Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the ADHD Mom

Today’s Domestic Enemy report comes from our friend Sarah, whose daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD.  Here’s a little about her…

Oh Hank! These come in a size 16!
I'm a stay-at-home mom to 3.  ADHD Girl is almost 8, Princess Pouty is 5 and Evel Knievel is 3.  I just started a blog but unlike Kate and Lydia, I can't even talk about owning great shoes since Jimmy Choo does not realize sasquatch-footed people like myself want nice foot wear.  *SIGH* 

I totally just heard Kate say "That's SO sad."  Guess what, Kate?  It IS.  Until I find a place shoes for the likes of myself and Peggy Hill, I am out luck.
[Editor’s note: I have a size 11 foot. Try shopping with drag queens, that’s my tip.  xo, Lydia]
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I thought I would send you a thought or two about the Domestic Enemies of the ADHD Mom.  Or any Mom who has a kid with a learning disability.  After the past 6 months I am starting to suspect that it is both myself and my daughter that have ADHD.... and the other two kids...and perhaps the guinea pig.  Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to medicate myself, because this process of getting a diagnosis has made me more than a little..errr...twitchy? bitchy?  Maybe both...  But in my heart I knew my kid wasn't just being a pain...she really was struggling and I needed to get the rest of the world to see it too.

When it came time to enroll our oldest in Kindergarten, we were on the fence about waiting a year as we could see she was little on the "easily distracted" side.... But as she was a FULL head taller than every child her age already, it did not seem to be the right choice.  Seriously...she had to bend over to make eye contact with any other kid in her pre-school class...she was like Dorothy in Munchkin Land. 

Yo. Do I take the yellow brick road to Kindergarten or what?

So off she bounded to Kindergarten....which was easy to do in size 2 shoes.  Her school career began and she was happy and content.  We told the school of our concerns and family history of ADD, ADHD and dyslexia.  We were proactive with our concerns and involved.  We thought this would bypass problems...it did not.

Enter Enemy #1....the Parent Teacher Let's Wait and See Meetings.  Kindergarten and First Grade had several of these.  Wonderful teachers (they really were GOOD teachers....) say swooning  things like: She's soooo sweet, soooo helpful....really bright and creative....but she seems to be having trouble.  So what as parents should we do?  Oh....well, let's wait and see how she progresses.  Ummm...OK.  Is she Ok to move up a grade...OMG of course!  But, we'll just wait and see how she does.  Can we get her some help....oh you can, but she could/might out grow it.  It was a bit like "we're telling you so we know we've told you but we don't really want to DO anything"  stance.  Some removal of liability....and you're left hanging and not really able to DO anything.  So all righty then.  I'll just sit here in a montage of calendar pages flying by and leave you professionals to it....

But second grade was when I'd had enough with waiting.  The first meeting in October began with "I have HUGE concerns about your daughter."  Ummm...OK...could you perhaps have talked to me EARLIER about this?  A call, an email, smoke signals???

I was done with the waiting so enter Enemy #2....Blaming The Parents.  What's happening at home?  OK....fair enough....but nothing unusual.  No she did not have any birth trauma I am aware of and as much as I love being asked about my private life while sitting in a tiny chair, it's not really your job to make me feel like crap that my child can't sit still. 

As days went on my girl's mood continued to sink....deeper and deeper.  I was done....and I was angry.  I wanted to make all sorts of phone calls and kick in doors.  I blamed myself for waiting so long when I KNEW my kid. 

Enter Enemy #3....The "Being a Squeaky Wheel to Get Your Kid Tested While Not Alienating Yourself and Future Children from Every Person in the School System".  My request for testing was met with silence and procrastination.  "Well...we should wait....we don't want to test too early."  But you told me she was failing...she's miserable.  "Well....the year is really moving on...it's almost over...maybe in 3rd grade."  But it's OCTOBER.  "I know, it's flying by isn't it?"  But. It's. October. 

Enemy #4: Private Testing/Tutors/Services Cost $$$$$$$. So I threw myself in the ring and started looking at what I could do to get the ball rolling myself.  Great news....BEST school for learning disabilities in the COUNTRY is 20 minutes away and only $45,000 a year.  A.W.E.S.O.M.E.  Run of the mill basic testing...$5,000.  Too bad I sold that kidney already.  Tutors, specialists, learning centers on and on and on...  I even looked at home schooling.  If you knew me you would know that was a thought of desperation.  But she was so miserable and sad and feeling stupid...and she's just NOT. 

We got her a tutor, we got her eyes tested, her ears tested, her pediatrician on board.  I sent constant emails to her teacher to update her as to what I was doing.  I was annoyed so I was being annoying.  Nicely informative and 100% mosquito in the ear annoooooying. 

Enemy #5...Stress.  Stress that your kid feels because they know they are not keeping up with everyone else.  Stress your kid totally knows is to do with them and something they can do nothing about.  You can also add in resentment that you want to look at *options* for them and they see you as being a big meanie...picking on them and their school.  "You want to ruin my life by taking me away from my friends!!!"  SIGH.  Stress that at the end of the day you have wasted so much time with the struggling kid that your others have been largely ignored from 3pm until homework is done...  So anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours.

This is actually Brandi Chastain, but whatevs.

Luckily for me...I only had 6 months of fighting and they finally agreed to test her.  And I cannot tell you how elated I was (picture Mia Hamm style running with shirt overhead) when EVERY SINGLE REPORT backed up every little thing I talked about.  Every good and bad point about that amazing brain of hers.  They saw it all...the good and the not so good.

And then there it was....IN PRINT...ADHD with Anxiety.  Not that I want a label for kid....but really....she needs help.  So give it to her already. 

Before I go postal.

Enemy #6: The IEP/IEP Meeting.  Now I was lucky enough to have every specialist in the school in total agreement as to what was happening for my kid.  Lots of "This is significant...it's a wonder she's done so well...etc"  But it is so draining and stressful and when it's all in place you just have to hope you got it right.  That they will do what they are supposed to do and you child will get the support needed.  You could almost add "Walking a Fine Line" as enemy #7....you need the school, but if you are seen as a pain in the arse parent, well, your kid is then labeled AND screwed.

Enemy #8 was Shockingly Well Meaning Friends/Family/Total Strangers.  I had the "wow...there's just no way she has ADHD and anxiety issues."  Umm...yes...yes there is.  I live it every single day and it is REAL and it is THERE.  Every. Single. Day.  It is hard to know what to say...the best comments were really: "You know you're kid...I'm sorry you're having such a hard time getting the help she needs."  I even had some friends hook me up with their friends who had had the same issues.  That was SO great. 


