Easter Activites

Easter Activites

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Check out this awesome Easter word trace activity from Education.com.

Education.com has great activities for preschool-5th grade.

I am an educator and I have an account. I have been able to find activities that I could for older grades as well.

 

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Just Focus and Calm Down!

Just Focus and Calm Down!

Have you heard people saying or yelling this phrase?  I have. In the classroom, to my daughter, and to others with ADHD.

How can anyone think that this phrase is ok? A child with ADHD can’t just focus. It is hard for them. Their brains do not work that way.

Why is it we do not tell a child with asthma-to just breathe? Or a child who wears glasses- to just see? Would you tell a child in a wheelchair- to just get up and walk? No, we wouldn’t ask any of these questions.

Then why are ADHD children being told to calm down and focus? Why are children that are having panic attacks being told to that it is all in their head? Why are depressed children being told to cheer up, that everything is ok?

I know why and it is simple. Neurobiological disorders and mental health issues are not taken seriously. Especially when it comes to children.

A few years ago, during my daughter’s Sunday school class, I overheard one of the teachers repeatedly telling my daughter to sit still and pay attention. As I am listening to this, I thought to myself, WOW. They were informed of my daughter’s ADHD and I had to remind them after this. Did they really think that she was going to suddenly flip a switch and stop fidgeting because they asked? If that was the case, I think I would’ve figured it out years ago.

When I spoke to this teacher again, the response I got was, “well, can’t she just sit still while I am reading?” I responded “So, you want a 6-year-old with ADHD to sit still and do nothing with her hands while you are reading? That is not going to happen.” I had to explain to this person what ADHD is. Too many people believe it is only the inability to focus. No, it is so much more.

We need more understanding as a society about disabilities and mental health. Children should not have to suffer because the adults in their lives do not understand them.

I will always stand up for my daughter, but I feel that I shouldn’t have to explain her to every new person that she meets.

The Asthma Mom

The Asthma Mom

Before I was the ADHD mom, I was the asthma mom.

My children are 10 years apart and the first 8  years of my son’s life were pretty rough, with regards to his asthma.

My son had his first respiratory infection at 4 months old and he was hospitalized for the first time at 6 months old. The day after his first Christmas, I had to rush him to the emergency room where he was admitted.  His stay was only a few days, but it was the first of many. I did everything I was supposed too. Nebulizer every 4 hours and specialist after specialist. He was allergic to so many foods, he could barely eat anything. He was tested several times for Cystic Fibrosis, the doctors could not believe that he did have it. I am not a carrier, but many in my family are. They did a genetic test and discovered that my son is a carrier, good thing I wasn’t.

One early morning when he was 2, I woke up to him struggling to breathe.  Where we lived at the time was only a few miles from a hospital. When we arrived, they took him back right away. He was put on oxygen and barely conscious. They told me that he could die and if I had waited any longer he probably would have.

I was hundreds of miles from my family and was pretty much alone.

While in the emergency room, he was tested for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and it was positive. He has been tested several times in the past two years for this virus and it was always negative. I had learned all that I could about the virus.  I knew how dangerous it could be and I knew that it usually affected younger babies.

As they prepared to admit my son, I watched my barely conscious baby fight as they tried to insert an IV and it wasn’t until the fourth try that they were successful. I can still remember having to help hold him down and the nurses commenting how strong I was for being so young because many mothers wouldn’t be able to do what I was doing.

My son sent the next 5 days in an oxygen tent and 7 days in an isolation room. No one was allowed in the room without a mask and I could not leave without one.

That was the worst week of my life.

The struggle with his health did not end there, but that week was the last week-long hospital stay. There were more short stays.

When my son started school, he had to have a 504 Plan because of the amount of school he missed.

As he grew, his health improved. His asthma rarely affects his life now.

It’s funny, I went from carrying inhalers, nebulizer vials, and a pulse ox, to always having fidget toys, hard candy,  gum, and little things to help my daughter focus. Crazy how not that much has actually changed.

Why People Are Surprised When I Say I Have Tourettes.

Why People Are Surprised When I Say I Have Tourettes.

I have Tourettes, it is not something I talk about often. Not for any reason really, I just don’t. I had a later in life diagnosis.

Whenever I tell anyone, they always respond with, but you don’t yell out curse words.  Neither do the other 85% of people with Tourettes. All people know about Tourettes is the worst scenario. Or you don’t wildly flay your arms and legs. No, not wildly but yes they move.

