(503) 222-6678 - Portland, Oregon
(360) 256-0448 Vancouver, Washington


ADD in Adults
Parenting a Child with ADD
Coping with Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overcoming Depression
Managing Stress
Conquering Fears & Phobias
Overcoming Social Phobia
Couples at Work & Home
Dual Career Couples
Families in Business
Recognizing High Conflict Divorce
Conflict & Communication
Couples at Work & Home
Love, Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining Strong Marriage
Dual Career Couples
Advice for Singles Only
Alcoholism Recovery
Stop Smoking
Weight Control
Headache Relief
Holistic Health
Managing Blood Pressure
Releasing Unresolved Stress
Am I a Good Parent
Blended Families
Gifted Child
Coping with ADD/ADHD
Adoptive Families
Gifted Adults
When to Seek Help
Psychotherapy Options
Laid-Off from Work
Calendar of Events
Media Coverage
Press Center
Related New Stories
Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

Sign up for my FREE newsletter! Get practical tips for you and your family.

Kathy Marshack News

Help Your Special Needs Child Prepare for the New School Year

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer is flying by and before you know it you’re kids will be back to school. For parents who have children with special needs such ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) it can be stressful preparing your child for the new school year. I have put together a few tips to help make the transition from summer to school a little easier for you and your child.

Be Positive
It is only natural for your child to feel apprehensive about the new school year. You can help ease their worries by speaking positively about what they are going to experience this year. Get them excited about that they are going to learn. Recall to their minds the thing they enjoyed from previous years.

Get into a Routine
Even though school hasn't started yet, it’s a good idea to start getting into a good routine that will ease them into their school schedule. Set a wake up time and bedtime for your child. This may need to be done gradually for them to adjust. Also start with a few academic games/projects to refresh their memories and get them to prepared for what to expect when school starts. Consistency is key for both ADD and ASD.

Get Prepared
Include your child when you are getting prepared for the school year. Take them with you when you do their school shopping and let them pick out things that they like. Help them put together their backpacks, discuss lunch and snack options, and help them lay out their clothes for school the night before. Make the preparation a joint effort.

One other thing I really recommend doing – once you find out who your child's teacher will be – is to put together a packet about your child for the teacher. Take a look at the article How to Assemble a Teacher Information Packet for some helpful tips.

For additional back to school and safety tips, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics - Back To School Tips. My website also has information about Parenting a Child with ADD.

Tips to Survive the Summer with Your ADHD Child

Thursday, July 22, 2010

If you have a child with ADHD, you will most likely hear the words "bored" or "nothing to do" all summer long. It can be a real challenge to keep an ADHD child entertained – especially when they are out of school for the summer. Their boredom can lead to frustration which in turn can cause them to act out. Instead of having a fun, enjoyable summer, you are at each other's throats.

Here are some tips to help you and your child survive the summer:

1. Stick to a schedule. Structure and ADHD work well together. A schedule will help your child know what to expect for the week/month which will help them feel secure. Post a schedule for chores, daily activities, and events for your child. Even schedule "free time".

2. Use the community. Your community will have plenty of resources available for you. Day camps, rec centers, county fairs, and festivals are great places to take your children. It gets them out of the house and can offer some wonderful stimulation.

3. Set a bedtime. All children need proper rest, but especially a child with ADHD. Not getting enough rest will only aggravate their symptoms.

4. Pick tasks that will stimulate creativity. Puzzles, crafts, and drawing/painting are great projects that will help your child to be creative and help build their self worth.

For more information on this topic, I recommend ADDitute Magazine's - Summer Activities for ADHD Kids, Preteens. Also visit my website for information about Parenting a Child with ADD/ADHD.

Don't Let ADD Clutter Your Life

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clutter and ADD go hand in hand. It can be real a challenge for someone with ADD to keep life organized. Hiding behind a cluttered room or desk is a survival skill to help cloak symptoms of ADD. had a great article, ADHD and Organization: Clear Clutter from Your Workspace. It listed 10 tips to help someone with ADD organize their office. Click here to read the article.

I think the same principles work for kids with ADD and their bedrooms. These tips may give parents a head start to help their children get organized which could help them into their adult life.

One thing that I highly recommend is to de-clutter in short intervals. With ADD comes the tendency to become overwhelmed very quickly. By taking a few minutes a day and only focusing on one task a day, the job of organizing won’t appear to be insurmountable – to you or your child. Over time, you will be clutter free.

Visit my website for more information on Adults with ADD and Parenting a Child with ADD.

