Your Dyslexic or ADHD Child: How to Make This a Summer of Great Growth

Summer is here and most children across the USA are jumping for joy.  If your child is dyslexic, ADHD, ADD, has learning disabilities, or processing problems then they are usually extra exuberant that school is over.  They are anticipating a lengthy break from the academic pressures of formal schooling.  While I agree that kids need time to be kids, I don’t recommend kids take a total hiatus from learning.  Below are 7 ideas that you can apply to help your child or teen. 

7 Ideas for a Summer of Great Growth

Consider using any of these 7 suggestions or programs that have the potential to make this a summer of great growth for your child with dyslexia, ADHD, or other learning difficulty.  I recommend you research and use the suggestion that makes the most sense for your child and family.

1.  C8Sciences. 

C8Sciences is a computer and internet based program that helps your child train his or her cognitive abilities in 8 core areas.  It was developed by a team of neuroscientist at Yale University.  

2. Neurofeedback.

This is a brain training program that helps individuals learn to self-regulate their brain waves.  If you commit to this use it for 25 sessions or more.  Check to learn more.

3. Cogmed Working Memory Training.

This is a computer and internet based 25 session working memory program that helps individuals build memory capacity which can translate into improved attention, reading comprehension, and academic performance.  My associates and I offer this program.

4. Orton Gillingham (OG) based multisensory reading tutoring. 

If your child has dyslexia this is the time tested gold standard for helping individuals overcome their phonological processing weaknesses.  OG reading programs include the Barton Reading and Spelling System and the Wilson Reading Program.  My dyslexic child was taught with an OG reading program for about 30 months and now enjoys reading.

5. Counseling using cognitive behavior therapy. 

Counseling can be effective to help kids experience tremendous personal growth and I recommend you work with a counselor that uses cognitive behavior therapy because it is goal directed counseling.  This means you, your child, and the counselor set goals to achieve during counseling.  This is quite different from psychotherapy where kids explore their feelings. If you are doing counseling, you want to work toward meaningful goals.   

6. Real life money skills. 

Many of today’s teens can often solve algebraic math equations but don’t know how to balance a checkbook or compute a 15% tip without using an app.  Make this summer the summer where you open a bank account for your child and start teaching financial principals of making, saving, and giving money. This is my goal for my children and I’m using resources from Dave Ramesy and his program Foundations in Personal Finance.  

7. How to think positively. 

Many children with dyslexia and ADHD have an automatic negative outlook and are pessimistic.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a summer of change so your child starts school with a more positive outlook?  Try using these two books.  If you have a younger child look into Dawn Huebner’s book What to do if you grumble too much: A kids guide to overcoming negativity. If you have a teen check out Dr. John C. Maxwell’s book Thinking for a change:11 ways highly successful approach life and work.  Both books are great tools to use to help your child harness the power of positive thinking.

After Selecting the Program-  Now Making the Difference Requires…

If you use the right program for the right length of time and work at it enough during the summer you’ll make this your child’s summer of great growth.  The key elements for success are:

1. Use the right program

2. Use the right program for the right length of time (all summer)

3. Do it 3-5 days per week

4. Work with the right person

5. Incorporate an element of fun into learning

There is hope that this is your child summer of amazing change and results in personal confidence, improved self-image, and positive thinking.  Contact me if you have questions about any of these programs or if you want testing for your child.