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I think one of the biggest challenges for me as a parent wasn’t just the treatment process, but more the stigma and worry about what having a label like ADD can do. We knew that Ethan was struggling at school and we felt like we needed to let our teacher know that we were working really hard to improve things for him and hopefully for her too!
Once we had a diagnosis, we were able to begin making the accommodations necessary through our public school system and our principal explained how we could get a 504 for Ethan in place once we had this paperwork. Once we had the official paperwork from the testing with our diagnosis, we put a plan in place for Ethan. Here is the thing… I did not want to ask for special favors or inconvenience our teacher, but I knew that there were things that really needed to happen so that Ethan could perform successfully at school.
Our 504 has pretty much remained the same since elementary school with a few tweaks here and there for his accommodations. We Need To Be In the Loop- Our biggest issue was that we felt in the dark about what needed to happen during the day and if the teacher needed something from us. We Asked for A Little Grace on Late Papers- This is never to be abused, but sometimes our disorganization has caused us to be late on assignments. We Need Extra Time At the End of the Day- This was particularly important as we headed into middle school so that he had enough time to get his books and papers gathered and organized before getting on the bus. For us, one of our biggest transitions was going from an elementary school setting to a middle school setting. Not only do we have the 504 in place for Ethan, but we take advantage of anything that the school offers that can continue improving those grades and helping him feel confident.
When our middle school offered free tutoring, we took advantage of that so he could stay after school and tackle that homework with help. I wrote a special note to his coach to thank him for all he does to encourage our son because it has meant so much to us and to Ethan. As a parent, I have to make sure that I communicate with his teachers from day one, I have to make sure the appropriate paperwork is filed on his 504, and I have to be the one to stay on top of everything with his homework and projects. Being organized at home is important because it can be the difference between a good day and a bad day for my son.
We don’t expect perfection, we are proud of him for trying and doing the best he can. I started utilizing a checklist that I would sit by his backpack to go through and would just remind him to check his checklist in the morning instead of the daily nag.
If you are working through this with your child, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you are a good mom.
Your process might look different than mine or you might explore other avenues than we did. I am sure if you have been a reader here, you know how fiercely I guard the privacy of my children.
It is with his blessing and permission that I share our story today, in hopes we can help someone else going through the same struggles. Ethan was the kind of kid that never fit into the box and this is just one of many reasons why I love him. At eighteen months, he still made hardly any audible sounds and still would not turn to me when I called his name. Instead of speaking like a baby though, he went full-out sentences and would fixate on one particular thing and talk about it nonstop. Since Ethan was an only child, our therapist thought he might benefit from being around other kids his age more, so we looked into a school program for him when he turned two.
We held Ethan back a year to see if he might benefit from an extra year of preschool before we put him in elementary school, thinking he had some social issues to work through. One night he barricaded his door with all of his belongings just to keep us out of his room. He would not bring home papers for me to sign, he would do work at school and just fizzle out at the end of worksheets for no reason, and he was always angry and frustrated with us. Harder than that though, were the apologies after the outbursts and the crocodile tears down his face as he told us he was sorry and didn’t know why he was doing this. I became a broken nagging record every single day, begging him to just, FOR THE LOVE, do your homework and bring your stuff home. I didn’t think ADD was a real thing, but was an excuse for disorganization and lack of discipline. I also felt ashamed that it made me feel relieved too to know there was something wrong and I wasn’t just a terrible mom. As I clicked through website after website, these things that I thought were problems that only Ethan had, were actually characteristics of someone who had ADD. It was as though someone knew our family personally and the struggles we were experiencing.
Now that I thought I might know what the issue was, I was more determined than ever to get a proper diagnosis and not a quickie questionnaire in the doctor’s office. We reached out to a psychologist in town for an evaluation and waited an excruciating two weeks until he could come in for testing. This page gives you ten tips for practicing peaceful parenting instead of punishment at your house. Remember that children misbehave when they feel bad about themselves and disconnected from us. Stoop down to her level and look her in the eye: "You want your brother to move, so you pushed him. Timeouts, while infinitely better than hitting your child, are just another version of punishment by banishment and humiliation. On the face of it, Consequences make sense: The child does (or doesn't do) something, and learns from the consequences. Harsh discipline and punishment, ironically, interfere with the child's ability to develop self discipline. For children it can be one of their favorite times of year – summer vacation – but for parents it can mean stress over how to keep the kids busy, safe, and away from the video games 8 hours each day. The kids are out of school and all they want to do is stay up late, swim every day, and run through the house leaving a trail of grass clippings and popsicle juice.
