As a special needs parent it is common that your child's needs become the center of your universe. Everything you plan and do ends up revolving around them. You do it because you are trying to ensure that they are successful. So they will be happy and not have meltdowns, tantrums, or sadness; because let's be honest, that easier for us. Unfortunately, there is a fine line between being empathetic to your child's needs and being an enabler to let poor behavior choices continue.
They other day, I planned an activity to take my daughter to a LIVE animal show at the local library. I asked her if it was something she thought she would enjoy. She said yes. To even sweeten the experience I invited some of her neighborhood friends to join us. We went. I made sure we had a snack before going in. (No need to let "hangry" set in). We waited in line, a pretty big line to be seated. When the doors opened up moms, grandmas, dads, and a squadron of children piled into the room.
At the beginning of the school year, I was extremely worried about how my daughter would do. She has been kicked out of 2 schools already. Being homeschooled she wasn't use to working all day or being in a more rigid routine. To attempt to make school as fun as I could I began with a behavior prize bucket; whereas, if she had a good day and could tell me one thing she liked about school she would be able to select a small prize from the bucket. The bucket only lasted about the first 6 weeks and then faded away.
With school only a few weeks away, stores have filled their shelves with mountains of back to school supplies. Many of us special needs parents have mixed feelings about sending our kids back to school. It typically means more stress for everyone. It means homework battles, social skill troubles, IEP meetings, and more texts from teachers. Now is the time to think ahead about your child's needs. This is my 6 must haves school supplies for your you SPD or ADHD child.
Over this journey, I have become a champion for healthy eating. I continue to preach that We Are What We Eat (#WeRWhatWeEat). I am a true testimony of what the difference can make, not only for weight, but overall health. This includes mood, behavior, and concentration for my 7 year old with ADHD, SPD, & DDMD. ADHD diets for kids and adults are not a new thing. Many in the blogasphere contest whether or not they are effective. I believe they are highly effective if implemented consistently and with all the important pieces in place.
I am a real believer that We Are What We Eat! If you put junk in your body, then you will get junk back. Over the years, we have learned the impact that food has on behavior, mood, and overall health. Essential we have stumbled into our creating an effective ADHD diet that really works. My daughter's focus, moods, and behavior improved. I was able to lose 50 pounds while also reducing my migraines, heartburn, sore joints while gaining better sleep and way more energy, by following the Wheat Belly Diet.
When I tell people that Samantha is unschooled, many of them are taken aback. They have a puzzled look on their face. I go on to explain that learning happens naturally for all of us through the experiences we have in life. In this process, it is not necessary to force children to learn something specific, as they will follow their natural curiosities, passions, and interest. Subjects, such as reading, math, science, present themselves through that engagement.
Summer is officially here. Most schools are done. Most homeschooling is wrapping up, and many of the private schools have posted their signs for next year registration. It is a time when children feel free and many parents feel trapped. LOL! A strange juxtaposition, don't you think? In all seriousness, I hope that this summer you will take a good hard look at the past year of "school." Were you happy with how your school year went? How did your child fair? The reason I ask is because now is the time to see if you need to make changes.
Albert Einstein said it best, "The definition of insanity is repeating the same behaviors and expecting a different outcome." Yet, all too often we do this. Why? Frankly, I believe it's because we get stuck in our frame of mind. Our whole lives is a learning process. Each encounter and experience help shape our opinions, expectations, and understanding of a situations. All this "knowledge" helps us connect the dots in life; right?
Well, sort of.