Tag: psychology

Living with ADHD: Tips to Help Your Child Succeed at School

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If you are parenting a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), then you know how exhausting it can be to stay on top of their performance in school, and to help their neurologically atypical brains retain information.

The educators at your child’s school can be your best supporters, and under Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, they are required to work with parents to meet the needs of children significantly affected by ADHD. This means you will need to set up a meeting about your child’s ADHD to find ways to help them learn.

Below are some accommodations and teaching tips used to help kids with ADHD achieve success in school:

 

1. Paint It Positive—

For the psychological well-being of your child, it’s extremely important that you don’t describe their condition in a negative manner, and instead present it to them in a positive way. (Example: “You have a really fast brain… like a race car!”) Remind them that everyone learns differently… and that’s okay.

Be sure teachers are also treating kids with ADHD as “quick-brained” kids who learn differently, and not isolating them from the other kids, so they don’t feel ostracized or flawed.

 

2. Praise is Powerful—

Kids with ADHD often suffer from low self-esteem because they feel like they’re constantly failing at the things all of the neurologically typical children around them can do.

This makes it crucial to give them positive reinforcement for appropriate classroom behavior whenever possible.

 

3. Accountability for Actions—

It is important that kids are not allowed to use ADHD as an excuse for bad classroom behavior.

Even if the impulse control commonly exhibited by kids with this condition caused them to do something without thinking, there still need to be clearly defined and consistent consequences.

 

4. Selective Seating—

With the high distractibility factor of ADHD-brained children comes the need for a learning environment with the least amount of external stimulation possible.

Seating by windows, doors, pencil sharpeners and other concentration-breakers is not recommended.

Placement as close to the teacher as possible, facing forward is best, but if the classroom is organized in groups or tables, be sure to seat them near a well-organized, obedient child to provide a positive behavioral role model.

 

5. Simplify Steps—

One of the hardest things for an ADHD-brained person to do is remember more than a few steps at once. Be sure to deliver instructions one at a time, and repeat if necessary.

Because they are so easily distracted (when not hyper-focused and ignoring all around them), those with ADHD neurology can have very limited short term memory, so adjust classroom lessons and homework accordingly.

 

6. Orderly Organization—

Kids with ADHD are known for being disorganized and forgetful due to their distractibility and impulsive nature, making it hard for them to think beyond the moment.

These qualities are caused by a developmental delay in the prefrontal cortex of the brain: the part that controls executive functions, such as impulse control and focus.

This means they will need help remembering what to take home and bring back to school, with plenty of parent-teacher communication. A written system to remember important work or due dates can help, as can a list posted in their locker to be checked before leaving school every day.

For older children, an extra set of all textbooks to be kept at home can help eliminate the issue of forgetting to bring books home for homework.

 

7. Remembering Routines—

Getting into a routine can be helpful for any child, but for the ADHD mind, routine is necessary for remembering important daily tasks. Forming regular habits can eventually train the brain to better recall what needs to be done every day.

In the classroom, giving the ADHD child a set schedule and sticking to it will help them feel less anxious about what is expected from them.

If this weekly routine can be written down for them to reference, it will help eliminate worries about forgetting something important.

 

Kids with ADHD have trouble sitting still, exhibit impulsive, distracting behavior, and have trouble focusing or paying attention; all of which can make them very difficult to teach.

But with up to 12% of the school-age population diagnosed with this condition, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there are many ways for you and their teachers to help your child thrive. With your help, and the support of professional educators, your ADHD-brained child will be able to find success at school.

Music Matters: Using Music Therapy to Help Children

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Popular amongst psychological professionals for decades, music therapy is a respected treatment for children with learning disabilities, physical, emotional or behavioral disorders and atypical neurology. With music therapy, kids have been shown to heal faster, overcome anxiety and improve socially.

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Act, music therapy has proven so valuable for assisting children with disabilities that it is an official special educations service that can be provided by the school if it is determined that a child may benefit from it.

 

Below are 6 different ways music therapy can help children, and how it works.

 

1. Music Therapy Can Help Kids with Autism—

Autistic children can sometimes have trouble communicating, making eye contact, and socializing. Music has been shown to pull autistic kids out of their private worlds, allowing them to better connect as they bond over music.

Music therapy can help kids who with communication hurdles by allowing kids to engage with others, especially when allowed to play musical instruments themselves.

By making socializing fun, music takes the anxiety out of interpersonal interaction for many children.

 

2. Music Therapy Can Help Kids with ADHD—

Music is naturally calming, no matter what the style, as long as the listener finds it pleasant.

Kids with ADHD often experience anxiety because memory issues and being unfocused/easily distracted can lead to learning and behavioral problems. Music therapy can be a great way to calm anxious or frustrated children.

Multiple studies have found that music therapy also improves motor skills and attention in kids with ADHD, which can help them fit in socially and perform better intellectually.

 

3. Music Therapy Can Help Kids with Mental Processing—

Music playing in the background while kids work on math problems and language arts has been proven to allow children to more efficiently process information, with classical being the most beneficial genre.

