Give hope a change to float, even when parenting ADHD and autism

Give hope a chance to float, even when parenting ADHD and Autism

Hope and I have not always been on the best of terms. I often feel like hope misleads me, and then lets me down. I have hoped for so many things for my son, Ricochet, only to fall into disappointment in the end. While hope is a powerful tool to keep us moving forward, it can also cause despair. I’ve told myself many times to stop hoping for things so I won’t be disappointed in the end — to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it works out. I’ve told myself, but hope always finds a way to creep in. Hope More

Bring on the D’s and F’s

Bring on the D's and F's: Redefining Academic Success for Kids with ADHD and Autism

Defining ‘Academic Success’ for Kids with ADHD, Autism

Most individuals define academic success by grades and test scores — A’s and B’s and high scores on benchmark tests are a success. In turn, average and failing grades are indicative of not being successful at school. When your child has ADHD and/or autism though, you have to modify your yardstick as well as your definition of success.

Growing up, I was expected to earn all A’s and B’s, because my parents knew that I had the intelligence and skills to do so. When I brought home a C once or twice on a report card, I was immediately grounded. These house rules taught me that grades were a measure of More

The Great American Road Trip, Autism Spectrum Style

Great American Road Trip, Autism Spectrum Style

My son, Ricochet, loves the beach. When he’s at the beach he can run wild and free, explore and excavate, and match the temperament of the ocean.

When he was younger, he was so excitable and hyper that vacation was fun for him and he never wanted to go back home. Now that he is nearly a teen, and his ADHD activity level is managed, he is acutely aware that he’s not at home, with his stuff, where he knows what to expect. So aware, he cried to go home on several occasions over week away. Several. At one moment, he’s standing in the surf and commanding the waves with great pleasure, like the sorcerer in Fantasia. The next, he is melting down on More

5 Ways to Get Prepared: Back to School with ADHD, Autism

Get Prepared: Back to School with ADHD, Autism

As I wrote about earlier this week, the fear and anxiety around school is back, now that there is less than two weeks until back to school for Ricochet, my son with ADHD, mild autism, and dysgraphia. His history of school struggles has taught me to worry incessantly about how school will go. Couple that with starting a new school (our public middle school that serves 7th and 8th grade) and I’m in a full-on panic.

However, there are things we can all do to prepare for a new school year when we have a child with ADHD and/or autism, to ensure we, parents and kids alike, start with our best foot forward. Here are the five ways I prepare my son for a new school year. More

The Fear: Back to School with ADHD/Autism

The Fear is Real: Back to School with ADHD and/or Autism

The Fear is Real

To say that our last school year was painful for my son, Ricochet, and myself, would be a gross understatement. He was so totally misunderstood by teachers and staff at the charter school he attended that it got to the point where he began harming himself at school to try to get picked up early and flee the discomfort. Every teacher and administrator Ricochet dealt with felt certain that his above-average intelligence meant he could do everything they asked him to do and more, despite More