Posted in Family, health, Mental Health, parenting, teen, toddlers, Uncategorized

Other than hyper…

When you think of a kid with ADHD or ADD, you may picture a small child swinging from a ceiling fan while making loud monkey sounds. Or maybe they’re on top of the kitchen counter trying to jump rope. They are, more or less, always hyper to the untrained eye.

Image result for child with adhdHowever, having a hyper child doesn’t mean that they have ADHD. Most children, at least a majority of them, have a resource of energy that adults just don’t understand. The phrase “he/she’s been running all day, how is she not tired” could be for any toddler or adolescent.

On the reverse side, not all kids who have ADHD/ADD act out in a hyper manner. Some are very often caught daydreaming or “in the zone” when doing something. Since children with ADHD get distracted very easily, some sufferers need to completely tune into one thing they are doing. If anything else is going on they will lose focus and not be able to complete task. They may not appear hyper but they are struggling nonetheless.

The difference really comes down to, is it negatively affecting your child’s life? A lot of times ADHD/ADD can’t be identified until they are in Kindergarten or older because their limitations of concentration haven’t really been tested. From what I have seen in work and at home, there seems to be three categories that ADHD/ADD symptoms are lumped into most often: Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Inattention:

  • Difficulty organizing
  • Cannot remember directions and has trouble with completing tasks
  • Seems to not be listening when being spoken to
  • Constantly losing things or putting them where they don’t belong
  • Difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or activity for the amount of time it would take to complete it

Hyperactivity

  • Can’t sit still; fidgets or constantly moves feet when sitting
  • Gets in and out of chair when sitting at table or desk
  • Talks excessively and usually loudly
  • Difficulty playing quietly

Impulsiveness

  • Interrupts, even when you are answering something they asked you
  • Struggles to control physical movements
  • Blurts out answers (if in classroom)

I think it’s important to note (since this is how I realized we may have a problem on our hands) that ADHD/ADD is linked with behavior issues. It’s easy to understand why, once you start to think about how a child with ADHD has to process the world around them. Frustration, anger, fear, anxiety, and low self esteem are all very real feelings for kids suffering through this. Parents may be exhausted and beat down but even when your child is screaming they hate you, they are probably going through more emotional turmoil than you are.

Some other symptoms that are not mentioned as much but still may be a red flag are:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Bold and no fear (meaning they will talk to strangers, climb on anything and not care about the idea of getting hurt)
  • Unable to hop on one foot (up to age 4)
  • Complete loss of control (for parents who experience this, it’s like a tantrum on steroids)

 

I am putting this information out there for parents who may be on the fence about whether or not their child has ADHD/ADD. There is a lot of literature available about how ADHD/ADD does not exist. That it is a made-up disease for pharmaceutical companies and to label overactive children as a way to explain their actions and behaviors. In the past three years, I have learned very clearly that is inaccurate. While medicating a child is a separate topic completely, I think we need to realize that mental illness is completely, 100% real, and that it does affect people of all ages, even children. Until that stigma is gone I feel a lot of children who need help won’t get it.

On the same note, I have said it before, I do think it’s also over-diagnosed as well. Do yourself a favor, if you think your child has a problem, go to a doctor. Not your pediatrician, but a counselor of some kind. They will be able to tell you after a few sessions and talks with you whether your child is just very energetic or if there’s something else going on. There are many natural remedies to some of the behaviors you may be experiencing and with just a little tweaking here and there you may see a huge difference in your child at home and at school.

 

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Posted in Library, literature, Mental Health, Poetry, Uncategorized

Miles to go before I sleep…

The days are shorter, the nights are longer, and the cold seems to bring out the worst in some people. Use this time to reflect on yourself and your family to see how everyone is really feeling. In the midst of January, and “January Blues” season, I wanted to share some insight on one of my favorite poems.
Image result for january blues
As you may have seen with the circulating Facebook post about people having “a warm bed and tea ready”, this is the time of year when those who are really suffering from depression tend to have the most struggles.
Why is the winter so hard?
There are a lot of reasons it’s believed that “January Blues” seems to happen. It’s not just January mind you, it’s winter in general. There’s a mix of cold weather, staying indoors more, less sun, calmness from the holiday commotion that some people do not do well with, and of course the need to cleanse yourself from the plethora of calories from the holidays.
I always think of a famous poem by Robert Frost this time of year.
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Whose woods these are I think I know.Image result for snowy woods
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Some critique the poem as a suicide note. The claim is that the narrator is trying to persuade himself to keep on living even though it would much easier to stay in the depressed state that he is in. Others look at it as more uplifting. Even though the narrator is contemplating the darkness of the woods he is choosing to continue on. I prefer that latter.
Still others would say it’s a completely over-analyzed poem and it’s just about a guy riding his horse and enjoying nature. I could get on board with that too, I suppose.
Robert Frost wrote this poem prior to winning four Pulitzer Prizes. The man obviously knew what he was doing with words. The sounds and rhythm of his poetry are top notch, even if you aren’t a fan of the possible messages and imagery.
Why is this important right now? Why should I care about a poem written almost 100 years ago?
Well, I think all literature is important and I think it can be used as a great bonding and teaching resource. If you have an older teen or tween who you may suspect is suffering from depression, have them read this poem. Talk about it. I’m sure they are going to be forced to read it sometime in school, but have them do it on their own time. Tell them how you feel about it.
If nothing else maybe this poem could inspire you and your family to log off for awhile. It’s so easy, especially with the cold winds blowing, to stay inside, plugged in, and tuned out. The woods can be a great place for reflection and discovering what you are really feeling. Not to get all spiritual about it or anything, but the woods are one of the best places to just…be.
Image result for snowy woods
Posted in DIY, Family, Holidays

