Jennifer Gay Summers

Author | Journalist 

SEPTEMBER

How many times have you heard your child say, “I forgot!”  So many times, you’ve forgotten, right? A limited working memory capacity is very common with ADHD and very likely the culprit. In this blog, I wonder, what if we had robots to keep our kids on track?:

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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.

Blogs

Related

My Cup of Tea- ADHD Ways to Cope

My Cup of Tea- ADHD Ways to Cope

When a child is diagnosed with a mental disability, there are solid strategies to help them cope.  And some of these coping mechanisms can also become a way for a young adult to move forward, functioning in a challenging world. My new blog looks at some of the ways my...

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Summer Camp, Hands-On!

Summer Camp, Hands-On!

...Camp seemed like a given for my child with ADHD.  What could be better than the freedom to chase lizards on a nature trail, splash in a pool, or do arts and crafts with other campers?  At least, that’s what I thought until Lee’s first day. Join me in a blog where...

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From Denial to Acceptance

From Denial to Acceptance

...A letter her birthmother had sent me came into my mind.  The words, “ADHD runs in the family” jumped out at me, like a snake, coiled and ready to strike.  No, I told myself.  I wouldn’t accept any labels besides curious and energetic. ​..."The day I set foot in my...

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AUGUST

Add a spoonful of sugar to ADHD, and our active child revs up into hyperdrive.  In this blog, we follow Lee as she races through a museum, leaving everybody breathless in her wake:

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JULY

Summer school can pose a huge challenge to kids with ADHD.  Fitting a semester’s worth of learning into just a few weeks seemed to us like a recipe for failure.  But, here’s a blog that shows the unexpected rewards we found when Lee took the risk:

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Finding a good Mommy and Me, then Preschool, for Lee brought me face to face with both the struggles and gifts of ADHD.  Here’s a blog where I learned what she needed: 

From Every Child with ADHD Needs a Miss Ellie:

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Middle School arrives with a host of challenges for our ADHD kids. Lee’s forgetfulness caused multiple problems.  Here’s a blog where the IEP team came to our rescue…almost:

From If Only Little Robots Could Keep my ADHD Child on Track!:

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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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JUNE

With schools reopening in the fall, I can only imagine the anxiety parents and their children are feeling after such a difficult year. I didn’t have a pandemic to contend with, but my fears over Lee’s first year in high school nearly pushed me to the brink.  In this blog, I learn to find the positive:

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PRESCHOOL TIPS

Children with ADHD:

  • Wiggle, tap their feet or move their legs when they sit
  • Use their hands while talking and enjoy handling objects
  • Like physical rewards

A good environment fosters self-esteem and confidence, so:

  • Find a preschool that stresses childhood development over academic achievement.
  • Visit the classes and interview the teachers before you decide to join.
  • Choose a class where children are allowed to move during circle time.
  • Instead of time-out, look for a class/school where children are encouraged to do physical activity when they can’t sit still.
  • Find teachers who use hands-on manipulatives, like sandpaper, and kinesthetic techniques, like dancing, to engage the child’s attention.

High School for Lee was like climbing Mount Everest.  In this blog, she finds a volunteer job that helped her cope, giving her a much-needed sense of confidence:

From Writing Fix: How my Daughter Got Beyond Dysgraphia:

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