Imagine a family with two kids. One of them struggles with Executive Dysfunction, and the other doesn’t. One fits in easily at school and shines academically, the other one “has issues.” One of them is no trouble at all, and the other one…. It’s always something. You get the idea! The family, the school, the neighborhood, all begin to think of one as “THE GOOD ONE” and the other as … well, not.
What is going on here? These are good people who love their children. They are intelligent, educated and involved with both kids. Part of what is wrong is that they never expected to have kids who had trouble in school.
Often people are not especially conscious of what they expect before they become parents, but they do have a script in the back of their minds. One couple told me in our first meeting that they thought the school years would be packing lunches, saying goodbye at the bus stop in the morning, family dinners and kids doing their homework in the evening, bathing, brushing teeth, and good night at bed time. They really did expect this, but their two absolutely adorable hyperactive Aspergery boys who loved puzzles and the Zoombinis, did not fit seamlessly into the school day. The parents wanted SOMETHING that “would work” and by this, what they really wanted was something to re-synch their reality with their not-so-conscious expectations. What they needed to do was adjust their expectations to the reality of the children they had. I’ll write more on this soon.
Does this sound familiar?