“Stage names are used for my kids. I refer to them as Robo D and Ninja D in all of my stories involving them.”
Since day one of Kindergarten, one of my little bears has had a hard time with school. Well, hard is a huge understatement. For years it was a heart wrenching, extremely stressful, anxiety driven, cluster fuck of a time. My twin boys are my first kids and my only kids. Like so many people and parents who have never been a parent or exposed to kids with “labels” I didn’t believe in them. “Labels” like ADHD, ADD, ODD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and on and on, I thought they were all excuses for bad parents and lazy teachers. It’s kind of like when you are childless and say ” oh, my kids aren’t going to act like that! I’m going to teach them from the start!” or “I’m old school, I’ll woop their ass if they don’t listen” then you have kids and you realize everything you said was a whole lot of bullshit. It’s the same thing, you don’t know what you don’t know and act like a naïve idiot and sometime asshole to parents who are going thru these challenges.
By day 2 of kindergarten, most of the administrative staff at the school knew my kids and that I was their mom. And ever since, I’ve have been working with the staff to try and help get my kids acclimated. It was hard. I blamed the school and the teachers a lot in the beginning. I couldn’t understand why he kept being triggered and sent into very loud, very disruptive, and at times very destructive rages. It had to be the schools fault because he didn’t act this way at home. I refused to believe that my kid had ADHD or anything else and it took the school trying to baker rack him in the beginning of second grade year before I finally conceded to having him tested. For the record, he wasn’t baker racked. The entire hospital staff from the clerk that checked us in to the doctor who talked to us said this isn’t the place for him and he should have NEVER been brought there. I guess I can’t blame the school or the officers that much, this was after the Parkland shooting, our school is only about 5 miles from there so kids who aren’t acting in a “normal” way get treated with a lot of suspicion, even if they are only 7.
Meanwhile, my other child, “Ninja D” was having his own struggles. He just dealt with them in a very quite and controlled way that teachers could manage. So unfortunately, most of my attention was getting “Robo D” to learn how to deal with his anxieties in the classroom.
Once “Robo D” was diagnosed with ADHD things actually started getting easier at the school. Legally they could start implementing more accommodations. They had a county phycologist evaluate him and give recommendations. I had to talk with her of course and give my side of things, answer a bunch of questions. It was while going thru this process for “Robo D” that I realized “Ninja D” really had more issues than I thought. They focus on ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), the county phycologist that is, I didn’t believe that “Robo D” was on the spectrum when answering the questions, but as it turns out he is also, but I thought about “Ninja D” a lot when answering. So, once “Robo D” was set up and things were calming down for him, I requested “Ninja D” be evaluated also.
Then second semester of second grade, COVID hit. One year ago this week we were launched into a “new normal” . For my kids, it was a blessing. It was like a reset button for them. They could get to know the teacher and kids in the safety of their rooms and see that all the kids needed help or didn’t understand the assignments, it’s not just them. It helped them feel like it was ok not to be perfect. Plus I saw them in more of a school setting and was able to make more workable suggestions when they went back.
But about the books. In the midst of trying to figure out why my kids had such a hard time in school and wanting to help them better, I found this audible book. It’s also in paperback, but with these sort of books I prefer audible. It helped me understand that I need to change my mind set and reword as well as simplify what I’m asking my kids. I can’t impose my will on them with a “because I said so”, I need to help them understand why they need to do whatever it is being asked of them. If they find it to difficult, I need to break apart my questions to understand why they don’t understand me or anyone else and get to the root of it. Really it makes good sense to practice this. It helps with leadership and working with people who don’t follow the same thought process. We as adults would prefer this approach from people in our lives, so why wouldn’t we interact with our kids this way?
I very very strongly suggest this book to all parents and people who work in the educational system. The mother in the book, I was pretty much her. And the kid they talk about the most, that was my “Robo D”. I believe that it can help tremendously when it comes to helping kids with special an/or extreme challenges.
The following from here on out is from goodreads.com just to give you more of an idea about the book.
From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.
It’s time for a change in course.
In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach — called Collaborative Problem Solving — can help challenging kids at school.
His lively, compelling narrative includes:
• tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.
• explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids — along with many examples showing how it’s done.
• dialogues, Q & A’s, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.
• practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.
Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid. (less) -copied from goodreads.com