But I had people...like close people....like people you might even say who were related to me say: "She's fine...if you just did/didn't do _______."  or "you just want an excuse for why she won't sit still and pay attention."  Those things would make me doubt myself.  That is of course until *I* had to sit and do homework with her and pencils, erasers and tantrums were being thrown around and she'd break into sobs.  I knew it was real and that was enough.

People also have BIG opinions on medication, therapy, homeopathic treatments, schools, on and on and on.  I was a little baffled actually hearing myself responding with phrases like "That is SO great that medication worked on your dog's anxiety with thunderstorms...I'll look in to it."  and "Wow...yog
a and acupuncture...that might not be the best fit for a 7 year old with a needle phobia." 

Really, who knows...maybe the answer IS in some Ritalin based horseback riding, cognitive therapy and the complete elimination of food dyes and corn syrup.  In some ways it's nice that people have idea's to offer.  I rule out nothing.  Including the fact that her ADHD may be contagious, since I'm fairly certain this Mommy job has lost me the ability to sit still or focus.  Squeeky wheel, annoying parent, pain in the ass....I'm fine with any label they give me. 

I just don't want my girl to label herself, for one more second, as stupid.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

82 comments:

  1. I have to ask why it is always the relatives that don't believe it? Just had a son diagnosed with autism and was greeted with half my family telling me he will grow out of it. Ummm, 4 professionals were in total agreement about this. Also, he is almost 4, it is no longer appropriate for him, when asked what his name is to respond with, "train, helicopter or cars."

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  2. Oh how I wish more parents knew that it takes only requesting testing in writing to make schools legally bound to test the student within 30 days. This is true for all states. I am happy that you finally received the help for your daughter that she deserves.

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    1. But that is *just precicely* the point! I had our letter all typed out, dated, signed, and had the social worker on the case team politely tell me that "since he is meeting grade standards there is nothing we can do" and slide the letter back across the table at me. I had to stand up, look her square in the eye in a polite but clearly confrontational manner and say, "Yes, there is something you can do and that the district is legally bound to do as a result of this letter, and it will be done," and slide the letter back across to her. If I didn't KNOW the law, I would have been intimidated by her. I guarantee that I am not the only parent who is being "bullied" by districts trying to skirt the law.

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    2. This. This. This. This. This. This. I was told there was nothing they could do until it affected her school progress. Then, they said the magic words but claimed they still couldn't help without an outside diagnosis.... grumble grumble grumble!

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  3. I'm a regular commenter here but I'm keeping this anonymous today to protect my husband's fragile ego. Ha! Thank you for writing this. Last year I had the fun moment of sitting my 30yo husband down and telling him he has adult ADD. He was really resistant at first but then I presented him with a list of symptoms I found online and my examples and he was stunned into silence. He went to see a doc and now takes one pill a day and he feels SO much better. His work life is better and our marriage is better. I'm telling you my story because you should know you kick total and complete ass for advocating for your kid! If only my husband's parents or teachers had made more of a fuss (or ANY fuss) then he would have been spared decades of struggle and embarrassment at school and work. Your kid is so lucky to have a mom who cares and is willing to go to bat for her. Keep it up!

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  4. Hugs from a mom of an ADHD child and a Special Ed teacher. I have seen the battle from both sides. We went the medication route and for our son it was the best choice. I have seen meds be a big fail and be the cause of worse problems too.

    I hope you find the best solution to help your daughter. I'll be prayin' for you!

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  5. It's hard being the parent. No matter who your kid is and what your circumstances. I honestly believe that my kid is adhd as well. Most of the signs are there, however her teachers have always been of the "well she's not doing too badly, she just can't sit still" attitude. Honestly she's not struggling academically to keep up with the other students, but she's definitely slipped a bit compared to where she was in k-1st grade. Her grades aren't the concern for me, it's the fidgeting and constantly being distracted and not being able to focus on the task at hand...
    Thank goodness, she has figured out some of her own ticks now at age 9 and this year she's found quiet small ways to fidget so that she's not disturbing others but it is enough movement to keep her calm and listening to the teacher.
    I honestly don't think she NEEDS medication because she is in the top 5 students on everything in her class and was considered for the gifted & talented class next year. I just don't feel that is the right move for her.

    I do think if she was unable to cope still at this point I would have to consider further testing and medication.

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  6. Good God, someone else out there living my life. Through diagnosing my son's ADHD, I diagnosed my own. And it makes SO MUCH SENSE.

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  7. Ironicly, I almost commented after yesterday's post that team sports suck even worse when your cupcake has ADHD. It is so hard to watch your kid struggle in vain and hear the other kids and parents with their "what's wrong with him?" comments. Trust me folks, I wish I had won the genetic lottery, too- but I didn't, so shut up about my sweet kid who can't function- um, kay?

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  8. I'm reading my future, except that with autism. :(.. It is so hard! The hardest part is, the Innocent friendly phrase: " is he talking already? because my kid.. bla bla" :( I know, it is not their fault, but it fells horrible :(.

    Hugs.

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  9. I'm there with you , Mommy (with size 11 feet!) who tries desperately to parent a child with ADHD , Some days are good and some not so good-dreading middle school next year when I have to deal with multiple teachers and not just one!

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  10. I'm a Special Ed teacher and I HEAR YOU!!! I'm so sorry you had this much trouble. It's stories like this that got me into SE in the first place (my brother was diagnosed by my MOTHER back in the 80s before most SE people even knew about ADHD...she had to educate the school system before she could get anywhere with a diagnosis and proper help for him). Anyway, my point is that NO ONE should have to go through this for their kid. Way to go for being that squeaky wheel lady, you rock and your dear daughter WILL thank you one day.

    ~Cat

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  11. I tell everybody that Concerta's the best thing that ever happened to my kid and my family. (He's 6 and has Asperger's, sensory issues, and very major ADHD which was diagnosed when he was 3.) I resisted for two years trying meds, tried diet and homeopathy and I still have the cabinet full of disgusting vitamins I spent a couple hundred bucks on and was never able to get him to take, no matter how I tried to hide them. I finally tried giving him meds and WOW. Sister, do not let anybody feel guilty about this.

