I finally had the opportunity to read Focused by Alyson Gerber. I really don’t know why I waited so long to read this fabulous book. This is the kind of book anyone can read (10 to 100 years old) and get so much out of it. Whether you are a 10 year old, a parent or teacher you will no doubt learn about ADHD and how one middle schooler was able to figure out how she can manage her life with her new diagnosis. ADHD is on a spectrum, so not all people with ADHD are alike. Gerber points out in her book how not one support can help you with your diagnosis, you need many supports, such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, accommodations at school and even for extracurricular activities.
I loved that the main character, a middle school girl named Clea learned how to advocate for herself. Self advocacy is one of the most important skills you can teach your child. We can all learn from Clea. We need to speak up and let people know what would work best for us in order to be successful in all that we do. I am thankful I had the opportunity to read this book and have learned a great deal of information, not only about the ADHD community, but about myself as an adult of ADHD and for my children who both have ADHD. In the back of the book Gerber lists some resources where you can learn more about ADHD. You will not regret getting this book from the Library or from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1338531670/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_t1_3XgADbHB7P2KC
If there is a book or product you would like me to review, please send an email to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that he has been using the No Fuss Brush, he has been brushing more often, especially since he now can cut his time in half to 60 seconds due to the three sided brush on the No Fuss Brush. The No Fuss Brush has a timer for the quadrants, so he knows when to start brushing the next quadrant. Its a miracle!
I am finally getting a good night’s sleep. No more late night Googling. Yay! I found the Holy Grail of Autism websites that is packed chock-full of information ranging from nutrition, supplements, diets, leaky-gut, food allergies, etc…. all backed up by research. Basically any question you ever had will be answered on this website. The website is The Autism Dietitian and they have a section called The Autism Nutrition Library that is the Holy Grail section. I signed up for this library and I am so happy I did. I am not searching for answers on how to help my child anymore because I have the answers at my fingertips . I feel comfort knowing I have the answers that I have been searching for and you can too!
Click here to learn more about this phenomenal Autism Nutrition Library:
I came across an IG account a few weeks ago while browsing and found out that the owner of the account I was looking at wrote an awesome book about ADHD. I had to get my hands on this and read it!!!
This wonderful book is geared towards 5-8+ and beyond. This book easily explains what ADHD is and what its like to experience it as a child. The artwork and writing go perfectly together to help get the reader connected to the book. I love how the books explains many ways how the character advocates and helps herself when she is feeling those ADHD kinda feelings. The character realizes in the book that she is not alone and that there are so many other kids just like her. Most times having ADHD is a gift!
This book is for every child with or without ADHD, along with every teacher, psychologist, parent, caretaker, etc… I wish I had this book when my children were little to read to them and to help explain to family members about ADHD, especially the ones who just don’t “get it”.
The author offers many tips and resources in the back of the book. There’s even coloring pages for the kids. For more information about this book and other ADHD tid bits go to http://www.katelynmabry.com. Katelyn’s IG account is @beyond_the_adhd_diagnosis. You can purchase her book here: https://amzn.to/3cdwDEQ
If you personally don’t need to invest in this book, perhaps think about a child that you know who could benefit from reading this book. This book may actually change a child’s life.
Today I was sitting in Starbucks while my son was at tutoring. It had been an extremely tough week for my son and I was just not feeling it either. You know how when things are going really well and then all of a sudden things just blow up in your face!? Well, that was me and I was in no mood to talk to anyone.
Anyway, as I was drinking my coffee mindlessly looking at my phone, a woman asked if she could sit in the chair next to me. I told her that my son was sitting there, but had just left to go to tutoring. She had mentioned that she had just dropped her son off too. As time went by we were conversing back and fourth and come to find out her son is on the spectrum and has ADHD. Even though our kids were totally different ages, it just really felt good to talk to someone who feels your pain and knows the ups and downs of special kids like ours. I truly enjoyed our conversation and looking forward to possibly seeing her next week. This reminded me that we all need to take time for ourselves and to give ourselves permission to make “me time”. It’s okay to do things that make you happy!!! I forgot how happy it made me feel to talk to a like minded individual. I truly enjoyed sitting with this total stranger and conversing with her. It’s crucial that you do this for yourself or you will eventually burn out and feel isolated. Another thing you need to do is to take care of yourself and take the time to enjoy the things you like to do. It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or even time consuming.
