Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Noelle Family: Exceptional Athlete...Exceptional Student

I am a teacher's daughter and was raised with education being very important to my family. I still believe education is very important. A love of education runs in my family. I am a preschool teacher my sister is a teacher, and another sister is a principal. I believe it is important to attend school regularly. However, I do not agree with how far they have taken this truancy law.

I have a middle school child who has ADHD but does well in school. Her success in school can be attributed to many things; early childhood intervention, excellent teachers, love and support at home, and her love of sports. Not just any sport but gymnastics. Her sport. As anyone who is familiar with ADHD in children knows they are stimulant seekers and if you want them to achieve success you need to keep them stimulated. We found that with gymnastics, but unfortunately for us, Nebraska cannot afford gymnastics in their schools so we have to be in a club.

The point I am getting at is my daughter strives for honor roll grades because she does not want to miss gymnastics. For us gymnastics is not just a couple hours a week it is 20 hours a week with competitions as far as Texas. For my daughter this could mean a college scholarship. She is also in band and she is extremely busy.

I just don’t understand why absences related to my daughter’s band competitions, doctors visits (she is required to go every 3 months because of ADHD or she cannot get her medicine), and sick days all count toward the 20 days allowed under the law when these absences are excused. To further complicate our particular situation she misses school for gymnastics. We are careful with these absences because we have to travel. We try to leave as late as we can but it is difficult in winter weather.

It makes no sense to me that her participation in gymnastics is considered unexcused however if she went to a track meet it would be excused. WHY, because Nebraska CAN afford track as a sport? (Not that it matters much since they all count toward possible legal action against my family).

This is frustrating because I believe I am being an advocate for my daughter. We will not let her go to gymnastics if her grades drop so therefore she keeps her grades up because she wants to go to practice. It’s a win win. However, last year I came dangerously close to being handed over to the county attorney with band competitions, gymnastics competitions and traveling, and sick days (including a broken toe). Everyone knows it is difficult to go to the doctor afterschool to get these doctor appointments done. Explain to me how 20 days in a 180 day school year (10%) is enough for children like my daughter?


  1. That is one good way of making ADHD an advantage. I bet there are more ways to take advantage of ADHD. But I do have here 5 tips that you can make use of.