Category Archives: Parenting

What to Do When the Medication Wears Off

“No matter how helpful medication can be, there are going to be times and situations where our kids need our guidance and support, something medication cannot provide.”By Parent coach Dianne Dempster

Statistics indicate that roughly two-thirds of all children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are taking some sort of medication. For some families, medication is a godsend: kids are better able to focus, to manage their emotions and moods, to stay on task. In fact, family life is so transformed that one of the most common challenges we hear from those parents is what to do when the medication isn’t working! This frequently comes up either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day once the medication has worn off.

Pharmaceutical companies have tried to address this over the years, with long-acting medications, extended doses, and patches you can put on before your child wakes up in the morning.  For many of us, those solutions fall short. We want our kids to have some time during the day free from the common side effects of stimulant medication, like sleeplessness & reduced appetite. So what do you do when you can’t rely on medication?

Start by checking with your child’s prescribing medical practitioner.  Be sure that your child’s prescription is providing the right level of support. As kids grow and mature, their dosage may need to be adjusted. After that, there are three areas I’d recommend you focus some effort:

  1. Activate the brain: While stimulant medications can be very effective in helping the ADHD brain to focus, they aren’t the only solution. Many parents have found other solutions that are helpful, particularly in filling in the “gap” periods.
  2. Take care of yourself:  We often refer to mornings and afternoons as “the witching hours” because they tend to be more difficult times of day for parents. They are tough, not just because our kids’ medication is wearing off (or hasn’t started), but also because they are challenging times for us.  You may not be a morning person, or you may put in long hours and be tired and hungry at the end of a day.  What can you do?
  3. Plan ahead: Pay attention, or even keep a log, to determine when the problem times are for your child – and for you. Plan accordingly.
  • Exercise: Have your child go for a run or play for a while before starting homework. Take a break from homework every 20 minutes and do some jumping jacks or have a tickle fight. In the morning before school, take a walk to get the brain up and going quicker.
  • Nutrition: Making sure that the brain has enough water and nutrients as your child goes through the day. Have your kids eat protein at every meal, and put out healthy snacks to tie them over through homework until dinner.  Manage sugar ups & downs if your kid is sensitive, and explore other supplements that support brain health.
  • Sleep: Easy for me to say, but try to make sure your child has enough sleep each night.  That goes for you as well!
  • Other “brain” stuff: There is a lot of information out there about other brain supports, like meditation, brain training, and neuro-feedback. Be sure to do your research to find solutions that are safe and well-tested.  
  • Twelve-step programs have a tool to help you remember to:  H. A. L. T. Avoid intense parenting moments whenYOU are Hungry,  Angry, Lonely, or Tired. 
  • Know what your triggers are, take a time out when you get triggered or stressed out in helping your child, and try to make sure you are well-rested and well-fed.
  • It may make sense to work on a big project first thing on Saturday, when the brain is fresh (and the medication is active), rather than doing it after school.
  • Many teachers will be willing to give you a full week’s worth of assignments in advance, particularly if your child has a 504/IEP in place.
  • Get yourself ready before you wake your kids to make the mornings go a little smoother.
  • Divide chores into chunks and do a few at a time, rather than trying to fit the all into a Saturday.

The reality is that for many of us, medication can be a huge support, but it isn’t designed to be a panacea. Conscious parenting requires that we understand the limits and put supports in place, both for our kids and for ourselves. No matter how helpful medication can be, there are going to be times and situations where our kids need our guidance and support, something medication cannot provide.

 

One more thing. For those of you who cannot or choose not to medicate your child for ADHD, thanks for sticking with this article.  These ideas may be even more helpful for you. After all, you might consider the whole day “the witching hour!”

 

By Dianne Dempster – Article originally appeared on ImpactADHD.com and is reproduced with permission of ImpactADHD™– Source

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On ADHD: Parent to Parent

Honor your child’s individuality while seeking solutions to challenges you face every day.ADD freeSources’ Favorites for Parents

 

On ADHD: Parent to Parent – Honor your child’s individuality while seeking solutions to challenges you face every day.

 

ADHD is a complex disorder that affects both individuals and their families greatly. There’s so much to know about ADHD that you might wonder just what it is that your child really needs from you. While there’s no one right way to deal with the problems you may face, you may find ideas that will work for you from other parents who have faced similar situations. These three articles offer down-to-earth and practical approaches that honor your child’s individuality while acknowledging the very real challenges in your family life.

 

One treasure offers 85 – Yes, ‘85 Important Facts about Raising a Child with ADHD.’  And you’re likely to use every one of them. Why? Because:

  • “…You will need help
    Face it: Everything is easier when there are people to help you.
  • Yes, you will be judged – This is why it’s important to surround yourself with people who understand you and who accept your child as he is.
  • Several ADHD kids have other problems – Whether we’re talking about learning issues, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, or problems in the autism spectrum, all these things can be tagged to an ADHD diagnostic.”
  • A healthy life hygiene is of utmost importance
    Chips + chocolate at 10PM = catastrophe.
  • Lower your expectations
    It won’t hurt as much. No one is perfect.
  • Yes, having a routine is very, very important
    If you never liked routine, you’ll learn to love it. Your sanity depends on it…”

By Eloïse Beaulé from “FamilleTDAH,” a French-Canadian blog that talks about the daily life of a family with three children affected with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Translated by Lauren Berkley

Read more at http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2015/07/08/85-important-facts-about-raising-a-child-with-adhd/#JAEAMSkuuZ07i4mm.99

 

You think your kids don’t notice when you forget what they’re going through and lose your patience with them? ‘What my Son with ADHD would Like Grownups to Know’ records what Heather LeRoss finally understood what it meant to her son to have ADHD. He had more than a few things to say, but here’s a sample.

I want people to know I feel like they don’t like how I am. I want Daddy to know I am not stupid and it hurts my feelings when he says, ‘Are you dumb?’ I want you to know I don’t like it when you yell.”

“I just want it to stop. The yelling, comparing me to other kids that are ‘normal.’ How people tense up sometimes when I just walk into the room. I want people to say I am nice and funny and good at drawing. And not follow it with, ‘If only he could focus like that in other areas.’ I just want to feel like it’s OK to be me.

