Monday, 11 November 2019

Is ADHD over prescribed?

Lately I have seen a lot of people commenting on posts in response to moms/ parents facing a new ADHD diagnosis for their children, for the most part the responses are positive filled with tips and supports from other moms and parents who have traveled what can be a very daunting road with their own children, however there are often many posts especially of late admonishing the parent in question for choosing to go down the road of medicating their child, telling them that ADHD is over prescribed or better yet that it doesn’t exist.

As a parent who has been down this road I can tell you that ADHD is indeed very real for both the parent and family in question, on the note of it being over prescribed though I do actually agree although maybe not in the same way that the posters intentions come across.

You see as real as it is ADHD has blown up as far as a form of diagnosis is concerned and whilst I would factor in that times have changed and that we live in a time where people are not only more aware of the symptoms and issues that come with a child who has ADHD, our food and all the hormones that they pump into it is also something I believe plays a huge role as well as the change in environment and structure in our children’s lives today where there is less free play encouragement at schools and our children are often tied to a host of overstimulating technological devices throughout their daily living, taking this all into account I do still agree that it is a diagnosis that often is too easily and overly diagnosed or suggested as a diagnosis factoring in that our teachers and schools are over prescribed and overburdened with admin and that one teacher is forced to cope with up to 40 or more children on their own- if your child is not able to cope or function within difficult and often emotionally taxing situations- they are ADHD, ADHD symptoms and behaviours can often tie into other disorders that look like ADHD but aren’t as well so often a diagnosis of ADHD is quickly made without a second opinion or a consideration of other options.

Now getting an assessment and diagnosis is expensive I get it so I understand, I also understand that as a ‘normal every day Joe’ you want to trust that the person who has studied for a number of years that you are paying a small fortune to knows what they are doing.

My advice to all parents who are concerned or have been pushed to get an evaluation by your child’s school; ALWAYS:

-        - Do your research, make sure that you are comfortable with the professional that you choose, do not be afraid to ask around to see how other parents have fared with the professional in question.

-        -  If you are unsure of the diagnosis, the assessment, the report or even the professional (post               assessment), get a second opinion!

-         - Run through all the options post diagnosis and don’t be afraid to go home and do your research first before making a decision.

-        -Try everything else you can before meds- involve your child in extra murals, create a structured daily routine, remove excess technology, change their diet, talk to your child and ascertain how they feel sometimes how they feel can help you ascertain if the issue is something within their environment or if it is actually something that can be diagnosed as a learning disorder, also have your child’s eyes and ears checked to make sure that there are no issues there that could be causing an issue.

Gabriel started grade R on a good footing but he struggled to sit still, was often incredibly needy and emotional, he rocked, he made noises constantly and although academically he was doing well we were a bit concerned as was his teacher about his behavior, we even asked that he be kept back in order to ensure that when he got to grade 1 he was as emotionally prepared and ready as he possibly could be- his birthday falls mid-December so it is not uncommon for Children at the younger side of the year to struggle a bit especially emotionally and I have met many older parents who chose to keep their children back because of this.  Unfortunately our request/ suggestion was denied by the school because he was academically strong and he went through to grade 1, of course the issue didn’t stop and eventually it was suggested that a government/ department appointed psychologist come in to do an evaluation.

The evaluation spanned 3 hours after which Gabriel was an emotional mess, he had asked to take a break half way through and he was denied and of course the evaluation ended in an ADHD diagnosis which I did not agree with AT ALL, the school of course once they had this diagnosis would not hear any other which way about it and insisted we put him onto medication, eventually we chose to remove Gabriel from the school as the school had unfortunately started on the same route as they had with Loghan where I was called for everything and I had to collect or keep him home so many times for something ridiculous it just became to much and I couldn’t see us mentally coping with that road again.

It has not been 3 years and Gabriel has been medication free for all this time, he currently attends a school that leaves the decision up to you as a parent and embraces your child and encourages them rather than forcing them to conform to one learning strategy and way of expressing themselves and their emotions. Having said this if your child needs medication to cope or be their best self then do not remove their medication, if a person has diabetes you would not deny them their insulin.

Over these past 3 years I have come to the realization that we were right and Gabriel’s issue is not ADHD but rather that he struggles or has issues with sensory processing. He is incredibly sensory seeking hence why he always wants to move, always makes noises, is always in motion and loves touching and feeling everything, its why he sucks his thumb and hangs onto objects that have a certain feel to them at the same time when he is tired or overwhelmed he will close his ears to the noise around him and will seek out a quiet place with no one around him, he also more often than not needs an afternoon nap particularly when he has done a lot during that day or the classroom has been particularly active or noisy.

