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Welcome to our blog.   Please note that this page is open to the public, so any comments made by members will be visible to the general public also.  At this time, only members can make comments to the posts. 

  • June 06, 2022 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Your child’s outbursts are not random. Her tantrums often follow on the heels of a mistake that triggers feelings of failure or frustration. These emotional-control strategies can help.

    1 of 10

    Emotional Control

    Emotional control, is the ability to manage your feelings in order to achieve goals, complete tasks, or direct behavior. Some kids with attention deficit handle their emotions just fine; others don’t. What's true for every child: Empathy works well.

    A mother hugs her child after an ADHD tantrum is over.2 of 10

    Practice Forgiveness

    Encourage your child to forgive herself for mistakes. Emotional upset is caused less by specific situations or events and more by what we tell ourselves about that situation. For example, if your child is upset about forgetting her homework, help her redirect that anger into planning ways she can remember to bring it tomorrow.

    3 of 10

    Create a 5-Point Scale

    Use a scale to help your child gauge how upset she is and help her make a coping strategy for each step. The scale might look like this:

    1. This doesn’t bother me at all.
    2. I can talk myself down.
    3. I can feel my heart speeding up...I’ll take 10  deep breaths to relax.
    4. OK, this is getting to me, I probably need to “take 5” to regroup.
    5. I'm about to have a meltdown and lose emotional control – I need to leave the situation for a few minutes.
    4 of 10

    Write It Out

    Work with your child to create a one-paragraph “social story” that addresses a child’s problem situation – getting in trouble on the playground, the disappointment that comes with earning a bad grade, nervousness when the student has to perform in front of a group – and ends happily with a coping strategy, not a loss of emotional control.

    5 of 10

    Give Praise

    Be sure to point out when your child shows good emotional control and give praise where it’s due. You could say, “I saw how angry you were, but you kept your cool. Nice job.”

    A little girl sleeps in bed. Sleep is key to avoid ADHD tantrums during the day.6 of 10

    Get Some Shuteye

    Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Fatigue increases problems with emotional control. Schedules and daily routines help children better regulate their emotions, because they know what they have to handle and do.

    A boy with ADHD listens to music to avoid having a tantrum.7 of 10

    Develop a Plan of Action

    Help your child plan for problem situations by coming up with some coping strategies together. For example, when a situation gets heated, your child can let you know when she needs a break. Other self-soothing strategies include holding a favorite stuffed animal (for a younger child) or listening to relaxing music on an MP3 player (for an older child).

    A child writes ways to avoid having an ADHD tantrum.8 of 10

    Craft a Hard-Times Board

    Help your child create a “hard-times board.” List three categories on it:

    • The triggers–what makes your child upset
    • The can’t-do’s – the behavior that’s not permitted at times of upset, and
    • The can-do’s – two or three coping strategies (draw a picture, take a five-minute break, get a drink of water) to help her recover from being upset. Commend your child when she uses one of the coping strategies from her board

  • May 22, 2022 8:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The lushly illustrated pages of Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer come to life on large displays along a half-mile path that encourages children and their families to explore their surroundings and their inspirations. As you follow the story, you’ll discover that nature and poetry are all around if you take the time to look and listen. 

    Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook. All ages. Free. No registration. Through June 30, 2022. Click here for complete details.

  • May 22, 2022 11:52 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    With the temperature starting to warm up and hopefully the rain starting to taper off a little, it is a great time to get outdoors to the Palos Preserves. In August, 2021, Palos Preserves, which is a part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, was designated as the largest Urban Night Sky Place in the world by the International Dark-Sky Association. Click here to read the announcement article. 

  • May 02, 2022 9:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Things to Do with Kids: Activities for ADHD Families (

    The Secret to Quality Time with Your Child? Let Them Lead the Way

    Genuine and joyful family connections click when children are able to share their interests and “call the shots.” Here, learn how to make the most of child-led time, and how to gently encourage your child, tween, or teen to want to spend time with you. Leave with ideas for ADHD-friendly things to do with kids of all ages.