If your children are on the verge of “staying home alone” age, but not quite ready for the responsibility, appeasing them and keeping them safe can be a challenge.
Find a responsible teenager (yes, they do exist) who can come to the house and hang-out with your kids, maybe take them to the pool, the park, and the library. Find a stay-at-home mom with older kids who is willing to have your children as an extra appendage to her family during the summer.

Consider allowing your children to stay home alone part-time (if they are old enough and ready for the responsibility). Summer vacation from school (even for us homeschoolers) can be filled with challenges of negotiating schedules. This video outlines what I REALLY think about John Gottman’s book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. Please note that we are unable to respond back directly to your questions or provide medical advice. As the fastest growing consumer health information site a€” with 65 million monthly visitors a€” Healthlinea€™s mission is to be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of health and well-being. I set up a meeting with the principal and his teacher and tearfully explained that we were working with our doctor and were in the process of figuring things out and asked for a little patience until we had some answers. It pained me to ask for “favors” (I am a big people pleaser and hate being a bother to people), but I knew this could help him so much! We asked that Ethan write in his agenda daily what needed to happen and requested the teacher initial to verify everything so we weren’t missing important papers and deadlines anymore.
He had a hard time focusing when there was a lot going on and we wanted to be sure that he could take advantage of a quieter room if he needed it. We just asked for grace, particularly transitioning into our new school routines since having zeros for late assignments could really lower his grades.
That extra 5-10 minutes made an enormous difference in our organizational level and our grades. Although we had communicated with his teachers that he had ADD, we did not know that we need to communicate with the middle school that he had a 504 from elementary school and that we wanted to make sure everything was set with it moving forward into our new school.
We found that he was more productive in that environment than he was riding the bus trying to work on his homework when he got home.
We were lucky enough to have gotten the scoop on cross country in middle school from another mom and this helped Ethan burn off some energy and be a part of a team that really fit with his personality. I can do all of these incredible things for him through the people he interacts with at school, but if I am disorganized at home, those repercussions follow Ethan and make his day hard. Someday he will be an adult and he won’t have a mom setting everything up for him in his workplace and in his home. I turned off my own distractions and just focused on a good breakfast and building that kid up at the bus stop.
As a blogger, there is a difficult balance that we have to deal with when sharing about our families. Over the years I have struggled a lot as a mom and one of my biggest struggles was my son’s diagnosis with ADD. From his shocking entry into the world (early and complete with a placental abruption that could have killed us both), I should have known he was going to challenge everything I thought about parenting. We were placed into the First Steps program where he benefited from an incredible therapist who helped us both with Ethan’s speech delay and sensory issues.
As the kids sat in their mama’s laps and sang songs and listened to the librarian, my son refused to sit with me and spent the entire time lapping the room, ripping open the cabinets behind the librarian, and screaming if I tried to hold him in my lap. As his teacher was preparing him for middle school, our frustrations got bigger and the homework got longer and the outbursts were out of control. Not only that, but when I flipped through his report cards, the teachers had even said some of these same exact phrases on his report card. The parent prioritizes maintaining and strengthening the parent-child connection, which is the only reason children cooperate.
In any situation posing physical danger, intervene immediately to set limits, but simultaneously connect by empathizing.
Parenting helps you create a more peaceful home - and happy, responsible, considerate kids! If you’re a work-at-home mom or in a household where both parents work outside of the home, summer vacation for the kids can be challenging to weave into your workload and family responsibilities. Working at home can be challenging for parents during summer break from school, but there are a few strategies than can help everyone enjoy the summer sun (and still make deadlines for work).
Consider what you and your kids most want to do this summer, then create a work schedule that allows for some of those things to happen. If you tell the kids you will be finished by lunch so you can head to the beach, make sure you follow through with that. If you just need a few hours a week working at home alone, trade days or afternoons with a friend. On those super-hot days when everyone wants to spend the afternoon hanging out in air-conditioning, have the kids try some new hobbies that will keep their hands and brains busy at the kitchen table. When the kids were younger our summers were spent running like crazy during the morning, hiking, going to the park, and ending at the library with a picnic lunch somewhere.
They don’t want to be in daycare, but you don’t want them fending for themselves for 8 hours each day while you work outside the home. It can provide both her and your kids with playmates, and give her a little extra spending cash. This might just be letting them get themselves ready for the day before a neighbor comes over to stay with them, or letting them spend the afternoons home alone once lunch is over. Maybe you can telecommute for one or two days each week, or rearrange a few hours every week to better fit with your partner’s work schedule so that one of you is home longer. However, it should still be a time to explore, learn, and have opportunities to engage in fun activities.
