School For ADHD Kids - Tucson News Now

School For ADHD Kids

By Mindy Blake, News Anchor

Posted 11/29/2004

It seems every classroom has a child with ADHD,  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There's a school in Tucson where it's the rule, rather than the exception.

Children's Success Academy opened in the fall of 2000 to fill a need for some children who were not thriving in school.

You can almost hear a pin drop in classrooms at the Academy. We couldn't pick out the children with  ADHD or behavioral disorders?

"Once you get the behavior under control, then the education can really begin, " says Nancy Aiken, director of Children's Success Academy. It's a charter school with a focus on children who have ADHD or behavioral issues.

Aiken said, "Many of them have been kicked out of schools. For what reason? Usually for behavior."

 Toni Rodriguez' three boys all have attention deficit disorders. Her youngest was never kicked out of school, but he got in trouble a lot. "I would say he got detention every week because he followed what everyone else did, but he was the one who got caught the most. To him, he was like, I got three tries."

But here, kids don't get three tries. It's what's called "restorative justice" the first time.

Aiken said, "He has to go back and put things back and write a letter of apology and put things back they way they were, or better. They're responsible for their actions."

Just as the discipline is immediate, so are the rewards. The rules here are a little different than in traditional school. For instance, no refined sugar.  Juice is fine but it has to be 100 percent juice.

Whole wheat bread is encouraged over white bread. The kids don't seem to mind the food policy. They says it's healthy for them.  Some studies show a diet without refined sugar or food additives can ease ADHD symptoms.

The school offers nutrition and parenting classes, to go along with the belief that to educate the child is to educate the family.

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