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Life with Bob

Melissa David
The definition of the least restrictive environment is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It mandates that children with disabilities should learn alongside their regular education peers as much as is safe and possible. Why is it so important that our children with mental illnesses be included in the least restricted environment?
Melissa David
Whether to use attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug holidays or not is a secondary decision for doctors and parents of children with ADHD. But before you discuss ADHD drug holidays, you must decide whether to use ADHD medications at all. First, you have to manage the stigma and judgment that comes with medicating your child. Then, if you do decide on ADHD medications, you have to juggle side-effects, changes, and the complicated decision of ADHD drug holidays.
Susan Traugh
It has been my privilege to write for “Life with Bob” on the HealthyPlace.com blog for this past year. HealthyPlace provides such a valuable resource to the community of people living with mental illness, offering insights, information, and open communication on the wide variety of issues that affect our community. Therefore, it is with some sadness that I say “goodbye” to my role in this fine organization.
Melissa David
The transition to middle school from elementary is tough for any kid, let alone kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Middle schoolers are hormone-riddled, parent-defying, not-quite-adolescent bundles of angst who suddenly find themselves more independent and socially engaged than ever. Many of our kids with ADHD spent years just trying to manage one classroom in elementary school. As parents, we're just as anxiety-ridden when we have to figure it all out again when our children transition to middle school.
Susan Traugh
Parents need to keep medication records of prescriptions given to their mentally ill children. Recording the medications children with mental illness take will allow parents to track the benefits and side-effects of medication for their children and will allow for a continuity of coverage should you change doctors or insurance. Trust someone who made the mistake of not keeping medication records herself: Learn why you must keep and how to record your child's medication records.
Melissa David
A child's meltdown happens when he goes into survival mode. He can't control himself, and you as the parent may be the only source of safety and emotional regulation. We can teach our children a lot, then, by learning to recognize the stages of our child's meltdown and how to intervene.
Susan Traugh
Developing open communication with your teen with mental illness can be the difference between successfully treating the symptoms of her disease or not. Open communication about symptoms, fears, and successes can help teens discover what works in maintaining stability and healthiness when dealing with a mental illness. Parents can lead the way in opening communication with their child by following some simple techniques.
Susan Traugh
Parents can advocate for mental health care improvements for our children with mental illness, and we're in in a unique position to do so. As we travel through America’s broken mental healthcare system, our voices can help shine a light on problems and advocate for mental health care changes that would help our children in their quest for mental stability.
Melissa David
Can you teach self-regulation to children with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) when the inability to self-regulate emotions is the hallmark of the disorder? Anything and everything seems to trigger emotional meltdowns. What can we do as parents and caregivers, especially when we feel so frazzled ourselves? A few strategies for teaching self-regulation for children with DMDD do exist.
Susan Traugh
The costs of raising a child with special needs or childhood mental illness are a financial burden. In addition to the most obvious financial costs of raising a child with special needs, there are also the hidden costs of parenting our children. These financial costs can weigh upon the entire family and push parents of special needs children to the brink.