I was sitting at a coworkers desk when my phone vibrated. Looking down at the message, tears immediately slid from my eyes to my cheeks. Images from this past year flashed through my mind. The first day of school, all of the struggles with homework, all of the frustration, realizing she needed an evaluation for ADHD, getting those results, and the decision to medicate. All of it down to her sheer determination to drown out all of the distraction in her mind, even before we had her ADHD diagnosis. It all flashed through my eyes and I cried.
The message was simple. Her teacher had texted me one line. She has passed the DRA 14!!! This is what we were waiting for! She needed to be able to focus enough on this one standardized reading level to pass the first grade! To make matters even more emotional, this was three weeks before the last day of school. Leave it to my child to pull it off at the last-minute! She’s passing, she was passing!!!! I had honestly resigned myself to the expectation that we would repeat the first grade despite how well she did in the other subjects in school. Her teacher was right, she knew how to read all along, she just needed help drowning out all the distractions!
It has been a whirlwind of a year, with a whirlwind of emotions to go with it. There has been frustration, tears, laughter, determination, anger at the school system for these standardized tests, hope, and fear. We have experienced them all. There has been weekly conversations with teachers, quarterly meetings with guidance counselors and visits to the pediatrician for month-long testing.
I am thankful for the path God has put us on. I am thankful for her teachers. She had two this year, and while the first one was not my favorite, she was the one mini me needed at the time. She not so subtly hinted that she felt mini me, had problems focusing possible had ADHD. In my mind, ADHD kids were always hyper, which she is not. Then, over the Christmas holidays, her first teacher retired and we got Ms. R. Ms. R has been a blessing beyond blessings. She has worked with mini me one on one, dealt with my constant text messages and checking on her, and took the time to get creative with mini me, so that she could learn in the way that was best for her. She really went above and beyond for our little girl!
I am thankful for our pediatrician who also specializes in ADHD and put her through a month of testing before diagnosing her with ADHD. I have seen so many physicians just slap the ADHD label on kids with only a screening, and not performing certain tests. He really looked at the whole picture with my daughter, and i couldn’t more thankful for that! I am so thankful, for a pediatrician who asked the parents how we wanted to treat her symptoms. The decision to medicate was not an easy one, but it seems to be the right course for her.
I am thankful for my daughter, who despite all odds never gave up on herself and always tried. Even when everything in the world tried to distract her, she tried. I have seen a change in her these last couple of months. She has been smiling more, and seems more confident. Before, I could see anxiety in her eyes when it became time to read. My baby girl, i am so unbelievable proud of you! You have had to work harder than a lot of kids this year and even if things didn’t work out the way we had wanted, i still would have been very proud of you!!!!
Now as the summer months begin and the last day of school has occurred, a whole new set of emotions occur! I have a fourth grader, a second grader, and a preschooler! All three in school. I just can’t even deal!