Free flowing, carefree summers sound appealing, but when your child has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), freedom from the regular routine may actual be detrimental to his/her well-being. Keeping your child on a productive path will help reduce meltdowns and anxiety as well as help ease the transition to the new school year when it’s time to head back in September. Here are some tips:
1. Set Summer Goals:
Try activities that spark creativity and curiosity and boost self-esteem. With a less rigid schedule, summer is a great time for your child to pick up a new hobby, whether it be arts and crafts at the library or music or dance lessons at the local community center. In addition to fun, learning new skills stimulates brain development.
2. Make Learning a Priority:
Studies show that many students lose an estimated two months of grade level equivalency in math computation abilities during the summer months, so honing math skills with workbooks to review material from the previous school year can help reinforce knowledge acquired and keep your child prepped for the new term. In addition, keep your child interested in reading by making a visit to the library a regular part of your summer routine.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet:
A diet filled with processed and sugary foods can sabotage all your efforts to manage your child’s ADHD. Skipping breakfast, loading up on carbs at lunch and eating sugary snacks can sap the brain of much-needed nutrients. Stock the cupboard and fridge with healthy, organic protein-rich foods to fuel your child’s brain, such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, fruits and easy-to-grab sliced fruit and veggies. Adding high-quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements to your child’s diet can help support focus and attention, as well as sound sleep.
Summer is the best time to get physical. Encourage outdoor fun — games, sports and outdoor exploring. Exercise burn off restless energy, and also releases the neurotransmitter dopamine that helps improve concentration, and “feel good” endorphins that reduce stress and enhance sleep.
5. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule:
Many children and adults with ADHD have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep — oftentimes medications are the culprit. Reducing stimulating activities in the evening hours and using calming essential oils like lavender (rolled on the bottom of your child’s feet or diffused in the room) can set the mood for sleep. Sticking to a regular routine of rising and settling into bed will help reduce ADHD symptoms.
6. Consider Neurofeedback Brain Training:
Research has shown that neurofeedback brain-wave training can help retrain dysregulated brain waves that often underlie ADHD, helping to alleviate symptoms and promote restorative sleep — without drugs or invasive procedures. A summertime training program 2-3 times per week can help improve learning retention and focus and attention, as well as address behavioral problems or mood issues, helping to prime your child for the coming term.
If you are having difficulty managing your child’s ADHD this summer, please give us a call. Our wellness center has a wide range of therapies like BrainCore Neurofeedback training to help alleviate ADHD symptoms and help your child reach his/her maximum potential. 631.265.1223.