Man, there’s just so much that can be said about Mrs. Smith. I’m a mom of two boys who have ADHD. As a parent coping with this disability in her children, it has been a long road of battling teachers and doctors to get the support my children need and deserve. Over the years I’ve had to stand my ground and plead my case over and over in regards to my boys and the “bad child,” label that so many ADHD children get.
2 years ago my youngest son hadn’t been diagnosed with ADHD yet, but the signs were beginning to become undeniable. One of his symptoms is anxiety triggered by yelling and aggression. It’s more serious than most, he shuts down and starts to act out as a result of not being able to calm his anxiety. He starts to become erratic in his behavior and will even start to eat obsessively if he can’t get relief from the yelling/aggression. On the flip side he will also not tell anyone because he fears it will make him look weak. It takes a lot for him to trust being vulnerable with people because he has a history of being bullied.
Last year I decided to have him tested for ADHD. During the process of getting diagnosed for ADHD, Nick had started to become aggressive at school. This was new for us, something he had never done before. We couldn’t figure out what was happening, but it got so bad Nick was beginning to look like a bully.
Through this process Mrs. Smith never gave up on Nick. She never treated him like a bad child, but rather a child who was struggling with something. She offered resource after resource to help him succeed and in order to get to the bottom of what was happening. She would visit with him daily, she picked up on his affinity for the cops and had the school sheriff visit with him daily. She really went above and beyond to let Nick know school was a safe place and that he could trust her.
Man you have no idea what that did for my son. Once he felt comfortable he could trust Mrs. Smith, he started to talk and open up about what he was experiencing. Turns out my son had been the target of bully attacks all year. The reason for his escalating behavior was his anxiety triggered from the daily bullying he was enduring. He was bottling it up because he hadn’t felt he could trust them yet.
Once we got to the bottom of this situation Nick’s behavior turned around and he began to flourish. His confidence was even improving. This year we have had some hiccups, but having Mrs. Smith at Enterprise Elementary has proven to be a priceless resource for me and hopefully all of the parents at Enterprise. She is hands down the first administrator to support my child with ADHD without judgement. The first to believe in him when the rest of the teaching staff didn’t. And she’s been the first teacher to offer true, un-biased support of my son and his ADHD disability. It takes a special person to do what she does and as well as she does, and I hope she gets all the recognition she deserves.