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Re: Just because I wasn't confused enough… ADD or Gifted?

Re: Just because I wasn't confused enough… ADD or Gifted?2010-05-01T05:21:32+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Just because I wasn't confused enough… ADD or Gifted? Re: Just because I wasn't confused enough… ADD or Gifted?


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Ahhh, here I go again! I’m in the education field (I’ve done SpecEd Behaviour and just regular stream classes) and MOST of us do the best we can with what is available to us. My poor DH is probably still reeling from my recitation of my ‘day’ after I arrived home this evening. Yes, I work late since I’m classic ADHD. If it takes me hours to get prepared, so be it.

When we identify a student who we feel needs an ed-psych assessment we immediately bring them up for an inschool review (ISRC) hoping to get things rolling in that direction. We’re asked about what strategies we’ve tried, told to try different strategies and to come back next month to report on the results once again.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will believe us that we’re dealing with a needy student who REALLY does have potential that is not being met because of circumstances beyond their control. Potential that could be met if we just did our part. Teachers all know that if we can get a specific diagnosis or needs identified that new doors and resources will become available for us to use or provide for our students.

Why is it so difficult to get things rolling? What are the issues? Money. It all boils down to budget. Who will the ‘lucky’ student be who gets that coveted psych assessment first? It’s decided by the criteria of who is the neediest/’bleeding from all orifices’ kind of needy. That’s where the good old waiting list comes into play. The names of students needing an assessment are put on the ‘to do’ list of the school’s psychologist as his/her time becomes available.

The names are shuffled and re-shuffled in their order while on that list. New, more needy students may move into the school and other needy ones may move away. My board only provides most schools with the service of a pscyhologist for one half day a week. A bigger school (mine has close to 1200 students in JK to Gr. 8) will get ONE day a week from the psychologist. If you start number crunching you will see what the issues become.

The psych’s time is eaten up quickly since each assessment takes several hours (and the report writing for each assessment uses up those same allotted hours!), going over the report with the staff, meeting with the parents, and the ongoing follow-up for all the ISRC meetings to follow the student’s progress, and then all the IPRC meetings that the psychs need to attend take care of the last few minutes.

Today I had to deal with my little crew without the assistance of my ed assistant who provides support for my ASD student. He is NOT my only ‘needy’ student by a long shot. I stopped and considered the abilities of the rest of my group and was able to identify 7 students as what most would describe as a typical student. The other 13 are all disadvantaged for some reason or other. None of those disadvantages are due to financial reasons. Of course, the students wouldn’t cooperate and all arrive at school with the same kind of learning difference. That would just be TOO easy.

The gifted child? The possiby gifted child? The ADHD/gifted child combo? How do they all fit in this picture? Yes, they usually fall to the bottom of the classroom teacher’s pile but it’s not because we don’t care or don’t want to do better at dealing with them. Our problem is that we’re only one person and we’ve got a room full of other equally needy students…..or needier students than little Johnny. The student who still can’t identify their numbers (to 10) or their alphabet or write one word (even their name!) will demand our attention first.

13 needy students. 7 ‘able’ students. Who will get our attention first? They all want and deserve attention but the squeekiest wheel is the one that the admin will put to tthe top of the ‘list’. Only 3 or 4 students will be assessed each year (out of our entire school population) so only they will be able to access the extra resources that come attached with the diagnosis.

Yes, we’d love to put an end to bullies if we could but we’re having difficulty fighting the home-grown Me First, I’m # 1 NO Matter What syndrome that has so carefully been cultivated and instilled by so many of our parents. We can’t fight the bully battle alone.

Personally, I had a great day with my group of students and hopefully, they were all challenged according to their needs and abilities. It may please some of you to know (parents of school aged children) that when I tried to access some of the books and materials available on the latest effective stratetegies and techniques for use with an ADHD child that they were all unavailable.

Apparently there are a few other teachers out there who are also interested in doing all that we can for each of our ADHD students.

ADHD and gifted? A curious combination sometimes. A gifted child is often able to do very well with only fleeting moments of attention to a lesson being taught so they are able to stumble on through life. They certainly have an advantage over the ADHD student who is not gifted and comes with a has a learning disability. Life is sure not fair for those!