Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When the problem is behavior, not learning

One of the things I struggle with as it relates to Brady is the things that present challenges to him - ADHD and anxiety - do not seem to greatly affect his learning. He actually does very well at school.

We've had some setbacks in spelling and reading, but I don't believe they are anything we can't conquer with extra work at home. And we have already. His spelling is significantly better in just a couple weeks of working on it. He believes the work he does at school is important and rarely balks at it. He believes homework is important and never balks at it. And math? Forget about it! He adores it, eats it up and excels at it. Same with science. He's a bright, bright kid.

So, while I want his teachers to see him as a child with special needs as it relates to discipline, I see no need at for a special aide or special help academically.

I think he presents a bit of a conundrum. He doesn't fall into a typical kid category behaviorally with anxiety, control and impulse issues, but not necessarily academically either since he is capable of focusing and doing his work and actually enjoys the challenges of school. While he's a bit socially awkward, he's also VERY outgoing and loves being with friends.

So on the one hand, he may be viewed like everyone else, but he's just not. I mean, the kid takes medication. Clearly we've accepted there is a difference that needs addressed. But how do you explain that to a teacher or principal or aide or bus driver? If you treat him like everyone else, you will not get good results. But don't treat him unfairly either or too harshly. How do you convince them to take the extra steps with him? Like 1-2-3 Magic or a calm but firm voice instead of a yell or balancing the negative with the positive. These things work with him, but how do I get people to accept that and do it?

I don't really have the answers to this, but it is what I think about a lot.

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