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Going to a new school next year

#1

Dear Friends

To clarify I am in Australia so we begin a new school year in January 2016.

My 9 year old son has ADHD and has had a terrible time at his current school since Year 1.

The school will not properly understand his ADHD - it is hard in Australia because it is not a recognised disability such as you have in US which I feel is very frustrating. Therefore despite actually going to the paediatrician ( at immense financial cost) and actually placing him on Ritalin the school still will not properly assist my son - they punish him for little things that are related to his lack of control and understanding due to his ADHD and make his life awful.

It has been a very hard and disappointing year.

I have had enough and am moving him to a new much smaller school of 80 kids next year. We currently live over the road from his current school and next year I have to drive him everyday, but I hope it will all be worth it. My son's mental health is suffering !!

Has anyone else had to move their ADHD child to give them a fresh start ?

I would love to hear any one else's experiences of this.

Thanks

Kate

#2

I’m extremely surprised to hear that the school is very unhelpful and is even oppositional in relation to your son and his ADHD! :frowning:

#3

My daughter has ADD and dyslexia and is 14 years old. I have moved her several times throughout the years as I try to find the right place for her. I first moved her when her educators and I decided to hold her back a year when she was 8. I felt like this was the right choice. I then moved schools from a public school to a public Montessori school. My daughter is such a free thinker that I was hoping that the Montessori curriculum would help her learn in a more free form sort of way. The class sizes were actually smaller which I hoped would help. I was wrong about the different learning method. She was there for 2 years and one of my daughter's biggest problem areas is with executive functioning. She has a very hard time prioritizing, organizing and keeping to a schedule. When she was in an environment where it was up to her to do this, she suffered greatly and got very little done besides socializing. I don't want her in a normal public school because if she was getting lost in a class of 30, how would she do in a school of 300?!?! This year, we are trying a different Public Charter School. This one is a "classical academy" education. It is the complete opposite of the Montessori curriculum. Very structured, no technology, emphasize cursive, Latin and classical teachings (Shakespeare, Hemingway,. etc.) I am hoping she does better here and from the looks of it so far, while she is not excelling, she is working harder and making more of an effort than she did before. Oddly enough, this school doesn't do a lot for children with disabilities. They want them to learn as much as possible together and in the same environment as the other kids. Not all schools in the US recognize ADD/ADHD as a disability. The county we live in now doesn't acknowledge it, however we moved from another county where it was included in her disability program (IEP) so she gets to keep it.

I have a 4 year old son who was just diagnosed with ADHD and it is frustrating because his school can't do anything for him. Weighted blankets seem to be helping him focus but I am not sure how everything will work out next year when he is in kindergarten. I know how frustrating it is. You just want you child to have all of the support and understanding available. The smaller class size should help and making sure to keep in contact with your son's teachers and informing them about why he might be doing the things he does and ideas you have to help him. For years I have stood by, expecting the teachers to care as much about my daughter's education as I do...but they don't. This year I have turned into a helicopter parent. I email the teachers weekly, always asking for progress reports. I ask my daughter what she has due and when and I don't let up which is difficult as I am a singe mom with 4 kids, but as you know, you have to make sacrifices for our children and we have to be their biggest and best advocate and cheerleader!

#4



Mamma-to-2 said:

I'm extremely surprised to hear that the school is very unhelpful and is even oppositional in relation to your son and his ADHD! :-(
Yes it was a sad realisation but a good one as we have realised there are better more appropriate schools for my boy to attend :)
#5

Hi Kate and Guess,

Moving to a better school environment for your child can be a strain on parents but the benefit can make up for the inconvenience. I'm glad you have the persistence and courage to make a change.

Parents of ADD/ADHD kids need to be amazing sometimes :).

Kate, it must have been terrible to see your son punished unjustly. I wish you and your son the best in the smaller school.

Guess, I've noticed that most schools ignore the classics and I think that's a big missed opportunity. Your daughter's school might be a good fit. Wishing you and your family well!

#6

As parents we can only continue to do what we think is best. My 17 year old ADHD, gifted/LD also has anxiety. She has been in 5 different high schools trying to find the right fit. We finally found a good alternative school,but her anxiety keeps her home much of the time. Every day I want to scream and pull my hair out trying to get her to go to school, but the best I can do for her is remain calm and try to talk he out of the house with a ride to school! If I drive her, she gets there for at least some of her classes. Each term we try again. She signed herself up for counselling in January hoping that it will help find a way to manage the anxiety. It is a good start.

On the other hand, my 15 year old has only changed schools once. She is also ADHD, gifted/dyslexic. The only time she was in a school she did not like, she wrote a list of complaints. I told her to find creative solutions to her complaints without changing any of the basic structure elements that were in place. She did and we presented it to the principal. Surprisingly, some of her suggestions were put into place!

My 6 year old is just starting out his journey through school. We have been both unlucky and lucky in the school he now attends. He is in a good place this year with a teacher who is very tolerant of his ADHD issues.

Advocate, advocate, advocate! If that means you are a helicopter parent, so be it. We are the people who know and understand our kids best. Never let a teacher or school paint a picture of your child that is solely negative.