New Study Finds Pesticides Linked to ADD

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Researchers at the University of Montreal recently found a link between ADD/ADHD and organophosphate pesticides. Organophosphate pesticides can be found on food with high levels of pesticides. Organophosphate poisoning can be detected by analyzing urine samples.

1139 children were tested for organophosphate and 94% came back with levels found in their urine. Out of the 1,139 children, 119 had previously been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Having higher levels of organophosphate may increase chances of ADD.

Dr. Maryse F. Bouchard from Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Montreal commented on the study by stating, "It is very well established that organophosphates disrupt brain neurochemical activity. In particular, organophosphates disrupt the activity of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter also implicated in ADHD. In addition, certain organophosphates affect growth factors, several neurotransmitter systems, and second messenger systems. These changes in brain activity could well result in ADHD-like symptoms."

She also concluded, "This is the first study to link exposure to pesticides at levels common in the general population with adverse health effects. These findings should be replicated before strong conclusion can be made." To read more about this study, I recommend reading the article, Organophosphate Pesticides Linked to ADHD.

Learn more about ADD/ADHD, including practical tips on my website.

What to do when your spouse has ADD?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ADD is not something that only affects children. Adult ADD is a common disorder.  Symptoms of ADD include problems with following through on instructions, paying attention, poor listening, disorganization, lack of attention to detail, trouble with tasks that require planning or long-term effort,  easily distracted, or forgetful. In addition, some with ADD can be fidgety, verbally impulsive, unable to wait their turn, and act on impulse regardless of consequences.


If you are married to someone with ADD, it is realistic to expect that there will be additional challenges in your marriage due to your spouse’s disorder. What are some simple things you can do to minimize problems in your marriage?

One key is to be organized. Making lists and keeping an up-to-date schedule will help the spouse with ADD to stay on track. You may have to kindly and tactfully remind them of important details just to keep the information fresh in their mind. We have so many handy organizational tools today. Things like sticky notes, cell phone alarms, and Google Calendar are all good aids to keep your life together organized. Another tip is to keep life simple – avoid filling the home with unnecessary things that will distract them.

Remember that mistakes and miscommunication are all part of life, regardless if ADD is present in your marriage. It is important to understand what your spouse is capable of and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Understanding on your part will help you to gain a greater appreciation for them and their disorder. Professional help may be necessary at times. A marriage counselor or a mental health care professional can help you and your spouse by giving you direction in dealing with one another and the disorder.

For more information, visit ADD in Adults on my website.

Adults and ADD

Friday, September 04, 2009

You don't outgrow ADD. With that being said, many adults are being diagnosed with this disorder. Many ADD adults say that they weren’t aware of the disorder until they had a child who was diagnosed. After seeing ADD in their children, these adults gradually realized that they had the same signs and symptoms. Imagine the shock of learning as an adult you have ADD. This has been the case for many. Interestingly, the reactions of learning about the diagnosis have been completely varied. ADDitude, an online magazine, wrote a great article on adults with ADD and commented about the different reactions. ADD made some adults feel like outsiders, frustrated and disorganized. For these, learning of their disorder and getting proper care was complete relief! Others felt angry that they didn't know sooner and blamed their parents for not recognizing the signs. Then there are the type that love having ADD because of their high intellect, creative energy and abilities so they decide to refuse treatment. Even though ADD does not affect everyone the same, I do recommend seeking treatment. Many have learned counterproductive survival skills that could have damaging effects on their job, marriage, and parenting style. To learn more about ADD and the type of treatment that I recommend visit my website or contact me personally for more information.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Reduce ADD Symptoms

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For decades, medications have been used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit disorders. For many people, these medicines dramatically reduce their hyperactivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. But many people are hesitant about taking medication. Is there anything else available to reduce symptoms of ADD? Dr. Daniel Amen, a child psychiatrist, has been using Omega-3 fatty acid supplements for years to treat patients with ADD. In one of his recent newsletters, Dr. Amen highlighted a study from Canadian researchers studying the effects of Omega-3’s on ADD. Their results showed that children taking Omega-3 supplements have better behavior and a greater attention span. This study has been published in the February 2009 journal, Paediatric Child Health. Omega-3 fatty acids are not only beneficial for ADD, but also for depression, joint pain, and great for the brain. In addition to medication or supplements, I highly recommend behavioral therapy, emotional counseling, and practical support. In individual counseling, a therapist can help the child or adult with ADD learn to feel better about themselves. They do this by helping them recognize that having a disability does not reflect who they are as a person. Over time the therapist can help people with ADD identify and build on their strengths, cope with daily problems, and learn to control their attention and aggression. For more information on coping with ADD/ADHD, please visit my website.

Recent Posts RSS