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Storygirl last won the day on April 11

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  1. When DS15 was about 12, he left his favorite stuffed animal in a hotel room. We went back, but it was gone. He did have another copy of the same animal, because we bought an extra when he was a baby, but he knew which one was the "real" one, and the substitute was not the same. Actually, we had three copies of Elephant, because MIL also gave us an extra. DS was upset. I think we had to talk with him about it for a week or two, and then he came to an acceptance. He will still bring Elephant up every once in awhile, and we acknowledge that we are all sad to be without him. In our case, we knew that we would never get Elephant back. It happened when we were on vacation, and we checked with the hotel a week later, when we were on our way back through the area, to see if Elephant had shown up. It might be more difficult to come to acceptance if there is still hope that the toy will reappear. I think DH was more upset than DS was. DH is the one who went back to check at the hotel at the end of the trip, and when he came to tell DS that Elephant was gone, DH cried. It may have helped DS that he knew that we cared and were also sad. I think we talked about Elephant being off and having adventures of his own. DS was also young for his age. And adopted. So the experience was more intense for him than it perhaps would have been for a typical 12 year old.
  2. Ha! She could take a picture of her schedule. I think the kids are allowed to have their phones out in the hallways, even though some teachers don't allow them to have them in their classes. This is the first year that my kids have had phones at the beginning of the school year, so it didn't occur to me, but you are right! I did make a copy of it before giving it to her, just in case, so I have a back up. She might not need it any more this week. Using pictures on the chart is a good idea. Some of my kids are more apt to pay attention to a picture than words, so it would be good to include both.
  3. Yes, that is all we do in the mornings. They get up at 6:15, so we just have 45 minutes until they have to be out waiting for the bus. They even pick their clothes the night before. But we still have to do a lot of checking and prompting and reminders, which is really annoying for all concerned. I'm thinking a morning checklist would help. In the mornings, three of the kids could probably get up and out the door with minimal input from DH and me. But the other one needs a lot of structure and guidance. We have a well established routine, but we'd like to move away from the parents running the routine, toward more independence. I have a love-hate relationship with charts and checklists myself. I'm hoping we can make things run better here in this way, but it's so hard to predict what will work and what will not.
  4. Yes, the tooth brushing avoider is also the one with ASD. Plus ADHD. He needs checklists more than anyone, but it is the most challenging to get them to work for him.
  5. A clipboard might work. Being able to carry it around does have some advantages. If I get brightly colored ones, they will be harder to lose. Now I have an image of all four children industriously walking around with clipboards, checking things off neatly as they efficiently accomplish everything with excellent attitudes (yes, I am a bit of a dreamer 😂). Oooh. Interesting!!!
  6. This is true! I think I'd like it to be the same for all of them, because that will be easiest for me if I have one way of doing things. Four kids times four different systems would equal one frazzled mom. But making everything the same can backfire, if the chosen system is a poor fit for someone.
  7. Making something on the computer has appealed to me, because I can customize it. I had thought of printing things out and posting them on a bulletin board, but I hadn't figured out how to make it reusable, so that they can check things off. I'm sure I can probably find a wipe-able envelope thing to insert the papers into. The challenge with this idea is getting them to check or cross things off. It's trickier than one might think, and will need a lot of monitoring in the beginning, but it's worth working on. Being able to print things in different colors or using different colored paper has another advantage. Once I hang something up, it quickly becomes part of the scenery, and after awhile, they stop paying attention to it. If I change the color every once in awhile, it might help them remember to look at the board.
  8. I think that is the book that I got the 3x5 card idea from. I thought a bound notebook would be less likely to be lost than individual cards. But the order of the cards can't be rearranged, so I'd have to set it up carefully from the beginning. Two of my kids have carried their school schedules around with them on a 3x5 card. I made those for them, so that they can have their schedule handy, right in their pocket, instead of having to search through their backpacks for it, during the first week of school. They lose them, mangle them, and so on. On the first day of school this year, DD14 texted me at lunch to say that she had lost hers already. And then she texted to say that she had found it. I think a file card box system would work for me for my household chores, but it has too many moving pieces for my kids.