She is also on an incredible journey as she home schools her 4 children, and is supported through it all by her husband of more than 15 years, Steve. This is the common question that all parents face when their babies get diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Both of which will support, guide, and inspire you toward the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. They both were genuinely kind and sympathetic as we were floundering to figure out how to help Ethan.
A 504 is basically a blueprint or plan for how a child will have access to learning at school that is written together.
We also asked that any further communication that she wanted to do with us also was on the agenda so we could be sure not to miss anything. If there is one thing we learned through this process, we learned that we need to check in every year about this and make sure that it is communicated with his teachers.
I have to invest the time monthly in check-ups and making sure his medical needs are addressed.

I shared this because I felt so very alone in this process and I know our story can help others. Through his diagnosis and treatment, we have had the opportunity to help so many parents locally who have been going through the same difficulties and  point them to doctors and resources that have helped improve their lives.
I remember thinking how ridiculous this all seemed as she played with playdough and blew bubbles with him on my kitchen floor. This child who could not even say mom now said Ankylosaurus and had memorized an entire dinosaur dictionary.
I remember that he was so busy and I couldn’t believe all this big energy that could be in such a little body! Ethan was bored in school and every morning to take him there was a battle and not the kind of battles I had ever seen any of my friends deal with.
I tend to believe that good exercise, a healthy diet, and vitamins are the cure for anything that ails you.
YES!" Your child will respond with the generosity of spirit that matches yours.
During the summer I take the early mornings to complete my work, as I have teens who like to sleep in and have slower starts to their days. Your kids will learn to rely on your word and keep their own promises, but you will also all benefit from a break together. Painting, crafting, scrapbooking, sewing, or building model rockets and cars are all great boredom busters and can give you the time you need to catch up on work. By the time we got home they were ready to either nap or chill out and read their library books. If exchanging cash is a challenge between friends, offer to spring for pool and zoo passes for everyone for the summer – a win-win for everyone.
Even though as a work-at-home mom my workload doesn’t take a summer vacation, I still love evenings by the bonfire, tents in the backyard, and digging my toes in the sand with the kids. The first year of middle school taught us a lot about making requests known as we were struggling to even pass because the accommodations weren’t there.
We also love that running is an activity he can always do when he needs to burn off a little steam at home. I can barely keep myself organized most days, let alone stay on top of someone else’s stuff too!
Clearly I knew nothing because not only did he start speaking, we couldn’t get this kid to shut up!
The idea that my son had something that might require a doctor’s care and treatment baffled me. The kids know that my work responsibilities must be met in order for us to go on and have some fun together, so they respect my need for routine.
Consider a schedule that has the kids doing their chores while you’re in work mode so that everyone has a similar schedule. I had a few hours to work, and then we still had time to head outside to enjoy the pool or another fun summer activity. Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that results in an amalgamation of birth abnormalities. We welcome your comments and hope our story helps other families facing the same challenges.
All of this has become such a part of my routine that I don’t think about it anymore.
The ability to speak helped curb some of his frustrated outbursts and baby signing helped us until he could communicate fully. Ethan would only do things he wanted to do, preferring to not interact with other kids at all unless they played his games.
You have to manage various physical and mental problems while parenting a child with Down syndrome. It depends on what type of accommodations your family needs to determine which type of paperwork is filed.
Since he was my first baby, I had no expectations of what he should be doing, but others in our family and our pediatrician were concerned about his lack of speech. For some parents, a routine ultrasound scanning may suggest that you have to expect a baby with Down syndrome. In circle times, he did not sit like he was supposed to, preferring to get up and do laps instead of sitting.
Many days, I took this five year-old kid and left him outside of his classroom, kicking and screaming. But, for some others, everything will come as a bundle of surprise and shock along with the baby.
When my husband lost his job, we relocated around that time to Indiana, and I decided to hold off on the speech therapy and see if Ethan might blossom in his new location. Parenting a child with Down syndrome is no more a difficult task with the advance in medical science. Toddlers are at the right age to get trained to acquire many skills that will help them live an almost normal life. Make a plan: It is a good idea to discuss with other parents who are facing the same situation.
Stay away from conventional theoretical rules and plot a plan by using these practical solutions that can help your toddler improve a lot. Since your toddler will take a little more time to attain most of the abilities, you have to wait with patience for a better result. Proper educational programs: Give the needed educational assistance to your toddler at the recommended age. This professional group will include doctors, occupational therapist, speech therapist, counsellors and trained teachers. Recognizing the point where you have to give more emphasis will help face their physical, mental, educational and behavioural challenges. Sink with the truth that your toddler is a bit different in physical and mental developments.

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