Archive | December 2008

Sue Scheff: Top 10 Routine Builders: Organization Help for ADHD Children

Source: ADDitude Magazine

Create better structure with our organization help for children with ADHD.
by Peter Jaksa, Ph.D.

Need organization help? Follow our checklist to create routines that help your child grow and learn.

1. Give specific instructions. “Put away the toys on your carpet on the shelf in the closet.” Be consistent — if the toys are stored on the shelf one night, they should be put there every night. Children need to know precisely what you expect.
2. Assign tasks that your child is capable of doing on his own. Success builds confidence. The goal is to teach your child to do things independently.
3. Involve your child in discussions about rules and routines. It will help him understand goals and teach him to accept responsibility.
4. Write down routines as sequences of tasks (two to five items only), and post where easily visible (refrigerator, bathroom mirror). Review lists regularly with your child.
5. Be realistic about time. Make sure you’ve set aside enough time for the child to complete his homework, clear the dishes, and get out the door in the morning. If the original time frame is leaving you five minutes shy, add five minutes.
6. Expect gradual improvement. It takes time to change old habits and form new ones.
7. Praise effort — not just results. If your child set the table but forgot napkins, acknowledge that she’s trying. Reward good behavior more often than you punish bad.
8. Allow for free time in daily routines. Kids — and adults — need downtime.
9. If your child isn’t taking to the routine, seek help from a counselor who specializes in ADHD. A pro can help get you on track.
10. Stay focused on the long-term goals. Above all, don’t give up!

Sue Scheff Parenting – What your kids are doing shouldn’t be a mystery

Offered by Connect with Kids

Who’s pressuring your kids? Who’s offering them alcohol or drugs? Who’s talking to them on the Internet? Whether we’re teachers, parents, counselors…sometimes we just don’t know what’s really going on in a child’s life. If you want to talk to your kids about the challenges they face, but aren’t sure what to say, our programs will help…with real kids sharing their true stories, and advice from experts, educators and parents who have “been there.”

The Secret Life of Kids is a series of award-winning programs giving you an inside look at the pressures children face. Learning and talking with children about these issues is one of the best ways we can help keep them safe. These 30-minute programs are not only educational, they also offer a springboard for discussion — instead of talking “at” your child, you can discuss what you’ve just seen together. Along with this four-program set covering important, real-life issues, you’ll also receive the four accompanying resource guides FREE along with a FREE copy of the show you just watched, Against All Odds. Don’t let your child’s life remain a mystery — let us help you protect them. Order this unique program series now!

Sue Scheff – Christmas Message for Parents

xmaswithlove was forwarded this beautiful message today and need to share it with everyone at this holiday season. It speaks volumes – take a few minutes to change your life forever.  Conincidently, at Mass last night, the Priest told the same story, but with a little girl and her mother.  This story will make parents pause – think – and hopefully re-evaluate their busy lives.

 

Can I Borrow $25?

 

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to
find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’
DAD: ‘Yeah sure, what is it?’ replied the man.

SON: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’
DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask
such a thing?’ the man said angrily.
SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do
you make an hour?’
DAD: ‘If you must know, I make $50 an hour.’
SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: ‘Daddy, may I please borrow $25?’

The father was furious, ‘If the only reason you asked
that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or
some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to
your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so
selfish. I don’t work hard everyday for such childish
frivolities.’ The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the
little boy’s question. How dare he ask such question
only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man
had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was
something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he
really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to
the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

‘Are you asleep, son?’ He asked. ‘No daddy,
I’m awake,’ replied the boy. ?The man said
‘I’ve been thinking maybe I was too hard on you
earlier. ?It’s been a long day and I took out my
aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.’
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. ‘Oh, thank you
daddy!’ he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he
pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw t hat the boy
already had money and started to get angry again. The little
boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his
father. ‘Why do you want more money if you already have
some?’ the father grumbled. ?’Because I didn’t
have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied.
‘Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?
Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner
with you.’

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little
son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a
short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We
should not let time slip through our fingers without having
spent some time with those who really matter to us, those
close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of
your time with someone you love.
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for
could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family
& friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the
rest of their lives.
From my house to yours.