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  12. Blargh! I think family members can be the worst supporters because they don't want to believe anything could be "wrong" with one of their own. If they looked at it as less common (or even different) instead of wrong, maybe they wouldn't have such issues. They really have no idea how devastating their lack of support can be. Good post. Glad I found your blog. :)

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  13. PLEASE KEEP FIGHTING FOR YOUR DAUGHTER! My "little girl" is 14. I have been begging, pleading, crying, threatening, banging my head, banging others heads..emailing, calling, smoke signaling...since she started kindergarten (which her district made her take 2 YEARS because she was "socially inadequate") and she is now in 7th grade! All of her specialists are in Philadelphia's Childrens Hospital & her district could CARE LESS! We still do hours, DAYS of homework that end in tears. IEPs did not help, meds did not help, I finally had to call a meeting with the Superintendent & school social worker and lay out MY OWN PLAN of how they would teach MY CHILD!

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  14. You rock as a mommy advocate! Good job! There is a reason for non-family advocates in IEPs or other "battles." They've generally been there and done that; they've fought that battle already and know that you, as the mom, know your kid. Since this kid is your eldest, your first, you don't know the ropes. It makes it harder because the teachers and staff that do know the ropes failed YOU. It should be that all any of us want is the best for the child. Right? I will warn you though, the ropes are constantly changing. What won the battle this time may not the next. Also, beware state/county departments. Budget cuts has made idiots out of them all apparently, and the previously jumped-through hoops are now moving AND on fire. Dig in, form your perimeter and prepare to battle. Good luck!

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  15. Loved your post so glad the ladies shared. After so many years of frustration finally with my son half way through third grade did his teacher sit me down & say something is not right. He totally didn't blame me or my husband or my son, he knew he needed to be tested. It was such a a relief I cried! We don't have ADD or ADHD running on either side that we know of but my youngest son was diagnosed with it. The medication is doing wonders! After just two weeks on it the teacher found me at parent pick up & expressed what a different child he was seeing in class. I was over the moon & so was my son with the compliment.
    So Kudos to you for being able to tackle all the obstacles & do what your child needed for success!

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  16. Thank you SO much for this post...you are living my life. *REQUIRED* reading for everyone who has not experienced this struggle firsthand, in my opinion. EXCELLENT job!

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  17. I wish that you could see the tears in my eyes. We are right in the middle of this now. My husband actually changed jobs and now works SEVEN HOURS away so that we could get a decent insurance plan which would allow for our son to get the testing and now therapy that he needs for his still-in-the-process-of-being-diagnosed "we think its a spectrum disorder but need to do more testing" issues. The school kept coming at us with, "There is something terribly wrong with your son", but of course in their little testing, he did fine. Whatever it is that they test for. So he was eligible for nothing but speech therapy as far as they were concerned. And yet they kept telling us just how concerned they were!

    Private therapy is EXPENSIVE! My work plan covers nothing, nor did my husband's previous plan, and so he talked to some friends and ended up in a position with amazing health insurance (another friend of his works there for exactly this same reason), but of course it means seeing him only at weekends. Which is so much fun for the parent who sits home all evening spending four hours trying to go through 10 spelling words and 5 math problems, with the associated sobbing, broken pencils, screaming, and all the rest.

    Also, family and friends who think that it helps to tell you that, "He's great! Every kid is different. Three years from now you'll look back and laugh at this. He'll totally outgrow it" -- you Are. Not. Helping. You don't live this daily nightmare. You don't hear your son constantly referring to himself as "weird" and saying that there is something inside of him that makes him different to other kids. He sees how easily the other kids get through the day and how much he struggles. He knows that everybody else doesn't spend four hours doing a twenty minute homework assignment. You don't watch him rock himself and chew his clothes and flap his arms when happy/excited/scared/etc. I love my son more than anything on this planet, but he is NOT "just fine" and we DO need help. And support from family/friends.

    Thanks very much for letting me rant in your comments section. I shall now resume my workday :-)

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  18. I too have an ADHD and who was recently diagnosed with severe dyslexia. I absolutely *LOVE* the family comments about it! Especially when they say "oh he's doing so well, maybe y'all should look into taking him off the meds"! omg...seriously? I can barely handle the mornings when we are waiting for the meds to kick in and you think that when he's on his medication he's doing well. ok. great idea! idiots! lol

    Glad you finally got your diagnosis! I hate that schools that want to wait. Why? I'm so blessed with mine, we started the process in Kindergarten with his ADHD and now he's at the end of 1st grade and we have decided to hold him back to help him catch up. He finally doesn't feel stupid. I love that feeling!! I love seeing his face when he gets something!! No more defeat!!!

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  19. I also have a 7 year old girl with ADHD..She is taking her medication for it, and it has helped ENORMOUSLY!!! she still has her crazy spunk! and still gets in trouble, but when it comes to school...she can finally concentrate! This year in 1st grade she finally can READ!!! The first time she read to me I started to cry I was sooo happy!! She too is extreamly creative, and artistic, but when it came to academics (reading, writing, & math) she would cry & fight and tell me she hated school, now she tells me she loves school, tries to spell words off the top of her head (Like her father and I do when we don't want the girls to know what we are talking about!! Haha)I must say that in our case the school was the ones that pointed it out, and if it weren't for the help of one very special teacher, she probably wouldn't have gotten the help that she did!! I was VERY blessed on that point! It is still challenging every day..And don't get me started on what happens if we forget to give her the medicine!! But I see a bright future for my daughter now!

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  20. kudos! I don't care if you want proof your child is from Jupiter-- she is YOURS and I'm glad they finally listened!

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  21. As a first grade teacher I can tell you that it is a very fine line to walk on the teacher's end as well. We don't want to hurt parent's feelings or have them get upset and lose our licenses by telling you that your little hellion is driving us to drink as soon as we get home from school. We want to tell you that s/he is really struggling and driving everyone nuts and PLEASE DO SOMETHING ALREADY! but we might get fired and lose our license and the school might get sued and our house might get firebombed. Here's what I do as a teacher: I tell the parents the behaviors I see in class. I ask if they see the same things. If they ask me about testing and medication I say "you know your child best, if you think that is the best route, I will back you 100% and do anything I can to get this done." And it takes for FLIPPING EVER to get anything done through the school. The bits of the administration who handle testing can't agree what evidence is needed. There are meetings and trying different strategies with documented results, and lots of pulling of hair out by everyone who actually has to deal with the struggling child. I have seen meds make a world of difference in a struggling child's academic and social life. I have seen meds do not a damn thing. I have seen meds turn a delightful child into a zombie.

