Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Bad Start to school year


79 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 05:50 PM

DD has been in first grade and the school counselor and teacher are already suggesting we fill out a Connor's evaluation for ADD. DD is having a rough time sitting still all day and expressing her emotions. She loves to learn, but I don't think the school is hitting her learning style. DD has been disrespectful and talking back to teachers, something we DO NOT allow in our house. DD is very bright, reading and doing math at least a year above grade level, but she needs to understand that she is in 1st grade and needs to do that work. Her teacher is using accommodations already and the counselor was suggesting us to get a diagnosis to get 504 services. I understand what all of this means, as I am a special educator at DD's school. DD has had a few months of behavioral therapy for ADD like symptoms. We do not want to go the medication route because my husband had bad side effects. I'm upset with what all this means and just need suggestion of what you would do in this situation.

#2 HomeschoolingHearts&Minds

HomeschoolingHearts&Minds

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 362 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:22 PM

Is it possible that she's just bored?  


  • Ellie, Ravin, Mama Geek and 1 other like this

#3 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:23 PM

I'm surprised they are jumping on this so early in the school year.  Many (most?) young kids need some time to adjust to the school structure.  The extra stress of adjusting makes them tired, and they can't always make up for it with more sleep.  I pretty much expect my kids to have a rough beginning to each school year, even now at age 9. 

 

I think the school should chill and give your daughter some time to settle in.

 

Since you mention that your dh was on ADD meds, it's possible she inherited some of that and does need intervention.  I just think it's too early to jump on that.

 

As for what I'd do, I'd try to get her to exercise at least an hour a day (outside of school), including some of it before school.  I'd up her protein as a proportion of what she eats for breakfast.  I'd give her morning reminders every day about the main things she needs to work on.  I used to tell my kids things like "listen to the teacher, focus on what she wants you to focus on, get your work done first before you focus on what others are doing."  At least temporarily, I'd give her an earlier bedtime, especially on days when it's been rough at school.  You say the teacher is doing some accommodations, so I assume her seating position etc. are covered.

 

When my kids were in 1st, I had a lot of communication with the teacher about behavior.  I suspect I shared too much.  If you tell the teachers that your kid has issues, they are going to see issues even when your kid has age-appropriate behavior.  Pretty soon she can't do anything right, no matter how hard she tries.  So IMO it can be counterproductive.

 

Good luck!


  • chiguirre, Ellie, Sahamamama and 5 others like this

#4 chiguirre

chiguirre

    RABble raiser

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7657 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:24 PM

I'm afraid you're going to have to at least try meds if behavioral therapy and accommodations aren't enough. The other option is to pull her and home school. There are several different classes of ADD meds, so you could try one that your dh didn't react to.

Hugs!
  • JIN MOUSA likes this

#5 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:25 PM

Oh and honestly, I would not fill out that behavior questionnaire or let the teachers do so, at least not until you are sure she has big problems.  IME the teacher's answers can be skewed based on the latest "incident" and may seriously exaggerate issues.  That goes in your kid's file for who knows how long.  I really regret letting my kid's teacher do that.


  • Sahamamama, Mrs. Tharp, Bluegoat and 3 others like this

#6 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 08:30 PM

If I were you, I'd get an evaluation outside of the school. You don't mention whether you've seen signs of ADHD yourself...I'd recommend you fill out Connors, Brief and/or Vanderbuilt for your own information, see how many of the areas you hit, and if it becomes obvious to you from those forms then I'd get the full evaluation to make sure there aren't any comorbidities, and have the official diagnosis that will allow for an IEP or 504 Plan. I don't see any issue with letting the school know once you do, there's no way the diagnosis could hurt her. On the contrary, it will help them give her the accommodations she needs, make them more understanding of her difficulties, less likely to blame her and apply discipline in a way that's not appropriate for a non-neurotypical child. It's the best way to ensure she thrives.

