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Pile people

Do you know someone who lives surrounded by piles or are you someone who has them? Do they often seem perpetually unable to organize anything? Or are you, yourself unable to get things organized? If you ask them if you can help them clean it up they say don’t touch that.  Pile people seem like a they are very unorganized, but under all that perpetual mountains of unusual paperwork and things they’re very organized. In fact, you just don’t know they are because you don’t see things the way they do.

In order to live with a pile person you have to know when they are done with their pile so it can be put away. Many adults who are themselves pile people end up getting personal assistants. These people organize the piles the that have been used and are no longer active piles. Of course not everyone can afford an assistant. However, there are services out there that one can utilize when necessary. For those who need help but cannot afford it on a full time basis. These services are provided by non-profit organizations like SARRC, Jo’s organizing, CHADD, VeloCity Coaching.  Researching these you will find a variety of different services that are for pay and some are for free.  If you are involved in a vocational program they also may have ways to help your organize after the pile is completed. With training you also can eventually learn to help de-pile the pile and create your own bliss after the chaos.  Don’t get yourself down or bring down the pile person because they have the piles for a reason.  You can teach them to de-pile too.  Here are some resources: http://www.josorganizing.com/,  http://chadd.org/http://www.velocitycoachingservices.com/,  hope this helps with your quest for finding the end to your piles.

You may have thought about how your child’s IEP is promoting his or her education. As you read through the various areas that the educational staff has deemed as important milestones that your child should meet this IEP period (which can last anywhere between one semester to a whole school year) you might be asking yourself a couple of questions.
1. Is this what I feel my child needs? Is this method the direction in which my child needs to go?
2. Is there anything that I can add to this that will benefit my child?
3. And is there anything I want that I will have to ask for in writing and get a doctor to support?
4. And will you need to hire an Advocate to make sure your child gets the tools that will ensure your child’s success in school.
You may be wondering what the teachers and specialist are talking about and why they use certain terms and what those terms mean.  I will go over those further on. When you go into an IEP meeting there are several things that you will need. Those being:
1. What you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your child’s needs are.
2. Where you think he falls within the educational system.
3. Which section he or she would best fit under.
There are several federal laws in which your child could fall under that can have a major impact on how and what services your child can and will receive. The first law is ADA which is Americans with Disabilities Act this covers the rights that those with disabilities are entitled to. It encompasses accommodations that businesses and employers must do and cannot do in the case of persons with disabilities. It also includes laws that keeps persons with disabilities from being discriminated against. Such as equal opportunity to education, employment, and access to public places

 [The Americans with Disabilities Act, as it applies to public entities, is identical. Subchapter II, Part A, of the  Americans with Disabilities Act at 42 U. S. C. § 12132 and § 12133 states:
Section 12132. Discrimination
Subject to the provisions of this subchapter, no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.

Section. 12133. Enforcement
The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in section 794a of title 29 shall be the remedies, procedures, and rights this subchapter provides to any person alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of section 12132 of this title]
It is important to understand and know these laws as they pertain to you and your child. The ADA goes hand in hand with Section 504 which is the educational directive that protects your child’s rights as a person with disability. Be aware that Section 504 and IDEA are not the same and do not protect your child in the same manner. Section 504 gives rights to access to equal education. Meaning that if you choose your child should be mainstreamed into the general population or given individual education depending on what is best for the child. And not what is best for the school. This is key. It allows access not allow for individual targeted education plan like IDEA does. It only allows access. It protects the rights of the child to an equal education but not additional services to help them succeed. So if they need to install bigger doors to allow access into the building or the rooms therein, or if they have to have special tables to allow the child to eat lunch. Or if the bathrooms need to be modified to allow access of the child. “To be eligible for protections under Section 504, the child must have a physical or mental impairment. This impairment must substantially limit at least one major life activity. “Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, writing, performing math calculations, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. The key is whether the child has an [“impairment” that “substantially limits . . . one or more . . . major life activities”]” (Wright & Wright, 2008).

