Keeping children with ADHD happy and healthy all summer
Going to daycamp
Dr. Lily Hechtman, a pediatric psychiatrist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) and president of the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, suggests sending a child with ADHD to a daycamp over the summer. Daycamps are a great option because they will keep your child entertained by offering structure, supervision and the added bonus of physical activity. But be warned - not all daycamps are the same. When choosing a daycamp for your child, Dr. Hechtman recommends looking at the staff-to-child ratio, because the level of supervision might not be adequate for your child’s needs.
Picking the right activity
Planning a schedule
If you decide to stay at home with your child over the summer, it’s important to create daily schedules, which should also include some sort of physical activity. Once you create a schedule, sit down with your child and go over the day’s events, including what’s expected and how long each activity will last.
You should also develop a nighttime routine, says Dr. Hecthman. Emphasize the importance of getting ready for bed by asking your child to start preparing for bedtime about 45 minutes before turning the lights out. Don’t put your child in front of a computer or television screen right before bedtime, because they will continue to stay energized instead of winding down. Developing a schedule and daily routine is extremely important for kids with ADHD.