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How can I help my child with ADHD build listening skills?

Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it almost impossible to listen. This one symptom can create an avalanche of problems leading to some of the most serious impairments in functioning. A fun game you can play that gives your child a chance to build his listening skills while honoring the underlying gift is Silly Parrot and Standard Parrot. The gift underlying a failure to listen is that while he is not paying attention to words, your child is usually highly sensitive to nonverbal cues and unspoken emotions and tensions. ADHD kids may not hear a word you say, but they "have your number," so to speak. They usually can see right through you, and this distraction prevents them from actually listening to the content of what you and others are saying.

A way to honor both sides of this is to tell your child that you're going to play the Silly Parrot and Standard Parrot game. Tell him that a standard parrot listens to a person talk and then just repeats back exactly what the person has said. A silly parrot waits until the person is done speaking and then says whatever he feels like saying. Give your child the chance to play silly parrot first: 1) you say a sentence, and 2) he blurts out whatever comes to his mind. Have a good laugh together and then play standard parrot: 1) you say a sentence, and 2) he repeats it back to you exactly as you said it. You can encourage him to play each bird in a squawking "parrot" voice and ham it up. Go back and forth between the silly parrot and the standard parrot. Over time, your child will get the difference between the two styles and gain some basic skills for listening so that he can repeat things back to you as the standard parrot.
The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

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The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

So much depends on how you look at things: Are you a glass-half-empty person, or do you discover advantages where other people find only weaknesses? When it comes to raising healthy, happy kids,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.