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Gotta give BSA some credit

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My son brought him his 3 week school progress report. He just started middle school, 6th grade. The school officials were convinced he would not make it in regular classrooms even though academically he does fine. There were very concerned about his ability to emotionally handle changing classes and the responsibilities of middle school. Last spring I was beginning to agree with them. Then I saw the change after a week of BSA camp and a week of 4-H camp. So a few weeks ago I spent 1/2 day arguing with the school officials, whom I have NEVER argued with, that he should NOT be in a "self contained" classroom all day. This was a class with 3 students and 2 teachers, no changing classes, no lockers, teachers walking them to their elective classes and lunch, etc. Other people who know my son said "don't let them do that to him."


I kept saying to the school officials that day "he is different than he was 3 months ago. he went to summer camp. He doesn't have the social problems he had 3 months ago. I have pictures of him doing homework by lantern light! He changed classes on his own at summer camp and had to walk 1/2 mile between them, not just across the hall."

They basically blew me off "oh that's camp, THIS is School!" They finally agreed to only having him in special ed for 2 hours a day (language arts, a tough one for him).


Well, well, let's look at that progress report. Four A's and 1 B in his 5 academic subjects. Yep, that's right. The B and 2 of the A's in the "regular" classes they didn't want him in. Also, there have been NO emotional outbursts at school. We've had our moments at home about homework but that is improving. He wrote a wonderful report about a book in Language Arts. He is telling me he is "bored" in class.


I talked to one of the special ed people yesterday before I saw this progress report, told her he seemed to be doing great. Her response "well, middle school is easy. Remember he did a few years ago then had a bad year after that." Ggggrrrrrr


He is also riding the bus morning and afternoon, actually enjoying it even though he is the smallest, youngest kid on there.


I have to give the summer camps a lot of the credit. He knows he can meet other people, deal with what happens, etc. I've been told a few times in the last 2 months "I can do that, I went to summer camp."


At summer camp nobody wants to hear you whine, you better eat what is served or go hungry, take care of yourself, and he was treated as having a BRAIN! He really did gain a lot in the self confidence department from both summer camps!!


Just had to share.(This message has been edited by sctmom)

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You gotta love the public schools.


I have a friend whose son is seriously ADD. His public school class still uses those silly clusters of desks instead of nice, neat rows. Well, this kid realized that sitting in a group wouldn't work for him so he moved his desk away from the group and set it facing the blackboard. The teacher went ballistic.


From the beginning of the second grade, my son's school started doing the ADD dance because my son doesn't read well and would rather socialize (sitting in clusters) than pay attention. They said to take him to your family doctor for evaluation. Our family doctor has a Ph.D. in Child Psychology as well as an MD so he's pretty well qualified. Nope, the doctor said that he's not ADD. Oh no, said the school, you can't expect your family doctor to evaluate him because we see him all day and Doc only saw him for two hours.


Next step, independent testing lab. $2500 for testing. Not ADD, ADHD or any other alphabet soup fixable by drugs but he does have some sort of processing problem for auditory input. School psychologist goes nuts at the next meeting because we went outside the school system. They pretty much refuse to do anything UNLESS we medicate him.


This goes on for years. The school is a master of stalling. Finally, we throw up our hands and say, "Okay, we'll try the drugs." The school shrink says, "Great! You'll notice a change almost immediately and your son will notice how much better he's doing." Back to the family doctor who reluctantly agrees to the drugs but wants to monitor my son's weight and growth closely. Two weeks on drugs and my son feels sick, jittery, and says that he notices no difference in his ability to concentrate. Back to school for the next meeting. Guess what the shrink claims? That you can't expect to see results in two weeks and that you can't expcet a child to be able to notice a change.


If I could afford it, he'd be in private school.



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My son is on medicine for ADHD. You can notice a difference within two days!!! Some school administrators amaze me. Some are good and do a great job, I think they get burnt out quickly and leave. Anyone with an ADD child can pretty quickly point out other ADD children. My son's doctor has an ADHD child of his own, so he knew within 10 minutes what was wrong with my child. In our case we had to convince the school that was the problem.


No matter what, you are the parent and can choose what is right for YOUR child. Slap down those parent's rights documents in front of them and tell them they are there to provide the best possible education for each and every child.


Oh, I hate that desk cluster mess, line those desks up! My son has also moved his desk away from the others, luckily the teachers understood. The elementary schools around here have a chair and a table type desk, with the kid's stuff in the open area under the desk top. They show my first grader a stack of brand new colorfully books and then say "put them away". THEN wonder why he keeps his hands in his desk!


