Jennifer Gay Summers
Author | Journalist
May is to celebrate mothers! May you have a day filled with joy, love and breakfast in bed. This blog pays tribute to all the special moms in our lives who’ve always had our backs. They deserve a shout-out, too!
Welcome to my blog!
I’m a mom and an ex-public school teacher who’s been in the ADHD trenches for the last 20 years, navigating the school system and standing up to those who use judgment as their weapon against differences. At the same time, I’ve watched the gifts of ADHD help my daughter, Lee (pseudonym), blossom into a creative, intuitive, wise young adult.
Raising a child with ADHD is like living on a rollercoaster, riding to the top with your hopes soaring and racing down, holding on with all your strength. In my blog, I write about my crazy and not-so-crazy mom moments to offer encouragement, what insight I’ve gained, and some laughs along the way.
In December, I celebrated seven years of blogging for ADDitude magazine, my favorite national resource for people with ADHD. I’ve been called “Mom’s the Word” for many of those blogs, a name I hold dear to my heart. So often, I’ve felt anything BUT “Mom’s the Word.” My blog is dedicated to all you moms and dads struggling with that same frustration. Together, I believe we can raise awareness and help our children with ADHD succeed.
Blurting out what’s on your mind goes hand in hand with ADHD. The words that fall out of Lee’s mouth often make me roar with laughter or cringe from the uncomfortable truth. Impulsive and honest, your children’s words can be a blessing or a curse. Here’s a blog about blurting out and the sometimes not so great consequences:
Spring brings new challenges for our ADHD kids and for us, as parents. We often feel the pressure ramping up from teachers or school officials for our kids to meet the demands of passing their grade, graduating, or going to college. In this blog, I come face to face with reality and find hope…
The first blog I wrote for ADDitude was back when Lee was in seventh grade and hated to shop:
From Calm and Collected at the Mall with My Attention Deficit Daughter-Really!
“Every three months, my daughter comes home from middle school with the top of her Vans peeling off. “No way, Mom, they’re fine. I’m a tomboy. Live with it.” I look down at Lee’s toes, all five peeking through, and we eye each other. We both know what’s coming…the dreaded trip to the mall.” Read more…
In my more recent blog, I talk about the scary transition to middle school, when we parents face the huge challenge of taking a giant step back:
From What No One Ever Told Me About the Middle School Transition with ADHD:
“Despite the September heat, my friend, Melanie, and I set off for a morning walk down one of the steepest hills in our neighborhood. As we left, I could feel she was on the verge of tears and put my arm around her, giving her a quick squeeze. “Josh?” I said.” Read more…
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When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of the language of love. But, when your child is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, they have a “dis” (or “dys”) label. A label we parents need as an explanation to get help. Sometimes, we have to use it along with a slew of other dis words.
This blog took place when Lee was in high school, a time when many teens have fragile egos and need to hear words of love the most.
From Think Before You “Dys” a Kid with Attention Deficit:
“Mom!” I need another pencil!” Lee slumped down in her chair at the kitchen table, an angry red flush spreading across her cheeks. Then she flipped two broken pencils onto the floor and kicked them across the room. I brought over a sharp pencil and put my hand on her shoulder.” Read more…
Shopping Tips for ADHD Children
- Dress them in bright clothing that is easily recognizable.
- Have a plan of where to go before you get in the car.
- Park near the store, if possible.
- Never take your eyes off your child in the store.
- Ask for help to speed things along!
- Look for a cashier with no line.
- Have your money easily accessible. Don’t spend time having to fish it out of your wallet.
- Lee liked to pick up stray pins off the floor in clothing stores. Store clerks loved it. She kept busy nearby while I paid the bill. Just be sure to bring sanitary wipes!
- Keep to your plan…don’t throw in extra stores.
- Lee’s tip: Tell your child she/he will earn a reward for good behavior after the shopping trip is over.