Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Birthdays for boys and a diagnosis
Yesterday we had our meeting with the school psychologist who actually did do some diagnosing. I'm still trying to process some of the results- more the labels and associations that come with the diagnosis. It seems that Johnny has some form of ADD and dislexia that are inhibiting his ability to learn to read and write as smoothly and quickly as other kids. Both diagnosis were kind of a surprise to me. Johnny has never mixed up letters and he can read and write, albeit slowly and below his level. So there is a program he might do for 10 weeks in fall to re-learn how to read and write geared for kids with mild dislexia.
I think what surprised me more was the whole ADD diagnosis. I sat down to do some research yesterday and frankly, it's hard not to see every boy Johnny's age as being somewhat ADD. Knowing that about 7 of Johnny's classmates have undergone a similar psychological assessments this year makes me a little frustrated that we aren't looking at the process of teaching kids as opposed to simply trying to medicate and diagnose our kids into being good students. ADD or ADHD seems to be a catch-all phrase for kids who have a lot of energy and a low attention span. Perhaps it's not just our kids who have the 'problem', perhaps some of the issues have to do with educators and parents who haven't completely learned how best to motivate these kids to learn and cope with life at their optimum.
With that in mind, I can see that there are a few strategies that I can work on personally as a parent to make life a little smoother for both Johnny and us as parents. Some of those parenting tips I found here, some more I found here- both sites and the video being advocates for the concept of 'positive parenting'. Essentially, the idea behind positive parenting is to learn how to avoid conflicts/power struggles with your child while trying to teach them how to make positive choices. For me it will mean being more intentional about how I relate to my boys and not trying to rush over the parenting tasks that I do every day. Also making sure that we have a more consistent schedule, complete with lots of meals/snacks, good sleeping habits and lots of physical activity will be on the agenda. Good thing I bought some new running shoes on the weekend- I have a feeling I'll be playing a lot more soccer and going for more hikes and runs throughout the summer...