Read more at The Mighty: http://themighty.com/2015/10/what-my-son-with-adhd-would-like-grown-ups-to-know/

 

Finally, if you’re wondering how to explain how you can live well  with ADHD to your child, check out ‘10 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Life with ADHD’ by Andrea Nordstrom.

“1) You are NOT your Diagnosis.

2) It’s good to Be Different, but Normal to Want to Be the Same.

3) Sometimes You Must Harness Your Energy, But You Should Never Squash It… ”

Read more at The Art of ADD http://www.theartofadd.com/2015/04/23/10-things-i-want-my-kids-to-know-about-life-with-adhd/

 

Dealing with ADHD isn’t easy. But others have gone before and are willing to share their experiences and expertise. You can survive the challenge, but don’t go it alone. If you can, join a support group. Make friends with fellow parents you meet at school or in the Doctor or therapist’s office. If these avenues aren’t possible, follow reputable websites, blogs, social media or join an on-line organization that will keep you informed and offer encouragement. Your goal is to let your child know that they are loved and that they are worthy –  That it’s Okay to just be themselves.

 

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Related Articles: Parent to Parent: What you need to know about ADHD – an open letter from a parent who’s been there,  Alisha Leigh (Pseudonym) and Bill of Rights for Children with ADHD by Ruth Harris
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What is ADHD?

What is ADHD- What causes ADHD-How isNote: I’ve divided this extensive article into a number of smaller posts. You may read this article in its entirety here: What is ADHD? – NIMH

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms can make it difficult for a child with ADHD to succeed in school, get along with other children or adults, or finish tasks at home.

Brain imaging studies have revealed that, in youth with ADHD, the brain matures in a normal pattern but is delayed, on average, by about 3 years.1 The delay is most pronounced in brain regions involved in thinking, paying attention, and planning. More recent studies have found that the outermost layer of the brain, the cortex, shows delayed maturation overall,2 and a brain structure important for proper communications between the two halves of the brain shows an abnormal growth pattern.3 These delays and abnormalities may underlie the hallmark symptoms of ADHD and help to explain how the disorder may develop.

Treatments can relieve many symptoms of ADHD, but there is currently no cure for the disorder. With treatment, most people with ADHD can be successful in school and lead productive lives. Researchers are developing more effective treatments and interventions, and using new tools such as brain imaging, to better understand ADHD and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent it.

 

Republished from NIMH – “What is Attention Deficit Disorder?” – – Retrieved May 26, 1915 – No longer posted online. They now use an “Easy to Read” article instead. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml NIMH publications are in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission.

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How is ADHD Treated? Psychotherapy and Parent Strategies

Psychotherapy

Different types of psychotherapy are used for ADHD. Behavioral therapy aims to help a child change his or her behavior. It might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events. Behavioral therapy also teaches a child how to monitor his or her own behavior. Learning to give oneself praise or rewards for acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger or thinking before acting, is another goal of behavioral therapy. Parents and teachers also can give positive or negative feedback for certain behaviors. In addition, clear rules, chore lists, and other structured routines can help a child control his or her behavior.

Therapists may teach children social skills, such as how to wait their turn, share toys, ask for help, or respond to teasing. Learning to read facial expressions and the tone of voice in others, and how to respond appropriately can also be part of social skills training.

How can parents help?

Children with ADHD need guidance and understanding from their parents and teachers to reach their full potential and to succeed in school. Before a child is diagnosed, frustration, blame, and anger may have built up within a family. Parents and children may need special help to overcome bad feelings. Mental health professionals can educate parents about ADHD and how it impacts a family. They also will help the child and his or her parents develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other.

Parenting skills training helps parents learn how to use a system of rewards and consequences to change a child’s behavior. Parents are taught to give immediate and positive feedback for behaviors they want to encourage, and ignore or redirect behaviors they want to discourage. In some cases, the use of “time-outs” may be used when the child’s behavior gets out of control. In a time-out, the child is removed from the upsetting situation and sits alone for a short time to calm down.

Parents are also encouraged to share a pleasant or relaxing activity with the child, to notice and point out what the child does well, and to praise the child’s strengths and abilities. They may also learn to structure situations in more positive ways. For example, they may restrict the number of playmates to one or two, so that their child does not become overstimulated. Or, if the child has trouble completing tasks, parents can help their child divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Also, parents may benefit from learning stress-management techniques to increase their own ability to deal with frustration, so that they can respond calmly to their child’s behavior.

Sometimes, the whole family may need therapy. Therapists can help family members find better ways to handle disruptive behaviors and to encourage behavior changes. Finally, support groups help parents and families connect with others who have similar problems and concerns. Groups typically meet regularly to share frustrations and successes, to exchange information about recommended specialists and strategies, and to talk with experts.

Tips to Help Kids Stay Organized and Follow Directions

Schedule. Keep the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime. Include time for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Keep the schedule on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in the kitchen. Write changes on the schedule as far in advance as possible.

Organize everyday items. Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and toys.

Use homework and notebook organizers. Use organizers for school material and supplies. Stress to your child the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books.

Be clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.

Give praise or rewards when rules are followed. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Look for good behavior, and praise it.

 

 

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ADD freeSources: ADHD Kids Page

Kids have questions too. Things to read, do and watch for the younger crowd.Things to read
Things to do
Things to Watch
More Reading
Pinterest Boards for Kids

What is ADHD? – An article for kids

Kids Like Me with ADD Short book by Peter Jaks, PhD

Things to do

Kids Health- Kids Section– Start off with interactive games (well, mostly quizzes)- Move on to access to help and/or information about most health concerns, both emotional and physical.  Search for ADHD and/or look under Feelings – then Emotions and Behaviors

Professor Garfield focuses on educating kids about learning, helping them recognize their strengths and showcasing their creativity. Founded by Jim Davis, the creator of the Garfield comic strip. Always remember: no two brains spark alike! Focus on your strengths and reach for the stars!

Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation – Set of internet-based games ideal for kids with ADHD. Each game is designed to teach useful skills and strategies while continually encouraging players to complete increasingly difficult tasks. To increase interest, the FFFBI Academy uses a humorous spy theme and frequent reinforcements for successful game play. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Self Esteem Games – Designed to help you practice certain habits of thought, and they may be difficult at first. These games are offered here for educational, demonstration, and entertainment purposes only. Have fun trying them out!

VIA Youth Survey – Ages 10 to 17  – Explore your strengths. Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children

Things to Watch 

Flynn Pharma ADHD Explainer – For children ages 6 to 12. (3 1/2-minute video) Metaphors, such as a postman delivering letters as messages between brain cells, can help this age group better understand the condition.

From adhd1.net – Dr. C and Friends – Psychologist/puppeteer Dr. Candelwood –

The ADHD Song – Dr. C and Elwood – 1-minute

ADHD and “Avatar” – Not a fidgety kid in the theater! – 1-minute

Dr. Fox News- ADHD and Impairment – 1-minute poem from Dr. C

ADHD and Me” brings research interviews with children to (animated) life. The ADHD VOICES study investigated children’s experiences with ADHD; about how ADHD feels, problems understanding the diagnosis, different treatments, stigma and the kinds of support that can help. – This 18-minute video is ideal for talking to your children about ADHD and involving them in treatment discussions. Watch it in shorter clips on their YouTube channel.

HARRY POTTER has ADHD? (2 minute parody)

What are Learning Disabilities? – 4-minute animated explanation for 5 to 8-year-olds

The Learning Brain – 7-minute video on how the brain works. Ages 10 and up

More Reading 

Zebra Stripes for ADHD- an e-zine – Follow the adventures of Joey, the zebra without stripes, and learn how to live with ADHD –  How-to tips, the latest news from the ADD – ADHD world, and stories to understand the complex world of Attention Deficit and/or Hyperactivity Disorder. From  ADD Coach, Sara Jane Keyser. 

Kids Pages  for kids and teens on a number of mental health issues. Includes ‘A Kid in my Class has ADD,’ ‘When your Mom or Dad have ADD,’ and ‘I am different, but you may not know.’ For and about children from 6 to 16. Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’ board For and about Kids with ADHD on Pinterest.

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Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’ board School Strategies for ADHD on Pinterest.

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Four Things Every Successful Super-Mom (and Dad) Knows!

4 Things Every Successful Super-Mom

By Diane Dempster

About once a week my kids accuse me of being ADD. I’m not, actually, but they see the challenges I have managing the details of life, and it can look A LOT like the things I’m coaching them to manage.

Besides, it’s fun to razz Mom a little.

After listening to one of our guest experts recently, I’ve discovered the truth. I suffer from:

STRESSED OUT SUPERMOM SYNDROME! 

Being the grown-up in the family with the most executive function can be a challenge on the best of days. Add to that single parenting, menopause, full-time job (ok, more than full time), and mostly it can be exhausting. Personally, I have complete compassion for the other moms out there who add their own ADHD to the mix – hats off to you girls!

For the most part, I wear my elevated executive function status like a badge of honor. I’ve got it – all!

Seriously, there are days that I handle things seamlessly, bopping from here to there, with a smile on my face, and a task list in my hand.

But on other days, the balls are dropping so quickly that I can’t even remember the ones I’ve missed. I can hear myself muttering expletives, or worse yet, yelling them at my kids! The challenge comes when I realize that the ratio of “got it” days to “oh crap” days is not in my favor.

In reality, how we handle dropping balls is about biology. How well our brain operates under life’s stressors is directly correlated with our stress level and attitude. It’s not all that different from our kids and their ADD – a stressed out, overwhelmed brain simply can’t function at optimal capacity.

So what’s the solution? Something I call:

Simple Self Care for Super-Moms! 

Taking care of yourself isn’t all that hard, and doesn’t take that much time or investment. It can make a huge difference in terms of how you are able to manage your life, and the lives of your family.

Here are my four simple steps:

  • Manage Triggers Consciously – Know what sets you off – pushes your buttons – and find ways to sidestep them if you can. This requires letting go of some things, or delegating others (or getting some coaching around specific triggers, which, by the way, was my salvation!) Learn about the threat cycle and practice the steps religiously when you do get triggered.
  • Do for You – A wise woman once told me that if you want your family to give you what you need – tell them what you want – or better yet, give it to yourself! Simply spending 30 – 60 minutes each week doing something just for you can be sufficient fuel to balance the most challenging weeks.
  • Practice Radical Compassion –We work with parents every day around having compassion for our kids and their ADD. It’s equally important that we do the same thing for ourselves. If you are able to see that everyone has best intentions and does the best that they can in the moment, including you, then supporting yourself on the rough days becomes easier. Ultimately, it requires letting go of the “should,” not taking things personally, and seeing setbacks as opportunities to learn and adjust, rather than mistakes or “failures.”
  • Let Go of Resentment – This is often the hardest because it is so intertwined with the others. We get triggered by the idea that we “have” to do everything; we get resentful that we don’t have time for ourselves; and instead of having compassion for our family members and what they are capable of, we get frustrated that they aren’t doing more. All of these are completely normal and appropriate reactions.

AND your reaction is a big part of what is STRESSING YOU OUT!

Finding a way to be “ok” with the situation, even seeing how much it helps your kids that you are carrying a heavier load, can actually help decrease how much the situation stresses you out.  Being a super-mom isn’t a bad thing, and it isn’t necessarily a good thing either. Finding a way to support yourself in being the kind of mom you want to be is what is important. Spend some time looking at how you’re managing and supporting your own life, and take some simple steps forward. Ultimately, it will make thing better for the whole family.

 

By Diane Dempster. Article originally appeared on ImpactADHD.com and is reproduced with permission of ImpactADHD™

 

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Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Revisions

Casting a Wider Net:  Section 504 Under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA)

©  Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq.

In 2008, Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act, significantly broadening the definition of disability, beginning in 2009.  That change impacted the definition of disability under Section 504, one of two statutes from which children  receive special education services in school, (the other being The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.).  The major changes as they pertain to students with disabilities, including children with ADHD, 2e children, and other bright children who may not have qualified for special education services or accommodations are significant, and are summarized herein.

What’s Section 504 got to do with the ADA?

