May 15, 2013

At a Loss

My daughter has Attention Deficit Disorder. She doesn't really have the hyperactivity factor, so I leave the H out. Her problems are inattention and impulsiveness. She is forgetful and disorganized.

Camryn struggles a great deal in school. If I'm being honest, in everything that is a responsibility, really.

My biggest concern is school, though. She is currently in 7th grade. Middle school has been a shock to her system. ADD kids tend to mature at a slower rate than their peers, so the things that are expected of every other kid her age are a bit more daunting for Cami. It's like she doesn't quite 'get' things they way she ought to. Or rather, the way she is expected to.

My daughter doesn't fit into a pretty little box. Her brain works differently. She processes differently.

I think she had an actual panic attack during a portion of the state testing last week! She felt dizzy and was having a hard time catching her breath. She was having such a hard time we had to pick her up and bring her home.

Her dad and I have been banging our heads up against the school walls for years now, but most especially since Camryn entered middle school in 6th grade. I thought surely by now, nearly the end of 7th grade, she'd have figured things out, gotten into a groove and would be able manage.

But we still struggle. And it is all of us, not just her. She is struggling to hold it all together, and failing, quite literally. But we as her parents are struggling with how else to help her. What more can we do that we haven't already done?

We are good parents. Mark and I do all the things we should do for our kids. We are very interested in their schooling. We have had teachers thank us profusely for being the kind of parents who attend all the conferences, make sure homework gets done, email the teachers with questions and ask for feedback on our kids. We aren't active in the PTA, but we are attentive to what is going on with our children.

But now? Now I am at a loss as to how to help Camryn do better in school. Her teachers tell me they care, that I can email them with questions anytime, and Cami even has a 504 plan. However, I feel like I hit a wall whenever I try to communicate with her teachers, and her counselor is pretty much a non-entity due to budget cuts.

I don't know what I can reasonably expect of her as an ADD kid. Should I be expecting her to talk to her teachers herself and relay the information to me? It doesn't seem to work at all. Just yesterday I told her to talk to her science teacher about the F she currently has in his class. I asked her about it when she got home. Camryn said she did talk to him, but could not, for the life of her, remember what he said.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Camryn's inattention makes her come off as flighty and unconcerned. I must admit, it often feels to me like she just doesn't care and sometimes that makes me very impatient with her. But I know that can't be the case, because I also know a bright, inquisitive and curious child who has these moments of clarity and perceptiveness.

She isn't dumb. But I sure feel dumb not knowing what to do to help her.

Middle school isn't the be all, end all, but high school kind of is, and I feel like we're running out of time to prepare her for it.

We need some extra help, and I think that it will have to come in the form of a counselor for Camryn. Perhaps we should have had her in behavioral therapy already. I just really thought we had a handle on things because she doesn't necessarily have any behavioral problems per se. We have been lucky on that end of possible ADD issues.

This feeling of helplessness is just the worst.

Linked with Pour Your Heart Out.

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