Manage paper: Figuring out a paper management system that works for your child and helps them carry and organize assignments, permission slips, or handouts might take time and experimentation, but creating an organized system will help with feelings of being overwhelmed and will make homework and assignments easier in the long run.
  7. Make Finished Project Files: Create a file box and encourage your child to regularly transfer completed homework or projects here. This way, finished assignments will not clog up their paper management system and completed tasks will be organized and easy to refer to or look up later on.
  8. Offer Praise: Encourage your child and help them recognize accomplishments and goals by praising them throughout the process and emphasizing their hard work. Rewarding kids with praise will help make this a positive experience for everyone involved, and will reinforce organization as a positive practice.

If you would like to learn more about helping children with ADD or ADHD at school or would like to participate in a discussion about raising or working with children, please come to one of our Movie Nights! The Woodburn Pediatric Team hosts movie nights every Thursday night and provides various health resources for parents, families, and educators. Contact us to learn more!