 

My DD was diagnosed a year ago, and is starting PS this year (also 1st grade.) Even before we started, our school had decided to set us up with an aide and a behavior plan, which rewards her throughout the day for good behavior, as well as a communication log so that I can see how she's doing each day and discuss any incidents with her. She's reasonably bright, several years ahead in reading and a year and a half ahead in math, but 1st grade entails a lot of desk work, much of which is just plain boring, and I can't imagine her being successful without these accommodations. A 504 is definitely worth pursuing, I wouldn't hesitate for a second.



#7 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:15 PM

We do see ADD issues at home. We tried giving her coffee the last two days and it has helped to have a calmer more focused child.
  • MotherGoose likes this

#8 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:30 PM

If you're giving her coffee, then you're already giving her stimulants, just saying...

 

I'd highly recommend at least trying meds. I was also very, very resistant, but this summer when we knew we wanted to try ps we decided to just give meds a try to see how DD did. There are SO many more options now than there probably were when your husband tried them, and even if there's an issue it only lasts for 4 (or 8 for an XR) hours, and then it's over. On the other hand, when you find a med that works (we were lucky enough to find one right away) it can be life changing in ways that therapy just can't be on its own.


  • fourisenough likes this

#9 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:39 PM

I'm glad coffee is working for you.  I tried that with my kids, but the kid who was having the issues couldn't down much coffee before school.



#10 regentrude

regentrude

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25716 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:54 PM

 DD is having a rough time sitting still all day and expressing her emotions. She loves to learn, but I don't think the school is hitting her learning style. DD has been disrespectful and talking back to teachers, something we DO NOT allow in our house. DD is very bright, reading and doing math at least a year above grade level, 

 

What you write does not by itself indicate ADD.

It is age appropriate that 6 year old kids have a rough time sitting still and expressing their emotions. The school expectations is not developmentally appropriate. (ETA: It will be easier to sit still if she had the opportunity to exercise before school. Walking to school helps.)

And if she is ahead academically, being disrespectful may just be her way of expressing that she is bored.

 

but she needs to understand that she is in 1st grade and needs to do that work.

 

Why??? 

How can a child be made to understand that she is sentenced to boredom because "that is how things are done"?

For what purpose?

 

 I would first explore whether she might be gifted before jumping on the diagnosis/therapy.medication band wagon.


Edited by regentrude, 03 September 2016 - 09:57 PM.

  • Jean in Newcastle, Sahamamama, shinyhappypeople and 15 others like this

#11 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3836 posts

Posted 03 September 2016 - 11:28 PM

What you write does not by itself indicate ADD.

It is age appropriate that 6 year old kids have a rough time sitting still and expressing their emotions. The school expectations is not developmentally appropriate. (ETA: It will be easier to sit still if she had the opportunity to exercise before school. Walking to school helps.)

And if she is ahead academically, being disrespectful may just be her way of expressing that she is bored.

 

 

Why??? 

How can a child be made to understand that she is sentenced to boredom because "that is how things are done"?

For what purpose?

 

 I would first explore whether she might be gifted before jumping on the diagnosis/therapy.medication band wagon.

 

100% agree.

 

When my DS8 was in 2nd, the school situation was such that there was no differentiation and he was well ahead in reading and math.  He was bored out of his skull, and he does have lower than average self-regulation skills.  Their solution was to "punish" him by making him read by himself in the principal's office - then they were appalled to learn that he actually preferred reading by himself (at his reading level, approx. 5th) to sitting through a class session on basic phonics.  He was also disrespectful.  When I posited that he might be bored, they said boredom was desirable in bright kids at this age b/c they want the child's mind to "stay asleep" (their words) until 3rd.

 

That school had an anti-drug philosophy, which we share, so we thought he'd fit in better there b/c any hyperactive kids in the class wouldn't be drugged, and the teachers and curriculum would be designed to accommodate a normal range of behavior.  Turns out that they just weed out the hyper kids, so the effect is the same as a classroom with the hyper kids drugged (that is to say, my kid stood out more than he would have 20 years ago, before we started drugging so many kids).



