Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Challenge #6 - Use a White Board

I know, you're probably thinking just yesterday I was saying that I needed to slow this process down a little bit and not make so many changes at once.  But this is actually something I started using several weeks ago and it's been working - it was later in my list of challenges but I decided to move it up since we're already using it.

You may also be asking, what does using a white board have to do with parenting an ADHD child.  Well here is a picture of our white board:

(Sorry for the bad quality but I took the picture in the pitch black with my phone because my son is currently sleeping.)

As you may be able to make out, it hangs right next to door/light switch so he can see it multiple times a day.  His board is basically his list of things that need to get done over the course of the day.  It is split into both AM and PM so he is able to distinguish when he needs to do each item.

Every night after he falls asleep, I go into his room, take the board down and write the new items for the next day.  That way, when he wakes up in the morning he sees it before he even walks out of his room.

He also loves that I draw pictures to go along with each of the items.  I originally started out only with pictures of words that I didn't know for sure that he would know but thought he could probably figure it out with a picture.  He was quite upset one day that there were no pictures on his board though, so now I draw them for each of the items.  (It takes a little longer, but it makes him happy and so I do it.)

I have also been able to figure out that I can't just write "shower".  He has no idea what I want him to do with that.   I must write "Take a shower" for him to understand.

What I just realized you can't see at the bottom of the board in this picture are the smiley face magnets.  After he completes each item he moves one magnet next to that item to signify that it is completed.  This results in him gaining a sense of accomplishment and me not having to hound him to do things or ask constantly if things are done.  I simply say go look at your board and I can also look at the board and see what has or has not been done.

Along with this challenge, has come the use of consequences as well.  He knows that if items are not completed either before we leave for school in the morning or before he goes to bed, than there are consequences for not completing them.  Tonight he lost dessert because I had already reminded him twice to complete the tasks on his board and he choose to play with his toys instead.  Another night he lost TV time.  I've tried to simply explain to him that it isn't really a punishment - he made choices to do something besides what I told him needed to be done.  And now that it's time to do "XYZ" (dessert, TV, video games, etc) he can't participate because he must now do what was expected of him.  Some nights he gets it and is fine with it and other nights he losses his shit (like tonight).

So is all of this time consuming? Yes, very much so, but so it parenting a special needs child.  This is however working for us right now though and that's all that matters.  The plan is, as he gets older that some of the routine things can be left off the list (take a shower, brush your teeth, etc) and it will only be used for non-routine things.  And as he gets older still, the idea for him to write out his own board (with my final approval) is an option as well.


Renee said...

Amy this board is a wonderful idea! You are such an awesome Mother for going to the ends of time to make sure your son has all of the support he needs!

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