By Susan McCrossin
Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity is a result of poor access to the logical side of the brain.
The two sides of the brain process information in entirely different ways.
The Gestalt side which is active when we are born is involved with spatial orientation such as knowing where your body is in space, music recognition (melody), pre-verbal and non-verbal sounds, interpreting symbols (such as reading), facial recognition and creative or lateral thinking.
It processes globally, subjectively, intuitively, and uses ‘knowing’ based on intuition.
While the Logic side, as the name implies, is related to logical processing. It understands the concept of time, arithmetic, rhythm, verbal language, assigns meaning to symbols (as in reading comprehension).
Logic processes linearly and sequentially, analytically, objectively with reference to ‘facts’. This is the basis of science.
The logic side of the brain starts to develop around 2 years of age and continues till the brain matures. The child starts to understand ‘later’, learns to recognize words, learns math tables, and how to organize their time all of which are required for our education system.
It is difficult for someone to organize themselves when they don’t have a good concept of time, but there are some suggestions that can be helpful for parents to give some structure within which the child can work. Organization is a learned skill for everyone but more difficult for someone with low access to their logic functions. Though often the child with ADD/ADHD has a parent with the same problem there are still some ways to help reduce the stress of completing tasks on time and handing them in at school.
A schedule written on a board or large piece of paper that is stuck to the wall is something that is difficult to ‘lose’. You could list the tasks, for example homework that needs to be completed, with a column that is checked when it is completed, and checked when it is handed in.
An area that is free from distractions is also critical. It’s unreasonable to expect a child with attention difficulties to focus on their homework when other family members are watching television within hearing range of the student. A parent can also provide guidance in how to break down a project into smaller tasks if it seems overwhelming. This does not involve doing the project for them, which would be counterproductive as well as obvious to the teacher.
Helping your child pack their school bag the night before is also a stress free way of making sure everything that is required for the following day is where it should be. And if your child’s teacher is not consistently asking for homework, you and your child could brainstorm a prompt that will remind them during class to turn in the work. This may be as simple as a sticky note that’s position prominently in a book or notebook that is used during class.
Your child’s behavior is not going to change overnight, so persevere even if it seems difficult. Remember the basics – rules, limitations, consistency and both parents must stick to the same rules.
Dr. William Pelham Jr suggests:
- Create rules for the home.
- Ignore mild inappropriate behaviors and praise appropriate behaviors – so choose your battles.
- Use appropriate directives – be specific, please do… and if you don’t then…, the command is brief and appropriate to the child’s developmental level.
- Keep daily charts
- Set contingencies ahead of time e.g. no TV until your homework is completed.
- Point or token system with both reward and cost components – positive reinforcement is always a stronger motivation for children than punishment.
- Homework hour or half hour depending on age – sets a reliable schedule and expectation.
You can also support your child in overcoming the challenges of a learning or attention difficulty by having your child’s logic brain opened or activated with Crossinology Brain Integration Technique. This drug-free non-invasive technique activates both sides of the brain so that all tasks are achievable for school and for life. For most people 8 hours of treatment will permanently eliminate ADD and ADHD.