Saturday, April 16, 2011

Timeout Tips for ADHD Kids

Time-outs work effectively for most children, but it can be used with much success on children with ADHD. The purpose of timeouts for ADHD kids is not so much about punishment as it is to remove the child from a situation that is stressful or overstimulating. The fact that it is an immediate consequence is also helpful, as these children cannot always tie up an action that occurred earlier in the day with a consequence that is to occur much later.
A timeout should never be scary for the child. It should occur in a non-threatening environment. It is best to have an adult present, as ADHD kis tend to quickly find something to keep them occupied while they are in timeout. Instead of fiddling with their hair, toes or clothing, they should be encouraged to think about the reason why they were being put in timeout. For instance, if the child acted impulsively, she should be told to think about what prompted her to do that and the dangers of doing what she did.
Timeouts should be as long as the child is old in years. Nine year olds should sit in a corner with no distractions for 9 minutes.
A great alternative to corrective therapy in the corner, is a productive time out. An older child can be told to go to their desk and read for half an hour. Alternatively, they could do a quiet hobby or activity during that time. This will help him or her to relax and calm the senses that are overstimulated.
An ADHD child should have a bedroom with soft, solid colors and no clutter or other distractions. It should be a calming sanctuary for him or her.

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