When considering communication issues for children with ADHD we need to approach this differently. It is not that they can’t communicate, but it is the symptoms of their ADHD that can possibly hinder good communication interactions.
It is an expectation of primary aged students that when they commence school, they will be able to sit, listen, respond to instruction and commence and complete tasks. This is all very well for most children but if you have ADHD this will take a lot of effort and training. Communication for children with ADHD is about the expectation of the child during their interactions with others.
Let’s see how we can put things into place to help your primary aged child begin to self-manage these communication requirements:
Prepare your child for school by making learning tasks fun
Create an enjoyable activity such as a construction activity at home and build in a break time. Follow this up with a more traditional task such as sitting at a table for a drawing or cutting and pasting task or reading, followed by a break. Time your child’s attention with each activity and gradually increase the times to their highest level of tolerance. This will provide valuable information for your child’s teacher and possibly avoid incidents at school.
Look at your environment at home
Create a learning space that has minimal distractions in which you can practice learning activities and this can become a future dedicated homework space.
Children with ADHD respond well to a predictable routine and structure. It is important for them to know what is expected of them. You need to communicate this to them initially by developing organisational strategies such as checklists, rewards or ‘working towards’ charts as incentives.
No time like the present to start learning these skills. A child with ADHD is not always going to have someone available to organise their life. Involve your child in developing an accountability system for management of their personal well being, behaviours and interactions with others. This system can be used at home and school and acts as a further communication tool to monitor how things are going.
Other learning disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or an Intellectual Disability(ID) may be present for your child and if so, communication will have a very different response and set of management strategies.