posted: Friday February 10th - 1:37pm

Smarter Kitchen Storage When You Have a Small Space

My apartment’s kitchen is small, and part of the space is taken up by the laundry. So the floor is usually buried under a pile of clothes. I do have access to basement storage, where I can store some kitchen items. Should I use that space for large pans and serving bowls? Kitchen appliances? And how do I keep the laundry off the floor?

You have to stop thinking about being space-efficient and start thinking about being effort-efficient. Storing kitchen items in a basement locker takes too much effort to put them away, so they linger in your small space, creating clutter. Instead, weed through all your kitchen items until what remains fits within the kitchen storage, and then be resourceful and resilient about what is left. Toss the fancy...
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posted: Friday February 10th - 1:23pm

Quick Cleaning ABCs

I’ve read your book and have weeded and organized several rooms. Other than a daily 30-second per room cleanup, how do I keep things organized?

Look to the previous letter for some answers. Give priority to keeping the floor clear! When I organize a space, the first thing I do is clear the floor. It makes it easier to do the rest of the project. Imagine any room in your home with the floor cluttered and the surfaces clear. Now picture this same room with surfaces cluttered but the floor clear...
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posted: Friday February 10th - 12:52pm

Take Back The Floor (Or: When Sharing a Closet Goes Bad)

I am a recently divorced mom with ADHD who has moved into a small apartment with my teenage daughter, who also has ADHD. Her room is large, but there is no closet. My room has two closets, one of which she uses. Between the two of us, the room looks like a clothing bomb went off. I can’t see the floor!

Yes, once the floor is buried, the room becomes unusable and maintenance impossible. So, although it seems reasonable, sharing the closets is only increasing the clutter while costing you the use of an entire room. Reclaim your space and take advantage of her large room by placing an armoire with hanging space and two chests of drawers in her bedroom. Tall chests are space-efficient, but...
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posted: Friday February 10th - 11:34am

What’s In a Classification?

My son has ADHD and a reading disability, and we are starting the process of getting him an IEP. Does it matter whether he is classified as “other health impaired” (OHI) or as having a “specific learning disability” (SLD)?

Usually not. IDEA classifications encompass 13 categories of disability, and OHI and SLD are two of the most frequently encountered. Think of these categories as keys that open the door to services. Once a student is classified under any of the categories, he is entitled to a “free, appropriate, public education” designed to address all of his areas of disability, even those falling under a different...
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posted: Friday February 10th - 10:46am

Accommodations For 2e Students

My nine-year-old son has ADHD. His IQ was recently tested, as part of his IEP, and we were told that it is 132. My question is, if a child is classified as a 2e — twice-exceptional — student, what services can he get at school? He is great at math, but not so good at writing.

The fact that your son even has an IEP is a victory. Twice-exceptional students, who are academically gifted (usually demonstrated by a high IQ score) and who also have a disability, are sometimes denied an IEP because the school district uses narrow guidelines to determine whether a student is eligible for special education services. The school fails to consider how a disability affects a student with...
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posted: Wednesday February 8th - 12:29pm

Back Off, Internet: How to Tamp Down Online Agitation

When I was diagnosed, later in life, I was told that I had ADHD with agitation. My home computer kept my agitation ramped up so high that I was overwhelmed by it. What can I do?

Whether it's a cute cat video or a devastating news report, the blinking lights of the Internet hijack our attention and our emotions. To ignore the lure of the Internet can be difficult; most ADHD adults need to get online in everyday life. See whether reducing online usage correlates with lower anxiety. Try alternating days or nights of being online: Monday online, Tuesday offline, and so...
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posted: Wednesday February 8th - 12:05pm

Touchy, Feely Solutions to a Child's Sensory Issues

My 11-year-old daughter has been wearing clothes that seem inappropriate for the weather. It was really hot this past summer, but she wore flannel pajamas at night. When we turned on the fan in her room, she was bothered by the sound. I also found that she doesn’t want to turn the lights on in the morning. Does she have sensory problems?

Carol Kranowitz_headshot-120px
Whether your daughter has sensory processing disorder (SPD), your attention to her tactile, auditory, and visual challenges will make her more comfortable physically. She’ll also be grateful that you take her complaints seriously and try to address them. Here’s what I advise: >?PJs: She may be wearing flannel PJs not for warmth but because they protect her skin from irritating tactile sensations coming from sheets or the...
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posted: Wednesday February 8th - 11:21am

How Safe Are ADHD Medications?

I am agonizing about whether to start my son on ADHD medication. Someone told me that a stimulant alters the brain if you take it over an extended period. Is that true and should I worry?

The two medications that are the first-line treatment for ADHD have been around for a long time. Amphetamine (129 years) and methylphenidate (76 years) are among the best-known drugs in medicine. Their being prescribed for so many years has allowed us to follow people who have taken these medications all day, every day, for a lifetime. No long-term problem has been identified with either. The longest...
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posted: Thursday August 11th - 11:26am

The Great Middle-School Paper Challenge

My daughter is entering middle school. Any suggestions as to how to keep her homework and backpack organized?

Piles of school papers, binders, and supplies can bedevil an ADHD child’s attempts to stay organized. Follow Thoreau’s advice: simplify, simplify. In terms of homework, a parent advocate can ask teachers to post homework online and to allow students to submit finished assignments online. As for the rest of it, well, simplify with these tips: > Have one binder with subject dividers rather than keeping a binder...
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posted: Thursday August 11th - 11:13am

Neat-Car Tips for Adults with ADHD

I was asked, at the last minute, if I could take my son’s friend home from school while his mother dealt with an emergency. To my embarrassment, there was no room in my car for a third person. Do you have any tips for how to organize the car?

There are two simple rules for keeping the car clutter-free: 1) be resourceful and 2) expect to take one minute to unload every evening. > Let’s start with Rule 1. Do the kids need multiple games, or can they take only one device, look out the window, or listen to the radio? If you have a cell phone and a minimart on every corner, do you...
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