  9. We need to move to a system that will provide my teens with daily reminders of things they need to do, so that DH and I are not doing as much direct instruction, and so that they develop more responsibility and independence. We have some issues with EF, ADHD, and ASD here, so we need some things with a good level of support. We need reminders not only for weekly chores such as vacuuming, but also for daily responsibilities such as tooth brushing, cleaning out lunch boxes, putting personal items like instruments away properly, etc. I'm curious what other people use. I've been thinking through options, and so far all of my ideas have some kind of drawback. This is what I've been thinking so far: * Putting reminders on their phones. The drawback here is that they would need to be constantly checking their phones while working, which would be a distraction for them. Phones are sometimes such a distraction that we will have them plug them into the chargers and leave them there while they are doing tasks. We also limit their phone use before they get on the bus to go to school, so that would be an issue for morning tasks (the bus comes at 7:00 am). For these reasons, I'm hesitant to make the checklist dependent up on the phone. On the other hand, the phone is the system that is probably most likely to be useful to them when they are out on their own in college or wherever, so it would not be bad to get them used to it. * Using a Fitbit style wrist monitor that has a reminder system built in. There has been a thread on the Learning Challenges board about this, and I think it has potential. But I'm not sure that my kids would be willing to wear one consistently. They are really picky about watches, jewelry, etc. I think that lost devises could be a problem, as well. * Using a spiral bound 3x5 notecard notebook, in which we can create daily and weekly lists. I liked this idea so much that I bought them each one, but even though I think it would work for me, personally, I'm not sure it will work for my kids. They will lose them. Even if we have a designated spot to keep them, they will lose them. *Using a whiteboard. This is possible, if we find one that is organized in a way that we can utilize well. I've got one that is a monthly calendar, which is not quite right. I had one that was set up like a chore chart once, but that one had some drawbacks that prevented us from using it. I would need a white board for upstairs and downstairs, if we did this. * Using paper lists. I personally like paper, but it will get lost or add to our clutter problem if I make daily or weekly or monthly lists for four children. Any other ideas that you have found work well? My kids do not have self-motivation in this area, so it needs to be something that I can monitor, but also something that will help to transfer ownership of their responsibilities to them in the long run. I'd like to be able to have the list be the reminder, instead of DH and me being the reminders. So I'd like to be able to say, "Have you checked your list?" instead of "Have you brushed your teeth?"
  10. I did rouse myself and make the taco pie, and DH helped by pulling the rest of the meal together (peas and sliced apples) while I worked with DS14 on his essay a bit. He was having trouble with thinking about how to describe his "strengths as a learner" in one paragraph. I can see how that could be hard, so I gave him some ideas. The purpose of the essay is for the teacher to get to know the students, and DS's voice really comes through nicely in his writing. DS15 finished his 9th grade science page this afternoon. DH decided not to help him with it at all, because DS has an IEP, and DH thought it would be good for his new teachers to see what DS's unaided work looks like. He had to read two short passages and answer a few questions about them, and his answers are not quite on target, because he has trouble with reading comprehension. The reading comprehension is going to affect all of his subjects, not just English. Which I have been anticipating, but still, ugh. Had a mad coughing fit before dinner. This is what gets me spiraling down health-wise, because when I cough like that, I can't sleep. I need to buy a new cough medicine when I am out and about tomorrow. I think I am done being productive for the day, other than overseeing the evening routine for the kids. I had a good level of energy today overall, but it's time to rest.
  11. Back from the store. Saved $119, with my 20% off and coupons. And I'm up to 20% again on my points (that is the highest that can be redeemed at once), so I will do another big grocery run in the next week or two. Today I splurged on a big tub of protein powder to add to smoothies and a whole beef tenderloin. Why is protein powder so expensive? I'll have to shop around when we are ready for our next tub. ✔️Put the groceries away, with a little help from the boys. ✔️Helped DS14 a bit with his essay, until he took a break to charge his computer. He will need to work on it more tonight or tomorrow and also has not talked about algebra yet with DH. DH did buy the new bass guitar for DS15. A splurge, but it will make logistics easier for him to have two. He has another old bass that was his starter instrument and that he doesn't like any more. He has a friend who may want to buy it. In addition to band at school and private lessons, DS15 is in a band with some other young teens from our church. He played bass for the church band this past year, but he and the drummer want to switch instruments, so that DS15 will play drums, and the other guy will play bass. But the other guy does not have a bass!! The boys did not recognize this as a problem when they decided to switch roles. Hopefully the friend will like the old bass, and it will all work out. DS15 is equally talented on bass and the drum set, so he can do either. Still need to make supper. I'd rather not, but I don't have a good excuse, other than that. Even though I have this cold, I'm not too sick to cook an easy meal. I could convince DH to do it, but he's not 100% healthy, either. I just need to get it done and stop procrastinating.
