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Balancing Safety and Fun After School
"I coach a cheerleading squad. One of the girls has ADD, and she always wants to be the center of attention. Teamwork is vital to ensure everyone's safety, but I also want it to be fun for her. Any suggestions?"
My guess is that, unless she's the center of attention, this girl feels personally rejected. Offer some one-on-one time to encourage her. During practice, have her focus on another cheerleader to make sure she keeps up with routines.
Ask her parents to support her progress at home with some sort of incentive program. Finally, consider the possibility that practice is scheduled at a "low point" in her medication regime—after school, for example. A different dosing schedule might help. Mention that to her parents.
Dr. Carol Brady is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She is also a specialist in school psychology and a well-regarded speaker in the area of ADHD, children, and families in trauma and Tourette's Syndrome.
She received her Ph.D. from LSU and she is currently on the scientific advisory board for the Tourette's Syndrome Association and is an adjunct faculty at Baylor University and the University of Texas. Dr. Brady hopes to help children and families who deal with neurological/developmental disorders by serving as a regular columnist for ADDitude magazine.