Volume 3 July 15, 2023
Jodie Maddox Parent Coach and Education Consultant
I PARTNER with parents and schools.
I EMPOWER them to make decisions within their sphere of influence.
I PROVIDE reliable support, with effective strategies, to gain desired results.
Unlocking the Possibilities!!!
In this week's newsletter we are diving head first into the deep waters of ADHD. As an educator I had the opportunity to work with literally hundreds of students who struggled with this complex neurological condition. However, it was as a parent of an ADHD son that gave me the up close, personal behind-the-scenes look at what it means to cope with ADHD on a daily basis. My son is the inattentive type; his behaviors were not big or overwhelming, but his impulsiveness and lack of organization was oftentimes all consuming. As parents, we typically get trapped by the behaviors and forget to focus on the child. Behaviors are needs, and if we treat them as such we are able to salvage our energy, and strengthen our parent-child relationship. If you'd like to know more about my son's journey, check out my blog for a more personal look into managing his ADHD.
With A Grateful Heart,
Parent Coach and Education Consultant
Skills for Success!
How To Help Manage ADHD Symptoms
Helping your child or student manage Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves a combination of strategies necessary to address the complicated challenges associated with attention, impulsiveness, lagging social skills, and underdeveloped executive functioning skills. Managing ADHD must be a personalized journey. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. With that said, it's not all a guessing game. From my own educational and parenting experience, there seem to be consistent areas of need that when addressed systematically and intentionally, children and teens suffering from ADHD symptoms can experience relief, and most importantly improve their executive functioning skills.
If you are dealing with a child or teen suffering from ADHD, try paying attention to these specific environmental and developmental needs.
Education and cognitive growth: Learn/study about ADHD, its symptoms, and how it affects a child’s life. Educate yourself and become more aware of this neurological condition. Make sure your support is aligned with your child’s strengths, as well as their deficits. Try not to go into “fix it” mode. Your child needs your support not criticism, shame, or guilt. Their impulsive or immature behavior are symptoms, not their preferred behavior.
Medication/therapy/coaching: There are many options available to help manage and minimize your child’s ADHD symptoms. Talk to your pediatrician about the benefits as well as the side effects of medication. Subscribe to publications and support groups that talk openly and honestly about all your options. Be open minded to the many different types of medication, therapy, or coaching possibilities available for your child. Educate yourself; don’t solely rely on the guidance of your inner circle. What worked for your nephew, neighbor, or best friend's daughter might not be a good fit for your child. Not all children with ADHD need medication. Finding the right treatment approach and options will take time. Be patient in the process. Always consult with your doctor for guidance and support.
Establish consistent boundaries, structure, and routine: What children and teens experience daily in the home environment is the playbook that the majority of them will put into action. Children learn and develop their executive functioning skills from the adults in their lives. If you are consistent, predictable, reliable, and structured; your child will naturally learn these same attributes. Be patient, this takes time, and the ride will be bumpy. You can’t control or change your child’s behavior, but you can control and manage your own temperament and response to tough situations. Children watch and learn. It's less about what you say, and more about what you do.
Practice mindfulness: Be in the moment. Stay away from dragging up past behaviors, or trying to motivate change by threatening with the future. Remember you are your child’s inner voice. When you are not around, what do you want them to say to themselves? Stay in the moment. Concentrate on the child, not the behavior. Try and remember, behaviors are needs.
Focus on what you can manage: A healthy diet, plenty of movement, little to no screen time, and at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep are essential items that parents can easily focus on. Focusing on big emotions and bad behaviors will drain your energy. Remember that diet and exercise are just as important as controlling or changing impulsiveness.
For more information, helpful resources, and strategies visit my website/blog.
Health and Wellness Corner - Dr. Ross
3 Important Nutrients & Supplements to Improve ADHD Symptoms Naturally
- Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues but mostly in your muscles, bones, and BRAIN!
- Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: Sensitivity to noise, anxiety & panic, poor sleep, irritability, restlessness, hyperactivity, mood dysregulation, tics, and stimming behaviors.
- Foods high in magnesium: Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, cooked/boiled spinach, cashews, black beans, cooked brown rice, and baked potato with skin.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- The brain carries about 60% of weight as fats and that is a major clue that healthy fats are important for pediatric brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which are important for brain structure & function, eye function (which is important to focus on school work & other activities), mood stability, attention, focus, learning, and memory.
- Common Symptoms of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency: Difficulty with focus & concentration, meltdowns, aggressions, learning difficulties, global developmental delays, vision processing problems, hyperactivity, & mood swings.
- Foods high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, tuna, mackarel, sardines, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.
- This may seem like an unusual nutrient for ADHD but Vitamin D has many benefits for mental health and digestive health. Vitamin D is a hormone which has a wide array of effects on immune function, brain development, and neurotransmitter production (hello, dopamine aka feel good hormones)! Benefits of improving Vitamin D levels include a positive impact on emotional regulation, peer relationships, and behavior.
- Common Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency: depressed mood, irritability, anxiety, frequent illness, muscle cramps, fatigue, and defiance.
- Foods high in Vitamin D: Salmon & fatty fish like trout or mackarel, sardines, shrimp, white mushrooms, eggs, liver, cow’s milk, and cheese.
You may be wondering, how can I get my child to eat some of these foods?! That is a great question. Food is medicine and ideally our children would obtain all of their nutrients from whole food sources. It can take time to get children to try new foods and even then they may not reach appropriate levels of these nutrients to see the amazing benefits. The sad truth is that even with the most varied diet, many of our children do not meet their optimal nutritional needs with food alone. When working with clients, I take a personalized approach and provide individualized supplement dosing recommendations taking into consideration the child’s unique health history, symptoms, and lab work. There is no one size fits all when it comes to your child’s health and I work with families and healthcare providers to find the solution that meets the needs of each individual child.
Why work with a parent coach?
- Personalized support and guidance tailored to the individual needs of my clients.
- I teach strategies rooted in strength-based parenting. By knowing your family's strengths, we can use these traits to address specific challenges.
- I guide parents through a process that allows them to find new supportive strategies to gain desired growth.
- Strength based parenting
- The importance of fostering executive functioning skills
- Caring for children when they are anxious
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Fostering early literacy skills
- How technology is affecting our children and teens
I will be speaking in August at the monthly ADHDKC parent group meeting.
Come join the ADHDKC event, it is free to the public!
Parents, caregivers and teachers will learn important information about Executive Functioning Skills (EFS), essential skills that should be fostered and nurtured throughout childhood and a person's teenage years at ADHDKC’s August Parent Group Event.
Caregivers and instructors will learn strategies related to the 8 EFS: Flexible thinking, managing emotions, managing impulsiveness, task initiation, planning and prioritizing, organization, self-monitoring, and working memory.
When: August 1st at 7 PM
Where: Horizon Academy and Online -
RSVP is required and you can choose how you will join us on the form: https://forms.gle/UqU3k5TSqYkterH7A