When I hear “ADHD Accommodations” I automatically think of school accommodations. Most schools allow for accommodations and I find they are very beneficial. What about at home? Have you ever thought of if your child needs them at home?
Very likely you are already making these accommodations. Having more than one child, and not all of them having ADHD, I have found I have had to remind myself to provide this at home. I find it is easy to forget that my ADHD child may need more help, more reminders, more time to complete things at home.
Lets just clarify terms for a minute. Different school regions use these terms differently. You will want to check what your regions terms mean. In our area, ADHD accommodations are given not only for diagnosed children but made available to any child. Accommodations help kids learn the same material and meet same expectations as their peers. These include things like having a quiet space in the class to go to, longer time for tests, frequent breaks, etc.
Modifications on the other hand change what a student is taught or expected to learn. This would include things like having shorter or easier reading assignments, being tested on 10 spelling words instead of 25, writing shorter papers, answering fewer test questions, etc.
My son is now of age that he can write his drivers learners test. In order to add incentive to study I have limited the amount of times I will pay for it. A friend of mine commented that she was surprised I wouldn’t have him pay after his first try. It was said in fun but it made me think about my reasoning. I realized that I knew he needed to see the test and get a feel for what it was like. Of course I hoped he would pass his first time, but I was also prepared that he may not. In a sense I was automatically building in an accommodation for him.
ACCOMMODATIONS AT HOME
Through the years I have noticed that my ADHD child needs repetition and consistency in learning some new skills. He also needs things he struggles with to be broken down into small chunks. This is because of the struggle ADHD people have with executive function. As I list some things that have worked for us, remember that some of these have taken months or longer to create a habit or routine.
- Body Double – This strategy can be used in many instances. A body double is having someone in the same room/area while the ADHD person completes a task. My son struggled staying focused getting dressed. If I were in the room he would stay focused. Remember he was quite young and not needing privacy at this point! I would stay in his room remind him of every step. Little be little I would give him opportunity to try himself without my interjections, to the point I could leave his room and just check on him.
- Morning Chart – This could be index cards that they flip when they are done a task. Laminated picture chart that they can mark off with dry erasers.
There have been times when I know my son can not complete the amount of homework given. At the beginning of the year, check in with the teacher and have a conversation around the days when you know your child has had enough! Most teachers trust your judgement. I let the teacher know we will complete the homework as soon as we can.
- Work Anywhere – Let them lay on the floor, read hanging off the couch. AS LONG AS THEY ARE WORKING.
- Breaks – They have already been working all day so allow plenty of movement breaks.
- Body double – While they do their homework, sit near them and read a book, or work on your paperwork.
- Show, do, let them – When introducing a new chore start with them watching you. Then move to them helping you and eventually they can do it alone.
- Allow longer time – Just as they may need extended time to do school tests, so may they need extended time on chores.
- Safe Space – Create a place in your house that your child knows they can go to when they need to calm down.
- Practice – Practice conversations around the dinner table. Role play with siblings different social situations.
Ultimately ADHD accommodations are put in place to help your child succeed. If something isn’t working well in your home examine it. Do they struggle coming off electronics? Maybe they need a transition accommodation. Do they struggle cleaning their room? Perhaps it could be broken down into chunks over the week. Make difficult tasks achievable and fun so that they can have success!
From my Family to Yours,
Family ADHD Coach Laureen