Posts Tagged ‘Exceptional Students’

What? Already? Nuh uh!

August 9, 2010 2 comments

I don’t know that we are ready to go back to school, but as I type here comes the sun to announce that the day is here whether I like it or not.

No more “sleepovers” in the living room or mommies bedroom… the girls barely spent a night in their bedroom all summer.  But last night it was back to business as usual, because school starts today.

It’s Halle’s first day of middle school… and she’ll be reunited with all her besties that have already started middle school… God help the teachers and administration, as they will surely need it with those four jockeying for the “Real Housewives” Tween Drama Queen title.

Daija starts third grade at elementary school by herself this year, but luckily her bestie from volleyball practice has enrolled there and will be riding the same bus. The after school program the kids have always gone to was cut so things will be a little different this year…

Tyler has been back in school for a week… an event that almost created an anxiety attack for me, but that he seems to be taking in stride. He’s been reunited with friends from way back in his days at MLK’s gifted magnate; one of the members from that terror squad is also in the Aerospace magnate. He seems to love his classes, we’re just going through the usual “trying to get back on track” adjustments the new school year always brings. This week I’ll be sending my usual “Hi, I’m Tyler’s mom” email to see how things are going and whether each teacher has his 504, and then providing them with a copy when (as usual) they do not.



my tribe

April 28, 2010 4 comments

So I have this new friend… her name is Maisha. She found my blog after I made the following comment on What Tami Said: Relationships 2.0: Are you my real friends or are you just virtual?.

November 5, 2009 7:56 PM
curlykidz said…
Absolutely real! Some of my closest friends are people I met online between 7 & 10 years ago. I live on the same block as one of them now, and one of us does morning carpool & the other afternoon carpool. Another flew from Philly to Phoenix to be with me IN THE DELIVERY ROOM when I gave birth to my youngest… it was the second time we’d ever met “in person”, but we talk almost every single day.

Virtual friendships can be very superficial, but that’s true of “real” friendships as well.

 I suspect the hook for her was Christie’s attendance at Daija’s labor & delivery, since Maisha is/was a childbirth educator before returning to school for her nursing certification (congrats again!). Maisha followed the link to my blog, where she noticed that Daija’s hair texture was very similar to her daughter’s, and gave the Naturally Curly method a try. Not too much later, I added the “contact form” so people could send messages directly to me without me having to publish my email address. Maisha was the first person I got a message from.

Aaah, the cosmic order of the internets.

We exchanged an email or two, but both of us being busy mamas, it didn’t go much further than that. Some weeks or months later, I connected with a member of my church on Facebook, and noticed THEY were friends. I figured this was a pretty good sign that Maisha wasn’t crazy and friended her, and the rest, as they say, is history. We arranged a playdate for the kids a couple months later, and they all got on like a house on fire, but especially our eldest kids, both middle school boys, both biracial, and both with learning differences.

I got a phone call yesterday from Christie… who, of all my “virtual” friends, is the hardest to keep up with. So much so that I answered the phone with,

You NEVER call me. What’s going on?

Thankfully, there was no crisis… it was just a “it’s been too long since we caught up” call. I was telling her about Maisha, seeing as how most of my social calendar revolves around her family anymore, and told her how we were going to be bringing Maisha into “the tribe.” Which was a little ironic, as I reread Tami’s blog this morning…

When I began writing online about the things that are most important to me, I soon found a small group of cyber-friends who inspire me, who write things that seem like they tumbled from my own mind, who share some of my beliefs, opinions and obsessions and challenge others, who crack my shit up on the regular. I found my tribe–folks who speak my language–online.

This entry is in partly background for a couple blogs that are still in draft, and partly a marvel at serendipity. I have some rich and beautiful friendships that have either started online, or that began in person and were able to continue after someone moved away… but the one complaint that these friends and I share is that for most of us, our friendships aren’t really able to include our families. So, this is mostly a big, big thank you to Tami Winfrey… you have no idea what a gift you gave Maisha and I, or what a blessing that gift has been for our children.

wild child goes to see big bird…

January 31, 2010 4 comments

 …but not on Sesame Street!

In my little circle of parents from SoMo, Tyler is one of the oldest children. People have been stressing me out by asking me what I’m doing about high school for at least a year now.

High school? My little shortie? All, um… 65 (maybe) pounds of him?

*shutthefuckup* Read more…

Me and My Shadow: Life with ADHD

November 5, 2009 6 comments

A Hollywood writer and producer, who wrestled with ADD since childhood, spills it all: what he’s learned about himself, the unaccepting world, and his ADD brethren.

Former Hollywood writer Frank South describes his late diagnosis with attention deficit disorder Ed Krieger  

One lesson I’ve learned: We ADHD folks are everywhere.

