I've just left this one:
I'm Catherine, a 'character' in the book (for the record, I tutored my own son for SAT math & took the test myself, once.)Debbie has now had several emails from parents with the same story: an underachieving child with ADHD, a school administrator conveying the message that a) parents shouldn't "push" and b) they're the only parents who are pushing.
Reading this passage I see that a fairly important section of the chapter has been omitted, and that is Debbie's attitude toward her son's grades.
The problem wasn't the Bs.
The problem was that her son was sliding by. He was underachieving, as his math teacher says.
Actually, I have a copy of the manuscript - here's the section that appears in the book but not in the excerpt:
"For me–and this was where I parted ways with the school–the issue wasn’t grades. I would have been proud of Ethan’s B’s if the math teacher had bounced in and said, “Ethan’s a hard worker.” But that’s not what he said, and it wasn’t what I was seeing. Ethan was taking the easy path, and the school was in his camp. The administrators thought Ethan, a happy-go-lucky, disorganized middle school boy with ADHD, should determine his own academic goals."
The boy whose parents were told they should be happy with Cs (in high school) is a friend of my family; I contributed his story to the book. That boy also has ADHD and his case was one of very significant underachievement.
With both boys, the school's approach to an underachieving student with ADHD and a 504 plan was to push back against the parents instead of providing the "accommodations" the boys needed to function as well as their peers (and which the school is obligated to provide).
And in both cases, too, the boys ended up transferring to Catholic schools where they did much better without any SPED 'services' at all. (Neither family is Catholic.)
Judging by some of the emails Debbie's been receiving, parents of kids with ADHD seem pretty often to be the target of 'helicopter parent' judgments made by school administrators.
I'm love to know how many parents have this experience.
I'm now wondering how many people with kids on 504 plans are explicitly told, by school personnel, that "letting" their child "fail" is a good motivator for children with ADHD.