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

Out Of FocusRants, raves and idiocies from an ADHD perspective

Toys Are ToolsProduct advice for all kinds of growth

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

Easy to Love But Hard to RaiseBlog companion to the new collection of parenting essays edited by Kay Marner and and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista

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Archives: April 2009

posted: Wednesday April 29th - 4:32pm

A Different Life, Part 2

A new book made me think about our different parenting styles when it comes to Natalie's ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
It was a desire to understand life from Natalie’s perspective that led me to read Quinn Bradlee’s new memoir, A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures. While book’s style supported that mission, I couldn’t help but “think like a mother” as I read, so I appreciated how Quinn and his coauthor incorporated Quinn’s mother’s viewpoint throughout the story too. ...
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posted: Monday April 27th - 3:13pm

A Different Life

A young man's memoir was eye-opening to me, as a parent of a special-needs child.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
I just finished reading an interesting book, , by Quinn Bradlee, with Jeff Himmelman. Quinn is a young man with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS), a genetic disorder marked by varying combinations of characteristic facial features, congenital heart disease and vascular problems, cleft palate and/or abnormal speech, and either a learning disability or psychiatric disorder. (Whew! And I thought having a kid with ADHD was tough!) ADHD...
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posted: Friday April 24th - 11:13am

I'm Using My Words, Too!

After reading that kids with ADHD sometimes have trouble interpreting social cues, I considered how that might apply for Natalie.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
I recently wrote about encouraging kids with ADHD to “use their words” to communicate feelings. I’ve learned that “using my words” is the best way to communicate my feelings to Natalie, too. After reading that kids with ADHD sometimes have trouble interpreting social cues, I tried to consider various contexts in which that concept might apply for Natalie. One scenario I came up with was...
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posted: Thursday April 23rd - 3:16pm

Learning New Words

An interesting study about ADHD kids and language made me see Natalie's skills in a new light.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Every single time I click around ADDitudemag.com, I learn something new and interesting about ADHD. Have you ever seen a website that contains so much practical information? (Actually, as a non-ADHDer, I find the website itself to be just a little ADHDish!) Today’s find was this: “ADHD Children Process Language More Slowly: New study indicates a difference in language comprehension speed--but not accuracy--in ADHD children.”...
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posted: Tuesday April 21st - 1:46pm

Is Your ADHD Kid Addicted to Video Games?

A new study says pathological gamers are twice as likely to have ADHD. Really?

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
There was a front page article in yesterday’s Des Moines Register about research on kids and video games that was done right here in Ames, Iowa, at Iowa State University. Here’s a quote: "Almost one in 10 American children, ages 8 to 18, are addicted to video games the way people are addicted to drugs or gambling, ISU researchers found in the largest study of its kind. So-called...
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posted: Monday April 20th - 3:22pm

ADHD-Free Weekend

A respite weekend of doing absolutely nothing was just what I needed.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
How I love respite weekends! Natalie spent the weekend at Aunt Ann’s, and I spent the weekend ADHD-free, and doing absolutely nothing. That wasn’t my plan going into it, mind you. I meant to clean out the walk-in closet that Don and I share in our master bedroom. It’s been the catch-all for boxes, bins, and baskets full of papers, pictures, and junk needing to...
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posted: Wednesday April 15th - 1:35pm

Sleep Struggles

After an early wake-up yesterday, Natalie was a wreck.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Natalie woke up at 4:30 a.m. yesterday. Since she started taking Clonidine at bedtime, she’s sleeping better overall. She’s only waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning once every week or two, thank goodness, instead of several times a week. This morning, in contrast, she just couldn’t wake up. My mom always said that a lack of sleep hits you hardest...
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posted: Tuesday April 14th - 3:21pm

Acting Out and ADHD Anxiety

Was Natalie's crime an incident of ADHD impulsivity? Or is her anxiety meter registering in the acting-out zone?

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
The phone rang Friday afternoon. It was Mrs. Carter, Natalie’s special ed teacher. This can’t be good, I thought when I heard her voice. Mrs. Carter and I usually communicate about routine matters via email. Sure enough, Nat was in trouble. She stole a quarter from another child to buy a pencil from the little vending machine by the office. (Nat has--literally--hundreds of pencils.) When Natalie was...
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posted: Friday April 10th - 9:26am

Our After-School Routine

Any change--even changes for the better--can be stressful for our kids with ADHD.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
I know that kids need consistent schedules. But doesn’t that apply mostly to preschoolers? That’s what I thought. But, at age 8½, Natalie still reacts negatively to changes in her routine. I suspect that Natalie’s need for consistency is intensified by her ADHD. I’m in my third week of stay-at-home motherhood, since quitting my part-time job. Nat’s last day at daycare coincided with my last...
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posted: Tuesday April 7th - 10:13am

ADHD-Aware Teachers

Let's hear it for the fabulous teachers who really, truly care about the kids they work with.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Check out the following excerpt from an e-mail I received from my cousin, Kari, a second-grade teacher in Colorado: I had no idea how many struggles you have with Natalie. She is such an amazing child. I think about her so much as a second-grade teacher. She has had a huge impact on my teaching. My class this year is difficult. I love them to pieces individually, but,...
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posted: Monday April 6th - 12:14pm

Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder

Finally, a book that offers expertise based specifically on the barriers that having ADHD brings to organizing.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized, by Susan C. Pinsky, is the best book I’ve come across for offering expertise that is based specifically on the barriers that having ADHD brings to storing and organizing. That’s what I’m talking about! In the book’s introduction, Pinsky writes about working as...
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posted: Friday April 3rd - 11:08am

Expert ADHD Organizing

If you don’t understand the multitude of ways that having ADHD leads to a chaotic home environment, then you aren’t the right person to help my child learn to organize.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
For 16 years, I worked at a community mental health center, helping adults with chronic mental illnesses to live independently. I did things like taking people grocery shopping and to doctor appointments. I helped people apply for benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. I helped them fill their med-minders. Having only a bachelor’s degree in psychology to guide me, I did a lot of learning on...
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posted: Thursday April 2nd - 10:12am

ADHD Aversion to Car Travel

If you happen to “have a need: a need for speed!”, like Natalie, then riding with a law-abiding driver, like me, just might drive you crazy.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
Natalie surprised and impressed me recently by “using her words” to describe a specific ADHD-related phenomenon: the difficulty she has tolerating riding in the car. I’ve written several posts in this ADHD parenting blog about Nat’s aversion to car travel. Think about it: what’s not to dislike, if you have ADHD? When riding in a car, you have to sit relatively still, and if you don’t, your...
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posted: Wednesday April 1st - 10:17am

"Use Your Words!"

For children with ADHD, assigning words to emotions is especially challenging.

Parenting ADHD Children blogger Kay Marner is mother to an ADHD daughter in Ames, Iowa
First, I heard Natalie’s teachers say it. Then, it was Gayle, our in-home therapist. Now, I find myself saying it, often several times a day. For all children, learning to assign words to feelings is an important step in development. For children with ADHD, it seems to be especially important, and especially challenging. Why should our children use their words? Identifying how we...
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