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Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid blogAutism, bi-polar disorder, ADD, and LD

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Can mom be calm?Raising special needs kids without anxiety or depression

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Adrienne Ehlert BashistaAuthor, school visitor, book lover, and librarian

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Archives: June 2008

posted: Monday June 30th - 2:56pm

When the Punishment Is Too Harsh

Has someone ever disciplined your ADHD child in a way you believed to be inappropriate?

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Has a care provider, teacher, or even a family member ever disciplined your child with ADHD in a way you believed to be inappropriate; because they didn’t see or believe that a specific behavior stemmed from a disorder? Natalie had a wonderful teacher this past school year. Mrs. Junck was a dream come true — warm, energetic, highly skilled, and experienced. She not only...
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posted: Friday June 27th - 7:45am

Tales of Destruction

What’s the most expensive item your ADHD child has destroyed within 24 hours?

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Thanks for all the comments on my earlier post about Natalie destroying her blue jeans. Wow, I’m not in this alone! Reading your responses made me realize… I have more to say on this topic. Boy, do I ever! Last Christmas, Nat’s “big” present was a children’s drum set. She loves music, and I thought that, given her problems with sensory integration, having...
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posted: Thursday June 26th - 7:14am

Outing My ADHD Child

I hope that my decision to be upfront about Natalie’s differing abilities helps her grow up believing that having ADHD is no big deal.

Natalie and Harry were thrilled to participate in Story City, Iowa’s Scandinavian Days parade, which took place a couple of weeks ago. ChildServe, the agency where Nat receives occupational therapy invited them to be a part of their parade entry. Nat, Harry, and another boy took turns riding therapy bikes. Harry’s mom and I both helped—she worked her rear end off keeping the kids together, and moving...
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posted: Wednesday June 25th - 12:18pm

From Snuggle to Struggle

If you take your medicine I'll give you ice cream!

When I got out of the shower this morning, Nat had just woken up, and was coming up the stairs to find me, dragging her latest favorite blanket. “Let’s snuggle,” she said, “the first one to the bed gets your pillows!” She won, of course, and I climbed in bed next to her. She was just telling me about her dream, where Kallie, and Casey, and...
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posted: Tuesday June 24th - 12:04pm

Respite

Nat spent the weekend with her aunt and we got to focus some attention on our son.

It’s Monday morning, and I’m looking back at a great weekend. Natalie went to Aunt Ann’s for a respite weekend, and unlike last time, it was successful all around. Natalie had a fantastic time, and wasn’t homesick for a minute. Don and I relaxed a little. Most important of all, we spent some enjoyable time focusing on Aaron. Nat was too excited to go...
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posted: Thursday June 19th - 9:42am

Pool Days

I’d be proud to have a child who is immature and needs lots of supervision, rather than a mature child who is neglected.

Natalie’s birthday is coming up. She’s about to turn eight. Although I know I shouldn’t compare my two kids, I can’t help but do so sometimes. I honestly think Natalie’s about as mature as Aaron was at age five. And that, at five, Aaron was light years ahead of where Natalie is now in reading and math. There was a letter to the editor in the Tribune,...
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posted: Wednesday June 18th - 7:52am

Pick & Rip

Left to her own devices, Natalie would happily rip the shirt right off her back, plus her jeans, and her shoes...

Pick and rip. Pick and rip. If there’s a flaw in fabric, Nat will find it. She just can’t leave stuff like that alone. Nat put on blue jeans yesterday that our neighbor, Julie, gave us. Her daughter, Madeline, wears slims, like Natalie, and she’d outgrown several pairs. The knees on this pair were worn; there was a tiny hole in the left one. But, they were...
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posted: Tuesday June 17th - 8:01am

Bouncing Off the Walls

How quickly my happy, playful girl morphs into a growling, furious creature when we enter the vicinity of unsuspecting strangers in a quiet auditorium.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Aaron will be in sixth grade next fall, and his middle school orientation was last night. I really wanted to be there with him, but taking Natalie to events like this — noisy, crowded — and expecting her to tag along quietly is asking for trouble. So, the plan was that Don would take Aaron to the orientation, and I would stay home with Natalie until...
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posted: Monday June 16th - 6:38am

Take Me Out to The T-Ball Game

Natalie behaved like a perfect child and I'm happy. I'm proud! And I'm embarrassed!

I must be either crazy or incredibly stupid. Either way, I'm embarrassed. Natalie started T-ball last night. She stayed with the group the entire time. She sat and listened when she was supposed to sit and listen. She followed the coaches’ every direction. She greeted a friend from daycare, Jared, and made a new friend, Carson, and played with him at the adjacent...
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posted: Friday June 13th - 9:47am

Can I Get a Little Respite?

