Students

An ADHD Story: My Son Might be a Mad Scientist

Doc Brown Back to the Future
Remember Doc, the white haired, mad eyed inventor from Back to the Future? Do you remember the scene where Marty goes to visit Doc in his workshop and walks through a cluttered kitchen where a complex Rube Goldberg machine is set up to feed the dog?  My twelve-year-old son with ADHD is a modern-day younger Doc.

 
My son’s recent projects include: Various robots made with Makeblock; An Arduino powered laser pointer mechanism designed to entertain our cats; a Lego EV3 cobra

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The Case for Handwritten Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes are an Important Tradition

The holidays are about traditions. Some holiday traditions are generic and some are unique to the family, some are old and some new. At some point, the job of passing on these traditions shifts from the grandparents, to parents of young children. It’s not discussed, it just happens that way. Family traditions need repetition in order to carry on, much like good habits need repetition to stick. In our half Jewish family, we do a great job with the traditions surrounding Christmas, but we are lousy about lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. This year we only remembered the first day, shame on us. Actually, shame on my husband and me, because we need to be the ones to carry out these traditions so that they become ingrained in our children’s experience of the holidays. It’s that whole lead by example thing. Something else the kids won’t continue, if we don’t, and that is to properly thank their relatives for gifts received.
It’s easy to open a box under the tree, but someone made an effort to pick the gift out. Maybe they even waited in an irritatingly long line at the post office to mail it. They didn’t do it for the recognition, they did it out of love. In my opinion,

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Applying to Private Schools for the 2017-2018 school year

Applying to private schools for the 2017-2018 school year

You may be thinking about holidays, but it is already the season to visit potential private schools and see which may be the best fit for your child. Whether you are considering applying for Kindergarten or Middle School the application process can seem daunting. Following are highlights of the application process:

FALL

  1. What schools will you be applying to?
    a. Research local independent schools. Knowing your child, where would he/she thrive?
    b. Talk to friends about their experiences with different institutions.
    c. Talk to children and parents of children who attend the school you may be interested in.
    d. Attend independent school fairs and Open House days. Organizations such as Puget Sound Independent Schools list upcoming fairs and Open House events.
  2. Narrow down the list of schools you will apply to and become familiar with their deadlines. If your child is applying as a sibling, you may have earlier application deadlines. Find out if your school has rolling admissions.
  3. Reach out to former educators and ask if they would be willing to write your student a recommendation.
  4. Register for the entrance test. Most primary and secondary independent schools require either the SSAT or the ISEE test for admittance.
  5. Become familiar with the entrance test format and content.
    a. Purchase study guides and prepare for the entrance test.
    b. Enroll in prep classes or seek out a tutor to assist your child with preparation.
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Parent’s guide to getting your ADHD student to school on-time

Get your ADHD child out the door on time
The key to getting out of the house on time starts the night before. Since kids with ADHD may have sleep issues, a solid sleep routine can help your child be successful with their morning routine.
Start the sleep ritual early. Turn off any electronic devices well ahead of bedtime. This can be challenging if your student is up late studying, but aim for an early bedtime as much as you can. A sleep app like SleepyTime: Bedtime Calculator can help your child determine what time you they need to get to bed based on when they need to wake up. Taking a hot shower before bed can help the body get into sleep mode. Some kids with ADHD like to settle down with a book on tape or on Audible, but if that is too stimulating a white noise machine or app can help your child tune out noise and settle into sleep easier. If possible, try to avoid evening sports or lessons as these may overstimulate your child, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Try different strategies until you come up with a sleep routine that works well for your child.
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Entering 6th Grade with no Clutter

clutter

Twelve-year old Kayla was more than ready to clear the clutter out her bedroom. She is entering 6th grade in a few days and she no longer plays with majority of the toys that clutter her bedroom. These days she is into playing guitar and reading, not playing with Disney princess castles and Polly Pockets. Over three hours, we emptied every drawer, pulled out every bin and sorted through every book shelf and basket. Kayla took the lead

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How a School Lunch Packing Station Will Simplify Your Morning

lunch packing station

Would you like your children to make their own school lunches? A school lunch packing station makes it super easy for your child to take on this responsibility. Start with designating space in your pantry and fridge. A pantry shelf that is eye level for your children is the best choice. Store your child’s lunch box and water bottle near the lunch packing station. In a small labeled bin store your child’s favorite school snacks. Next to that store a labeled bin with napkins, forks/spoons, plastic storage containers and baggies. In your refrigerator, designate a shelf or a drawer for school lunch food. For example, in a labeled drawer keep everything needed to make sandwiches.  On the label write the contents of the drawer: (bread, cheese, turkey meat, mayo, etc.) and keep it stocked with those ingredients. On a designated labeled refrigerator shelf keep juice boxes, veggie packs,

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How to Help Your Student Own their Responsibilities

help your student

August is here and that means the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. You are probably already submitting school forms, buying school supplies and clothes. Help your student get a head start toward being able to own their responsibilities with these invaluable tips from organizing consultant, coach and ADHD specialist Leslie Josel.
Leslie notes that children are capable of managing responsibilities depending on their “brain” age, not necessarily on their “chronological” age. Therefore, we cannot expect that at age X all children will be capable of mastering the same tasks. Leslie Josel works with

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My college student just returned home for the summer. How am I supposed to fit all of their dorm room belongings back into our home?

Moving Boxes for Organizing a Dorm Room

Before you bring everything back into your home, now is a good time to go through and assess what is really necessary and needed. Encourage your child to sort through their clothing. Was it worn during the year away? If not, now is a good time to let it go. Freshly launder all dorm bedding and then store and label in containers for the summer. Create a “College” storage container for items that will not be used during the summer, but are used during the school year, such as mugs, shower caddies, school supplies, etc. Larger items like dorm refrigerators, chairs and trunks can be easily stored and labeled out of the way in a garage or basement. Doing all this right as your child returns home will make the transition to pack up again at the end of summer all the easier!

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