Introducing our next guest blogger and former Springer parent, Ray Huelskamp! Ray shares his experiences when his daughter, Marika, needed Springer.
The air was slowly leaking out of my balloon, there was no controlling it. My daughter's devilishly delightful childhood smile was lost to the dread of school and the stresses of falling ever further behind. Her mother and I didn't know why or what to do about it. She was working, she spent the time, she wanted to be like the other kids: she just wasn't.
At the recommendation of her school, we did the neuropsychological testing. We were confused by the results. I knew, like everyone else, girls don't have ADHD. ADHD is a thing that boys have. She certainly didn't seem hyperactive. In fact, to me, she seemed to study everything a bit more than the other kids. She seemed to jump in after an expectation was set. She was a follower, not an instigator. She seemed to be shutting down, not the signs of ADHD.
What? I thought, what even is the difference between ADD and ADHD? Is this a nuanced psychological term for doctors or is this something real that will have meaning to my daughter and her path forward? It took a while to understand that girls, my girl, was different, and different than boys when it came to her learning and her needs. She had the signs of ADHD in girls: distractibility without the hyperactivity part; difficulty keeping track of materials. It did begin to make sense.
This is the first part of a three part blog. Please look forward to Part II which will be about my daughter coming to Springer, and Part III will be about my daughter’s transition to high school and her life today.