I Get Really Distracted.

For the first time ever, I didn’t dread going to Dylan’s parent-teacher conferences. I chose to see three teachers, all of whom I’d been emailing for two months already.

In English, his teacher had called him “disruptive” at the beginning of the year, so we had to follow up on that. His teacher sat down and said, “Much better!”

I breathed an audible sigh of relief. “Oh, I’m so glad,” I said.

“But he still has an ‘F’,” his teacher said. “Most of that is due to missing work.”

I sighed again, this time less audibly. We’d been down this road before. This time, though, only two assignments were missing. He found one in his binder, and we found the other one at the bottom of his locker before we left the school. So maybe he doesn’t have an ‘F’ now.

His Physics teacher didn’t have the same issues. She kept saying, “He started class a month late, so …” and then explaining why he was missing so much on his grade report. But his work had rapidly improved when she’d put him in a different lab group, where he was not only able to keep up – but working quickly and staying on task during lab.


We moved on to the dreaded Algebra I, where the teacher has really worked with Dylan to make sure he has what he needs to succeed.

“He walks around, stands at the back of the room, and sits on the floor,” she told me. “And he uses the stress balls. He eats and drinks when he’s working and it does seem to help. But he’s still having a really hard time finishing papers.”

I didn’t know what to tell her. Walking, standing, sitting on the floor, using stress balls, eating and drinking – those are the only tricks I know. And he’s using all of them. His greatest success is when he comes in during lunch to finish his work.

So we talked to Dylan about it. “What’s going on when you can’t finish? And why does it help to do it during lunch?”

“No distractions, I guess,” he said. “I get really distracted when I’m in here.”

“Even with only seven kids in your class?” I asked him.

“Yeah, because there’s still a lot going on,” he said.

It is sort of the definition of ADHD to be distracted. It wasn’t until the car ride home that I learned – for the first time ever – what is really going on in my son’s brain.

Meanwhile, we vowed to give him a lollipop and put him in the office across the hall during class whenever he has paperwork to do in math class. He’ll be free from distractions – and we’ll see if that is the thing that will finally work.

Three conferences complete and, all in all, a good day.

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