For people who care for children with disabilities …
I cannot believe another year of school is wrapping up!
Following my own advice from my last newsletter about the importance of staying involved in the IEP process, I have followed up with Jack’s teacher on a weekly basis, seeing how the new schedule is working out.
As much as Jack seems to be enjoying school more, John (my husband) and I noticed that he had a hard time focusing on his schoolwork. He was easily distracted. We met with Jack’s team again and the school psychologist suggested we get him tested for A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder).
We went to our pediatrician who gave me forms for Jack’s teachers and me to fill out. When the doctor reviewed our answers, he diagnosed Jack with A.D.D. He told us that medication would help Jack stay focused in school. It’s all very confusing and difficult to sort out. I wish there was an easy answer, but after weighing the pros and cons of medication, we decided to go down the path of A.D.D. medication. I just want to do whatever it takes to help Jack be a well-rounded and happy individual. John has more reservations about A.D.D. medications than I do; I tend to look to the experts, and John feels that people are often too quick to label a child. I asked John to write up his thoughts.
Here’s what he said:
Asking the right questions…a dad’s perspective
Roberta asked me to weigh in on recent events with Jack so here it goes:
I feel that you have to ask the right question to get good information. When we asked the school psychologist if she thought Jack had A.D.D., she said she couldn’t diagnose that. When we asked if Jack displayed behaviors or symptoms common with other kids who had been diagnosed with A.D.D., she said “yes.” My initial gut reaction was “Why do more cards have to be stacked against Jack’s success in school”? But my “woe-is-me” moment passed quickly. We asked how to get the appropriate diagnosis, and the school psychologist told us to meet with Jack’s pediatrician. Even if we got “bad news,” isn’t it better to know our options and help Jack if we can?
Meeting with Jack’s pediatrician, we had a chance to bring someone else onto Jack’s team. The survey he gave to Roberta, me, and the teachers was easy to complete, and we soon had our answer. I’m not a fan of medicine in general (I won’t usually even take cold medicine), but when it was explained to me how a prescription could help Jack stay focused in school, I thought we had to at least try. I knew we made the right decision this past weekend when Jack, on his own, read his entire new “Llama” book to the whole family with no prompting, no insistence from Mom or me—just Jack wanting to read for fun. Even though Jack has been reading for years, it was the first time I saw him read for pleasure, and it melted my heart. None of this could have happened if we hadn’t asked the right questions and then followed through once we had answers.
I think as parents, we ask ourselves everyday are if we doing enough to make sure our children are happy and get the best possible care, education, and socialization to help them become happy adults. I’m sure that will never go away. As long as we stay Jack’s advocate and only have his best interest at heart, I feel that I have to feel good about the decisions we make.
Have a great summer and make sure you keep your child engaged over the next few months.
There are some really great websites, tools and even some of your local libraries have so much to offer.
Here’s a great resource for parents:
Here are a few that my kids love!!!!!
I would love to hear about how you are going to keep your child on track or if you have any great websites or tools to share!!
Here are some photos from a recent trip to Florida.