‘The light of God surrounds us.
The love of God enfolds us.
The power of God protects us.
The presence of God watches over us.

Wherever we are God is and all is well.’

LIFE IS TOO SHORT…
LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE!!!

Sue Scheff – Teen Obesity

Learn more about keeping your kids in good health. Especially with more and more kids sitting behind their computer screens we need to encourage more activities!

 

Here is a recent News Article
On paper, the statistics are shocking enough: the obesity rate for teens has tripled over the past 25 years and with this increase an average weight, type 2 diabetes, once unknown in young people, is now diagnosed in 45 percent of all new cases involving children or teens. Medical experts fear that high blood pressure and heart disease could become increasingly prevalent among young adults, making this generation of teens the first to have potentially poorer health and shorter life spans than their parents.
Seeing a young person you love struggle with overweight or obesity in the sensitive pre-teen or teen years is painful, frustrating and alarming — from watching them deal with cruel remarks to seeing them on the sidelines in sports or social events or knowing that they face significant health risks even in young adulthood. Maybe you’ve nagged or dropped hints or taken your child for medical help or sent him or her to weight loss camps — all to no avail.

Doctor Kathy McCoy, author of “The Teenage Body Book,” explains how you can help your teen lose weight and feel better!

• Put the emphasis on good health, not weight, and make it a goal for the whole family. Teens hate being singled out and criticized. Approaching this from a “YOU need to lose weight!” point of view will guarantee a battle of the wills. Instead, ask for your teen’s help in making an action plan to promote better family eating and exercise habits.

• Have real family meals at least once a day and encourage your teen to eat what the family eats. Frantic family schedules have equaled fast food or processed, prepared food dinners — and expanding waistlines. With real, home-cooked meals, you can better control calories, fats, sugars, sodium and other nutritional issues.

• Look at and discuss all of your less than ideal eating behaviors. Maybe your teen craves junk food when she’s bored and watching TV. Maybe you dive into high calorie comfort food when you’re angry or frustrated. Pay attention to the difference between physical and emotional hunger. Discuss all this with your family — and come up with ways to comfort or reward yourselves that have nothing to do with food.

• Make it convenient for everyone in the family to eat breakfast. Advance planning can help: fresh fruit and yogurt in the fridge, whole grain bread and cereals in the pantry, and encouraging all to get up and get going early enough in the morning to grab a bite. Those who don’t eat breakfast tend to overeat during the rest of the day, especially in the evening

• Get your family moving. Trying to motivate an overweight teen to go to the gym can be frustrating and non-productive. Schedule exercise into your family routine: a family walk or bike ride after dinner doesn’t have to cut into homework or leisure time too dramatically — and the exercise is good for everyone.

• Become smart, skeptical consumers: There are no weight loss miracles. Help your teen to avoid quick fixes. The weight didn’t come on overnight and it can’t be lost — for good — overnight either. The goal should be health improvement with a slow, steady weight loss of no more than two pounds a week. The loss can add up to more than 100 pounds in a year — and weight lost slowly as one changes one’s eating and exercise habits is more likely to stay off.

• Make a vow — together — to enjoy a full and healthy life now. You don’t have to wait until you or your teen is slim to do this. With good health as your top family priority, you can feel better starting today. Good nutrition, regular exercise and the feeling that “we’re all in this together” can make a positive difference for everyone in your family.

Award-winning writer and author of “The Teenage Body Book,” Dr. Kathy McCoy is a teen psychology and health expert who has appeared as a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winner of the American Library Associations’ Best Book for Young Adults Award, “The Teenage Body Book” contains everything teenagers and their parents need to know about nutrition, health, fitness, emotions and sexuality.

Sue Scheff: Is it More Than ADHD? Diagnosing and Treating Bipolar

adhdbipolarADD, ADHD, Bipolar, Conduct Disorder, Mood Disorder….. Learn more!

Source: ADDitude Magazine

Symptoms of ADHD and bipolar disorder are often confused—and often coexist in the same person. How to make the distinction, and suggestions for treating bipolar disorder along with ADHD.

It can be difficult enough to obtain a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD), but to complicate matters further, ADHD commonly co-exists with other mental and physical disorders. One review of ADHD adults demonstrated that 42 percent had one other major psychiatric disorder. Therefore, the diagnostic question is not “Is it one or the other?” but rather “Is it both?”

