Links We Love!

Resources1If you’re a parent of a child with Learning Differences, Behavior Challenges, or Social Skills Needs then you know that one of the most difficult things to search out is a trusted service provider– a “child whisperer” who has their “finger on the pulse” of the L.D. community at large, and, above all else, treats your kid like their own.

We’ll, you’re in luck because this past year we, at Terry Tutors, have spent the bulk of our time researching, meeting, and compiling resources for our clients. Throughout this process, we’ve found ways to seamlessly work together with teams of providers for each of our students and families in need of a little or a lot of help. We happily collaborate because that is the only way to coordinate proper care and ensure that needs are met and things get done! We work not only in the home but at the school and with the state too, providing cross-over services because a child’s challenge doesn’t magically go away when the bell rings.

Anyone who has tried to find special education services or the like has received the run-around more than once, where frustration ensues and time is inevitably lost. We’ve been fortunate, however, to make this process as painless as possible for our students and their families, working diligently to create connections so our kiddos are not the ones who lose out in the end.

For example, SSTs and IEPs are often thought of as nightmarish meetings, laden with government bureaucracy–stretching for days on end with little accomplished. But that has not been our experience. Instead:

  • We do our homework! We’re educated, knowledgeable, and passionate about advocating and providing the right support for our students and their families.
  • We extensively prepare our clients for realistic goals, being mindful of the emotion involved throughout the process of evaluation, social/emotional/academic findings, and the tough decisions parents must make.
  • We make it a priority to respectfully maintain open communication with Teachers, School Psychologists, OTs, SLPs, Resource Specialists, Principals, and Administrators.
  • We followup in a professional, timely manner to ensure what is written on paper is implemented in the classroom.

It is through this process that we’ve been able to meet all of these amazing service providers, who are passionate about serving your child and helping you support and advocate for their needs.

Review all of our Free Resources & Recommendations:

  • Terry Tutors: Serving the Whole Student with Private Tutoring, Family Coaching & Education Advocacy
  • Links We Love: a free resource list of providers we’ve met and services we recommend
  • Terry Tutors Facebook: Resources galore for the typical and atypical developing student
  • Terry Tutors Twitter: Connections with like-minded outlets for education: reform, inspiration, and know-how
  • Terry Tutors Blog: Honest Approaches to Serving the Whole Student
  • Terry Tutors Pinterest: Hundreds of pins from healthy kid-friendly snacks to education case law
  • Terry Tutors YouTube: A Series all about the psychology behind school and how you can do better just by changing your mindset

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Christine Terry, J.D., is the Founder & Owner of Terry Tutors, a Private Tutoring, Family Coaching, and Education Advocacy service dedicated to supporting the whole student. She writes this blog as an effort to help Moms & Dads Navigate Generation Z, Honestly. Want to Know More? Head on over to


ADHD: A Behaviorist Approach

ADHD“I marvel at people who can sit down and stay seated in the same position for longer than five minutes. I found this internal restlessness especially difficult to control during school. Trying to stay focused during a 40-minute class while sitting in an uncomfortable chair was pretty torturous for a young student with attention issues. I remember asking to go to the restroom during most classes, not because I needed to use the facilities but because I needed a minute to get up a walk around.”

These are the words of Jillian Levy, a young women who, for most of her schooling years, struggled with the basic premise of the traditional classroom: to sit down and pay attention. Often thought of as restless, unfocused, or lazy students with ADHD are labeled early on in their academic career as “that kid with behavior problems”. Not to say there isn’t a rampant diagnosis of this disorder (as previously discussed in The Smart Drug Debate), but those who really do have this internal restlessness are genuinely challenged with the tasks that others, myself included, take for granted. For example, when I was in school I learned very early on to raise my hand when I wanted to ask a question or contribute to the class discussion. I would have never dreamed of calling out the answer without adhering to this protocol! But students with ADHD take a more logical and less systematic approach: “If I know the answer, why wouldn’t I call it out? And why aren’t the other kids in my class calling it out too? Well, I guess they don’t know the answer or don’t want to say it out loud.”

The scientific community is really just beginning to put these mysterious pieces of the puzzle together and finally give the general public some real data on the brain science behind ADHD. The educational community, however, is far behind the mark of discovery. Science and technology spearhead change while education and law wait for the numbers to come through. Meanwhile, these students, many of whom are on my Private Tutoring Plus and Education Advocacy rosters, are misunderstood and labeled as a distraction. You have to wonder: how many kids with ADHD are sitting in the principal’s office?

