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Posted by Mom on December 25, 1999 at 17:27:40:

In Reply to: Re: 13-year old with ADD posted by Mary on December 24, 1999 at 10:16:50:

: : I have a 13-year old son with ADD. I could not understand why he was so lazy and talkative. I asked the public school system for assistance after his 1-suspension 2-weeks after school started. His teachers all said his talking is disruptive to teaching. I found out about his ADD after a Psychiatrist tested him. He has now had 3 suspensions this year. I am fighting to keep him in school and the teachers don't understand much about ADD so this is a heard fight. How do I help my 13-year old deal with this and get the teachers to understand?
: Read my last post to you. They have to provide him with the help he needs in accordance with the american disablities act. Remind them of this and try to see that they follow through. If all else fails contact your school district administrator or state school superintenedent and let them know that your school is not meeting his needs etc.

: I have a twelve year old son, whose ADD went undiagnosed until he went into emotional crises in the middle of fourth grade. This was two years ago. I have found the information in the paperback book: "Driven to Distraction" By Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. best describes the impact ADD has on family and school. The public funds and knowledgeable personnel trained to recognize and work with ADD in a public school environment varies to such an extinct that being your child's advocate can often be like trying to speak Japanese to people who only speak and understand English. One person, I know, describes ADD as trying to tell the child who NEEDS glasses to read, that they must see the same as the children who don't NEED glasses to see what they see without wearing their glasses. The inner dialogue among those who know little or nothing about ADD is along the same lines. It takes a strong leap of faith,a crusader-like disposition, to go to batt and stay there, for these kids. Especially, in the face of other care givers, authority figures, teachers, and principals who lack the understanding of how much time, money, energy, patience and knowledge is required to fully understand and help the ADD child.

Devising a diagnostic treatment plan with "experts" for your ADD child is key. Having emotional and financial support while advocating the best treatment for your ADD child is a necessity. Consider the money spent worth every cent and having a lawyer is never a bad idea. I have found that it has taken a whole team of "experts" to get my son and I on a promising path. He has a psychiatrist who helps him with the emotional self-esteem issues of ADD kids who have had to be removed from the mainstream academic environment and monitors his Ritalin medication. The doctor also attends the meetings at my son's small private school where he is privately tutored, one on one, by a separate Math Specialist, Reading Specialist and a Speech Therapist.

He studies Science, Geography, Computer, Library and other general classroom material with, a small group, nine other students. There is a different teacher and teacher's aide for the classroom activities. Social interactions are worked on in class and in Physical Education led by a specialized PE teacher. Self-esteem, self-reliance and encouragement are emphasised. For me, this highly specified environment versus a hustling, bustling, over crowded and chaotic public or private classroom with no understanding of ADD issues will give my son the chance to learn strategies for him to manage his ADD and become his own advocate when he steps back into mainstream middle school education estimated to be in the year 2001. The progress he has made in these two years of learning how he learns best and having successes in school are helping him feel better about himself. These good experiences are slowly replacing his erroneous "I'm a failure" or "I'm stupid" beliefs he and others commonly buy into. In fact, he has gifts from his ADD, too. Achieving the balance of the pros and cons of having ADD that is the "light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train."

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