Solutions at Home
-- Encourage journals. Have your child write down his thoughts about outings to the movies, visits with relatives, or trips to museums. Add some fun to the activity by asking your child to e-mail you his thoughts or text-message you from his cell phone.
-- Assist with essay topic selection. Children with ADHD have difficulty narrowing down choices and making decisions. Help your student by listening to all of his ideas and writing down three or four of his strongest topics on cards. Next, review the ideas with him and have him eliminate each topic, one by one — until only the winner is left.
-- Brainstorm. Once the topic is identified, ask him for all the ideas he thinks might be related to it. Write the ideas on sticky notes, so he can cluster them together into groupings that will later become paragraphs. He can also cut and paste the ideas into a logical sequence on the computer.
-- Stock up on books, movies, games. These materials will introduce new vocabulary words and stimulate thinking. Explore these with your child and ask him questions about them to solicit his views.
-- Be your child's "scribe." Before your child loses his idea for the great American novel, or for his next English assignment, have him dictate his thoughts to you as you write them out by hand or type them into the computer. As his skills improve over time, he'll need less of your involvement in this process.
-- Go digital. Children with ADHD often write slower than their classmates. Encourage your child to start the writing process on a computer. This way, she'll keep her work organized and won't misplace her essay before it's finished. Also, by working on the computer she can easily rearrange the order of sentences and paragraphs in a second draft.
-- Remind your child to proofread. Let your child know that he'll be able to catch errors if he proofreads his rough draft before handing it in.
High-Tech Writing Helpers for ADHD Kids