    By Norrine Russell, Ph.D.VerifiedUpdated on April 19, 2022

    Family mixing cookie dough at home

    • SAVE

    You know those magical family bonding experiences where lifelong connections are made or strengthened? They do exist, but like the endangered Red Wolf or the Vaquita, they are rare and precious and difficult to find. There are busy schedules to navigate and less-than-enthused family members (read: tweens and teens) to convince and appease. And then there is the inescapable truth that many family gatherings, when they happen, quickly devolve into chaos.

    If you’re struggling to carve out quality time with your child or teen, consider taking a step back and following their lead for a change. When your child is empowered and encouraged to decide how to spend time with you – and it doesn’t have to be much to make an impact – it becomes so much easier to find those joyful, genuine connections.

    Whether you have a young child, a tween, or a teen with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD), look over these ideas for things to do with kids to help get you started.

    Things to Do with Kids: The Basics of Child- or Teen-Led Time

    The rules of child- or teen-led time are simple:

    • The parent (or caregiver) decides on the time frame.
    • The child decides on the activity.

    I recommend consciously and consistently setting aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to engage in child- or teen-led time. You can find these moments in the in-betweens – before preparing dinner, prior to heading out to the gym, or after getting home from work. Ultimately, choose a frame of time that regularly works for you and meets your child’s needs. Not all children need the same amount of intimacy to thrive and feel connected.

    [Get This Free Download: Conversation Starters for Parents & Kids]

    Be fully present when you spend time with your child. That means putting away phones, giving your child your full attention, and pushing pause on daily obligations. (To-dos will always be there, anyway.)

    No matter the activity or length of time, child-led time should not have a goal or an agenda. Avoid using these moments to teach or to discipline. Remember that it is not your time to be in control.

    Things to Do with Kids: Elementary Years

    Though the goal is child-led time, you may still be the one proposing joint activities. Draw inspiration from this short list with input from your child.

    • If you have a LEGO fanatic, why not build LEGOs, watch LEGO videos, or have a LEGO-building contest using random pieces?
    • Play your child’s favorite board game or start on a puzzle together.
    • Get creative with sidewalk chalk — make your own hopscotch and take turns drawing out each square.
    • Try a new recipe. Get a kids’ cookbook and work your way through it, taking note of the date you tried a recipe and what you and your child thought about the dish.
    • Grab a coloring book, one for yourself and your child, and fill in a page at a time.

    Things to Do with Kids: Tween Years

    Shift the ball to your tween’s court by encouraging them to suggest activities. Tweens have a budding sense of who they are and where their interests lay, and that will show up in their suggestions. Some ideas to nudge your tween along:

    [Read: On the Cusp of “Too Cool” — Connecting with Your ADHD Tween]

    • Ask them to show you a funny or interesting video they like on YouTube, TikTok, or another platform.
    • Film a funny TikTok together or ask them about the latest dance challenge.
    • Play a quick game of basketball or any other sport your tween is interested in. (They may just want you to watch them play, and that’s OK, too!)
    • Sign up to volunteer for a cause about which your child cares passionately, be it caring for animals or keeping local parks clean.
    • Go down a rabbit hole! See where your tween’s current obsession — be it fashion, film, or lizards — takes you.

    Things to Do with Kids: The Teen Years

    • Plan a weekend getaway – or a fantasy vacation.
    • Choose a show to binge watch.
    • Take a walk or a short drive together. (It may open the floor to deeper conversations.)
    • Make a copycat version of your teen’s favorite restaurant dish.
    • Learn how to play their favorite video game.
    • If they follow a team or play a sport, ask them to show you their favorite play from a recent game.

    What if My Teen Doesn’t Want to Do Anything with Me?

