Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Reply To: Dealing with the School System

Reply To: Dealing with the School System2013-11-08T18:25:48+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace School Dealing with the School System Reply To: Dealing with the School System


Post count: 363


I appreciate the support. Also, I think you’re right – to always put on the best personal presentation. I should do the whole “image consulting” thing on myself for the other aspects of my life, since obviously my public image, whatever it is, doesn’t work for me (as indicated by the hostility I seem to attract in public just for breathing outside).

The video “understanding learning disabilities” on YouTube (I think shutterbug mentioned this elsewhere but maybe it was someone else) with Rich Lavoie demonstrates for teachers, parents, & others what it’s like for kids in the classroom – although it is about LD and not ADHD or Aspergers, my guess is that the frustration for students is very similar)

If straight Cs are the best my son can do, I am really OK with that. In one class he’s actually gotten an A. I need to find out why.

I was able to find a couple of videos on the topic on Attention Talk Radio, which I recommend checking out in their archives for anyone who may be having this problem.

The main points I picked up:

1) Be diplomatic – obviously – but I also know that in the moment I have a limited ability to manage my emotions, and therefore might not be the best person to interface with the school (maybe my husband can be the point person – he’s better at that stuff, but I’m better at information collection and management). Thankfully I haven’t told anyone to go screw themselves yet! I need to let someone else handle meetings and correspondence – I can’t trust myself to remain calm.

2) Assume (or at least pretend) everyone has the kid’s best interests at heart.

3) Focus on what’s best for the kid, not on the personalities of the teachers, parents, or administrators.

4) Try to find out from the kid what works for him, what he needs, how he works best – maybe even try to get his suggestions about what does or doesn’t work for him. Notice what’s going on when things are working well.

5) The schools won’t do anything they don’t have to do – basically, the squeaky wheel gets the grease because of limited resources

6) Parents can request additional IEP meetings if the current plan isn’t working

7) It’s the adults in the situation who need to change, not the kid – so if the kid is having “behavioral problems” that means the plan isn’t working and needs to be changed. Don’t let adults expect the kid to change to support their needs, when they are supposed to change to support the kid.

8) Document everything (the IEP, conversations with teachers, etc) – that way if you need to go over the school district to get help, you’ll have records of what happened

As a parent with ADHD, it is frustrating that so much of the information about the legal aspects and administrative process are presented in a text-heavy, inaccessible way (even on websites that should know better, like CHADD’s or the National Resource Center – could the information made any more difficult to find or more confusing? I don’t understand why websites that are supposed to be to help people with ADHD are confusing jumbles of extraneous visual information with crazy links going off in all directions – and then when you have a simple question, they want you to read a 200 page e-book. Seriously, go figure).

Trying to learn how the system works and how to navigate it could take months. By the time I figure out, will my kid A) have dropped out; B) been incarcerated; or C) graduated at the bottom of his class?

Le sigh.