Something that I enjoy and makes feel like I’m in a spa in my own home is the Almond Shower Oil by Loccitaine. The smell is so divine it just takes you to a whole another level of calmness and luxury when you use this oil. There is an after shower oil I use too, but the one in the shower is what got me hooked.
For those who are not into pampering themselves there’s always a quick trip to the coffee shop to meet a friend, work out, take a yoga class (check your library for cheap classes), or even take a walk with a friend.
No matter what you choose to do, just make sure you take time for yourself.
I love trying out and reviewing products for the ADHD community and their parents. Email me for inquiries.
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I am doing an extra blog post this month because I am so excited to tell you about an awesome product I came across that is going to take the NAG right out of you and still being able to keep your children on task. Yes, there is such a thing!!!
Mission Magnets are a magnetic chore chart system for kids that you can use straight on to your fridge. The set consists of a ‘TO DO’ and a ‘DONE’ magnet with your child’s name on it and then item magnets with the tasks (Missions) your child needs to complete.
To use simply move the magnets to the ‘TO DO’ side, then as your child completes the tasks, their ‘Mission’ they move the magnet to the ‘DONE’ side.
This simple system aims to give children a visual aide to see what needs to be done and do it. Parents can see at a glance how the morning/day is progressing and give positive reinforcement or a gentle reminder to choose a magnet as get it done.
Kid’s get the reward of seeing their ‘Done list’ grow and feel a sense of independence as they are getting themselves ready, some choosing the order of their own tasks. Parents get to remind less (nag in your children’s ears) but can still make sure the day is progressing and things are getting done.
These tasks can be anything from brushing your teeth to feeding the dog. There are so many different magnets to choose from. Once you start looking, you will realize how often you have been nagging your children to do things over and over again. These magnets will take the “nag” right out of you!!! Now, wouldn’t that be wonderful if you didn’t have to nag anymore?
My children and I had fun choosing the magnets and having them chime in made them feel part of the process. I highly recommend these magnets as they are essential for a household with children (or a husband/wife who is always forgetful). My children took pride in finishing their task so they could move the magnet over to the “Done” side. When the “Done” side was so much fuller than the “To Do” side, it made the kids so proud of themselves for accomplishing their tasks and a little competition never hurt anyone😁.
I would like to thank Rachel, the proprietor of Mission Magnets, who was kind enough to let my family and I to try the magnets out and review them. So… stop being a Nag and order these magnets. Go to:
Or go to:
To get a 20% discount Use code: SurvivingADHD
Discount ends September 30th
If you decide to purchase the magnets, let me know I would love to hear how they worked out for you. Please note in my comment section.
Getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important gifts you can give to your child and yourself. Let me explain how you can accomplish this. I will be honest, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
First of all you need to make a commitment with yourself that you want to accomplish this goal of getting a better nights rest and stick to it or these methods will not work. Not all of these suggestions will work for you, but Most will.
1. Below is a recap of what The National Sleep Foundation recommends for hours of sleep.
Did the numbers shock you? Well, they startled me. Getting a good night’s rest really does matter, especially the number of hours for our children. As for us parents, we need plenty of sleep ourselves or we will be not be giving our children, spouses, coworkers, etc our full attention.
2. Exercise or physical activity will increase your deep sleep as well your immune function. Exercise will also help with anxiety and stress. Physical activity will actually help you sleep for a longer period of time. It doesn’t take much sweat to put in 30 minutes a day, five days a week to get your heart rate up. Green time is beneficial as well – toss a ball with the kids, play basketball, hide-n-seek, whatever it is – get moving! As you can see exercise is the essential key to a good night’s rest.
***Exercise = Sleep = Focus***
3. Bedtime routines such as bath time, brushing teeth. Story time and that’s it. Keep it short and sweet. Going to bed the same time every night including the weekends is imperative.
4. Sound machines are wonderful to help you get relaxed and drown out any unwanted noise. We like this one.
6. A weighted blanket or heavy blanket for those with sensory issues could help a child fell more at ease. This will not be for everyone and the weighted blankets aren’t cheap. Try a heavy blanket first. Make sure the room is cool at night (whether or not you use a heavy blanket). If it’s too hot, you will just be moving around all night, twisting and turning.
7. Nothing to eat or drink at least an hour and a half before bedtime, preferably longer. A good snack before your night-time routine could be whole grain crackers and almond butter, healthy cereal with almond milk, a handful of almonds, thin sliced nitrate free Turkey breast or a 1/2 banana.
