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Former co-worker retracts invitation

November 13, 2018

Dear Annie: A former co-worker of my husband’s invited us to his son’s wedding. We received the usual “save the date” card one year prior to the ceremony. For the whole year, he asked us whether we would be attending every other week. About six months before the wedding, my husband’s contract was not renewed, and he was temporarily unemployed. The co-worker still kept asking us whether we would be coming, and when we received the actual invitation in the mail, he called practically every day to ask us to send in the card to let him know we would be attending and what our dinner selections were. He then called and asked us whether we wanted to stay overnight in one of the rooms he had reserved for guests at a local hotel. This was two weeks before the wedding. After we declined the room invitation, he called us back and told us that his wife didn’t think we should come to the wedding because my husband was unemployed and it would be a hardship for us to come. He still calls our house as if nothing ever happened. I was totally insulted and do not think my husband should keep in touch with him. Am I being unreasonable? -- Steamed in Connecticut

Dear Steamed: Goodness. Months of incessant phone calls and confirmations and then a last-minute cancellation after all that back-and-forth -- this man sounds like a ball of nervous energy, wound up tighter than an eight-day clock. His wife doesn’t sound much better.

Though I understand your taking offense, I wouldn’t take it personally. This has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you two. If your husband wishes to continue talking to them, that’s his choice (though I would advise him that any plans he and this man make should be entered into the datebook with pencil, not ink). You’re not obligated to be friends with them. But there’s also no point in staying angry with them. Let off that steam before it burns you.

Dear Annie: Recently, you printed a letter from “Crying Grandma.” I agree wholeheartedly that she needs to seek counseling of her own to identify why she made such an egregious error in judgment.

With that being said, I see it as an opportunity to address a real issue happening in the educational system that you lightly touched on. Many children are inappropriately diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for a variety of reasons. Parents, schools and doctors alike believe that better diagnostic tools have opened the floodgates in identifying students who need medication. This is far from the truth. For example, when a child can’t read, that begins to cause anxiety, and it is often misinterpreted as ADHD. The majority of children experiencing symptoms at school are doing so because of a language-based learning disability. About 1 in 5 students have such a disability. Dyslexia is the most common one.

The bottom line is that parents need to request a complete and thorough neuropsychological examination that is conducted by a team that has experience assessing language-based learning disabilities. This is only the tip of the iceberg, but it is a step in the right direction. Often there is something else going on that doesn’t require medication. -- Dawn W.

Dear Dawn: Well said. Thanks for writing.

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