It amazes me when other adults think they know your child better than you and think you have never read anything about child behavior, nor can you understand any of it.



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Where do you live?? It was our option to put our son on any meds. not the schools. Meds are only one option for ADD and ADHD. I sure hope that it so not the school options. Unless the class is being hurt by intreputions.



Great story! Tell you son dan said to keep it up!

That should confuse him! Whos dan mom? :)

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If a child is truly ADD, the impact of medication will be noticed almost immediately.


I didn't like the way the public school bureaucracy dealt with me when I was a kid, and I don't like it any better now. Teaching should be an honored profession, and most teachers do make a positive difference in kids' lives. Sometimes it seems that the least competent and least caring teachers are the ones they promote to administrative positions.

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When I get a kid in my patrol who some say is ADD or ADHD. I assume that the kid is really a gifted kid who gets board fast.

I let the kid know that I think he is gifted not sick.

I was amased how effective putting the gifted label on a scout changes thier behavior.

So unless I can tell when the scout has had his medication or not, I am of the opinion that the scout just needs extra attention. They need this attention because they are not getting it at home.

I am amazed at the damage done by divorce on a scout.

If the webelos leader or the new scout leader lets me know I have a hard one coming. I know that I have to go out of my way to make this scout feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.

If I recognize the boy before he does any attention getting things and show that I care he blosoms into one of my best scouts in a matter of a couple of months.


So no matter what the school says

I recommend treating all ADD and ADHD scouts as if they are gifted. (even if the medication does help)



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Pull your kid out of that school, get him off those drugs, and homeschool him! Homeschooling is not that hard and it's definitely worth it. It's not even really expensive. What your paying for the drugs will probably cover all your expenses. There are gobs of resources on the net to get you started. The school your kid is in obviously only cares about having compliant sheep and they intend to drug your kid into compliance. Get him out before they hurt him anymore!



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Dan, the school kept saying "We can't prescribe for you." but the implication was clear. We only tried the drugs for a couple weeks and then dropped them. It was worth the experiment but not for a long term. However, the implication was clear that they weren't willing to work with him unless we medicated him.



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I agree with Sctmom, if your kid is ADD you'll see a difference with drugs almost immediately, if he's not he'll just feel jittery and sick. He might not see it himself, though, you have to look at his completion rates on papers.


Our ADD kid made it, mostly unmedicated, through 12 years of public school. Left without a diploma, got 1250 SAT's the first try, and absolutely smoked the GED a month after leaving school (99th percentile on 2 of the tests, down to a poor 76th percentile on one of them). He just started college and he already can see that learning might be fun. Thank goodness public school didn't totally blow out the spark. If I had it to do over again I'd take him out over his objections.


My "normal" kid, lifetime A/B honor roll, is doing her middle school homework. It involves copying 12 paragraphs from her science book. She's physically coordinated so it's boring but possible for her. I'm wondering what's the point? I can easily come up with 10 different ways for her to spend 30 minutes and learn more science. Watching NOVA, for instance! My ADD son would have taken a 0 on that assignment, no doubt at all. My OCD son would have melted down over it - there's no way he could have tolerated that level of boredom. And the point is - there is no point except to teach the kid that learning is dull and must be tedious, and you just have to do tedious stuff. And that's wrong.


My OCD son (14, a first class Scout) is homeschooled. This lets him do math at his analytical speed - fast - and literature work at his emotional level - young. And frankly, he doesn't do any busywork at all. He's peaceful, well-behaved, and a pretty nice kid all around. He's trying to get a volunteer job at the local raptor sanctuary, is soon up for Star, and has been


His OCD flared recently at a Scout event - it was really embarrassing for him, he got mad at his canoe partner and jsut shut down, we couldn't get him out of the canoe for about 30 minutes - but a patient and understanding Scouter got everyone to back off and give him time to get over it. (Thank you, God, thank you, God, for Myrna). I got there, we waited, he calmed down and made a good recovery. He and his partner shook hands and vowed to practice together to do better next time. We explained a little about Brain Lock to the other boys and they were kind and accepting about it, and it didn't ruin anyone's day.


Similar problems in public school would ruin EVERYONE's day, trust me, from the principal to the school cop to the teachers to, most of all, my son's. The more they'd yell at him for shutting down, the worse he'd get, pretty soon he'd be self-destructive.