    Wow, that got a little long and ranty. Woops. Not that I have any feelings on the subject! Parents - you know what is best for your kid. Tell the teacher: "I know this isn't right! I want my kid tested!" The *should* support you.

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  22. What a great post. Thanks for sharing. Been there got that. Same exact thing with my 8 year old son. It was hell getting anyone to believe or listen to me for that matter. He finally got his IEP last October. Only after I became super BITCH to the entire school system and TriCare insurance company!!! Anyway for what it is worth. Take it one day at a time. Hell one minute at a time. Pick an choose your battles with your daughter, and make sure you take care of YOURSELF and well being with some down time just for you. I wish you all the best!!!!

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  23. Amen sister! My husband has ADHD, so it wasn't a real surprise when, three weeks into kindergarten, his teacher called us in for a conference. As gently as Thor's hammer, she told us to take him to the doctor and "consider medication." I went into research mode and by the time we went to the pediatrician, I was armed with information and opinions from both parents and teacher on every ADHD medication on the market. The pediatrician backed my selection of Cancerta, and it's been pretty smooth sailing ever since. Now if only I could get my husband to take his meds.....
    Yours in the struggle,
    Mom of Kid with multiple (dis)abilities

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  24. Thank you for posting this it really speaks to the point that children and adults for that matter with ADHD/Anxiety do not mean to be as unfocused as the world percieves them to be, and that their parents are in actuality doing everything they can to help their child.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!

    I do have to ask: When did you start to wonder if her behavior was not an age based issue and actual physical/mental conditon that needed treatment?

    My husband has ADHD with Anxiety and I am ADHD, naturally we are concerned about our son. He is almost three and cannot focus for long periods on anything other than the ocasional viewing of Dinosaur Train. If he is experiencing similar issues we want to intervene earlier rather than later, FWIW they actually have one teacher at his preschool asigned to keep him in place during activity time.

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  25. My four-year-old was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, and just like Erin said, it's the relatives who seem to suddenly be subject matter experts and feel the need to tell me that he's fine and I'm crippling him (crippling! Thanks, MIL) by giving him a label that he'll have forever. I don't think it's crippling that my incessant pestering has gotten him speech therapy and occupational therapy and an IEP and medication so that he can actually function in a mainstream preschool classroom now. He's only slightly behind his peers, when he was severely delayed at the start of this whole process. It's amazing what parents have to go through to advocate for their child. So ADHD Mom, I think you did an awesome job, and you deserve a nice glass of wine after the kids are in bed tonight. A glass the size of a kiddie pool. You've earned it.

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  26. Karen in BrooklynMay 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Awesome post! I would like to add an Enemy: Being labeled by school personnel as "making excuses" if you try to explain (a) why your child did some particular non-ideal thing and (b) what he might need from them the next time to avoid having a minor behavior glitch turn into a conflagration because of the cafeteria aide who doesn't understand his issues getting in his face in an unacceptable way.

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  27. I feel for you. What a tough thing to deal with as a parent and as a person. Go you for getting your daughter the help she needs.

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  28. Ha! My MIL told me my daughter's ADHD and bipolar would go away if we paid more attention to her. I was like "LADY!" She gets 90 percent of the attention around our house already because I have to keep her from kicking the younger two kids' asses. She has NO clue and neither do the rest of these morons who are doubting your daughter's diagnosis! Good for you for going to the school and being the squeaky wheel. I've been doing that for YEARS because both of my daughters are special needs. They hate to see me coming but they know better than to treat my kids different in any way because I'm a pain and if they do they'll pay for it. I got tired of waiting until next year and hoping it would go away. Ridiculous!

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  29. Mom of a child with assorted special needs here. I wanted to tell you, first, I understand completely, and that it *does* get better as time goes on. The pain, the self-doubt, the feelings of inadequacy never go away completely, but they do get significantly easier to handle.

    The school, once she shows improvement on her current IEP, should become more willing and eager to help meet her continued needs.

    Remember, we're given these kids for a reason. It's not always clear what that reason is... but we will *always* be the parent our kid needs. Special needs = extra blessings. Sometimes it's just hard to see them.

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  30. This is an AWESOME AWESOME post...been there done that TWICE! With my oldest had him tested in school & with a private psychologist. My middle child is fine & with my 3rd had her tested at pediatrician's & then a Psychologist. Oldest has ADD & Depression & the youngest has ODD. It's amazing that these teachers don't want to get the kids tested they are always been well we'll wait & see which is a crock! get them tested if you have ANY suspicions

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  31. We're in the middle of a similar situation with my 4 y.o. son. He seems to have a moderate case of ODD with doses of ADHD and sensory issues thrown in (my own diagnosis since I haven't found anyone at his school or in private practice who are willing to look up from their check lists and actually LISTEN to what I have to say). I have no family support (husband's family is clueless and my own family has basically told me I'm overracting even though I've shown them videos of my son's rages, etc.).

    My husband most definitely has ADHD and anxiety issue (undiagnosed, but it's as clear as day IMHO), though he continues to deny the possibility. My sister has (in my and my mother's opinion) a undiagnosed case of moderate/severe Asperger's Syndrome. And since we know that that these syndromes are often hereditary, it blows my mind that no one in either family (esp. my mother) will accept that my children are at high risk of having one or more issues. And my poor daughter, who also tends to show higher than normal levels of anxiety when stressed, is being pushed to the side because so much of my time is spent dealing with her brother and absentee (due to the ADHD) father.

    :::sigh::: Nothing I can write can make your problems go away. The only solace I can provide is that you're not the only one dealing with these issues. Have confidence in your instincts, and do what you know is right for you and your family. xoxo

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  32. Wow, sounds so much like my 6 year old dd.I can relate to it all. Glad to her there is someone else in my shoes.

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  33. Wow....I knew this would speak to a lot of people. It's a little humbling HOW many. It is so frustrating...all of this. No one warns you that a medical terminology/DSM-27 (or whatever their up to now) would be handy things to add to the baby registry. And I would like to add that I reallllllly did understand where the school was coming from in their hesitation. They were not out of line.....but I knew my kid. I knew what she needed and I knew I was annoying them. It may have been a blessing we got the teacher we did this year. She's a good teacher, but not the loving, hand holding type that ADHD girl had been used to. That may be why more came out this year.

    Any way....this rant I sent Mommyland is obviously just the start of what I hope is not a Titanic sinking ice berg. I'm sure I'll be writing more about it.....

