Many times our kids with ADHD in school are eligible for IEP’s in order to receive effective school support. Unfortunately, many times school administrators do not understand or accept this medical diagnosis. The impairments of ADHD are surrounded by beliefs that the center of the disability is behaviorally centered. If the child just tried harder, he would be able to be successful. And if matters couldn’t be worse, our children with ADHD are inconsistent. This can be the stabilizing factor in the proof of trying hard: when he was successful in this very thing he can’t do today, he must have been trying.
Of course, all of the above is a very sad myth. If it were all about trying hard, our kids would do just that rather than have to take in all of the negativity that they take in on a daily basis.
In a recent IEP eligibility meeting, the social worker actually said: “We understand that he has a disability, but he is not handicapped by it. “Could that be anymore stunning?? Disabilities do have need for strategies since they are indeed impacted by it. But I would never use the word “handicap” because our kids with ADHD are never “handicapped” in any areas! First of all, I guess I thought that word wasn’t used anymore because of all of the negative connotations. Secondly, with the right school support in place, our kids can develop the strategies needed to overcome the impairments of ADHD that do affect them in a less than positive school setting. And with that, a positive self-esteem will follow.