Children with ADHD have an abundance of creative ideas but they often have difficulty organizing them and putting them down on paper. Some research suggests that inattention and lack of focus isn’t just their only problem at school; they have difficulty accomplishing writing assignments as well. Students with ADHD take a while to get started writing a paper because they are overwhelmed with possible essay topics, encounter difficulties finding the right sources, and have trouble sequencing their thoughts and organizing the ideas properly.
Don’t let these hurdles keep your child from accomplishing his or her writing assignment. Here are some things you can do to help your child write a paper.
Build skills slowly
Every night, while doing homework, spend fifteen to twenty minutes asking your child to write a paragraph expounding on a sentence’s ideas. As your child’s skills improve, your child can write more paragraphs until a page is filled.
Teach your child a note system
Using post-its, ask your child to write ideas or notes on a topic that interests him or her. Notes that contain similar ideas should be grouped together. This will help your child identify the major themes that should be included in the paper.
Help choose topics
Children with ADHD have inquisitive minds that are easily fascinated. Although this is normally a good trait, it also makes it difficult for them to make decisions and narrow down topic ideas. Help your child come up with a paper topic by having him or her list all possible topics. Your child will have an easier time writing a paper on a subject that he or she finds exciting or that he or she already knows something about. Review each idea together and eliminate topics one at a time until only one is left.
Encourage journal writing
Give your child a blank notebook as a present and encourage him or her to write down thoughts.
Stock up on books
Voracious readers often make good writers. Keep buying books to introduce your child to new ideas, vocabulary words, and different ways of thinking. Explore these ideas by asking questions about the story to encourage your child’s critical thinking.
Work on the paper slowly
If the task is broken down into more manageable portions, your child won’t be too overwhelmed by the work. Map out a schedule for the project and give out deadlines. Ask your child to spend around half an hour everyday working on the paper and aim to get parts of it done in a span of several days.