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“I want to to learn to be an ADHD Coach,” said the voice on the phone.  I could hear she was Afrikaans. I was about to launch into my spiel about the process and the costs when I had a brain-wave.

“If you translate our book and the course material into Afrikaans as we do the ADHD Coaches training, that will be an excellent payment for the training, how does that sound?” I asked. “It sounds good, send me the details,” Debbie Juckers said.

Terms were agreed and we started the training over Skype once-a-week. The book was rapidly translated and will be available as an eBook once it is edited. Each week I would feed Debbie the next coaching module and within a week the translation would be in the Google Drive folder.

Last week Debbie and I resumed our coaching sessions. She was bubbling with excitement as the reality of the changes that had been made by her family became apparent.

This is what Debbie wrote:

Shannon, my eldest daughter, was diagnosed as having ADHD in September 2012 at the age of 11 years 3 months. At that stage she was behind on some major subjects for her age, she tested as follow:

  1. Afrikaans:  (She understood the concept but was way behind and needed to catch up)
    • Reading Speed:  8 years 11 months (standardised reading, comprehension and listening)
    • Accuracy:  10 years
    • Concept:  11 years
  2. Maths: (The only place she was on par - even ahead on division)
    • Addition:  9 years 2 months
    • Subtraction:  8 years 2 months
    • Time:  10 years
    • Division:  11 years 4 months
  3. English:  
    • Reading Speed:  9 years 11 months
    • Write Speed:  8 years 11 months
    • Educational Help Reading Test:  4

At the beginning of 2013 she failed maths and Life Skills.  A lot has happened since the end of the first term last year; both girls had to move schools twice in a very short period of time due to us moving to Johannesburg from Mpumalanga and then again as the school and education department could not, and would not support my ADHD child as per the constitutional law set out in 1999 to accommodate children with learning difficulties in a normal school environment.  

I was told that "she’s doing OK and there seems to be no problem", they would not accommodate her as per the request from the occupational therapist.  This was the child with the swollen cried out eyes I would pick up day after day. She had written only the date in her Afrikaans book as she got lost. "There are no problems" said the Principal and the education department.   The entire family has been assessed and both my daughters and their father are all ADDers.

After a lot of struggle and hardship I happened on the Living ADDventure® ADHD website in 2013.  I say this as I believe everything happens with a purpose and in desperation I tried another search again and there it was – I had been searching for months for any information that could help us, but without success.  I am now a LADD® ADHD Coach-in-training now and this has done wonders for my whole family.  

In the 7 months since I happened on their page we have done the following:

  • Moved the girls to a private school (Leeuwenhof Akademie) in May – heaven sent as there are still teachers who were born to teach.  Not only are the classes much smaller. This means that problems are picked up faster. We got offered more help than in any of the other 6 years that she attended school.
  • Shannon started taking extra classes in Maths and English
  • Shannon also started remedial classes for Afrikaans in May at the school.
  • Shannon started seeing a psychologist in May weekly at the school.

Danre, our nine-year daughter started with a behavioural reporting system as she usually only does what she wants when she wants. The behavioural reporting system work as follows:
You need the following items,  2 containers, a piece of paper for the contract, marbles, and a handful of behavioural issues Danre needs to change.

  • Firstly we write a list of things she likes to do or have i.e. 10 minutes longer play time on the PC or reading other “constructive” issues.
  • Then we add a “marble currency value” to them (all marbles have a currency value of 5)
  • Then we write up the contract including the desired behaviour changes. Using the “3-strike” system, each undesired behaviour reduces her currency by a third.

Everybody in Danre’s life gets to participate and we do this with all her chores etc.  She moves marbles in and out of her container as she earns and loses value.
At the end of the week she uses the currency in her bowl to buy from the LIKES list. At this stage Danre is not taking any medication but we are keeping a very close eye on her to ensure that she does not fall behind like her sister.

Deon, my beloved husband hardly ever finished a project at our home and I got extremely frustrated as I would support him and encourage endlessly, and then still have to get someone to finish up for him.

We have gone through the training together and I am proud to report that last year he finished 2 projects at our house.  He built us a new swimming pool and replaced our kitchen with my help during the holidays.

Shannon’s progress has been a wonderful story of steady progress. With a lot of hard work and support Shannon has made up the huge gap in Afrikaans and Maths and when tested at the end of last year, her listening skills for Afrikaans were higher than her classmates.  

In 7 months she was on par with her classmates when it came to maths – as a matter of a fact from failing with a mere 43% in the beginning of 2013 she went to an distinction 83% - the class average was 66% . With the exception of English she got distinctions in all her subjects. Her English is not too shabby at a much-improved 62%.

Imagine her delight when she was awarded an academic certificate at the school prize giving.  Deon and I were more than thrilled!

Attitude plays a large role in our house these days. Meltdowns that in the past resulted in screaming matches now last only a few seconds. Now it requires only a look, not even words, and the attitude - or should I say ADDitude changes, and she does it all by herself.

And the absolute best is no more screaming, aggravation, the feeling that I have lost control – absolute bliss.  My sister visited from England at the beginning of this year  and commented that as I become older I seem to have chilled a lot.

I know this is not the case – wisdom and knowledge with an ADDitude adjustment has set me and my family free.  We are all in a better place thanks to the LADD® Coaching.

Thank you for coming into my life when I was ready to listen.

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