Conquering ‘The Beast’ With Perseverance

By Kimberly Hudson

Like it or not, my family is back in the routine of getting up early and hustling and bustling just trying to get out the door.

After school we rush to extracurricular activities, PTO meetings, church and then home to tackle “THE BEAST.”

Oh my! The dreaded beast is back in town!

As I have reviewed the schedules of my three children, my greatest concern lies with my middle daughter’s schedule that includes two middle school writing classes.

That would be a dream scenario for my 14-year-old who excels in writing but that literally gives Abbie, my 11-year- old, hives.

She has no confidence in her ability to perform language arts tasks.

We placed extra emphasis this summer on writing and making a workable outline. Planning the paper is half the battle.

Once she has a solid plan, she usually can work through the assignment.

Similar stress is noticed during math homework. I can help all day long with language arts assignments, but my children joke that I am okay with math up to about the third grade.

Abbie has tested “gifted” in math but we had a few episodes with homework last year that ended in panic attacks.

She started sweating and broke out in hives – large red whelps that were hot and itchy.

That, my friend, is the mark of “The Beast!”

Her teachers never experience “The Beast” and are surprised when I recount this scenario.

They see a very persistent, hardworking young lady.

They don’t understand why her test scores yo-yo. Abbie has a diagnosis of a moderate-severe language processing disorder, also known as dyslexia, yet her school has not consented to a 504 plan.

I bypass this by working with her individual teachers to provide informal accommodations.

This worked well in elementary school, but I know that is not the solution in middle school.

Her processing disorder does not mean she is unable to do the work in her advanced placement classes.

It merely means she needs some simple, free, accommodations to allow her to achieve her full potential.

She can do the work, but it takes her longer to process the information.

I am already thinking ahead to her taking the ACT.

Her diagnosis means she should be afforded extra time taking the ACT, but this accommodation has to be in her official school file.

So, I continue to advocate for my child.

I continue to remind her of her strengths and know that perseverance is a character trait that will serve her well throughout her life!