Think Outside the box – discovering a learning disability

Kids in boxes- outside the box

This is a follow up to my earlier post this morning, pertaining to my son’s issues with school and his diagnosed/undiagnosed learning disability(ies).

Where to start, this process is all so over-whelming.

To catch you up (see my earlier post) – so my son has always struggled with school, he has to take longer on homework than most students and my husband and I have to put forth a LOT of effort daily with him.  So much, that our daughter, thank GOD, figured out early on that she has to be independent…and she is exhibiting the ability to be a good student on her own- though she does need work with reading that we’re, frankly, too exhausted to give her because all our energy is dedicated to a full work day, and then helping her brother.  We try.

With that said, (there’s so much more- just suffice to think everything is SUPER difficult and HOURS spent on work) the school never tested our son, so 5th grade has been the breaking point for us, and realized, our son cannot and will not EVER fit in the box/mold of the typical classroom and learning environment.  The public schools don’t think OUTSIDE the box they have created.  If your child does not complete timed tests in the time they dictate, or they have any kind of issue, the teachers are too over-whelmed with a class of 35 students- sitting elbow-to-elbow, that they don’t “teach” any longer, but “lecture.”  Time tests are Fs, etc  And they have adopted an “oh well.  Too bad so sad,” mentality.  I’m sorry, my 5th grader is not ready to be a college student.  So the burden to teach falls on the parents.

In the past, we figured we could just work harder with him than the average family and work with the teacher to make some allowances in the classroom.  However, now the kids are older, and he’s being teased.  Our son has realized he’s just different and other students have realized this because any “written” work takes him double/triple the amount of time of the average student. Then they all begin asking why it’s taking him so long, etc.  And really giving him a hard time.  The teacher has indicated she nips-this-in-the-bud as quickly as possible, but I’m finding the source of that issue is her! She vents her frustration that he’s still working, and the other students pick up on that.

Anyway, a friend of ours referred us to her family psychologist that tested all (3) of her girls, and they all have a form of ADD, with additional other issues individual to them.  Luckily, this doctor was in our insurance network.  Still, because she is a specialist, it’s a $50.00 copay each visit.  The testing consisted of several tests requiring multiple office visits.  Basically, we paid $300.00 in co-pays to do this testing, that the school should have done for free part of what we pay in taxes, right?

To get the ball rolling, this entire burden fell on me, because my husband wasn’t going to do it… “I was the same way in school, I didn’t care about anything until Jr. high.  And then my math skills really took off and I was basically the smartest kid.”

yeah… I don’t think that’s the case for our son… maybe… but what if it isn’t- can’t wait another 2 years, this is damaging his self-esteem and making him HATE school.

So, we took him.  All the teachers and other friends had leaned to and hinted he is ADD/ADHD.  Our pediatrician works with kids daily that are ADD.  He never thought my son fell in that category, but might possibly have another learning disorder that the school would need to determine.  The independent psychologist agreed with our Pediatrician.  Although our son has symptoms that manifest as ADD, they are the by product of DEVELOMENTAL COORDINATION DISORDER. Memory issues.

…more on this later.

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