    Thanks for the thanks...but really, it's a bit of a bummer so many can relate. At least we all have each other now...right?

    (and thanks to a blog I did a million years ago it will say *Stranger* wrote this....it really is the resident Crazy Momma with the big feet).

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  34. @Lynn if only it was that easy. They determine what they consider testing. Therefore, when you ask in writing for testing you may just get a screening. In our case, basic educational assessments and a speech screening that didn't cover pragmatic language at all. And of course, if you have a smart kid they can easily pass a screening so then they try some more to tell you they're fine. We have done everything "right" for 10 years and are still fighting. We are sitting down for our second eligibility meeting for our son this week and if it doesn't go well our next stop is a lawyer. He is 11 and has autism. We have been asking, then begging then demanding help for ten years. My best advice to anyone is to get yourself an advocate as soon as you are concerned and are faced with lack of intervention by the school. Then even if you are fighting you are always headed in the right direction and have a witness. Wish I would have done it many, many years ago.

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  35. I just met with the Special Ed. team of the school that my daughter is starting at in the fall. They did an evaluation and then we had another meeting to g over the results. I have known there was something going on with her just about from day one.

    Sitting down at that table with six other women, who were professionals was frightening. I had been told before that there was nothing "Wrong" with my daughter, or that it wasn't "bad enough". So I was terrified to hear what they were going to tell me.

    But then, they gave her an IEP and I felt exactly the way you did in that picture. I have been so excited and relieved and I feel so much better about her going into school than I did before. It is so nice to know that she is going to get the appropriate help.

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  36. Headmistress YcaMay 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I love it when moms share their stories of their struggles - especially when they are frighteningly similar to my own. Why are schools so bent on telling us that we don't know what is going on with our own children?? I fought with them for two years with my son before I gave up and started homeschooling. That solution has worked out for us - for the most part - but I know it won't work for everyone. I just knew that if one more self-righteous "educator" spoke to me in a slicker-than-snot condescending tone, I was going to go freaking crazy and kill someone. Me being in jail would NOT help my children at all.

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  37. I have very real concerns about my son. He's seven, and we too are in the wait and see mode. The worst, for me, is that my MIL, who is fully awesome, is an educator who believes a lot of kids are medicated when what they need is discipline, and who will not believe in problems with her own family. So my husband was secretly diagnosed with ADD at 30, and is now secretly medicated. I fear my son will be similarly, covertly dealt with as well. Boo.
    PS-Rock on, tough Mommy. Rock. On.

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  38. I wish they would diagnose my son with something. I have been told that he is years behind in reading (and that's after keeping him back a year) and that he won't ever meet expectations. I managed to get him tested but nothing came of it. I can't afford to send him to specialists so we are basically screwed. I go to two IEP meetings a year so that a room full of people can tell me they don't know what's wrong, they aren't looking for the problem, and they are just making guesses that don't work to try to solve the problem all while I sit there and cry out of frustration!!

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  39. I am both a parent and a teacher so like others have said, I can appreciate all angles of this dilemma! Definitely kudos to you for being your child's #1 advocate. Schools, even the best of them, often struggle with lack of staff, large numbers of kids who need testing, and the inability to complete it all in a timely fashion. I also hope that everyone out there understands the devastating impact that the cuts in staffing and funding to education have had and will continue to have! Often, the first to lose jobs are the ones who are there to advocate for our neediest kids!!!

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  40. Thank you for writing this blog. My older daughter FINALLY was diagnosed with ADHD and given an IEP this year (grade 2). I had been saying "uh, I think she is a little...something's not quite right" since junior kindergarten. in Grade 1, they put her in reading recovery right away and I thought FINALLY she was getting some help.

    and after all the bullcrap to get this testing done and finally to have some help....I get the grandmom criticizing my decision to try meds...basically saying I chose medication "because I was lazy". :(

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  41. There are so many things I can relate to in the post. Thank you so much for writing it.

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  42. Just an FYI, Sarah....I went over to your blog...LOVED it. But was unable to comment without joining something like Google :(

    So, I tried to become a follower (I am so a follower, sigh) and again, not able to. I am somewhat computer illiterate, so that may have been my problem...

    BUT...I did add you to my favorites..so you will have at least one more fellow mommy reading ;)

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  43. While I don't have a child with ADHD, I do have a child with diabetes - and we get the same types of comments. "You fed her too much sugar." "I have this miracle woo-woo berry juice that will cure her." "If you just put her on the Atkins diet, she will be fine." Um, right - thanks for playing. It takes a great deal of self-control not to square up on people like those, whether they are family or not. As a teacher, I empathize with your struggles; some teachers are great, some suck, and some will walk over nails with you to get your child the help they need to succeed at school. I wish you all the best (and a bit of advice - don't be afraid to pull out federal law and/or a child advocate from your state to help you get what you need for your kiddo. Sometimes it really takes the BIG guns to get the point across to a school).

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  44. I'm a little back-and-forth on this issue. My sister was diagnosed with ADHD when she was young, and the medication did wonders for her. However, my husband's nephew was diagnosed with ADD when he was only two years old (how the heck can you know that a two-year-old has ADD??) and they immediately put him on Ritalin - which has stunted his growth so much that now at 14 years old he looks to be about eight, he has insane numbers of behavioral problems including wetting his bed (at age 14, he's still doing it), acting out violently in school, and et cetera.
    So while medication may have been the best choice for your daughter - and I'm glad you're getting help! - don't be so quick to recommend it to everyone, because it's not so simple.

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  45. Awesome post! Thank you so much for writing it. With my daughter being diagnosed with ADHD and PDD-NOS, it is wonderful to find other mom's with girls that have ADHD. I am so with you about family too. The worst is, "been there, done that," when really that family member has not been there at all! Just finish the conversation and hang up and shake your head, is all I could do.

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  46. Huh, my son's school was SO compliant and SO open to the idea of testing him for ADHD. My son must have really been acting like a monkey! :)
    He's super awesome. :)

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  47. I **LOVED** this post! My son not only has ADHD, but also a mood disorder (meaning he has difficulty controlling his emotions, esp. anger). Thankfully we haven't had so many struggles at the school-end of things, but I still have my FIL asking, "will he grow out of it?"
    I'd love to be able to say, "yes, when he turns 21, every thing will be perfect" -- but that's probably not going to happen. Until then I'll continue to be my kid's loudest (and sometimes annoying) advocate.
    Thanks for writing this -- off to share it with others on FB!

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  48. I have been trying to post a comment and have not been able to do so, which is very frustrating! Please check out The Highly Sensitive Child by Dr. Elaine Aron. You may find a lot of incredibly helpful insight, answers and affirmation. There is a very generous free preview of it on Amazon, and you can also take her survey - the only definitive way developed so far to determine if you or your child is highly sensitive. Do a search for the book and her site will come up.

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  49. Oh how I know exactly what you're talking about. I have 3 "challenged" children and can't tell you how many times I've heard "they'll grow out of it" or "let's wait and see how he/she does". In our house we deal with autism, aspergers, tourettes, ocd, add, anxiety, depression, sensory issues, speech delay, and low muscle tone. There aren't enough numbers in the universe to represent how many times I've wanted to slap the people saying "I just don't SEE autism in him". The "game" gets to be a lot of fun when they reach middle school ;)

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  50. FYI, everyone, if you put the request for testing in writing, it becomes a legal document that becomes a fire under said "study team's" bottoms. : )

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  51. I could have written this entire post myself. But I think you forgot to insert "Enemy #2a: CPS and the people that call them because they think you aren't doing ENOUGH. Yep, it happens. I actually had CPS called on me because they were CERTAIN I was not disciplining my child who they KNEW had PDD-NOS, ADHD, and Anxiety. Mind your own business folks, trust me, anything you can think of- we've tried.

    Anyway thank you for this amazingly honest and candid blog. You've said what all of us ADHD, Aspergers, and Anxiety parents are thinking.

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  52. I feel your pain and am so glad you didn't take no for an answer. Your daughter's self esteem would have plummeted worse and worse as time went on without the help she needs. I also experienced the family/friend anti-medication stance when we had to put my daughter on Concerta, but it's made a HUGE difference for her academically and socially and her self esteem has rebounded 100% from the day she told me she hated herself and wished she was dead because she couldn't stop herself from acting the way she did and she had no friends because of it. A year later my family admitted they were wrong about the medication and they now agree that it saved her. Ignore everyone who can't support you. All that matters is your little girl and her success and you know you are doing the right thing. Good job mom.

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  53. Wow, this sounded just like my experience. Kindergarten teacher telling us in MAY that he had slipped under her radar because he is so compliant (Um, NO! You can't have my child another year if you ignored him the first!) First grade great report cards until the final one, which of course you can't discuss, stating that he would have had a better year if he had paid attention more, then the beginning of 2nd when at the end of the first week of school he was in tears because he "knows he's the slowest kid in the class." Finally we got some help when he told his 2nd grade teacher he was thinking of killing himself in January. Yes, he was 7.

    Welcome to the life of an ADD (no hyperactivity) child. He's quiet, complacent and a sweetheart so he flies under the radar and ruffles no feathers, but lives in his own mind so much that he loses the world around him. Now he's in 4th grade, medicated with Concerta, and the top of his class. Did I look at other avenues than medication? Yup. Did any of them work? Nope.

    Seems like a happy ending, but it's year to year. This year he has an AMAZING teacher who understands how his brain works and is doing a great job drawing him out of his world. But she will only be for this year.

    No IEP or 504 for him; he's too successful. We have to wait for him to fail to put one in place. Which will happen. He has one more year of elementary school then he goes to the middle school where I teach, and I KNOW he's going to stumble there.

    Sometimes I wish he would act up more so people would be able to recognize that he needs support. But I count my blessings that I have him every day. I wouldn't change him for anything.

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    1. PLEASE can you contact me? I have a 3rd grader and because he has not failed, his grades are ok, we have been flat out refused a 504 since 1st grade. He's been evaluated, he has a diagnosis of ADHD with a neuromotor issue that's resulting in fine motor and graphomotor issues. He's medicated but that only does so much. It keeps him mostly in his seat and his grades up. He's old enough to understand what's going on, he wants to be off the meds but he doesn't want to be in trouble. I just don't understand how a school can say "we can't help him because it's not necessary or fair to other students". I don't understand where the requirement of failing came from with a 504.

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  54. I love the Domestic Enemies posts!! Any chance y'all could get one of your friends to write a Domestic Enemies post for Preemie Moms?

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  55. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I could have wrote this myself. I have a 4 1/2 year old girl that has been diagnosed with so many concerns, the latest of which is ADHD. It is really sad that my pediatrician (whom I love!!!) will approach me with a box of tissues before we start a conversation. I am tired of hearing from friends, neighbors and family members about how I am doing too much or never doing enough. No one lives in this house.... no one has my family life. I have lost my own relationship with my mother due to this....really sad. Thankfully, we have had WONDERFUL Childfind and special education preschool teachers that have had our back the whole way. The IEP process is stressful and the doubt/confusion after it is completed is beyond stressful. Someone can say one little thing and I second guess EVERYTHING that I just agreed to.

    THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU !!! THANK YOU for writing this. I really appreciate knowing there are others out there like us. Thanks Kate and Lydia - you guys really rock.

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  56. I can so relate to this except in our case I KNEW what was going on and frustratingly they kept saying "he's not ADHD he's gifted and gifted kids are their own challenge". UGH, UGH, UGH!! I pushed and pushed and pushed and no one would do anything and in my town if the school won't request the testing you're screwed. Finally after a catastrophic loss he moved schools and a teacher noticed. Unfortunately she was awful. She didn't want to help him, she wanted him quiet and complacent and she made his life Hell, BUT we will forever be grateful for her finally making someone listen and stop blaming the fact he's "gifted" (which he is, officially) she might have been horrible but we owe her a huge debt. Not only does my son have ADHD but he has Tourettes as well and we had no idea. We knew he was SO smart and so socially awkward and we were in over our heads but until a new school, new teacher, and new doctor all fell in to our laps we beat our heads against the proverbial wall, year after year. It took two more school moves (not by choice) but he's finally in the right place with the right people and on the right meds. It's not perfect but it's what we have. Tomorrow though, I have another 504 meeting. I wish I could tell you it's all smooth sailing after the diagnosis, but it's not. Every year is a new teacher and a year older means more social pressures. It never ends but the diagnosis makes it a lot easier to deal with for some reason I've yet to put my finger on. It's like you've swam the English Channel so next year it's wading through a creek. ((((HUGS))))

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  57. all you mommies, hang in there. i remember my mom dealing with these exact same things when my brother was younger and diagnosed with ADHD. she did everything she could do help him and tirelessly advocated for him at school. i remember the tears as she tried desperately to get the schools and my brother's teachers to work with him, the way he needed them to.

