I am a Resource Specialist in a Catholic school, in my 25th year here. I wish I had a dollar for every family that a) didn’t want their child ‘labeled’ so refused evaluation, or ‘didn’t believe in medication [for ADHD]’. I finally learned to say, kindly, to those first parents: ‘It’s too late – we are sitting her talking because your child already has labels, and they aren’t necessarily ones you’d like. In the absence of understanding why s/he can’t sit still, blurts out, has trouble learning, etc. etc. there will be labels – disruptive, doesn’t care, unwilling to try, and many more. Once we, as a school, understand that there is documented ADHD, visual discrimination issues, auditory processing difficulty etc. etc we suddenly have empathy and sympathy. With you, the primary educator, and your doctor, OT, PT, tutor etc. we can make school fun and manageable instead of a nightmare for your child.
And the number of lovely parents who, after finally trying recommended medication for ADHD, sit with me with tears in their eyes over the lost days/years when their fears and misperceptions kept them from trying this route…
Please trust the professionals in your school, your pediatrician, and other recommended sources to give you good advice. Be willing to try what they suggest, knowing that often the first medication or therapy of any kind suggested may not be the best one. Keep an open mind and know that we in this field have years of experience and would not lead you astray!
Janice Richey, RS