ADHD & Public School Frustrations

“Feeling very frustrated with the whole school/daughter (8 yrs old) thing. My Olivia is a free spirit with tons of energy. She’s spunky, artistic, and spontaneous, sweet and full of love. Everything I love about her! The school sees disruptive, impulsive (the bad kind), emotional, and talkative. She loved school up until this year (the dreaded 3rd grade). She’s just not feeling the love, and thinks her teachers hate her. It’s a real shame when a teacher can make a child feel this way. I’m tired of yelling and crying. I yell when she gets in trouble. Then cry because I yelled, and I know it’s not her fault. She has been on Focalin XR 10mg for a few years now, and it’s just not working anymore. I feel like this is all my fault, because I have become so frustrated with myself, her, the teachers and the school with their generic answers, and lack of training and follow through. Meaning when we all come up with a positive reinforcement plan, they don’t follow through, or use it to some extent, but also use the negative, so she still comes home with an F in conduct every week. It kind of defeats the purpose of the whole “positive reinforcement” chart. They just don’t seem to want to put in the effort. Olivia doesn’t fit their perfect little quiet non-fidgety drone child mold (thank goodness), and they don’t like that. Any suggestions? I so desperate, and at the very end of my rope. Help?”

I saw this mom’s complaint and it just struck a chord with me. The Olivia is developing a tolerance to her Focalin XR and she hasn’t learned to adapt to the public school classroom – Thank God! The mom is aware that there is something wrong with


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4 Responses to ADHD & Public School Frustrations

  1. Julie says:

    The idea that ADHD is really a function of too much t.v., diet, etc. is a common misconception that I have faced often. My children’s t.v. watching/computer time is limited to no more than 1/2 hour of computer and no more than an hour of t.v. and their diet is mostly controlled with little sugar, organic, and all the rest of the natural recommendations. I wholeheartedly believe that allergies can mimic ADHD, tv/computer addiction can mimic ADHD, etc. and for children who truly have ADHD, these things can make symptoms worse. Nearly all children with ADHD are right brained learners. Bad parenting may not cause ADHD, but poor parenting techniques can worsen symptoms. By this I mean parenting styles that are highly punitive with yelling, threats, coercion, you get the point. Many of the techniques taught by psychologists only promote greed and manipulation (if you do this, you will get that). What I have found that really works is unconditional love, not permissiveness, but a real relationship with my children (3 out of 4 have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD).

    Promoting the idea that ADHD is a nutritional problem or a parenting problem or an environmental problem overlooks the fact that it is a legitimate difference in brain development that results in a different style of learning, a different timetable for development, and a set of strengths and weaknesses that is at odds with the way everyday life is set up (although many find extraordinary success in spite of/because of these challenges). Some people experience these differences more sharply than others because of environmental factors, but a person with ADHD has different brain wiring. We need to stop blaming and start respecting the fact that each individual is a unique person.

  2. sguffanti says:

    Julie,
    You sound like you have been to my workshops. The book that gives the details of your parenting approach is called Loving our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. When I read that book I saw how my father disciplined me and that I didn’t even know it. I have added you to our team of contributors. We need to work together if we are ever going to save these extraordinary children from a one size fits all world, where different thinkers are labeled and drugged rather than valued and worked with.

    Tell us more about why you think your children are visual learners.

  3. Heather says:

    This specific article, “ADHD & Public School Frustrations | ADHD or Active Child?
    ” displays the fact that u truly comprehend what precisely
    you r talking about! I personally absolutely agree with your post.
    With thanks -Tonya

  4. Christy says:

    Hang in there. I am going through very similar issues with my ADD son (1st grade). He and his teacher like each other – or they used to – but now his teacher is just so overwhelmed that she is expecting more results with less time/work on her part, and it’s not happening (surprise) so she makes snarky comments on his spelling tests or in his “Communication Notebook”… things he can (and does) read that he takes out of context and they affect his self-esteem…. it’s just such a yucky cycle. We cannot afford private school. Charter school is great but far away and Hubby is not so willing to try it. “Gifted” school is out of the question because while the boy is smart, he’s got all of these behavior issues. I’m ready to snarl at the teacher, although I do sympathize with her situation. In what world is 25-1 a good student-teacher ration for 1st graders? The same world where we medicate our little ones to “get through the day”, I guess. :(

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