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  • Writer's pictureKim Gibson, MS, ATR, LPCC

Mental Health & Wellness- Weekend Reads, Vol 4, Sept 3rd, 2020 - Back to school edition

These weekend reads focus on school. Recently, here in LA, schools have started up again. Private, public, charter or homeschool, most schools are back in session. Online. I'm always blown away by how many kiddos are enrolled in schools within LAUSD. It is the second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves over 600,000 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade at over 1,000 schools. The District also has over 200 independently-operated public charter schools. That is a lot of kiddos. Many will do just fine but some will struggle. Whether it be from a learning difference, a mental health issue, family dynamics or systematic injustice, most of kids struggles are invisible. And that is what it is on my mind. How do we help what we can't see & how do we make sure our kids (they are all our kids- collectively) don't fall through the cracks. How do we make sure a kid doesn't get lost in the shuffle & doesn't get overlooked. And how do we provide support to the parents and caregivers that are doing their best to make sure their kiddo gets the help & services they need. Below are three helpful websites around kids mental health, surviving online learning and learning differences. Please reach out if you or your kiddo needs some extra support this Fall.

1) "Everything you thought you knew about ADHD is wrong" by Jess Joho ADHD is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized brain conditions of recent history.

2) How to Minimize the Misery:Five Ways to Help Your Kids Survive Remote Learning By Emily Cherkin I'll be the first to admit that when schools closed in the Los Angeles area in March, I had no idea the magnitude of what we were facing. I was really naive and at first, I thought we'd be back after Spring Break. And then I held out hope for May. I thought for sure kids would end their year in school. And I definitely had no idea Fall would be online too. Teaching our children at home is hard. Really hard for so many reasons. This article focuses on ways to navigate a tough situation, make it slightly more doable. The author suggests focusing on building executive functioning skills, establishing a dedicated space "to do" school, encouraging your child to use paper and pen or pencil, make room for movement every day & value the relationship over all else. Learning can't take place unless the relationship is secure. Finally, the author reminds us to be our kid's rock- solid and present. Allow water to flow around us without taking us down. A solid article with usable tips. As a side, building executive functions skills (such as planning, prioritizing, organization, emotion regulation, and cognitive flexibility) are all skills that art therapy can help one build naturally. Reach out if you want to know more.

3) Here is a link to webinars on the website ADDitute. ADDitude hosts live, one-hour webinars (online video/audio presentations) with experts in the fields of ADHD and related conditions, such as anxiety, dyslexia or giftedness. Webinars cover topics such as diagnosis, treatment, comorbid conditions, living with ADHD, parenting, school, and much more. You can sign up & watch the webinars live & ask questions. Or they are all posted on their website, so you can also watch a recorded version and enjoy it on your own time.

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