    thanks to my incredibly awesome mom, my brother just wrapped up his first year of law school and is happy as a clam. he's still on meds for his ADHD, which help him so very much, but i think most of the credit goes to mom :)

    i hope this helps encourage you... know that your other kids, if you've got them, are watching you advocate for their sibling, and it just goes to show how much mommies love ALL their kids :)

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  58. Been there, done that. I never understood the "wait and see" attitude of my son's teachers. Um, folks, he's FLUNKING and you're telling me if he passes the standardized tests you're still going to pass him to the next grade?! I feel like we spent so much time sitting in conferences or (gag) the principal's office for absolutely NOTHING. They never had any intention of helping him or us. We finally gave up and pulled him out of public school..at least the class size is smaller and he gets more attention. I'm so glad that you finally got your daughter what she needs. Some eggheads still believe ADHD is just a by-product of bad parenting and not spanking the kid enough. Frankly, I think I'm a damn good Mom, thank you very much. I'd like to see the naysayers walk in our shoes, or how about the kid's shoes, for just one day and see what it's like. Thanks so much for this awesome post!

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  59. Thank you! I gave up years ago trying to explain to my friends that my oldest daughter (and all 3 of my daughters have or have had IEP's) just can't handle certain things. She has sensory intergration dysfunction for sure. She probably also has ADD, but she functions really well and her teacher (after being given an article on how helpful it is for kids) lets the whole class, if they choose, sit on yoga balls instead of chairs. (Long story, I bought them for the class, PE teacher loves it too as the entire class is constantly working muscles... anywho) So yoga balls help my daughter and I love it. However, having to cut labels out of clothing, not being able to handle jello or whipped cream, and don't get me started on chocolate mousse, is a pain in the rear. And I think we have all had the "Really?" comments. She also suffers from social akwardness and severe anxiety. And to top it off, math is just not her subject.

    At 9, she still gets upset at things like a ripped sticker. The first time it happened, I was stunned and did rush her to the doctor. He was equally stunned. After a couple of years we were able to get the therapy she needed since by that point (7 yrs old) she had threatened suicide and running away. Fighting the insurance company was my big battle. *And* I am so fortunate to be able to choose the insurance, to an extent, for the company my husband works for! I finally got a single mom of 3 kids who worked for the insurance company to fight for me to get services approved. Attorneys were also involved. While she is better, we changed schools, as private school was not working for her, the 1st grade teacher actually told me she is weird. Um, super helpful.

    So go on being the squeaky wheel! Do what you need to do for your daughter. You do know her. IEP's are great if you need them. While I don't think any of us like having our children labeled, it is such a relief to know what's wrong and you weren't crazy!

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  60. My son was dignosed with ADHD when he was 3. I always knew there was more to it than ADHD, but Autism was ruled out by an autism "Specialist" at age 6. Now he's 11, his teacher is incapable of understanding how to work positively with learning disabilities, and my son is severely depressed. I yanked him out a couple weeks ago & am home schooling him for the remainder of the year...which I also NEVER wanted to do. But since I want him to outlive me...plus I just don't have the energy this year to fight my way through IEP Hell...Thanks for the post!!

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  61. My son was dignosed with ADHD when he was 3. I always knew there was more to it than ADHD, but Autism was ruled out by an autism "Specialist" at age 6. Now he's 11, his teacher is incapable of understanding how to work positively with learning disabilities, and my son is severely depressed. I yanked him out a couple weeks ago & am home schooling him for the remainder of the year...which I also NEVER wanted to do. But since I want him to outlive me...plus I just don't have the energy this year to fight my way through IEP Hell...Thanks for the post!!

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  62. The IEP came in the mail....even with all this Mommy Land support I am still avoiding it... http://crazymommatalking.blogspot.com/2011/05/iep.html

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  63. This is almost exactly what we have been experiencing in our country with our daughter.

    I discovered my own ADD a few years ago, and I was only diagnosed with dyslexia years after graduating high school. I also gave my daughter's teachers a heads up, and also got the "let's wait and see" response. Added to that, we were told not to speak to her in English (our home language) and only focus on the language she was taught in at school. We pointedly ignored that comment. She is the only kid at the school who reads 2 languages at above her age level.

    Then in the 3rd grade she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She has many unruly and disruptive kids in her class, schools here have no real dicipline. (Neither do many of the kids at home)

    I know how hard she works, and she has so many things that make it hard for her to concentrate. In spite of all this, when she has tests, she is in the top 3 in her class.

    Not bad for a bilingual kid with fluctuating blood glucose levels, concentration problems, possible ADD and dyslexia (still awaiting further investigation) and freaky squeaky-wheel foreign parents who love her like crazy!

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  64. I'm so grateful to have had nothing but positive experiences with our local school district from Day One with my son's "Social-Emotional Delay" IEP (K-1) followed by an "EBD" IEP (2-3) , followed by an "ASD" IEP (gr 4). I had no trouble with the district w/ my daughter either until the 5th grade when everything just went south for her. I wound up putting her in a fine arts magnet school with a focus on different learning styles and will have her first IEP next year for 7th grade. Also grateful for the many school options available here. Keep your chins up, All--it's truly a one-day-at-a-time thing.

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  65. I LOVE this post. It's like seeing all of my feelings poured out into black and white. My daughter (who just turned 8 actually) has ADHD, anxiety, and PTSD (from the death of a sibling). I especially get tired of hearing that "there's no way she has that, she's SO good... most of the time." Yeah, well, you don't get to see her when I'm taking her to counseling and after her medication has worn off, oh say, before she even gets off the bus. And YOU don't have to try to get her to do her homework after said meds have worn off. She was feeling exceptionally sassy(?) one morning and hid her pill instead of taking it. The teacher called me by 10:00 to come get her and even apologized to me saying she had honestly thought I was exaggerating. She never questioned me again. I had to start all over with her teacher the year after though. Ok, I'll stop now. I know I go on and on about this. I just don't know any other parents with children with this problem. Sometimes I feel so utterly alone...

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  66. God it's hard for parents of kids with disabilities. I have three, and dealing with the school is all I can take some days. I've decided not to even bother putting the middle one in school. I met with the special ed people and I simply don't trust them to keep him safe. They'd say stupid things like, "Well, we'll have to get him an aid for lunch time." For LUNCH?! Uhm, no. He has absolutely no sense of danger, and can't sit still more than a minute or two. He cannot be left alone for 30 seconds. And he's sneaky and cagey. He'd be gone. They'd never find him. They came to observe him, and asked his therapist (after I told them already) how long he could be trusted to sit by himself in a classroom. She said, "Doing something he likes? 2 minutes. Something he doesn't like? 4 seconds. Max." They apparently looked at each other with skeptical looks. The therapist told me to be careful. So yeah. Lucky me. I don't get to have a break.

