Impulsivity, restlessness, inability to focus and distractibility are some of the most familiar indicators of ADHD. The pervasive symptoms of ADHD are chronic, meaning they are problematic throughout the course of an individual’s life.
The ability to communicate effectively with others usually progresses naturally when a child realizes that talking gets him what he needs. The basis of language development occurs when children learn words, understand their meaning, and subsequently put words together.
For a child with ADHD, understanding the spoken and written word is not always that easy. Studies have indicated that kids with ADHD are at risk for language delays and language comprehension difficulties. Let’s take a look at a few language glitches that become obstacles to learning for kids with ADHD.
What is Executive Function Deficit and How Does it Affect Communication?
Simply put, Executive Function is the brain’s ability to get things done. When we think of completing a task, assignment, or project, we must be able to plan, organize, and complete the task. Children with ADHD lack the ability to follow through with that sequence. Kids with weak planning skills, or the inability to understand the importance of prioritizing instructions, fail to complete assignments. They listen to the instructions, but are unable to process them in a way results in a successful outcome.
C8 Sciences ACTIVATE™ program focuses on the teaching kids with ADHD how to develop and enhance Executive Function skills. Our researchers and scientists have developed one of the best brain-training software programs on today’s market.
ACTIVATE™ focuses on teaching kids skills such as to thinking ahead, making a plan, organizing thoughts, retaining information, and getting to work on a task. They learn to prioritize and stay with the task until completion. All of these skills improve as the child plays our specifically designed video games. Our games and activities are designed to assure the kids with ADHD and other barriers to learning have fun while developing the Executive Function skills necessary for academic and social success. When a child learns the joy of communicating effectively with others, he is likely to be a more enthusiastic learner.
Nonverbal Communication Cues Are Important
Gestures, facial expressions and body language all play a significant part in the ability to communicate with others. The child with ADHD does not always notice non-verbal cues such as change in voice tone, or the countless emotions people express without uttering a word. If another child displays an intimidated or nervous facial expression when a child with ADHD invades his space, the child with ADHD might move in closer because he doesn’t recognize the negative response he is getting.
When a parent or teacher changes his tone of voice to one of frustration or firmness, the child with ADHD does not respond appropriately. The ability to recognize and respond to these non-verbal signals is a fundamental element when it comes to good communication. Children with ADHD often miss these cues. They are left wondering what happened when peers and teachers lose patience with their overbearing impulsivity.
ACTIVATE™ Enhances Listening Skills and Language Comprehension
Sounds, sights and even unfamiliar smells that permeate the environment are distracting to kids with ADHD. When a child is busy looking down the hall or out the window, he loses focus. By the time he returns his attention to the task, he has missed half of the instruction or lecture. Once that happens, it is impossible for him to complete an assignment or answer test questions correctly.
When a child reads a chapter, or a page of a reading assignment he should be able to retain the information. A strong working memory is the key component necessary to read and retain information. Kids with ADHD display a deficit in working memory, making it difficult to remember and understand what they have read. A child with ADHD has a hard time following directions when a teacher speaks too fast, or gives multiple commands simultaneously. He often requires one on one instruction and direction to assure he understands what the teacher expects.
The ACTIVATE™ program is comprised of games and activities that focus specifically on strengthening working memory. The unique combination of brain-training exercises and a rigorous physical exercise program helps children develop skills such as self-control, cognitive flexibility and sustained attention span.
Social Success Depends on the Ability to Communicate Effectively
Kids with ADHD are so impulsive that they tend to blurt out answers and talk out of turn. They usually do not have a filter when it comes to expressing opinions or making inappropriate comments. They can be loud, impulsive and interrupt others during a conversation. They struggle to organize their thoughts, which can lead to frustration when they try to explain themselves or interact verbally with others.
ACTIVATE™ helps kids learn to listen more carefully to instructions and to control inappropriate compulsive behaviors. The physical exercise program teaches self-control through team-building games and activities that require skills such as taking turns, and working together with others. These skills carry over into the classroom. The cognitive brain-training component allows each participant to work independently on strengths and weaknesses that affect the ability to communicate.
Additional Tips to Help Kids with ADHD Develop Effective Communication Skills
If you see that your child or student does not have your attention, gently call him back into the conversation. “Michael, what are your thoughts on this?” or “Sam, I’d like for you to listen to what I’m saying,” are good prompts to get the child to re-enter the discussion.
Speak slowly and allow time between thoughts or instructions for the concept to sink in. Kids with ADHD can only process one command at a time.
It may be helpful to recap what you have said, or to ask the student to repeat the instruction.
Remind the student with ADHD about the appropriate boundaries regarding the volume of his voice and the necessity to wait his turn before speaking out.
Implement the ACTIVATE™ program as part of your curriculum to help your students with ADHD flourish in the classroom, and learn the joys of effective communication as a starting point for social success.