We’re the creative vice-president in the cubicle who, while you’re yelling at us for missing another deadline, comes up with the intuitive leap that saves a whole product line. We’re the spouse whose highly sensitive antennae pick up a vibe from our 13-year-old daughter that she needs to talk. So we sit down with her for a half-hour as she pours out her problems, leaving you waiting at the car place, after promising you we wouldn’t be late.

We’re the 20-something working at the fast-food drive-through who forgot to remove the pickle that you’re allergic to from the Double cheeseburger. We feel terrible—I swear we’re not doing any of this on purpose—but we also find it so freaky funny that we’ll put the whole mess in a stand-up routine that will knock you out laughing when you see it on HBO in two years.

We’re the fifth-grader who makes you wish you had gone into the forestry service and been stationed out in the wilderness rather than teaching us. But then one day we not only hand in our homework—finally—but we also hand in a startling pastel-and-pencil drawing of you that captures the light coming across your desk from the window exactly the way it does every afternoon. You realize that we weren’t staring out the window, we were staring at the light coming in.

We are not stupid or crazy. Well, I could be fairly labeled crazy-ish, due primarily to my off-the-charts ADHD, hypomania, alcoholism, and some depressive tendencies. When you get over being furious at the things we did or didn’t do, don’t waste time feeling sorry for us. We’re working on being less forgetful and accidentally destructive. Even though we talk with shrinks and coaches, work on our social and organizational skills, and take our meds, our core ADHD selves are not going to change into anything normal. Guess what? I don’t think you want us to. That’s because we remind you of that part of you that doesn’t fit in, that’s dying to open the dark door down the hall. Read more…

Amazing Insight from a 10-Year-Old

November 2, 2009 1 comment

c531067b6d581957.gifOn Saturday, I had one of the most disconcerting and satisfying days ever. A frantic Mom had emailed me a 15-page report back from her child’s psychologist, asking if we could meet. The report didn’t tell the parents anything new. The parents already knew that their child struggled with this, that and the other. Instead of providing a deep understanding of WHY her son struggled with about 12 behaviors, the report merely attached scary labels to these behaviors in an effort to categorize them:Your son is suffering from sensory processing disorder, attention deficit disorder, auditory processing disorder, opposition defiant disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, dysgraphia and fine motor skills difficulties that impact writing.Many of you have felt the fear and dread that accompanies such a diagnosis-imaging a childhood lost to endless therapy, headaches in school and thousands of dollars in testing and treatment. Many have no diagnosis, but you recognize the behaviors.

Here is what is frustrating. No one ever provides the ONE critical piece of insight necessary to make lasting change academically, behaviorally and psychologically: understanding the root cause of these behaviors. Read more…

Q1 Report Cards & Halloween Costumes

October 28, 2009 3 comments

Tyler has C’s in Albegra & Language Arts and B’s in Science, Social Studies, PE & Electronics Band. Overall I’m happy with his report card; his average GPA is better than it’s been for a while. I’m not happy about the C’s, obviously, but I’m most concerned about his grade in Algebra. He has tests each semester that he has to pass with a 70% in order to get high school credit for the class. I’m having a hard time figuring out how much of his grade is effort (or lack thereof) or subject content. I guess the district has a new policy where kids have to be re evaluated for 504’s every three years. This gets on my nerves for several reasons, one of which is that on the paperwork I have to fill out, they ask me to provide copies of report cards. ?!?!?!?!

Halle has a C in math (what’s UP with math this quarter?) and has herself convinced that it’s soooo hard. I watch her try and use strategies to solve problems that I swear to God add like, three or four extra steps. So we’re working on that, and she’s got A’s in every other subject.  She says she wants to run for Student Congress this year instead of Conflict Manager, which is a relief to me. Iasked her if she was going to join Buddy Club this year, and she said no… if she does Student Congress and Buddy Club it’s just too much running around (all these activities happen during lunch recess). I thought that was pretty impressive… hopefully she’ll be able to maintain that awareness of what she can handle & what’s going to just stress her out, unlike those of us who “should” ourselves to death.

Daija is coming along… she’s got self control & taking esponsibility as areas of concern, and everything else is developing or proficient (she doesn’t get letter grades yet). We’re working on that as well… Mommy needs to be more consistent! We spoiled the baby, and now I’m paying for it (and sadly, so is her teacher).

We went and got costumes last night, and somehow, not one of the kids is a vampire. Tyler is an “underworld outcast” and Daija is a US Diva. Halle said over the weekend she wanted to use last year’s costume (she was cleopatra). So I may be dressing up as cleopatra’s mother again… and we’ll be doing our usual Halloween tradition of trick or treating around the neighborhood for a minute and then heading to Doomtown at Rawhide.

Deficits Found in Brain’s Reward System in ADHD Patients

October 16, 2009 1 comment
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