Stanley was diagnosed with ADHD-C at the age of 6. I remember one particular day when he returned home from elementary school, not his usually happy self but very angry. He ran crying to his room and flew onto his bed. He screamed, “I don’t want to have ADHD! I just want to be like all the other kids!” It was then that I realized we had to embrace the diagnosis before we could move forward. We began to accept ADHD as a part of who Stanley is, just as he had brown eyes, or an inquisitive mind. This helped to take away the stigma and allowed us to deal with the diagnosis head-on. The elementary years were spent learning about the disorder, how to deal with hyperactive and impulsive behavior, and learning about medications and educational accommodations. Overall, the elementary years were trying and exciting at the same time. However, by the time he was in middle school, the lack of knowledge and support from his teachers had devastating consequences. By the 7th grade, his behavior and grades deteriorated so severely he had to be removed from the school for 6 weeks of intense daily counseling. When he returned to school, he was assigned to a different team of teachers. This new team believed in the diagnosis and in Stanley’s abilities. As a team, his teachers, the school psychologist, behavior specialists, the principal and I worked together to develop a plan (Individual Education Plan or IEP) to turn his failing grades around and help him find success once again. Stanley has since overcome depression and continues to accept the challenge of living with ADHD. Last year, he graduated from high school with a GPA of 3.6 in advanced classes. He is a member of the National Beta Club, National Honor Roll Society, The National Society of High School Scholars and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. This fall, Stanley entered the University of Kentucky as a freshman in the Engineering program.
The great educator, Marva Collins, once said, “Success doesn’t come to you…you go to it.” I believe that’s exactly what Stanley is doing!