8. Spritzing lavender oil mixed with water on your pillow will instantly calm you and help you rest better. Make sure your child is ok with this or is not allergic to lavender before spritzing. Perhaps spritz a small amount onto the arm to make sure not allergic.
9. Wearing socks will not only keep your feet warm, but it will signal the brain that its bed time. Wool and cashmere socks are great choices since they let the feet breathe.
10. Do not use electronics in bed! Your bed is for sleeping, not checking emails, YouTube, etc. Like Zig Ziglar said “It can wait until tomorrow, it’s probably mindless stuff anyway that you can look at any time.” You already know about the light on the phone and computer which makes your brain think its day time or time to get up, so just leave your phone in another room or at least the furthest away from your bed you can get.
11. Bonus – Melatonin has been known to help with getting a good night’s rest. Taking this supplement must be okayed by your physician before using. We use the kind that melts on your tongue, so its great for those who have a hard time taking pills. Drinking caffeine free herbal tea like camomile has been known to help with relaxation as well.
In my experience these are the steps that we take in order to get a good night’s rest. I hope you can try some of these to see if they work for you. Comment below to let me know which steps worked for you or if you would like to suggest something, I would love to hear from you.
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**I am not affiliated nor get commissions from Amazon. I have provided links to make your life a little easier.**😊
*** SNEAK PEAK***
Stay tuned for my review on Mission Magnets. Mission Magnets are a personalized magnetic chore chart system for kids that you can use straight on to your fridge. The set consists of a ‘TO DO’ and a ‘DONE’ magnet with your child’s name on it and then item magnets with the tasks (Missions) your child needs to complete. I was kindly given a set of Mission Magnets for review. I can’t wait to tell you all about them on my next blog post. If you can’t wait to learn about them and want to check them out now, then go to Mission Magnets website: https://www.missionmagnets.com.au/ or check out their IG account: @mission_magnets.
My readers get a 20% discount. Use code: survivingADHD. Code only good for the month of September.
No matter how old your child is, you need to be prepared for the new school year. I realize that school has started or just about to start, but I really wanted everyone to take advantage of these tips whether it’s done now or in the near future. Here are ten amazing ways to get prepared for the new school year:
Go over your child’s IEP/504. Even though you had your annual meeting already, I recommend you look over the IEP/504 again. While you are in the process of reviewing the IEP/504 ask your child if he/she has any suggestions or concerns. You can ask your child things like: what could help you be more comfortable in class, what can help to improve your learning, or do you need more time on tests? If you want to look for more ideas you should click here for suggestions: https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/504-plan-accommodations-for-adhd/. Don’t add too many modifications at one time. For now, just do the most important ones.
Before school starts schedule a visit with your child’s doctor. Get medications up to date. Have the doctor look over your child’s IEP/504, ask for any suggestions, make sure your child’s physical is up to date. If your child needs speech classes, OT, etc scripts, get them now. What you also can do is ask your doctor is if your child can take melatonin and/or magnesium at night. These supplements can help your child fall asleep faster and have an overall better night’s sleep. Kids need many hours of sleep, especially during the school year. I also recommend you buy a pill organizer/holder for your child’s medication and supplements. The organizer makes it easy for you or your child (if he/she is old enough) to quickly take his/her medicine without the hassle of taking out all of the pill containers and helps them remember to take it. Here is a link to check one out similar to ours: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078LGJLTF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_gW2EBbD5R4AJE
Get a big whiteboard calendar along with colored dry markers. I purchased one calendar per child, so they did not get confused. This type of calendar will be a life saver. I use it to write in homework, reports due, after school activities, etc. I placed the calendar on the wall with command strips in order not to ruin the wall. Click here for whiteboard calendar suggestion: Quartet Dry Erase Calendar Board,… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008DQY6IK?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf and dry erase markers here: EXPO 80653 Low-Odor Dry Erase Set,… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MK2PZ6?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
Start practicing getting up early. You can gradually do this over 2 week period, 1 week at least. Do not wait until the last weekend before school starts or this idea will be an epic fail.
Go on your school’s website to get a list of supplies needed. While you are purchasing your children’s supplies, make sure you are well stocked yourself. You will need things like computer paper and ink, staples, extra pens and pencils, oaktag (a few different colors and white. I get mine at Dollar Tree), and a few science boards. Get both sizes available (I get the smaller ones at Dollar Tree and the larger ones at a craft store). Make sure your computer is working and printing efficiently. I can’t tell you how many times we got ready to print out a report and either we ran out of ink, paper or the printer would not print.
