How difficult is it to do distance learning these days because of the pandemic? Wah! From one mother to another, and a mother of a child with ADHD, for that matter, IT IS A NIGHTMARE! I feel like I have gone back to grade school, learning how one hundred twenty-seven students and thirty-six teachers combined in a program will give a sum of whatever. I am back in grade three, and my mind is just blown away. I am a mother, a tutor, a driver, a maid, and basically a slave during this pandemic time.
I have five kids and also a single mom, as well. All the kids live with me, and their father just visits them from time to time. Our marriage has ended, but you can say that the family is not “broken.” I have learned to be friends with their dad and his new squeeze. As long as he provides financially, I have no problems whatsoever.
It is a big help that I do not have to think about the money and just handle the kids 24/7, three weeks straight for one week a month, they are with him. But right now, with homeschooling and all, it is making me crazy. I cannot wait for his week to arrive so that he can have a taste of how distance learning is like for our ADHD child. His tongue would literally hang out, and he would be panting. Hahaha! That would be a sight to see.
Anyway, enough of my devious thoughts.
Distance learning. Oh, man. I cannot do my work in the morning because my child with ADHD has to be attended to ALL THE TIME. I have a 5-year-old who has no condition, and I left her in the care of my eldest daughter and also my second-born. They just prep her Zoom meeting and open Google Suite, close the door, and she does her class. With my boy, it is different. If I lose sight of him for a few minutes, he would open Roblox and mute their Zoom meeting (class). That’s my boy, my baby boy, who has been diagnosed with ASD-ADHD.
A few years ago, three of my son’s teachers have told me that he is hyper, inattentive in class, and loses focus easily. As a mom, since I was so used to how he was, I told them SCREW YOU. My son is just a playful boy. Sure he climbs, runs, and plays. It is normal. But then the school psychometrician spoke with me and said that he would fail Kindergarten if he does not go into therapy. Therapy? Is my child with an abnormal condition? What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with me?
To follow the requirement of the school, I had to bring my boy to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. Well, they were right. Those teachers were correct. My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder with symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and low focus. I had to get him the help that he needed from an occupational therapist, a learning specialist, and a speech teacher. His sessions lasted for a year, and alas! My son is less of what he was. He still has ADHD since it cannot be cured, but at least he is aware of it and knows how to curb, especially when prompted.
Anyway, to go back, I am having the most difficult time with him right now. I am sure that all mothers will agree with me that this kind of learning set up with the kids at home doing online classes; it is not the most convenient setup. I always have to see if my son is doing his jobs because he is in Montessori. His work plan for the week is set up, and well, he has to follow it. But because he does not have that initiative, he cannot do the work plan on his own. I have to help him. He still had difficulty in reading and writing. It is my struggle now, but because he is my son and I love him with all my heart, I just have to bear it.
For many reasons, I wish this pandemic would end. As to how I have no idea. Maybe, vaccine? Miracle? An act of God? It has taken a toll not just on me but for so many families in this world. We are all afraid to go out. Kids are cooped up at home, and parents are the ones who have to adjust so much. Distance learning is just one of them. This new normal is stressful, and yet, we are all expected to cope.
It is a blessing still that I wake up each morning, and all my children are safe. We have food on our table and some change in our pockets. Even if it is a toxic morning every day with my baby boy, it is still a day with my boy and my children. All of them healthy, thriving and breathing well. I shouldn’t be complaining.