Helping a Child with ADHD/ADD Prepare for Exams

Here are 5 tips for helping a child with ADHD or ADD prepare for exams.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that causes children and adults to have a problem concentrating and retaining the information that they learn. This disorder also causes those affected to become hyper and stressed out very easily. In addition, they also have problems understanding the meaning of what they just read so studying is extremely hard for those that are afflicted with this disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is somewhat similar, except those afflicted are don’t suffer from the hyperactivity component that ADHD consists of. Regardless, both disorders make it very hard for children and adults to study and comprehend books, newspapers, articles etc. Some people have very severe cases which cause other disorders in later life, while others have a mild case. Whatever the case may be, this disorder can cause families and loved one’s great stress when it comes to helping their children pass school exams. These children are very disorganized, lose their homework, organization skills are hard for them to comprehend and they need a lot of love and support from their families.

If you have a child with ADHD or ADD, the schools will help you work with your child and come up with a structured plan for your child so they will succeed in school. At times, your child might have to have their exams read to them by teacher aides so they can understand what the test they are taking is all about. You can also help them at home by reading their notes to them and helping them memorize what they are studying for. Good study habits are important and if your child sits with you for 20 minutes a day before a test, a child with this disorder should understand and comprehend what the answers to the test are going to be if the notes were taken properly. Teacher aides are also available for students to help them take good notes. It can be very frustrating if your child falls in a gray area and are labeled as lazy even though your child is still taking the medication to help them focus and retain information. This is something you have to work with their teachers and have a team meeting to see if an Individual Educational Plan( IEP) can be drawn up for your child. An IEP plan is a structured plan that is written for your child so their teachers know exactly the type of help that they need in order to be passed into the next grade. Here are 5 tips to prepare your child with ADHD/ADD to study for an exam.

Studying with ADHD/ADD can be frustrating, especially when it comes to exams. Research shows that a good study practice is to create a practice test. You can try and help your child predict what might be on the exam. Look at their study guide, old quizzes, find their notes and have them ask others in their class what they feel is important for the exam. Then you can help your child create a practice exam. Cramming doesn’t work with children that have ADHD?ADD.

Review Their Notes before Bedtime

Studies have shown that children with ADHD/ADD remember more when you take 10 to 15 minutes just before they retire for the night to review what they have studied or learned earlier during the day. This doesn’t work for all students, but reviewing what your child has studied allows the child to process the information before they go to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Brain Focus

30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, 4 to 5 days a week, improves focus and functioning skills. This is especially true for children with ADHD/ADD. Encourage your child to study on the bus or in the car as they travel home from an event if they are in sports after school. If your child is not in sports, encourage them to go for a run or play and run around with a basketball before they sit down and do schoolwork. Any aerobic exercise should do the job but the most helpful exercises for children with ADHD/ADD are ballet, yoga, and tai chi, all of these help the student focus on their mind and body.

Use their Nose to Study

Smell is considered a powerful tool. Research shows that if one is exposed to the same smell when they study or sleep, they may remember more. When your child studies, put a small dish of essential oil close by; peppermint is a good choice because it’s considered a stress reliever. Place a small dish of the same scent by your child’s bed while they sleep. Studies suggest their brain will associate the scent with the text material they studied earlier. Researchers say this may help the student retain more information.

Napping, Breaks, and Memory

Most people require 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night to retain memories, and teenagers need more sleep. Thirty-minute afternoon naps can help but make sure the naps don’t last longer than 30 minutes. The reason is extended naps can interfere with their sleep at night. Taking a break helps kids learn more, especially those with ADHD/ADD. Studies have shown that students remember more when they take regular breaks between studies instead of cramming straight through. Downtime is good for the student’s brain to review information and material and they don’t even realize they are processing the information.

Have a Sugary Drink

A small drink that has some sugar helps homework performance. Sugary beverages have glucose, which is an important source of fuel for the brain. When one is low on glucose, they don’t perform as well. Gatorade or apple juice has glucose, without the overload of sugar in your child’s system. Sodas and other beverages with high amounts of sugar provide too much glucose and will cause a sugar crash. This crash impairs memory and clouds thinking. Ask your child with ADHD/ADD to sip and not guzzle their sugary drink. Sipping can improve focus and mood. Encourage your child who struggles with ADHD/ADD to try a few of these ideas and let them find out for themselves what a huge difference it makes in their performance at school.