Thursday, October 14, 2010

Parent/Teacher Conference Day

Today is Parent/Teacher Conference Day. Today is the day when I go to each of my son's teachers and find out:
  1. How is he doing in class, since his dad's death?
  2. How are his grades?
  3. What is the teacher doing to help my son with his learning disability?
Naturally, question number one is new. (Note to self, bring tissues.) Question number two is pretty predictable. This early in the year, his grades are always good. Question number three is the one that drives me crazy. Because I can guarantee that each teacher will look at me and say, "What learning disability?". This while Michael is running in circles around us, dancing (complete with jazz hands), or checking to see if he can actually jump high enough to bite himself on the forehead. (He knows he can't, he just likes to try.)

I have had this conversation with teachers every year since Michael was diagnosed. The irony to me is that his teachers did *more* to help him before he was diagnosed. The teachers since then either don't know that he has a learning disability (despite the fact that I tell them, in person, at Meet the Teacher Night; that it's in his file; and that I send them a note on the first day of school). Or because he's very smart and at this point of the year he's getting A's, they just don't believe he has a learning disability.

What makes me scream (and if it happens this year, I may literally scream) is when the teacher's comments note that Michael "doesn't concentrate on his work" or "is disorganized". That's like a P.E. teacher noting that a kid in a wheelchair doesn't run enough in class.

And all of the above is why I am writing the non fiction ADD/ADHD parenting book "Michael is a Verb". Because I know there are other parents out there in my same situation. I know, because I can hear them screaming.


  1. I hope he has a wonderful teacher this year who listens to you and does what they can to help your son. *hugs*

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  2. Suzi,

    I found your link from Dystel and Goderich. I wanted to let you know that I totally feel for you. I know that you are not alone in this, you are right, there are so many people out there dealing with the same problems. I hope that book gets published.

    I am guessing you have spoken to the principal. Make sure all his teachers read his file and get doctor's reports sent to the school. Get pychological and neurophycological test done if need be. By law they have to follow what the doctor's says in these reports.

    I wish all of you the best of luck. So sorry to hear about your husband. Keep the faith!

  3. Me! Me! WIth a four year old! He's a smart kid who CANNOT sit still. His pre-school teachers were worried that he was high-fuctioning autistic but I think we'll end up with an ADD or ADHD or something along those lines.
    My daughter is wicked smart and reading years ahead of her but she has moubius syndrome (affects facial muscles, tiny hands and a few other things) she can't write as long or as fast as the other kids and in second grade its starting to bog her down. The teachers forget fast because she's smart.
    Best of luck to you and I LOVE your idea for a book. SO SO cool.

  4. This post really touched me. So tender.


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