Guest Post by Melody McAllister
As an educator, I never felt comfortable filling out observation surveys for children whose doctors are either diagnosing a child with ADHD or changing their dosage. I felt so overwhelmed, especially when those surveys came at the beginning of the year and I barely knew my student. But mostly, I felt unprepared to teach/differentiate my students with ADHD even when they came with 504 or SPED paperwork. Like most teachers, I did my best, but when parents came to me for help and advice for their child who was struggling, it was frustrating because I needed their input even more. The times I was able to help my students, with ADHD, the most were when their parents and I found a great way to keep the conversation gonig and when we could support things that were working from home and school and school and home.
I Needed this Book Years Ago!
So reading Educator/Author Nicole Biscotti’s book: I Can Learn When I’m Moving: Going to School with ADHD, which she wrote with her son Jason, was very eye-opening. She writes it both from a parent and educator perspective of what it’s like to have a child who has ADHD and it left me deeply reflecting on my own practices. Her son, Jason, writes in the book that he enjoyed the project with his mom because it helped him understand more about himself. I wish every teacher and administrator would read this book! I wish every child/human with ADHD felt as empowered as Jason. Biscotti ends each chapter with reflection questions and it lends itself quite easily for a book study.
Something that really surprised me was the myth busting section. One such myth was we often think that ADHD occurs mostly in boys, but according to Biscotti’s research, it is equally likely to happen in girls, but often is left undiagnosed because it doesn’t always appear as hyperactivity like it does in boys. Secondly, we often hear that ADHD is a new thing but it’s been around and studied for quite some time, like hundreds of years.
Medication for ADHD can be a controversial topic. Biscotti writes about her struggle and concern with using medication for her son. The few students whom I’ve had that had both mediation and counseling/therapy for their ADHD were ahead of their peers in many areas. ADHD doesn’t mean kids can’t learn. They are often very bright students, but when we, and by we I mean teachers, parents, and the students, understand how they learn, and when they are able to articulate it, we can help them so much more. But many children can’t articulate what is going on inside of them so thank goodness for this book! It’s helping me see things in such a better way. This is such an easy and fascinating read but packs a punch, and I hope If you know a parent who is struggling, let them know it’s available!
Stay Informed with #ADHDGlobalConvo
Other ways to be more informed about best practices regarding students and learning with ADHD is to join the #ADHDGlobalConvo on Twitter followed by educators and parents which Nicole Biscotti, M. Ed helped create. You can even join the Educators & Parents for Kids with ADHD #ADHDGlobalConvo Facebook Community! The best thing about what Nicole Biscotti is doing is using her abiltiy to break down walls between schools and parents and keep this conversation going globally. That is no small feat! Sharing her personal story, along with her professional practices took courage! I hope everyone will check it out.
About The Author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story, a children’s book about taking responsibility for mistakes and making sincere apologies, which was recently translated into Spanish by Nicole Biscotti, M. Ed. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com.