I've been through the mill with schools; you owe me this!
I'm not a fanatic, just someone who has been there - in more than one way.
My experiences with this problem at school should never have to be repeated by anyone again, ever.
If you're unsure, refer out. A team approach is needed, where each member does her part. Help the parents to deal with it - it's for the child. Don't fear their feelings. Families have fears too, and they'll just have to go through them.
Denial and uncertainty are to be expected, not avoided; and that goes for school personnel as well! Frankly, there's far too much finger-pointing at parents when children struggle with school. Teachers are the ones responsible for observing the child's difficulty in the classroom. That is the beginning, not the end!
Why did you enter teaching in the first place? If children's learning is not your heartfelt reason for being there, then I bluntly challenge you as a parent to do the right thing and GET OUT! The same goes for administrators. You're paid to ensure a proper education for OUR children!
When young minds are fresh, pliable, eager to learn it is literally unbearable to witness that eagerness burn into a brittle, useless crisp - these "Special" kids are able, but they know they can't consistently achieve their potential.
Most of our school staff and administration have not been equipped with a practical working knowledge of A.D.D. or L.D., and these are the children who are hurt by this neglect.
Schools must start the helping process, beginning with proper early identification. From the standpoint of practicality, it's too little, too late, by the time an overlooked child becomes a troubled, outcast adolescent.
That's why it's so important for them to continually make the effort to educate (themselves) with all the most current knowledge on A.D.D. and L.D.
One young (new) teacher whom I know personally stated to me, and other teachers verified from their own experience, that they received only "about a paragraph" on A.D.D. in their education.
(It was four paragraphs; I've examined their actual textbook, Exceptional Children.)
Parents are basically no better off, which leaves no one able to help the child. The exceptions seem to be those few who are motivated to seek more knowledge on their own, as I have been.
If these kids' best interest is not your utmost priority (not just because it's your paycheck), then take the parents' challenge above. I know it sounds harsh, but what's the moral choice? We should ALL be asking ourselves now "What if I were the one needing Special Services?" Then how would it feel?
These special kids are in every classroom - every single year. How can You BEST lead them?
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