I was talking with a friend the other day, and her daughter is going through a whole wad of evaluations to determine whether or not she has ADHD, anxiety, or both.
She said something to me that really hit home: “I just get so sick of hearing other parents talk about how their Pretty Perfect Princess didn’t get into the TAG (Talented And Gifted) program, and how they just CAN’T underSTAND it, blah blah blah.”
I get well-meaning suggestions, too, like, ” Is she having trouble? I work on penmanship with Johnny every day. Have you tried this Super Special Pencil Grip? Or THIS?”
I’m happy for you if you have Pretty Perfect Princess or Johnny Goodhandwriting. I am, truly.
Your child, despite appearances, isn’t really like mine – a kid with ‘stuff.’ You may not realize it, but you’re making me and my friend feel like crap. You see, our kids don’t LOOK like they have stuff. They’re the ones with 504 plans and things like that.
So, the next time you’re at the school event, and start chatting it up with the parent next to you, think for one second about what you’re about to say. Are you going to brag? Are you going to try to fix our children’s “problems” with a 10 second solution?
I mean, give us a little credit. We KNOW. Believe me. Trust me. WE KNOW. We know better and more intimately than anyone else on earth possibly could. We know that the TAG program may be out of our child’s reach. We know that our child can’t do *this awesome activity* because it interferes with doctor’s appointments, therapy, tutors, and/or the hours involved in homework that would take your typical child twenty minutes. So, if it were as easy as, “A pencil grip! Wow!” don’t you think we might have gone down that road already?
Please, take ONE second before you speak.