Expect inconsistencies in how well your child does the same task or activity from day to day. Be prepared to backtrack and explain how the current task ties in with your child’s past successes. Praise your child’s efforts and reinforce that the most important thing is to keep trying.
What you can say
“Sofia, you seem to be having some trouble picking out your outfit for tomorrow. You’ve been doing a great job all week. Let’s see what’s causing you difficulty tonight.”
“OK, you have your underwear and purple skirt. I love the color you chose. Hmm, what do we seem to be missing? Let’s look at the picture over your dresser. Right, you need a shirt and socks. Great, I love that shirt. Good choice of socks too. Now you’re all set.”
“I love that you tried to do this all on your own tonight before asking me for help. Maybe tomorrow you’ll remember to look at the pictures to help you. That seemed to be a big help during the week and saved us time tonight too! Cute outfit!”
Why this will help
Inconsistent performance is the norm for children with learning and attention issues. That can be very frustrating for them and for those around them too. Reminding your child of a similar job that she did well in the past can make the present task seem more doable. Recognizing and rewarding effort will also help encourage your child to stick with the task.