Linda: Dealing with ADHD

Theories Put Into Action

Hi, my name is Linda. My daughter, Rachel, came to Aseltine School about three and a half years ago, after unsuccessfully moving around through several public schools. Rachel has ADHD and Anxiety, and change has always been hard for her. We were a military family, and she didn’t transition well with a move we made about 5 years ago. A new city, new home, new school, and no family or friends nearby did quite a number on her. These changes took her too far out of her comfort zone. When we moved back to San Diego about a year later for 5th grade, my daughter was still struggling with the prior move.

Upon arriving back to her old neighborhood, to a school she had previously attended, she was lost and she developed some negative behaviors of classmates that we far worse than her own. This is when we made the decision to push for a non-public school. We knew there had to be a better answer to help her academically while she worked on correcting her behaviors and getting back to being her old self again. We found a true gift when we found Aseltine School.

Rachel started coming back out of her shell almost immediately. She made friends with the staff and some classmates. She even became good friends with a student she had previously clashed with at her old school. She learned to develop a healthy relationship with her classmate and they were able to move on from their previous misunderstandings. You see, at Aseltine, the students aren’t just another number, they aren’t left alone to figure things out by themselves, and their problems aren’t ignored. All conflicts—no matter the size—are talked about and dealt with.

My daughter learned so much about herself while attending Aseltine. She learned how to take a deep breath and relax when stressed out; their yoga instructors played a part in teaching her this too. She learned appropriate ways to deal with life’s problems; whether it be a little issue or a big deal. She learned to be a lot more empathetic; not all kids get to grow up in a two-parent household, as some kids live in group homes or shelters. My daughter has also learned so much about cooking from scratch. Thanks to Aviva, the amazing teacher, and mentor in their Culinary Arts Program, Rachel now helps cook at home and enjoys learning about food and new recipes. My daughter learned that there are schools with staff that put students first and they truly do care about all of their students. Most of all, she learned how to thrive and be proud of herself again.

To say that Aseltine turned my daughter around is an understatement; they have given me my old daughter back with a new, fun-loving twist. My daughter is now a high school student and is back in a traditional classroom setting, thanks to the love, support, and encouragement from the Aseltine staff. She is thriving and doing very well; making new friends and dealing with life’s stresses one day at a time. I’m thankful for the opportunity we had at Aseltine.

The staff really has made us feel like we are all part of a big family. The support is like nothing we’ve seen before. It was a bittersweet feeling for Rachel to transition on to public school, but it’s also a great reflection of the dedication Aseltine has to help each child academically, emotionally, behaviorally, and socially to be the best person they can be. We will never forget the friendships she’s made, and we will always hold the Aseltine Staff in our hearts as extended members of our family.

In closing, Aseltine is an amazing school with such growth potential for children that are having a rough time. There really is no other school like Aseltine.

Learn more about the importance of structure for kids with ADHD and anxiety, and how its absence affects behavior

As the new study published in the Journal of Social and PersonalityPsychology documents, frequent moves are tough on kids and disrupt important friendships.  These effects are most problematic for kids who are introverted and those whose personalities tend toward anxiety and inflexibility.  Specifically, adults who moved frequently as kids have fewer high-quality relationships and tend to score lower on well-being and life satisfaction.

When kids are anxious in the classroom, they might have a hard time focusing on the lesson and ignoring the worried thoughts overtaking their brains. This behavior may look like inattention, and it is, but it’s triggered by anxiety. Additionally, for kids for whom school is a big source of anxiety, refusing to go to school is also pretty common. School refusal rates tend to be higher after vacations or sick days, because kids have a harder time coming back after a few days away. Anxiety can also make kids aggressive. When children are feeling upset or threatened and don’t know how to handle their feelings, their fight or flight response to protect themselves can kick in — and some kids are more likely to fight. They might attack another child or a teacher, throw things, or push over a desk because they’re feeling out of control.

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