Kids not being focused is quite common. Especially in school, it really isn’t that engaging for most kids. Does he focus on a movie? Video Game? or other activity that he likes? What about meal times, or following instructions for activities that he is engaged in? Just because a child is off task or unfocused in school does not mean they are ADD or ADHD or anything else…sometimes it is just boredom. And yes, that is my professional opinion as a retired special needs teacher.
Here are some general suggestions that may help him and you get through you days more smoothly.
My ideas will be VERY general, if you want more specifics then you have to connect with me (mama@HeyYouGetReal.com). These suggestions come from working with Special Needs students both in and out of the classroom for over 20 years.
1. Get a shoulder bag – not a back pack – it is shaped more like the books and papers that he needs to put in. Shoving is next to impossible. AND it will only fit what he absolutely needs. Not just “anything that will fit”.
2. Have a checklist in every room of the house for what needs to be completed before he leaves that room. The classroom included. Get the teacher on board to give him an extra 2-4 mins to get organized at the end of the day.
3. Have pictures of reminders – EX: by the door a picture of him holding his bag with everything in it with a smile on his face. His subconscious brain will see it and internalize the memory and make it real.
4. Homework – this is not ADD specific – MOST kids have challenges with homework…you would too if you work all day then in the evening as well. Homework should be limited anyway. Set up 2 days a week where he gets to stay after school to complete his assignments IN THE CLASSROOM with teacher or parent supervision. That way he will not have to bring it home and risk “losing it” (Honestly, in my opinion, Homework is the most ridiculous invention- they just worked for 6 hours at school now they have to work more at home? You have got to be kidding me…when do they get to get be kids????)
5. YOU MUST STOP fighting with him. Habits can be changed in 30 days. Give him the time and the tools to change the habits that do not serve him. Punishment does not work, reinforcement does.
6. What are you feeding her? Lack of focus stems from diet. All my clients and their families start they day with this: www.BestBreakfastEver.com.
Irma, be patient with him. You and he will figure this out. And keep in mind, some of the greatest minds of our time were unable to focus in school: Ansel Adams, photographer; Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; Hans Christian Anderson, author; Beethoven; Terry Bradshaw, football quarterback; Jim Carrey, Actor; Prince Charles; Cher; Agatha Christie; Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci; Walt Disney; Henry Ford; Magic Johnson, JFK; John D Rockefeller; even Albert Einstein…I could go on…maybe you have a genius in your family…let him blossom into who he is meant to be, not who the school system thinks he should be.