ADHD affects millions of children and adults. Many people don’t even realize they have it, as they weren’t properly evaluated during the time they were in school, and quietly suffer from what the medical community often refers to as a mental disorder. However, individuals with ADHD have a number of positive qualities. They tend to be very creative, fun-loving people. They also tend to be overly sensitive which could be a plus at times but may be a burden to families when their child has alarming outbursts due to sensitivity. On the other hand, when a person, child or adult, learns how to manage that sensitivity, it can make them more compassionate, caring people.
Kids with ADHD usually have very fast reactive time. And, that’s a good thing. They’re fast thinkers. Statistics indicate they are in the average to above average intelligence range on IQ tests. Their problem is that they take in everything in their environment, and thus they often have focus problems. ADHD kids want to do the right thing (I have a hard time reminding myself of this as a special education teacher). But, it’s true. This type of child doesn’t have any impulse control, and obviously doesn’t think things out before doing something careless, dangerous, or just plain silly like the boy in my class who insisted to his friends that he could run up the wall and do a back flip off of it. The consequences were a broken leg. And, this same ridiculous act happened more than once with further damage!
Okay, so I’ve told you the problem. Now, here’s a technique that might offer a solution for people with ADHD and Learning Disabilities.
In my classes, I teach students a technique to activate the whole brain (left and right hemispheres). It is referred to as VAKS, which stands for visual, auditory, kinesthetic and spiritual. This method is a simple and powerful tool for programming new, positive thoughts into the visual, auditory and kinesthetic centers of the brain and for helping with impulse control. You can show this technique to your child; it is easy and effective.
Access the left hemisphere of the brain (logical and spatial side of the brain) for one minute.
* Arms by your side
* Look down and to the right
* Lift the right arm and right leg, then left arm and left leg
* Count backwards from 30 out loud each time you lift an arm and leg
To integrate right and left hemispheres, do this exercise for 30-45 seconds
* Cross crawl movement: While on your back, lift the right leg into a ninety degree angle while you cross your left elbow over to touch the right knee.
* Reverse by lifting the left leg in a 90 degree angle and touch the left leg with the right elbow.
Repeat these movements.
* Eyes move in a big circle clockwise and then counterclockwise while you are cross crawling. (You can do the cross crawl movement standing up if you prefer). Simply lift the right and left legs at ninety degree angles while you cross over with the respective elbow while moving your eyes as described).
The technique can be used as often as there is time for as long as you see results.
Once you’ve done it a few times you’ll see how easy and fast it is to complete and you should start seeing results in the form of more clarity and insight as you are thinking with both hemispheres of the brain – the logical and the creative sides.
Hope you all have a Happy New Year. I’ll be back with another blog on January 17.