messy. crazy. amazing. joyful.

We're not all officially ADHD. Dad's unofficial. Our ten-year-old twins have ADHD. Our seven-year old wants to have it because everyone is always talking about it. Our three year old has ADHD--just because she's three. And me, Mom, I think it's contagious. Who can remain untouched in a house where shoes seem to be lost every morning, instructions are routinely thrown aside, and fights erupt over which continent capybaras come from?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Letter to Parents in Our Son's Class

This is how he feels about everything except screen time and ice cream.

Parents have been complaining about the problems Luke is causing in class. So we decided to write a letter and ask the teacher to forward it to the parents. Don't know if she will or not. We'll see. I say that a lot.

Dear Parents,

Hi. Our son Luke is in your child’s class. Some of you are likely aware that Luke has been involved in some problems in class and on the playground recently. We would like to apologize for any hurt or frustration he has caused.

In addition, if you are interested, we would also like to take this opportunity to explain a little bit about Luke’s disabilities. We hesitate to tell others about Luke’s disabilities because we don’t want him to be negatively labeled or teased, but we hope that offering some information may help the situation. 

Luke has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and some behaviors of Aspergers Syndrome (this is often referred to as high-functioning autism). Though he often seems like a fairly typical child and does well academically, he has impaired impulse control, social skills, and sensory processing. He also has difficulty handling conflict and changes in his routine or environment and is still adjusting to moving to a new school.

We know that Luke’s behaviors can be antagonistic or immature. His skills have improved over time, but he still struggles to a degree that can sometimes be disruptive. Luke's challenges have helped our family learn a lot about getting along with people who are different or who have disabilities. They often have unique gifts. We hope you will see Luke’s presence as a learning opportunity for your child.  We understand there is a good deal of skepticism and misperception about autism.  We often don’t know what to think ourselves.  Though Luke’s disabilities can’t always be seen, we hope you can try to understand that his challenges are real, and no one feels them more acutely than he does. 

We work with Luke outside of school and receive great support from specialists at the school. The patient Mrs. Jones helps him track his behavior throughout the day. He is making progress, and we will continue to address any problems. If you think this information may be beneficial for your student, please feel free to share a basic explanation of Luke’s challenges. 

Thank you for your understanding. Please fell free to call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Have you ever sent a letter like this?


  1. I have never sent a letter like that. I think your letter is excellent. If I received it I would have a better understanding of ADHD and Aspergers. I think you are being proactive instead of reactive and it should be very useful to parents. WOW, I am impressed.

  2. So how long should the ADHD diagnosis take? Should you be dubious of a physician who determines your kid too quickly? What kind of assessments can you anticipate from an ADHD diagnosis?

    1. @ADHD Not to be discouraging, but the diagnosis might take, hmm, 11 years? Okay, not really. You can have a school psychologist, pediatrician, or neuropsychologist make a diagnosis in an hour after describing your child's difficulties and social interactions, which we did. But of course we wanted to be sure so we have seen several specialists. We are now going to a psychologist who says he would diagnose my son as autistic because of his social impairments. So it has been more of a "journey" than a one time office visit. In the end, the particular diagnosis doesn't really matter. You look at your child's difficulties and address each one.