My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder and then, at the age of 57, so was I. A lifetime of struggle was placed into a context that made sense of a lot of failure and frustration. This blog documents and celebrates what has happened to me since.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Graduation Time

One going to college, one going into high school...


And we all know that transitions are hard for those with the ADD/ADHD, so this last week or so has hit RR, LG and I with challenges.

RR has graduated from high school and is headed for that small Quaker college in North Carolina she wants to attend. It's the only college that she applied for--the ONLY one. Two years ago, at the time of her ADD diagnosis, we were thinking about "a year off" between high school and college for her. But between medication and therapy (aimed at organization and study skills) RR created a record of constantly improving academic improvement (3.5 this last semester) and successfully argued (to that small Quaker college) that this, and her passable entrance exam scores, justified admission despite an overall GPA that didn't make the cut. We were really wondering, two years ago, whether she would every walk across that stage and get a high school diploma and now there she goes...there she to college. College!!!

LG, on the other hand, was "promoted" from middle school to high school last night. LG has the "H" part of the diagnosis--she's ADHD. She is also one of most respected and popular kids in her class--and she's not a "babe." But she has a charisma (and one heck of a volleyball serve) that caused her peers to vote her the Martin Luther King Peacemaker Award last year, and her teachers and staff to vote her the recipient of an award given each year to students on the basis of leadership, academics, attitude, and extra curricular activities. She made the "lead off" speech of the promotion ceremony last night and, at the end, was one of four students who received the award I just described.

I am very pleased with them (I have that Quaker scruple against using the term "pride") but more than that I realize that our recognition of their situation--their condition (which they inherited from me)--has made all the difference in the world for them. I see children whose condition is not recognized and who go untreated, and I see them going slowly down the drain.

There is such a thing as ADD/ADHD, no matter what some people say, and it can be treated. The course of these children's lives will go one way or the other, depending on how their parents and their communities choose to deal with their conditions.

Hey, there is such a thing as ADD/ADHD. And if your children, after professional evaluation, test to be ADD/ADHD then go with the regimen and therapy designed to deal with it. You will be glad you took my advice. Your child's future is at stake.

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About Me

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I am a convinced Beanite Friend, a member of Bridge City Friends Meeting, Willamette Quarterly Meeting and North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Notwithstanding the doubts of some who claim the name, I am a Christian who does a Buddhist practice and believes that God talks to everyone, all the time. I have worked in the judicial branch of government, as well as being a trial lawyer, a public school teacher (counselor and coach), a kite merchant, and a Marine Corp Sergeant. I am currently working as a consultant to public and private agencies on issues of child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse treatment courts.