This article was written by Samantha Koutny Sanchez — a mother of an ADHD child who is having his toughest year yet, but has an army of educators trying to ensure he stays in school and keeps excelling. She wants all teachers to realize their full superhero abilities.
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Dear All Teachers, THANK YOU!
To the Parents:
At the end of the school year, there are so many gift ideas for each special teacher in our children’s lives—coffee mugs, to gift cards, to something personalized. However, this year I would like to extend something that although may be free to do, is still worthwhile in sincerity—my utter gratefulness and willingness to help in any way I can. If you give your child’s teacher a gift, good because they deserve it; but also remember that what their teacher really wants, is input. They want to know you’re working with the child at home and talking to them about what happened at school. Maybe email the teacher to say “thanks for all you do and please let me know how else I can help.”
Please be compassionate to your child’s teachers. They are dealing with low funds for supplies, more kids than usually allowed per classroom. On top of that, they might have 1-2 kids who have special needs but are still able to function mainstream. One of these could be your kids. One is my child.
To the Teachers:
Hang in there! We, as the parents of kids with ADHD, know your days can be long and your stresses numerous. However, rest assured you are making a positive impact on a child you sometimes don’t think you’re making. What you see as tantrums and inability to cope is the ADHD child’s way of saying they feel safe with you to exhibit such behavior. It doesn’t make logical sense, but if you’re in a classroom with a child on spectrum or ADHD, you know sometimes logic goes out the window.
Your daily routine at school gives them something to hold on to that’s concrete in a world full of disorder. They must go to recess and lunch, where the noises can become too much. They are surrounded by children all day, some of whom may be their friends one day and not the next. Kids can be mean, as we all know, and ADHD and spectrum kids face an increased risk of being bullied. Remember, your face is their first and last smile of the day, hopefully. Every kid in today’s world faces an uphill battle but as many know; those with ADHD and being on spectrum struggle with being square pegs trying to fit in a school aimed for circles. Teachers are their advocates when parents have to remain away and allow them to make their own choices.
I struggle to remain calm at all times during work, anticipating my son’s next tantrum or inability to cope at school. One day, my son’s teacher emailed me and said; don’t apologize for your son. We will get through this.
She gave me more in one email than she realizes. She gave me hope. Teachers, that is your superpower. You give hope.
To Ms. Chavez at Cinnamon Elementary; hang on. I promise you… Joe will be a better person, and I have teachers like you, to thank for that!