Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ADD/ADHD Information

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT


Father God,
Good Morning. Thank you for the crisp air and the cool temperatures. I so appreciate the breaks that you give us. Lord, thank You for your mercy. Thank You for loving me when I am not lovable...when I question Your will for my life and Amanda's. I understand now that the meeting had to take place for someone in the room needed to be there. It may not have been me or Curtis, but You will get all of the glory Lord. I ask that You help me show the same mercy to the teachers who are in the dark.
In Jesus Name. AMEN

I said that I wasn't going to blog this. I told God that. I was so upset yesterday and I just didn't want to replay the details again. But I will, for you.

The guidance counselor didn't come to the meeting. He was sick. But the five teachers and another counselor sat in. After about five minutes, one of the teachers spoke up and said "we are suppose to do this for the last four days of school?!" I told her no, that this is to talk about next years plan. Everyone looked at each other. Lack of communication! Ha, that was the theme of the year to say the least.

OK...long story short, yes they trashed Amanda, just like I thought they would. No, I didn't cry. (Miracles do happen). We left there and Curtis said, "did that go well?" I bust out laughing. No! It was a waste of everyone's time. But later I realized (with the help of an email from a friend) that someone in that room needed to meet with us yesterday. Maybe it was Curtis. Most likely it was one of the teachers who needed to be educated on ADD/ADHD.

I came home and spent the next two hours (or so) reseaching the topic...and crying. Every time I would get so angry, a KLove song would come on about how good God is. About how merciful He is. About how faithful He is. None of this is a surprise. God did not forget to give Amanda something to make her "normal". She is exactly the way He intended her to be.

But I do want to share some info about ADD/ADHD that maybe you didn't know. I will be sharing this with the eighth grade teachers, the guidance counselor who didn't show and the one who will be returning in September.

ADD/ADHD is an invisible disorder. You won't see glasses. You won't see hearing aides. You won't see a limp. You won't hear a stutter. To you, she looks "normal". (I hate that word so I will not be using it again. Define normal. Who is normal that you know?) To you, she looks like every other child.

I am going to touch upon three topics that were brought up yesterday: Medication, Laziness and Lying.

Medication

The info was taken from just one of many sites. This is the one I chose. Here are the two things that stuck out to me, because I believe that people have this misconception of what the medication is to be doing. But please take the time to read the entire article.

Medication doesn’t cure ADD/ADHD. It can relieve symptoms while it’s being taken, but once medication stops, those symptoms come back.

ADHD medication may help improve the ability to concentrate, control impulses, plan ahead, and follow through with tasks. However, it isn’t a magic pill that will fix all of your or your child’s problems. Even when the medication is working, a child with ADD/ADHD might still struggle with forgetfulness, emotional problems, and social awkwardness, or an adult with disorganization, distractibility, and relationship difficulties.

Laziness

This is a wonderful article. It is short unlike the medication one that I just urged you to read. I promise, it will only take a few minutes and it will shine great insight on the topic.

Unfortunately, adults and children with ADHD are often labeled as unmotivated, lazy, or even apathetic. These negative labels are unfair and hurtful. Instead of simple laziness or a lack of motivation, this “immobility” or “sluggishness” often reflects the impairments in executive function that can be associated with ADHD.

This sense of paralysis can quickly lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, procrastination, and avoidance, and ultimately results in problems with productivity. It can also result in negative reactions from others who become confused and frustrated by the inconsistencies in the person with ADHD who is able to perform well when the task is stimulating and interesting or when it is novel and exciting, but does not perform as well when the task is tedious or repetitive.

And lastly, the topic of lying. This I felt was a person attack but if the conversation was necessary to educate the educator, then so be it. I sent an email to the teacher regarding a couple of links. I also stated this:

I believe that she feared telling you the truth, just one more person she has let down. I have shed many tears for this child but I have learned over the last seven years not to place my hope in her or a school system or a teacher, for I will be disappointed. I place my hope in the Lord and I know that Amanda is exactly the way He created her to be. She teaches me something new every day. She is a gift. With all that being said, I have attached a couple of links on AD/HD. It is an invisible disorder that no one understands unless they live it or live with someone who has it.
Thank you being Amanda's favorite teacher.

Here is what I knew about lying because we visit this often:

Few things damage the trust of parents of ADHD children as quickly or deeply as habitual lying. I don't mean the little white lies that everyone tells once in a while, but repeated lying that causes conflicts and difficulties

For children with ADHD, lying is often a coping mechanism, albeit a counterproductive one. A lie may be a way to cover up forgetfulness, to avoid criticism or punishment, or to avoid dealing with feelings of guilt and shame over repeated failures.

The information was taken from this article or this one.

So to wrap this up, she has three days left. We will NOT build a relationship with these teachers. We will NOT improve her executive functioning skills. We will NOT have another meeting regarding Amanda and her lack of everything.

We did however learn a lot this year. We learned about mercy. We learned about patience. We learned about grace. And we most certainly learned about flexibility. We learned that there are people who will never understand. And we learned that just maybe through our mess, they will receive the message that God loves us all and created us just the way we are. Don't try to change us. Just accept us, for He does not see our faults and flaws. God will love us for who we are! Click here for that musical reminder.

The flowing is an email that was sent just at that moment when I was truly on the edge (a puddle of mess bawling). Thank you so much, dear friend. I am blessed that God has led you to me.

It sounds like it was a rough morning! The e-mail that you wrote to the English teacher has a loving tone to it...and I think that it will be well received. Most likely, the guidance counselor that works with you is truly sick, and could not attend. It does sound, however, like there was a miscommunication and the meeting was more like a Parent/Teacher conference than planning for a 504.

However, I concur with you...there are no mistakes in God's Agenda Book, and most likely, this meeting needed to occur...maybe for someone in that room other than you, Curtis, or Amanda!?

Thank you for being willing to be an instrument of His peace, love, & mercy...even when many emotions are in turmoil within you. Remember, God always goes before us and "fights" our battles for us...the victory is already won! Thank you for being Amanda's Mom...who will continue to work with her to develop the the "fruit of the Spirit" and teach her that God does not give us a "spirit of fear", but of a sound mind. Amanda will learn that it is OK to make mistakes...people who truly love her (especially her heavenly Father) DO NOT think less of her & are not disappointed in her... therefore, she does not have to lie, as it is "safe" to tell the truth! Keep on keeping on my Sister! Love You Lots! El

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