Hello. My name is Dawson, I am 10 years old, and I have three brothers and one sister. I want to share something with you that is a challenge in my family and it's emotional too. I have two little brothers with ADHD and one of these two brothers may also be autistic.
My eight-year-old brother Rilie faces many challenges at school. He has a very difficult time trying to get his work completed on time, as he has difficulty concentrating. He also has a hard time sitting down when the teacher is giving instructions and teaching lessons.
Sometimes, while he is trying to do his work, it is also difficult for him to stay seated. He finds it easier to do his work while half-sitting and half standing. Because he has trouble concentrating and remaining on task, his assignments are usually not completed when the rest of the class is done, which is sad as he is starting to be noticed for it. I have also realized that Rilie's desk is usually close to his teacher's desk so that he can be reminded to remain focused throughout the day.
At home, Rilie sometimes has trouble eating all his dinner because staying seated at the dinner table until he finishes is tough for him. He usually leaves the table and runs around.
Another challenge at home is bedtime. When my younger brothers are trying to fall asleep, Rilie is sometimes loud and keeps them awake. I feel badly for my little brothers when they can't get to sleep, however, I also feel badly for Rilie. As his big brother, it makes me sad that he has trouble controlling his energy.
Some of the challenges my six-year-old brother Kodee faces at school are not listening when the teacher is talking. Also, when a student is talking, he calls out in the classroom, and he has a very difficult time remembering numbers and letters. Even with a lot of extra support at school, Kodee has difficulty doing the types of things that other kids his age can do on their own.
This makes me feel sad and I wish that I could be the one to fix everything for him. At home, Kodee has trouble staying focused getting ready for school.
Remembering where he left his things, putting his toys away and finishing his dinner are also challenges Kodee faces. When it's bedtime, he sometimes gets out of bed and starts jumping around with my youngest brother Jak.
With Kodee, I mostly get sad because I see that he can't do things that other kids his age can do. When I try to help him learn his letters, I realize that it is hard for him to remember things. For example, one time my mom was trying to help Kodee with his flash cards and my mom would hold up a "T" and Kodee would say, "T." Next, my mom would hold up an "O" and he would say, "O." But when she held up the "T" again, Kodee was like, "umm, is it an 'L'?"
Do you know anyone that is diagnosed with ADD, ADHD or autism? Are you related to them? If so, how does it make you feel to watch them struggle or try to accomplish things that come easy to others?
I love my brothers and I hope that when they get older, they won't struggle as much as I've seen them struggle in their childhood.
My message out to kids is that if you know someone who is autistic or has some type of challenge, you don't have to pick on them just because they can't do things that you can. They are normal kids like you... their minds just work a different way.
To teachers and to parents I would like to say, continue to be patient with kids like Rilie and Kodee. Let's all remember to think with our hearts.
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