Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is one of my favorite shows and one that I watch frequently with my kids. I love that there will be an adult with Asperger's in the race this year!

Friday, September 18, 2009


In my search for a full-time teaching position, I found myself saying that I understand what it takes to motivate students with learning differences and ADHD. 

I must confess that is a total lie. What I understand is that for some kids (mine), motivation seems to be completely unattainable.

My son is in 7th grade and his cell phone became the center of his universe over the summer. He lost his cell phone privileges the second week of school when he brought home a string of Fs on his school assignments. 

His mid-term progress report showed one C and he needs all As and Bs to get the phone back. I thought he would be motivated to keep the grades that were good and work on that C.

Instead, he’s struggling even more and it doesn’t appear to be a lack of ability. On a practice test he took in school yesterday, he answered “True” to a statement saying there were no tornadoes in Texas. True? From a boy that has spent many nights asleep on the bathroom floor waiting for the next round of warning sirens?

Carelessness seems to be the major culprit. Is it the ADHD? Lack of motivation or concern about school in general or his grades?

He’s now lost computer privileges on school nights until those grades are back to As and Bs but I wonder if that’s going to make a difference. 

Is anyone else in a similar situation? What’s the answer?

Monday, September 14, 2009

New friends

I made a new friend last week. Her daughter is in fourth grade at the same school as my daughter and she started talking to me last week as we waited for the girls to get out of school for the day. 

She is from Israel and explained that her family had just moved here three weeks before school started. Her daughter spoke very little English but was doing well adjusting to her new school. We invited them over one day after school so she and my daughter could get to know each other better. 

She told me about her son who is a year older than my son and also has ADHD. He's in the public school that my son would go to if he weren't in private school. She told me that in Israel, her son was able to go to a different school that allowed him to choose the classes he wanted to take. As a result, he focused better and learned more.

I have to admit, I'm jealous. Not that I don't think my son's school is wonderful, but to see him interested in what he was learning, to see him able to make choices about his future, would be wonderful. My son is still on the sidelines when it comes to his education. He's in class but he's still just going through the motions.

We had a long discussion about our school districts efforts to treat every child the same, even when they are clearly different. Some places have charter schools which sound similar to what she described in Israel but we're not so lucky here. There are no charter schools nearby and private school is becoming cost prohibitive.

I'm interested to hear what other parents of kids with learning disabilities are doing, especially as the kids get closer to high school. Our local high school boasts a 97% rate for seniors going to college and is said to administer more AP tests than any school west of the Mississippi ( 

I'm not sure what this means for my son. I would love to have a choice — a public education choice — that gives him an education where he is engaged and interested in his learning and can be with kids with similar interests.