More sleep disturbances. . .

For the past three nights, K-Oz has had sleep problems. Mostly it’s been nightmares. I’m wondering if there’s a cycle to this or if it’s weather-related (there’s a storm front moving in) or if there is no method to the madness.

It seems as though his sleep has been restless and disturbed and he’s been waking up screaming with nightmares. The last three nights he’s climbed into Mom and Dad’s bed after his nightmares.

Not only that, but he’s also been talking in his sleep more than usual.

So I’m wondering what’s up? Is it hormonal (he’s almost 12)? Is it the weather? Is it something he’s eating? Is his schedule out of whatck?


Focusing with ADHD?

My son has ADHD – actually more ADD. He’s not very hyper, but he does lose focus easily.

Unfortunately, he gets it from me. When I was a kid, kids were only known as hyper. Everybody knew who the hyper kids were and I wasn’t one of them.

At that time, there wasn’t the common name for hyperactivity that we hear now – ADHD or ADD.  For me, I have always been easily-distracted, a daydreamer and fidgety. I can’t just sit still.

My son is also easily-distracted. He forgets what he’s been told to do and goes off to do something else.  He is much like me in that large tasks are overwhelming.

Since we homeschool, I can see this firsthand how he struggles and I understand it.  Math worksheets are as daunting to him as they were for me in school.

The worst for me was the timed math tests – the ones that contained 100 math problems and you were supposed to complete as many problems as possible in the allotted time.

I’m working on strategies and creative ideas for helping K-Oz focus on tasks at hand so he can function better (and trying to help myself as well!).

So what’s worked for you? How do you help your distractable child focus?


Transitioning for the Special Needs Child

I have found that transitions need to be handled carefully with my son, K-Oz.

From the time he was little, he never transitioned well. Even now, at 11, we have to handle transitions carefully. He is better than he used to be, though.

Now, I have to give him timeframes and ample warning. If it’s close to bedtime, instead of saying “It’s bedtime, get your jammies, etc.” we need to tell him “Bedtime is in __ minutes. You will need to start picking up your Legos in 5 minutes.”

If we get into a hurry and start rushing, he doesn’t deal well with it. It “throws him off his game” his mood goes south and he becomes difficult to deal with.

How do you deal with this issue? I’d love to hear other strategies that work, and I’ll be sharing more of my own.


More tics

I don’t know if it’s the weather, the time of year or a step closer to puberty, but K-Oz has really been exhibiting increased tics lately.

His facial tics have really increased and his verbal tics are ramped up also. He’s been saying a lot of “huh-huh” and clearing his throat. His facial tics are mostly exaggerated grimaces and the like.

In addition, he has increased some of his physical tics. His most common physical tic right now is shuffling his feet. He will shuffle his feet several times before taking another step.

I find myself wondering if puberty will make his TS worse or alleviate it a bit. I also wonder if he will outgrow it or live with it forever.

Only God knows.


More on ODD

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing research into Oppositional Defiance Disorder due to a friend dealing with ODD in her son.

I found a great site full of info about ODD from the Mayo Clinic.

Some of the behavioral earmarks in kids with ODD are defiance, disobediance, hostility toward authority figures, argues with adults, frequent tantrums, deliberately annoys other people, blames others for their mistakes or misbehaviors.

ODD also can often occur along with ADHD, making learning and behavior issues somewhat tricky to deal with.


Oppositional Defiance Disorder – ODD

A friend and I have been discussing her son who has ODD. ODD stands for Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

I decided to do some research on my own about ODD so I could understand it a little better. I’m still researching and I’ll be sharing some of the things I find later on.

ODD is characterized by an obvious opposition to authority. For my friend, her son very obviously ignores her directions and correction.

He is 12 and it seems as though his ODD is exacerbated by hormones and typical adolescence – which my research has agreed with.

I’d love to hear from other parents who have dealt with and are dealing with ODD. How do you deal with it? How do you discipline your ODD child? Where have you found help and support?


Strategies for dealing with ADHD

Okay, I’m a parent of a child with ADHD. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately – because I can relate better?) I also have attention deficit issues of my own.

For those of you who deal with ADHD and your kids, what are some of your best or favorite ideas and strategies for helping them?

I have run across a site that gives some great information and links to behavior charts to help kids with ADHD.

These are printable behavior charts specifically to help kids with ADHD. ADHD behavior charts? you might ask. Yep. Great idea, huh – presenting visuals for help stay focused.

While there is a charge for the service, they do have a free trial so you can see if it’s worth it. The website is ADHD Experience and it’s definitely worth checking out.


Sleepwalking?

We had a bit of a jolt about two a.m. this morning.

Something woke Dear Hubby and I  – we weren’t sure what – then we heard our son, K-Oz yelling from his bedroom.

We both jumped up, went running, threw on his light and discovered that he had tumbled head-first out of his loft bed.

A good friend was scheduled for surgery on her hand early this morning and her two kids spent the night with us last night.

K-Oz’s guest Chuck was sleeping on a mat on the floor. Normally, K-Oz sleeps with some type of light on in his room. It’s part of his routine, makes him feel more secure and makes Mom and Dad feel better about him climbing up and down his ladder in the middle of the night. I’m guessing that Chuck didn’t like the light, maybe, so K-Oz turned it off. Which meant that his room was really dark – making it hard for him to come down his ladder.

What he thinks happened was that he was dreaming – or sleepwalking (which he has done several times). He said he remembered dreaming that he was leaning over into our big freezer to get something out of it, then he woke up on the floor.

So I’m guessing that he was acting out his dream and simply leaned over the side of his bed and tumbled out. Landed on his head.

He is now sporting a great big goose egg that is purple and blue on his forehead. And Mom and Dad barely recovered from their near-heart attacks.

So, anyone else deal with sleepwalking or acting out dreams? This isn’t a first for K-Oz. We’ve had alarms on the front door because once he was sleep walking and went out the front door onto the porch.


Does the weather affect your special needs child?

I’m just curious – because I know that wet and rainy weather affects my son’s behavior.

In the spring, summer and fall when we have the rainy and wet days, it seems as though the barometric pressure affects him. It makes him more hyper and difficult.

Anybody else ever noticed anything like this with their kids?

Right now we’re in a freeze – last check it was about 4 degrees. I can’t say that super cold weather affects him – except like the rest of us, being stuck inside makes him cranky sometimes! I’ve talked to a few other moms locally who’ve noticed similar behavior issues on wet, nasty, dreary days (oh I would welcome one of those to get rid of this freezing weather!).

So chime in – I’d love to hear your take on this idea!


A few neat resources I’ve found

Here are a few online resources I’ve found that may be of interest to some of you.

NATHHAN, or National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network, is a great resource. Even if you don’t homeschool, you will find some great support and information here. I have found that the greatest resource and support comes from other parents who have been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And you’ll find plenty of that at NATHHAN.

National Tourette Syndrome Association is another great resource if your child has a tic disorder. Through TSA, my son receives a mailed newsletter called “That Darn Tic” that is full of written accounts from other kids with TS. It’s been a great thing for him to read and understand that there are plenty of other kids out there with similar special needs.

Another great general resource for parents is Children’s Disabilities Information – a site that has lots of links for support groups and information. There is a list of disabilities and special needs, so you can click on the one you’re looking for.

I’m always on the lookout for more great resources, so feel free to share your favorites here!


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