Diary of an Adoptive Mom #34


Diary Mom
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 34th of our series, our mom of three kids finds it frustrating that her son’s teacher thinks he needs even more medication.

What is up with the push for Grant to be so heavily medicated? His teacher is driving me insane with her insistence that he’s not medicated enough.

I know Grant’s ADHD is annoying, but she gets to see him at the best time of the day, when his meds are working at their full potential. I’m the one who has to deal with him in the morning, while we wait for the pills to kick in. I’m the one who has to deal with the decreasing effects of the meds, when I’m trying to get him to focus on his homework. And don’t even get me started on bedtime.

Okay, so perhaps he drives the duty teachers crazy with his climbing up to the top of the basketball hoops and hanging off of them. And, perhaps he shouldn’t be climbing up the soccer goal posts and sitting on top of them. But he loves the attention and, of course, all the other kids think he’s cool.

I realize that he usually can’t sit still for any length of time. Any little distraction, such as a fly landing on his desk, and he’s off in his own little world. But, he’s generally a pretty happy guy. Except when he’s expected to quit something he’s enjoying, and clearly the classroom can’t keep using the math manipulatives for every activity, even though to him, they look like Lego and he loves Lego--he’ll sit still and play with Lego for hours on end.

Reading is not one of his favorite activities, and I don’t think his teacher lets him roll around on the floor while he’s reading, like I do at home. I let him read what he enjoys---graphic novels and comics--anything, as long as he’s reading. But his teacher wants him to read chapter books without as many pictures.

Grant does have some significant strengths though--it’s not all doom and gloom. He’s a very sensitive boy who loves to give me hugs, especially if he’s supposed to be reading and thinks this will shorten the time he actually has to look at a book. He’s an incredible artist too. His drawings of video game characters are very detailed, and he will sit still and draw for long periods of time. I always try and encourage him to draw while we’re trying to watch a movie - and he’s very funny. But, if we get him too excited, especially before bed time, it’s really tough to get him calmed down enough to get to sleep before midnight.

It’s been interesting to hear Grant speaking with our pediatrician, when he asks him about how squirmy he is in school. Often Grant will tell the doctor about how tough it is for him to sit still, and how at times he wishes he could just sit still long enough to watch a movie without everyone telling him to go roll around on the floor somewhere else. It’s great that he’s aware he does it--it gives me hope!

Back to the medication issue, though. Grant is already medicated as much as he can be, and this is just part of who he is. Whether the school understands that or not, they have to accept him and his challenges. I can appreciate that the teacher has 25 other kids in her class, but don’t think for a moment that I’m going to homeschool him to make the school’s life easier.

I know there are many parents out there who choose to homeschool their kids and they all thrive. I’m not that person. I know my limitations. I will never understand algebra, I will never remember how to add and subtract fractions, or be able to figure out if train A leaves the station travelling at 50 km/hr and train B leaves the station travelling in the opposite direction at 34 km/hr … I’m lost already.

I mean, really. With all the crazy stuff going on in any typical classroom, including all the stuff up on the walls, the huge windows, how could any child focus on the work?