Episode 154: Understanding Procrastination with ADHD Expert Simon Da Roza

Understanding Procrastination with ADHD

with Expert Simon Da Roza

 

Discussed in this Episode:

✅ Procrastination is actually an engagement issue

Iceberg – We see procrastination but what is happening below the surface?

Impact on Executive Functioning

Homework challenges

Using technology to support writing activities

Does Sue have a procrastination issue or choice paralysis?

Executive functioning 

What is it and why does it matter?

Click to test your own executive functioning!

Listen to my previous podcast for more information about Executive Functioning

I have included Seven Super Strategies &

a BONUS five more to help with this challenge

1. Finding it hard to know where to start the activity: This is particularly common in written tasks e.g. “Write what you did on the weekend” is too broad a task. Give more specific parameters such as “What did you do on Saturday morning?” In Secondary it may be to choose a chronic disease to research and you may need to give them a choice of two diseases.

2. Processing time: Give them time to process your questions (verbal and written response). It can take students up to a minute to formulate the answer in the correct sequence. If you rush them they often stop engaging.

3. Limiting choices: To choose a topic, children require problem solving skills. For many children who are not engaging there are too many choices of topics or materials to research, internet sites to visit etc. Giving them specific topics, websites, chapters in books (rather than “Use your health book” etc.) may help them engage and complete work. For younger students, when they are given a choice of readers they tend to choose the same book or topic or interest area. You may need to get them to take one book they choose and one book you choose.

4. Knowing how much is required: They may not be aware of how much information they need and therefore may not complete the work. Tell them the expectations up front e.g. one page of writing, 100 words, two pictures etc.

5. Break down work into small segments: Cut worksheets up, highlight in different colours, cover with a blank sheet, break assignments into what needs to be done each week or each night. Adapt the task to be more achievable for this student’s needs – set them up for success. Better to do more smaller successful tasks than nothing.

6.  Strategies for mistakes: Some student’s fear of failure will stop them from actually attempting work. Ensure students learn that making mistakes is part of the learning process and you would like to see them attempt work even if it’s not correct. It is very important for these students that you do not correct mistakes. Instead encourage them for work completed. Please note that these students need to be taught what to do if they make a mistake. Teach them to cross out neatly, to use an eraser, have a spare worksheet if theirs gets ruined, but often allowing them to do work on the computer will motivate them. On a computer mistakes can be erased without anyone knowing and spelling mistakes are highlighted so students can correct before they hand work in.

7. Build in breaks: Within their work schedule allow small breaks e.g. allow them to go for a walk or do a job for you, after they have completed “x” amount of work or a set time of work. Many students need to move to refocus.

Five MORE Super Tips to Engage Students

1. Vary the style of the student’s work: By providing a variety of ways to present work may help engage the student. This can include: the Assistant scribing, using a computer,
iPad, using Apps, (timetable App instead of a worksheet) oral presentation, cutting and pasting, drawing, PowerPoint presentation, iMovies for presentations etc.

2. Use timers, visuals and schedules: These all provide structure and clear expectations of the work to be done and for how long.

3. Motivating a student: The number one way to motivate a disengaged student is to use their special interest. Other students can be motivated with praise or stickers or socially but students with ASD may only be motivated by time with their special interest. This interest can change daily. However, as long you use the same system it will work. This could be: when and then, time on task then reward, completed work then reward, session then reward. For example when you have completed work then Lego for five minutes. Be very careful not to use language like “If you do not complete your work NO Lego”. As ASD students hear “NEVER” when people say “NO”, this type of negative sentence will often result in escalated behaviour.

4. Group work/partners: Often if they are with the wrong students who may annoy them, they will refuse to work. You may find that changing the group or allowing them to work on their own will re-engage them.

5. Explain why the activity has to be done: Many disengaged students will ask constant questions or will make comments about the work e.g. this is boring, done it before, too hard. Some students will say they don’t know why they have to do the work and many students need to know why they are doing this activity. Explaining the reason for the task, such as this is revision or consolidation, can engage the student.