  12. Does she like to read for pleasure? Many libraries have a teen volunteer group. DD17 used to be a pre-professional ballet dancer. In eighth grade, she complained of hip pain, and over a period of many months, we went through two rounds of PT, an MRI, and consultations with a sports medicine doctor and orthopedic surgeon. It turns out that she has an injury that can't be repaired without surgery, and surgery was not recommended for her. PT helped, but she was never pain free while dancing. She continued in dance for two more years and finally quit after her sophomore year. Now, she does cheer at her school and loves it -- it is noncompetitive and none of the moves cause her pain. She also fills the time in her schedule and meets some of her social needs with a part time job. I do think that the emotional aspects of the situation were as difficult for me as they were for her, although in vastly different ways. So I know dealing with this change may be hard in unexpected ways. I hope it is only a temporary break for your daughter, and that she is able to find some new activities to fill both the physical and social void.
  13. It's been a busy week, with the kids all starting school, so I haven't had much time to post. Also, DD14 had a nasty cold, which she passed on to DH, which he passed on to me. DD is mostly better; DH is improving; I am just at the beginning and seem to be getting worse. Whenever I get sick, I get a bronchial cough that lasts forever, and I'm beginning to cough, so that's not good. There is a lot that we should be getting done, but I may take it easy instead, to try to stave off the crud. DH took Thursday and Friday off of work, to help do things around the house and also to attend an intake meeting with me for at a new counseling place for two of our kids. We did not get as much done as we had hoped, due to both of us feeling under the weather. But DH did clean the kitchen light fixtures and help me reorganize the linen closet -- both are jobs where being tall is an advantage, and DH is 6'5". So far: ✅Got DS14 to cross country and back (DH took him there, and I picked him up). ✅The kids did their weekend vacuuming and laundry. ✅The boys went off with DH to some music stores to look at used bass guitars. DS15 is playing bass for the school band -- it's marching band, but he is in the percussion section that stands in the front and does not march -- and we think it may be worthwhile for him to have an instrument that he can leave at school, instead of bringing it back and forth on the bus daily (he plays the bass daily at home after school and on weekends). ✅Then the boys will go with DH to DS14's guitar lesson before coming back home, so they will be gone for awhile. ✅I did some meal planning and made the grocery list. DD14 is getting ready to go shopping with a friend. DD17 is getting ready to go to work at Chick-fil-A from 2:00 to close, which means she won't be home tonight until about 11:30. After the girls take off, I will head to the grocery store. I'm planning a big shop today, because I am redeeming points to get 20% off of my order. Hate to do this on a Saturday, but can't wait. Boys both have homework to do when they get back from the music lesson, and I think they will both need some help with it. DS14 has to write an essay and is feeling stuck, and he also needs to have DH go over some algebra with him, because he skipped up a math level this year and has some things to catch up on. DS15 generally needs oversight with his work. DH and I need to discuss a plan to make mornings and bedtime go more smoothly for the kids. This is more challenging than it sounds, because we have ADHD and ASD in the mix, and things easily go sideways even with good plans. Need to vacuum down the stairs and in the family room. Make supper -- taco pie. Clean up the kitchen after supper. I hope I will be able to accomplish more than that, but realistically, going to the store and then getting the kids to do their homework will take a good chunk of the afternoon.
  14. Janeway, it sounds like switching to a new doctor is the best plan. I hope the wait for your new appointments is not too long.
  15. Doctors can have different ways of doing things, and I'm not discounting that as a factor. And I'm also not a medical professional, just a mom. But I wanted to mention this, for your future reference, in case it is helpful. DS15 has had ADHD meds administered by two different pediatricians, spanning five years, and multiple medication types and dosages. We've never been told that we should wait for a period of time between ending one med and starting another. There may be other reasons that either you or the doctor wanted a gap before starting the new med -- such as managing appetite, or taking a break when school is not in session. And there may be some meds that do need a waiting period (none that we have used have needed that, including Guanfacine). But, in my experience, it has not been necessary to wait weeks between stopping one med and starting another. If you get that suggestion again, you can ask why the doctor is recommending it and whether a break is really necessary. Perhaps the break was your idea; I can't tell.
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