October 27, 2011
All Alpha Delta Delta website has been redesigned.
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Alpha Delta Delta was founded
In 2000 in what began as a cute observation that the initials for Attention Deficit Distorder spelled out a perfectly reasonable Fraternity name. Soon afterwards I thought that maybe I could use this to help my son.
In the Beginning:
In 1989 I had a second son, and as with most parents of children with special needs it became obvious very early that he would need more help than was necessary for the other children in the family in order to get him ready to succeed in school. I didn't know it at the time, but this would be the beginning of a long journey. He was a happy child, always on and always wanting to play. As soon as he was able to stand, he loved to jump off of things, and he loved to take things apart. These two things seemed to keep me quite busy, but after all, he is a boy and it is to be expected he would be curious and energetic.
After a couple of years I put him in pre-school, and very soon I was being called to come and pick him up because he was hitting other kids, pushing them off of slides and swings, or getting out of the yard and running out into the street after a ball. I would have to pick him up and take a day off work every week. He was soon being asked not to return. I could not keep him in the same daycare for longer than six months, and I was in danger of losing my job. I had never heard of a kid being kicked out of pre-school before, let alone so many of them.
Luckily kindergarten saved us, for surely they would know how to help him-- or so I thought. Soon they too were calling me every week asking me to pick him up. How can I go on like this? The kindergarten began using a volunteer to spend almost all her time with him keeping him occupied and in line with the behavior policies of the school. He was not a bad kid, nor unhappy or rebellious. He was just always into things, and playing rough with others, which was against school policy. He would also pack his pockets full of rocks or tanbark or bottle caps or anthing else he would find on the ground. His pockets were bulgeing so much I though not a speck of dirt more would fit. He was not a bad kid-- just different.
The first grade was worse. They didn't have a person they could dedicate to keeping him engaged and in line. Again I had to come and pick him up after work. I thought the school system was supposed to know how to handle children. He would not want to participate and when prodded, would hide under his desk and stay there for hours. It was at this time one day when I was taking my son out of class that a teacher followed us into the hallway and she whispered the letters A, D, D.
I didn't know what to make of this. What did she mean? And what was up with that knowing smile? What did she know that I didn't. I began to read a about ADD. We moved and my son got another school. I decided to wait and see if anything was going to be different at this school, even though I wasn't very hopeful, after all, he had been noticed to be difficult at about a dozen different institutions, so putting the blame on them was not going to fly. But It couldn't hurt to hope.
Soon I was on speed dial on someone's phone list and I began to search for answers. I was told that I needed to take my son to a doctor to have a diagnosis made before any special accomodations could be given to him; like it wasn't obvious.
A doctor had me and the teacher fill out a questionaire. A list of behaviors was followed by columns of bubbles that read: Never; sometimes; often; most of the time; and always. I felt kind of silly filling in all my bubbles at the "always" level, and I can't say that I was terribly comforted when I learned that the teacher had filled her form out exactly the same way. I cam only describe my mental state as both vindicated, and overwhelmed.
Our next trip back to the doctors office and he was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficiet Hyperactive disorder. I was asked if I wanted to try medication on my son, but I thought it would be beter to see if anything could be done without it first. I did not want to drug my son un-necessarily. I also went to my first ADD seminar held by a doctor who wrote a famous book about ADD. In that seminar he gave us all a couple of exercises designed to show us what it feels like to have ADD. The audeience was astounded. I heard a couple of people on cell phones telling their spouses not to spank their child any more-- obviously referring to the constant punishment these kids are usually given. What else can you do when you don't know what else to do?
It was after many years of trying different therapies and behavior modifications through trial and error that I finally became desperate. My son hated his life. He did not want to be different. He wanted to be accepted, as we all do. It was just much harder for him as his natural tendencies tended to be outside the normal relm of social norms. He did not respond to social cues as most of us have learned. Society made as much sense to him as he made to society. We were not succeeding.
I created the first t-shirt or Fraternity shirt in order to give him a sense that even though he was different, it could be for a good reason. This difference could make him quite valuable. ADD could be a gift.
He liked this idea very much, and wore his shirt often, but then, as one of my next t-shirts would come to so charecteristically explain,
"My attention is very weak. What motivated me last week aint motivating me this week."
This was not only fun for him to wear, but it was a call to arms for me; I had to keep thinking of different ways to engage him. I could not sit on my laurels and think I am a wonderful parent for making up a t-shirt that helped my son feel better about himself for a week or two. Whenever he wore that shirt, it reminded me of my mission: to find sufficient coping strategies my son could use in order to have a chance in life.
Where we're going:
Many websites will use the about us page to share their 'mission statement'. What ever information you choose to share with your visitors, you can break the information up with smaller paragraph headings with a <h4> heading tag applied. We've created the about us page using a 'table' with 5 rows and two columns ... this allows the information in the table to be presented as tabular data .. which it really is ...
(Grand Poobah): Mike J. Quinn
Founder, Alpha Delta Delta
Inventor of "Hyperactive Wear"
Proud parent of an Alpha Delta Delta.
Came up with the name Alpha Delta Delta.