    It’s normal and healthy for teens to seek out more time with friends and less time with family members. Don’t let it dissuade you from trying to connect with your teen. Persistence will pay off. Other tips include:

    • Give your teen a sense of control and predictability over your time together. Say something like, “I have half a day next Saturday. Is there anything you’d like to do together?”
    • Ask your teen for advice on a real problem you’re facing, or about a challenge at work. It’s a gesture that shows how much you respect your child’s thoughts and value what they have to say.
    • Start small. Connection can come from the simplest moments, like a short conversation in the car or a quick hang out in their room. Over time, these moments will close the distance between you and your child.

    Giving your child the reins may feel unnatural at first (and not just for you). But the more you hang out with your child and lead with their interests, the easier it’ll be to settle into a rhythm.  

    Things to Do with Kids: Next Steps

    The content for this article was derived, in part, from the ADDitude ADHD Experts webinar titled, Bonding Activities: Effective, Practical Relationship-Building Ideas for ADHD Families [Video Replay & Podcast #387] with Norrine Russell, Ph.D., which was broadcast live on February 10, 2022.

  • April 24, 2022 11:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How to Teach Accountability to an ADHD Middle School Student (

    How Can We Teach Accountability to Our Middle School Child?

    We are trying to teach independence and accountability to our middle school student with ADHD. But he forgets assignments a lot, doesn’t remember lessons, and generally fails more than we’d like. How can we help him take responsibility for his obligations and education without setting him up to fail or accepting his excuses?

    By Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSWVerifiedUpdated on August 27, 2020

    • SAVE

    Ask your question about ADHD in boys here!

    Q: “How can I help teach my middle-school son to be better about taking responsibility for his actions, and not be full of excuses? We’re working hard to teach our son to be independent and self-sufficient – a lot of the time this means providing guidance on how to use his brain coach, use tools to organize himself (like timers, write things down, use a day planner, etc), and manage his own time and priorities. We try to be hands off as much as we can, which means we hear a lot of ‘I forgot’ or ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘I didn’t understand,’ etc.

    “As he’s getting older, we’re seeing the excuses get more colorful/interesting and it seems that we’re in a cycle of fail/make excuse/repeat. The behavior never gets any better, the issue never goes away, the excuses keep coming. We’re hearing this is an issue at school as well. As I write this, I realize that part of the issue can probably be resolved by helping him not ‘fail’ in the first place with better executive functioning help. But we are doing a lot to coach him and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. And I also worry that he’s found this cycle and relies on it – as though his failing to do something right or to completion is ‘ok’ because he can just excuse it away. We are very good about holding him accountable – he loses access to preferred activities, or gets more chores added to his day at home. But the lack of taking responsibility and excuse-making is still a big issue. Is this normal? Do we just need to ride it out? Are the things we can do to help?”

    A: “I’m really glad to hear you are holding him accountable, but make sure your expectations are realistic. If your son is 10 to 12 years old, his executive functioning is essentially that of a 7 to 9 year old. You need to meet him at his executive functioning age, not his chronological age…”


    ADHD Accountability: Next Steps

    1. Read This: How Responsible is ADHD for My Teen’s Defiant Behaviors
    2. Take Steps: No More Excuses for Not Doing Homework
    3. Free Handout: Homework Strategies for ADHD Students

    Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel.

    Submit your questions about ADHD in boys here!



    Tags: ADHD expertsADHD in Boysmiddle school


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  • April 24, 2022 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Would You Rather Questions for Kids with ADHD: Conversation Starters (

    "How was your day?" Nothing inspires shrugs and grunts better than an uninspired question. To spark a real conversation with your kid, try asking one of these "would you rather" or "if you could" questions — plus find additional talking tips and sample language to foster connection »

  • April 06, 2022 6:44 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Cinema/Chicago announced this year's CineYouth Festival with 71 international short films will be streaming in-person April 22-24 at FACETS Chicago (1517 W. Fullerton Ave.) and streaming globally from April 25-May 1! Tickets are free and open to the public.

    This year's selection spans 10 short film programs featuring everything from mind-bending animation to nuanced portraits of home to our Opening Night program of new filmmaking voices from the Chicagoland area.

    CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival’s annual film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world. CineYouth encourages the talent of young filmmakers and supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about filmmaking from industry experts, and to network with their peers.

    Live events including panel discussions and livestream Q&As with filmmakers, to be announced soon.

    Click here for complete details.

  • February 24, 2022 4:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Chicago Gifted Community Center,

    Each year World Science Scholars, a program of the World Science Festival, selects a small group of national and international high school students who have exceptional skills in mathematics, and provides them with an unparalleled opportunity to explore and apply their talents to new scientific disciplines. We are pleased to announce that nominations and applications are now open for our 2022-23 cohort. 

    Scholars are guided by world-renowned scientific experts as they expand their knowledge and examine numerous applications of mathematics to help solve complex challenges in multidisciplinary fields. 

    We would appreciate your sharing this opportunity, offered at no cost to the Scholars, with your network. Our application deadline is April 30, 2022. Below are suggested social media and newsletter posts that might be helpful. Additional information regarding the program and application process can be found here and in this overview.

    Newsletter Post
    Opportunity for Mathematically Talented High School Students
    The World Science Scholars is a highly-selective program for national and international high school students who have exceptional skills in mathematics. Scholars are guided by world-renowned experts as they expand their knowledge to help solve complex challenges in multidisciplinary fields. This unparalleled opportunity allows students to explore and apply their talents to new scientific disciplines. WSS, offered at no cost to accepted Scholars, is a program of the World Science Festival. To nominate a student, apply, or learn more, visit or download the overview:
    Applications are due by April 30, 2022.

    Social Media Posts
    @WorldSciFest is recruiting high schoolers with extraordinary math talents to explore new fields, build skills, learn from top scientists, and become leaders who can change the world. Apply or nominate a World Science Scholar at #STEM #math

    Know extraordinarily talented math students? Help find the next World Science Scholar who will learn from top scientists and become leaders who change the world. NOMINATE NOW at #MathTeacher #STEM #WorldSciScholar @WorldSciFest

    We would be pleased to speak with you should you have any questions or suggestions.

    The World Science Scholars Team

    World Science Scholars | 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 950 | New York, NY 10115 | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

  • February 19, 2022 9:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC) is asking for witness slips in support for of a gifted education bill that was just filed. We encourage you to take a couple of minutes and sign a witness slip before Tuesday of next week, February 22nd.  Detailed instructions below or see here for more information from IAGC. Please forward this information to others who may be willing to sign this important piece of legislation for all our advanced learners. 


    Dear Gifted Education Supporter:

    Our first step is that HB5277 must now pass the Illinois House Education Committee this Tuesday, February 22, before it can go to a House floor vote. Illinois has a simple way for you to publicly show your support for the legislation::

    HB5277 must now pass the Illinois House Education Committee this TuesdayFebruary 22before it can go to a House floor vote. Illinois has a simple way for you to publicly show your support for the legislation::

    1. Click or copy and paste this link:
    2. Fill in your name and address information at the top of the page in the IDENTIFICATION section.  
    3. In the REPRESENTATION section, if you are a teacher, gifted coordinator, superintendent, or other school administrator, please identify yourself as your professional role rather than as an IAGC member.
    4. Scroll down to the POSITION section and click the PROPONENT button for both HB 5277 and the amendment (HCA1) by clicking on “add position.” (HCA 1 will pop up as a choice in a dropdown box for you to select). 
    5. Under the TESTIMONY section, click the RECORD OF APPEARANCE ONLY button.
    6. Enter in the appropriate "Captcha code," click I AGREE TO ILGA TERMS OF AGREEMENT button, and press the CREATE SLIP button. 
    7. YOU’RE DONE!

  • February 19, 2022 6:04 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    The 11th annual One Earth Film Festival offers several free film screenings and discussions for children and youth ages three through young adult and up. These screenings are virtual/online, and all explore science and the environment in ways that speak to youth and reflect their interests. See complete details here.

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