By GreatSchools Staff
Child's Age: 9
Child's School Level: Elementary
Area(s) child struggles: Attention, Behavior, Emotions, Math, Psychological Issues, Reading, Self-esteem, Social Skills, Writing
Although he's gotten a little better as he's grown older, at ages 7 through 12, my son was almost impossible to take to any event where the main activity was to listen to someone talking and look at what they were talking about - for example, in tours of historic places, museums, art shows, nature walks, etc. He has AD/HD and dyslexia. He was constantly either nagging us to go, telling us how bored he was, asking to go to the nearest food concession, nagging us to buy things, or simply acting out.
In desperation one day at an art exhibit that I really wanted to be able to "savor," I suggested that my son become the "official photographer" for our family for this outing. (Fortunately, since the exhibit was huge metal sculptures, photographs were not prohibited.) I gave him "specifications" for what he needed to record with the photos, so there would be a focus (so to speak) for his assignment - the building where the sculpture was displayed, his favorite pieces of sculpture, pictures of people enjoying the exhibit, etc. To my relief, he got very involved in his assigned task. I later asked him to put the photos in a book and write captions for them so we could remember our outing.
It worked very well with my particular child, and we've been able to use it at social events, as well. Other benefits are: we have some good photos of these occasions; taking the photos allows him to interact with people at the event in appropriate ways; and he's proud of his work.
Nothing, really. I just wish I'd thought of it earlier in his growing up.
It may not work for every kid. A disposable camera might be a good idea for young and/or distractible kids.