I made it through six years at Chaparral Elementary School without being sent to the principal. Destroy made it three weeks.
It didn’t surprise me. I mean, come on, the kid’s name is Destroy. And he does.
The first time it was a physical altercation because a “kid was in my way.”
For longtime readers of this blog, it will come as no surprise that Destroy is a more than a little hyperactive and impulsive. Discipline is something we worked with all through preschool. The first time the “behavior call” came during the nascent elementary years, I thought perhaps this was since the kids aren’t allowed to run free – only organized games during recess and lunch – so a kid like Destroy with major impulse control issues would easily get bored and flail about. (Note: Not saying this is ok, just that I think I understand where his mind was.)
The kid he hit was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was no actual malice intended. Instead, Destroy had a thought pop into his head, “I wonder what would happen if I punched you.” He then said, “I’m gonna punch you!” Then <whamo> a date with the principal while the poor other kid tried to figure out what just happened.
Fire. Aim. Ready.
I’m also on a first name basis with the school nurse. We have a growing stack of “How to handle head injury” forms because personal space awareness is not Destroy’s forte. He’s run into a pole no fewer than three times.
Destroy is a spirited little boy. He has a heart of gold and a Ferrari brain with bicycle breaks. We decided to have him tested for ADHD.
The kiddo was Out. Of. Control. And he was getting worse.
We’ve all heard about ADHD. Over-diagnosed and over-medicated leading to a generation of zombie kids. But even Destroy was frustrated with himself. He’s a smart kid. He noticed that he was singled out at a table in class, sitting by himself because the teacher realized he couldn’t function with his peers. He recognized that he was in trouble every day, noting, “Sometimes I just have too many energies. I’m having a rough day.”
Meanwhile I was doing an interpretive dance involving wine and my middle finger while chanting, “FUCK YOU PREMATURITY.” Something needed to be done.
For the initial evaluation, I had to take a scantron test. I haven’t had to take a scantron test since high school. Scrantrons stress me out. Jon, Destroy’s teacher, and I all had to evaluate the kid. There were several tests inquiring about his varying abilities and coping mechanisms. A therapist spent a session chatting with him. His tushy never touched the couch.
“I would be SHOCKED if the final evaluation doesn’t come back positive,” the therapist stated as Destroy tripped over a dust bunny and wiped out on his way back to the waiting room.
Would I put him on medication if that’s what was recommended? It was about 99% positive that’s precisely what would happen.
In the interim, we were busy scheduling conferences with the teachers to see if the muppets would be flunking kindergarten needed the gift of time. Fear not, I’d already decided I wouldn’t separate them. Because that would be too emotionally explosive.
They will always be in the same grade.
And now one has been officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
3 Responses to D-Day: ADHD
As an educator, I see kids with ADHD a lot. Medication is not what it once was. As you probably know, they work to make a schedule and dosage that works to help the kid focus but not zombie out. And when a kid who needs it, gets it, it is really a miracle. I hope you find the right combo for Destroy. Sounds like you are being proactive enough to do just that!
BTDT, our diagnosis came in first grade. I’ve had seven years of experience dealing with educators, meds, interventions, accommodations, you name it. Lena Dorsey, 2nd grade CCS teacher, can be a great resource for you. Solidarity.
” heart of gold and a Ferrari brain with bicycle breaks” – Tricia, I could not love your turn of phrase more. Good on you for researching, heart searching and pushing through. Glad to know Destroy is doing well.