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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Getting help for our children

Amen. It's utterly ridiculous what we have to go through in order to get help for our children. Help; mind you, that's paid for by our taxes. Sadly they don't always want to do their job but yet my taxes still go to paying their salary! And I'm not talking about the teachers - sadly their hands are tied, too.

For FOUR years I've been telling special services my child is dyslexic and was told no, even after I presented them with testing from an outside source; I was told there are no signs of dyslexia. My child has struggled; thought of herself as different because she doesn't understand like other children; she's questioned her own intelligence; but thankfully my daughter is a FIGHTER! She's strong, hardworking, tenacious, last but not least.. She is smart! She's compensated, only someone intelligent can compensate so well she could fooled even a trained educational specialist.

In the 3rd grade, she compensated so well she managed to come off of her accommodations because she benchmarked her reevaluation; however, she kept her IEP due to speech accommodations.

4th grade was quite the transitional year for her. Very difficult - I begged and begged to put the accommodations back in place but to no avail because she benchmarked the previous year. Now understand from the beginning of August 2014 to February 2015, my daughter stayed with an F the entire time in Reading, literally, nothing but an F. The teachers tried to rally together to help but with each of the 3 teachers having 30 kids in the class you can imagine the help wasn't adequate and I was left with no other alternative but to drug my child.

In February 2015, we started our daughter on 20mgs of Vyvanse, moving up to 30mgs and now she's on 40mgs to help her. It helped but really, at what cost? My child suffers from stomach issues due to the medication and we have no clue what the long-term effect will be. 4th grade was such a struggle. I felt so useless to help my daughter. It was the worst feeling in the world to me; I felt as though I had failed my child even though she passed to the 5th grade, her self-confidence took a major hit.

As my daughter started the 5th grade; I was determined not to fail my child. I wanted to give her all the tools I could to help her succeed. She's on her 40mgs of Vyvanse, which does help with her ADD, no doubt! But she still struggled! So I started the year paying for a tutor 2 days a week for 2 hours each time, which has helped a lot. My child is doing well. I'm so happy for her! And I thought well maybe the testing for dyslexia was wrong.

So here we are, time for the annual IEP meeting. I'm thinking, easy meeting. None of me having to fight for accommodations because I went over their heads with medication and tutoring. This is her last year at this school and she'll move to a school that a lot of people around here want their child to attend due to their academic curriculum. We moved to this school zone specifically to get her in this school system. Again, I'm feeling great about the IEP meeting. My sweet girl is on honor roll and this is going to be easy! Wrong...

We are discussing where my daughter is currently and although she has an A in Reading; Reading is still such as hard subject for her. Another person enters this IEP. One that's been there before but only briefly to tell me my daughter shows no signs of dyslexia. She's the person that tested my daughter before or had a hand in her testing.

She tells me they are deeply concerned about my daughter. I said why? She said, we believe she meets 5 of the 6 criteria of dyslexia.

I mean, seriously? My mouth literally dropped. How do combat someone's inability to listen to the parent? Trust me, I've handled myself with poise, intellect, knowledge, and they've seen me more than my own sister has each year! I was never rude or ugly; I simply asked for help; backing up the need with outside testing as well as her scores within the school. I was prepared.

I literally cried. I realized a few things on this day:

1. I didn't fail my child; THEY did. My child struggled when she shouldn't have because they wouldn't do their job properly. 2. My child is the strongest, smartest, most tenacious person I know, and how extremely proud of her I am! 3. How much harder I should have fought for what I knew. If that's possible because I fought but I would have been there fighting more than I did. They would have seen me every time she had a failing grade! 4. I have to reiterate; I'm so proud of my daughter. She compensated because she's smart in spite of obstacles no one was willing to see that were in her way.

Sorry I was so long-winded- I just wanted to share our story in hopes to help other frustrated parents out there. Continue to be your child’s number 1 advocate; continue to go there until they listen to the person that is truly your child’s teacher; YOU! You know your child better than anyone and you need to make them understand that as long as your child struggles… you’re going to be right there, holding them accountable to do their job!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What NOT to do if your child has ADHD

What Not to Do If Your Child Has ADHD

When kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) become frustrated, struggle with school, fail to complete tasks, or meltdown, their parents become stressed and feel defeated as well. It can be difficult to know which direction to turn, and what to do to better manage your child’s ADHD symptoms. Sometimes, the best answer is to not do certain things. I hope the list below of actions to avoid will help you and your family have better days and nights.