Once you get your children’s class assignments, go to the school and walk around as if you were following their class schedule. This is especially important if your child is attending a new school. Printing out a map of the school is helpful as well. Make sure lunch money is on their account and keep a little stash money in their backpack, just in case.
Pull out five outfits for the first week of school. Take a good look once you and/or your child finalized the outfits and make sure there are no stains, rips, threads loose,etc. While you are in your child’s room take a look and see if under garments, socks, t-shirts, etc. are up to par as well. Don’t buy too many new clothes before school starts, especially if you have tweens and teens. Once your kids see what everyone else is wearing, they will most likely want to go to the mall again anyway and pick out a few more things.
Make a hair appointment now! As it gets closer to the first day of school the hair dressers/barbers are going to be extremely busy.
Take a look at your schools website and check out the clubs and activities being offered. Ask your child if he/she are interested in anything on the website. This is a great time for your child to ask his/her friends what they might like to join. Perhaps they can join one together. It’s so much easier on a child’s anxiety when they have a friend to join with.
Talk to your child about this up coming year and find out how they feel about it. I find talking in the car is a good way to get kids to talk because you are not looking at them straight in the face. Ask them questions like, are they nervous, excited, not comfortable with some things, scared, etc. You will not know until you ask!
BONUS: Print out a copy of your child’s IEP/504 for every teacher with an introductory letter attached. Include your email and cell phone number in case the teacher needs to get a hold of you. Lastly, make sure you mention in the letter that you want to be kept abreast of everything (perhaps weekly). Hope these top 10 tips help you get through this hectic time of year. The goal is to help you be prepared, so you don’t get too crazy!LOL.
Enjoy the last moments of summer with your precious children. Would love to know what you do to get prepared for the new school year. Please comment.
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Summer break is in session, so what is your child doing? Nothing, oh don’t worry! I am going to tell you what your child can do to curb that summer boredom without breaking the bank! When my children were young we had a lot of fun day trips. We went to places like the library, museum, bowling alleys, etc. Now that my kids are older they do things like volunteer work.
First of all, let’s talk about the library which has an assortment of free things and activities to do. My children and I would play on the computers, play with Legos or puppets and pick out some books, movies and CD’s. To have my kids read more, I always made sure to get books that they had interests in. This also made them really take their time reading the book and looking at the pictures. But besides doing fun things inside the library , we also had fun outside. At a library in my area there was a sprinkler park and a playground. You too can also find cool stuff like that near you! There’s also fun things in libraries like crafting classes, story times, mommy and me classes, etc.
Now let’s discuss museums, some libraries give free day passes at museums and aquariums in your area. If your library doesn’t provide those passes, don’t worry! Lots of museums are free on certain days and usually kids under 3 years old are free. You can check your favorite museums’ website for more information. Museums can help children learn more about the world in a super fun way. From mummies to dinosaurs kids can find something to like. I used to have a scavenger hunt with my kids at the museum. I would have them look for a painting with a dog in it, or to find a dinosaur, etc. This got the kids to really look at the paintings and sculptures.
Thirdly, create your own parent group in your area. This is a great free way for you and your children to socialize and make friends. I found when I created my own moms group I got the support and friendships I was lacking when the kids were really small. To this day I am still friends with most of these moms and even gained a best friend out of the deal!
Next up Home Depot provides free workshops for parent and child to work together on a project, like making a bird house, car, book ends, etc. The kids even get a free apron, commemorative pin and a certificate of completion. Check your local Home Depot for dates and times.
Did anyone say bowling or how about roller skating? You can go over to https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/ to sign your family up for free bowling. Kids can play up to 2 free games a day. This is a great way to get your kids off the couch, maybe even you too! Now for roller skating go to https://kidsskatefree.com/valarena Kids up to 15 years old in most states get to skate. You need to check the above link to see if your state participates.
For those teens of yours, you can sign them up to be a counselor in training at the camp they attended years prior. This is a great way to earn community credits for high school. There is also a website called http://www.volunteermatch.com for teens usually 16 and older. Don’t forget libraries and churches are always looking for volunteers.
I hope you were able to get some ideas or inspiration from this post. Summers don’t necessarily have to break the bank if you take the time to see what’s out there for free or practically free. Get back to the basics, like when you were a kid. The main thing is that you spend quality time with your children, it’s what they really want anyway – your undivided attention!
