What Did I Do Wrong?????

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
What Did I Do Wrong?????
4
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:01pm
Hi!

I am a mother of 2 children. My youngest, in first grade the school ran him through tests and said they did not know the problems but that he was having problems reading and concentrating, etc. And the school kept me thinking that they knew what had to be done and were doing all that they could do. This year I ended up homeschooling my son for things got so out of control with the school. Well, I finally decided that I had to bring in someone and went to a school psychologist in another town - and he tested Matt - this place has 30 plus years of working with children, etc. and the results of the tests were that my son has ADD. They ran the tests twice to make sure the results were ADD - and they were. Now, with my son in 7th grade I feel so guilty for believing everyone else about my son and here my son is after all these years. I got my sons pictures out from when he was a baby this week and just fell into a puddle of tears. The school psychologist feels the public school is the best choice - but they are playing games again - I just have had enough emotionally and feel so overwelmed that I am going to burst.

I really have no specific questions to ask - I just needed to get some of this out - thanks for listening to me!

beu2fl

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:24pm
You did NOTHING wrong. The only thing you did was trust the people who should have known what they were doing. Now that your son has been tested, I would also take him to his pediatrician. Tell the doc what is going on, what the school testing said. Decide what you want to do about it. Your son made it this far, and he has the memories of being home schooled with you. It's amazing what you have done! be proud of yourself. Also, you can see if your son qualifies for an IEP (individual education plan). This is a plan for your sons education, IF he needs accomidation for school. Here is what we have for my son, he goes to the resource room to finish up his work twice a day, he has a hard time doing work in the classroom due to noise, things to look at ect. Also, he is getting occupational therapy at his school. One other thing we have is reduced homework, there is no way I can get him to do much homework after he comes home form school. His med has worn off by then.

Believe me I know how you feel. My son was punished so much for his behavior until we found out there was a huge reason for his behavior. I felt so guilty. Just try to focus on the now. What can you do now to help your son? Start working on helping him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 12:53am
I know EXACTLY how you feel! And please believe that it's not your fault. I have had so much "mommy guilt" it would fill an ocean if I could pour it out. We just don't expect for our kids to have things such as ADD or whatever else, so when they aren't acting like the angels that people expect them to then we think we're bad parents. You have to move forward like Kathy said. My son, too, is in 7th grade and we didn't know until last November that he was ADD. He had the lack of focus, and so on, in school but never really had any "problems" per say until about 5th grade. But we still did not suspect anything like ADD, we just thought he was a boy looking to impress his peers because we were new in town, etc. Then 6th grade came and IT WAS A LIVING NIGHTMARE! He was always in trouble, always in the principal's office, suspended 3 or 4 times, sent to an alternative education program for 30 days...I was a total wreck. My son's self-esteem went into the toilet along with his reputation. The school NEVER even once mentioned to me that he needed to be tested or anything. They are the professionals and they should have known he needed help! We never even thought of a DISABILITY, we just thought he was acting out for some reason when in actuality he had hit puberty and his untreated ADD was causing all of this anger and unhappiness. They made us believe that he was just a bad kid. Well, we knew he wasn't, but we couldn't figure out why he was so unhappy and would act the way he did. (He was always better at home than at school.) He was diagnosed with depression and put on anti-depressants. This made things even worse because they made him sick. FINALLY, we got him into an ADD clinic and he was properly diagnosed and now things are really looking up for him. He's taking Strattera and he has an IEP at school and he's just so much happier because he knows that he's not "weird" or "different" or something's "wrong" with him. He knows it's a chemical imbalance that is not his fault. If I could just take back all of those times that I said to him, "why can't you just behave"..."so-n-so never acts that way"...I cringe when I think about it now, but I know that he forgives me because I didn't know any better. But now I do, and I can work from here on out to help him make his life better and be successful. Good luck to you!


(((HUGS)))

Ann

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 8:28pm
These kids didn't come with instruction manuals, and when there are 'things' going on with our children, we turn to places we feel we can trust and who 'know more' than we do. That isn't always the case, but we do our best. I would suggest you read the book Driven to Distraction which is written by an adult (doc) with ADHD ... Many people go through their entire childhood never knowing why they are 'different' or why they don't do well in school, etc. I have a good friend with 2 ADHD kids ... who herself was diagnosed with ADHD last year ... she's 36. As a teen, her parents used a tough-love approach to try to get her on the right path. But, how effective is that when there are problems that are not normal teenage rebellion.

OK, why am I babbling? I do have a point, really ... and that is that although it would have been nice if you had learned of the ADD when your son was in first/second grade, so that he could have had the benefit of earlier intervention and help all along, don't beat yourself up ... 'cause he still has another 5 1/2 years of school (PLUS college) to get through, and at least you've made this discovery now, while he is still young ... and you'll be able to help him going forward. Having a diagnosis and knowing what the problem is is the first step in your journey ... and now that you know, and have a direction, he will be on the right path.

As far as schools go, I wouldn't hold it against them that they didn't make a diagnosis. The truth is, schools are limited in on how much they can do. They are educators, but not necessarily doctors and specialists. I've found that going outside the system to make determinations about my kid ... and then having the school HELP to make the system work for him is the best route. I don't trust anyone but the docs I chose to diagnose my kids ... but once I have the answers, I will share info with the school so that he can get the best out of the educational system. Private vs. public is a debate that will never end ... If money wasn't an issue, I'd probably do private for my own kids. But, the truth is that because there is more of a diversity of kids in a public school, those schools are generally more equipped and prepared to handle kids that have special needs. Private schools are more segregated, more like cookie-cutter kids, so the teachers and administration aren't as prepared to handle special needs. For kids with some special needs, public often is a better option.

Don't beat yourself up about any of this. You've done the best that you could, and looking back and wishing you'd done things differently is never going to change things. Spend your time and energy looking forward to the 'what can we do to help him now?' mode 'cause that's where DS needs your head to be.

(((HUGS)))

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 8:04pm
Thank You ! ! !

Thank you to all who responded. It helps to hear so much from you. It has helped alot, and I am going to try to calm down, and take this one day, one step, one problem at a time.

Thank you again - everything you suggested I am going to check out and try - everything was great to hear!

Thank you!

beu2fl