Carving out special time for Aaron - the non-ADHD 'other' kid - is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be relaxing. So how come I'm wrought with guilt?

How do I spell "guilt?" R-E-S-P-I-T-E! My family started receiving respite services through a Child Mental Health Waiver in January. The goals are for Don and I to get some relief from the challenges of parenting Natalie, to spend some quality time together, and to give Aaron some much-needed attention. We hand-picked two respite providers that we thought Natalie would love to spend time with. Allie,...
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posted: Thursday June 12th - 8:54am

Must Be Nice...

Yes, I get my house cleaned every two weeks, OK?! Do I feel guilty? Who has time for guilt?

“Remind me that I need to give Marshall $40,” I told my sister-in-law, Teresa. “I paid him to put together some shelves for the basement, and he washed the check I gave him along with his blue jeans.” “Oh, you’re one of those people: who pay for people to do things for you,” she said jokingly. You’re damn right, I am. At least, I’ve become one. It’s...
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posted: Wednesday June 11th - 7:49am

Meet Harry

Nataline and Harry both have ADHD and I wouldn't discourage their friendship for all the Ritalin at Walgreens.

I think Natalie's friend, Harry, was 5 when he told his mom, "Natalie and I are married." "When did that happen? I would have liked to have been there," his mom said. "Well, we had to do it in kind of a hurry," Harry explained. Nat and Harry both have ADHD. They do everything in a hurry. Nat and Harry met at age 3, in Audra...
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posted: Tuesday June 10th - 6:15am

School's Out

School's out for the summer, the kids are sleeping in, and my new morning routine is bittersweet.

Yesterday was Aaron and Natalie's last day of school. This morning, I woke up to my alarm at 7:10 - and Nat didn't! She stayed asleep (on my favorite pillows, on my side of my bed) where she'd appeared in the middle of the night. "I'm scared," she'd said, and fell right back to sleep. With Nat still asleep, I took a longer shower. I...
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posted: Monday June 9th - 7:18am

Leave It to Beaver

I've discovered that I've got more in common with June Cleaver than I ever expected.

Natalie was the "Very Special Person of the Day" at school on Wednesday. In Nat's first grade class, the VSP brings a couple of items for show and tell, a book to read to the class (and sometimes a parent to read it), an afternoon snack for the class, and gets to be the line leader for the day. The night before, Nat and I...
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posted: Friday June 6th - 7:19am

Success! And Cookies

It is a major triumph to make a plan AND successfully execute it.

Aaron has “Pioneer Day” today at school, and last night he needed to prepare period-specific food, wrapped in waxed paper (no baggies) in a metal lunch pail, made from a coffee can, covered with a red and white checkered dish towel. He had a list of acceptable foods — and chose beef jerky, two biscuits with butter and jam, and root beer in an old-fashioned glass...
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posted: Thursday June 5th - 8:56am

The Quest for Unbreakable Glasses

Natalie is supposed to wear glasses. The problem is, both Pair A and Pair B are usually broken!

Natalie wears glasses. Well, she’s supposed to wear glasses. She has two pairs, so that when one is bent or broken, she can wear the others. The problem is, both pairs are usually broken! She picks the tiny silicone pads off the nose pieces. If she can’t peel them off with her fingers, she bites the whole nose piece off. Oh, no, sorry, SOMEONE bites them off,...
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posted: Wednesday June 4th - 8:24am

Me? A Stressed-Out Mother?

What kind of mother admits to being stressed out by her child? One like me.

Another day, another service provider. I welcomed a new social worker into our home tonight. This time, we were being evaluated to see if Nat qualifies for remedial services, specifically in-home help with skill development. We’re already receiving two types of in-home services: therapy, and home and community something or other. This will be the third. Luckily, they’re all through one agency, Gayle’s, so she can figure...
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posted: Tuesday June 3rd - 10:38am

Extreme Coping

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I've resorted to Extreme Coping.

When I got home from work last night around 9:30, Nat was in bed, and Aaron was finishing his homework in his room. Don was just sitting down to channel surf for baseball games. There was note for me on the kitchen table. "I stopped by for four hours and did laundry. Hope you enjoy the clean sheets on your bed. I'll be back tomorrow,...
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posted: Monday June 2nd - 10:09am

The Big Sleepover

Parents of "normal" kids don't seem to want to deal with, or don't understand, children with ADHD.

I'm doing my usual Monday morning routine, drinking coffee at Stomping Grounds and checking email before heading to work. My Mondays are 10-hour work days. I start with a staff meeting at 11:00, then stock the Bookmobile with books and other library materials, and work the 4:00 to 9:00 Bookmobile stop at Sawyer School. So, it's Don's night to pick up the kids, do homework with...
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