Organizing children can be tricky because you have to teach them the skills to do so. Add an extra layer with kiddos with ADHD and you have to organize your home in a very different way. I will be sharing a few strategies to help with organizing tips for children with ADHD at home. These are strategies I have used in countless homes over the past 7 years and strategies I have used when I was a special education teacher for elementary children.
Organizing Tips For Children With ADHD At Home
Probably the the most helpful strategy is to limit excess clutter from around your home. Yes this is easier said than done. But when you remove the clutter, you are able to create open space that allows the brain to feel calm. Your brain actually prefers order and tidiness based on countless studies.
And don’t just limit physical clutter. Visual clutter is a huge culprit of clutter. Visual clutter are things you see. Ever notice when you walk into a “trendy” store that has bright colors and lots going on, you get rather overloaded and overwhelmed? That is because the visual clutter is so distracting.
Limit how much is hanging on a wall or the types of colors you use. Especially in bedrooms. Children with ADHD do better with muted colors like grey or beige. And minimal items on the wall. This helps keep their mind focused on the order that is around them.
But after you limit the clutter, how do you go about keeping it that way?
Create Visual Supports
First you are going to want to create visual supports for children. Visual supports are visual guides that can help maintain order.
An example of a visual support are picture labels. Picture labels help kids find their items easily. Typically you would want to use real life pictures to create a concrete example of what item goes where.
Another example of a visual support is a checklist. This can be with or without pictures. But the checklist acts as the visual to remind the individual with ADHD what steps to do next.
Keep these supports near where each task takes place to ensure that order is maintained.
Make Flow Charts
Flow charts are another useful organizing tip for children with ADHD. Flow charts are simply a chart that shows the progression of something. So let’s say your child can decide what they want to do when they get home from school. A good way to give them options is to create a flow chart. Give them three options with steps for how they are to accomplish each step if they choose to do that. This process gives a visual to different options which helps kids organize their plans and thoughts.
Social Stories For Young Children
Social stories is another way to teach kids with ADHD to organize. Social stories are stories that explain social norms. Using social stories to share why it is important to keep your space organized will be beneficial for kiddos with ADHD because they can understand how others feel.
There are many resources on how to construct a social story. These stories have been researched to be written in a particular order and a particular way, so please take care while writing.
More Organizing Tips For Children With ADHD
Another helpful resource is the Effective Strategies For Organizing Children With Brain-Based Conditions from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. I actually got to help develop this course alongside others with similar backgrounds. This course you will learn how to:
- Recognize what brain-based conditions are in children
- Understand the basics of executive functioning skills
- Set up routines for young children
- Create visual supports and flow charts for children
- Translate supports in every area of the home
I highly recommend this course if you are looking for more resources on this topic! There are tons of handouts and resources that will help you get your child with ADHD organized.