Both are civil rights laws that protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against in our public schools.   Section 504 was enacted in 1973 and applies to all programs and activities that receive federal money.  This includes public schools, colleges, and universities as well as certain employers, state and local government programs, and places of public accommodation, such as a public library, courthouse or Federal office building.  (It’s hard to find any school, including private school that does not receive some financial assistance from the government.)   The ADAAA includes a “conforming amendment” to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; meaning that the newly expanded coverage under ADAAA also applies to Section 504.  Since both statutes are interpreted in parallel, the ADA impacts Section 504. While the wording of Section 504 did not change, because of the ADAAA, it’s interpretation has.  The main key to understanding Section 504 is that it is essentially a civil rights anti-discrimination statute, designed to level the playing field between a person with a disability and his non-disabled peers, when it comes to equal access to governmental sponsored activities, venues and rights.   It confers no federal funding upon the states, it is an unfunded mandate.

Today, the key difference between Section 504 and IDEA is that under 504, the level of restriction is the determining factor, not the severity of the impairment, or adverse educational impact.   Further, a substantial limitation in one major life activity need not be limiting in other major life activities in order to be considered a disability, and consideration must be made on a case-by-case basis, according to the “reasonable person” standard.  (If a reasonable person/ average person would consider that disability to be materially restricting.)

These changes are especially important if your child:

  1. Was previously evaluated under IDEA and was found ineligible.
  2. Was previously evaluated under Section 504 and was found ineligible.
  3. Already has a 504 plan.
  4. Is already receiving informal accommodations.
  5. Needs accommodations from the College Boards.
  6. Is applying to college.

 

Why The Change?:

Previously, the definition of disability was described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Under Section 504, a person was considered to be a person with a disability if he: (1) had a physical or mental impairment which substantially limited a major life activity and; 2) had a record of such impairment; or (3) was regarded as having such an impairment. Once a person met that standard, they could receive a “reasonable accommodation.” Over the years a few landmark employment law cases made it to the Supreme Court, which decisions tightened the requirements by which a person could be considered disabled for purposes of employment and disability law. Congress thought that those Supreme Court decisions contradicted their congressional intent of protecting people with disabilities, and so Congress revised the Americans with Disabilities Act (The ADAAA), to re- clarify and broaden the interpretation of disability and realign it with the original Congressional intent (which was whether the school, entity or facility met its obligations under the law, not whether the claimant met the definition of disability.)

What’s New?:

The Definition of Major Life Activity:

The definition of “major life activities” was expanded to include learning, reading, concentrating, thinking and even sleeping.  And the definition of “major bodily functions” was expanded to include neurological, digestive, reproductive and brain functions.

The Definition of Disability:

The definition of “disability” is to be broadly, rather than narrowly interpreted. And a limitation in one major life activity need not impact other major life activities.  Eg., a reading disability need not impact all subject areas to be considered a “disability.”

The Definition of Substantial Limitation:

The ADA as revised by Congress has now clarified “substantially limits” with a lower standard of “materially restricts.” While the wording of Section 504 did not change, because of the ADAAA, it’s interpretation has.  Today, the level of restriction is the determining factor, not the severity of the impairment.  Further, a substantial limitation in one major life activity need not be limiting in other major life activities in order to be considered a disability, and must be made on a case-by-case basis.  This change significantly broadened the definition of what constitutes a “disability.”

No Requirement of Educational Need:

Accordingly, the threshold for “educational need” is now more flexible under 504 than it is under IDEA.  Under 504, educational need or adverse educational impact is not the threshold for evaluation; the disability is. (Think disability plus some level of restriction in some area regarding learning, thinking, communicating, and so on, versus the requirement of “adverse educational impact” under IDEA.)  The threshold is not the same.

No Requirement to Fail:

As for twice exceptional children, or bright children who did not previously qualify for special education services; under the new interpretation under 504, a district may not use a child’s superior or adequate grades as a reason to refuse to evaluate him.  A 504 plan may still be appropriate even in cases where the disability does not impact learning. Nothing in the ADA or Section 504, or IDEA for that matter, limits eligibility to students who suffer academically.  Therefore a district may not refuse to evaluate a child whose disability has no educational impact if the child meets the new definition of disability under the ADAAA and thus 504.  Thus, schools can no longer tell parents that their child doesn’t qualify for an evaluation or a 504 plan solely because he is “doing okay without any intervention.” To say this is now a violation, says the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Other information about the disability must still be considered. The child may, after a full evaluation, still not qualify for a particular accommodation or service, but he must still be evaluated, if he has a physical or mental impairment that materially restricts one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment, regardless of good grades.

 

Definition of Reasonable Accommodation:

A “reasonable accommodation” has no definition in educational law and no limit at the moment, other than undue hardship on the part of the district.  And, the accommodation requested does not need to be directly related to the specific disability. (That does not mean however, that the sky is the limit in requesting accommodations from the school district.  The accommodation request can still be denied if the school district feels it is unreasonable, and then it is up to the hearing officer, or judge to decide.)

No Consideration of Mitigating Measures:

Mitigating measures cannot be considered in determining substantial limitation (except for contacts and eyeglasses), and if mitigating measures create an additional impact, there must also be an accommodation for that issue caused by the mitigating measure. A student must be able to use a mitigating measure independently; if the school personnel has to do something, then the disability is not mitigated. When determining whether the disability materially restricts a major life function, school districts must do a “look back” evaluation to determine what the child is like when off medication or without the mitigating measure. That is a very difficult task, but good news for kids with ADHD who take medications to help them focus.  They must be evaluated based on what their behavior would be when un-medicated.

No Penalty for Self-Accommodations:

And perhaps the most important change: kids who have learned to “self-accommodate,”  adapt—or compensate, as we like to call it—now cannot be penalized for learning to manage the disability on their own. Learned adaptive skills are a mitigation that may not be taken into consideration when determining substantial limitation. A child with a reading disability who can still learn in other ways is still disabled for the purposes of the new interpretation under Section 504, perhaps even if he is an honor roll student.  This change significantly benefits children with ADHD, and other children who were bright enough, or had enough compensatory skills to slip under the classification radar.