This is where the differences are clear for those that are on a section 504 IEP. They get no additional services or considerations. Therefore, this is important because if your child has behavior problems and only has a 504 it will not protect them from being held accountable without additional options to draw from.
If you have been to an IEP meeting before I am sure you noticed the delineators that are asked if the child qualifies for. 504 is one of them, and then there are other delineators that fall under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) those are SLD, A, and SLI which are students with a learning disability, Autism, Students with Learning impairment. A student must fall under one of these in order to be protected under the IDEA law meaning you cannot simply be dependent on a wheel chair to get around and other various types of disabilities that do not require special education in order to excel in learning. Physical disability that does not impair learning does not qualify. Related impairments that would qualify under IDEA are hearing and vision impairment, second language, other learning disability, students with specific learning disability, “which includes BR-basic reading, RC-reading comprehension, MC-Math Calculation, MR-Math Reasoning, and WE-written Expression”(Konrad, Walker, Folwer, Test & Wood, 2008), these are all usually presented in acronyms in an IEP. Which of course does not help with your confusion right? However, knowing what they are helps you understand the direction in which the educational staff is going in.
With IDEA there is a wide range of learning disabilities and Learning impairments that can be drawn from to pinpoint the best direction for your child’s success. You as a parent have a say so, you have rights to guide the direction of your child’s education and how it is implemented. This is not to say that you have carte blanch and can demand anything and everything. You have to have a clear plan, you have to have your child’s doctor’s support in the direction with clear and definitive directives in order to get what your child needs. And most of all you need it in writing. I cannot emphases this enough if you do not have this in writing you do not have it. It is as plain as that. If you understand these things and still feel as though you are not being heard you may have to hire an Advocate to go to the IEP with you. This can be costly if you do not know where to find one. Research your local area and find out who does advocacy in your area and find out who does it for what you can afford. In closing if you feel that you can get what you want for your child without an advocate make sure you know what you what it is that your child needs, how it is to be delivered and the duration in which he or she needs these additional devices.

Suggested Reading:

All about IEP’s by Peter Wright, Pam Wright, and Sue O’Connor

References:
Konrad, M., Walker, A. R., Folwer, C. H., Test, D. W., & Wood, W. M. (2008). A model for aligning self determination and

general curriculum standards. Teaching Exceptional Children, Jan/Feb(2008), 55. Retrieved from http://www.lackawannaschools.org/cms/lib/NY19000337/Centricity/Domain/44/Model_for_Aligning_Self-Determination_and_Gen_Ed_Curriculum.pdf

Wright, P., & Wright, P. (2008, March 02). Key differences between section 504, the ada, and idea. Retrieved from

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.summ.rights.htm

No doubt that you have read that the Federal Government is lax in its responsibility to enforce laws that empower those with disabilities. And I am sure you have run into block walls when seeking help for your child’s education. The schools will only do what they see as pertinent to your child’s education regardless of what you think is important. Unless you do it in writing and you have a doctor to back up your demands. Yes, self advocacy is key in the academic future of the ADHD, dyslexic, and autistic scholar. To make sure your children get what they need for their educational success you the parent must be proactive and either be an advocate for your child or find an advocate for your child. Clearly in today’ society with all the academic institutions in fear of being sued they would rather keep you in the dark instead of helping you find the help your child needs. They say they will help, say they will look into it but they will never produce any results. Read as much as you can on the subject of Advocacy and follow this website Wrightslaw, and arm yourself with knowledge because knowledge is power.

