Gabe Gab – How to help ADHD and inattention with Cues

Gabe’s inattention will often cause me, his dad, and teachers a lot of frustration because whatever he is suppose to be doing, he isn’t.   How do you keep kids with overly active imaginations on task?


  • Visual Cues– Hanging up his coat and school bag and flushing the toilet have always been things he can’t remember to do.  So we’ve stuck pictures up to help cue him.  We have a picture stuck on the front door to remind him when he comes in.  We also have pictures on the bathroom mirror. 
  • Vocal Cues – Giving him reminders.  Gabe’s mind will often “change channels” so we will often say, “Gabe, what channel are you on?”  This helps exercise his frontal lobe to think about it.  The more you ask what channel, the more they will be thinking about it automatically and HOPEFULLY be able to stay more focused.  I will use this type of cue when he’s picking up his room and when he’s doing homework. 
  • Audible Cues – We haven’t started using this one yet but it anything that can make noise that will help him stay focused.  This could be a kitchen timer or headphones with white noise or other controlled noise.  As soon as I can get over to my fil’s kitchen shop I’m going to pick up one.  I am going to use that when he’s got a set amt of time to do something…  Like taking a shower or eating breakfast.

Cues may need to be updated if they are becoming ineffective because the child is getting used to them.  Like the pictures may need to be moved or new pictures put up so they are still new and not overlooked.

Can anyone think of other cues or situations where they’d be helpful?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 13:17:16

    Nick always had a hard time falling asleep because he can’t “shut off” his brain. He uses white noise and a fan when he sleeps now and it doesn’t take him 3 hours to fall asleep (most nights).


  2. Shannon
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 09:45:46

    I am not sure where Caleb is in all of this, but we certainly have had some struggles lately with him staying focused in class. But after giving it more thought, it isn’t only at school. A couple of things that I know bring joy and even a certain level of comfort to Caleb are crafts. The hands on manipulation of things other than pencil to paper (i.e. school work) really bring him joy. You mentioned audio cues. I think Caleb has his own! I noticed while he was drawing that he hums or talks to himself while he does it. It’s really awesome (and funny) to listen to. Glad I wasn’t so busy that I missed it. 🙂 But I wonder if this is something he may be doing in school and being told to “be quiet”. I can understand that that could cause issues in a classroom full of children. I think I might look into this. 🙂 Thanks for the post.


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