View Full Version : Explaining My Brain


pooka
08-26-12, 08:28 PM
Tomorrow I have an FEP (Formal Education Plan) meeting with all of my teachers, to discuss my learning differences and strengths and "relative weaknesses" etc etc.

I was diagnosed with ADHD a year and a half ago, and had my first FEP meeting last April, because we didn't get the diagnosis-y paperwork-y stuff in in time for the regular end of summer meetings. Having the meeting so far into the year made it a lot less intimidating - I already knew all of my teachers well, and they had already seen me in action in the classroom.

This time I'm explaining my ADHD to complete strangers, discussing accommodations and explaining how I learn to people who don't know me at all.

I'm worried about a few things: one, that they will already have a perception of me as That ADHD Kid going into the school year. The teachers at my school are really accepting and understanding about all LD's, but I still wonder if they'll have preconceived notions about me before I've actually gotten to show them what kind of student I am.

And two, even though I've given a lot of thought about what to say, I'm worried it'll sound kind of stupid when I say it out loud, or that I won't be able to explain everything, since even I don't understand at all how my brain works.

Has anyone here had experience talking about ADHD with teachers?

CheekyMonkey
08-26-12, 11:41 PM
I do not.

But I work with a lot of teachers. I think if you give them some knowledge and information that they probably didn't know, then it will help them know that you know your stuff and it might be easier to get them to follow your lead.

Good luck!

MX2012
08-27-12, 12:51 AM
Pooka -- make some notes for yourself -- a list of points you want to bring up. One, holding a piece of paper can help you focus and feel anchored. Two, you can use the list as a starting point and a way to keep the conversation on track.

CheekyMonkey
08-27-12, 01:26 AM
I vote for powerpoint presentation!

Drewbacca
08-27-12, 03:09 AM
I vote for powerpoint presentation!

With only one slide to emphasize how we have a hard time completing the things that we start???

TygerSan
08-27-12, 09:06 AM
I do, though I was often with my parents as well. The hardest time I had was convincing them that I actually needed the accommodations the powers that be had suggested for me (I was a straight-A student, but nobody really thought to look behind the scenes).

If you got diagnosed a year and half ago, and you have results of the last meeting, hopefully you have indications of what helped you last year that you can bring forward to this year (data is good. it allows your teachers to see that the accommodations helped you perform better than you had been performing before)

My tips:

1) Be respectful (it's hard sometimes; I'm very sensitive to what I call "therapist vibe", essentially false pity and the assumption by others that you are somehow less capable than others. . . it really rubs me the wrong way. Unfortunately, I also managed to cut off a professor who was dyslexic and was actually being understanding).

2) Explain what's helped you in the past, and what accommodations you think will help you in the future. If you need a calculator to do the calculations in maths class so that you can demonstrate that you know the advanced concepts, let them know that. Tell them that if you have to compute by hand, you're likely to make a stupid mistake that doesn't reflect on your actual abilities, etc.

3) If you're afraid that you're not going to remember what you want to say, write it down so you don't forget an important point. Remember, you know yourself well. You know what works for you, so you won't sound stupid, you'll sound informed.

4) Sometimes teachers just don't get it, and that's not necessarily your problem. Sometimes they're just woefully uninformed, and gentle reminding will help. Others are of the opinion that special treatment is just wrong. . . if you can, run away from those. If you can't, figure out what laws are on your side.

Good luck!

rickymooston
08-29-12, 10:11 PM
Tomorrow I have an FEP (Formal Education Plan)
...
Has anyone here had experience talking about ADHD with teachers?

Try this. Well, this is me talking about ME. Maybe you can offer me tips on how to learn to drive, i feel like a retard there. Btw, i am no longdr a teen but i can offer advice for you to take or leave

1) i am very strong at high level top down thinking. I have very strong visual analytic skills
2) if i write things down, i am good at brain storming, although i have to sometimes check myself so that i do not interupt the contributions of others
3) i often do well at problems evdrybody else finds hard but totally suck at biring repitative memory intensive tasks that they find easy.
4) my short term memory sucks. In particularly, if i do two things at once, i will forget one of them
5) i often make careless detail mistakes but typically lesrn things in depth, if i am interested in them
6) i have been described as having a good imagination
7) i can be exrremely disorganized. I have a hard time knowing how long something will take.
8) i have a hard time learning manual tasks when people describe them to me.
9) i visualize things when i pace, fidget, talk to myself and other things that drive some NTs nuts.

Meh, thats a start. I am not you but that is MY ADHD-PI.