Perhaps the most difficult differential diagnosis to make is between ADHD and Bipolar Mood Disorder (BMD), since they share many symptoms, including mood instability, bursts of energy and restlessness, talkativeness, and impatience. It’s estimated that as many as 20 percent of those diagnosed with ADHD also suffer from a mood disorder on the bipolar spectrum — and correct diagnosis is critical in treating bipolar disorder and ADHD together.

ADHD

ADHD is characterized by significantly higher levels of inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, and/or physical restlessness than would be expected in a person of similar age and development. For a diagnosis of ADHD, such symptoms must be consistently present and impairing. ADHD is about 10 times more common than BMD in the general population.

Bipolar Mood Disorder (BMD)

By diagnostic definition, mood disorders are “disorders of the level or intensity of mood in which the mood has taken on a life of its own, separate from the events of a person’s life and outside of [his] conscious will and control.” In people with BMD, intense feelings of happiness or sadness, high energy (called “mania”), or low energy (called “depression”) shift for no apparent reason over a period of days to weeks, and may persist for weeks or months. Commonly, there are periods of months to years during which the individual experiences no impairment.

Making a diagnosis

Because of the many shared characteristics, there is a substantial risk of either a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis. Nonetheless, ADHD and BMD can be distinguished from each other on the basis of these six factors:

1. Age of onset: ADHD is a lifelong condition, with symptoms apparent (although not necessarily impairing) by age seven. While we now recognize that children can develop BMD, this is still considered rare. The majority of people who develop BMD have their first episode of affective illness after age 18, with a mean age of 26 years at diagnosis.

2. Consistency of impairment: ADHD is chronic and always present. BMD comes in episodes that alternate with more or less normal mood levels.

3. Mood triggers: People with ADHD are passionate, and have strong emotional reactions to events, or triggers, in their lives. Happy events result in intensely happy, excited moods. Unhappy events — especially the experience of being rejected, criticized, or teased — elicit intensely sad feelings. With BMD, mood shifts come and go without any connection to life events.

4. Rapidity of mood shift: Because ADHD mood shifts are almost always triggered by life events, the shifts feel instantaneous. They are normal moods in every way, except in their intensity. They’re often called “crashes” or “snaps,” because of the sudden onset. By contrast, the untriggered mood shifts of BMD take hours or days to move from one state to another.

5. Duration of moods: Although responses to severe losses and rejections may last weeks, ADHD mood shifts are usually measured in hours. The mood shifts of BMD, by DSM-IV definition, must be sustained for at least two weeks. For instance, to present “rapid-cycling” bipolar disorder, a person needs to experience only four shifts of mood, from high to low or low to high, in a 12-month period. Many people with ADHD experience that many mood shifts in a single day.

6. Family history: Both disorders run in families, but individuals with ADHD almost always have a family tree with multiple cases of ADHD. Those with BMD are likely to have fewer genetic connections.

Treatment of combined ADHD and BMD

Few articles have been published about the treatment of people who have ADHD and BMD. My clinical experience, having seen more than 100 patients with both disorders, shows that coexisting ADHD and BMD can be treated very well. It’s important to always diagnose and treat the BMD first, as ADHD treatment may precipitate mania or otherwise worsen BMD.

Outcomes for my patients treated for both ADHD and BMD have thus far been good. The majority have been able to return to work. Perhaps more importantly, they report that they feel more “normal” in their moods and in their ability to fulfill their roles as spouses, parents, and employees. It is impossible to determine whether these significantly improved outcomes are due to enhanced mood stability, or whether treatment of ADHD makes for better medication compliance. The key lies in the recognition that both diagnoses are present and that the disorders will respond to independent, but coordinated, treatment.

 

Sue Scheff – Parenting Struggling Teens

It stems back to “children need to have their self-esteem built up to make good decisions.” Today most families are either single parent or both parents are working full time. This is not the fault of the teen, nor is it the fault of the parents. It is today’s world and we must try to find the middle. Troubled teens, rebellious teens, angry teens, problem teens, difficult teens, peer pressure, depressed teens; unfortunately are part of the society of adolescents today.Communication is always the first to go when people get busy. We have seen this over and over again. We have also experienced it and feel that our children shut us out; this can lead to difficult teens and teens with problems. Although we are tired and exhausted, along with the stress of today’s life, we need to stop and take a moment for our kids.

