Beverley Diamond

“Re” Thinking: Revitalization, Return, and Reconciliation in Contemporary Indigenous Expressive Culture.

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Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond

TO THE ARTS, CITIZENS! : Social Mediation through the Arts

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Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah

Society Matters: why should we value the Humanities?

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James Bartleman

Residential Schools: Have we forgotten our responsibility?

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Weaver, Johnson and Chuenpagdee

How Do We Build Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate Change?

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Gérard Bouchard and Graham Fraser

Pluralist Societies: what's their future?

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David Adams Richards

Threatened Identity: what do we lose when we lose the sense of place?

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Chief Shawn Atleo

First Nations Education: Can we afford to miss out?

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Antonine Maillet

Giving voice: Who speaks for the forgotten?

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Andrew Weaver, climatologist

How can Canadians keep their cool in a warming world?

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climate change panel

Mothers, Teachers, and Ambassadors

Jacqueline LeBlanc Cormier, Experience Congress 2011

Parenting a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has its share of challenges. But Pinar Kocak knows first-hand that these parenting challenges extend beyond the home and enter the classroom.

The University of Lethbridge graduate student recently conducted research on Alberta mothers who chose to home school their ADHD child. The topic is close to home for Kocak who home schools her 16-year-old ADHD son.

The purpose of the study was to talk to mothers who have considered, who are currently, or who once home schooled their ADHD child and explore the reasons that compelled them to do so.

“(In a communal school), rules and regulations are all there to lead you to a successful school year,” she says. “In such an environment, students are taught and expected to display certain behaviours, but some children are unable to do so. Those children who are unable to sustain attention, sit still, wait for their turn, work quietly, listen, comply with their teachers’ instructions, follow through with assignments, and concentrate on the task at hand are all identified as having ADHD.”

In Alberta, ADHD students are excluded from special education coding and funding. This means the child will not be guaranteed a one-on-one aid, classroom support or modifications, leaving the parents with limited options.

The school will often recommend the child turns to medication. When the medication works, she says, the results are almost immediate. But, medication doesn’t always work, or it sometimes comes with nasty side effects.

“The mother is often caught between pressures from school to medicate her child, her own views on medicating her child and her child’s resistance or will to be medicated,” she explains.

The mothers Kocak interviewed are ambassadors for their children and their needs.  They are vocal about social pressures to medicate their children.  They push for modifications in the classroom to help their child’s unique needs; and they educate themselves and others about ADHD.

“They look for information on how to help their children,” she says. “They look for other options such as schools specializing in special needs, private schools, tutors, etc. But these are not always available. They’re not always affordable and they’re not always desirable to the parents.”

That’s when a lot of parents turn to homeschooling.

“These particular mothers felt compelled to home school their children, and most felt it was the best available option to both explore and provide their children with what they needed when they needed it.”

Photo Courtesy of Chiot’s Run’s


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