“Want some amphetamines little boy?” The teacher says to the five year old child.
For six years, and then for four more years, I have suffered greatly at the hands of the public school district. I have two young boys. One is in fifth grade, and one is in second. Every single parent/teacher conference was always the same….miserable. I would get to hear how “my child is off in a different world”, how if something does not change, they won’t be able to move forward, “ What can *I* as the parent do?”
I have always felt burdened by the fact that my children were not “making the cut”, and every single year have had to fight the school administration who have wanted to hold my children back each year, both of them. Homework was a huge struggle for these children who could not concentrate, and we will generally be found still doing homework at 8PM. I have repeatedly asked if there was any help for the children that I didn’t know about, and they have always said that they have tapped out all of the schools resources, like the PALS (reading) program, and speech therapy. But they were not telling me the truth, and I am going to tell you what that truth is. What the school is not telling you is that there *IS* help, but that you have to request it in a most formal way. Then, by law, they have thirty days to comply.
Let us talk a minute about the highly addicted narcotic that the teachers have begged me to put my kids on for eight years. ADHD medicine. The teachers are not allowed to actually suggest it, but they do anyway, dancing around the issue, until you get it. The children that lack focus and attention are almost always candidates for this kind of therapy, but what most parents do not realize about the drug is that it is an extremely addictive narcotic, and that it may be making the teachers job easier in the beginning, but you will be left with a child who has been doing kiddie coke for all of his days, and then when he graduates, he cannot get off the drug. He has to take more and more just to feel normal.
When I did experiment one time with the eldest child, by giving him the drug for a few months, I realized quickly how harmful it was to his little body. His heart would feel like it was beating out of his chest, his dreams became vivid nightmares, he saw things that weren’t really there, he lost all of his appetite and most importantly, all of his creativeness that would normally make him draw pictures day in and day out. A couple of months later, and he didn’t want to draw at all, not only that but he had forgotten all of the little stories he was making up in his head for his drawings. It completely stumped out his creativity. The delusional aspect of it was most frightening though. I think he was seeing spirits that I couldn’t, and he was terrified. He did not want to sleep by himself anymore. I asked the teacher in that time to tell me his progress, and she did report that he seemed to have an easier time getting all of his work done, and his grades were starting to improve. But what was going on at home, and inside himself was so negative, and in fact, absolutely deadly, that on a scale, if weighed out, the solution of drugs would never outweigh the health and wellness of my child. I stopped giving him the medicine, and everything got better, except the teacher. She was upset that I had “Taken away his chance to be a good student.”
Some children are just this way, disorganized, daydreamers, little social butterflies, and we shouldn’t try to change them with drugs. They are off in their own little world, easily distracted, they generally dont get all of their work done, and sometimes, are very hyperactive. Let us please not forget that this is how God made them, as it takes many different kinds of people to make the world turn. The schools have to identify these children early on, and get them the one on one education that they need to excel. But the school doesn’t want that put into the budget, and the suffering child will just have to do amphetamines to get by.
Let me remind you of what I said before I go on. I have repeatedly asked the school for more help for the children. They have always said there isn’t any, that I had completely tapped the school out of all the help that was “available to him”. What a sneaky way to put it, because unless you do indeed get them qualified for special education, you won’t be offered it, and they are not going to tell you about it AT ALL!
I took my youngest to a specialist at the children’s hospital where the doctor diagnosed him with ADD, and asked if I had gotten the school to evaluate him for special education. I said our school didn’t have that. And she laughed. “Oh yes they do.” she said, and told me to call them up and ask them to evaluate him.
I was very surprised to see the lady on the phone at the school jump right into action, and becoming instantly formal she said, “Okay, Now that you have started these proceedings, we have thirty days to comply will your request, we will let you know the date of our first meeting.” They testing him using five or so different physiologists, school counselors, the reading resource teacher, and a few others. Three meetings later, they did decide that he qualified for special education, and that he would now be pulled out of his class several times a day to attend a classroom of four students to one teacher, the special education teacher, that I might add no one had told me about until then. I must also add here that now that he has an IEP (Independent Educational Plan) in place, now they cannot fail him a grade, they simply have to help him. With a little TLC the child will be just fine. The teachers are not in the business of TLC. They are in the SOL business.
Another thing I might add that the new criteria for teaching my child will be is that he gest to sit right up front, closest to the teacher, she will have to, by law, repeat directions for an assignment to him, he will be given extended time for test completion, and efforts will be made for his benefit that if you didn’t force the teacher to do, they would not attempt.
Finally, my child would be given the help he needed, instead of deadly drugs. I wanted to scream at them, that they hadn’t identified him early for this kind of service, and that they have been unnecessarily torturing me for years, asking me as a parent to find extra tutoring, implement summer school, hold the child back, give him drugs, EVERYTHING BUT saying, “Here, here is the help that you need.” The key is that they won’t offer, nor will the teachers tell you these kinds of classrooms exist, and that there is indeed, help.
I know there are many other mothers out there in the same boat as I am, always taking the blame for their children not being ”up to par” but the truth is, all children are different. They are not the same, and not all of them can be taught the same. I have learned that the schoo’s focus is not on the individual, but only the school as a whole, and that their common goal is to get the children to pass SOL (Standard of Learning) tests, and that is ALL they care about. They really are not interested in treating each child individually based upon his needs, although some boast a motto of “No child Left Behind”.
But you have rights!
I have rights!
Your child has rights!
Although they do not tell you that you have these rights, you do. Call up the school and request that the child be testing for learning disabilities. You will see a whole new side of the school that has never been divulged to you.
It is my opinion that the school should stop pushing drugs, identify the children early who need special help, and find it in their budget to hire teachers who have been formally trained to handle ADD and ADHD children. They do actually have that teacher on hand already, but won’t tell you that, and you have to have learned it yourself, hence, this letter.
Some parents have found relief in the drug prescribed for ADD and ADHD. (Attention Deficit Disorder), but let me tell you; It may be nice now, but just you wait until later, when your child tries to go off to college and wants to be normal. He or she will STILL need that drug that they have been addicted to their whole life, and for the remainder of the adult life, they will need it to excel. When they finally do get off the drug, they quickly turn to the real cocaine, or alcohol, or speed, ANYTHING to make them feel better, as they are no longer high on life. In fact, they have never taught themselves to be happy, as you have always given them a pill that does that for them. It is also possible that your child will commit suicide from being on-or lack of- this drug, once addicted. It makes a person absolutely psychotic. Some people see no affect like this, and say it helps immensely with education. But guess what? These people who are talking to you have not seen their child grow up yet, and I am afraid of what consequence lies ahead for them. If you want further information, ask any student in college that has been taking it for a lifetime, they will all tell you the same thing. “Never put your kids on that stuff!” “The doctors can’t find a good time to get me off of it.”
It will be worse than kicking heroin when they do try.
Why don’t you go snort some coke yourself and see how that works out for you. You, like you child, will need more and more of it just to get by. Instead, why don’t we as parent just demand that the schools stop being pushers, and care a little more about our sweet children, and their tiny little bodies. Give your child every chance, but not drugs. The rights are there for you, go get them.