Spending many hours on the road can be daunting, especially when you add in the mix children with ADHD. You CAN make the time go by much faster by incorporating fun activities for your whole family. These activities were life saving for our family road trips along with waiting at restaurants, air plane rides, doctor waiting rooms, Grandma’s house, hotels, etc…
Mad Libs and Mad Libs Junior are a great way to entertain children and they will be writing and learning as well. You can find these books at big box retailers and Amazon.com. One particular Mad Lib is called Mad Libs On The Road for ages 8+ or Super Silly Mad Libs Junior for ages 5-8 yrs old. Click here for link:
The Scavenger Hunt Travel Game is a ton of fun, even adults will enjoy participating. This is especially fun on trips in the car. The whole family will want to get involved, from ages 7+, some reviewers mentioned even younger children had fun playing as well. Click here for link:
There is another game called Smart Ass (I know, I know), get the mini version for travel, not the bigger one. This game is great fun for older kids to 100. This is like a trivia game. Our family plays this game on a regular basis at restaurants. We actually get pretty competitive and loud sometimes. Booster packs are also available and different versions of this game are available as well.
Hidden Pictures Discovery Activity Zone is a wonderful way to keep young children busy and its real cheap too! I can’t even tell you how many of these I purchased over the years for my children. These books were a life saver for us. Click here:
Wikki Stix For Doodlers Molding & Sculpting Stixs are an awesome way to keep kids at bay. Children love to create things and this is the medium to use! These sticks are usually good for ages 3+. You will even have fun with these sculpting sticks and it’s another inexpensive toy. There are travel kits that have more wikki stixs, but they are more costly. Click here for link:
The Spot it! game is a fun, simple and super exciting. Great for everyone in the family. There are no words, just pictures. I say get this game whether you are traveling or not. It’s a great game to pass by the time anywhere you are.
Listening to podcasts in the car as a family is a great way to pass the time and to get in some good quality family conversations. Family Circle magazine did a piece on their podcasts picks. Here are a few they mentioned:
Eleanor Amplified – a fearless young radio reporter who loves to outwit her villains. This podcast adventure series will be uber exciting while teaching valuable lessons on media, literacy and searching for the truth. This podcast is good for ages 8-12 yrs old. Click here to listen:
Book Club for Kids is great for elementary to junior high school students. This podcast is about the children’s book author Kitty Felde and a bunch of young readers who talk about a particular book they read. This is an award-winning podcast. Click here to listen:
Another recommendation for family travel is a travel tray for your little ones to keep everything all together so there will be no chance for tears if anything gets lost. Prices can range from about $20 to $30+.
Here are a few that we liked:
The above travel case is great for strollers and car seats.
The key to traveling is to always be prepared for the children to get bored easily and always have a bag of tricks ready to go, including snacks, drinks, an extra set of clothes, blankets, crayons, coloring books and anything I mentioned in this post. Even when your kids are older it’s still very important to have a game or two your whole family can play together. You do not want your children on the phone during the entire trip. Family travel is an excellent time for family bonding and you wouldn’t want that time to be wasted on the phone . Remember to put your name and cell phone number on every bag, including your children’s carry-on. Put medication, pain reliever, thermometer, and tickets in your carry on.
When scheduling your activities, make sure you add in fun activities your children will love to do. Perhaps even give them a few choices, so they feel part of the planning stages. Keep in mind what time of day your child is at his/her best and that’s when you should schedule plane rides, car travel, etc… Having an overly tired child on a plane or in a car is not enjoyable for anyone.
Explaining to your child what you expect from them is crucial during a family vacation. This is a subject that should be discussed before you leave for your vacation. This discussion will avoid issues down the road. Of course you may need to remind your children about these expectations during the trip, but it won’t be new news to them.
Making a rewards chart for your children before leaving on your trip may be beneficial to you and your children. Here are some examples:
Prizes can be souvenirs, ice cream cone, picking out an activity, etc…
When eating on the road, try to stay away from fast foods and bring lots of healthy snacks and drinks. Perhaps plan ahead and see what types of good options are available where you plan to stop instead of winging it.
Don’t forget to pack your child’s medication. I personally give my children their medication everyday while on vacation. Some parents choose to only give on certain days, but I differ. You want your child to behave as well as possible. By not giving them there meds you are setting them up for failure (just my opinion).
I hope this post prepares you for a successful trip to anywhere. Have fun and enjoy your family, they are only little once!
The author of this book, Carol Stock Kranowitz donated this book to give away to one of my subscribers. She knows how helpful this book will be to you and your family. I have personally read this book and it has helped me through the years. I can’t wait for you to read it!
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