Don’t Avoid the Term “ADHD”

Your child has a condition that affects her every day, just as a learning disability or physical disability would. By putting a name to the disorder and using the term “ADHD,” parents help their children Avoiding the term makes the child feel more like she has something wrong with her, which adds to the stigma associated with ADHD. Dr. Robert Olivardia, a psychologist who treats ADHD and is a clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, cautions parents that “if you do not explain to them what ADHD is, someone else will.” Don’t ignore the ADHD or avoid talking about it; educate your child and help her to understand what ADHD is and how you will help her to manage living with it. Using the term gives your child some power over it. Recognize that their challenges and frustration are rooted in their disorder and are not their fault.

Don’t Focus on the Negative

A child with ADHD will hear enough “no,” “don’t,” and “can’t” for a lifetime. Don’t add to the negativity by making a lengthy list of don’ts for your home. Instead, work with your child to set goals for positive behavior. Then, track their progress in a place that’s easy for them to see—such as a chart that’s kept on the refrigerator. By giving them this positive focus, you can reinforce the good behaviors that will help them be successful at school and at home. 

And please replace "Don' Allow Certain Items in Your Child's Bedroom" with the following:

Don’t Allow Tech in Your Child’s Bedroom

Most kids these days are regularly glued to some form of technology—be it a smartphone, tablet, computer, or gaming system. Unfortunately, all that digital exposure can take its toll. The reality is today’s kids are overexposed to all those devices and glowing screens, and that overexposure can contribute to attention deficit issues. My advice is to keep them out of the bedroom. That’s a new rule we’ve implemented with my son, who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and we’ve seen great results. He’s able to get calm and go into “bedtime” mode much more quickly at night and his overall quality of sleep has actually improved.

Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Implementing Diets That Eliminate Lots of Foods

Some parents of kids with ADHD may attempt to treat it with a special diet. Research does not support these radical diets, which completely cut out processed foods, food additives, fruits, and vegetables. There also is no research supporting the idea that diets eliminating aspartame, an artificial sweetener, or yeasts are effective in helping treat ADHD. Experts contend the best diet for a child with ADHD is the same as one for a child without ADHD: a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoids saturated fats and trans fats. It’s also important to limit carbohydrates that are digested quickly, such as those in processed and fast foods. And of course, all children need exercise and should maintain a healthy weight.

Don’t Make a Meltdown Worse By Responding When You are Angry

Handling an ADHD child’s meltdown is one of the toughest challenges a parent faces. Do not exacerbate a situation by responding to a meltdown or handing out unrealistic, inappropriate consequences for misbehavior when you are angry yourself. Parents should employ a time-out for their child to calm down and take time to calm down themselves before reacting inappropriately. It is better to collect yourself, get composed, and think clearly before responding, so that you are sure to react in a more accurate and appropriate way.

Don’t Try to Handle Everything On Your Own

One of the biggest mistakes parents of kids with make is trying to do it all. There are groups and professionals who can help you get more information and support so that you are better equipped for life with a child with ADHD. You especially should seek professional help if you are feeling depressed, frustrated, or exhausted. It also is important for all parents and caregivers, including grandparents, relatives, and babysitters, to work together to support the child. When everyone agrees on a behavior plan, routine, rewards, etc., it is much easier to handle your child’s behaviors and symptoms.

Of course, you’ll need to do what works best for your family situation and your child. But, by avoiding certain actions, you are taking the first step toward helping your child, your family, and yourself cope with ADHD in a more positive, healthy manner.


Vee Cecil keeps busy by being a wellness coach, personal trainer and bootcamp instructor in Kentucky. She also recently launched a blog where she shares her passion for health by writing about her favorite tips, activities and recipes.

**PHOTO CREDIT: Image via Flickr by chefranden**

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sweetly ADHD

I was able to attend parent teacher conference last night and while talking to the kindergarten teacher I heard "I have some concerns." which no mother wants to hear. I sat and listened to her talk to me about number recognition, remembering letters, and throughout the prominent word was 'concerned'. Then we talked about behavior and the mood brightened because I had a sweet daughter, kind, and worked hard to follow the rules.

I love that my daughter is sweet but why for some reason does academic struggle get erased because there is a 'good' child or a 'sweet' child. Suddenly those concerns were not a big deal anymore because she was not a behavior issue in the class. I had dejavu when I heard that phrase "We will just give it time, one day it just clicks with kids."

I heard these words often when my son struggled in kindergarten! The elusive one day when a child who is struggling goes from having a hard time to no problems at all. The teacher did say that perhaps she was having a hard time hearing or seeing. I brought up again that there is ADHD in our family. My son is diagnosed and so am I. For some reason thinking our child might have hearing problems seemed easier to think about.

I explained that we have seen many signs and symptoms that we have seen in her brother as well as I can relate to her struggle myself. We have had concerns about my daughter for a couple of years now. In fact what this teacher said was not much different than what her pre-school said to me including that one day it would 'click'.

