This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from any items you purchase from those links. I recommend those products because I truly like them.
Matthew Newell of the Family Hope Center says our kids with ADD, autism, etc. need more structure in their day, not less. It helps them make it through the day. I have seen that true in Dr. J’s life, but I confess I’m not always the greatest at it.
“So why,” you ask, “do you say ‘help is here!'”?
Because I’ve found some things that helped Dr. J. It’s just my fault for not being consistent, or the needs in our family changed and I moved on to something else.
Here are three things that add structure to our home that have helped Dr. J.:
Perhaps they will help you to, or you can modify them to work in your home.
1. Dollar Store Sentence Strips
These are great for making a daily schedule, a school schedule, reminders–you are limited only by your imagination! I already wrote a post about this, so instead of reiterating it, you can read more here.
2. Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
If you look at organizing boards on Pinterest, you’ll find lots of ideas for shoe organizers. I don’t remember if I came up with this idea or my sister did, but it has worked well. The boys helped me put it together. Their room was a minefield of crayons, markers, scissors, and of course toys, so I hung this on the back of their door.
You need a shoe organizer, blank address labels, a pen, and your supplies. I used labels to avoid the “I-can’t-find-a-red-crayon” dilemma. You’ll see that I added some visual cues for my five year-old, like using the color of the crayon to write the word or the drawing of scissors. Their room is not as spotless as a surgery center, but it is much-improved since I did this, and we haven’t had arguing over who has crayons in their desk and who doesn’t. You can adapt this for lots of things!
3. Well Planned Day Student Planner
This worked really well, and I’m going to return to it in August or September. I used Well Planned Day’s student planner for Dr. J. I used it both for school AND home. If checklists make your child more comfortable and confident, then this will work really well for him. On the left side I put school assignments. These were things that if he completed, he earned five minutes of computer time for each check. The emphasis was on completion, not correctness. If he didn’t finish something, I crossed it out and he didn’t get to earn minutes for that item. This method controls tech time, gives structure, shows accomplishment, and more.
On the right side, I put things that Dr. J. has to do just because he’s alive–self-care, home tasks, etc. He didn’t earn any tech time for these. It’s simply a way for him to see what needs to be done and help him remember. I can refer him back to his planner if he’s off track or I know there’s something he’s supposed to be doing. Fewer raised voices and more productivity. I’d say that’s a good thing.
Now it’s your turn. What have you used with your children to help them stay on track or be more organized? Do tell!