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Nicole Biscotti wrote “I Can Learn When I’m Moving: Going to School With ADHD” http://bit.ly/icanlearnwhenimove with her 9-year-old son, Jason, from the unique perspectives of a child and a mother who is also a teacher. She has seen both personally and professionally how children struggle to be understood and how adults are often at a loss with how to handle the difficult behaviors associated with ADHD. She empowers parents and teachers to provide game-changing support for children with ADHD in school through sharing her and her son’s story, along with researched-based strategies. Jason was 10 when we did this podcast. I’m so impressed with Jason and his mom. Enjoy our conversation!
Nicole, I read your book. Teachers and parents really need this. It’s amazing that there is such a lack of information about ADHD. Is that why you decided to write this book with Jason?
I don’t think that my intentions were so clear to me when I began. We used to journal as a way for Jason to calm down when he was upset. As we continued journaling, I began to realize that Jason was telling a story. As I progressed in my own learning about ADHD, I began to realize how unheard children like Jason are in school and how much support is lacking. This really compelled me to complete the book and to try to address how we could fill that gap of support.
Jason, why did you want to write this book with your mom?
It helped me to release my anger and it helped me share my story.
What does it feel like to be a child in a classroom with ADHD in a society that barely recognizes it? Jason, can you share some experiences you had in school? Then let’s talk about one or more situations that happened. Jason, what did you learn from these experiences.
Some teachers get angry about my behavior and I know it’s difficult but I don’t really mean to be bad, I just have trouble controlling my anger and my energy sometimes. Anyways, sometimes those teachers don’t like me. It makes me madder when I know this because I can read people pretty well.
I learned so much about ADHD from your book. Maybe we better define what ADHD is.
ADHD is a neurological condition that can present itself in many ways. Simply stated, Jason’s brain works differently than a neurotypical brain does. The more I learned about ADHD, the less I like calling it a “disorder” or “condition” because ADHDers are brilliant, they just need support to shine academically.
Nicole, how did you react to these experiences? (we can take each of the experiences separately) Maybe mention the myths of ADHD and have Jason respond to any of them.
They are difficult because I try to get Jason to not take it personally but it’s also hard for me to not take it personally. At times, I’ve denied it to him but then had to apologize later because I really wasn’t being honest with him. Actually, there has been a couple of times when I didn’t believe Jason but then realized that his instincts were correct.
What is meaningful inclusion you mentioned in the book?
Meaningful Inclusion – Inclusion began formally and legally in the 1970s. It has taken a long time to really happen and eventually what it has largely become is everyone together without adequate training or support for kids with and without disabilities. Meaningful Inclusion, in which we include the voices of children with learning differences and give kids the opportunity to know how to relate to children with different challenges or ways of thinking is a very rich opportunity for all of society.
How do you see your book helping teachers? Students, that have ADHD? All students?
I think this book can help teachers and students with and without ADHD. We ultimately need more awareness for everyone to be able to successfully relate to one another in a classroom.
How do you see your book helping parents?
I really hope that parents that read this book feel validated that I as a teacher struggled and feel more empowered after reading the book with the tools and classroom strategies that are in the book to take a more active role in meetings about their children.
I really connected to Jason’s stories and also the references to historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein. I wonder if creativity is connected with ADHD.
I believe that creativity is connected with ADHD because ADHDers often express that they are able to see outside of the box and Jason talks a lot about connections that he makes. This drives him to do a lot of research and to love facts. I’ve heard other ADHDers express similar things; that they like to hyper focus on an area of interest.
Jason, what are the best ways you like to learn? What is the help you want from teachers as a student in their class?
I like to learn about things that are interesting to me and I like learning by hands-on projects or visual things like videos instead of talking. Also, I like to be able to have control over if I need a break or to move and then get back to work. I want teachers to understand why I behave the way I do and that I need to move and that I need help sometimes calming down. I also want teachers to help me find ways that I can focus better.
Share more about your book and then how people can get their own copy?
We really appreciate anyone who reads the book for being willing to read our story. You can purchase it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon and if you would like a signed card to go with it, you can send me a DM with your address on social media with your address to me at @BiscottiNicole and I will happily mail you one.
Nicole and her family live in Yuma, Arizona, and enjoy barbecues and road trips to Mexico. She is originally from New York City where she gained a love of culture and travel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. She is currently a Spanish Teacher and finishing up her last class for a second Masters in Education Administration. She is a certified Translator and Interpreter as well.
You can connect with Nicole on Twitter @BiscottiNicole IG @nicole.biscotti or join her Facebook group #ADHDGlobalConvo. Buy their book: http://bit.ly/icanlearnwhenimove
There are over 26 stories including mine in Define Your Why. Many started as reflections and podcasts with Barbara. Stories connect us, inspire us, and touch our hearts. For more information about my book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, guiding questions, and links.
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