So, I have ADHD and a learning disability. I was diagnosed in my 30's. I applied for workplace accommodations years ago, but never got them, for reasons I don't really understand. Ah, bureaucracy.
So my Union Rep tried again this year. My Principal arranged for me to have a coach. Great. This coach is to come in for six sessions. I was hooked up with the coach last Friday. At which time she informs me that all six sessions have to occur between then, and Feb 21, because after then, she's unavailable. This is not so good. I've emailed my Union Rep about it, but so far have no heard back.
Last Friday when she came in, I had a horribly crappy day, and was exhausted and upset, and was not clearly able to articulate what I need. The next time we had a chance to sit and talk, was right after a major emotional outburst from one of my students, so again, too exhausted and upset to think reflectively and clearly articulate what my needs are.
This week has not been any better on the exhaustion front. She's been in twice. One day she was in to observe, and today to do some work with me organizing my classroom. She came after lunch, but for the first hour after that, I still had my kids, so she got started on tidying the room without me.
We had two periods to work on the room after that, but much of that time she spent peppering me with questions, and moving crap around. As time went on, I got more and more agitated, but I didn't say anything, because I didn't know how to express what I was feeling.
When you have ADHD, life often feels like you are being run over by a bus. You get so used to that feeling, and the masquerade of pretending that you are OK as the bus drives over top of you, that it doesn't even occur to you to say "STOP". The most I could manage was to ask her not to put things in the recycling bin, because I had to fish out at least two things that she had tossed that didn't actually belong there.
She cleared off my desk and table and dumped everything on my counter. I think she thinks she helped me, because the desk is now cleared off. The problem is, that what looked like utter chaos to her actually had a system of sorts for me. I knew more or less where to look for something based on what depth it should be in the piles, and whether it was on my desk or on my counter. Now I have piles on my counter that mean nothing to me.
Then she left, and told me "It's Friday, you should go home. " How can I go home when my room is in utter chaos? I had asked for a coach to help me organize. I need someone to sit with me, and help me create a system that will organize my papers, not someone to shuffle them around the room.
I know she meant well. She is a very kind lady, and she is being very helpful in other areas. I have massive behaviour issues this year, and she's been helping to set up a system around that. I just feel that everything is very rushed, and that she misinterpreted "help me get organized" as "help me clean up". If it were just a matter of moving stuff around, I can do that myself. What I can't do, is figure out where to put things so the piles don't come back again.
So now I am sitting at my classroom computer, tears of frustration spilling down my face trying to stifle my sobs so the janitor doesn't hear. It does not help at all that I forget to take my Concerta today making not only organization, but also emotional control more challenging than on other days.
Then there's the issue that she was going through my stuff. Again, she's a very kind person, and I do not think she will be using anything she came across in my piles again me, but for adults who are diagnosed with ADHD and/or LD, letting other people see the chaos can be a very uncomfortable thing. You spend so much of your life trying to not let other people see your weaknesses lest you be judged as being lazy, stupid or mentally unstable, that having someone just plough into your stuff is horrifying.
I had asked for someone with a Special Ed background who had some experience with adults to help me out, hoping that they would understand all this. What I got was a retired teacher with a Special Ed background, with an child who is a teacher and also LD. But her daughter's challenges are not my challenges. I don't think she really understands Adult ADHD
When we did, briefly talk about my paperwork challenges, I told her that I was having trouble remembering to get my dayplans into my daybook. Her response "What do you think would help you remember?" They say that there are no stupid questions, but this is a stupid question to ask someone with ADHD.
IF I FRICKING KNEW WHAT WOULD HELP ME REMEMBER, THEN I WOULD ALREADY BE FRICKING DOING IT!!!
The thing I worry most about though, is I have a performance review coming up in late April. Despite restarting conversations about my accommodations last spring, things have only really started happening on that front in January. I am so frustrated that they get to drag their feet on the process, and then I feel like I am being rushed.
So, I just had to vent somewhere. It's Friday, and any friends on staff whom I would ordinarily vent to are long gone. I was just too upset to either face the piles or go home.
I so want to go home. But then the mess will just be waiting for me on Monday. On the other hand on Monday, I will have (hopefully) taken my meds.
Right now, just looking over at my desk, now with nothing on it, except the empty white bins she set up across the front of it, fills me with frustration and despair. She even randomly moved a bin I had on my desk off of it somewhere else so she could put her bins there.