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Memoirs of an ADHD Mom:
|Who knew that the simple act of losing my phone for less than 24 hours would teach me such a big life lesson?|
I lost my phone. I searched everywhere for it. I looked under all my paperwork, tore through my car, searched in all of my kid's rooms, emptied my purse 20 times, I even looked in the fridge (things sometimes end up inexplicably in the fridge)!
As I searched I felt frantic, my heart rate increased, I was anxious, I became short with my children. As the day progressed without my phone, I felt a sense of loss, not knowing what to do with my time, and I hate to admit it, but some sadness.
What is going on with me? I am classic ADHD. I lose things all the time - it's one of the things I do best. Then why am I having these feelings? I misplaced my phone - not one of my children!
So I begin to reflect on this. If I am having these feelings, it means I have some kind of emotional connection to my phone. Then I think of all the time I spend on my phone. It is an incredible realization. I am NEVER without it - hence my feeling of "loss".
Ok. Time for a reality check. I spend way too much time on my phone. It is my ultimate source of distraction, entertainment, and validation. You know that happy feeling you get when a funny text comes in from a friend, someone likes your post, or retweets your thought of the day? Without my phone, I miss that.
Something is truly wrong with me. I can even think of times when my daughter has tried to talk to me while I am checking something on my phone. I hear nothing she says - I just see her walk away with that disappointed look on her face. I never really thought about this, but I have checked out of life at times for my phone addiction.
I started to look up information on this and it is actually a "thing". There is a phone addiction. Studies have shown that checking your smartphone can increase the dopamine levels in your brain! This means when I see that comment someone made on my Facebook post, the pleasure center of my brain is activated - making me come back for more!
So many people deal with this. Not just me. But for people with ADHD and need for stimulation, distraction, and our inability to control our impulsivity - this addiction can be much worse.
As I was searching the internet, I came across a stat that said the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes. I can then surmise that for me, it is probably every 6-8 minutes. Ugh. What am I missing then in my ACTUAL life due to this constant connection to my phone? I can only imagine. This is not good. I am probably missing meaningful conversations with my children, beautiful moments happening in my environment, and the opportunity to connect with that random person who may be standing right next to me.
I found my phone. It was in the laundry basket - because that makes sense! But I have a new mission. I am going to work on limiting my time on my phone. I have started to delete many of my apps that needlessly suck time out of my day. I have installed an app that prohibits texting while driving. And I am not checking my phone at all after 9:30 PM (if all of my children are safe at home).
Have any of you experienced this? I gotta tell you this has been a big wake up call. No pun intended. Who knew the simple act of losing my phone could teach me so much?
Thursday, September 13, 2018
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How to Combine Learning and Nutrition this Summer for your ADHD child
|Summer break is a great time to engage children in developing their meal plan. This is a great way to teach them about healthy eating. A study by UCLA School of Medicine states, “We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function”. Helping your ADHD child create healthy eating habits may improve their overall focus and ability to improve cognitive skills.|
Here are some ideas on how you can integrate learning and nutrition to help prevent “summer brain drain” this year:
Try to integrate some reading, writing, and creativity into each exercise to maximize learning.
- ·Read some story books with your child that are based on nutrition. There are many fun books for children on healthy eating. There are also nutritional guides for teens that are designed to keep their attention and simplify healthy eating.
- ·Teach your child about the vitamins each food contains and how it improves your health. Create a flow chart for them to reference and give them a pop quiz during meal times.
- ·Ask your child to write down ideas for dinner. Set the requirement that each food must be a different color in the rainbow. This will tie into how each color contains different vitamins and health benefits.
- ·Teach your child dinner recipes and assign a couple of nights a week for them to help you make dinner. Not only will they be learning but it will get them off the couch and moving.
- ·Have your child keep a food journal. This will help them with writing skills and mindful eating habits.
- ·Make a game for healthy eating! If you have multiple kids, create a raffle and have them put in a ticket for each healthy food they eat. Or if your child meets his or her daily intake of vegetable and fruits, you can create a fun reward system. The better they eat, the more freedom they can earn in their daily schedule.
Upcoming Session Dates for
The Sensory Learning Program:
Monday, July 23
Friday, August 3
Monday, August 13
Friday, August 24
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What can ESA funds be spent on?
According to the Arizona Department of Education, "Additional eligible expenses for children with special needs include:
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How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss
|Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three months math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain. This makes starting the following school year difficult. |
Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.
Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren't there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.
Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That's a bad idea. While there's nothing wrong with playing video games or watching movies, sedentary activity must always be balanced with exercise. This is especially important for an ADHD student.
Here are some tips that should help prevent Summer Brain Drain:
- Take advantage of the summer months to start your Play Attention (or other program) and improve Executive Function and Self-Regulation. Summer is a great time to start Play Attention because you will have the time to get a solid routine in place, begin strengthening cognitive skills and work on eliminating distracting behaviors. Play Attention is the only program available that integrates feedback technology, attention training, memory training, cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. This guarantees you will have the most complete program available with the best possible outcomes.
- Set a consistent routine.
- Read. Decrease reading losses by developing a fun reading plan with your child. Select reading level appropriate books and have fun discussing them and even acting out some scenes!
- Plan trips to the library for storytelling, selecting a new book, or even just browsing the magazine selection.
- You'll likely go to the mall, grocery store, or gas station over the summer. Make these math trips! Use numbers found at these locations to create on the spot games with prizes. Even you cars trip meter can be of service for math problems.
- Set a routine. Sleeping late is fine as long as it's balanced with proper exercise and proper bedtime. Remember your teen will need far more sleep than your 6 - 12-year-old.
- Get outside a lot. Working in the yard promotes better attention. No kidding! Being in a green environment has been shown to decrease attention problems, so get outside and play!
- Establish a balanced diet. The high fat, high sugar diet commonly consumed in the US has been shown to contribute greatly to attention issues as well as obesity. Avoid too much fast food even though it's convenient. Dinner time at the table with a balanced meal promotes both family harmony and good health.
Gluten Free Recipe:
Red White and Blue Popsicles
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana chopped
- 3 cups plain greek yogurt divided into three equal parts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fine sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Monk Fruit in the Raw) divided into three equal parts
- red and blue food coloring optional
- 10 popsicle sticks
By Becky Hardin - The Cookie Rookie
- Blend the strawberries with 1/2 tablespoon Sugar and 1/4 cup water. Pulse until well combined. Add 1 cup greek yogurt and blend until fully smooth. Add 3 drops red food coloring if you would like the color to be a bit more vibrant; totally optional. Set aside. Keep refrigerated until use.
Repeat steps with each type of fruit, using blue food coloring with the blueberries if you want the color to be a bit more blue, again, optional.
Start by adding a layer of blueberry mixture to the bottom of each popsicle mold. Add your popsicle sticks and allow layer to freeze for about 2 hours. Follow with layer of either banana or strawberry, alternating if you wish. Allow this layer to freeze as well before adding your final layer.
Allow pops to freeze fully before serving.
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