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Archives: January 2012

posted: Tuesday January 31st - 9:49am


Letting my preteen daughter text has helped her join the in-crowd, but her ADHD makes it hard for her to control her digital impulses.

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I’ve never had to set limits on my daughter Natalie's use of electronics. The hyperactivity that comes with her ADHD is extreme enough that she's never been interested in sitting still very long -- at the computer, the Wii, or with her Nintendo DS. Until recently, that is. At age 11 and in fifth grade, Natalie doesn't...
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posted: Wednesday January 18th - 6:47am

Don't All of Our Kids Deserve Teachers Like This?

School-related anxiety was making both Natalie and me sick - literally. Until a meeting with her pro-active special ed teacher proved that ADHD guardian angels do exist.

Last Friday morning, I met with my daughter’s special education teacher to discuss Natalie's recent attempts to avoid school by claiming sickness. I believe her illness is really school-related anxiety, a side-effect of her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I entered the meeting with Mrs. McCasland incredibly worried -- and left feeling like I’d been over-reacting. It felt suspiciously like I'd just had a therapy appointment...
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posted: Tuesday January 10th - 8:00pm

Should We Retain More Third Graders?

Under the state's new education reform plan, my ADHD daughter Natalie almost certainly would have repeated third grade due to reading deficiencies. Is there really no other option?

Last Friday, Iowa’s Republican governor, Terry Brandstad, released an education reform plan aimed at making Iowa’s public schools into World Class schools. One component of the plan, perhaps the most controversial, calls for ending social promotion for third graders who don't meet a certain standard for their ability to read. Third graders would take a state-wide exam in March, with their promotion to fourth grade riding on the...
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posted: Friday January 6th - 12:47pm

Mommy, It Hurts

After years of bullies, ADHD accommodations, and social-skill meltdowns, school-related anxiety is literally making Natalie ill. Her mom feels pretty sick about it, too.

I often wish homeschooling my daughter, Natalie, who has ADHD, was a realistic option, but I know myself well enough to know that it’s beyond my capabilities. I dearly wish that weren't the case because school is (literally) making her sick. One day during the week of Thanksgiving I received a series of texts from Mrs. McCasland, Natalie’s special-education teacher. Nat wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t have...
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