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: Tuesday January 26th - 12:39pm

My Teen Daughter Accepts Her ADHD Challenges without Shame

Lee now accepts her executive function challenges and feels comfortable enough to reach out for help.

How My Daughter Accepts Her Executive Function Challenges Without Shame
A few weeks ago, Lee and I were making gingerbread cookies for a holiday gift for her friends at school. She stared at the ingredients she’d already put in the bowl, oblivious to the dough that dripped off a spoon she held midair, while our dog lapped up splats on the floor. “Mom, I forget what’s next…” I pointed at the recipe to where she’d left off...
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posted: Tuesday November 17th - 10:56am

When School Gave My Daughter Anxiety Attacks

My child’s teacher thought she was making an excuse about not getting all her work done, so I cleared up his mistaken notion quickly.

My Daughter with ADHD and Her School Anxiety
I was eating dinner with my daughter, and I watched her push around the rice on her plate and pick at her chicken. “What’s wrong, Lee?” “My stomach. It hurts.” “School?” “Yes!” Red spots rose up in her cheeks as her words tumbled out, “Mr. Peters gave me too much work again in class. I couldn’t finish it on time. He acted...
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posted: Friday October 2nd - 10:23am

My Daughter’s Anxiety: Something a Mom Can’t Fix

We are working through my daughter’s newfound anxiousness not with meds but by tackling one worry at a time.

ADHD and Anxiety at School: Helping my Daughter
As kids pour out of the high school on a scorching hot autumn afternoon, I spotted Lee dragging behind the others, shoulders slumped and looking down. Maybe it’s just the heat, I thought, crossing my fingers. I’d hoped tenth grade would be a new start after a rocky year in ninth grade, but it wasn’t turning out that way. Lee swung her backpack into the...
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posted: Wednesday September 9th - 10:30am

The Amazing Race: My Daughter Doesn’t Have an Off Switch

I’ve learned to go with the flow when it comes to Lee’s high-energy pace.

Hyperactivity in Children: Searching for My Daughter’s Off Switch
On the first day of school, Lee and I walked into Staples, holding the teachers’ supplies list. When we saw the lines that snaked from the cashiers to the back of the store, Lee turned on her heel, ready to bolt. “I’m going to the car, Mom. Give me the keys.” “No, honey. You need to pick out your own supplies.” I...
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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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