For instance, did you know that your child has the right to extended testing times? Did you know that your child can have someone read to him in order to take a test? Did you know that a doctor demand a tablet for your child’s use in school. Tablets help children who have reading difficulties because of ADHD, Autism, and Dyslexia to learn to read. Because of the programs available on the tablets that highlight words as they’re being read to the child, and allows the child to type his or her answers and then hand them in printed. All these things are advocacy tools for your child. But you won’t get them if you just ask you have to arm yourself with the means to get what your child needs. A reader by Intel, a iPad by Apple, a tablet by Android whatever the tool if you need it to help or think it will assist your child’s learning you have to get a Doctor to request it in writing then you yourself have to request it in writing in conjunction with the doctor’s letter. That is why I say learn all that you can about advocacy. Several reading materials that you might consider reading would be: Bright Not Broken by Diane M. Kennedy and Rebecca S Banks. Two mothers who found that advocacy was key as well. Also Driven from Distraction by Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, MD., and John J. Ratey, M.D., can also help you find information to help your child reach their goals. If you live in the Western States there is limited assistance because of the lack of knowledge of these conditions here. It is catching up but there still isn’t the kind of information and help that can be found on the East Coast. So be an Advocate for your child you will not regret it.

On April 12, 2011, Governor Jan Brewer signed into law that will help children who have learning disabilities to get tutoring, private lessons, online courses, education at home, or even college classes while they are in High School there are some restrictions and guidelines you will want to learn more about this law. This law is in response to the voucher law that was passed and then struck down by a higher court as unconstitutional. Here is the link to the bill and law: http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/sb1553o.asp&Session_ID=102

Teenage Angst

My ADDer Teenager

Teenagers are such amazing creatures they change from day-to-day and are so resilient.  Those teens that have ADHD have a tough time of it with these changes.  Not only are they changing physically they are also changing mentally are already dealing with the differences they have from others and now have to deal with their own differences within themselves.  This can be a real struggle because not only do they have a hard time understanding others, they have a problem understanding themselves, and often times the concept of personal space. Remember that in the teenage world personal space is new territory they are learning what is acceptable and what is not. Conversely, ADDers often times missed the memo on personal space.

ADDers don’t understand it and don’t understand why others are so put off by their efforts to communicate or be friends.   Teens are just embarking on a new frontier one that will enable them to emerge as adults with their own minds and own attitudes.  Peer pressure is huge and so is the need for acceptance in this time period and for the ADDer the problems are amplified.  We as parents must be able to see this for what it is and expect that what they are feeling is so much more than what we felt at this age.  The self-doubt that can set in and fester is critical at this time so being supportive and helping them see the big picture is going to help them adjust.  Not only do they need guidance during this time, but they need a life coach, or other mediator too! Of course we want to be that life coach or mediator and we should be, however the ADDer needs more than a parent they need a peer to help with the coaching because only a peer who is ADD or understands ADD can really help the ADDer understand his own emotional roller coaster and journey.

Parents mean well, often times if there isn’t a real relationship already built there it will become strained when the ADDer thinks that they are being judged, or feels embarrassed because how could a parent even understand about how they feel.  As I said before it’s amplified beyond what the average teen feels.  Thankfully most parents of ADDers have been doing it for sometime and understand there are differences.  The average ADDer has a mind speeding at light speed and it takes medication, Biofeedback or serious meditation to slow it down enough so the ADDer can consider what it is they are feeling, thinking, or saying.  And knowing this is half the battle with all ADDers not only the teenage ones.  If you have a teenage ADDer consider this when they tend to be way out-of-bounds or more uncontrollable than usual.  They don’t understand what is happening so you have to be the guide and find ways to help them help themselves.  Group settings with others who are ADDers helps immensely, having a life coach as I stated before helps too.  And as always having a parent who understands is paramount to the success of the journey of the ADDer who is a teenager.  You can find life coaches, group programs, and literature through Dyslexia International, CHADD, and even SARRC.  Here are some links that will help.  http://www.autismcenter.org/vocational.aspx#35, http://www.interdys.org/, http://www.interdys.org/ these are just a few there are more and research will you find what you are looking for in regards to the individual needs of your ADDer.

Play Therapy Zone.  Excellent information on helping the special needs child and the ADHD child.

