what’s best for the child

Oh, my. Oh, dear. Oh, no. Maybe.

Right, y’all know my kid has ADHD, and is also gifted. And these are real and true diagnoses from an actual clinical psychologist and a pediatrician, not just… whatever crap theory du jour Dr Phil is barfing up (in the case of the ADHD), and not just the my-child-is-so-special thing you hear from yuppie moms (re the giftedness). I’ve said this before, but gifted is SO not the right word for this, because it makes it sound like something people would want for their kids, so pushy stage-moms try to get in on it. Believe me: a 130+ IQ is only a gift if you don’t have to go through the public school system.

When he was diagnosed, what, three years ago now, we heard about a school in Elkofen for such as he: a place for gifted kids with ADHD or dyslexia or some other special challenge that makes them unsuited for traditional schooling; a school for Ignatzes. Brilliant, we thought, but for one thing: it’s a boarding school. Actually, two things, because when we called, they said “We are full up to here, really sorry, you can try to get on the waiting list.”

Which was actually okay, because I was already deeply ambivalent, so the fact that I didn’t have to choose was a relief. However. He’s not getting better, see the parent evening entry. And we tried to follow everyone’s advice about checking his homework, but it turns into a screaming match every time we try it.

So we made an appointment with Ms School Psychologist, who had a very helpful suggestion: our next-door neighbor is a retired teacher who tutors kids. He doesn’t need tutoring, but she could supervise his homework, and he might not scream at her like he screams at us (or he might – he is, um, refreshingly un-self-conscious). Ms S-P also said she’d call the boarding school, see what they said, and we decided we’d try sending him next door for homework supervision, see how that worked, and then consider Elkofen for the 2008-09 school year if he didn’t show any improvement this year. We also decided to mention this to him, to motivate him to try a bit harder because he doesn’t want to go away. Yes, we threatened him, and you may judge us only after you’ve had to live with this for twelve years, m’kay?

Anyway. School Psychologist. Said they may have an opening for this coming year, which is practically next month. Aaaagh! So we called the school, and they said what they have is one spot and three candidates, so we’re going to have to vie for it. Double aaagh!

So we have to call the Jugendamt (uh, state office dealing with kid-related things) and show them all our documentation and they have to agree to cover his tuition fees and we have to take that document to the school and then jump through whatever other hoops they hold up, and visit the campus with him, and all this rigmarole for something we’re not even sure we want.

I don’t want to send him away. I like him. He’s funny. But this school might be better for him in the long run than the one he’s in now. It’s only through 9th grade, and then the students go back to regular high school, so he’d be with his friends again. And he’d be home every weekend, and holidays. But normal life would be so different without him.

I guess the thing to do right now is decide that it’s not time to worry yet. I hate making decisions, I agonize about them all over the place, but I may not even be given a choice in this one. Best we can do is just go through the process and see what they decide. By the bye, dueling with bureaucrats is DrBob’s department, but he’s leaving for Croatia on Sunday. So I have to do this. I may botch it completely. Or, I may be so confused and incoherent that they decide that this child definitely needs help.

Song du jour of the day: Wrapped Around Your Finger, by the Police.


2 responses to “what’s best for the child

  • amy

    I could say more than I care to share in a comment. But email me if you’d like. amyhood21ATgmailDOTcom

    I am so, so sorry.

  • Hula Doula

    Honestly, I can not even comprehend the decision you are facing. I do not have a child with ADHD nor are they completely off the scale brilliant. (ok so I think they are brilliant but that’s another entry completely)
    Have faith in your decisions. That’s all I can say. If he goes and you find that it’s not helping well then pull him. If he doesn’t go…you might always wonder.
    My 2 cents is no more than just that. Either way it is obvious that you love him and care for him. You do know what is best.

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