Talk and LISTEN to them. Ask lots of questions, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents, take part in their interests, be supportive if they are having a hard time, even if you can’t understand it; be there for them.This all sounds so easy and so simple, but take it from parents that have walked this path, it is not easy. When a parent works a full day, has stress from the job along with household chores, not to mention the bills, it is hard to find that moment. We are all guilty of neglect at one time or another after all, we are only human and can only do so much. We feel the exhaustion mounting watching our teens grow more out of control, yet we are too tired to address it.

Out of control teens can completely disrupt a family and cause marriages to break up as well as emotional breakdowns.We know many feel it is just a stage, and with some, it may be. However most times it does escalate to where we are today. Researching for help; Parents’ Universal Resource Experts is here for you, as we have been where you are today.

Sue Scheff – Wit’s End – Parenting Your Teens Today

Are you at your wit’s end?

 

Are you experiencing any of the following situations or feeling at a complete loss or a failure as a parent?  You are not alone and by being a proactive parent you are taking the first step towards healing and bringing your family back together.

 

  • Is your teen escalating out of control?
  • Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
  • Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
  • Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
  • Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
  • Is your teen verbally abusive?
  • Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
  • Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
  • Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
  • Does your teen belong to a gang?
  • Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
  • Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
  • Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions?  Have they become withdrawn from society?
  • Is your teen very intelligent yet not working up to their potential? Underachiever?  Capable of doing the work yet not interested in education.
  • Does he/she steal?
  • Is your teen sexually active?
  • Teen pregnancy? 
  • Is your teen a good kid but making bad choices?
  • Undesirable peers? Is your teen a follower or a leader?
  • Low self esteem and low self worth?
  • Lack of motivation?  Low energy?
  • Mood Swings?  Anxiety?
  • Teen depression that leads to negative behavior?
  • Eating Disorders?  Weight loss? Weight gain?
  • Self-Harm or Self Mutilation?
  • High School drop-out?
  • Suspended or Expelled from school?
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts?
  • ADD/ADHD/LD/ODD?
  • Is your teen involved in legal problems? Have they been arrested?
  • Juvenile Delinquent?
  • Conduct Disorder?
  • Bipolar?
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

 

Does your teen refuse to take accountability and always blame others for their mistakes?

 

  • Do you feel hopeless, helpless and powerless over what options you have as a parent?  Are you at your wit’s end?

 

 

Does any of the above sound familiar?  Many parents are at their wit’s end by the time they contact us, but the most important thing many need to know is you are not alone.  There is help but the parent needs to be proactive and educate themselves in getting the right help.

 

 

 

Many try local therapy, which is always recommended, but in most cases, this is a very temporary band-aid to a more serious problem.  One or two hours a week with a therapist is usually not enough to make the major changes that need to be done.   

 

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and are considering outside resources, please contact us. http://www.helpyourteens.com/free_information.shtml   An informed parent is an educated parent and will better prepare to you to make the best decision for your child.  It is critical not to place your child out of his/her element.  In many cases placing a teen that is just starting to make bad choices into a hard core environment may cause more problems.  Be prepared – do your homework.

 

Many parents are in denial and keep hoping and praying the situation is going to change.  Unfortunately in many cases, the problems usually escalate without immediate attention.  Don’t be parents in denial; be proactive in getting your teen the appropriate help they may need.  Whether it is local therapy or outside the home assistance, be in command of the situation before it spirals out of control and you are at a place of desperation.  At wit’s end is not a pleasant place to be, but so many of us have been there.

 

Finding the best school or program for your child is one of the most important steps a parent does.  Remember, your child is not for sale – don’t get drawn into high pressure sales people, learn from my mistakes.  Read my story at www.aparentstruestory.com for the mistakes I made that nearly destroyed my daughter. 

 

In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:

·         Helping Teens – not Harming them

·         Building them up – not Breaking them down

·         Positive and Nurturing Environments – not Punitive

·         Family Involvement in Programs – not Isolation from the teen

·         Protect Children – not Punish them