Elementary School Blues

I am just going to come right out and say it, school sucked. It was so long, there were too many people, and I never understood a single thing that was going on around me. Teachers and my parents would grow so frustrated with me, they just didn’t get it…why couldn’t I just sit and process the information that was being thrown at me from every possible angle.

“You can be better.”

“You are such a bright young girl if you would just apply yourself.”

“Why are you having such a hard time getting this?”

These are things I heard from the very first moment I moseyed my way into school. It sucked. School sucked. Teachers sucked. Parents sucked. Everything was too loud, everything was moving too fast, and I was always the student left behind.

Bad grades, tension with my parents, teacher complaints, and principal office visits followed me throughout grade school. Nobody listened when I told them to slow down, nobody listened when I said I couldn’t understand them, but everybody listened when I just stopped caring. At the ripe old age of 9 I was officially done and officially tired.

Now this might sound like the melodramatic tale of a little girl who just didn’t like school. But no, it was more than that and nobody seemed interested enough to pursue why. I tried and I tried and I tried but it was just so hard. Many words were thrown around, an A.D.D. here and an A.D.H.D. there but nothing ever quite stuck.

Bad grades, tension with my parents, teacher complaints, and principal offices visits continued on a more frequent basis and with that came detentions and suspensions. I was shy, awkward, depressed and 16 and everything was too much. School was too much. So, I figured the easiest solution was to just not go anymore. I would get ready for school in the mornings and hop on a bus and go downtown with a group of friends and erase the “Your Child has missed so and so class” messages before my parents had chance to hear. I thought I was a genius. This continued on for a month until the big call came.

Expulsion. Was the word of the day. So, I was shy, awkward, depressed, 16 and officially kicked out of school. It wasn’t for long, less than a week later I was put into a new school, a smaller school, a school with friendly teachers, a school with a room to relax in, a school where people seemed to care. I had to talk to a psychologist through the school and was given many a test to see exactly what was going wrong. One test was all it really took to find out I had a learning disability and a fairly rare one at that.

CAPD: Central Auditory Processing Disorder. The signs? Difficulty hearing in noisier environments (classrooms), difficulty with reading and language comprehension, extreme difficulty remembering spoken information, trouble distinguishing speech sounds. Finally, someone understood. There was finally a proper name for something I had been struggling to put into words since my first day of Kindergarten. I felt lighter. I felt happier. I felt like there was finally something I could work on and try to fight against.

I am so thankful for that school psychologist at this tiny little alternative high school. She helped me finally understand that there was nothing wrong with me, that there were solutions to the problem, that I wasn’t stupid. I am so grateful for her and the steps that school took to help me out and somewhat succeed in a school setting.

So, if your child is struggling. Please listen. Please don’t wait 11 years of tears and late nights trying to figure out what is wrong.

How was school for you?

 


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Links:

CAPD signs and symptoms

Through your child’s eyes

 

 

 

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