Family ADHD Life Coach

ADHD ACCOMMODATIONS

When I hear “ADHD Accommodations” I automatically think of school accommodations. Most schools allow for accommodations and I find they are very beneficial. What about at home? Have you ever thought of if your child needs them at home?

Very likely you are already making these accommodations. Having more than one child, and not all of them having ADHD, I have found I have had to remind myself to provide this at home. I find it is easy to forget that my ADHD child may need more help, more reminders, more time to complete things at home.

writing homework on a table

Lets just clarify terms for a minute. Different school regions use these terms differently. You will want to check what your regions terms mean. In our area, ADHD accommodations are given not only for diagnosed children but made available to any child. Accommodations help kids learn the same material and meet same expectations as their peers. These include things like having a quiet space in the class to go to, longer time for tests, frequent breaks, etc.

Modifications on the other hand change what a student is taught or expected to learn. This would include things like having shorter or easier reading assignments, being tested on 10 spelling words instead of 25, writing shorter papers, answering fewer test questions, etc.

Recent Reminders

My son is now of age that he can write his drivers learners test. In order to add incentive to study I have limited the amount of times I will pay for it. A friend of mine commented that she was surprised I wouldn’t have him pay after his first try. It was said in fun but it made me think about my reasoning. I realized that I knew he needed to see the test and get a feel for what it was like. Of course I hoped he would pass his first time, but I was also prepared that he may not. In a sense I was automatically building in an accommodation for him.

ACCOMMODATIONS AT HOME

Through the years I have noticed that my ADHD child needs repetition and consistency in learning some new skills. He also needs things he struggles with to be broken down into small chunks. This is because of the struggle ADHD people have with executive function. As I list some things that have worked for us, remember that some of these have taken months or longer to create a habit or routine.

Morning routine:

Two girls together body doubling.   Just having someone in the same room can help an ADHD person accomplish more
  • Body Double – This strategy can be used in many instances. A body double is having someone in the same room/area while the ADHD person completes a task. My son struggled staying focused getting dressed. If I were in the room he would stay focused. Remember he was quite young and not needing privacy at this point! I would stay in his room remind him of every step. Little be little I would give him opportunity to try himself without my interjections, to the point I could leave his room and just check on him.
  • Morning Chart – This could be index cards that they flip when they are done a task. Laminated picture chart that they can mark off with dry erasers.

Homework:

There have been times when I know my son can not complete the amount of homework given. At the beginning of the year, check in with the teacher and have a conversation around the days when you know your child has had enough! Most teachers trust your judgement. I let the teacher know we will complete the homework as soon as we can.

  • Work Anywhere – Let them lay on the floor, read hanging off the couch. AS LONG AS THEY ARE WORKING.
  • Breaks – They have already been working all day so allow plenty of movement breaks.
  • Body double – While they do their homework, sit near them and read a book, or work on your paperwork.

Chores

Chalkboard clock.  Be flexible with time.
  • Show, do, let them – When introducing a new chore start with them watching you. Then move to them helping you and eventually they can do it alone.
  • Allow longer time – Just as they may need extended time to do school tests, so may they need extended time on chores.

Socially

Kids playing together.
  • Safe Space – Create a place in your house that your child knows they can go to when they need to calm down.
  • Practice – Practice conversations around the dinner table. Role play with siblings different social situations.

Ultimately ADHD accommodations are put in place to help your child succeed. If something isn’t working well in your home examine it. Do they struggle coming off electronics? Maybe they need a transition accommodation. Do they struggle cleaning their room? Perhaps it could be broken down into chunks over the week. Make difficult tasks achievable and fun so that they can have success!

From my Family to Yours,

Family ADHD Coach Laureen

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ALTER YOUR VIEW

When negative thoughts seep into our lives it alters our view of life in all areas. Do you see the beauty around you? Are you aware of the goodness in your life?  Do you know that you can control what you see?  This is a bit of a strange thought but let me explain a little bit.

Growth and Awareness Journey

This last year and a half has been a journey of growth and self awareness for me.  I am not exactly sure when it began.  It is funny that when we look back in time we can see how things build up but while we are in the moments we do not.  Looking back I was in a spiral.  I was in a gray, gloomy time of life but did not realize it.  I enjoyed life but now realize I wasn’t FULLY enjoying life.  My negative thoughts were altering my view. Things slowly began to weigh heavier on my mind.  For example if my husband was late and I couldn’t reach him I imagined he was in an accident.  I wondered when the phone rang if it would be the police.  This was the theme that was growing more and more.  Worry, anxiety and decreased joy.

Looking for work outside the home took me for a journey I didn’t expect!  I am passionate about ADHD and helping women with ADHD or with ADHD kids.  This led me to ADDCA where I took my coach training.  During this process one of the courses was Personal Transformation. (The name says it all!).  Through that course and receiving coaching I began to see how my outlook had shifted somewhere along the way.  Somehow I was loosing site of the beauty in and around me.

REPLACING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Starting the day with positive thoughts helps keep negative thoughts away.
Starting the day with gratitude is a great way to set the tone for the day.

I began working on my limiting beliefs, judgmental attitude, and perfectionism.  Through this process the veil over my eyes began to lift.  I began to feel more light and see more positives in my life.  Driving home in the country, the skyline of our city, and the mountains as a backdrop I realized how much more beauty I saw around me.  Now that the negative thoughts were being replaced with positivity and gratitude, I actually saw more beauty around me.  This was not an easy process and does involve work but it is so worth it!

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  At the time I wouldn’t have believed it but through experience, I can say how true this is!