Since coming to this realization and approaching his behaviors from this point we have managed to get a handle on his behavior and emotions (for the most part) much quicker and easier where we can walk away calm rather than ending up with a meltdown.

You can never do enough research, listen to your instinct, although I will agree that a teacher has your child in the care for a good amount of time and that they can often pick up on things or see things that we don’t always see or see as an ‘issue’, no one knows your child like you do and it is up to you to ensure that you do as much research as you possibly can and that you make a decision that allows them to be their best self and achieve to their greatest capacity while remaining emotionally fulfilled and whole.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Make Christmas Gifting easy with Hasbro

Then I had my own children and although I still don’t get the whole craziness of the holidays I do of course try to make it something special for my kids, I have to admit though the older they get the more I struggle with gift ideas and that is one of the things I love about Hasbro they always have a wide range of good quality toys and games and all of my kids will love which makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to compiling that Christmas list that every parent loves oh so much.

Back to Hasbro- every year they make things a bit simpler by taking the time to compile a list of their most anticipated gifts, toys and games, they ensure that there is something for everyone – from fun family activities to active play, imaginative play, creative play and so much more, if you are out of ideas or looking for something that your kiddos will love this list is for you!


FurReal Cubby

Is the Curious Bear Interactive Plush Toy, is a dream companion for kids. He has over 100 different interactions and responds to touch, voice and motion. Cubby plays peek-a-boo, and let’s not forget snack time - feed him his bottle or treat and he’ll make eating sounds. When it comes to bedtime, you switch him into a nighttime mode and he slowly falls asleep and plays a variety of music and white noise to also help the child sleep.

Nerf- New and Exciting Blaster options

The Nerf Trilogy DS-15 toy blaster has ejecting shells to heat up your Nerf dart-blasting action. Unleash a triple-dart blast with this Nerf N-Strike Elite blaster that shoots 3 darts at once from each shell.  

 Nerf Fortnite AR-E blaster

Inspired by the blaster used in Fortnite, is the only way to play Fortnite in real life.  Drop into indoor and outdoor Fortnite action with this motorised, dart-firing Nerf Elite Fortnite blaster that features two flip-up sights to help you align your shot and an acceleration button to power up the motor.
 Nerf Rival Helios XVIII-700 blaster. 

Pull back the bolt to prime the blaster and unleash rounds at a velocity of 30 meters per second. The bolt placement can be customised to accommodate right or left-handed battlers.

* My kids love both Nerf and Fortnite so I just know that these new additions are going to be a winner this year, we have amassed quite the collection of Nerf guns over the past few years and I have to be honest as far as gun toy options go I really don’t mind these at all and as a parent its actually fun to join in and even launch an ‘attack’ on your unsuspecting partner… who may be asleep… on the couch… *

Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toy figures

Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. Build the ultimate battlefield with these figures that come with customisable weapon configurations.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers Action Zord figure assortment

Imagine teaming up and battling the Power Rangers' toughest enemies standing 25 cm tall, and with the included accessories, these action figure toys are ready for action against any foe.

Frozen 2 Singing Elsa and Anna Fashion dolls

Young fans of the Disney Frozen movies will love these, each doll includes a Frozen 2 inspired outfit, press the button on the bodice to watch the dress light up and hear a snippet of an original song from the Frozen 2 movie. Sing along while imagining scenes with Arendelle's favourite sister duo. 

*My best friend’s daughter would go absolutely moggy for these, I don’t think I have ever seen a bigger Frozen fan.*

Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby

This baby doll loves to eat. Mix baby’s food with water to make doll food that looks like the real thing. When you give baby her spoon, she opens wide and really eats her doll food. She also giggles, moves, and asks for more. With over 50 sounds and phrases, this sweet baby doll makes feeding and changing time feel oh-so-real and fun.  

Play- Doh: Tootie, the hilarious unicorn ice cream maker

Picture a land of colourful dreams where unicorns poop Play-Doh ice cream. Meet Tootie, the hilarious unicorn ice cream maker who loves to create silly Play-Doh sundaes. As she dispenses Play-Doh colours this unicorn toy makes laugh-out-loud sounds and even changes her facial expression.  

Play-Doh popcorn maker & Play-Doh Stamp 'n Top Pizza Oven

There's no stoppin' the poppin' fun with this toy, which includes everything you need to make creative Play-Doh popcorn masterpieces. Crank pretend popcorn into the 3 bucket sizes and mix it up with silly snack mixes. Add fun play food toppings like pretend pretzels, crazy candy, and more with the candy-themed stamps and moulds. Don't forget to squeeze in some silly syrup or butter with the syrup tool.  

