The other day I took my children to the park for a play date. It was one of those fantastic North Carolina days where the air was warm, the breeze was light, and one could forget that it was winter. My girlfriend was lamenting how her son, “Isaac,” was being punished at school by having his recess revoked and getting the dreaded silent lunches. This sweet boy has a heart of gold and is incredibly bright, but struggles in the classroom due to his ADHD. I know, you are all eye rolling and head nodding — if you have a child with ADHD, then there’s about a 100% chance that your kiddo has been forced to have a similar consequence.
There’s a lot more to ADHD.
As I said a couple weeks ago, in my latest book, The Insider’s Guide to ADHD: Adults with ADHD Reveal the Secret to Parenting Kids with ADHD, I devote nearly an entire chapter to all the parts of ADHD that doctors, therapists, and teachers don’t tell parents about upon diagnosis, or sometimes ever. There’s inflexibility, meltdowns, sensory processing struggles, executive functioning deficits, etc. So, I decided to make “All the Other Stuff They Don’t Tell You” a regular series here on the blog — it’s a lot of information. Today I’m going to discuss what I consider hell-on-earth for kids with ADHD and/or autism: SCHOOL.
My son, Ricochet, is a very sensitive individual. He gets very emotional very easily. For years, he cried over just about everything. When he was picked on, he cried. The crying in those situations lead to more bullying, and even more tears. He was often told to “act his age,” or “quit acting like a baby.” Even with the added autism diagnosis about nine months ago, people still felt this behavior wasn’t age-appropriate.
We’ve been working long and hard on how to interpret the actions of his peers. With poor nonverbal communication skills and a very literal interpretation, it has been an uphill battle, with no end in sight. He is constantly upset by the words and actions of his peers, even when they’re really showing camaraderie, because he just can’t see it. Read More
Invisible Disabilities at School
Ya’ll, I’m tired. I feel like I just fought the bull barehanded, and the bull won. Again. For the umpteenth time. It doesn’t matter how I change up my approach, or how mean or nice I am, I’m still flat on my back wondering what happened in the end.
This is what it’s like for parents to deal with the education system when they have a child with invisible special needs. If my child were non-verbal, would anyone question that he needs help? If he were deaf? Blind? Wheelchair-bound? Nope. Nope. Nope and nope. Read More