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Re: kept failing the same class over and over

Re: kept failing the same class over and over2010-12-05T15:38:48+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey My Story kept failing the same class over and over Re: kept failing the same class over and over


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I have ADHD and actually skipped Grade 3 because public school subjects seemed logical and easy to me, however, when I was in high school it was a totally different story when I was left to my own devices to study, write my own notes, and pay attention at a deeper level. I never failed any of my high school courses, however, I never really learned a lot either because I couldn’t stay focussed on the subjects that I wasn’t interested in. I managed to get 50+ on those subjects by memorizing the work the night before I wrote an exam and was really hard pressed to recall the questions or the answers I gave once I walked out of the examination room. I always felt stupid compared to my peers and friends who were high achievers. I couldn’t understand how I could skip a grade in public school and be so incompetent in high school. If I’d known at the time I had ADHD, at least it would have given me some peace of mind that I wasn’t wired the same way as most people were. I learned to be a good faker in order to stay within my circle of successful high achiever friends.

Aside from this, I have a teenage son who was finally diagnosed with ADHD when he was in Grade 8. My husband and I suspected he had ADHD from the time he was little, as early as 2. His older siblings used to call him ‘rippy tear tear’ as he used to rip around, seemingly out of control most of the time and appeared to be unaware of what was going on in the rest of the household. In any case, his learning problems showed up even before he started school. We had him tutored right from the get-go and he now has an Individual Learning Program in high school which modifies his course and gives him credit for the way he learns. The Guidance Councillor has a sympathetic ear and nowadays, is probably more aware of the symptoms and issues of an ADHD student with the information that has come out in the last few years.

One thing we noticed that really stood out from the time our son started school was that he couldn’t tell time on a regular numbered clock. Each year, there would be comments on his report card that he kept failing in this regard which would have an overall affect with other equations needed to pass math class. His teachers were always baffled that he didn’t seem to grasp the workings of a clock when his peers had no problems with it.

Finally, after being very discouraged, we pulled him out of the regular school system, used all of our hard-earned saved college education funds, and sent him to a small private school where the teacher could give him one-on-one assistance. Within 3 weeks of going to the private school, the teacher made a revalation as to how he was reading the clock. All she had to do was ask him what time it was when she put the first and secondary hands in different positions and he would explain how he came up with an answer. It was obvious to the teacher that he had the short hand and the long hand of the clock completely reversed from how they were supposed to be read which would affect all of the answers he would give for the time questions asked in his previous math classes. If his previous teachers had taken the ‘time’ to ask him how he was coming up with his answers, this would have been completely resolved in Grade 1 instead of Grade 5 when he started private school. His past teachers were so insistent at pounding their teachings into him that they didn’t take the time to understand the student. The result was that our son had no self-confidence, thought he was stupid compared to his peers, and would easily give up in trying to master any of his subjects, as well as math. One thing I can say for sure, is that I have the upmost respect for his private school teacher because she was an ‘out-of-the-box’ thinker and didn’t try to make all of her students fit a specific mold because she knew they wouldn’t. Every day I’m thankful that ‘someone’ believed in our son as much as we did. Today, he has much more confidence and has developed his wonderful personality which is enjoyed by many great friends.