What Conditions Are Covered?:

In addition to disorders of learning, reading, concentrating, thinking and sleeping, other biological conditions are now covered. Diseases in remission are now considered as if they were active.  (Yes, you can get a 504 plan for cancer in remission, if it materially restricts you in some way.)  Alcohol problems are covered, although drug addiction is not. Other biological conditions such as gastro disease, neurological, brain, and reproductive disorders also fall under 504 protection.  Medical needs, if they trigger 504 services are now a burden that the district must bear.  And service dogs are now covered and may be allowed in schools.

Children Who Are Bullied:

Another interesting wrinkle, children who are bullied may fall under the “regarded as” prong if they are bullied as a result of their perceived disability.  And, according to Congress in revising the ADA, that discrimination provides them protection under 504, whether the disability is “substantially limiting” or not. This is a very interesting new wrinkle. Conceivably, a child may be entitled to an accommodation for being bullied if he is discriminated against (bullied because he had a disability), whether or not his disability is materially restricting enough to otherwise qualify for Section 504 protections or accommodations.

Evaluations Under Section 504:

Evaluations under the new interpretation of Section 504 must be comprehensive and look at all areas of learning: thinking, concentration, communicating, and so on.  School Districts must meet 504’s evaluation and placement procedural requirements when developing the plan.  For children with medical conditions who previously had an IHP (health response plan), the IHP may no longer be sufficient to meet 504 procedural requirements and they may need to be upgraded to a 504 plan.

Clinicians who do private evaluations and recommend a 504 plan should be aware that their evaluations:  must clearly show how the disability materially restricts a major life activityhow it impacts learning; (thinking, concentrating, communicating, and so on); also address any deficits masked by mitigating or self-accommodation measures, (what the child looks like off medications); and list any accommodation required for any effect of a mitigating measure.  This is especially important for children who are high functioning and have no adverse educational impact.

What Is The New Standard of Education under Section 504?

That’s a really good question.  The standard of FAPE, (Free Appropriate Public Education) is not the same as under IDEA.  Section 504 regulations define appropriate education as “the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of non-handicapped persons are met and (ii) are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements” of the additional regulations governing educational setting, evaluation and placement, and procedural safeguards.

Two notable cases, Lyons and Mark H., establish that the 504 “appropriate education” standard is enforceable, and that the standard it imposes on public schools is different from the IDEA appropriate education standard, maybe lower, maybe higher, depending on the circumstances of your particular school district.  For example, a wealthy district that offers multiple programs and activities for nondisabled children, would be held to a higher standard of education for children covered by 504, a standard well above what IDEA calls for.  Poorer school districts that offer a barely decent level of services and instruction to children without disabilities, might be able to get away with providing lesser services to their children with disabilities, which may fall far below the expectations of IDEA.   How this will play out especially in wealthier districts whose kids have more positive outcomes, remains to be seen.  At this point in time, remember there is no definitive limit to 504 services, as long as they provide an equal opportunity for FAPE as that enjoyed by the non-disabled peers.

Remember, under IDEA, the IEP compares the child to his own best capacities, (more person-centered) while Section 504, when looking at the impact of the disability, compares him to his same age peers across the nation.  But, the obligations of school districts and other entities are measured by how equally they provide access and services to the disabled versus non-disabled, and that is a local standard.  And, when assessing violations of the ADA and 504, the focus is on the school or entity, not the disability, or the person with the disability.  This is an entirely different paradigm than under IDEA.

All services, accommodations and modifications must level the playing field in order to be 504 compliant.  Not all actually do what they are intended to do.  A level playing field means an equal opportunity to succeed in school.  It does not mean maximization of your child’s potential.

By now all school districts must have updated their 504 evaluation criteria, procedural requirements, manuals, materials, parent letters, prior written notice letters, etc., and trained personnel not to make statements or policy that violates Section 504.  The Office of Civil Rights has said it will enforce Section 504 in a manner consistent with the ADA Amendments Act. Because school districts must create their own evaluation procedures under Section 504, this is particularly challenging.    Also, Section 504 does and has always included the provision of services, as well as accommodations and modifications.  There is nothing in the statute that limits 504 in that regard, but for some reason school districts forget that.  But, perhaps the most challenging issue facing school districts is understanding that even children who are doing adequately in school may still qualify for Section 504 accommodations and services, if they have a disability that materially restricts a major life activity.

What Should Parents Do?:

Clearly, these changes suggest that any child previously refused services under the old interpretation of Section 504 should promptly request an evaluation under the new interpretation of Section 504.  This is especially important for children who did not meet threshold criteria before or who may have had a discipline involvement (or both) and who are now otherwise protected under the “regarded as” prong of 504 (for example, already receiving informal accommodations).  It is also important for college-bound teens and those seeking accommodations on college boards to be promptly re-evaluated under Section 504. (However, the college board makes it’s own decisions under Section 504, independent of the school.)

Do not expect your school district to fully understand the ramifications of these changes.  Parents must be proactive and vigilant in protecting their children’s Section 504 rights, even if their school is not.

Ask, ask, ask for a new evaluation.  Be prepared with data and information about your child’s disability, and include examples of how your child functions without their medications or self-accommodations in ALL areas of learning, thinking, communicating, etc.  If your child has another type of disease or disability that is now covered, including gastro-intestinal, immunological, or cancer remission, remember to ask for a 504 plan for any issues arising out of that disease or it’s treatment.  Use your knowledge about your child to paint a picture for the committee.

Be specific about what services and/or accommodations you think they need to level the playing field in school.  Services are included under 504, do not be afraid to ask for “504 Services” by name.  Services that your child may have been denied under IDEA may be appropriate and more easily accessible under the new interpretation of Section 504.

Be a very attentive listener.  If you hear a comment from your school district that violates Section 504, as indicated above, report it to OCR, you can file an OCR complaint online.

Conclusion:

For many years the focus was on IDEA and the IEP and obtaining IEP services.  Children who had a 504 plan in school rarely got the same level of services or procedural protections as those given to children under IDEA.  In fact, the 504 plan was regarded as the “ugly stepchild” of special education.  Today, the ADA Amendments Act has created a paradigm shift in the way we look at children with disabilities, assess them and service them.  There seems to be no end in sight to the possibilities and potential ramifications of the new interpretation of Section 504.  But more importantly, it has opened a world of new possibilities for more students, and especially higher achieving students with disabilities to receive appropriate services and accommodations for disabilities that went un-noticed, un-validated, and un-serviced under IDEA.