Since, I was 10 I twitched, uncontrollable movements in my shoulders and legs,  constantly squeezing my eyes and clearing my throat.  I have ADD, OCD, and anxiety and always felt it was a part of that, just like my parents did because I did not understand what Tourettes was.  Until one day I googled my movements because after almost 30 years I was tired of them and the pain they were causing in my joints. The first result was Tourettes. I did some more research and suddenly my ADD, OCD, and anxiety had a cause, everything made sense.

I went to the neurologist, who then sent me to a movement specialist. That was when  I received my official diagnosis.

We are so quick to believe the stereotypical description of a disease, we see how people with disabilities are portrayed in movies and on television shows, that we do not know what they really are.

We have all heard or participated in what people believe to be ADD/ADHD stereotypes. The same with OCD. These behaviors need to stop. These are not things to be made fun of.  The real struggles of these disabilities are not widely known because all anyone sees is what Hollywood says it is.

We as a society need to open our minds and when someone shares with you that they have a disability, don’t tell them no you don’t because you don’t do this or that or you don’t like you have a disability.

For some, it is difficult to share their struggles because they do not want to be associated with that stereotype. That I completely understand.

I Will Not Apologize

I Will Not Apologize

I see the stares, I hear the comments and you know what I do not care. You want to judge me for a situation that you know nothing about. Fine, go ahead.

My daughter cannot help her behavior. She gets overstimulated, she has to move around,  and she is loud.

I will never expect my daughter to be still and quiet.

She has meltdowns.  In stores, at amusement parks, at the park, and restaurants. I will remove her from the situation, but they are going to happen.

We go to restaurants and she talks and we play games. I do not believe children should be seen and not heard.

She wants to play on a phone or tablet while we are out. Go ahead.

When we are at the park and there aren’t any other children on the slide, I will let her run up and then slide down.  She wants to play in the dirt, I will let her. She can stomp in puddles and twist the swing around. I am going to let her play. I will not allow her to put herself or others in danger. I hate when other parents make comments at the park. They are supposed to play.

I let her pick out her own clothes, she can dress how she is comfortable. Her socks do not match and sometimes her clothes do not. She is not a fashion model and I want her to be happy with who she is.

My daughter is a sensory seeker. This can make her very active compared to other children.  Yes, sometimes it makes her do things that are not safe. I am always watching her when we go somewhere. I know what she can and cannot do. I do not need the comments.

I medicate my child. I will not apologize for it. It is not anyone else’s business. If I ask for your opinion then fine, but otherwise do not tell me I need to try diet changes, oils, and vitamins.

I will not judge you and you do not judge me. We do not know what each other are going through. We need to be supportive not knock each other down.

 

My daughter might have Celiac

My daughter might have Celiac

This past Monday, my daughter had to have blood work due to some stomach issues. The doctor wanted to check for Celiac Disease.

I wasn’t too worried, my son was tested several times as have I. Since, Celiac can present itself at any time.

The results for one of the tests was available on Tuesday. Her Tissue Transglutaminase IGA/IGG is high and considered abnormal. This is one of the main tests for Celiac. Best case scenario my daughter is gluten intolerant and worst case she has Celiac.

My son had many allergies as a child; wheat, milk, soy, and egg whites. Fortunately, he outgrew them.  I know how to deal with special diets.

My daughter is an extremely picky eater and has food aversions.  This will make things much harder.

I worry about when we go out to dinner. I guess she will be eating fries and salad. That won’t help very much at a fast food place. Where she eats chicken nuggets and won’t touch burgers, so burgers without bread is not an option.

All I can do is patiently wait for the rest of the test results and hope for the best. I know that whatever happens,  we will handle it.

A friend’s story

A friend’s story

I was talking to an old friend yesterday about the problems she was having with her daughter’s school.

Her daughter’s 504 Plan is not being followed, the school changes the accommodations without notifying my friend. How can they do this? They modify the accommodations to fit the situation. She is allowed to take a walk, but only with an adult, but an adult is never available. So, when this child has to walk to get away from a stressful situation, she has to do on her own and is then harassed in the halls. What is she supposed to do?

They constantly suspend the child and they tried to send her to a special school without even speaking with the mother.

She has filed complaints at the district and county level. I told her to go to the federal level.

The other day her child was basically assaulted by adults in the school. I understand the need to restain a child at times., but she was covered and bruises and had a bump on her head. My friend is having it investigated by the police.

My friend is at the end of her rope. She now wants to homeschool and I do not blame her.

Her child is entitled to a free and public education and she is being denied it.

It seems as though she has done everything she possibly can, except file a complaint at the federal level.