Guest Blogs
Return to “I’m Not OK with My Son Being Punished for His Neurological Difference”

“I’m Not OK with My Son Being Punished for His Neurological Difference”

My son would miss five minutes of class every time he blurted out? No way I was letting that happen.

3 Comments: “I’m Not OK with My Son Being Punished for His Neurological Difference”

  1. As an educator and also an adult with ADHD, this whole topic is something I have really struggle with and been interested in.

    As an educator: I’m told consistency is key and that we have to be consistent about keeping the rules. Also managing chaos is super hard when you have 25-30 kids in a room, 5 with ADHD, 2 on the autism spectrum, and then anything and everything else you can think of. Allowing students to blurt out makes it impossible to hear what ANYONE is saying.

    As an adult with ADHD: I totally get it!! I also tend to let students blurt out, even just naturally because I understand what’s going on. Then when I do that however, I feel judged as a teacher for “not being consistent”. Not only that, but very little learning actually occurs at times because the chaos is over the top. Everyone is talking at once and I can’t give credit where it is due, treat all students fairly (because I tend to reward the students who blurt out the right answers and then the quiet ones never get a word in) AND now I’M overwhelmed and overstimulated… because of MY ADHD. Ha so it’s a mess. I also notice myself at times punishing the students with ADHD without thinking about it and then kicking myself later because I think “if that student had autism, I would have approached that so differently”. Punishing students with ADHD adds to the shame spiral that can continue with them their whole life! It’s hard being an educator, but I do hope that because I have ADHD, I am able to relate to my students and have more wins than fails and help them know they are not alone.

    1. As an educator, and not trying to start an argument, I don’t think this mom is saying children should be allowed to blurt out answers. I think she is just highlighting that there could be a different approach to handling the situation. In my classroom (and granted, I have 4 and 5 year olds) when I am asking a question I always start with “raise a quiet hand if you can tell me…” to teach them. If they accidentally blurt out anyway because they’re excited I just repeat “raise a quiet hand” and then I call in someone who has raised a quiet hand to show that following that direction will get you called on.

      As a parent of a child with a pretty severe case of ADHD I would lose it if I found out my child was being sat in the hallway for five minutes every time he did something that he had no control of, something that could easily be taught and enforced in the classroom.

      As an adult with ADHD, I look back at my schooling and think of all of the times I had the answer, it I continued to work on a problem for 20 minutes that there class had moved on from because no one knew the answer, only to jump up after those 20 minutes telling ”I’ve got it!” And my teacher didn’t punish me. He went back to the problem in question, looked at my solution and saw that yes, I had worked through it and solved it.

      So yes, it is frustrating on all accounts. We just always need to remind ourselves that fair is everyone getting what they need to stuffed, even if it means changing our ways. And lots of patience… and coffee… lots of coffee.

  2. Things have improved somewhat;from historical times In grade eight i received the strap for talking in class. I never did learn to be silent when a response was called for but social rules require every one to be silent. In fact not so long ago I was invited to retire from the golf group I belong to because i always answer a query unfortunately just as another player may be hitting the ball off the tee. Usually it is to answer a question that us grown up men know will prompt a response from me . Or it may be because i have seen a deer crossing our fairway. The reason doesnt matter . It makes hitting a golf ball accurately doublay hard. Many golfers dont mind the chatter but it was my day to golf with someone who does.

Leave a Reply