A Little Bit of Heaven

A Little Bit of Heaven

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Right Environment

It is absolutely amazing what a difference the right kind of environment can make for a person with AHDH/ADD.

This summer my 16 year old son is working as a counselor at a boy scout camp. It is his third year and it always surprises me how different he is after spending just a week working there. He is calmer and more self-confident. He is more efficient in getting things done and his organizational skills seem to improve. After 6 - 7 weeks of working at camp, he is a new person, for awhile.

I can't help but wonder how much better school would be for him if it were held at camp. Is it all the exercise and freedom of movement he gets at camp that makes the difference? Is it the natural acceptance from his peers and bosses? Is it just being in the great outdoors? Or is it a combination of things?

I don't know what it is, but I wish his teachers could see the difference. Would it inspire them to use a different method in how they choose to educate him? Would they understand that the one style of educating students does not fit all and can, in fact, be detrimental?

I wish I could find the right educational environment. Freedom for all parents to choose the right school for their kids might inspire schools and teachers to think outside of the box and improve the education of all our kids. It is amazing to see movies made that are based on real teachers that make fantastic differences in the lives of their students. And yet, these teachers are still the exception instead of the rule.

I support Freedom of School Choice. Now if we could just get our governmental representatives and school system to see how badly American schools are doing in the world, then there might just be hope for our future.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.



Monday, June 11, 2007

The Best and the Worst

Are you the parent of a child with ADHD or ADD Inattentive? Does your child brighten your world and send you screaming into the night, all within a five-minute time span?

I decided to try and start a blog on ADHD/ADD for a couple of different reasons. The first reason is that sometimes I need to vent. One minute my son has me rolling on the floor with some creative flash he has just shared with me, and the next minute I am ready to pull my hair out because he has misplaced something, AGAIN.

My son, EB, is 16 and was diagnosed with ADD Inattentive Disorder and Sensory Integration Disorder almost six years ago. He and I could not be more different. I am very organized and like everything in its place. EB is the definition of disorganized and things wind up in the strangest of places. Too much of our time seems to be searching for that missing homework assignment or finding some part of his boyscout uniform that seems to have disappeared into the night. He is so good at being Senior Patrol Leader and inspiring the younger troop members to hike another mile or five miles, but keeping track of his uniform or troop member phone numbers is an uphill battle.

As frustrating as his disorganization is to deal with, I think the worst part of ADD Inattentive is how it affects his education. He is so smart. Many teachers over the years have told me that if knowledge was shared verbally, he would be a straight "A" student. It is amazing how many realize this about him, but continue to insist that he completes reams and reams of written homework. Sadly, when the struggles over the written work begins, too many teachers and staff members are quick to let him know his shortcomings on a regular basis. This in turn makes him angry and frustrated. The more frustrated he gets, the more disorganized he gets. It is a vicious cycle that repeats every school year.

The second reason I decided to start a blog is because I know there are other parents out there that feel the same way I do. Another downside to dealing with ADHD/ADD is feeling isolated. Yes, I have attended support groups. CHADD only meets about six times a year in our city. The local school district also started a parent support group, but they only met once a month during the school year. I attended most of them, but had to miss a couple. That is just not enough time to relieve the stress.

It is so hard to juggle it all. A full-time job, a home, a family, and a child with ADD Inattentive and all of his needs. It just wears me out. If you are a parent with an ADHD/ADD child, please feel free to chime into the discussion. Feel free to vent, ask questions, or just cry on our shoulders. If we stick together, we might just survive this.


P.S. Please forgive my blogging style. This is my first time!