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Organization and Time Management Strategies for Kids With LD

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By Nancy Firchow, M.L.S.

Organization for School

  • Get a sturdy three-ring binder with colored pocket dividers for each subject. Coach your child to slip all assignments into the proper section, and check regularly to see that it's being done.
  • Include a pocket labeled "Home" for anything that needs your attention.
  • Provide a calendar or assignment page for noting homework, tests, projects, etc. Transfer this information to the family calendar.
  • Enlist his teacher's help, if needed, to ensure assignments are entered in the binder consistently and correctly.
  • Help your child maintain his binder by going through the papers with him, putting things in order, and discarding unneeded items.

Structure for His Room

  • Survey your child's room from his perspective. Talk to him about the space and storage needs for his various supplies, activities, and treasures.
  • Organize for each activity: e.g., getting dressed requires a hamper for dirty clothes, closet rods he can reach, and dresser drawers with enough space to stow things neatly.
  • Use creative storage solutions. Try a door-hung shoe holder for action figures, games, or trading cards. Clay pots or tin cans can be decorated and neatly hold markers, crayons, or paint brushes.
  • When the room is neat and organized, take photographs of how it looks. Place them in a spot where your child can check frequently to see if his room still matches the pictures.
  • Sort through his stuff on a regular basis. Work together to choose outgrown clothes and toys to be discarded or donated.

Practice Makes Perfect

New habits take time to learn, especially if bad habits need to be unlearned. Don't give up. Your child with LD will need frequent reminders, lots of help, and consistency. Don't hesitate to pitch in; he can benefit from watching you put things in good order. Remember to reward his successes and give him a little extra help him when he's feeling discouraged. The strategies you teach him now will pay off his whole life.