Homeschoolers: Signs Your Child Has Attention Struggles
If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, you probably already know the many benefits: more choice in terms of curriculum, experiential learning, a more flexible schedule, and academic excellence, among others. But there are some downsides, including financial restraints (if one parent has to quit work), limited team sports, and no break from your children, among others. One other factor that few people consider: It’s up to you to recognize a learning struggle. Without a teacher, assistant, learning specialist, or school psychologist available to “catch” the symptoms, it’s 100 percent on you!
And while most homeschooling parents know they’re raising smart kids, many don’t realize that even smart kids can have a learning disability. In fact, it’s pretty common!
One particularly common learning struggle is ADHD. As you’ll read, attention struggles come in many forms and manifest differently depending on the person’s age and gender.
The Root Cause: Weak attention skills
Types of Attention:
• Sustained: staying on task for an amount of time
• Selective: staying on task while being subjected to distractions
• Divided: staying on task while doing two or more things at once
What It Means: When most people think of ADHD, they conjure images of boys bouncing off the walls and refusing to sit still. While that is one possible scenario, ADHD is about weak attention skills and it manifests differently depending on the child, especially when it comes to gender and age.
The disorder has three “types”: inattentive ADHD (called ADD), hyperactive ADHD, and combined ADHD. ADD symptoms in girls tend to follow the inattentive pattern, rather than the hyperactive or combined patterns. Girls are naturally quieter and less rowdy than boys, and the ADD symptoms in girls tend to fit with that natural tendency. Girls with ADD, however, have difficulty sustaining attention and focus, which can be equally debilitating as hyperactivity.
The Symptoms: For boys, it’s common for them to be fidgety or squirmy while seated, or to frequently leave their seat to walk around. They may be prone to excessive chatter or climbing on things, even in a social setting that doesn’t support climbing. They may be impatient, interrupt frequently, and have difficulty waiting their turn.
For girls with ADD, it’s common to see them struggle with things like listening to directions and following through with those directions. They tend to make careless errors, struggle with paying attention to details, and may have difficulty with organizational skills and/or messiness.
For adults, ADHD often manifests in symptoms of disorganization, trouble completing projects, or staying focused on a task. They tend to procrastinate, can be forgetful, and make careless mistakes.
The Solution: One-on-one brain training is designed to address the core struggles of ADHD by strengthening the three types of attention. At LearningRx, we create a customized brain skills training program based on the results of your child’s initial cognitive skills assessment. A personal brain trainer works with your child in an attempt to produce dramatic improvements in their attention cognitive skills.
On average, LearningRx clients with ADHD who test at or below the 50th percentile in cognitive skills see improvements of 23 to 25 percentile points in how their brain performs after completing the program.
Want to learn more? Take this free survey to get some insight on your child’s learning struggles:
To find the LearningRx Center nearest to you or to learn more about personal brain training, visit: www.learningrx.com.