Little chefs can also go pizza crazy with the Play-Doh Stamp 'n Top Pizza Oven.  Stamp a pizza crust in the oven, then go wild creating and customising with the variety of tools and moulds included. 

*These are actually really cute, Play Doh is one of those classic ‘toy’ items that most children are bound to love and I really love seeing these new play sets and options that are coming out, it just makes the Play Doh even more interactive and fun.*

Oh My Giggles Pinkie Pie

The My Little Pony world is filled with magic, friendship, fun and laughter.  Tickle this version of Pinkie Pie and watch as she starts to giggle, wiggle and laugh - the more she is tickled the harder she laughs and the faster she moves. 
*My Little Pony is another great hit in our house and Pinkie Pie is my absolute favourite, well her and Flutter Shy (Did you know they are voiced by the same person?). I love how the show and the toys encourage friendship, love and understanding rather than just being a show or story that a child gains nothing further from, both my younger sons (even my older son on occasion although he tries to hide it) love the show and I have purchased a few ponies along the way.*

Mr. Potato Head Movin Lips

This is an interactive talking toy, that’s fun and entertaining for kids as well as adults. Just attach his mouth and press the buttons, his lips synchronize to wacky songs and some funny phrases.

Board Games

We all know the guy in top hat and tails right but have you met Ms Monopoly a self-made investment guru, who is here to celebrate women trailblazers in the first game where women make more than men. Instead of buying properties, players invest in groundbreaking inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history. From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies to space station batteries, MS. MONOPOLY celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories. In the MS. MONOPOLY game, women get a higher payout at the start of the game and more money when passing ‘Go’, but who you are is up to you!

*Monopoly is one of those games that I have kind of avoided given the length of time that a game takes up and my children’s very limited concentration span but I have to say that this idea rocks and it may be something that I will try out in the near future, The Nerf Fortnite may go down a better treat for my boys though, we will have to see.*

Monopoly Fortnite  

In this thrilling Fortnite inspired edition of the Monopoly game, players claim locations, battle opponents, and avoid the Storm to survive. The gameplay, design, and components of the board game include elements inspired by the video game including Fortnite locations and loot chest cards. Instead of Monopoly money, players earn Health Points (HP). Like in the Fortnite video game, the last player standing wins!

Connect 4 Shots

This game combines the game play of the original Connect 4 game with fast-paced, competitive excitement. Two players at a time race to get four balls of their colour in a row to win. Kids can also practice solo to prepare for a future Connect 4 Shots match up.  

*I grew up loving this game, I still love it and we have a mini set at home!*

Stocking Fillers

Play-Doh Colour Burst

The classic non-toxic Play-Doh compound with an innovative way to mix and play. Use the roller or your hands to squish and blend the two colours together for a cool marbling and blending effect and watch the colours swirl and change before your eyes.

Nerf Microshots Fortnite

A series of collectible, mini-sized Nerf toy blasters. Blasters in this assortment include replicas of the Fortnite TS blaster, Fortnite RL blaster and Fortnite Llama blaster, inspired by the iconic purple pinata loot box used in the popular video game.

*Since this mama is a llama with llama minions for children I know I will need to pop at least 3 of these in our trolley this year!*

Lost Kitties Mice Mania milk carton singles

Each of these include a mouse or kitty figure, meme stickers, two hidden accessories and a collector’s sheet. Store the compound in the resealable carton so you can keep discovering over and over again.

15-cm Power Rangers Beast Morphers figures

These feature multiple points of articulation and design. With the included Morph-X key, kids can imagine unlocking hero powers in the Beast-X Morpher toy (sold separately).

Marvel Figures

Classic Marvel design action figures, kids can create scenes from the Marvel Universe or imagine their own incredible adventures. This assortment includes Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.

My Little Pony Cutie Mark Crew

These combine the worlds of My Little Pony and Equestria Girls to imagine a universe of play and friendships. With a tropical vacation theme each blind bag includes an adorable 4cm figure, beach-themed accessory, collector card and a cute storage case.

*These will for sure make their way into our trolley this year for my younger sons too cute for words!*

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Fashion Squad

Dolls (each sold separately) in this assortment to mix and match more styles. Each mini doll comes with two outfit pieces recognisable to her character, a pair of shoes, and an accessory to dress her up in her signature style.

Hasbro products are available from leading retailers including:, Makro, Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Game and Checkers.

For more information visit:
·         Facebook @PlayDohSouthAfrica
·         Facebook @MonopolySouthAfrica
·         Facebook @NerfSouthAfrica
·         Facebook @MyLittlePonySouthAfrica
·         Facebook @TransformersSouthAfrica