In our house, we have a lot of disorganized thinking. My sons and husband all have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and, as with many people who have disabilities, they struggle with organization skills every day.
It is important for every member of the family to have certain jobs and chores that they are expected to do. For my sons, it is my job as their parent to help them succeed so they can gain confidence in becoming independent.
To begin with, I make a chore chart for each child.
This chart consists of a grid with days at the top and the job titles to the left. There will be boxes for each chore on each day.
If your child is unable to read, you can use pictures that describe what the chore is. You can also use pictures for the times or put them in order from what needs to be done at the beginning, middle, and end of the day.
It helps to make the chart and then cover it with laminate so a dry erase pen can be used to check the jobs off. When that week is over, the marks can be erased and the chart is reusable for the next week.
When separating the chores for the chart, make sure you put one chore for each line. Usually children have a hard time reading past the first job.
This also is true when giving your child a verbal direction for a job to do. Break everything into small steps. This helps the child remember, which gives them a sense of accomplishment. This also helps them work toward independence.
Remember to make sure all toys, clothes, and school supplies have a separate and specific place to be stored. Pictures can help with this, too. Put labels on drawers, shelves, or bins. The labels can be words or pictures of each item and where it belongs. There will be no mistaking where things belong this way. It also gives visual reminders of what needs to be cleaned up.
These accommodations put in place will help your child be successful at their chores, and grow their confidence and build their independence.
After making the difficult decision to medicate your child, with time and on occasions, old symptoms return or new ones appear. Once again, you’re faced with what felt like an already-made decision - to medicate higher or more, or not.