ADD, ADHD, ADHD Advocate, ADHD Free Advocacy, ADHD Tips, Resources, Reviewed Products, School Tips, Uncategorized, Websites

STOP BEING A NAG!

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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.

 

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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:

https://www.missionmagnets.com.au/

Or go to:

@mission_magnets

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.

Warmly,

Stephanie🍂

Business inquiries: survivingadhdblog@gmail.com

IG @survivingadhdblog

This is a picture of  Rachel’s girls (aren’t they adorable!)20180919_2044092

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ADD, ADHD, ADHD Advocate, ADHD and Sleep, ADHD Free Advocacy, ADHD Tips, Resources, School Tips, Uncategorized, Websites

How To Fall Asleep Faster and Get A Goodnight’s Rest

woman sleeping

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.

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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.

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Big Red Rooster White Noise Sound Machine – 6 Natural and Soothing Sounds – Plug In Or Battery Powered With Optional Auto-Off Timer – Portable White Noise Machine for Office – Sleep and Sound Therapy https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H6WXUX8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_REUOBbV0WNFBS

5.  Black out shades/blinds or a night mask is  a good way to block the light.  We wear one even if its pitch black in our rooms.  We like this face mask.

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Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask (One Strap) – The Authentic Are ONLY”Sold by Alaska Bear” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GSO1D9O/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_g7TOBbG3SYWQ1

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.

 

Warmly,

Stephanie

 

black and white connected hands love
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am a  volunteer advocate for children with ADHD.  If you have a question,  please feel free to comment below or send me an email.  I would love to help you in any way I can.

IG:  @survivingadhdblog

Email and business inquiries: survivingadhdblog@gmail.com

 

**I am not affiliated nor get commissions from Amazon.  I have provided links to make your life a little easier.**😊

*** SNEAK PEAK***

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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.

 

 

 

 

ADD, ADHD, ADHD Advocate, Resources, School Tips, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tips To Get Ready For The New School Year

black and blue pens beside red covered notebook
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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    20180814_201252
  3. 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  20180814_2011581                   and dry erase markers  here: EXPO 80653 Low-Odor Dry Erase Set,… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MK2PZ6?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf                   20180814_201121
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

    man cutting hair
    Photo by Nick Demou on Pexels.com
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

 

I do not get commission from any links I suggest for you.

Please share this post with someone you know who would benefit from reading it.

 

Happy New School Year!

Stephanie🌞

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADD, ADHD, Uncategorized

Free Activities To Do In The Summer With Your Children

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

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.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

boy in blue and white shirt playing near on body of water with boy in red shirt
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

brown wooden bird house hanging on tree
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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.

food snack popcorn movie theater
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lastly, movies are available to watch for $1 at https://www.regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express check to see if you have a regal movie theater in your area. These movies are usually geared for kids and are shown as a matinée. You can’t beat this price!

woman and three children playing water
Photo by Yulianto Poitier on Pexels.com

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!

Happy summer!!

 

Stephanie🌞

 

Uncategorized

Family Road Trip Hacks

two female sitting on pink car
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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…

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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:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TF7ZZM2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_QtYdBbMTVV3MK

Or

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0843107588/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_uIYdBbWEJA8XD

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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:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001MY20X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_6JYdBbJ3GB62X

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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.

Click link here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001A3JT3U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_tQYdBbAEENF0F

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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:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1589473876/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_wRYdBbBC59PK3

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Our family loved Take “N” Play Bingo for ages 4-8 yrs old.  This was really good in planes and car rides since the board is magnetic.  There is also a Tic Tac Toe Magnetic version as well.

Click here for link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AQS1RC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_aUYdBbPDXMSM7

Or here for Tic Tac:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003ATT68A/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_qdziBb92PXYWE

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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:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TF7ZZM2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_QtYdBbMTVV3MK

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.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0039S7NO6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_QWEeBbQJN6SC6

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Or click here for grown up version:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ER6N5ZK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_k3EeBbMY5J7YM

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Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

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:

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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:

https://whyy.org/programs/eleanor-amplified

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Flash Forward is another goody. This podcast is about science meeting si-fi in the future.  Your kids will be really interested if they like “what if….?” Click here to listen:

http://www.Flashforwardpod.com

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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:

http://www.bookclubforkids.org

For more podcast information, visit http://www.familycircle.com

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:

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The above travel case is great for strollers and car seats.

