9 Ways to Focus Right Now: Harness the Power of ADHD Fidgeting
Doing two things at once, can actually help focus the ADHD brain on a primary task.
Experts believe that engaging in an activity that uses a sense other than what’s required for your primary task can enhance focus and improve performance in children with attention deficit disorder. These secondary tasks are called fidgets, mindless activities you can do while working on a primary task.
Fidgeting is like pacing or doodling while on the phone, or chewing gum while taking a test. An effective fidget doesn’t distract you from your primary task because it is something you don’t have to think about.
Use these fidget secrets the next time you or your ADHD child needs help focusing:
Walk or Move: When your ADHD child gets restless, try walking and talking. Any non-strenuous activity, like playing catch or doing a jigsaw puzzle together will work.
Stand Up or Move Around: Talk with the teacher about small school accomodations like letting your child stand, during the school day. A child can do this discreetly at the back of the room or at his desk. You can even ask a teacher to assign a child two desks, so he can move from one to the other when necessary.
Doodle & Use Special Pens: A creative learning trick is to encourage your child to draw or write out a teacher’s lecture.
Use Multi-Colored Pens and Pencils: This fidget works when your child needs to complete an assignment or read for comprehension (he can underline words as he reads). Scented markers may also help.
Busy Your Hands: This facilitates focus when a child is listening, talking, or thinking about how to answer a tough question. Fidget toys include cool-looking pens or pencils, beaded bracelets, paper clips and clothes with interesting textures.
Tune In: Plugging into a music player helps children stay on task when studying, reading, exercising or even going to sleep. Choose music that is appropriate to the task: a stimulating beat when exercising, calming tunes for sleep, and something in between when studying or reading.
Chew Gum: This helps your child when he has to concentrate for an extended period like when he has to do homework or take a test. If gum is not an option, sucking on a lemon drop or other hard candy will also do the trick.
Attention-Boosting Games: Many classic children’s games, including Simon Says and music chairs, require attention and good listening skills—play them for practice.