TL/DR: Kindergarten is Hell on Earth.
This is long. Bear with me.
I used to like writing. Before life became... life.
Before having a kindergartner became fighting for his right to learn.
Fighting to keep him IN class, rather than in the hallway or in the principal's office, or, too often to be real, at my parent's house. Suspended.
That was my crash course in parenting a child with ADHD. Or rather, a child who had been targeted by an entire school system because he has ADHD.
The school district we live in is horrible. Bad reputations and bad grades from the stated. So I decided to open enroll him to another district. Huge mistake.
I remember the first phone call. The one the day after kindergarten testing.
The one that told me he was a "bright kid" but had some "issues". Namely, sitting still, staying where he was told, and listening to commands right away.
The same phone call that told me the teachers were talking after testing, and were deciding who would take which of the "trouble" kids. And Mrs. B. She said, "I want Isaiah."
At first it comforted me to think that she wanted to take him. She must have wanted to help him, right? Then I got mad. They were labeling him before he even made it into the classroom! I should have known then it would not be a good year.
The first suspension was only one day. A couple weeks into school. He had hit another kid for being "in his space".
The second suspension was for 3 days. This time, he had been playing on the monkey bars at recess. Another kid came over demanding to use them, Isaiah told him no.
That kid pushed Isaiah. Then Isaiah pushed him back, and because of the size difference (hey, my kid is a giant) they fell. Isaiah fell on top of him.
Now, no adult saw this. The kid told a recess monitor, and Isaiah, my super honest-to-a-fault little boy. Isaiah confessed. Didn't tell them that the kid pushed him first. That didn't come out until we started counseling.
The counselor helped. She's the one who suggested we have him tested for ADHD. So two weeks later, I sat at the doctor's office talking to Isaiah's doctor. The same one we've seen since he was born. At the same practice I've gone since I was his age. The nurses and doctors still remember my whole family. The doctor said he was active, but no more so than any other 5 year old.
Because he had been suspended, she agreed to look into it.
The teacher and I filled out forms describing his behavior. Hers were so off the charts, I almost thought she was describing a different kid.
I was desperate to help him, so he started medication.At first he hated it. felt like his head was fuzzy all the time.
We also started having IAT meetings. (Intervention Assistance Team) The principal,
Things were looking up. He was doing better in class. He went an entire month without a suspension.
But then, a few months later, a few suspensions later, two new medications later, and a new class/teacher later, we were worse off than I ever imagined.
He started peeing his pants. Daily. Sometimes twice.
He was aggressive. Hitting, kicking, talking back. even at home. This was never a problem before.
We thought it was the medication, but I'm not so sure.
We ended up setting up an IEP. I was naive and thought that was to help him. But the more I learned, the more I realized it was just them covering their butts.
I learned that an IEP is only for kids whose "issues" cause them to have difficulties learning, or cause problems for others.
Isaiah excelled in almost everything. He had IQ testing
for the IEP. He tested at two points below what his school used for
their "gifted" program. He was reading at a 3rd grade level.
But... he hated school. Begged me not to make him go.
I gave up on that year. We were weeks from the end of the year. I just wanted to finish the year and find somewhere new for him to start over.
I applied for him to go to a private Christian school where my aunt and cousin work. With a grant from the state and a partial scholarship, it's free for him to attend.
So we visited the school, gave the application, and waited. And prayed.
Two weeks after school ended, I got a letter. Isaiah was no longer allowed to come back to that school system
So we prayed some more. Asked our church to pray.
Finally, I got another phone call. He was in!!
To be continued...