ANNIE'S MAILBOX Family's method of mourning viewed as rather uncouth
Dear Annie: I recently have been told by a very reputable source about a wake for a deceased male here in central Illinois. Apparently, it is a tradition of some of the deceased's family members to mourn his demise by exposing their buttocks in unison toward the deceased's home.
I view this practice of "mooning" as not only uncouth, but also extremely disrespectful toward the deceased. What do you say? Dismayed in Illinois
Dear Dismayed: Well, isn't that special. We don't know if this sophisticated and charming story is real, but we would consider this disrespectful if the family of the deceased objected. However, if it doesn't bother them, it's no one else's business.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "My Son Is Suffering," whose 8-year-old son has ADHD and behavior problems, and was removed from his public school. He was offered three hours of in-home tutoring instead. You gave her some suggestions, including talking to the pediatrician about medication, asking the school about reimbursement for special-ed programs elsewhere and contacting CHADD.
Please tell her that the IDEA law gives each child the right to be educated in the public school, and if special-ed classes are not available there, the school has a responsibility to send him elsewhere to get what he needs. There are two good Web sites for information on her legal rights: wrightslaw.com and the Federation for Children with Special Needs Web site, fcsn.org.
In order to qualify, she needs to have her son evaluated both by a behavioral psychologist and a pediatric psychiatrist. Did It in Montana
Dear Did It: Thank you for the additional references. Of course, parents must be willing to send the child somewhere else, and not all parents are. Here's more:
Dear Annie: I am an adult with ADHD and the mother of two children with ADHD. I also am a middle-school English teacher. I sympathize with the mother in the letter, but as a teacher, I also sympathize with the teacher who is responsible for controlling her classroom.
I often deal with students who are so out of control that they are a constant distraction. They talk out of turn, walk around the room, hit others, throw things and even stand in their seats. The students who are trying to learn become frustrated, and everyone loses out.
When our sons were diagnosed many years ago, we were blessed with a doctor who laid it on the line for my husband and me. He said, "You will be of no use to your sons until you understand that this is not your children's problem -- this is a change for your whole family. Cope or lose."
Our sons are now honor students, self-assured, controlled young men who understand that while they may learn differently, it is not an excuse to do less than their best. They realize they need to structure themselves differently in order to succeed in today's society. Also, because of their medications, they are serious about not taking drugs or alcohol, as this would risk their lives.
My oldest son will be starting college next fall with 16 college credits earned from advanced high-school class work. No one gave him that accomplishment. He earned it. He is respected by his peers and the teaching staff. Not only are we proud of him, but he is proud of himself. That is the greatest accomplishment of all. A Teacher, a Learner, and Best of All, a Mom