Our daughter began to struggle with school for the first time when she entered middle school in the 6th Grade; some children do not cope well handling the many changes that come with this transition. She lost her ability to focus long enough to complete the majority of her homework, unless it was art or another class she loved: she would work on these assignments for way too long, using up any precious time that could be used for needed work elsewhere.
Math, science, and English were on the “panic” list. She was too overwhelmed much of the time to deal with these on her own. Helping her in school suddenly became like a part-time job for me. I would find her lying on the floor doing nothing, or breaking down in tears or screaming rather than dealing with what she needed to do. Nothing motivated her. She often couldn’t tell me when the assignments were due, or sometimes what the exact assignments even were. I was constantly emailing teachers trying to find out what was going on. I wondered if I needed to put her in a special school--but what kind? She was slipping through the cracks.
I finally became aware of accommodations and sprinted down that path. I got her into therapy. This was all a wonderful help and kept us afloat, but something was still missing. None of this was changing her ability to focus on getting her homework done.
I read articles about neurofeedback--the last thing I could think of to try adding to our ADD concoction. It sounded promising and I especially liked the fact that Play Attention had an armband that could provide feedback even while doing homework or practicing an instrument.
We purchased Play Attention in May of 2019, at the end of her eighth-grade year. I wished I had found it sooner, but there was nothing to be lost by getting started (except money and time if it didn’t work) and much to be gained for her future success, and my sanity, if it did work.
There have been many battles along the Play Attention path because she is stubborn and doesn’t want to do it. It has been 18 months since we started and we are nearly finished. While perhaps our pace has been a little slow, her progress in school cannot be denied.
I met with the appropriate personnel at the high school to get her accommodations in place at the beginning of this new school year. I had no idea what to expect with starting high school but I was prepared for the worst.
Much to my surprise and relief, she is now enjoying a successful first year in high school. She is half-way through the second term and we haven’t once had to ask for any of her accommodations. The tantrums have stopped. It is much easier for her to get back on task now if she is reminded that a break has gone on for too long. I noticed she currently has an F in one class. When I asked how I can help, she said, “I know what to do and I am going to email my teacher.” She has the ability and desire to solve her own problem--before she was too overwhelmed and I needed to step in. She had straight A’s first term without much effort on my part; it seems nothing short of a miracle.
The best part of all is our broken relationship is beginning to flourish again as Mom and daughter; she will actually talk to me now when she doesn’t even have to.
There will surely be more ups and downs but now the ups consistently out-number the downs. Thank you Play Attention for helping to make this possible.
Note from mom: I am glad you enjoyed reading our experience; you can surely appreciate how ADD can tear loving, patient parents and frustrated, overwhelmed children apart in the daily battles. I am so grateful that Play Attention has played such a huge role in my getting my relationship back with my daughter; that was not on my radar as an outcome.