May 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm #47343
I am a parent of three very different children. My oldest was diagnosed with ADD and some learning issues when he was in 7th grade. My oldest daughter is a very gifted student and my youngest daughter is a pretty average student. I also happen to be a teacher with 25 years of experience.
I wish schools would understand how much some parents dread parent teacher conferences. As my son got older, I was absolutely floored by the negative comments and lack of understanding of many of the teachers in my son’s school. I met teachers who had no idea that my son kept missing homework because they would just verbally tell the students about the homework while they were writing their final classwork. They never realized that an ADD student would not be able to focus on both things. I had a math teacher angrily tell me that when he asked my son what he didn’t understand in math class my son answered “Everything. I don’t get any of it.” He did not see it as a brave move for my teenage son to admit to that. Did he not realize that while he was getting 40s and 50s on the tests, this was the truth?
I had one teacher tell me that even though I gave my son credit for going to before school and after school help to try to get at least passing grades, I wasn’t doing him any favors by acknowledging his effort if he wasn’t improving.
I wish theses schools would realize that not all of the students are academic kids. We don’t have to worry so much about the high achievers like my older daughter, She will be fine and she has many more years of learning ahead of her. She is in the minority since she’s in the top 5%. Lets spend some effort of my middle daughter who is a typical learner so she represents the 90% of the school. And help the kids like my son. That other 5%. Don’t give up on them just because they won’t be on college. Given them the skills they need because this is it. this is his last chance. Teach them about budgets, writing checks, skills to take civil service exams, interviewing skills. And give them the credit they do. They might not have the grades of their peers but some of them work damn hard.
May 5, 2017 at 9:43 am #47441
I agree! My older son is academically gifted. School has always been easy for him. Not only did that make every teacher love him, but that also made his educational opportunities vastly superior to my ADHD son.
Since my older son was academically gifted, he was able to apply to a top middle school in our town. While it’s still part of the “public” school system and is free, a student is admitted based on their academic abilities and teacher references. This school receives so much support (even has their own Board that raises money through local businesses to supply the school with grants for special projects) that not only is the education superior but so are the resources and programs the students can participate in (5 foreign language classes are taught, my son is currently in Chinese).
My ADHD son would never make it into that school. So his opportunities are immediately decreased. While my ADHD son’s counselor told me years ago that I needed to lower my expectations, that my son would never attend college – I never believed that. I feel schools need to give every support available to every student to ensure that student reaches their true potential. Luckily, a Charter school opened up and my ADHD son got in. They feel the same and for the first time EVER, my kid (the kid labeled “slowest in the class”) has surpassed every college readiness test the school gave him. Take that skeptics! Good teachers really do make a world of difference.
May 15, 2017 at 9:08 am #48883
The right teacher makes all the difference for kids with ADHD. Unfortunately, no child can have an academic career full of “the right teachers.” So many just don’t have enough knowledge about ADHD to understand our kids, and help them thrive.
My son is twice-exceptional/2e (gifted and disabilities), which has me constantly battling with teachers to stop telling him he’s “smart enough” to perform well academically. ADHD, severe executive functioning deficits, and dysgraphia pretty much negate his intelligence when it comes to school performance. He cannot take gifted classes due to the fast pace and extra volume of work. Even in inclusion classes, he barely gets by.
He’s told me many times over the years that no one understands how hard he is trying. 🙁
Here are some strategies for successful parent-teacher conferences, when your child has ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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