Helping Your ADHD-Inattentive Child or Teen: How Much is Too Much?

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"You do too much! She should do it herself." This was the unsolicited advice our 19-year-old daughter gave me when she found out that her 16-year-old sister Lesley continued to ask for my editing help for an English essay. I immediately replied: "She still has ADHD-I, you know. That's not changed." Olivia was adamant: I helped too much. At the same time, I felt strongly that Lesley needed the help. My older daughter is majoring in English at her university, and any sort of writing project continues to be her strength. Meanwhile, Lesley's taking her first Advanced Placement English … [Read more...]

Off to College! Another Success Story from a Reader

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As always, we're grateful to parents and students who share their stories and hints. And - as always - we're protecting the privacy of this mom and daughter by changing names. Our ADHD-I student is heading off to college in August. We attended orientation and each of us was overwhelmed by all the information coming at us. At the end of the first day, I immediately began organizing all the paperwork in a 5” 3-ring binder! I made exhaustive notes on what to accomplish the next day. Armed with my notebook and ready to go by 6:00 am the next day, my husband and I met up with Selina at lunch. … [Read more...]

Prepping for a 504 Review

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It’s that time of year again. The weather’s heating up, and the end of the school year is in sight. For many schools, this is the time when the 504* or IEP is up for review. Seemingly obvious questions like “What worked?” and “What didn’t work?” need to be answered. As a parent, it helps to have an arsenal of new ideas to try. New accommodations or modifications don’t have to be complicated. Here are some ideas that may jumpstart your child’s productivity and your own creativity: Home to school: 1. Keep one copy of textbooks at home. 2. Mandate that the school use a homework planner – or … [Read more...]

How to Help an ADHD Child with the SAT

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Our last post gave you some important tips to help your ADHD child with the SAT. One of our readers emailed us additional insight and wisdom that she has gained from experience with HER daughter. For those of you with younger children, don't skip this! There is also an amazing piece of advice I've never heard that you need to start on NOW. We've changed up some of the facts, below to protect privacy, but we've been given permission to share the following... Every year from 9th grade on my child took the PSAT---Preliminary SAT—to give her practice for the time in her Junior year of high … [Read more...]

Preparing for the SAT or ACT: A Guide for ADHD Students

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The first time Joe had a College Board test - I think it was the PSAT - we didn't know you needed to apply for testing accommodations. Joe went in expecting extra time, and he was unpleasantly surprised. Today's post is by Jenn Cohen, the self described 'Chief Word Nerd' of Jenn Cohen Tutoring. She has some invaluable tips to help you navigate the troubled waters of the SAT and the ACT. I wish I had read this a few years ago! College admissions tests are a necessity for most college bound students, but just a mere mention of those three letters S-A-T can make kids (and parents) run for the … [Read more...]

Adding the Big C to ADHD

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To succeed, a child diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive needs the best of two worlds: home and school. Good communication between parents and teachers paves the way for a winning strategy for your child. Here are seven ways to improve two-way "reception": 1. Meet early and agree on the frequency of meetings. Don't wait until a problem presents itself. Be proactive and set up an appointment early in the year or semester to give the proverbial word to the wise. Think ahead about where your child is now and where you hope he is in 6 months. What are realistic goals? How can those goals be achieved? … [Read more...]

Back to School…and Reading Lists

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Lesley and Mike have gone back to school, and each of them has a reading list that is longer than they would like. Lesley had a summer list, so she got a head start. Mike had his list this summer, too. But...well. Let's not chalk everything up to being of the male persuasion... Both Lesley and Mike are having to read classic titles that make me think of Mark Twain’s definition: “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” We've taken two effective approaches to slogging through these books. First on the list is reading aloud. One of Lesley's … [Read more...]

The Truth About Consequences

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“Why don’t you just let him suffer the consequences?” New teachers often ask me this question, knowing that consequences often shape good and bad behavior. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Natural consequences are a part of discipline, but they aren’t appropriate in every situation, nor are they right for every child. When it comes to schoolwork, consequences are pretty tricky. The word discipline comes from the Latin word for ‘student’ or ‘learner’. Discipline should teach. It should result in a positive behavior change. Discipline may be temporarily uncomfortable, but the … [Read more...]

School. Yuck!

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For some odd reason I remember being introduced to the word communication while studying Janet and Mark in the first grade. I was reintroduced to the word when my own child was in his first year of school. Although communication includes the principal, secretary, and even the lunch lady, the most important dialog is between parent and teacher. Early in the school year, make contact with your teacher. As I stated in last month's newsletter, "The first week of school, write the teacher a letter introducing your child, and briefly listing strengths and weaknesses. Share important information … [Read more...]

ADHD and Homeschooling

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This week we have a guest post by Shannon Stoltz, of Living Life at Home. In her article, she references a conversation the two of us had last summer on Blogspot.com. You can listen to the interview on her Living Life at Home blog, or you can read the transcript here. Shannon homeschools her four children, and she's got great insight about homeschooling, especially homeschooling kids with learning challenges. She almost (but not quite!) makes me want to go back and homeschool my boys! "You should just put them in school. It’s a lot less work for you," a well meaning friend told me years … [Read more...]