Helping Your Child with ADHD in School:An "AH HA!" Moment
I few weeks ago, I had one of those "AH HA" moments. It was when I read the description of dyslexia and realized the description sounded much like my youngest son. I must admit, as a mother, I had been searching for answers since he began school. As a writer (and most of my writing has centered around ADHD or mental illness), I have a "database" of information in my head on these disabilities. As often as I went through the symptoms of each, I still discarded them as not relevant every time. But still, there was a nagging feeling of something being "off."
My son does okay in school and he struggles, but it wasn't the same type of struggles my older son had. He did not forget to hand in his homework or did not often lose his papers. As a matter of fact, he is diligent about organizing his homework each night (overly organized, I have learned, is a way for children to compensate for some of the symptoms of dyslexia.) But he was consistently behind in reading, even if not years behind; he could never seem to stay at "grade level." He had a hard time with spelling. He began, over the past few months, to come home from school with headaches. As the work got harder, his struggles showed up more.
I began to take a hard look at the work he was doing and saw many errors. Sometimes he wrote his "B" and "D" backward, he spelled phonetically or mixed up letters such as "ea" to "ae" and his writing was hard to read. I searched harder for answers and then I read about dyslexia. Many people, me included, have a distinct idea that we know what dyslexia is, but I did not understand it at all. The more I read, the more I saw my son in the descriptions. It was my "AH HA" moment. Immediately, I requested an evaluation and will have the results in May.
This however, is not about dyslexia, it is about knowing there is something different, something off, something wrong (however you want to say it.) It is about believing in your instincts and searching for answers, even when you don't always know what the question is.
I knew, for many years, there was something about my son that was causing these struggles, and even before I could pinpoint an answer, I was always trying to figure it out and I knew that one day I would figure it out. The same was true when my older son was young. I knew there was something different, took him to doctors, had educational evaluations done and searched for many years before coming up with a diagnosis of ADHD.
As parents, we need to keep fighting and keep searching. We know. We know despite when people tell us there is nothing wrong, they will grow out of it. We know when something just doesn't fit or doesn't sound right. And yet, so many parents still fight to find the answers and find the help.
Parents, trust your instincts. Trust your gut. When you know your child needs help, fight for that help. Fight to find out what is wrong, fight to find the answers. Your child needs you to take control and help them along. Believe in yourself, believe in your child.