Click here to learn more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075RKTD6W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_vkEeBbM27ADTE

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The above travel tray is great for  all ages.  The case hooks on the back of the front seat and can be carried to bring inside restaurants, planes, etc…

Click here to learn more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078P9GQB4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_toEeBbAQFPHYP

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:

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Or

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You can make your own or use these from:

https://www.rewardcharts4kids.com/behaviorcharts/reward

Another free printable website we have used numerous times over the years is:

http://www.chartjungle.com/behavior.html

Prizes can be souvenirs, ice cream cone, picking out an activity, etc…

 

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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.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

adult adventure baby child
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

*********GIVE-AWAY*********

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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Easy rules:

1. Subscribe to my blog.

2. Leave a comment that you would like to be entered into the contest.

3.  Follow me on Instagram: @survivingadhdblog and tag a friend.

 

That’s it! Winner will be picked in 2 weeks.  Unfortunately I can only send the book within the United States.  Good luck and enjoy your road trip.  Thank you for stopping by. Comments are welcome.

 

(I am not affiliated or get commission for any of the above mentioned )

 

Uncategorized

Learn How To Be Your Child’s Social Skills Team Leader

 

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When my was son was in Elementary School, he would talk about sharks, legos, trains and cars to anyone who would listen. He knew anything and everything about those subjects. The children in his class would listen for a little while about his knowledgeable facts, but would get bored quickly and walk away. Most of the children didn’t have interest in 7 different kinds of sharks!  My daughter on the other hand was a bossy ring-leader, she spoke her mind whether it hurt someone’s feelings or not (of course she did not realize this at that time). She is very smart and expects everyone to be on the same page as her. Teachers would contact me about what went on during school and so forth. It was then I decided that I needed to step up and be  a team-leader for my son and daughter and get their social skills in check. Role playing, joining clubs and communicating with your child’s teacher, etc… Will help your child improve their social skills.

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Practice, practice, practice.  Role playing with your child is a great way to help your children interact appropriately with their peers and will also give them confidence. Don’t be afraid to teach your child how to go up to someone and start a conversation with them.  Keep on reminding them on what to say and do, etc…

Signing up your children to clubs and activities that accentuate their interests will also help them make new friends.  The library, school and boy/girl scouts are a great starting points. There are plenty of free programs available out there.

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Another way to help is to chat with your child’s teacher. Explain to the teacher your concerns and ask if he/she can figure out who would be a good match for your child.  Perhaps the pair could sit next to each other and find out on their own what they have in common.

Lastly, join a professionally run social skills program. I highly recommend this as a parent/child group, so the kids can learn about social skills and you can learn how to help your child at the same time.  It’s amazing what a 4 – 6 week class can do for your family.

It may seem like your child is friendless forever and then all of a sudden you are having kids come over who knows more about sharks than your son does!!!

 

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Tips On How To Get Services From Your County or School District

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When I suspected my son was not developing like his peers, I decided to find out how I can get help for him.  This was a frightening task, but knew it was time.

If you have a child that is younger than 3 years old, you would need to contact your States Early Intervention Services.

Click on this link to find yours – http://www.ectacenter.org. Then click On Early Intervention Program, then scroll down to: How To Apply For Early Intervention. A Municipal Early Intervention Official will be there to give you information about your local program.

If your child is older than 3 years old, then contact your local School District.  If your child is almost 3 years old (like in 2-3 months or less) I would personally wait until 3 years old.  This way hopefully he/she would be more likely to get services if the criteria was harder.

Before an Evaluation happens, you need to write a letter to the School District.  If your child is already in the School District, then send a letter to his/her Principle requesting an Evaluation.   A letter might look something like this:

Dear ___________

I would like to request an Evaluation for my child, __________ for his/her eligibility for Special Services.   I am very concerned that my son/daughter is not progressing as well in school as he/she should be and may possibly need special help to succeed in school. 

 {Give some reasons why you are requesting an Evaluation  (like not paying attention in class, zones out, can not sit still, gets frustrated easily, etc…}

I would like to get a copy of the test results before our meeting, so I can review them ahead of time.

Please contact me so we can begin the next steps in helping my son/daughter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Parents name

Address

Phone #’s

Email

(CHADD Parent to Parent 2008)

Keep all copies of this letter and anything that goes along with it.  I would also recommend hand delivering this letter and make note of who accepted the letter, date and time.

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I am not going to lie, this can be a daunting task as a parent. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out and tons of questions will be asked and many emotions swirling around. Please do not let this paperwork deter you. Once all the initial paperwork is done there really isn’t much more. In the meantime while you are waiting for a response from the County or School District,  I highly recommend you bring your child to a Developmental Pediatrician to see if they suspect any issues your child may have. Having a diagnosis is a good thing to have, so everyone will know what is best for your child. If going to a doctor is out of the question due to income reasons, don’t worry about it for now, you are already going into the right direction for your child.  The system will evaluate your child and recommend what is best for your child. DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR CHILD!  YOU MUST STAY STRONG!

