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Penny Williams

Oh boy! This is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to schools and our special needs kids — the idea that intelligence dictates capability all on its own. Argh!

My son has a gifted IQ, as well as ADHD, autism, and dysgraphia. Teachers have told him (and I) for years that he’s “smart enough” to keep up with his work, finish assignments, turn in assignments, pay attention in class, blah, blah, blah! It makes my blood boil.

Executive functioning (skills required to do well in school but notoriously lacking in most with ADHD) and intelligence and two totally separate parts of the brain and functions. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other! Poor executive functioning skills are the reason kids with ADHD often do poorly at school.

What Is Executive Function Disorder?

Being gifted and disabled is called Twice-Exceptional:

Accommodations For 2e Students

I would call the Director of Special Education for your school board and ask for a meeting that includes the school principal. Discuss the fact that she’s being evaluated for ADHD and autism. Point out that she should do better next year as long as the school supports her special needs. These individuals have the authority to override rules that are guided by particular scores, including retention. My son never passes End of Grade achievement testing, but he is not retained for that, because of his special needs. If you have a conversation with him, he has clearly learned the material throughout the school year.

Keep fighting!
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism