At eight years old my daughter was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. That was the day I realized just how much she would have to overcome in her life to succeed.
I knew it was coming and still it hit me like a ton of bricks. She would be affected her entire school career, if not her whole life.
My first thought was how are we going to overcome this? What is my next step? I knew we could not continue like this. She had been steadily struggling in school since well, preschool.
When my daughter was four years old she liked to run EVERYWHERE. We constantly had to tell her to slow down.
One time she even slipped on the hardwood floor while running in socks, and knocked her tooth out! She knocked it out completely from root to tip. It was the first time she ever got hurt that bad and I was freaking out worse then her on the way to the hospital.
When we got there, I mentioned to the doctor how she was constantly running around.
He suggested I take her to our physician, and have her tested for Attention Deficit Disorder. He also said that some kids are just really hyper, and over time they tend to calm down.
Of course at that age my doctors said she was too young to be tested. She also started to calm down a little more every year.
From kindergarten till third grade, every night we would sit together and work on her homework. It was a major struggle. Some nights would be filled with tears, from her and I.
The frustration I felt from not being able to help my child with some of the simplest things would get to me. As for her she never gave up. She never complained.
Every year I would meet with her teacher, a school psychologist, and the resource teacher about having her tested. Finally in third grade they agreed something needed to be done.
She had been up for retention every year since she started school.
The school as well as her doctor tested her. The results were in, she had A.D.D. (Inattentive Disorder).
She was also diagnosed with a learning disability because of this.
She would always forget things at school or on the bus. At school she had a hard time focusing on class work, and at home if I asked her to do something she would forget almost immediately.
Of course I didn’t realize that was a symptom. I felt awful all those times she got lectured about leaving her stuff at school or not doing whatever it was I asked her to do.
On our last meeting with the school, I sat there as they said that her results showed that she didn’t qualify for resource. I thought wtf? I just sat there stunned.
They went on to say her test results showed she was a low average in all areas, and that’s why she didn’t qualify. I couldn’t help it I started to cry. All those years of sitting there every night struggling to help her, and that’s it, she doesn’t qualify for the only help I thought there was.
I started to feel my anger rise. What the hell was a low average anyway? She needed help and I was going to get it.
Before I could get any further her teacher (bless that women) told me not worry there was another way for her to get the help she needed without being held back, or going to resource. That was the first time I heard of a 504 plan.
A 504 plan is for a child with a learning disability. It will give them extra accommodations all through out their school career.
Such as their school work being cut back, or quiet testing areas for when they’re taking tests. Every year I will meet with her new teacher, and we will decide what needs to be in place for that year based on how she did the previous year.
To me it was a godsend not only will she be able to continue on with her classmates, but she will also have these accommodations all the way through school. I could breath a little easier from then on.
Since then her school work was cut down and she has been able to do most of it on her own without feeling overwhelmed.
She’s got her confidence back because with a little less homework its easier to memorize all her spelling words and she’s able to ace them.
Her teacher will give her a little more work every week based on what she shows she can handle.
As for her disorder I have chose not to give her any medications at this time.
If one day she is struggling again we will cross that road when we get to it.
As for now I’m just glad we finally got it figured out.There is help out there for those who need it. Anyone who’s struggling like we did, don’t give up.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
The one thing I have learned from this experience is that as a parent, I am and will continue to be my daughters champion. I will not take no for an answer when it comes to her, or her education.
She will succeed no matter what!