 

Disclaimer: Please be advised that this information is not intended to take the place of legal advice.  For specific legal questions seek the advice of a licensed attorney.

©  Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. – All rights reserved.  Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. is maintained.

Find the original article at: PTS Coaching –  Casting a Wider Net 

 

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Become an Effective Advocate for your Child with ADHD

Successfully advocating for your child can be a daunting task. This is an area where finding local resources, organizations or parents who have already gone through the process and will “teach you the ropes” can be invaluable.Articles           Discover Strengths          Advocacy Training        Downloadable e-Books         Support and Websites

Does your ADHD child qualify for an IEP plan or section 504? Maybe yes, but the school must agree. The law has left a large gray area open for interpretation. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) covers students who qualify for special education. Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Generally, IDEA plans are more restrictive  and more apt to apply to students with Learning Disabilities than those with ADHD.

Section 504 covers students who don’t meet the criteria for special education but who still require some accommodations in the regular classroom. According to attorney Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq., “Section  504 is essentially a civil rights anti-discrimination statute, designed to level the playing field between a person with a disability and his non-disabled peers.”  Another major difference is that Section 504, as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act is  not funded. (1)

In either case, eligibility for accommodations and/or modifications is based on an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. These life activities include, among a variety of other things, concentrating, learning, sitting, working, thinking, and interacting/cooperating with others. Since many of these are often affected by ADHD, your child may be included. A diagnosis alone, however, is not enough. AD/HD symptoms must be documented as significantly impacting learning or behavior through a specific evaluation process. The school may provide the service at no cost, but it is more likely that you will have to pay for it yourself.

Your goal is to advocate for the needs of your child – to speak up and to ensure they have the help they need to learn.  Remember this: Know your child – his strengths as well as weaknesses.  Build a good relationship with the teacher and other staff members.  Help them identify possible accommodations and put them into practice. Examples of possible accommodations are seating students closer to the teacher, providing note taker, allowing more time on tests, requiring less homework, using daily report cards to monitor behavior or weekly planners to keep school work on schedule.  A few simple changes may make a huge difference. Beyond that, know your rights, bring someone with you to official meetings and document everything!

Successfully advocating for your child can be a daunting task. This is an area where finding local resources, organizations or parents who have already gone through the process and will “teach you the ropes” can be invaluable. Find a parent who has “gone before you”, locate a support group or parent advocacy organization and get ready to work. Although, you may ultimately decide you need to hire a professional advocate to negotiate for the help your child needs, there are a number of resources available to help you learn to navigate the system.

Articles:

Chart of the difference between IEP and 504 Plans – Understood.org

Individualized Education Plans Quick and easy article, but covers most of the bases- from Nemour’s Kids Health

Guidance on 504 Plans: Know your Rights  2 page overview  (Updated in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education)

Accommodating your child’s needs through a 504 Plan by Terry Illes, Ph.D. – Attention Magazine, published by CHADD – August, 2007 – Restricted screen makes it difficult to read, but includes a number of recommended accommodations.

Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Revisions – An extensive article by Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq.

IDEA, IEPs, and Section 504 Plans: ADHD School Accommodations Augmented by links to documents and relevant websites. – From ADDitude Magazine.

Are you ready to retain a lawyer to settle an IEP issue with your child’s school district? If so, this article and the attached worksheet will walk you through the process.

 
Coffee Klatch Special Needs Radio – Choose from a number of interviews on a wide variety of topics. See: Jen Laviano – Special Education Attorney  – Dec 21, 2010

Explore your Child’s Strengths

VIA Strength Survey for Children for Youth ages 10 to 17 
Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children

For more on Character Strengths, see this article from Hands on Scotland: How to help children recognize and develop their strengths.

Parent Advocacy Training

Exceptional Children Assistance Center – Technical Assistance for Parent Centers
Information about the approximately 100 government funded parent centers in the U.S. that teach parents of children with ADHD (or any other disabling condition) how to advocate for the services their children require. Every state has at least one center.

Find a Parent Center near you.

Request for an Independent Evaluation at public expense – Sample letter (Only applies to IEPs)

More Sample letters from The Parent Information Center of New Hampshire

Note: A school psychologist once contacted our non-profit when I was manning the phones. She trying to find affordable treatment for a low-income student who was struggling in class. When asked why the school wasn’t stepping forward to provide the funding, she replied, “…Regarding the school district paying for an evaluation, I can see the smoke going up from our administrators—at even the suggestion. We are instructed to be ever-so-careful when we “encourage” that a child be evaluated. If we sound like we are recommending or insisting, the school district could be held liable to pay for it. In other words, that is an absolute no-no.”  

eBooks to Download

Guidance on 504 Plans Issued by U.S. Department of Education (2016 )- Clarifying the rights of students with ADHD in our nation’s schools. – “Regardless of how well he or she performs in school, a student who has trouble concentrating, reading, thinking, organizing or prioritizing projects, among other important tasks because of ADHD may have a
disability and be protected under Section 504.” 42 page document Know your Rights 2 page overview

An easy to read, step by step Guide to the Individualized Education Program. Provided by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. 2000. Now in the Archives, but available as a PDF as well as in audio.

Bringing Knowledge to the Table – How to be an Effective Advocate for your Child –   42-page e-book complete with active links on the Special Education process. From IEPs to 504 accommodations it covers both the law and practical application. Includes valuable links.

Websites

CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) specializes in in-depth information about ADHD and Educational Services in Public Schools – Basic articles are from the National Resources Center for ADHD and available for all, but many articles, especially those about advocacy, are reserved for members. (Families- $53 a year)

National Center for Learning Disabilities – For more than 35 years, NCLD has committed itself to empowering parents, transforming public schools and advocating for families and children challenged by learning and attention issues.

 Understood – For learning and Attention issues – 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey. Help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. Includes a secure online community, practical tips and more.

