I am a teacher who believed that there was such as thing as ADHD, but it was more likely poor parenting skills. If the parents improved, so would their child's behavior. That was before Riley. He is eight years old now. Always extremely precocious. Rarely wanted to sit in a lap as a toddler. Was asked to leave both a day care placement at 2.5 years, and Montessori Kindergarten.
It was Kindergarten we began the evaluation process. At that time because at home and his current day care givers (they are outstanding with the needs of every child, regardless of label) he came back within norms, but out of control at school (very aggressive, confrontational, and oppositional to adult directives), the doctor assured us that it was the environment he was in. Unstructured was the worse time. Recess he escalated and was out of control. We were at a loss. After years of trying every behavior modification/ reward/ program you can imagine, he was still suspended in the 2nd grade for hitting a girl in the head with a rock. She had been taunting him. We would be millionaires if we had a nickel for every time we had said "go find a teacher and ask for help" in situations such as this. But as you put it, he couldn't, not wouldn't. He was always genuinely remorseful. He said, "mom you don't get it, I don't think about what will happen, I just do it".
It was after that incident we went to a counselor for a check on our responses. We were grasping at straws when we decided to try Ritalin. At the end of our rope. It is general knowledge that the long term effects aren't well studied. Plus my predilection for feeling I should be able to help him without subjecting him to drug therapy that kept us 'limping' along in his life. I felt guilty that I would be turning my son into a drugged-out zombie as a result of my poor parenting skills. (And how many families had credited me with 'saving' them and understanding their children??? I still felt if I was only a little better..
Needless to say, the result was dramatic and immediate. Instead of producing a vegetable, Riley has blossomed and is showing the outside world the side of him we saw at home. A loving, humor-filled, academically gifted boy who is a joy and not a 'monster' or 'worse nightmare' as I had heard him called by his classmates.
He is beginning the year at a new school. He will be able to begin to build appropriate social relationships, he yearns for a 'best friend' like other people have. Perhaps this is the year that will happen for him.
is hearing a student say,
"Thank you for understanding me."