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

GoAdoptionGift of Adoption Fund blog

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

posted: Monday July 16th - 9:19am

A Lightbulb Moment

I occasionally speak at conferences or to support groups about parenting kids with ADHD and other special needs. When I do, I always read aloud a particular essay, "A Lightbulb Moment." I love the way the essay's author, Cyn Kitchen, captures a moment in time with a child with ADHD, a child who is "wired differently," with love and humor. I recently had the thought that...
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posted: Tuesday May 22nd - 9:36pm

Washed, Dressed, Fed, Brushed...and Late for School Again!

"Put on your socks. Put on your socks. Put on your socks. Did you put your socks on yet?" Ah, the matchless joys of the ADHD mom's morning routine.

I recently returned from spending three days at a children's mental health conference in a neighboring state. My husband Don held down the fort at home while I was gone, which included two mornings of getting Natalie up and ready and driving her to school. Here's what he texted me on my last day away: "It's 8 AM and I've already done more work getting Natalie...
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posted: Tuesday May 15th - 8:13pm

A Really Big Blog-iversary Giveaway!

Be my guest at the summer 2012 Happy Mama Conference & Retreat!

March 30, 2012 marked 4 years since I started writing this blog for When I first started, I worried that I'd run out of things to write about. As it turns out, my concern was unnecessary. My daughter, Natalie, generates plenty of ADHD-inspired material for me, bless her heart. I have no doubt she'll continue to challenge, entertain, and inspire me well into the future. I've...
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posted: Monday April 2nd - 11:40am

Reasons for Respite

A new study shows a direct correlation between respite services and lower hospitalization rates for children with special needs. So why are these sanity-saving services so difficult for parents to secure? Does your ADHD child benefit from them?

Our family is going through a tough transition right now. My niece Hannah, who has been our primary respite provider and Natalie’s summer tutor for the last few years, is moving out of state in a few weeks. We’re happy for Hannah, and her husband, Adam, as they take this next exciting step in their lives as young marrieds. But that happiness is tempered by some...
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posted: Tuesday March 27th - 6:14am

"What Kind of Special Needs Does Your Daughter Have?"

When another parent instantly recognized Natalie's differences, it hit me hard that no matter how much we practice social skills, ADHD is always front and center.

We adopted our daughter, Natalie, from Russia when she was two years old, and over time we learned that she has ADHD with a few comorbid conditions. While some adoptive parents view questions about their child and the circumstances of his/her adoption as rude and intrusive, I’ve always welcomed such conversations and the opportunities they give me to educate others. Same goes for questions about Nat’s...
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posted: Thursday March 22nd - 9:00pm

You Call That Organized?!?

Natalie and her ADHD friends were so proud of their efforts at cleaning, organizing, and decluttering her playroom. And so was I, until I looked in the trash can.

Last weekend Natalie had two of her friends over to play, but they couldn’t think of a thing to do. They were soooo bored. So I said what I always say after they pooh-pooh my every idea for entertaining themselves: "I can put you to work. There are plenty of chores to do.” Miracle of miracles — perhaps because they talked me into paying them —...
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posted: Friday February 17th - 5:58am

Wanted: A Happy Ending

"I think of my 14-year-old son, Aaron, as a shadow child -- out-moved, out-shouted, and out-needed by his 10-year-old ADHD sister, Natalie, the child we brought home from Russia."

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise
Enter to win a free copy of Kay's book, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise! Even though I co-edited the book Easy to Love but Hard to Raise, and thus had a considerable in, I didn’t submit an essay for inclusion in the book. I started to write an essay, but I never finished it. One reason was that I was too busy editing other people’s...
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posted: Tuesday February 14th - 6:50am

Easy to Love. Hard to Raise. Yours to Win.

Worry, guilt, and ultimately joy -- do you recognize yourself in Kay Marner's portrait of the parent of a challenging child? Tell us how you're like Eve for a chance to win Kay's new book.

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise
February 1, 2012, marked a milestone in my life. Easy to Love but Hard to Raise, the book I co-edited with Adrienne Ehlert Bashista of DRT Press, was officially published! In celebration, and in thanks to this blog's readers, I'm giving away three free copies of the book. For a chance to win, just comment on this post, answering this question: How are you like Eve? Chances...
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posted: Wednesday February 8th - 2:24pm

A Love Letter to You, Moms and Dads

When you’re parenting a young child with ADHD, there’s a question you might wonder about, but are afraid to ask: Do things get easier as our kids with ADHD get older? Take heart, fellow parents, because, at least in my personal experience, the answer is “yes.”

February 12, 2012 marks the ninth anniversary of my daughter Natalie's adoption, and the beginning of the most challenging years of my life. Nat was 2 and a half when we brought her home from an orphanage in Russia. Within days of coming home, we began the ongoing process of evaluating, treating, “therapizing,” and teaching that helped her grow into the fabulous tween girl she is today...
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posted: Tuesday January 31st - 9:49am


Letting my preteen daughter text has helped her join the in-crowd, but her ADHD makes it hard for her to control her digital impulses.

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I’ve never had to set limits on my daughter Natalie's use of electronics. The hyperactivity that comes with her ADHD is extreme enough that she's never been interested in sitting still very long -- at the computer, the Wii, or with her Nintendo DS. Until recently, that is. At age 11 and in fifth grade, Natalie doesn't...
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