LD Online has a great introduction to LD/ADHD symptoms and accommodations. The official site of the National Joint Committees on Learning Disabilities, LD online provides pertinent information for parents, educators, even kids. the basics, expert advice, and personal stories.

Wrightslaw.com Complete and accurate, Wright’s Law offers a wealth of information about disability law and how it may pertain to school – Applies to all disabilities, but ADHD has its own section.

Also see Wrightslaw’s Yellow Pages for Kids.com – Directory – Find Disability Specialists and the Organizations that may help your family (Free Listings). Not specific to ADHD concerns, but a great resource!They list a wide variety of service: educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians,  academic therapists, tutors, coaches, advocates, and attorneys for children with disabilities. You will also find special education schools, learning centers, parent groups, community centers, grassroots organizations, and government programs for children with disabilities

Smart Kids with LD   A great little site offering targeted information with a gentle touch.

Understanding Special Education provides help navigating the special education system as well as how to work collaboratively within your school district.  The site provides parent-friendly information on all aspects of the process as well as a Q & A section and a parent-to-parent forum. (Host: Michele Hancock, M.A., P.P.S)

1) Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) © Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. http://addfreesources.net/casting-a-wider-net-section-504-revisions/

Resources compiled by Joan Jager – All sources link as of March 17, 2015

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Time… Where did it Go??

By Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC  

A Sense of Time is a developmental skill.  Children, especially those with ADHD, do not have the same mastery of time that adults do.  They may have difficulty judging and anticipating the true amount of time it takes to accomplish tasks – big or small.  Also, many children, again especially those with ADHD, have difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next.  They may become so attached to their current activity that they feel unable to pull themselves away.

Here are some basic tips that might be helpful:

  1. Do some time estimation exercises.
  2. For one week, see how accurate you and your children are at predicting how long a given activity actually takes. Use a clock or timer to see time move as you complete a task.  Try playing beat the clock just to raise their interest in looking at time as a factor in what they do.  You can use the Task Time Estimation – Estimated Vs. Actual handout.  Estimate the time REALLY needed for getting ready in the morning, eating a meal, doing laundry, reading 15 pages, completing a math sheet, etc.  For younger children ask them to predict how long getting dressed or cleaning their room might take and then see how long it actually takes.
  3. Another way to look at Time is to see how much of it is already committed vs. having time for unplanned or unscheduled events.  Simply write down how much time is needed for all the things you MUST do each day (eat, sleep, get dressed, homework, etc.) and add it up.  Then subtract that time from 24 hours and you will see what time is available for everything else.
  4. Plan to allow for extra time so there is no need to rush.

It is less stressful, especially for some children, to arrive a few minutes early and allow time for adjustment to the new setting (even if a familiar one) then to arrive barely on time or a few minutes late.

5.   Give advance notice about what you will be doing next and when it will be happening.

“We’ll be eating dinner in 15 minutes, so begin cleaning up.”

“We’ll be leaving for school in 5 minutes, check to make sure you have done your morning tasks.”

Remember to use a timer so You are not the nag!!

Especially for younger children or those who have an especially difficult time with transitions, try this: Join in their activity for the final few minutes so you can help them transition.  Rather than insisting on an abrupt departure, spend even one or two minutes down at your child’s level and help them make the transition.

“Dani, I see you really like playing with Paige, how about we make plans for next week to do this again.”

“Jordan, I see you are getting even higher on that game. Tomorrow will you show me how you got to that part?”

Transitioning won’t always be smooth, but you are teaching a skill and helping stay calm.

6. Take an extra moment and breathe. Sometimes, when children have trouble disengaging from an activity, we have a tendency to get frustrated and perhaps panic about the pending struggle and about being late to the next appointment.  Panic and Pressure won’t budge your child.  It might even prolong the process.

Cindy Goldrich

 

Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC © 2013 PTS Coaching. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to PTS Coaching is maintained.   Original post: Time Management – It’s a Family Affair! 

 

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Time Management – It’s a Family Affair!

Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC

Effective time management skills are essential to all adults and children. From scheduling and managing after school activities, to homework, to chores… oh, and your life, too!!  Day-to-day demands can become overwhelming and create an atmosphere of constant stress.  Who doesn’t want a calmer more efficient morning, a less hectic afternoon, and a more peaceful bedtime?  By managing your own time wisely and modeling that for your children, you and your family can experience a more orderly, less stressful day.  By becoming proactive in how you approach time you can make a noticeable and systemic difference in the in your life and the lives of your family members.

Many of you already know the “How To’s” of Time Management, yet you still struggle today.  The heart of the issue for many goes beyond practical advice.  Once we run through some of the valuable systems for keeping track of our lives we can focus on the deeper issue of how we choose to spend our time.

Part 1 – Valuable Systems are the Keys to Good Time Management

In each aspect of Time Management discussed here, I encourage you to have a dual focus.  One is on the content – the brass tacks of what needs to be done.  The second is on the process.  This has to do with HOW you choose to implement what needs to be done.  The small picture vs. the big picture.  Keep in mind that your goal in parenting is to develop children who are independent, confident and resilient.  I encourage you to involve your child in the process of what you are doing as much as possible so that they may also begin to emulate the process you go through to decide how to manage time.

  1. Your Calendar
  • Experiment! There are new types of calendars created all the time.  Check out iCal on the Mac. Google also makes a calendar that you can share (google.com/calendar)
  • Use different colors for different people.
  • Be sure there is ample room to write appointments
  • Block out realistic time frames directly on your calendar. Consider how long to get the children ready, driving time, waiting time, etc.
  • Perhaps circle total time needed for an event.
  • Consider writing yourself a note on a date sometime before any event that you need prep time for.  This will to give you a heads up that the date is approaching.  If you use a PDA or computer calendar you might set an alarm for some time in advance.
  1. Their Calendar

Here is where we begin our modeling for our children.

For Young Children

The purpose here is to help children understand the structure of a week and a month.  Let them see how time flows and certain events repeat.  Empower them to look forward to plans independently.  You can have one calendar for each child, or one for the family to share.

  • You can make a calendar together with stickers, colors, etc. Dry erase boards with permanent marker for the days of the week work great.
  • Use different color markers for each child.
  • Stickers and/or different color markers give a visual view of their activities and family events.

