Jennifer Gay Summers

Author | Journalist 

SEPTEMBER

Asking a teenager to do chores is never easy, especially if your teen has ADHD. No matter how many times I told myself to be patient, I would get frustrated, and Lee would explode. Here’s a blog where Lee figured out a way to do chores on her own terms:

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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

The Moment I Became my Child’s Advocate 

The Moment I Became my Child’s Advocate 

This month’s blog might sound familiar to parents of a child with ADHD. It was the moment in time I was spurred to advocacy, thanks to a teacher who didn’t believe ADHD was real. His disbelief was my wake-up call, a true gift for the years ahead. ​For many parents...

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When ADHD and Sports Don’t Mix

When ADHD and Sports Don’t Mix

This month’s blog is for those of you parents who are having trouble finding the right sport for your child with ADHD. Does your child get easily distracted right in the middle of a game? Does she have problems following the coach’s rules? Do you find yourself pleading with her to give the sport just one more chance? Follow me as I set out to find answers, only to miss the one staring me right in the face.

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Less Than Perfect

Less Than Perfect

This month’s blog is for all the moms who’ve ever felt like the world’s worst mother at one time or another. And, it’s especially for those of you struggling to parent a young child with ADHD or any other difficult challenges. Balancing your needs with those of your...

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August

Making the decision to medicate Lee for ADHD was a tough one, but one I never regretted. In this blog, I run into a mom I hadn’t seen in many years whose mind is closed to medication, even when it seems her niece is headed in that direction. As I do my best to help her understand medication from a different perspective, I realize how important it’s been in Lee’s life:

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July

Anxiety, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Lee struggled with all three as a senior in high school, invisible demons for her much of the time. How many people really see what is going on inside our kids’ minds? In this blog, I’m confronted with ignorance and do my best to shine a light:

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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 summer just around the corner, you’d think every kid would be jumping for joy. But if your kid has ADHD, like mine, summer means transition and transitions can be filled with anxiety. In this month’s blog, I find what will put Lee back on steady ground.

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HOMEWORK TIPS
Children with ADHD:
 

  • Homework time: Lee always needed a break after school to decompress. Other children might learn better by tackling homework immediately. In either case, it’s best to establish a time that works for your child and stick with it.
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  • Homework corner: Lee preferred the kitchen table, big enough for me to join her with snacks and keep her on task. Two separate folders, one for homework she brought home, and one for homework when she completed it, were left at the table to take to school. And, a file box for completed assignments the teacher returned on a nearby bench, in case we needed to refer back to them.
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  • Scheduled breaks: Lee needed a five-minute break every 20 minutes due to her hyperactivity. Setting a timer helped bring her back to the kitchen table.
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  • Respecting Limits: When Lee grew too frustrated to finish her homework, we stopped and wrote a note to the teacher, explaining the situation. Most teachers worked with us to limit the workload, but if they didn’t, we stopped anyway. Homework, to me, wasn’t worth Lee losing her self-confidence, the most precious gift for a child with ADHD.

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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