Gotta go with RobK, liberate him from an environment that is not working for him and is probably downright harmful to him. It's one thing for an ADD kid to try hard and then succeed in school, as it sounds like sctmom's son is (Go! Go! We're all proud of him! ) But if he just can't get it together there he'd be better off at home.


And yes, he's probably gifted. He's also probably got an auditory processing disorder that will make him an outstanding computer nerd but unable to listen to a lecture at all. Online school might work too.

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Brain Lock! So that's what you call it!

The last week of school in the spring, my son had this. He was upset over not getting his yearbook that we both were sure he paid for. While everyone else was looking at theirs he removed himself from the situation. Took paper and crayons, find a quiet place. That place happened to be a bathroom stall. The teacher & Asst. Principal freak out. They want him out of there. He refuses. They threaten him with suspension (3 days of school left, ha!). They turn off the lights! They tell him the bus has left (he said he would walk home, only 1 mile). The AP ends up climbing over the stall and getting him out. Now, this must have been a sight!


Then they were not happy with me because I never mentioned punishing him. Punish him for what? Okay, he should have came out when they said to. But he did have the right idea to go find a quiet place to draw and color until he calmed down. The more they fumed and threatened, the more he dug in.


Then to top it off, the AP sends me an email saying that my son's behavior was "unexceptable". This man is the AP and makes up a new word like this. Also, I guess his email doesn't have spell check!


It is hard to sit and wait for them to calm down, but sometimes that is what they need.


Copy 12 paragraphs!!! Oh my! My son has a great science teacher, maybe 3 homework questions a night and a few pages to read, but they are covering a lot of material. Also, they are starting to do an experiment every week! Hands on! Way to go!


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Good for you Sctmom and son!


Personally it has been my experience that every single Scout that I have ever seen that I knew was diagnosed as ADD (or any other permutation of those letters) was a perfectly normal boy. Some are more active than others, that's all, and it certainly isn't worthy of all the hubbub and medical classification. Some of us just learn differently.


Feel free to disagree but that's my experience, maybe yours are different.


Yaworski (as you obviously know) it's just another case of either incompetence or indifference. Seen it before many times as have my parents who are both teachers. My mom was told I was unteachable and they should consider putting me in a home. That weekend my mom taught me everything that the teacher had taught the class in three months. So much for unteachable.


Unfortunately the many great teachers out there get eclipsed by the few outrageously bad ones.

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I think that Einstein was declared unteachable as well. :-)


There have been boys that I've known who were declared ADD that went a bit beyond normal. Possibly a good whack in the backside may have helped them.


One was our former Cubmaster's son. He spent most of the knot tying class trying to garotte other boys and it wasn't pretend. While selling popcorn at a supermarket, he'd bend over with his butt to the departing customers and make fart sounds.


Now before anyone says, "Hey Yaworski, farting is just boys being boys." If he'd been farting at the other cubs that would have been another thing.


However, most are just normal kids who are bored.



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sctmom - Thanks for bringing this subject up.


First I will give my summercamp experience this year. I took both my sons, an 11yo with ADHD and a Webelos, and one other scout, 12 with a processing disorder or ADHD. They went through the 1st year camper program, and were given an award by the class coordinator for being the most squared away troop in the program!


Scout camp was the best thing my sons could have done this summer! Glenn's initial evaluation for arithmatic was the highest he has ever done!


As for does ADD/ADHD exists, YES IT DOES! A common problem is that the child with ADD/ADHD is extremely inteligent, so not only cannot keep concentrated on a single subject, but is not challenged by the normal curriculum. This is another advantage of Boy Scouts - it gives the boys a chance to advance as they desire, challenged to their own level.


As one person mentioned, if the meds work within minutes, 30-45, it is diagnostic. Any school that wants to medicate without QUALIFIED MD and psychiatric evaluation should be questioned and have the child moved to one that will listen to the proper people.


"Y", get help from the local parent support group. If you are capable of home schooling, that is a good option. However, if not, then pursuing legal avenues is what I would reccomend. Your child is "disabled" under the definition of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and you have legal recourse to get him assistance that does not include "Special Ed". Under Special Ed, my son would not be able to get what he needs, as it can only address one issue at a time.


Do not give up. It sounds to me like the school your son is attending is "programmed" to go right to drugs for problems. THIS IS WRONG! Work through the problems without drugs, self control, when possible. We constantly work with Glenn to develop self control. He is doing better, but still needs Dexidrine for some assistance with self control.


If I can help with any specific info, please contact me at paj@wyoming.com and I will do my best to get you in contact with the right people and organizations.


Paul Johnson

Lander, WY


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