For Older Children and Teens

Once a child is actively using an agenda book in school it’s a great tool to help them see school as part of their lives.  Help them develop the skill of having a central area for their planning.  This will give them a greater sense of control and independence as they grow.

  • Help them incorporate their weekly activities, doctors’ appointments, social plans, etc. right in their agenda book.
  • Remind them that they must consult with you before putting any plans in their agenda book to make sure there are no conflicts with you and so you can put the plans in your calendar as well.
  • Teens might enjoy using their computer or phone for their calendar. Encourage them to experiment in developing their own style of organizing and managing their time.
  1. Get organized the night before
  • Review calendar for the next day to anticipate needs, activities
  • Look at the weather report and pick out clothes
  • Pack up backpack
  • Have cell phone by charger
  • Write any notes of last minute things for the morning (lunch from the fridge, etc.)
  • Straighten up room

4. Timers

We can all get lost in our work or play.  Having an external reminder that it is time to transition can make it easier to relax and be fully engaged in the current task at hand.  Timers are also a great device to help children concretize the passage of time.

  • Set the alarm on your computer to remind you of appointments.
  • Kitchen timers are great for helping children transition.  Set the timer for the time remaining before dinner or homework time.  Let the timer be the reminder – not you.  Let them learn to set it as their own reminder when they take breaks for homework.
  • Purchase a watch with a built-in alarm.
  • Use your cell phone alarm.  It can be set to any ringtone.

5. Staging Area

Here is a helpful tip I learned long ago.  Never leave a room to put something elsewhere until you are sure that’s the only thing that needs to leave the room.

  • Have a spot in each bedroom and one or more in your kitchen for transitions.  This is where you will place anything that needs to leave the room next time you exit.
  • Have your children pick a spot in their room to place their backpacks, school projects, items they need for afterschool activities, etc.  Help them develop the habit of placing these items here at night before they go to bed.  Having everything in one spot when it’s time to leave will make the morning less hectic for all.

6. To Do lists and reminder notes

For some, the To Do list can be an out of control random scattering of papers.  For others it takes on a life of its own as reorganizing and rewriting it becomes a To Do item as well.  Still others just avoid To Do lists altogether.  Here are some ideas that might help you better manage the process of keeping things in order.

  • If you are someone who uses a computer regularly, consider using it to manage your To Do list.  iCal on the Mac has spot for To Do’s with the ability to set alarms or emails as reminders for specific times.  It also allows you to sort based on date or priority.
  • If not… Try to keep one main pad where you are the most – for many that is the kitchen.  Have that pad look different than other pads in the house and save it only for YOUR To Do list.
  • Consider having a date or date range attached to any item that is not immediate.  This will prevent it from blending in to an endless list of things to do.
  • If your list becomes overwhelming, consider a breakaway list of things to focus on JUST THIS WEEK.  Then each week you can pull from your master list and not have all those other items starring you in the face.
  • Choose a regular time to review your list if it becomes lengthy.  For many, nighttime is when the activity has settled and the mind is clear.  This is often the perfect time to evaluate and perhaps rewrite your To Do list.
  • Keep a notepad by your bed to jot down things you need or hope to get done.  This is NOT the To Do list – transfer these to your main list the next day.  Give your children a special pad for their nightstand and teach them to jot down plans they hope to make or things the need to remember for school.
  • Place reminder notes in the SAME spot you have designated as your transition area for when you leave a room.

Remember, if you can develop the habit of having a few consistent spots you always look at you are less likely to forget important things.  A little later in this article I will focus more on the deeper meaning of To Do lists…

  1. Pattern Planning

The more activities you do that are predictable, the easier it is to remember and make sure they are done.  Like traditions and rituals, routines have a way of calming and comforting, as they are a regular part of our lives.

  • Choose the same day each week for errands: groceries on Monday, dry cleaners on Wednesday, etc.
  • Request the same appointment day and time when setting up routine visits such as dental, medication check-ins, counseling, coaching.
  • For annual and bi-annual events such as physicals, changing Air Conditioner filters, changing smoke detector batteries, choose a month that generally works for you and write a To Do a few weeks prior in your Calendar for scheduling.
  • Set up a pattern for household chores for everyone.   Alternate children’s chores based on the month they are born or something similar.  Ex. The child born on odd number month takes out the trash and gets the front seat on odd months; the other child sets the table and feeds the dog.
  • Keep your grocery-shopping list in the same place all the time and encourage family members to write their requests on the list themselves.

8.  Email

For some people, especially those who spend a great deal of time on the computer, tending to emails can be both time consuming and distracting.

  • Turn off that “ping”.  I learned this one from the late Randy Pausch.  That “Ding” every time you receive a new email has the power to pull you away from other work you might be engaged in.  By turning off the sound, you regain your control over when you choose to check your emails.
  • Remove yourself from emails as often as possible.  At the bottom of marketing emails, there is usually an “unsubscribe” link.  The moments it will take you to do this are nothing compared to the time you will spend deleting their emails each and every time – not to mention the one’s for the companies they sell your email address to.

 

  1. Implementation

New ideas are great, but too many of them at once can create chaos and take up much of your time.  Try to implement new ideas one at a time. Be sure that the change is a good choice for you and your family.  Just because a time management idea works for a friend or neighbor does not mean it will work for you.  You may be wasting more time trying to fit yourself into a system that is not right for you!

Remember that each family member has a different learning style and different level of comprehension.  What is right for you may not be right for everyone in your family.  I love iCal and use it with my daughter.  I “invite” her to her doctor appointments, etc. and she “invites” me to let me know about her work schedule.  My son, however, hates to have to look at the calendar on the computer.  He recognizes that being connected to it too often distracts him.

Learning to manage your time is a process.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes.  When starting a new plan, praise and encourage your children on all levels of success as they get used to the process.  Try to involve your children in the in the decision-making process as much as possible.  Solicit their assistance and input as you plan your new strategies.

Cindy Goldrich

 

Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC © 2013 PTS Coaching. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to PTS Coaching is maintained.   Original post: Time Management – It’s a Family Affair! 

 

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