Connect
GO

Feed

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 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...
Continue Reading »
posted: Friday September 19th - 2:44pm

Mom's Cool with Staying Calm

One mother has finally learned to back away from overreaction when her ADHD daughter sparks it.

After a long day at school, Lee usually yanks open the door and throws her backpack into the car. She jumps in after it and yells, “Let’s go! Hurry!” So, on a Monday afternoon, when she slid in quietly, backpack on her lap, I knew something was wrong. “Are you OK?” I asked, pulling away from the curb. She was silent for a minute. Then she said, “Don’t...
Continue Reading »
posted: Tuesday June 10th - 4:36pm

When Dad Stepped Up

When my husband stepped up to help out with Lee's ADHD challenges, they grew even closer.

Happy Father's Day
"No!" my husband cried, as he pushed the button on the old voice recorder again and again. "Screeech..." The old machine sputtered out one last scratchy screech and ground to a halt. My husband groaned. The tape had the one recording he loved most, Lee's three-year-old voice saying, "Daddy, I love you. I want a big hug!" He leaned back in his chair. "Remember the toads?" I smiled. He was...
Continue Reading »
posted: Friday May 9th - 10:31am

Thanks, Moms

How two moms’ acceptance of my ADHD daughter helped me stand up to the world that didn’t.

Mother and daughter talking on a bench
When our daughter Lee was born, she came into the world with colic, crying day and night. At three months old, the colic had improved, but Lee was still restless. Her body was in perpetual motion. I attempted a Mommy and Me class, desperate to meet some other moms and be reassured that things would get better. When I got to class, the moms were smiling and...
Continue Reading »
posted: Tuesday April 15th - 10:50am

My ADHD Daughter (and I) Start Big, Scary High School Together

Should I act like a protective Mother Bear or step back to let my Lee step up in high school?

adhd girl sitting in the grass alone
On a lazy Saturday, I walked into our back yard where Lee was hanging out with her friend Kay listening to music on the patio. I put lunch down on a table between them, wary of the bees hovering over the roses nearby. “I’m so excited to go to high school, Lee, aren’t you?” Kay said and tore into her sandwich. The girls were in eighth grade...
Continue Reading »
posted: Tuesday February 4th - 12:57pm

Whoops! There It Is!

Helping my daughter curb her embarrassing, sometimes funny blurts is an ongoing challenge. She just can’t help it.

Girl blurting out
“I love the words to this song. Don’t you, Mom?” I listened, thinking I did like Sara Bareilles’ song, “Brave,” but I’d never paid much attention to the lyrics before. Lee sang along, “Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly, I want to see you be brave.” As I watched Lee pour her heart into the words, they struck home. Of...
Continue Reading »
posted: Monday December 16th - 11:56am

Following Lee

I won’t miss another spontaneous (impulsive moment) with my daughter, so I decided to let her ADHD be my guide.

The moon rising over hills
“Mom, follow me!” Lee scrambled up a narrow dirt path that led to a steep bank to the top of a hill, across from our house. It was starting to get dark and my fears emerged. Would I slip in my light canvas shoes? If I did make it up, how the heck would I make it down? What if our dinner burned on the stove? I...
Continue Reading »
posted: Friday November 15th - 10:55am

A Tough Call — and a Good One

Seeing Lee’s unmedicated buddy bounce off walls led me to a peaceful moment.

The call came out of the blue. A friend of mine from Lee’s elementary school days needed me to watch her son, Patrick, while she went work. I couldn’t say no. She’d been there for me in the hardest days before Lee’s ADHD diagnosis, supporting me when others turned their backs. She understood because her son, Patrick, was also a handful. But she never sought help,...
Continue Reading »
posted: Thursday October 17th - 10:57am

Don’t Lose Faith in Your ADHD Child

There she goes again, my daughter acting impulsively. Boy was I wrong.

Map of Alaska
After 14 years of raising a child with ADHD, I thought I could handle any judgment thrown my way. When my child was accused of an impulsive moment, I could stand my ground. I’d had enough practice. But a recent family vacation in Alaska showed that I was wrong. My husband and I were exploring the Denali National Park with our daughter, Lee, who was hyperfocused...
Continue Reading »
posted: Monday August 12th - 9:22am

A Birthday Present Wrapped in Love

I am so thankful that our 14-year-old ADHD daughter came into our lives.

Birthday Cake
On our daughter Lee’s birthday, I sit at my desk and do what I’ve done for 14 years. I type an e-mail to thank her birth mother, the beautiful redhead with an enormous heart who made it possible for me to be a mother. Her selfless gift is our greatest joy. No child comes without challenges, and we, like many others who raise a child...
Continue Reading »
« Mom Is the Word

« All Blogs

 

Archives

Copyright © 1998 - 2013 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 39 W. 37th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018