Jennifer Gay Summers
Author | Journalist
Gaining knowledge about ADHD is just as important for the child as it is for the parents. In this blog, Lee finds her voice to self-advocate in a high school conference. As proud as I felt, I wasn’t prepared for the feeling of emptiness when I let go:
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, insight I’ve gained, and some laughs along the way.
Over the last decade, it’s been my honor to write 58 blogs 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 of you moms and dads struggling with that same frustration. Together, I believe we can raise awareness and help our children with ADHD succeed.
“Knowledge is power, without it we become ignorant towards the truth.”
― Hopal Green
“Knowledge is power.” These three simple words Sir Francis Bacon spoke held a universe in their meaning. They were the words that turned my life around when my child was diagnosed with ADHD. At the time, I felt shame for having a child who didn’t conform to society’s standards. But when I was educated on ADHD and its impact on a child’s brain, the mantle of shame dropped away, replaced by advocacy. Now, when people come to me for help raising their children or grandchildren with ADHD, I send them off to read. The sooner a parent accepts their child’s diagnosis and becomes empowered with knowledge, the sooner a child can succeed.
This spring, I’m sharing my ADHD book collection with you. New titles are mixed in with the evergreens. There are also many excellent ones not listed here because they’ve disappeared from my bookshelf over the years. The next best thing to reading a book is sharing them. I love using the Internet for a podcast or seminars, but holding a book in my hands makes me feel more powerful. Books are my gateway to the secrets of the universe.
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- Buzz -Katherine Ellison
- Boy Without Instructions -Penny Williams
- A Chicken in the Wind and How He Grew -Frank South
- ADHD & Me -Blake E.S. Taylor
- Raising Will -Katherine Quie, Ph.D., LP
Books on Raising Children with ADHD:
- Empower ADHD Kids! -Becky White
- The Gift of ADHD -Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D
- Parenting Children with ADHD -Vincent J. Monastra, Ph.D
- Easy to Love but Hard to Raise -Edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista
- The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with ADD/ADHD -Linda Sonna, Ph.D.
- The ADHD Book -Beth Ann Hill with James Van Haren, M.D., FRCP
- The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids -Elaine Taylor-Klaus, PCC, CPCC
- Parenting ADHD Now! -Elaine Taylor-Klaus & Diane Dempster
- Teenagers with ADD and ADHD -Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S.
Sensory Processing Disorder Books (Commonly diagnosed with ADHD)
- Helping Hyperactive Kids – Lynn J. Horowitz, MHS, OT, and Cecile Röst, PT
- The Goodenoughs Get in Sync -Carol Stock Kranowitz
General Books on ADHD:
- Healing ADD -Daniel G. Amen
- 365+1 Ways to Succeed with ADHD -Edited by Laurie Dupar PMHNP, RN, PCC
- Answers to Distraction -Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.
- Applying to College for Students with ADD or LD -Blythe Grossberg, PsyD
- The ADHD Explosion -Stephen P. Hinshaw and Richard M. Scheffler
The Gift of Mommy Friendships
As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to thank all the special moms who supported me through the years. Parenting a neurodiverse child is challenging and makes it difficult sometimes to find understanding friends. When I was struggling, long before my child’s ADHD diagnosis, two moms stepped forward and gave me hope and the gift of friendship. This blog is in honor of them.
The Power of Books
Over the years in my quest to help my child with ADHD and now complete a memoir about it, I accumulated many books on the subject. Maybe it’s the teacher in me or just my passion for books, but I ended up with a pretty good collection. This month’s blog focuses on some of my favorites.
Communicating With Your ADHD Child
Even though I’d heard that communication is a skill we learn and practice, no one told me how important that would be in raising my child. Between Lee’s inability to focus, a lot of hyperactivity, and emotions that were hard to regulate, it became my challenge to find a different way to communicate. In this month’s blog, I put together the tips that worked for me over the years. Hope you’ll find one that works for you!