Penny Williams is an organized planner trying to make sense of life with her son, Ricochet, whose ADHD and learning disabilities create perpetual chaos. Her son’s needs are a moving target, leading her to create new roadmaps at a moment’s notice. To find more from Penny, visit her personal blog and read her book, Boy Without Instructions.

posted: Monday November 10th - 3:06pm

Stop Telling Your Child to Act His Age

Boost your child’s self-esteem by measuring your child’s behaviors by his “ADHD age,” not by his real age.

ADHD and Maturity
Lots of experts and parents refer to ADHD as a behavioral disorder or a neurobehavioral disorder, but it’s crucial to recognize that it is a developmental disorder, too. A developmental disorder is defined in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, as a chronic disability that is attributable to physical or mental impairment (check), begins in childhood (check), is likely to continue...
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posted: Wednesday October 22nd - 12:43pm

The Boy Who Cried Wolf: My ADHD Son's Lying

We didn’t believe our son’s tall tales, but we didn’t let his “creative embellishments” stop us from having his back.

ADHD and Crying Wolf, Lying and ADHD
I’m sure you’re familiar with the fable of the boy who cried wolf, and who was eventually eaten by the animal. My son, Ricochet, is that boy. I imagine many of your sons and daughters with ADHD are the kid who cried wolf, too. Ricochet is a creative kid. He’s also very sensitive. When you combine feeling things deeply and a penchant for creative embellishment, you get...
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posted: Monday October 6th - 10:34am

My Bright Son Is Ready to Shine

It was all high-fives, fist bumps, and tears of maternal joy when Ricochet finally said out loud that “I am smart.”

Boy raising hand and actively participating in class
My son, Ricochet — who has ADHD, anxiety, dysgraphia, executive functioning deficits, and a gifted IQ — has struggled in school since the first day of kindergarten. It’s no secret; I’ve had to be the squeaky wheel dozens of times. There are two core issues at the root of Ricochet’s school struggles and his refusal to go to school that I can put my finger on: A pattern...
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posted: Tuesday September 23rd - 12:40pm

ADHD at School: The Honeymoon Is Over

My hope that this school year would be different for my son ended on Day 4.

ADHD at School: Carpool
School and ADHD are a toxic combination. That’s true for my son, Ricochet, who has ADHD, SPD, learning disabilities, and a gifted IQ. I could fill a book with stories about his school struggles. Oh, wait...I did. His school journey so far has been filled with characters like Miss Gulch or Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz and everything in between. Each year I...
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posted: Tuesday August 19th - 10:37am

Strength (and Support) in Numbers

Building a parent support network is as important as knowing all about ADHD.

Parents of ADHD children get great parenting advice from support groups.
When my son, Ricochet, was first diagnosed with ADHD in 2008, I did not know a single person whose child had ADHD. I didn’t know anyone whose child struggled in school. The doctor spoke three words in life-altering succession that day — "Ricochet has ADHD" — and sent us back into the world with some generic fact sheets, those three ugly words echoing in my head, and...
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posted: Saturday July 26th - 10:25am

What Kind of Momma Wishes for Disabilities?

My 11-year-old son, Ricochet, has already accumulated an alphabet soup of diagnoses: ADHD, SPD, EFD, Dysgraphia, Written Expression Disorder, and giftedness. Sadly, I was hoping for one more, HFA or high-functioning autism, also once diagnosed as Asperger’s. I know it sounds like I’m a heinous momma for wishing any sort of disability on my son, but I have good reason. First of all, I would never wish...
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posted: Friday July 11th - 1:49pm

"I Want Friends, But They Don’t Want Me"

My son might as well have a "kick me" sign on his back when it comes to his peers.

Kick Me Sign
My son, Ricochet, has had trouble socially ever since his peers were old enough to be perceptive and discerning. By second grade, he came home and told me about kids being mean to him at school. He was up against a throw-you-on-the-ground-on-the-playground-and-punch-you-repeatedly bully in third grade -- a kid who, with his posse of miniature thugs, taunted Ricochet until he reacted. In the three years since, my...
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posted: Wednesday June 18th - 3:23pm

Time for Mama, Time for You

Kick back, put up your feet, and recharge your battery with special-ed moms at the Happy Mama Conference and Retreat — and enter to win a free registration!

Happy Mama Conference and Retreat Logo
When my son, Ricochet, was diagnosed with ADHD in late 2008, I hit the web looking for advice and insight from moms who faced the same challenges. I didn't know it then, but getting support from people running the same parenting race is the most successful way to be an effective caregiver to special needs children. Special parenthood is tough, and we need the support of others...
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posted: Thursday June 12th - 12:40pm

Chill Skills: Calming My Emotional ADHDer

When my son's frustration leads to outbursts and meltdowns, I pull out these tricks that are helping him learn to regulate his emotions.

ADHD and Emotions, Emotional Regulation, Emotions
In our household, we find ourselves saying, "Is it really worth all that?" to our son, Ricochet. His responses to frustration and social issues are often overdone for an 11-year-old boy. This is due to his ADHD and learning disabilities, and can usually be tracked back to two triggers: an overly sensitive emotional reaction or the inability to handle a small amount of frustration appropriately. Just...
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posted: Monday June 2nd - 10:12pm

My ADHD Playbook: I Rewrite It Every Day

A tired, emotional, stressed-out mom raises her ADHD son, one day at a time.

Mother and child holding hands
Parenting a child with ADHD is harder than parenting a neurotypical child — and harder than fellow parents who have never walked a day in our shoes realize. It’s more emotional, more physical, more stressful, and more exhausting. I alternate between feelings of hope and sorrow. I’m so very tired! My son, Ricochet, is now 11 years old and in fifth grade. He was diagnosed with ADHD...
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