Reconsider Priorities at Home

Reconsider Priorities at HomePatricia S. Lemer, M. Ed., NCC, discusses how to reconsider priorities at home for children with autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and special needs in this post.

“In raising your children, spend half as much money and twice as much time.”   Anonymous

Turn today into an opportunity to reconsider priorities at home and at work.

To quote Billy Ray Cyrus’ country song, “Busy Man”, “No one ever died wishing they had spent more time at work.”

Spend these precious days with your family and learn about prioritizing interventions below.


Take the time to rediscover cooking, bake gluten-free bread or grain-free bread, make pureed soup to hide the vegetables and learn how to can tomatoes.

Take the time to cook and eat.

Try out some new recipes.

Sit down at the table to eat; add a prayer.

Children with the most severe special needs can benefit from sharing a meal with their families.


Up the antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, DMG, and magnesium are not only protection against the flu and other winter bugs, but could protect small bodies against biological warfare.

At a DAN! conference from many years ago, Bernard Rimland MD told of a rabbit study where those that took DMG and vitamin C did not get anthrax.

If your children do get sick this winter, try natural alternatives to antibiotics; work with a naturopath or herbalist to discover these alternatives.

EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids)

It is impossible to argue with the benefits of essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Cod liver oil is key to brain development, sound mental health and appropriate behavior.

EFAs are probably deficient in most people with mental illness and in the breast milk of mothers whose children are delayed.

Grandma was right!  Take your cod liver oil.

Use only products that are free of heavy metal contamination and have minimal oxidation, like Corganic.


You don’t have to wait for the first of the year to start that fitness regime.

Get a head start on the holidays by getting outside and hiking in the natural beauty.

Put well-balanced backpacks on the kids. Keep them moving.

Movement is food for their nervous systems.

They’ll eat and sleep better after vigorous exercise.

For those fortunate enough to live in the north, try some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

You’ll be amazed how well our youngest children do downhill without poles; their low centers of gravity help them stay balanced.

TV and Video

Turn off the TV now more than ever because the endless bad news is as toxic as the chemicals in the air and food.

Video games and devices are extremely addictive to children, so do your best to limit or do without them.

Rediscover Board and Parlor Games

When was the last time you played charades or Pictionary?

Remember how much fun they are?

Laughing along with family and friends is a boost for the immune system.

Pull out the checker board or that dusty game of Clue.

In addition to the obvious positive interactions, kids learn the “wh” questions, visual-spatial skills and taking turns.


Encourage exercise, not video breaks.

Play Mozart, not rap, for background music.

Remember proper positioning: feet touching the floor, desk hitting the middle of the torso.

Provide supportive structure, then let children do their own work.

You did fifth grade already; you don’t need to do it again.

Communicate with teachers through e-mail or notes, rather than through the child.


Many of our children are sleep deprived.

Teens need ten hours to function well; most are getting far less.

Lack of sleep adds to total load risk factors.

Tired bodies make less melatonin, which in turn confuses other hormones.

Now is a good time to establish sleep routines for our youngest: bath, pajamas, story, song, kiss, lights out, good night.

Allow older children to set their own alarms and awake on their own rather than depend upon parental nudging.

Still Looking for Answers?

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