As a person and provider who cares deeply about advocating for those who are unable to advocate for themselves, I’m not waiting for education to catch up with what we already know. Instead, I believe we can change the course of these students lives by helping them understand their own behaviors– creating logical, common sense pathways for positive change through honest conversations with students, their parents, and their school; employing trained therapeutic aides who teach appropriate behavior cues and responses; provide our teachers with effective classroom management training with follow-ups to ensure accountability; and advocate for administrative acceptance of a school-wide rewards and consequences system. If you think these ideas are far-fetched, think again. I’ve seen this in action at schools that are willing to take the hard road and work with the individual in need, not by singling the student out and risking social stigma but, rather by incorporating those systems into the classroom for all students.

Jillian Levy writes, “I am fully aware that having ADHD is a lifelong experience. Everyday I have moments where I feel restless and irritable. However, I try very hard to not let my learning and attention issues control my life. I’m always working to understand why certain situations may trigger symptoms, moving forward with the knowledge that I’m not perfect and that mistakes—whether intentional or not—are human nature.”

I love the way she summed it all up, don’t you. It’s a simple reminder that we must first acknowledge our differences but also take action, learning to move forward in order to create change for ourselves and those around us. After all, that’s really what education is about anyways– a lifelong journey of discovering something greater than ourselves.

Our Services & Helpful ADHD Resources:

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Christine Terry, J.D., is the Founder & Owner of Terry Tutors, a Private Tutoring, Family Coaching, and Education Advocacy service dedicated to supporting the whole student. She writes this blog as an effort to help Moms & Dads Navigate Generation Z, Honestly. Want to Know More? Head on over to

The Smart Drug Debate

accelerated I’ve just finished reading Accelerated, a striking debut novel by Bronwen Hruska. She is a Manhattan Mom who writes about the over medication of children used as a platform to excel in academics. This debate, which she so cleverly brings to life, is really one over the use of Smart Drugs: Piracetam, Aniracetam, Desoxyn, Ritalin, and Adderall, all of which are FDA Classified Scheduled II Drugs (the same as Cocaine) and are intended to change brain chemistry with the effect of stealth-like focus.

It is an all too common path nowadays, used as a means to an end: to get to and stay at the top of the academic ladder. I recently met with the parents of a young child who is super smart but exhibits a lack of impulse control in and out of the classroom. The mother informed me that the school suggested she seek out a doctor for the purpose of possible ADHD diagnosis. She relayed her experience: after the doctor barely examined my child he then said, “Okay, so I’ll write her a prescription for Adderall, 10mg a day, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Confused, guilt-ridden, and afraid of the negative side-effects this powerful drug would have on her child’s brain chemistry she sought out other avenues to quell the disruptive behaviors. I met with her to discuss my Family Coaching Service, which is designed for students experiencing behavior challenges in and out of the classroom. 25% of the students I work with either in my Private Tutoring or Family Coaching practices are officially diagnosed with ADHD: some have been on and off various medications, some are not on any medication, some are taking holistic vitamins and seeking out alternative therapies, and some are doing great on medication. More and more, however, parents are relaying their concerns and are starting to question the schools, the doctors, and our society’s emphasis on medication in the classroom. The fact of the matter remains, however, that Adderall and Ritalin–two of the most common ADD and ADHD medications prescribed to young children– do their job very, very well: students are able to pay much better attention in class with these drugs. But at what cost?

We all know that Lance Armstrong got busted for using performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times. Let me play devil’s advocate with you for a second and ask: How is putting our children on brain-changing medication, brain steroids, any different? The lines are becoming a little blurry these days. Would that ‘A’ paper written by Christine, the student on 10mg of Adderall, actually be a ‘B’ paper if it were written by Christine, the student who was not on Adderall or any other medications? On the flip side, proponents of these prescriptions would argue that medical science has done us a favor, fixing a part of the brain that just wasn’t working quite right. Furthermore, there is always controversy when a successful medical path to improvement is found, such as the Cochlear Implant Debate, which is hotly contested amongst the deaf community as either a help or a hindrance. The Smart Drug Debate is, therefore, no different. Who is right and who is wrong is left up to the parents and their influencers.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule but in general I’m fearful that our society is headed down a slippery slope, embracing a generation where The Advanced are in fact The Medicated.

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