Things that I have Learned


My kids continue to teach me things every day whether I want to learn or not. Some things are just lessons in patience, but other things are very important. Maybe they'll even help you out.

Oh, by the way, this page is in no way complete. I'll be posting as I work on it.


Disclaimer: The info below is just what I've learned from dealing with my son and his doctors. Things may be different for you. Contact your doctor. He/She will know for sure how asthma will affect your family.

Jack, now 8 years old, was diagnosed with asthma when he was 3 months old. He caught a mean lower respiratory infection that just wouldn't let go and we've had inhalers in every medicine cabinet ever since. Whenever he would start getting a cold or cough, there were certain stock items that I had in the medicine cabinet that I used without even thinking about it. We ended up in the Emergency Room every time. Through trial and error, I learned my way around the pharmacy and, thankfully, we don't have any surprises anymore. Here's a list of the bad and the good...

The "Do I Really Want to Spend Quality Time in ER Again?" List

Eucalyptis (eucalyptis makes the airways spasm - this is bad). Think Vicks. Anything that smells like Vicks has the potential to act like Vicks. Yes, even the bubble bath stuff for kids with stuffy noses.

Try using Breath Right strips along with a cold mist humidifier in the room. This with some pillows for sitting up in bed will get you through the night.

Robitussin/Guyfenisen (expectorant makes the airways spasm - this is bad - again). Anything that says expectorant should be avoided at all costs. Remember, this stuff will be in the person's system workin' it's magic for 4 hours.

Delsym is wonderful! It quiets the cough and still manages to get the junk out of the lungs. No expectorant and it lasts for 12 hours. It's a bit more expensive, but worth every penny!

Motrin/Ibuprofen (one of the side effects is wheezing, which will ultimately turn into an asthma attack). This med stays in the system longer - 6 to 8 hours. That's a lot of hours.

Tylenol. That's what's left. It can be a real pain when it comes to bringing a fever down, but the only thing worse than a kid with a high fever is an asthma attack for a kid with a high fever. Tylenol and a bath as cold as possible. Drink lots of water. Try to sleep. The fever will let go eventually. If the fever stays above 103°, call the docs and ask for suggestions (or directions to the hospital - sometimes that's the best place to be anyway).

Aspirin (it's in the same family as Motrin and Ibuprofen... wheezing... bad...) 4 Hours of Fun.

Just Use Tylenol. Don't try to cheat with Aspirin just because Motrin and Ibuprofen are out of the question. Aspirin will more than likely have the same effect.


There are certain traits in children considered 'gifted and talented.' After reading the following information given to us by the g/t director at John's school, I believe that there are many more accelerated learners than we as parents are aware of since you don't have to be all of the things listed below. Every child is unique. So, if you have a child that is making your hair turn gray and fall out, don't despair. He or she is probably just looking for attention and challenge.

Common Traits* that can lead to Common Problems at Home
  1. Observes everything.
  2. Picks out the most important.
  3. Loves the unusual.
  4. Sees the world through a pink fog.
  Is gullible with people in the neighborhood. Social rejection by neighborhood peers. Questions family values, rules, etc.
  1. Loves to problem-solve and to think abstractly.
  Exhibits occasional resistance of parent directions. Forgets to dress properly.
  1. Love of truth. Does not believe in the illogical.
  Has difficulty in accepting rules without reasons. Parent commands such as, "Clean your room or else!" hold little logical threat for a gifted child.
  1. Demands structure and order in most things.
  Develops own work-and-play schedule. Mom: "He never eats a meal with the family anymore."
  1. Remembers easily.
  Hates homework assignments.
  1. Early development of vocabulary.
  2. Very verbal.
  3. Early reader.
  Shows resistance toward reading due to lack of interesting reading materials in the home on an appropriate reading level.
  1. A thinker.
  2. Evaluates people, places, and things with a critical eye.
  3. Criticizes himself.
  Becomes the family skeptic and chief critic.
  1. Creative and inventive.
  2. Searches for a new and better way.
  Has a need to invent for himself. Sis: "My brother is always changing his room around!"
  1. Displays a high-power concentration and long attention span.
  Desires to be left alone with no interruptions.
  1. Becomes persistent in any goal-directed behavior.
  Is STUBBORN!! May develop work habits which are hard to break. Brother: "My sister never stops till she is finished - sometimes she reads till 2:00 in the morning!"
  1. Displays a sensitive, intuitive attitude and shows empathy for others.
  Sensitive toward peer and family rejection. Strong need for success and recognition within the family.
  1. High-energy levels, alert, eager with periods of intense effort.
  Frustrated due to lack of home activity. Often restless at home after a busy school day.
  1. Develops an independence in work and study habits with self-reliance.
  2. Prefers being left to work alone.
  Displays rebellion and rejection toward family and friends.
  1. Many hobbies and interests. Very active in music, art, drama, etc.
  Is diversified. Needs to develop basic competent areas of interest. Mom: "Sally never finishes what she starts."

*Seagoe, May V., Learning Characteristics of Gifted Children, National/State Leadership Training Institute on the Gifted and Talented, administered by the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools, Ventura, California.

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