Reply To: How old is too old for a "tattle book"?

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I am writing this from the unique perspective of being a mom of an ADHD 12 year old boy and a teacher. AND MY SON WAS IN MY SCHOOL. I cannot stress enough to you all that unless a teacher has an ADHD child of their own, then I truly don’t think they will ever understand what ADHD is all about. From the time my son was diagnosed with ADHD in Gr. 2 and started out of control behaviours, I was blamed by my principal and colleagues for most of it. My former principal said to me after she hauled me into her office “I just saw your son in class and he was fine so YOU’RE THE PROBLEM in this school!” Try going to work everyday after hearing THAT. But I shut my mouth because I knew she was wrong as my child had had previous issues at his previous school WHERE I DID NOT WORK. In my gut, I knew they were wrong and ultimately didn’t “get it”. But I made sure to advocate for him and speak up when needed. However, I will say this… I often found resistance when I would recommend things to try such as earphones or fidget toys. It was as if if the idea didn’t come from them they didn’t want to hear it. So it became a very fine balancing act between my colleagues and administration but in the end my son settled down, got off his medication, and got A’s on his report card and G’s and E’s on the Learning Skills part of his report card (despite the Spec Ed school contact saying that “your son will probably NEVER get Good or Excellent on his report card”. It was not easy to go through and I lost professional friendships over this, but in the end I did what was right at the time for MY SON. As teachers, we are not trained enough on ADHD or other syndromes. I am observant now when I meet teachers and cannot believe the lack of understanding and planning for Spec Ed kids in general. However, some of the best teachers that are best suited to our kids are those with many years of experience under their belt and who run what I call “tight” classrooms which are highly structured with tight rules and routines. As parents, we need to advocate for our children on a consistent basis, not just at the beginning of the school year. Know who the teachers are, which ones run “tight” classrooms, and try to figure out what teachers know about ADHD, including the principal. If they are refusing to accommodate, get your child on an IEP because it is a legal document and the school has the legal obligation to enforce it. If the school isn’t working out and your child isn’t thriving, consider changing schools which I eventually did for my son because he needed to be challenged. Advocate advocate advocate. And don’t assume that the system understands your child because they never will as much as YOU do. Be the squeaky wheel and do as much as you can! Assume nothing and TRUST YOUR GUT! It’s been hell for me but reading through these blogs and seeing what others are going through helps me to know that I’m not the only one. NOR AM I THE CAUSE. Good luck to all. God bless!