Thursday, November 4, 2010


Why is there still such stigma about ADHD?  I have seen so many parents disregard the idea that their child might have it.  Yes, developmentally children progress at different rates.  I don't think that anyone would ever dispute that.  However, if a teacher is indicating to you that your child may have further issues, don't you think they might have a clue?  They have 20 other children to compare what they see.  And, if they have been teaching for any length of time, they may have experience with hundreds of other children.  Teachers have a pretty good baseline for what is "average". 
Here is how I always explain my observations for parents.  I start by telling them what I see inside and outside of the classroom, in the most positive light possible.  Parents want to hear that their kids are trying.  If a child is consistently inattentive, I assure the parent that I know their child is not making a choice to ignore me.  It seems as though they didn't even realize that I was talking.  Kids with ADHD are not (typically) making a choice to not pay attention, their brain doesn't let them pay attention, even when they want to.  I remember that frustration!  I would be thinking so much about how I needed to start paying attention that I would still not be paying attention!! 
Also I make sure to let parents know that I'm sure that their children could be getting better grades and learning much more than they are currently.  I find that typically children with ADHD are at least of average intelligence and often above average.  However, since their school performance usually suffers from their inattention, they don't get grades and report cards that reflect how smart they are.  It's very important to parents that their kids are doing their best.  I try to impress upon parents that it would be a terrible shame if their child had a medical reason that was preventing them from doing their best.  Wouldn't you want to know if your child was physically not able to do their best?  I would!  I did!
These were the reasons that I convinced myself that my children needed to be referred to a pediatrician.  When I tell parents that, it also seems to reassure them.  I am a mom before I'm a teacher.  I understand.  I care.  I'm NOT just trying to make your kids sit still and be quiet.  I want to see all children be the very best they can be.  Mine and yours!

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