As the school year is coming to an end, kids can use some tips to stay on task .
I often receive questions about children and homework, especially when it comes to children with special needs. Those questions usually are:
How do I get my child to focus on homework?
How can I help my child do homework without all the drama?
When a child has a problem focusing, or creates drama when it comes to homework or other task completion, it may be a symptom of Functional Disconnection Syndrome. What that means is that the child’s brain is functioning, but it isn’t functioning in sync. Typically, this functional disconnection causes one side of the brain to process input at a slower speed than the other side. Like trying to get an old Commodore 64 computer to talk to a MacBook Pro – they both process data, but they can’t talk to each other! If the two sides of a child’s brain can’t share information well, learning will be impaired – which will make homework time very challenging indeed.
Functional Disconnection Syndrome impacts children differently, depending on which side of the brain is lagging behind the other. Kids with a slow right brain have trouble focusing, staying on task, finishing a task, ore even seeing the relevance of a task like homework. They also have difficulty with comprehension. They may get frustrated easily unless they get some praise and may have trouble with socialization and anger. These children typically are diagnosed with AD/HD, Tourette’s, OCD, ODD, Asperger’s, PDD and Autism.
Children with a slower left brain tend to have difficulty absorbing information by reading, as well as short-term memory and processing problems. They may have difficulty with handwriting, completing sequences, and they may have trouble with the details of a task, even if they see the larger picture of the purpose of the task. These children typically are diagnosed with Dyslexia, Processing Disorders, Apraxia and Learning Disorders.
Here are suggestions for helping kids with Functional Disconnection Syndrome manage homework:
Make the homework area free of ANY distractions: noise, TV, video games, toys, siblings, phone calls, texting etc.
Have the child, with your coaching, set a realistic goal as to how long it will take to get the homework done. Then with that estimate of the total homework time, divide it into 2 to 4 segments. At the end of each one, reward your young worker with something that both of you benefit from: a piece of fruit or a break outside. Don’t reward with TV or computer time, since that will become a distraction!
During the break, have the child do some simple physical exercise: a few push-ups, some sit-ups, some squats, or a minute of jump rope. This will refresh and energize the body and brain after sitting.
Brain activity can benefit from a pleasant smell in the room. Take a drop of an essential oil that the child likes the smell of and put it on a light bulb to diffuse it into the room. Use a scent that is pleasantly stimulating, such as peppermint, lemon, or pine.
You may find that your child actually does much better at a standing desk, rather than sitting. Try to rig one up temporarily and see if that works, and when it does, get a standing work station/desk for the family.
For children with a slower right brain, here are some specific tips:
Use a pleasant smell only in the right nostril. Use a food extract, like peppermint or lemon, and using a cotton swab, swirl some into the right nostril once an hour.
Use a standing desk with the light on the left side of the desk that has a blue tone.
Have quiet, slow background music that is specifically detailed for the right brain (here’s a link to a great resource – http://www.i-waveonline.com/iwaveorder.htm) and make sure that it’s on the left side of the desk.
For those with a left-brain lag:
Use a pleasant smell only in the left nostril.
Use a standing desk with the light on the right side of the desk that has an orange tone.
Have left brain music playing quietly in the background.
Honestly and appropriately praise and encourage your child with genuine sincerity as you coach them through this process. And here’s some good news: children who complete a course of brain balancing usually see the homework monster go away as their brain achieves balance.
Brain Balance Achievement Center of Richmond can help you discover if Functional Disconnection Syndrome is what’s causing homework drama at your house. Give us a call at 804-977-2747 or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/brainbalancecenterrichmond.
For testimonials and further information about how Brain Balance may benefit your child, visit http://www.brainbalancecenters.com.