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Advice for Helping ADD/ADHD Children Learn

by Heather Lewis of

Each year, attention problems (including diagnoses of ADD and ADHD) in children are increasingly being reported by parents and teachers alike. WHY this is happening is not the focus of this article, but WHAT we can do as parents, teachers, and caregivers is exactly the reason for this article. Clearly, for children to be successful in school (and indeed many other social institutions), they must be able to pay attention and learn. Learning and paying attention is dependent upon the ability to integrate and organize information from our senses. Unorganized sensory input creates a traffic jam in our brain making it difficult to pay attention and learn. To be successful learners, our senses must work together in an organized manner (Nicholls & Syvertson, 2009, Sensory Integration, Attention and Learning.).

Strategies for Children with Attention Difficulties:

Parents, caregivers, and teachers of children with attention difficulties need practical strategies for working with children to help them organize their sensory input and respond appropriately. There are numerous strategies to employ with children, but this article will focus on those that attempt to create a calm, predictable, and nurturing environment which promotes the organization of sensory input for these children. Try some- or all – of them. See what works for your child in your unique situation.

  • Make sure the child has a quiet place to go at all times (even if it is just a corner or under a table). Children, when over stimulated or overwhelmed, can benefit from a quiet "time out" (NOT a punitive time-out space… just a "get-away" space).
  • Limit TV viewing in all areas: TV is very stimulating, and may even change brain patterns in such a way that makes it difficult to pay attention in school.
  • Consider setting limits on computer use as well… for the same reasons stated above in regards to TV viewing.
  • Consider the power of gentle touch for an overexcited child. Children often respond well to firm, but gentle touch. Hugs, rocking, and an arm around the shoulders are often helpful.
  • Avoid over scheduling. A child's brain develops better with some quiet downtime rather than constant activity.
  • Allow extended periods of time for a child to work on something: attention span develops naturally with uninterrupted time for the child to become actively engaged without interruption.
    (Healy, 2005, The Parents League Review.)
  • Try using music to soothe and focus a child/children. Music can create a highly focused learning state.
    (Boyd-Brewer, 1995, Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom.)

The power of a calm, supportive, and nurturing environment should not be underestimated! Rock N Go LLC provides content-specific music for use with ALL children which provides a relaxed, fun, and focused learning experience. Learning skip counting, math facts, and practicing creativity in drawing and watercolor are fun and engaging with Rock N Go's signature music. Children with learning disabilities, in particular, will benefit from learning with music. The learning environment provided by these materials will provide focus and fun for children.

Please visit Rock N Go LLC's website to view their award-winning products and learn more about how Rock N Go can help your child… and ALL children. Rock N Go continues to consult teachers, students, families, as well as national and state standards in the development of future products. Additional sets will include Art (Drawing/Watercolor) coupled with classical music to engage the right side of the brain/creative mode; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division (featuring their signature 10 genres of music) and Spelling. Again, a theoretically-based, multi-sensory approach sets these products apart. for more information, consult, email:, or call 517-290-9939.

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.
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