Teen Costumes= Scary

I get it, it’s Halloween (which I love dearly), you’re supposed to dress up and get crazy and be someone other than yourself for at least a day. Understandable. It’s been a magical day since it’s inception as Samhain. However! I just took my 2 year old to look at costumes and I saw…a sexy cop outfit for about a five year old? What five year old wants to be that (if yours does I apologize and I hope you talk them out of it)? As an adult yeah sure, everything for Halloween can be slutty- slutty cat, slutty teacher, slutty cheeseburger:

Why?…cheeseburger does not equal sexy. EVEN SLUTTY CAREBEARS! The humanity of it all!

But hey you’re an adult…dress like you want. For teens however, their choices of costumes can be quite slim if they don’t want to be overly sexy (well lets face it for adults too).

Some of the best selling teen costumes are the sexified versions of the Disney princesses, anything Alice in Wonderland related sexified, and what I think is the worst idea ever, the sexy ninja turtle:

@Kat Hamblin  This should be us next year. Should do the whole crew. Love it! Tmt  girl style:

This is a ninja turtle:

Just sayin…

So here some still awesome ideas for costumes even if you want actual clothes on for Halloween.

Adventure Time!

Wayne and Garth…still a classic costume for a duo:

No I’m the only who parties!

Rock, Paper, Scissors. Clever.

Rock Paper Scissors Group Halloween Costume at Abbiegoguen

Probably one of my favorites:

Shark Week Group Halloween Costume at Coolest Homemade Costumes

Posted in Library

Why I love Maggie Stiefvater

I have been meaning to do a post on one of my favorite YA authors of all time and how her novels can help teens build their creative writing skills; however things have been taking priority and I keep putting it on the back burner. But then I saw that she is giving away Blue Lily, Lily Blue ARCs (so yes this post does have a wee bit of a selfish motive) to those who posted on why they enjoyed The Raven Boys. I don’t think there are any spoilers…

First let me start off with the fact that I recently became the librarian at a Catholic school serving students from Pre-K to 8th grade. My first mission after I walked through the very small aisles, three to be exact, was to weed. And weed I did. We didn’t need four copies of Twilight anymore, Pluto is not a planet much to my dismay, and teens now do not need to know how to make their MySpace accounts safer.

So I sighed a little breath of relief and went home after a long day of hauling books and started rereading The Scorpio Races. With a loud gasp I jumped up! Almost gave my poor, resting, cat a heart attack and sent her flying open clawed onto my fiance when I realized; we had no Maggie Stiefvater novels. Not one. The next day I set to work on how to start ordering new materials and I rectified that situation immediately. So that was basically a long introduction that has nothing to do with why I enjoyed The Raven Boys.

While I love that Stiefvater usually writes in the first person, usually from more than one person in a novel, The Raven Boys moves into the third person which I thought was a nice change (and will add to my lesson on creative writing for the student who gets Stiefvater). I am not a romance reader. Not even a little. However, if it is done just right and it isn’t pounded into my face to the point I get a nose bleed it is sometimes okay. Stiefvater did that in The Raven Boys which is something I really appreciated. Even though the love element is very complicated and deep there is more focus on the friendships of the boys and the complicated relationships they have. Besides that what I love about The Raven Boys is the tone and amazing storytelling quality of Stiefvater’s voice in this novel. My favorite author of all time is Poe and I feel like this novel captures an eerie quality that many authors have tried for but do not come close to capturing.

This is some fan art I have found via the interwebs to help anyone considering reading this novel (click on photo to get to where I found it):

 

       Gansey, and the whole gang, fan art by tea-cigarette-go.tumblr.com

Adam and Ronan (The Raven Boys written by maggie-stiefvater)<br /><br />
I wanted something spooky for Halloween and so I hope this satisfies! <br /><br />
By the way, if you follow me and you still haven’t read The Raven Boys, shame on you. Go read it right now!