“I want to make a new start but don't know where to begin. I wish things could have been done different, no matter how loud I talk, no one seems to listen.” (Seventeen-year-old boy in care)
My father always told me that the best way to lose weight is to push yourself away from the table. That was, indeed, a good strategy as long as I did not then closet myself in my room with a box of chocolate biscuits. I point this out because it is my strong contention that there is no single strategy that works for everyone, and there are no absolute recipes that any of us can follow successfully to improve the behaviour and concentration of an ADHD child, of an adopted/looked after child or of any other child.
My own “recipe” for making things better is for each parent/ carer to try to know what makes his/her individual child tick. It is important to try to figure out when a child will go off the rails, will respond positively, will be able to succeed, and will quite definitely not be able to handle the situation. While this may be similar for some ADHD/ADD adopted/looked after children, the circumstances, especially for the adopted/looked after child, are so individualized and unique that generalities do not always apply. There is no magic formula.
Late morning. My work phone rings. I answer it in my usual way, expecting a conversation with a client or a colleague, unsuspecting, innocent as we are at moments like this, the time before everything changes.
“Ken Forsyth here.” A GP who sends me referrals from time to time. “It's about Leone Knight,” he says without any further preliminaries. “I'm sorry to tell you she's topped herself.”
The shock is physical, a jolt through my body. The phrase, topped herself, reverberates, telling me something incontrovertible, that Leone is dead. Simultaneously, I think that Dr. Forsyth could have used a more sensitive phrase. Why do doctors talk like this? Too much experience of death perhaps. But still. He talks on and I manage to register the basic facts. It happened late last night. She had taken a lethal dose of pills. Forsyth says something about it being an impulsive act. Then he is gone and I am left to my own thoughts.
I sit still for what seems a long time. The house is quiet. Mary is at work. I am not expecting anyone until the afternoon. Despite knowing that Leone is dead, I somehow do not quite believe it. A part of my mind thinks that she will walk into the room as she has done many times before, a half smile on her face, and put down the collection of shopping bags or whatever she is carrying, and curl herself into the chair like a cat, ready for the session. “It will never happen.” I say this out loud. “She's dead.” As though saying it will dispel the memory. I get up and walk to the window and look out unseeing on to the garden. “Stupid, stupid girl,” I say, though Leone is, or rather was, a 39-year-old woman, with a husband, two children, several ex-lovers, many friends, and a father and mother whom she both loved and hated. I am suddenly very angry with her. Why? Why did you do this? Why? Why did you not call someone? Why not call me? And then other thoughts crowd in, selfish and ignoble thoughts that I am ashamed to be thinking but I am. When did I last see her? Did I miss something? Will I be held accountable? I was her therapist even if she only came to see me monthly now. What will her family think of me? Will someone sue me? I get up to put an end to this stream of self-serving thoughts.
The typical eastern coyote is larger than its western cousin but every bit as clever and adaptable. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlifte identifies two small subcategories of coyotes in the state. One group has a genetic makeup more similar to that of western coyotes; the other exhibits more wolflike characteristics than do most eastern coyotes.
Talking to moose is a specialized skill. Imitating the vocalization of a cow during the rut requires time spent listening to the real thing and demands a bit of practice. The ability to duplicate it by mouth alone, without the benefit of a manufactured mouth call