During a program for parents titled, Executive Function and ADHD: Establishing Positive Behaviors at Home, many parents shared their challenges, successes and frustrations in parenting a child with ADHD. Many indicated that they wished they had introduced a visual daily schedule sooner in their homes.
The schedule reduced the need to issue constant reminders or to feel that their relationship with their child consisted of constant nagging. When the schedule is reviewed on Sunday night, it serves as a reminder for everyone of events in the family during the coming week. It is a relief to have something posted in writing to serve as a reminder for all family members. When their child asks, “When is soccer practice?” they are directed to check the schedule.
Using a “Blast Off Site” or staging area for items that need to go to school/work the next day also eased stress during hectic mornings. No more getting to work without your cellphone or laptop. No more phone calls from school about gym clothes or missing homework. The entire family stops what they are doing, each night, to spend 10 minutes packing backpacks, getting clothes ready and arranging other necessities for the next day. No need to think clearly on a Monday morning – the thinking was done the night before.
Although using a Daily Schedule and having a “Blast Off Site” are relatively simple strategies, they can significantly reduce the amount of stress at home. In addition, the student begins to internalize these routines and will apply them independently as they mature. It becomes second nature. Students who have strategies for keeping themselves organized, on time and in the right place with their materials will be successful when they are on their own.