Have you ever looked around and said, “How did I get here?” This was my Tuesday afternoon contemplation after yet another email from my son’s teacher informing me that my 10-year old son had another bad day. This time he had to stay inside to redo last night’s homework, as he had done the wrong page. I should have had a clue about this when 10 math problems took three hours. His work is often messy, disheveled, or just isn’t done because he just “didn’t get it.” Regardless of the state of his work, it is often misplaced and never makes it to the teacher.
My son isn’t dumb, lazy, disrespectful or a bad student. He is a gifted child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I am mother who is completely befuddled by this diagnosis and how to support a child with it. I have learned that pulling my hair out or chasing him around the kitchen table during homework time is not effective! Not up for mother of the year anytime soon.
The irony is that I work in the Learning Disabled field and am something of an expert, but only when it comes to other peoples’ children. I began “experiencing” the disorder (from a very personal perspective) two years ago and have tried various interventions. My hope was that with enough love and support from family, tutors, teachers and experts my son would be able to improve and function like his peers. This wasn’t what happened. His brain doesn’t learn like theirs, but he does learn. And so do all of the other children with this diagnosis. I have found that there is a wealth of support for parents and children with ADD/ADHD.
My future looks very different than what I originally thought when I took my son to his first day of Kindergarten. I now see 504 Plans, possible school changes, endless hours of tutoring and educational support, and countless meetings with his teachers. But none of that is important in this moment for I am heading out to celebrate a very hard earned D+ with an exceptionally bright ten year old! Baskin Robbins, here we come!
A Mother of the Year (and aren’t we all one!)