My son’s ADHD diagnosis came nearly nine years ago, in the Fall of 2008. His struggles in school started a year before that, on the first day of kindergarten. I’ve been advocating for his special needs at school (and compassion from educators) for a very long time. It’s been a frustrating, helpless, heartbreaking journey. I have always been the underdog in the fight.
Most of you probably know exactly what I’m describing. That knowledge that your child can learn and can succeed in school, if only school expectations were different. That feeling of helplessness when your child is so gravely misunderstood by the people who surround him 6 hours a day for his entire childhood. The blood, sweat, and tears of fighting for your child. So many tears.
I always felt so alone in my advocacy of Ricochet, my now 14-year-old who has ADHD, autism, and dysgraphia. Every conference and IEP meeting felt like the whole world against little ole’ me. My husband had to work. My friends didn’t get it. I couldn’t afford to hire an advocate to fight with me. So, I researched and talked to other parents of kids with ADHD to formulate the accommodations I’d request to help my son. They were always crude drafts that fell short. And they almost always fell on deaf ears.
To say the advocacy experience has been a brutal, painful fight would be quite an understatement. It’s so exhausting I’ve often felt like I had physically been beaten. A fighter without a coach in her corner, teaching her how to win, ends up mostly losing.
I’m beyond excited to tell you that parents don’t have to fight in solitude any more. And you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to hire advocates or attorneys to boost your impact. Now, there’s an online tool that learns about your child’s specific, personal needs, and then provides you with the goals and accommodations to address their needs to provide to school personnel. Gone are the days of guessing and do it all on your own.Read More