Discovery of Being ADD

I have a son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. He’s a great kid with a lot of quirks. He’s talented, smart and he’s a charmer he just doesn’t know it. We found out that he was ADHD recently within the last few years. And even more recent we have had the opportunity to have the ADHD diagnosed officially. Also we found out that he has Dyslexia which is why his grades have suffered and so has his reading. He has now started on a process of learning to live with his disability. It’s tough it’s a constant struggle to keep him on track. Books are a great way to help you with the struggle. I recently got a book called “Driven to Distraction” by Dr. Edward M Hallowell and Dr. John J Ratey it’s a great book. It describes my sons condition to a T. It also describes me.

ADD in children and Adults

Cover of Driven to Distraction Book

All my life I have been searching for answers to my questions of what is wrong with me. I look normal, I read normal, I just don’t act normal. I am flighty to say the least I want to bolt at the most inopportune times. I have a hard time staying on task and staying at an 8 hour job 5 days a week is so very difficult for me. I always wondered if other people had the same feelings that I did. If they had to hold down the feeling of needing so very desperately to get out of the building now. Trying to find things to keep you occupied while you are occupied with something else just so you can pay attention. And incessantly giggling my legs under the table and would have to stop because I was shaking the whole desk. Which would reverberate through to the other desks. I day-dream can you believe it I am how old now? And I still daydream of course I am not going to give away my age as of yet but to be sure it’s been a while.

I talk fast because my mind moves fast and still I don’t get out what I want to get out. I interrupt people I don’t mean to but I do. Low self-esteem has me by the throat and even though I have tried to quell the fear of being not good enough every time I poke my head out of my hidy hole something slams down on me and puts me right back in that hole. Perception has a lot to do with it too. Perception is huge with ADD in my opinion what see and think is not what other people see and think. I see the aspects that most people don’t see. Most people see the practical side of things I see the creative and imagined side. The side that can expand things, but when I try to tell someone about what I think it gets lost in the translation. From my mind to my mouth and into the world it seems totally idiotic to others. But then time will go by and someone else has caught on to what I was seeing and has made it real. It sucks to be on the inside looking out like you’re a zoo animal. And the awful thing about it is that I want to be seen. I want the attention but when I get it my mind tells me that it’s because I’m stupid or silly and people are just laughing at me instead of enjoying my performance. This is awful this is the worst thing because you never know if you have ever succeeded because your mind won’t let you.

In Driven to Distraction Dr. Hallowell talks about piles of one of his patients this is so me, piles of this and piles of that. My husband always complains about my piles. He says every flat surface has a pile on it. When are you going to clean this up? Well when I get to it and if I’m not distracted by something I might be able to clean some of it up. But I can guarantee that it will be back shortly. I organize my piles I have bill piles, I have grocery store ad piles. There are the piles of bills that have been paid, and piles that I need to throw away and I just haven’t made it to the trash can with the pile in hand. i have piles of clothes that are clean and folded that need to be put away and there is the pile of pictures that I want to put in a frame. I have a pile of sewing that I started when I wanted to make curtains for my kitchen. It’s like my world is piled up. Now some people who are like me like their piles, I don’t necessarily like my piles, but I do know what each one is for and if you move it I get a little upset. Isn’t life grand.

Now all this chaos comes from years of being alone, being teased, being told you are dumb, that you are a slut, and just really aren’t good for much. Years of being round and trying to fit into a square peg. And never quite fitting anywhere. Feels great let me tell you all the world is supposed to be my oyster and all I got was this crappy empty shell. I know I sound like I’m whining but if I don’t tell you how will you know. Am I to keep it to myself and just keep on existing. Existing sucks, I want to live I want to enjoy every minute of the day. I want to fly and soar and be somebody. I have never felt that way. I want to though.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but I will I am good for reading books I like them.  I will tell you what the rest of the book uncovers for me but one thing I know so far is that I need help.  I need a good Doctor of psychology and I need a coach I know where to get the second.  As you can see in some of my writing it can be a bit erratic because I have so much to say and only a little bit of patience to get it on paper.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress but I definitely am moving forward now that I know whats up with me.