#12 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 08:33 AM

We tried testing for giftedness last year and DD did not make the cut off. The district's policy is to only accept the top 1-2% of gifted kids into their program. I know the school is a pro drug them school because I here my fellow teachers there all the time say so and so needs to be on mess for ADD. It is very frustrating to my husband and I. We live about a 15 minute drive from the school, so we can't walk. Tuesday we are going to start stopping at the park next to the school and take two laps around the park before school starts. Hopefully that will start taking care of some of the extra energy. We are also going to do the coffee. DD also has a hard time focusing until you are in close proximity and making her look at you. The school does differentiate curriculum, but not enough for it to make a difference. DD's teacher has not really seen any work from DD, so despite last year's test scores and information from home, she is not differentiating at this time, plus I don't think they've started real work yet. If I could afford the pay cut I would stay home and homeschool, but I can't because my husband is a teacher too. I'm looking at other options for next year, like working at a virtual school where I would have some more freedom to homeschool.
  • Mrs. Tharp likes this

#13 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 09:22 AM

I would assure you that there are many kids in her class working at or beyond her level, and yet they don't have the behavior issues. I think your concerns about ADHD are very valid, since there's a huge genetic component. The fact that coffee calms her rather than aggravating her is also a major red flag.

 

The truth is that coffee and exercise can only do so much, most kids with ADHD just can't be successful without accommodations, and many can't be successful without meds. (And it is not "drugging" kids to make them compliant, my god. It's giving them the neurotransmitters their brains are lacking, in just the way diabetics lack insulin, so that they can control their own behaviors. My DD is exactly the same bright, energetic, creative, joyful girl that she was before we started meds a couple of months ago, only more content with life because she' s more in control of her thoughts, her emotions and her behavior.)

 

I think you'd be doing your daughter a huge disservice by not getting an official diagnosis and a 504 plan. There is no shame in having ADHD, and the label WILL NOT hurt her in any way. To the contrary, in time, without a diagnosis, she'll start thinking of herself as a bad kid (she probably already does) and start wondering what's wrong with her, which will only hurt her self-esteem and exacerbate her behavior.

 

I'd recommend you go to the LC board and ask for people's thoughts...They're a very knowledgeable bunch who are always willing to lend support, and have been able to help children with similar challenges succeed. The board has been incredibly helpful for me as we struggled through various decisions.


  • Ravin, shinyhappypeople, Mrs. Tharp and 2 others like this

#14 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 09:59 AM

Again, it may be true that she needs meds, but I would not jump on that so quickly.  I would give her a chance to settle in and see if those simple non-medical changes such as exercise and coffee may be enough.

 

There is a trend in this country toward teachers being intolerant of age-appropriate behaviors because there's a pill for that.  Personally I have a big problem with that, and AggieMama's latest post makes me think her school is on that bandwagon.

 

Meds are fine if they are truly needed.  However, there is no such thing as a medicine without a side effect.  One of my kids' close friends is on ADHD meds to focus her, other meds to calm her down to sleep every night, and who knows what else.  She has negative behaviors that are caused by the meds, like hitting other kids, but that is excused because it's the meds.  As her body changes, she gets sick from the meds and misses activities because she is sick or needs to go to the doctor.  I like and respect her mom very much, and I believe she would never do all this if she didn't believe it necessary.  But as for my kids, I will try very hard to find something else that works first.

 

My kid was identified in 1st as a kid who "has attention problems" and the school and doctors were very eager to label her ADHD.  The doctor labeled her file ADHD before she ever met my kid.  However, I did not agree with the way others jumped to conclusions, and neither did professionals who had dealt with my kid in the past.  My kid has struggled being perhaps at one end of the range of normal behavior, but she has improved each year, and now you can see how well she makes eye contact, listens, focuses, and cares about her work.  Of course every kid is unique, but I don't like the push I'm feeling to diagnose and medicate before giving the kid a real chance to find her way in the classroom.  We're how many days in?  It would be a 'huge disservice' to not turn to a diagnosis / medical solution to a few minor behaviors this many days in?  I would say keep an open mind.  Meds may well be the solution, down the line.


Edited by SKL, 04 September 2016 - 10:00 AM.