Music can also improve memory by giving students something melodic and memorable to mentally link to what is being taught for better retention and recall.

 

4. Music Therapy Can Help Kids Physically Heal—

For a sick child, the hospital can be a sterile, cold and scary place. Fear raises anxiety and stress levels, which has been proven to be extremely detrimental to the healing process.

When compared to anti-anxiety medications in studies, music therapy proved more successful for calming hospitalized children by distracting them from unpleasant procedures and their intimidating environment.

In a recent study, children receiving music therapy during bone marrow transplants actually produced white blood cells faster than kids who didn’t receive music therapy. (Source: University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.)

 

5. Music Therapy Can Help Kids Express Emotions—

Children with emotional disorders and/or kids who have been traumatized at an early age can have trouble expressing their feelings because what they’re trying to process is so overwhelming.

Without the life perspective of an adult, children often don’t know how to adequately put into words what is bothering them, even when talk therapy would be highly beneficial.

Music can help kids identify with a feeling, rather than a verbal definition, giving them an outlet to express emotions that doesn’t force them to put their problems into words. This process can be extremely cathartic by allowing kids to work emotional issues out of their systems via music.

 

6. Music Therapy Can Help Kids Feel Good About Themselves—

Being allowed to bang on a drum or play an instrument can be empowering for a child, fostering creativity and raising self-esteem by making them feel accomplished at a new skill.

When allowed to play instruments with a group of children, kids who might normally be shy or insecure may feel accepted and more confident, helping them to assimilate smoothly with peers and make friends faster.

 

The benefits of music therapy are evident, and the profoundly positive effect it has on kids has been widely studied and documented. Music therapy continues to grow in popularity both in health care and psychology, validating it as a useful treatment and creative way to help children thrive.

The Psychology of Color: Picking a Perfect Paint for Your Personality

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The effects of color on our moods has been studied, with experts finding that the shades with which we surround ourselves can drastically change our mental and physiological states for the positive or negative.

There are many variances, of course, because everyone has different associations and memories psychologically tied to certain hues, but there are colors that tend to affect the general population in similar ways.

Below are some useful color choosing tips and the effects research has shown they may have on our mindset.  

 

1. Red is vibrant. Popular in restaurant and food product branding for its eye-catching and appetite-stimulating appeal, red has been shown to speed up the heart rate, raise blood pressure and increase levels of energy.

If you like red, you are likely a strong-willed and high-spirited person with a passionate appreciation for bold décor and strong design statements.

Often used in interior design to bring the homeowner good luck, red is considered a very rich, saturated color generally used for accessories. But if you have a larger room and feel like red represents your personality, don’t be afraid to go big and paint a feature wall this lively color.

 

2. Blue is soothing. Well-known for the calming effect it has on almost everyone, all one has to do is look up at the sky on a sunny day to understand that blue makes us feel good.

Blue has also been shown to lower body temperature and slow heart rate, making it a great choice for a bedroom or relaxing retreat.

Many people like blue, and a room painted in this color can reflect a person who is peaceful, serene and even-tempered. If you have high blood pressure, blue walls might actually improve your health with their relaxing vibe and pulse-slowing influence.

 

3. Yellow is cheerful. If you want to make a room feel happy, welcoming and bright, yellow walls might be just the uplifting addition you’ve been seeking. Yellow can create a welcoming feeling and bring light into a room, making it an excellent choice of paint color for the walls in a small or dark home.

Studies on the psychological effects of colors have shown that yellow can actually raise self-esteem and create a feeling of well-being in those who surround themselves with this joyful hue.

People who gravitate toward this color are often optimistic and known for being observant and good at communicating, according to color psychologist, Heinrich Frieling.

 

4. Green is goodness. The most common color associated with nature and a favorite of compassionate people, green seems to communicate to humans on a subconscious level that we are safe. We feel a primal sense of calm confidence when surrounded by this lush color of abundance and harvest.

Used by interior designers to promote healing, health, wealth and new beginnings, green is a favorite color of those who are perceptive, intuitive and comfortable with themselves.

Green has also been shown to increase productivity, so consider using this hue in workspaces and offices.

 

5. Purple is creative. Proven to stimulate brain activity and loved by artists, musicians and people with inventive minds, purple represents spirituality, self-awareness and emotional growth.

Purple is considered an excellent color for meditation rooms and studio walls because it can stimulate the imagination of those who surround themselves with it, inspiring people to dream and be innovative.

 

6. Brown is warm. A stabilizing, earthy and comforting tone, perhaps because we associate it with the natural world, brown is a great color to bring neutrality, depth and calm into your home.

Used in interior design to create a rustic feel with accessories in shades from beige to deep chocolate, the right shade of brown on a wall can make lighter-colored furniture and décor pop in contrast.

Those who like brown tend to favor stability, routine and security in their environment.

 

Color can enhance feelings of relaxation, well-being, increase appetite, soothe, energize, stimulate, forge creativity and more, making it necessary to choose design colors that create the atmosphere you desire in every room. Use the psychology of color tips above to cover your walls in shades that perfectly represent your personality and goals.