High School and ADHD Meds: Our Story

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The high school secretary and I had a special friendship. If Joe or I discovered that he had forgotten to take his Strattera, he could go to the office and she would give him the missed dose. Over several months, it became increasingly obvious that Joe wasn't taking his meds, and it wasn't because he forgot. He didn't want to. So why didn't he want the medication? The bottom line was that they made him feel 'weird'. We'd tried several types, combinations, dosages, and they would work for a while, but Joe felt that they all altered the way he felt. They altered his personality, his appetite, … [Read more...]

Make up Your Mind Already!

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Every kid does certain things well and other things, not so well. I used to think that decision-making just wasn’t Lesley’s thing. Somewhere I had read that a parent should give choices where the decision’s outcome solely affected the child. Would you like orange juice or apple juice? Do you want your sandwich cut into triangles or rectangles? Lesley never took these choices lightly. She pondered the benefits of pulp-free, calcium-fortified orange juice, and she finally concluded that sandwiches cut into triangles tasted better. As decisions became more complex, she thought harder and … [Read more...]

Honing Life Skills

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For a child who’s diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive, school is all consuming for the entire family. Evening life in a typical school week is a series of doing exactly what needs to be done for tomorrow. At times when the next test, regular homework and upcoming project comes close to overwhelming, it’s easy to overlook passing on certain life skills. In hindsight, I can say we did some things better than others, so I hope what we suffered through or merely survived can help you figure out what works at your house. While household chores teach children a variety of life skills, I didn’t … [Read more...]

What Are We Doing Today? Planning for the Long, Hot Summer

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I'm usually optimistic at the beginning of summer vacation. I envision a time when we read To Kill a Mockingbird aloud, teach fractions by writing in the sand and purge all our closets of outgrown (or "so last year" clothing). Then a few days pass, and I panic about how much the television has been on and how many rematches that the video championship tournament of the world has expanded to. I find myself wondering if learning new makeup techniques from Youtube is all that beneficial. Somewhere between our most lofty goals and simply morphing into the sofa is a healthy balance for us … [Read more...]

Why Good Manners Matter to Your ADHD Teen

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Learning to be polite and consider the needs of others shouldn’t be a hardship – even for a 14- year-old teen diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive. Your teen may not clamor to learn about manners any more than she clamors to memorize algebraic formulas, but she stands to greatly benefit from both types of knowledge. As a parent, you may find that you often return to the role of the take-no-prisoners manners police: “Don’t talk with your mouth full….Take your baseball cap off…Hold the door open,” etc., etc. The good news is that most teens behave better for someone else – anyone else – other … [Read more...]

Growing Graciously: Manners and Your ADHD Child

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Manners are frequently discussed when they're ignored or forgotten - something ADHD children aren't alone in doing. Your inattentive one may be more prone to forget, however... When our family celebrated Olivia's 6th birthday, her grandparents had traveled approximately 400 miles across three states to celebrate the day. The day stands out because the gift of clothing was not well-received. Once the wrapping paper was happily ripped away, the opened gift box was greeted by tears and a few honest statements that were best forgotten. While preventing a melt-down is always better than … [Read more...]

A Roadmap for traveling with ADHD

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It's Thanksgiving time in the United States, time to travel. Although the refrain of "over the river and through the woods" has transitioned to "over the highway and through the tollbooths", no matter how far you roam, travel is an adventure. Traveling with ADHD kids, however can turn into a misadventure - if you're not prepared for it. Here are a few tried and true tips for traveling with your favorite ADHD child(ren)... 1. Timed Travel. Perhaps because their brains are all over the place, ADHD kids like the comfort of a routine. Traveling usually means they are off that routine and a … [Read more...]

Inattention to Feelings

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Have you ever met a person who has no capacity for empathy? I have a friend that absolutely cannot understand how others can have a different opinion that she does. I don't like crafts. I'm telling you, she absolutely thinks I am brain deficient because I don't enjoy cutting out little tiny color coordinated pieces of paper for a scrapbook. Truth is, many of our children are like my friend, making them appear insensitive, stubborn, or even dense. One of my boys, in particular, has little capacity for feeling. We've tried to foster a bit of sensitivity in him in several ways. First of all, … [Read more...]

Balancing Success in the Classroom with Everything Else

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The good news is that Lesley's focus has greatly improved. Her grades are good - mostly A's. Another piece of good news is that she auditioned for the school play and got a fairly good role. Life is busy. I thought we were all fine, but unfortunately, Lesley was stressed. She made straight A's for the year in 8th grade, and her expectations were that she should continue doing that in 9th grade. With the demands of play rehearsals, drama club and piano lessons, her schedule didn't allow as much time for homework and study. Her grades were moving from an A to a B in a couple classes, but I … [Read more...]

Joe’s Reading!

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Wonder of wonder. Joe is reading. He's deployed at the moment, and boredom may have something to do with it, but I suspect that the biggest difference is that he bought a Kindle! Once again, electronic devices have won out with him. Have any of you tried a Kindle with your ADHD child? UPDATE: Joe is out of the NAVY now, and by his admission, he reads a lot less. But when he reads, it is on a Kindle. Another one of our boys is overseas working and studying, and he depends on his Kindle. And they have me hooked, too. I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I love. … [Read more...]