The Messy Student's Guide to Organization

Messy locker? Forgotten homework? Missed deadlines? Your child needs an organization intervention ASAP — start by color coding his folders and trying these other strategies.

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Helping ADHD students get organized and study for tests and exams.

The problem: The child forgets to bring the right books and supplies home or to school. His desk, locker, backpack, and notebook are in disarray. He forgets deadlines and scheduled activities.

The reason: The neurological process that lets us organize, prioritize, and analyze is called "executive function." Children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and related neurobiological problems have impaired executive function skills due to abnormal dopamine levels in the frontal lobe of the brain.

The obstacles: Punishment will not change disorganized behaviors that are related to brain pathology. It's confusing to teachers and parents when students with ADHD are inconsistent in their ability to organize because it may seem like the child is just "sloppy" or "lazy." If a child handles one task in an organized way, it's tempting to believe he could always be organized if he wanted to, but that's not necessarily the case.

Next: Solutions in the Classroom...

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TAGS: Organization Tips for ADHD Kids, ADHD Time Management, Talking with Teachers, ADHD Accommodations, 504s, IEPs, Back to School

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