    My teenager? Yeesh. The special ed teacher was so exasperated and surprised by her this year, it was all we could do not to say, "Yeah, we told you so. Maybe you should have been listening." In fact, I may have said exactly that. Hehehe.

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  67. Wow! It's like you were actually in my head living my life. I went through a similar story. Every year I would bring up my concerns that my DD had some issues only to be told "Oh don't worry, she's such a good girl and so sweet". Okay, great but that doesn't help the fact that she has the attention span of a gnat, takes 4 hours to do a 15 minute homework assignment, and loses all her school work. I even had a most helpful school psychologist suggest that I give her some coffee in the morning to get her brain in gear. Whuck? It wasn't until 4th grade that her teacher actually looked past the sweet little girl and agreed that there was a major issue. She was finally diagnosed with ADD and anxiety. Yes, she takes meds, and yes I've fielded MANY questions from people regarding my choice to medicate her. I always ask those people if they would withhold insulin from a diabetic child. She is now wrapping up her first year of middle school where she has absolutely thrived.

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  68. For those of us dealing with horrors/terrors of dealing with the school system, fighting for an IEP, fighting for the right items on the IEP, I can't recommend wrightslaw.com enough - it's a special education law and advocacy blog written by a husband-and-wife law team who are not only experienced in special education law, but have dealt with these issues themselves within their own family.

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  69. I'm glad I found this blog. My son is twice-exceptional (asbergers and gifted in math). It took a year, a lot of private testing and a very expensive advocate to convince the school to give him an appropriate curriculum. He is the school system's first kid with an IEP in the gifted and talented program. Which means, of course, that they are missing way too many kids.

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  70. Thank you so much for this post! My son is 10 & we've known for years that he had ADHD. We've done all the "tricks" to help him, with the understanding that once his grades started to reflect the ADHD we would try medication. Last year he started having a little bit of a problem with his grades, but more so, I could see in his face the struggles he was having with his emotions and that he seemed to be "driving himself nuts" with all of his energy. Poor kid. We relented and started medication. It seems to help him, but I still hate the idea of having him medicated :(

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  71. I am glad she wrote that. All of you out there who have a kid who needs a little different educational technique, don't let the doubters and procrastinators grind you down. Your kid DESERVES to enjoy learning.

    I was that kid. I was told that I was a bad girl, that I was an air head...that I had "So MUCH potential" all the way through school while I struggled.

    Turns out (we discovered when I was 16) that I am ADD and Dyslexic. Hmmm, maybe I'm not such a bad kid after all. Eff you horrible 3rd grade teacher that screamed in my face and called me a retard...yeah, I'm sure that stuff NEVER happens anymore, it's the parents who screw kids up. (I'm not bitter)

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  72. Having a child diagnosed at 4 with ADHD, and might I add, diagnosed by like 5 or 6 different people, I understand what you guys went through. I was told the same things, and for 3 years tried to get my child on a 504 plan(similar to IEP) and no one would help. They dropped the ball. Then when I called the school counselor, now known as the Child Development Specialist, I was irate that the 3rd grade teacher, at the final conference said, "Your daughter's failing math, has failed math, have a great summer and good luck with 4th grade." The counselor decided to put her on a plan. You will always have challenges, but you are your kid's personal cheer leader, and good for you! You have to be. They will love you for it!

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  73. What a wonderful post. I am so sorry to say that your story is common--you are in good company. You describe your problems very well.

    If I could offer any advice to anyone dealing with this, is that there is help and information about how to advocate for your child. Yes, with the schools. Definitely look at http://www.wrightslaw.com (I have no affiliation with this site! I just think it's wonderful!) for a wealth of information.

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  74. I am currently fighting through the same thing with my 4th grader. Even though I also teach in this same school district. It is a constant battle to deal with this - they don't want to consider any kind of structured program, which would help my son learn the focusing techniques he needs. Last year he complained of not being able to concentrate during tests - if HE recognizes a problem, you KNOW ther is one!...and the school takes that "Let's wait & see" attitude. Meanwhile, my son has dropped from straight A's to having occasional C's. While I don't let him stress about it, because it WILL happen; I am angry because I know how this crushes him & that it's totally avoidable simply by getting him some support. Regardless of legal rights, My oldest & youngest were tested outside of the school, because the school deemed it UNNECESSARY. Insurance didn't cover it, either. Ouch. Oldest gets accomodations, even now in college (not as much of a fight as when she was in HS!). >.<

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  75. It also sucks when the people they don't 'believe' in ADHD happens to be the child's father! Like my poor DS, who has ADHD and ODD but the ex-husband just thinks he needs spanked more and is a 'bad child.'

    Yeah, no, not even!

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  76. I just stumbled on your blog posting while searching for an ADHD Mom group...I have to say, THANK YOU!! Reading this post made me realize that I am not the only one who feels this way! It was hard enough for me to finally admit to myself that my son had a problem but for people in my life to be less than supportive has been really hard. Your post made me laugh on a day that I thought it was impossible. THANK YOU!!

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  77. I have to agree with EVERYTHING that was said in this post!!! My 8 (soon to be 9) yo son has recently went on ADHD meds. We had teachers that told us he was nothing but a trouble maker and teachers that told us he is the sweetest thing he just has trouble concentrating. We finally had someone to help, and it was the greatest thing EVER!!! He has went from a 1.0 GPA to the honor roll!! Sometimes as moms we just have to trust your gut. . . .no one knows our kids better than we do!!!

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  78. Yes, yes, yes. My son was miserable and no one would tell us he was ADHD; we were first time parents and clueless. When he was finally diagnosed (end of 2nd grade) I was beyond furious with his teachers because his self esteem was in tatters. Fought the school system his whole life and got him graduated from high school and working on his Associates degree. Never would have known that was possible!! Hang in there, keep fighting, surround yourself with other parents who also know what you can "legally" fight them with. They do argue those points and make you doubt yourself. I also made it my mission to say out loud, regularly, that my son was ADHD and medicated. I wanted you to both cut him some slack as well as give you permission to quietly ask me to share my story because maybe, just maybe your kid was suffering too.

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