Showing posts with label ADHD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADHD. Show all posts

Back to School Checklists for Kids

This school year is going to be bringing about a lot of changes for my family.  The biggest change is that A is going back into public school. This will be the first time in ten years that I have no children home with me! I am going to increase my work hours at home so that I work for the entire time the kids are at school.  I also am taking on a weekend job outside the home in social services.  My husband may even be taking on a new position at his job.  Lots of changes afoot for us!

My kids will have at least two extra curricular activities each at any given time.  That's how it always is.  We try to ensure they see friends at least once a week as well.  Basically, we are going to be busy.  Life becomes a whirlwind during the school year. 

I am determined to stay organized this year. I will admit it is hard for us to stay organized even without being busy.  I can do it but it takes a lot of concentration and energy for me being a dyspraxic (and I am realizing as I get older that I may have ADHD, too).  My daughter has executive functions issues along with her dyspraxia.  My hubby is the most disorganized of all of us.  He is a genius in his field but keeping track of appointments, homework, and even car keys is not his strong suit.  

To keep the kids on course, I have made them checklists for before and after school.  This way they know what is expected and it is not overwhelming.  As long as these things get done we'll be okay.  I will have to make up some lists for myself as well!  

If your kids need organization help, feel free to download these lists for yourself or copy and tweak them to meet your needs.  

You'll notice I added in setting a goal in the morning.  This is because I know for myself that when I set an intention in the beginning of the day things go much more smoothly for me.  When you tell your mind what you hope to accomplish and you have a direction set, things fall into place for you and you feel more secure.  I want this for my kids.

I also added prayer time at the end of the day where the kids need to be thankful for what is good.  Taking the time each night, even for just a minute or two, to be grateful and appreciate what we have can make such a difference in how we feel and what we take to the others we interact with.  I also say for them to ask for help with anything they need assistance with.  This gives a sense of control and of faith.  If anything is going wrong we are taking the time to do what we can by asking for help and turning our struggle over to a higher power.  

I added family time to the after school list as well.  I know with the activities there may be days where we can't fit in a game or a craft but it is something to shoot for as much as possible.  I am going to really miss my kids this year and I want to make sure I spend time with them whenever I possibly can.  I feel this is good for all of us.  I miss them already and they have not even gone back to school yet!

Link to Checklists:

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Have You Tried Fish Oil?

*This is a completely honest post but I am including my Amazon affiliate link.  If you order the product using my link I will be paid a very small commission. 

When my child was first (wrongly I believe) diagnosed with inattentive ADHD, I was asked if we wanted to do medication.  I opted not to.  I was pretty sure my kid had Dyspraxia, but the doctor we were with did not know what that was and I wanted to do my own research first anyway.

My child was not acting out and she did not appear to be suffering except in school due to the actions (or her interpretation of the actions) of other people.  Only now are some of the stories coming out of her being threatened and bullied in school, but that is another story...

Anyway, because she seemed to struggle due to outside things and not be in a constant struggle on the inside, I decided not to medicate.  I am not saying medication is wrong, it just was not right for us at the time.  I looked into alternative treatments.  The doc did recommend fish oil and a high protein diet so I started there.

We threw away a lot of containers of fish oil for children.  Neither of my kids could stomach the taste no matter what they masked it with.  When I thought they might be exaggerating about how bad it was, I tried it myself and immediately gagged.  I can get almost anything down if you tell me it is healthy for me, but fish mixed with fake fruit flavoring was not happening.

I tried to have them swallow the fish oil capsules I take.  My ten year old can swallow pills now but the fish oil ones were just too big!

Finally, I decided to try Coromega for kids.  The reviews were really good on Amazon and everyone stressed that there was no fish taste.  Of course, I had heard this before so I wasn't getting my hopes up.

We got the orange flavor and I tried it first this time so as not to torture the kids again.  It was great!  I did not even tell them what it was at first because I did not want to deter them.  They loved it and wanted more!  Coromega tastes like an orange creamsicle.  It comes in squeeze packets much like kids' yogurt.  It has become the favorite part of breakfast!

Now does it work?

I take fish oil for my cholesterol.  I do not notice any difference in my thinking when I take it.  As for my kids, it seems to me that they are more focused- that is not all over the place or as easily frustrated.  That being said, when we have run out of the product I have not noticed any drastic negative effects on the days they do not take it.

We also went from being in school to being home schooled.  We also went from winter to spring.  We also went to getting more exercise.  So I do not know if I can honestly attribute ALL the positive effects to fish oil , but I have had positive effects and adding the fish oil was one of the things we did.

My daughter actually has high cholesterol and Omega 3's are good for that and so other many things like joint pain, brain development, heart health, and more, so that whether or not it is a miracle cure for academics I decided to keep on giving it to my kids anyway.  They don't eat fish and this is something they really do need to have in their diet.

Coromega has a website and it is also sold on Amazon.  Usually it is cheaper on Amazon.

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Can Tylenol Cause ADHD?

I read an article a few weeks ago that made me feel terrible.  It said that a new study shows that women taking acetaminophen while pregnant can cause ADHD in children.

I took a lot of Tylenol when I was pregnant.  The doctor told me it was the safest thing for me to take.  I should not have taken anything.  I am a person that believes in natural remedies and is very anti-chemical so I feel like I should have known better.

It makes me wonder now, too, if it is even safe to give the infant Tylenol to babies?  ADHD is the hot topic these days, but could it also cause dyspraxia? What about other things on the autism spectrum?

If I had to do it again, I would do it differently.  That is for sure.

Here is a link to the article.

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Your Child's Vestibular System: The Fidgeting, Zoning Out System

When your kid has dyspraxia, sensory processing disorders, and/ or ADHD, the vestibular system plays a huge a role.  When you understand this medically, you cannot blame the child.  My daughter did not ever get a monthly "terrific kid" award in all her years in school.  Her grades were pretty good and I was never told anything bad about her behavior (and I asked- A LOT!) but she was consistently marked down on her report card for "zoning out," "not following directions," "fidgeting," and "losing focus."

Zoning Out is something that cannot be helped.  Info just stops getting through for a bit.

Not Following Directions when you have an auditory processing disorder is usually due to not hearing all the directions.

Fidgeting is actually great for kids with dyspraxia, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders because it helps them keep focus and balanced.

Losing Focus happens when you have to put all your energy into being still.

It wasn't just the monthly awards- my daughter also went from being in enrichment to being left out of it and her grades were impacted because of the check marks given to her in these social-behaviorial categories.  My daughter's school was one of the first to use the new common core report card which I hated because it seemed to be more based on teacher opinion than facts.  With the old report cards you added numbers together and averaged them for your grade.  With this one it was all about interpretation.  You were graded 1-4 with 4 being the best, but the teachers said you could never really expect to get a 4 unless you creatively applied the information outside of just what happens in the classroom.  My daughter does this all the time, but the teachers said they did not see it and the behavior check marks seemed to impact the numbers...

Anyway, here is a video that explains in terms anyone can understand how the Vestibular System works.  Share this with your kids' teachers!

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ADDitude Magazine

I love ADDitude!  It's an online magazine for people with ADHD.  My daughter was originally diagnosed with this, mainly because so little is known about Dyspraxia in the US.  Even though this is not her official diagnosis any longer, I still find this site extremely helpful, not only in dealing with her, but even for myself!

Their articles and webinars often cover other conditions that go hand in hand with ADHD and a lot of their advice is helpful even if you do not have an ADHD diagnosis.  When I clean my kitchen at night I often listen to the webinars because they are packed with helpful advice for organizing myself and helping my children.

I just wanted to share this amazing resource.  Here is a link to their webinar page.
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