Double the time needed to complete a task for children with ADHD. Every book I’ve read on the subject makes this assertion. And they’re right. If the average child can get their shoes and socks on in 5 minutes, mine takes 10 minutes.
And that’s with me, shouting from the other room, “hurry, get your shoes and socks on, we’re going to be laaaaaate!!!”
And the boy, shouting back “I AM getting my shoes and socks on, why are you always rushing me?? I’m going as fast as I can!!!!”
Fine. You’re going as fast as you can, says you. Like earlier, when it took you 23 minutes to eat a bowl of Cheerios….while staring slack-jawed at the Backyardigans, singing and dancing as pirates.
This has been pretty much the routine each morning as we rush out the door for school and work. This year, Connor has asked for the coveted pull up and drop off, rather than the park-the-car-and-get-walked-in-by-your-mom routine. I’m fine with that, and want him to feel like a big boy, so each morning at about 7:30 am, I pull into the drop-off lane and send him on his way. Class starts at 7:40 am, so it’s just the right amount of time to go to his resource room first. It gives us an extra 5 minutes of getting ready time in the morning, since I don’t have to worry about parking.
Then, a couple of days ago, a statement of account came home.
What could this be?? Why, it is a statement of the balance on his lunch money account, and it says there is a negative balance of -$6.00. Hmmmmm, I know I still had about $5 on it, and he has taken his lunch every day this school year. Last night I logged onto the lunch money account, and found an activity report. Here’s what it says:
Student Meal History
|Date||Student Name||School||Meal||Items Purchased||Price|
|9/27/2011||Connor||Neighborhood Primary||Breakfast||BFAST 3||$1.75|
|9/28/2011||Connor||Neighborhood Primary||Breakfast||BFAST 2||$1.75|
|9/30/2011||Connor||Neighborhood Primary||Breakfast||BFAST 2||$1.75|
|10/3/2011||Connor||Neighborhood Primary||Breakfast||BFAST 1||$1.75|
It appears that someone has been double-dipping on breakfast. But beyond that, it confirms that little man is more capable than he appears when it comes to time management. He is managing to go to the cafeteria, charge a breakfast to his account, and sit down and wolf it down in 10 minutes.
BUSTED, BUSTED, BUS-TED!!!!!
We had a little chat this morning, he and I, while he ate his oatmeal (making sure he’s got something substantial in his gut!). In his defense, he didn’t really seem to think there was anything wrong in what he’d done and, to be honest, I’m pretty sure I never clearly said, “do not go to school and buy another breakfast since you are eating this at home.” It just never occurred to me that I needed to cover that base.
Frankly, it would save me a lot of hassle in the morning to just let him eat breakfast at school but, unfortunately, the school serves up a big load of crap in the cafeteria. Here is a sample of their breakfast menu:
Tuesday: Turkey pancake wrap with syrup
Wednesday: Pancakes with syrup or oatmeal
Thursday: Egg biscuit with cheese or blueberry muffin
Friday: Chicken biscuit sandwich or oatmeal
As you can see, it is a veritable cruise ship smorgasbord there at the primary school. No fruit, yogurt, or cereal. I suppose they expect a 6-year-old to have the self-restraint to choose oatmeal over pancakes, but mine has not developed that level of discipline yet.
Nor have I. I would pick the pancakes too, hands down.
But it does show that when a child with challenges is HIGHLY motivated, he or she can do amazing things.
And if one more flyer comes home from the school about physical fitness, and promoting healthy habits for my kid, I am going to be HIGHLY motivated to start a picket line at the district office. Offer my kid a big load of crap to eat, then put the onus of health and fitness on the parents?? This little piggy in a blanket goes WEE-WEE-WEE all the way to the school board.
For now, I need to figure out how to get this newly acquired time management skill transferred to the home environment, without using food bribes. Oh, and thanks to the school, now I have to explain why they don’t serve healthy food, even though it’s important to eat it.