Sue’s Top Resources for ADHD:

Product Quantity

Helping Kids and Teens With ADHD in School

| by Joanne Steer & Kate Horstmann | This fun and interactive workbook is aimed at actively engaging young people with ADHD and supporting them. Using tried-and-tested strategies and top tips, this fully-photocopiable workbook will help adults to work collaboratively with young people to learn, test strategies, set goals and develop comprehensive support plans around individual needs.

Kids in the Syndrome Mix

| by Martin L. Kutscher MD | Kids in the Syndrome Mix is a concise, scientifically up-to-date, all-in-one guide to the whole range of often co-existing neuro-behavioural disorders in children from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder, to autistic spectrum disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, sensory integration problems, and executive dysfunction.

The Ultimate Guide to School and Home

| by Sue Larkey and Anna Tullemans | This book provides key strategies for all ages and stages. It offers over 500 practical strategies and timer savers for school and home from engaging disengaged students, what to do if you don't have a teacher assistant to considerations for setting up a classroom for teachers; and from developing friends, to moving house and choosing a school for families. It is the ultimate guide for teachers, parents and all professionals supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, including Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, ODD and other developmental delays.

Content pages below.

Can I Tell You About ADHD?

| by Susan Yarney | Meet Ben Ð a young boy with ADHD. Ben invites readers to learn about ADHD from his perspective. He helps children understand what it means to have ADHD and describes what it is and how it feels. Ben explains how he was diagnosed and what he has learnt about ways to relieve his ADHD symptoms, and how friends and adults can help at home and school. For ages 7+.

Step by Step Help for Children with ADHD

| by Cathy Laver-Badbury et al | This simple, flexible six-step programme is full of tried-and-tested ideas for parents and professionals supporting families of young children with ADHD. By practicing the techniques and strategies, parents will gain confidence in their parenting and, over time, will improve the child's management of the condition. The programme includes games that will help improve the child's attention, exercises to develop patience and tips for supporting the child in successful self-organisation. There are also plenty of useful ideas for developing communication between parents and schools.

ADHD Living without Brakes

| by Martin L Kutscher | The author describes the spectrum of ADHD, the co-occurring symptoms, and common difficulties that parents face. The rest of the book focuses on solutions based around four rules. Rule number one is keeping it positive: punishments can change behaviour, but only positive approaches can improve attitude. Rule number two is keeping it calm: itÕs difficult thinking clearly enough to solve problems logically if you are feeling overwhelmed. Rule number three is keeping it organised: this rule relates particularly to the child’s school life. Rule number four is to keep doing rules one to three. Finally, Dr Kutscher discusses the role of medication for treating ADHD. The concluding chapter summarises the information covered and can also be read as a complete, freestanding text. Useful checklists and further reading recommendations are also included.

Organize Your ADD/ADHD Child

| by Cheryl R Cater | This book addresses the issues of organisation and time management in relation to ADD/ADHD, suggesting practical ways of organising your child’s day and turning chaos into calm. Accommodating short attention spans and short fuses, Cheryl Carter shows how, by using the F.I.R.S.T method (Fun, Individualism, Rules, Simplicity and Time management), even the most hyperactive and easily distracted of children can be taught to make their bed, pack their school bag, and generally get organised! The author recognises that children hate anything that is boring, and finds fun ways around even the most mundane of tasks. Her no-nonsense, step-by-step strategies, in combination with positive affirmations and realistic demands, will get ADD/ADHD children organised, and from A to B without a hitch.

Time Timer - 20cm Medium

20cm Time Timer (Medium - previously known as large. Retains the same dimensions) | Used as an interactive teaching tool, this classroom-tested teaching aide reinforces the sense of elapsed time with a graphic depiction of the time remaining. The Time Timer can be used to set time limits, measure the duration of activities and train students to make better use of available time.

In stock

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