Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We Finished By Noon

Yipee! We finished school by noon yesterday. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe because I was so totally in Mystery Girls face. Not a moment to daydream, goof off, back talk, or nap. Hopefully, today goes just as well. Ok, here is a serious question. Why do people get soooo hung up about ADHD? As many of you know, when my daughter was smaller, she was diagnosed with ADHD by a Dr. and a few teachers. They couldn't leave it at ADD. First of all, ADHD is about hyperactive kids with attention deficit disorder. ADD us just kids that can't pay attention. So, now that we have definitions out of the way, let me just say that kids can outgrow the severe hyperactivity. If a parent can pay CLOSE attention to the kid for the required amount of time to get the work done, they can also overcome or counteract the attention problem. Now, here's my problem. We have decided not to medicate Mystery Girl. We have good days and bad days. But she's home all day everyday, so the only person she is bothering, most of the time is me. However, her new friend is also ADHD and HER mother is a huge advocate of medication. So now, I, once again am made to feel like less of a good mom and more like an uneducated dufus. She goes on and on about her daughter and mine together both having ADHD and spending time together and how "fun" they are together. Meaning that MY kid should be on medicine and my daughter hears this so now SHE thinks, "Oh, I must have ADHD!" We have spent the last year, deschooling her from thinking that she is ADHD. Maybe she is, but so what? She can lead a normal, healthy life and not be handicapped with being labeled or poisoning her thinking processes by making her feel that she is less of a good person or that she is incapable of learning or utilizing different skills. Sure, life is hard sometimes, but, no one ever said it would be easy! I just don't think that medicating a kid if you don't have too is the way to go. Sure we did medicate her at one point. But, I was also a single parent, fighting the whole school system, who didn't have enough time to spend with her to make her feel that she was important. I am now home with her all the time and we are establishing a good rapport. I have never received so many hugs as I have this past year. Even when we have bad days, she is still hugging me and letting me know that she loves me. And the same for Dr. O. And of course, we tell her a million times a day. I think she's actually getting better and handling herself most of the time. I still have to ride her pretty hard to get things done. But, here's the exciting part! She is learning so much more and doing so much better at school than she ever did before. I actually have higher expectations for her than the public school does! All this to say, how do I handle this mom who is totally into this ADHD thing? I'd like to spend some time with her, especially since our daughters are friends, and I'd like to have the daughters spend time together. But I don't want to combat ADHD all over again. I need to be tactful and firm about Mystery Girl, but I don't quite know what to say or how to say it. I hate it when people focus on the negatives all the time. Do I sound negative?! I believe that kids have always had these problems, but that when moms stayed home with the kids, they were able to handle the problems. Now, moms work and they don't have any extra time or energy, so kids get labeled and put into categories, then they get medicated so that everyone else in their world can deal with them. Now, they need counseling for behavior modifacation and classes changed to accomodate them. I can tell you from experience that kids get accomodated right out of the classroom. Then they get left behind. No Child Left Behind. Dumbest thing ever created. Now our kids are dumber and can cope less! Okay enough is enough. Have a great day!


Dawn said...

Hmmm tough one. I don't think there is any one right way to deal with ADHD. I guess I'd let her know that you're happy medication is working for their family and homeschooling and extra attention is working for your family. If you get together with her and she labels the girls nonstop, I'd try to steer the conversation to other topics. Or simply tell the mom that you're happy the girls are friends and you want them to play together, but make it clear that you don't want your daughter labeled. Believing that your child is smart and capable goes a looong way in convincing them that they are indeed. Keep up the good work!

Amy said...

I would say something like, "We don't see her as ADHD Tori, we see her as Tori. Homeschooling has really helped iron out a lot of the problems we were having, which is why we find medication unnecessary right now, even though we used it in the past." Or something like that. In any case, maybe suggest to her that you prefer not to talk about ADHD in front of Tori. "I don't talk about ADHD around Tori because I don't want her to feel like there's something wrong with her." It doesn't condemn the other woman, and hopefully she'll get the hint.