Reply To: School is not helpful

Hope @ ADDitude

This reply was originally posted by user ADHDmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

My son has experienced a couple school years where no one understood his special needs and pushed and pressured him to do more and do better. Those two years, his anxiety was through the roof to crisis level and he was emotionally destroyed. We finally have him in the right school and this doesn’t happen anymore (especially since he is in middle school and changes classes, not stuck with a damaging teacher (or learning philosophy) all day, every day). And I know the signs in order to not let it happen again.

From that experience, I would vote to move him during Holiday Break too. At the core of these school struggles is a very fragile self-esteem and self-worth. Besides learning, a healthy self-concept should be the goal for our kids. I really value it more than learning (my son is twice-exceptional too, and I know he’s learning the material, even if he’s not able to show it in the ways school expects to get good grades).

If your son is hesitant about the change, take him to the school before his first day to tour the building and meet his teachers and support staff. Identify someone he can turn to whenever uncomfortable or struggling, meet that person, and talk about that plan with them. I do this each year for my son and it helps immensely—usually his SPED teacher and guidance counselor are the people who understand his struggles and he can fall back on.

If you can afford an advocate, I’d definitely use one.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism