I wept when I finished reading this email from Brenda, an associate. And though it isn’t about an adult woman with ADD, it does show the determination and steel tenacity of the mom of an ADDiva-in-training. I hope it touches you as much as it did me ….
"Big victory today. My daughter, who’s ADD and also has learning disabilities (her processing speed and symbolic logic, which is used in reading, are low) was supposed to flunk last year. Primarily because her dad crashed the IEP meeting (Individualized Educational Plan) for the first time in his life in order to tell everyone that her only problem was that I wasn’t doing enough homework with her. So that became the IEP plan and she had a horrible year.
"As the school psychologist later explained, slow processing speed means that she’s going to hit the wall sooner than the other kids with information overload. So if you send her home with a big pile of homework, more often than not, it ain’t happening. Nothing solves the problem but a good night’s sleep (when the CPU crashes all you can do is re-boot).
"It was a nightmare of a year. In years past I’d sidestepped the problem by enrolling her in after school classes where she’d get special attention, but that year, there was nothing she qualified for. She was miserable, moody, defiant, got a never-ending stream of F’s all year long. Ironically, my ex subpoened the school psychologist to testify in our child custody dispute. Thank goodness, the psychologist reinforced what I’d been saying for years about her special needs. It actually helped me understand her learning style better by hearing from the psychologist directly instead of just reading his evaluation.
"But nobody at the school bothered to read his evaluation. They failed her.
"I called the school board. The lady there agreed that it would be more appropriate to promote her to the 7th grade and place her in Resource Classes with smaller class size and a number of accomodations. In the end, last year Heather was promoted to the seventh grade. So, today, a year later, we had awards at school and Heather, who was on the verge of the honor roll the last half of this year, got a medal and a certificate for achieving a PERFECT SCORE ON THE READING VGLA. (VGLA is an SOL equivalent, done each week rather than a once-a-year-test which would be a total overload for her). She progressed a full year in reading. We’d left her in a regular class for math, and she only progressed a half a year. Clearly, she is a Resource Class kind of girl. She loves being special.
"I bought her a bouquet of roses at Wal-Mart, then we ran into her grandmother, who gave her another bouquet. As she was walking out of Wal-Mart with her two bouquets and her medal, she said, "Yeah, I do feel special now." This is a child who, ten years ago when I adopted her, was diagnosed with Attachment Disorder. She is attached, absolutely, to me, her mom. That’s my medal."
What a woman. Bless you for being there for her, Brenda, bless you! (Names changed to protect privacy – of course!)