Here is the problem here. For a child who has behavioral problems along with academic we feel a much greater need to help them and 'fix' the problem. My daughter is sweet so we can give it time. I had 27 years of time to not understand why I was struggling. 27 years where that moment never clicked and with each year came new challenges and struggle trying to figure out this world around me with the burning question always in the back of my mind..."What is wrong with me?" Nobody wondered why I was failing classes because I was sweet and didn't cause problems.

I don't blame them really because as a parent I find myself in the same situation. My husband and I both agree that we see a high possibility that my daughter has ADHD yet we feel hesitant to address the issue with medication. Why? Although you are not a bad person with ADHD it is a struggle, a struggle you live with forever. I think we both want to hold onto the elusive one day too.

I can't ignore the gut instincts I have as a mother anymore. I was a sweet girl but I didn't deserve to struggle in school, socially, and emotionally because of that. I could be sweet, want to listen, and want to impress my teachers all I wanted to but I needed help. We don't build houses with desire, we need the tools to do the job.

So now begins my journey helping my sweet little girl. She will not have to wait as long as I did for understanding!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time for Football!

Last night I was able to go to my sons football game! More specifically flag football. I watched proudly as he grabbed the other players flags and worked well at avoiding his own being taken. He has so much skill! The only problem? He was playing against his own team.

My son and two of his teammates were a little hyperfocused on each other. Not realizing or maybe just not caring that their goal should have been stopping the other team. Soon his impulsive mother (me) went over and tried to explain that he should be getting the blue flags and that these two boys are on his team.

I sat down ready to see him refocus his efforts only to see that nothing I said sunk in. Granted he is only eight but I still worried about what other parents were thinking about my child. I worked hard to turn that nagging mom comparing mind and went ahead and cheered on my son! He smiled and waved to me and I could tell he felt like a star out there and was having a great time. So it was then I realized my son had the opportunity to refocus my brain back on what really matters!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our ADHD Story Book


Wanting to know more about ADHD? Wanting to share ADHD information? Want to do it with humor and personal experience outside of a list of symptoms? This is the book for you!

If you are looking for a short read full of personal experience to help you help someone with ADHD or to give to someone else so that they can understand you or your child better this is the book!  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Grocery Shopping With ADHD

I have a problem when I go to the store.With ADHD I get kind of overwhelmed by all there is to see. I end up feeling like my attention is being pulled a million different ways and I spend way more money than I was planning on spending. Can you relate? This is why I started doing my grocery shopping online. I don't waste food or worry about forgetting to use it fast enough. I have less stress going shopping, and I save money! When you are interested in starting grocery shopping online for healthy, nutritious, and delicious food please visit !

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Perks of Small Boobs!

I think we live in a world now where we are ready to stand up and fight against fat shaming. I think it is great but I also believe we should do the same for those who are shamed for being skinny. 

I know, I know, how dare we be skinny and have feelings? 

Did you know for every fat girl starving herself there is a skinny girl hating her skinny figure, not feeling womanly enough, and not feeling like she can be sexy? It is true. I am one of them.

Yes, after being married and having six children I still consider myself one of ‘them’. I recently lost 26 lbs! I should be celebrating right? No, instead I am insecure about my small breast size and now I am battling with myself about whether to stay fit and active or keep on extra weight to have more cleavage.

A few months ago I began seriously considering having a breast augmentation. I am not against women having procedures to feel more confident about their bodies. I am against feeling like that is my only option or I am ‘less’ of a woman or I am not ‘enough’.

So for all those girls and women who are part of the amazing itty bitty titty committee here is one for you!

10 ‘PERKS’ to having smaller boobs!

  1.   Your girls are always perky and will stay that way longer, less gravity pulling them down!
  2.  You can leave the house without a bra! A good sweater and nobody notices!
  3. You get cuter bra choices! I recently went shopping for bras and even if I walked out with my A cup size the selection I had available was freaking adorable and sexy!
  4.  In the words of Fix it Felix “Look at that high definition!” and baby you’ve got it!
  5. No back pain. These big boob girls claim this is an issue. I will just have to trust them on this one.
  6. You can do any sports you want! You can play basketball with only one ball to worry about. Imagine, some women don’t know how that feels!
  7. You have more clothing options without people thinking you are scandalous.
  8.  You got through school without every boy trying to hit on you for the wrong reasons! For this reason alone I hope my girls join my committee ;)
  9. People will actually make eye contact with you when you are talking to them
  10. You’ve got quality over quantity! Sometimes less really is more.

What did I miss? Tell me in the comments!