Jan Bemis (jbemis@WOODBADGE.MA.ULTRANET.COM)
Wed, 29 Nov 1995 18:30:35 -0500
When Rob was first diagnosed, in 1984, it was believed that ADD &
was mostly a "male" problem (like color blindness). It took them
YEARS to realize that girls with this problem go "inside themselves"
rather than act up in class. (That's not "lady-like", you know).
And so, the girls with this problem got ignored.
As to ADD & AD/HD being NEW, how many of you are familiar with
the biographies of Tom Edison (sent home from school because he
would never be able to read) & Albert Einstein (who flunked math).
One thing I haven't heard mentioned in these postings are the
intellegience levels of these kids. Most of them are ABOVE AVERAGE.
Rob tested at 136 IQ even though he couldn't read.
AS to the tempers that sometimes hit, I ask you to be little
tolerant of the parents that have been having to deal with these
issues. Teachers that STILL don't believe Learning Disabilities
exist. Schools that want to wish the problem away. How would
any of you like to be told your son has an IQ of 136 and will
never be able to read? (The word iliterate wasn't used, but I
still knew what was being told to me.) Try taking a course in
General Psychology then have a meeting with a psychologist &
REALIZE that what he is describing about your son is that of a
chronic depression, and he's only 13!
FEDERAL ASSISTANCE? SOCIAL SECURITY? WHERE? We certainly
never found it & could have definitely use it to help for all
his "mental health" bills. Most Insurance companies not only
pay only 50% for these numerous visits, they also have a cap of
$1000 to $2000 per year. BTW, when Rob went off to college and
had to stop his visits, they were $90 each. (At twice a month.)
Stop sending him to the "shrink"? That Chronic depression I
mentioned made him a prime candidate for teenage suicide.
So, do I get a little hot under the collar when some idiot
suggests that he "just try harder"? It was his frustration at
not being able to learn that led to his depression!
End result of our pushing the system to provide the type of
education he needed, getting the medical/mental therapy to help
him learn to deal with his problems, not taking the word of the
experts, making them prove their case, constant monitoring of
his education, constant monitoring of his behaviour (including
becoming scout leaders), preventing (where we could) the cruel
abuse of other children (by becoming scout leaders): Rob is now
in college majoring in Fine Arts. As I stated before, he also
surprised all of us by completing the trail to Eagle Scout. But
our proudest moment as parents was not that.
Our proudest moments was at a college open house when he stood
up in front of a room full of other seniors & parents and asked:
"I'm learning disabled. What does your college have in place that
can help me?" Maybe the only people reading this that can under-
stand the significance of that statement are other parents of
special needs students. "I'm learning disabled". Acceptance by
others mean nothing if you can't accept yourself, with who & what
you are. He wasn't saying "do for me so I don't have to". He
was saying "I need help if I'm going to do this", "I can't do
things the usually way", "It takes me longer, but with help, I
can do it".
So don't expect an apology when I get fed up with idiots who
make statements like calling it a disease when it is a disorder.
(There IS a difference, you know, to start with, Rob didn't "catch"
it.) I'll even react when someone praises ME for what I have
done for Rob over the years. You tell me how a parent can give
up when the child refuses to.
Finally, this is a society of Instant Gratification & Automatic
Disposal. The parents who put their child on drugs because he's
so active are looking for a quick fix. Same as the parent with a
special needs child that puts him in a pack or troop so that scout
leaders have to deal with the problem. When discussing this
particular subject, lumping all these situations together is
offensive to the parents that are doing all that they can. As I
stated previously, when Rob was first evaluated, the "experts"
didn't even know what to call what he had. So how could his parents
know what needed to be done?
BTW, Rob gave me permission years ago to discuss his history
openly in the hopes that another child will get the help (s)he
Jan Bemis,CSRT Commish, Mohegan Council MA, NECS-40 "Owl",
"What do you mean, there are no meetings tonight!?"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City