The Labeling of Children with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder….

If you are a parent of a child with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder who is of school age you would probably agree that it’s tough.  What makes it tougher is when administrators, teachers and even staff exacerbate the issue by not following the 504 Plan that is in place.  After visiting several doctors, a social worker and a psychiatrist and asking for a 504 Plan we still have issues when the teacher doesn’t follow the plan.  Our son was suspended a few weeks ago  and one of the notes said that he was “vicious and immoral”.  Let me qualify that he is 7 years old and 50 lbs. soaking wet.  He has tantrums when he loses it when he is reprimanded.  He ran from the classroom crying and when the principal approached him he threw pencils at her, according to reports.  No that behavior is not acceptable.  Yes we have punished him at home.  Yes we got him a psychiatrist and have medicated him on Concerta an Clondine for the rages.  Yes we hired a social worker at the school and have gotten behaviorists to watch his behavior.   He has since been better….but that terminology, “vicious and immoral ate at my soul.  The following weeks saw better behavior and “A’s” in conduct.

During our 504 all agreed that our son is triggered on Fridays.   The school has an event this coming Friday and they sent a note asking that students bring a white t-shirt to be painted.  I got up early before a surgical procedure to buy my son that t-shirt.  I even donated a t-shirt to any student who didn’t have one and cookies.  During the time that students were to paint their t-shirts my son was talking so he was punished and sent to the office.  Apparently he balled up a paper and threw it at a student.  So he comes home crying because he didn’t get a chance to paint his t-shirt.  On Friday all of the students will be allowed to wear their t-shirts but my son will be excluded again because he was set apart and punished…for talking.

I feel that he doesn’t have a chance.  I feel that each time he does something he will carry the banner of “vicious and immoral”.  Perhaps the principal should consider that as a Catholic I think differently about the terminology.  I think that a vicious person is a murderer and an immoral person is a sex addict.  It’s disheartening to always be called to the office but I have been very happy that he has been having excellent behavior since.  It hurts that even when he is calmer and comes down from his tantrums much more easily he is still isolated and left out of things.  Who doesn’t love their children?  I chastise him but in the same respect his lack of impulse control and ODD is real.  Would they actually suspend and isolate a child with Downs Syndrome?  Would they label a small child with autism, “vicious and immoral”?  I don’t think so and I am going to do something about it.


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