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My “ADHD” Son and What They Didn’t Tell Me

Posted on October 17 2018


 Author : Brittany Summers, 10/12/2018

For those who can relate to struggling with their kids, it can make you feel isolated as a parent! Being open and honest about our struggles as moms is taboo in our culture, for some ridiculous reason. The journey with my son started with me having him in 2012, and then becoming a single mom. He was color coordinating his bath toys and lining them up in a straight line in the bath rub since he was two. He started quoting movies when he was three, and the owner of his daycare was astounded by him. She told me all the time how super smart he is, and how she has noticed when he gets bored, he would get into trouble. When I would cry and breakdown, he’d hold my face and tell me everything was going to be okay, ever since he could talk. He is extremely emotionally intuitive and blows my mind every day. As a mom, I am sure you can relate. We may be biased, but no one knows our kids like we do. We know how sweet and brilliant they are. ADHD is a diagnosis that’s thrown around like free candy during a parade for kids who are different. They learn differently, communicate differently and so on. But one commonality I have been told and have witnessed myself, is ADHD kids are BRILLIANT. Their mind runs so fast, their bodies can’t keep up sometimes. Does anything I’m saying sound familiar to you? Because I felt completely alone but you don’t have to!

I had a full assessment done by the Brain Balance Center. It cost a pretty penny, but it confirmed my suspicions, he, according to them, was ADHD and tested above average in their academic portions. That didn’t surprise me. He had little pet peeves as well, like hating tags on clothes, organizing candy by color then taking one piece of candy from each pile in a specific order. He was always particular about his arts and crafts, and could absolutely, under no circumstances, could he leave his seat to go home (when picking him up from church or daycare) if his drawing or craft was completed to his liking. He has always been that way. Instead of trying to force him to leave it undone, I waited for him. Being patient with him made all the difference. It helped him feel accomplished, and he was proud of himself, proud to show me what he worked so hard to finish. That look of “Mommy I did it” in his eyes was always worth the wait. His daycare was amazing. The teachers understood him and had him since he was 9-10 months old. The issues started when he went to kindergarten.

So, the school I will not mention, but his first half of the school was an unbelievable nightmare. The teacher was horrendous. In short, she stuck my kid in the corner away from the rest of the class then punished him for speaking out of turn when he tried to be a part of class with his classmates. She never told me. I walked in one day dropping off my son for school and saw his desk. I asked why it was there, and she told me he was being a problem in the class. Then she started sending conduct forms home for the dumbest things, not throwing trash away, touching a kid’s hair or grabbing a marker. They took away his biggest outlets that helped him cope: art class and recess. They set him up to fail. The week of his kindergarten graduation, the principle and teacher sat me down and tried to talk me into\pressure me into holding him back. They told me he was struggling with reading and math, but aited to tell me until 5 days before his graduation ceremony. They even offered to pull him out of line, literally, the morning of his graduation ceremony if I changed my mind, and they really hoped I would. I was angry and frustrated. I felt bullied and pressured and my mamma bear came out in full swing! They didn’t have enough to hold him back indefinitely they said, so they wanted to convince me it was needed. I disagreed.

What they didn’t tell me was the adjusted program options I had. They made me jump through hoops and denied my request for and individualized program. After researching it, I discovered they are mandated by the state to provide on site evaluations, but it costs them a pretty penny. Instead of fighting a bureaucratic institution geared towards the masses and saving money, I took my son’s education in my own hands.

I am home schooling my son this year. It’s not for every kid, and sometimes it is only useful for certain periods of time, like when traveling, or for instances like mine where he needs a much more flexible curriculum and a teacher who understand him and can give him the attention he needs. They didn’t believe in him. Every day after school he would tell me how mad he was at himself for not being “good”, or not earning awards, or feeling like he was picked on. It broke my heart that my five-year-old was beating himself up because of how he was treated at school by other kids and his teachers, and principle. He reads on his level with no problem now. He zooms through math like it’s nothing to him. He is going through his first-grade textbooks with no issues. Why is that? Because I believe in him. I didn’t rush him when he read a little slower, or when he read words backwards. I let him run around when he had access energy and I give him extra craft time because that’s his outlet.


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