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Was This My Fault?

 

pexels-photo-235554.jpegKnowing that your child has a neurological condition such ADHD or any other issue for that matter is devastating.   I considered myself one of the lucky one’s, my son could  have had a much more hindering diagnosis.

Right away I started researching anything I could on the internet about ADHD.  You could say I was somewhat obsessed.  My best friend Kathy told me to stop wasting precious hours on the internet and use those hours for more productive things, like sleep. I didn’t listen to her wise advice.  I was staying up all night researching.  Trying to find out if this was my fault, could I have done something differently, etc… TOTAL waste of time!

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It took me a while, but finally stopped the all night research and started to realize  that this was not my fault!  The majority of the time ADHD is inherited and there was nothing I could have done differently (some other causes can be problems during pregnancy, drinking and or smoking during pregnancy, being exposed to toxins while pregnant, like lead paint and exposure to drugs, among other environmental poisons).

I decided to think proactively and think about how can I help My son?  What can be done to make his life easier?  How can I make him happy?

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Up next:  How I found the support I was searching for.

 

 

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Finding Support

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I was hyper-focusing on who were the experts in my community that could help me help my son. There was not much information out there.  It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  I could not understand why there was not any info readily available for me.  I had no one to talk to about this either.   All of my friends kids were Perfect, so they couldn’t help me.

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One day I found my guardian angel, Evelyn.  Evelyn worked at a non-profit advocacy center.  I was so excited that  I found someone who wanted to hear my story and had answers for me! Evelyn heard the uncertainty in my voice as I was telling her my story along with a gazillion questions.   Finally Evelyn couldn’t take my blubbering and told me to get a piece of paper and a pen and write this list down.  She wanted me to follow the list precisely and call her back when I finished the list.

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I was finally getting somewhere! Evelyn was an advocate for children with disabilities.  Evelyn’s job was to help parents learn how advocate for their children.

You can find your guardian angel by going to this website:

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/
Click on the right side the menu bar and find parent center, then press on the regional PTAC ( parent technical assistance center) press on  initial in your state and you will find the center that you can get assistance from. Once you have found your PTAC, get to know these experts, ask tons of questions, call them on a regular basis to let them know what’s going on.  Pretty soon they will know you by name, like mine did (lol!).

Join the ADHD support group CHADD:

http://www.chadd.org/

Go on this website to find your local CHADD Chapter and attend the monthly support group meetings as well as the lectures.  This is a great way to meet people that are in the same shoes as you.  Go to the vendors there and check out the products and services they offer and really get to know these people.  These are the individuals that will help you on your journey.

Join your local SEPTA (special education parent teacher association). You can find this support group in your school district.  The easiest way to find them is to look on your school district’s website or just call the school and ask.   Once you have joined this group you will be making even more friends that have children just like you.  The President and Vice President will be extremely valuable to you since they have been doing the advocating game for a while now and will be extremely helpful to you and may even be able to help you at your child’s CPSE (Commitee On Special Education) or CSE (Committee on Special Education) meeting.  You need to join this group, even if your child is in preschool.  As you go on this journey of yours you will need to plan one year ahead to keep your head above water.

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Next is to join or create your own Mom’s Group.  This is where you and your child get to have fun and meet lots  interesting people.  Make sure you join a group that has children the same age as yours, so they can actually play together.  Your child will get plenty of great role models to play with.  I personally looked on the internet for a Moms Group and joined.  After a while my friend and I decided to create  our own group.  I can’t even to begin to express to you how much that group helped me get through the roller coaster ride of ADHD. Most of these women have become my best friends.

 

Up next:  How do I Ask For Help through My County or School District?

 

 

 

 

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The Diagnosis

 

 

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So now I realize something is going on.  What should I do???? Most of my friends told me my son was fine, but I knew something was not right.  My mom-in-law told me that if I felt he should get checked out by a specialist, then I should.   She said it was up to me.  I took her advise and did.

Getting a diagnosis is not as easy as it sounds.  We went to a well known Pediatric Developmental Dr’s office, but was getting no where.  We did not find them  to be professional at all and seemed to be delaying a true diagnosis.  This also wasted precious time, I am talking months and months. So then we found another doctor ( 6 month wait for an appointment) and finally got a diagnosis of ADHD.  We were so thankful, but really wanted to make sure  (an autism diagnosis was always in the back of our minds) and sought out a second opinion with a Pediatric Neurologist who agreed with the ADHD diagnosis. This was a long excruciating process, but you CANNOT be deterred by the paperwork, phone calls, wait time, etc… All the work was worth the diagnosis.   So now we know it’s ADHD, now what???….

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