TOOLS

What do we do when we find ourselves sinking into a colorless world of negativity?

  1. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Please check with a health care professional to ensure proper diagnosis and care.
  2. HIRE A COACH: We are here to support and encourage you but also to point out when these negative thoughts and limiting beliefs are coming up.  We help keep you accountable and on track in this journey. (I would love to join you on this journey as your coach)
  3. GRATITUDE JOURNAL: It is amazing how much thinking of the positives push the negatives back down.  Buy a journal or small notebook. Every morning or evening before bed, write down 2-3 things you are grateful for.  As your list grows read it over once in awhile.
  4. BREATHE: Not just the breathing to survive!  Take time each day before or after your gratitude journal to do some deep breathing.  There are lots of breathing exercises.  Typically I picture a rectangle.  I breathe in up the left side of the rectangle for 4-8 seconds, hold my breath for 8-10 across the top of the rectangle, slowly release my breath for 6-8 as I move down the right side of the triangle, and as I move across the bottom to the starting point I breath regularly for 8-10.  Ok, so it is a funny looking rectangle!  None the less it works for me!
  5. SELF APPRECIATION: Be patient with yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Let go of guilt and shame.  Learn from it and then let it go.  Find things you like about yourself and tell them back to yourself.  Smile and laugh more.  Stand at a mirror and smile at yourself.  The first time I did this I didn’t want to look at me smiling but that’s the whole point!

HAVE FUN

Stop negative thoughts with laughing and dancing

Life is too short to live in gloom.  I laugh way more with my kids, I dance and sing crazy to get my daughter to smile (and shake her head), and I look for ways to embarrass my teenage son (which isn’t hard!).  I have not always been this way.  It has taken work and willingness to change.  I still have my moments but they are fewer.

God did not intend for us to live in sadness or anxiety.  Yes we will have trials.  Yes life will get hard and dark sometimes.  I am not saying we can not be sad or mourn.  There is a time for everything.  But HE doesn’t want us to say there.  We can have inner joy even if outwardly life is hard.  He can and will give you peace, even in the darkness.  We have been given much and it is time we stop and recognize all we have.  

The JOY of the Lord is my strength”  Nehemiah 8:10

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

From my Family to yours,

Family AHD Coach Laureen

To The ADHD Mom…

Dear ADHD Mom,

Raising kids is hard. As you know raising ADHD kids is even harder! I use to think that maybe I was just a wimpy mom. All the other moms seemed to think I just wasn’t coping as well. They seemed to imply they had it more together than I did because their child was better behaved. Their child could sit in circle time. They could sit, color and they knew the alphabet and numbers all before kindergarten.

Over the years I’ve come to realize something that I want to share with you. YOU ARE NOT A WIMPY MOM. You are a mom who was given a challenge that most people do not understand. They think our lives are similar but I am here to remind you that THEY ARE NOT. An ADHD child brings much love but many challenges.

Research shows that divorce rates for parents with ADHD kids is higher. There are higher stress levels and a lower feeling of competence. Having an ADHD child requires a constant vigilance and a high level of energy. (Candice Odgers, Psychologist) I also feel we have to fight and advocate a little (sometimes a lot) harder than other parents.

There are the dreaded parent/teacher interviews where we are unsure what bomb will be dropped next. Agonizing over whether to medicate or not. Wishing others saw in our child what we see in them. Watching as your child is left out of birthday parties. There is self doubt and guilt after understanding the ADHD brain. Reading book after book trying to understand our child. Also the immense relief when you meet someone who truly understands.

A FOREIGN COUNTRY

The ADHD parenting journey is on a road that not everyone is on.
ADHD Parenting is a road less traveled.

ADHD mom you are NOT a failure or a poor mom. You are on a road less traveled. Because of that there is a lot of learning and understanding to be had. We do not move to a foreign country and suddenly fit in and know the language! Rather we read about it, study it and it can take years to speak and understand the language. ADHD is the same. Your child is a unique ADHD kid with special gifts and talents. It takes time to understand what ADHD is and how it works in general and then how it works in your child specifically!

You know the needs of your family best. Don’t give in to the pressure to be like others, or to raise your child like others. There may be times you need to stand firm in order to do what is best for your ADHD child. They need that! They need you to be their cheerleader in a world that can be a difficult place.

Now, I wish I could say that I was patient, understanding and did the right things for my ADHD child. But I didn’t. I didn’t know that it was normal for him to have immense and intense emotions. I didn’t know that he wouldn’t learn social skills the same way others his age did. Nor did I know that rewards and punishment meant nothing to him. I tried my best with the knowledge I had but I wish I had more knowledge earlier in his life.

YOU’VE GOT THIS

ADHD mom, you will make mistakes. You will have moments you regret. There will be times you know you need to be patient but that child has stretched you to your outermost limits and you explode! Or the stress from home or work piled on top of an emotional child gets the best of you. IT’S OK! Apologize and ask for forgiveness. Show your child that you can make mistakes but your love for them is real.

There is no one else they want. They want you… their mom. They know that you will be there, that you’ve got their back. Lines will be pushed, limits will be tested but they will know that you are always there for them. These kids often have the biggest hearts and are quick to forgive and move on. They are a gift. Given to you because you are the best mom that they could have. AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!

BUTTERFLY WINGS

Like a butterfly emerges
And unfolds its graceful wings, 
A child grows and develops
With the love a mother brings.
I'm thankful for the times
When you encouraged me to try,
For God gave me wings, 
But, MOM, you taught me how to fly.


-Robin Fogle

Happy Mothers day!
From our Family to yours,

Family ADHD Coach Laureen