Yesterday was the second day of high school for Damien. This week they were busy with orientation and team building and such so they hadn’t started classes yet.
I had been thinking about it and debating with myself and decided to bite the bullet and go to see Damien’s teacher- basically to discuss his ADD but also to let her know about our doctor’s meetings and such- because I need teacher feedback for our monthly doctor’s appointments. I phoned the school yesterday morning to ask if it was at all possible and they left a message for her to contact me. She called me back not long after and we made arrangements to meet at 15h30, after school. Damien was not pleased that I was meeting with his teacher already- he hasn’t even been to his registration class yet! I tried to reassure him that this was purely an informal chat, because that’s what I was hoping it would be.
I have never approached Damien’s teachers so early in the year because they always had each other to talk to (in primary school) and knew about his problems already. I was in two minds about meeting with his new high school teacher. I didn’t want to create a pre-conceived notion of how Damien is and behaves before she’s had a chance to get to know him; but I also didn’t want to try and squeeze a meeting in and surprise her with anything just before I need to go back to the doctor.
His teacher is younger than me and seems really nice. I told her what I was afraid of in coming to see her so soon because I didn’t want to “put ideas in her head”, and I explained about how he had been diagnosed with ADD in 1998 and had been treated for it ever since. She admitted that she hadn’t had any experience or dealings with adders before. She asked how he was being treated and about diet and so on so I told her a little of his history, how we didn’t really have him on a “diet” besides not allowing caffeine simply because we’d tried it and it didn’t work. We also discussed his meds and I explained how he was on a 12 hour dose of Concerta, which means he doesn’t have to carry any meds with him or take a second dose later in the day. I also reassured her that I do not expect her or any of his other teachers to have to sit on his head or discipline him beyond what would normally be expected in school- that he is to respect and obey his teachers as would be expected of any other pupils. But I did ask her to try and “keep an eye” on him and sort of nudge him every now and then not to stop working. I also explained to her how Damien’s doctor’s feedback form works and how I would need her and a couple of other teachers to complete it once a month to take to his doctor.
She asked a lot of questions and we chatted about Damien’s talents and abilities as well.
There is no legislation related to ADD in South African, so our adders have to rely solely on the teacher’s goodwill for assistance at school or extra time or anything else that may be a problem. I’m really hoping things will go well for us this year.
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.