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Jennifer Gay Summers, a teacher for 13 years and mom to a daughter with ADHD, is dedicated to helping other parents and teachers of ADHD children survive the rough moments and savor the wonderful ones.

posted: Monday August 3rd - 11:39am

My Daughter, The Time Traveler

We found a way to help our daughter make friends with time.

Time Management Techniques for Teens with ADHD
I poked my head into my teenage daughter’s room at 11 a.m. It was another lazy summer morning, and Lee sat at her desk Skyping with a friend, oblivious to the time. She was still dressed in pajama pants, her red hair an uncombed mass of curls. Her room was a mess. “I’ll be in the car,” I said. “What? OK.” “I’ll be in the car”...
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posted: Monday July 6th - 2:07pm

A Well-Deserved Summer Break for My Daughter

Making sure that the last-minute sprint to finish up the school year didn’t ruin her summer.

The Importance of Summer Routines for ADHD Teens
Yesterday after school, Lee hurled herself into the car and said, “I’m so stressed! I can’t wait to get home.” I could see she was holding back tears. Here we go again, I thought. I wished school was over, and that I had a magic wand I could wave to melt her anxiety away. Every year, as the school year comes to an end and the...
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posted: Thursday May 28th - 3:01pm

Taking Chances Pays Off for My ADHD Daughter

Don’t let ADHD stand in the way of your child meeting a challenge. There’s always a silver lining.

Summer School and ADHD: Overcoming an Academic Challenge
Lee read the flyer I handed her and said, “So basically I have to give up three weeks of my life this summer, but I get less homework all next year?” I nodded. She bit her lip, considering, then said, “Sign me up.” The flyer had come in the mail that day. I read it, then reread it, I and wondered if I were crazy...
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posted: Tuesday May 19th - 9:15am

Writing Fix: How My Daughter Got Beyond Dysgraphia

Poor handwriting skills affect my daughter’s writing between the lines, but not the creative stuff outside of them.

Dysgraphia and ADHD
Yesterday, my daughter Lee and I drove back down the old, familiar road to her elementary school for the first time in four years. Lee had been asked by Mrs. Rose, her favorite teacher, to volunteer in second-grade art class. I followed as Lee ran into the room and gave Mrs. Rose a hug. “Wow, everything’s so small now!” Mrs. Rose laughed and said, “Welcome back!...
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posted: Tuesday April 7th - 1:48pm

Sensory Overload: “Loud Noises Make My Daughter Run for the Hills”

One mom applauds (quietly) as her hypersensitive teen learns how to manage her challenges with sounds.

Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD
“Lee, how was school today?” She grabbed a granola bar from the kitchen and hurried toward her room. “Don’t ask,” she called, slamming her door. I gave her some time alone, then stuck my head in her room. “What happened?” Frustration flashed in her eyes. “Why do pep rallies have to be in gyms? What are we—a bunch of cattle? When are they going to realize not every kid is...
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posted: Friday March 13th - 9:00am

“My ADHD Daughter Can’t Drive Until She’s 18”

Sometimes a mom has to drive home the truth by saying, “Because you have ADHD.”

ADHD Teen Driver
Lee and I were enjoying lunch with my close friend, Kate, and her daughter Molly. “Can you believe that Molly is learning to drive?” Kate said. Lee made a face. “Mom says I can’t drive until I’m 18. I don’t see why I have to wait so long.” I shot back without thinking, “Because you have ADHD.” “That’s random.” “No, it’s not. The statistics show that teens...
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posted: Monday February 23rd - 9:53am

Friends Forever

When I was afraid to tell my longtime friends about Lee’s ADHD, they reached out with their hearts.

Teens with ADHD
“They’re talking about popular stuff, Mom. I want to go home,” said Lee, burrowing into my side, finding the old familiar groove she loved as a child. I put my arm around her and gave her a tight squeeze. We were at a swimming party reunion with a group of friends we’d known since preschool. We hadn’t seen them in six years. One family had...
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posted: Monday January 12th - 9:00am

"If Only Little Robots Could Keep My ADHD Child On Track"

When "I forgot" became her daughter's mantra in school, a mom takes things into her own hands.

Robot help for ADHD
“Mom, you’re going to be mad at me. I got an F on a science test.” “Why?” “I forgot to study.” “Did you look at your assignment binder?” “I forgot. And I forgot there was a test!” Lee had, as ADHD experts describe it, a limited working memory capacity, which made it difficult for her to be independent in school. She tried her best to remember, but on days...
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posted: Thursday December 18th - 8:43am

A Day at the Museum: My Daughter, on Exhibit

A sugar high, combined with ADHD, makes for a spirited time and disapproving looks at the museum.

Hyperactive ADHD Kid at the Museum
Museums don’t rank high on our list of fun family events, due to Lee’s ADHD. She gets bored easily, races through the exhibits without stopping, and hates listening to a tour guide. But the exhibit, “Spy: The Secret World of Espionage,” at the Ronald Reagan Library, was an easy sell. Lee loved old episodes of the old TV show Get Smart, and she agreed to go...
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posted: Tuesday October 14th - 2:04pm

Think Before You "Dys" a Kid with Attention Deficit

Why aren’t there nice neat labels for “creative artist” or “deeply intuitive child,” or my child’s other strengths, just as there are for her challenges?

“Mom!” I need another pencil!” Lee slumped down in her chair at the kitchen table, an angry red flush spreading across her cheeks. Then she flipped two broken pencils onto the floor and kicked them across the room. I brought over a sharp pencil and put my hand on her shoulder. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” “But I hate writing essays.” “Of course you do. You have...
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