You Did the Right Thing!

Dylan texted me from school:

“My teacher is refusing to let me type my warm ups even though I asked 3 times and explained my accommodations.

Her reasoning: ‘I don’t want to have to go into email for yours when everyone else’s is written.'”

Dylan hates warm-ups. They are his albatross. They are mundane work, meant to get the kids engaged in class as they enter – but they are agonizing for Dylan. He wants hands-on learning, not routine writing assignments. Warm-ups are the equivalent of coloring pages in preschool, which Dylan also hated. He used to scribble a few red lines on his picture, then head straight for the building blocks.

He has always had serious trouble with writing utensils.

Dylan needs to type his work. He’s actually incapable of hand-writing anything more than a few words, because his hands can’t keep up with what his brain is telling him to write. If he’s spending all his energy trying to hold a pencil and form words, the other thoughts in his brain fly right out the window. After he writes one word, he has to start all over again thinking about what he needs to write.

It’s a very common trait of kids with ADHD. And Dylan has an IEP that outlines this, and provides him with a computer whenever he needs to write more than a few words.

I started to freak out. Mom-of-3rd-Grade-Dylan returned with a vengeance. I almost got in the car and drove to the school, like I used to, but then I took a breath.

Instead, I had a conversation with myself.

I am supposed to let Dylan handle this.

But Dylan is trying to handle this – and his teacher is refusing to allow his accommodations! I should go talk to her right now!

Wait – there is another way. He has an IEP, and he has a case manager who can enforce accommodations.

A-ha! He already has help! I will remind him.

So I texted back:


“okay, I’ll go see her”

“good job self-advocating! you did the right thing!”

“I’m trying”

I felt bad for him, doing everything he was taught to do, then having his teacher refuse to give him the simple things he needs to succeed.

I thought about college, where there will be no case managers, no IEPs, and no mom around to storm the castle.

But then I remembered my classes in college. There wasn’t a single second to spare. I walked in, sat down and started learning.

So I sent one more text.

“good news: no warm-ups in college”

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