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Reduce Anxiety Naturally

I loved this article on reducing stress.  My favorite idea was when Amy set the timer and wrote her worries, that really troubled her, on a piece of paper.  When she was done she tore the paper in shreds.  In addition, Amy practices yoga three times a week to help relax her.

Now, I don’t think I can get Nolan to practice yoga.  We are still trying to get Nico to run on the treadmill at least once a week.  But, I do think I can start having Nolan write down his worries on paper and tear it up.

Please click on the link  Reduce Anxiety Naturally  and read the article.

Getting Ready for the Transitional IEP

Our IEP is on May 21st.  My husband and I are already butting heads with some of the school’s IEP team members.  My husband and I would like the school and teachers to honor the spirit of the IEP with regards to testing accommodations.  Instead, the school is saying things like “It is difficult for the teacher.”  So, my question is, “When did IEP’s become about what is best for the teacher and not the students?” 
If our son wants to take an exam in the general ed setting, so that he gives the appearance of a regular student, then fine.  However, he should be allowed to retake the exam if he fails.  He should not be penalized because he is trying to find his way in the mainstream classroom.  Just so everyone is aware, my son does study for his tests, but usually fails because of his anxiety and other related issues.  The school is not willing to provide support for him when this situation occurs because it is inconvenient for the teacher.  So, the message from the school to my son is, “It is okay to fail and no we won’t help you.”  This is so encouraging. NOT!!!!!!!!!!  It is depressing.  It is ridiculous.  Where is the accountability?  Where is the understanding that the IEP is a contract between the district and our family to provide support for the students with disabilities? 

In my school district where I work, the teachers collaborate and would find a way to make the accommodations work.  At the school, where my son attends, the Special Ed. Dept. is afraid to ruffle feathers and do their job.  This Special Ed. Dept.  needs to advocate for the exceptional learners with IEP’s.  The IEP’s are in place so these kids will be able to be successful in the least restrictive environment.  THIS IS THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FOLLOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Motivating a Teenager Similar to Training a Dog?

Let’s just start off by clearing the air.  I don’t think my son is a dog.  It is figurative language for all of you who are in a panic and thinking that I think my son is a dog.  This is not the case. 

Anyway, we are in the middle of training Aka, our lovely demented puppy.  He can’t walk on a leash to save his life.  He sometimes becomes aggressive and territorial with other doggies while walking.  My husband and I have been injured too many times because he sees a squirrel or another dog and bolts after him.  Just on a side note, we have spent a fortune training this beast.  This last time my husband was injured, I just said, “That’s it!!! I am calling a trainer.”  Aka does great during the training sessions.  Why is that?  I’ll tell you.  Aka does well because there are incentives.  There are treats after each time he does what we ask him to do.
So, how is motivating a teenager like training a dog?  Just this morning, my husband asked our son if he would play violin at this temple function we are going to next weekend.  Nolan said, “NO!!!!”  Then, a few minutes later, my husband replies, “Well if you had said yes, I would have provided an incentive.”  Ahhhh!  Now, Nolan’s ears were at attention.  “Incentive! What kind of incentive?” Nico asked.  
You see it is the treat that is the leverage or motivator to entice the teenager to do the task you want him/her to do.  That is why I think motivating a teenage is similar to training a dog.  

The Battle Begins!

This time the battle was not with me.  This battle was for alpha male of the Robinson house.  Who would win?  Would it be Dad or Nolan?.  Boy, did it get heated!  David and I were trying to explain the clubs and activities that Nolan might enjoy in high school.  We asked him to keep an open-mind.  Well, he just didn’t want to hear anything about clubs or high school.  I think it overwhelmed him.  Dad enlightened Nolan that sometimes, he can be close-minded.  Nolan then replies.”If I had the bravado, I would slap you.”  Well that’s all it took for Dad to demand Nolan leave the table.  I never thought it would happen.  David has never asked him to leave the dinner table.  Nolan refused to leave.  Dad was ready to physically move him out of the room. Oh boy, I could believe my eyes and ears.  Usually it is Nolan and I going head to head.  This time it is Dad and Nolan.  As this entire scenario is playing out, I am hiding my face behind my hand.  I kept laughing.  Why was I laughing?  This was not funny.  I realized this wasn’t about high school.  This was the fight for the “TOP DOG.” The  alpha and wanna-be alpha were challenging the boundaries.  This is like what animals do in the wild.  It was crazy.  I finally had to jump in and yell “TIME OUT!”  I had everyone go back to their perspective corners to chill. 
This time I was the “good cop.”  I went up to Nolan’s room and we had a great talk.   He realized his empty threat was not the best choice.  He understood he needed to apologize.  He felt that his dad had wounded his pride.  
Then, as a good ref, I went to Dad.  I explained that Nolan felt that his pride had been hurt.  I told Dad that he too needed to apologize.  For once, I was not at war with Nolan.  I was the peacemaker.
The boys each apologized and talked it out.  No one went to bed angry.

ADHD Expert: Is Concerta Making My Daughter Pick at Her Skin?

Read this article about ADHD medications and skin picking.  It is linked with OCD. According to this article, the consult your child’s doctor.  With your doctor, discuss if you should stop the ADHD medications and focus on picking disorder.  The article suggests congnitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  Click the link below to find out more. 

ADHD Expert: Is Concerta Making My Daughter Pick at Her Skin?

Hope Floats!

This morning, I drove Nolan to school.  Before we jumped into the car, Nolan shared how beautiful the flowers at school looked.  He said they are red and yellow.  He said they looked like a trumpet.  I explained they are called Trumpet Vines.  Then he began to share another tidbit about his friends in PE class.  He said, “We like to suck the nectar out of the flower. The other kids think it is gross but my friends and I think is sweet like ambrosia.”  I asked him the names of his friends.  He has about five new friends. 
Why is this such a big deal?  Well for one Nolan is new at this school and all year long he said he has no friends.  Then just last week he said he had acquaintances but no friends.  NOW HE HAS FRIENDS.   This is so exciting.  I try now to seem over excited.  But, I plant the seed to obtain phone numbers so he could hang out over the summer.  Another plus, these kids my be going to the same high school next year.  If Nolan maintains a friendship, he will not feel alone when he starts his new high school. 

This made my day!