February 18, 2011

My Heart is Full

During my first set of parent conferences back in November, I mentioned my heartbreak at watching these parents break down in tears as they came to terms with the fact that their son needed a dramatic intervention.  Not only was his behavior a concern, but he was failing all of his classes due to his inability to focus and follow directions.

Last night was our spring conference night, and we met with this family once again.  This time, however, the news was much different.  After our last meeting, the parents took their son to be evaluated by a medical professional who agreed that he needed to begin medications for ADHD.  They started him on his new regimen just before winter break, and we were all anxious to see if there would be any progress.

When we returned to school in January, ladies and gentlemen, we had a new child on our hands.  One that was capable of staying in his seat to listen to verbal directions, read independently without fidgeting or complaining, write a journal (or essay) without finding every excuse in the book to get out of his seat or talking to a neighbor, and incredibly, one that no longer stutters (something for which he has been in speech therapy for years). 

This boy is not simply meeting our expectations of a typical sixth grader, he has become a positive role model in the classroom, often speaking up to get his peers back on task or re-routing a conversation that has gone off on a tangent.  Oh... and he has all A's and one B right now.  I'm telling you, I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. 

My heart was bursting with excitement to share this news with his parents last night, and the look of relief and gratitude on their faces was priceless.  I am so excited that this is a new beginning for this little guy, and that he is going to amaze everyone as he continues to surpass their expectations and reach his potential.  It's only going to get better from here!

These are the moments that make it all worth it!  All of the frustration we felt in the fall was totally worth it because it led us to where we are now. 

I couldn't have asked for a better meeting!

(Let me be clear that I am not endorsing ADHD medications for every student with a little extra energy.  But clearly, this is an example of a one who needed this intervention.  Students like this are the reason these meds exist, and I am so thankful they do!)

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