  • Sahamamama, vonfirmath, regentrude and 3 others like this

#15 dmmetler

dmmetler

    Chasing snakes!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14149 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 10:34 AM

I would also point out that just because the school only identifies the top 1-2% for the GT program does not mean that a kid who is, say 95%, might not find instruction aimed at, say, the 75% frustrating enough to have trouble sitting still. Even excellent schools in Lake Woebegone still have a range of skill levels, and will tend to aim group instruction to the bottom or middle, or the top. And, depending on the tests used, they may or may not be a good fit for a young, active child (my DD realized in Kindergarten that the computer based reading assessment wouldn't stop until she got questions wrong, so when she realized everyone else got to play, she declared she was done and refused to finish the test. Her teacher told me to consider her results a baseline, not the maximum), and some school GT assessments rely heavily on teacher impressions, which can work against active kids, too.
  • Sahamamama, Mrs. Tharp, regentrude and 4 others like this

#16 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 11:10 AM

I agree that many gifted kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD (and yes, I wouldn't count on school to be able to diagnose giftedness.) This is another reason for a formal evaluation, because they'll include WISC testing, and be able to determine giftedness vs. ADHD. (A child can actually have both, this is quite common.) I think typically there will be other signs if a child is gifted, though. Reading and learning math early (especially if a parent taught the skills) is really more a sign of an attentive parent, I think. But again I'd highly recommend a full evaluation.

 

And to SKL's point, yes ADHD is overdiagnosed, absolutely. But many of us have been down the road of trying to throw the kitchen sink at our child in an attempt to help them, so as not to have to resort to the med route, and as a result having a child (and family) that is overwhelmed. We homeschooled K and 1st grade after preschool was a dismal failure, we weren't able to sign DD up for any activities that she would have enjoyed because she was all over the place. Now, with meds, she's been able to go to museums and spend hours exploring, has spent over two hours painting pictures and putting together long, complex stories, learned to swim (after many failed attempts in the past)...I'm looking forward to putting her in art classes this fall, which was impossible last year. And now I'm sad about all she missed out on because we were so scared of meds.

 

It turned out that we have virtually no side effects from either med we've tried. (Her first med did reduce her appetite for morning snack and lunch, but she made up for it later and didn't lose any weight. Her current med doesn't affect her appetite or sleep at all.) ADHD is not just about attention and hyperactivity, Aggie's mom, because your daughter has so many red flags, I'd recommend listening to Russel Barkley's lectures on youtube regarding executive functions, and see if it resonates. I listened and was in tears, because we'd been struggling with every single issue he talked about. (And all of it--except emotional regulation, and we may try a non-stimulant at some point to help with that--has been improved with meds.)

 


  • Daria likes this

#17 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 11:18 AM

AggieMama, do you see behavior issues at home, and did she have trouble with acting up in K as well? Or is it only with the increased desk time requirements of 1st grade? If it's only happening now, and only at school, then yes I'd question it. But you seem to be saying that this isn't a new issue.



#18 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 11:27 AM

And to SKL's point, yes ADHD is overdiagnosed, absolutely. But many of us have been down the road of trying to throw the kitchen sink at our child in an attempt to help them, so as not to have to resort to the med route, and as a result having a child (and family) that is overwhelmed. We homeschooled K and 1st grade after preschool was a dismal failure, we weren't able to sign DD up for any activities that she would have enjoyed because she was all over the place. Now, with meds, she's been able to go to museums and spend hours exploring, has spent over two hours painting pictures and putting together long, complex stories, learned to swim (after many failed attempts in the past)...I'm looking forward to putting her in art classes this fall, which was impossible last year. And now I'm sad about all she missed out on because we were so scared of meds.

 

It turned out that we have virtually no side effects from either med we've tried. (Her first med did reduce her appetite for morning snack and lunch, but she made up for it later and didn't lose any weight. Her current med doesn't affect her appetite or sleep at all.) ADHD is not just about attention and hyperactivity, Aggie's mom, because your daughter has so many red flags, I'd recommend listening to Russel Barkley's lectures on youtube regarding executive functions, and see if it resonates. I listened and was in tears, because we'd been struggling with every single issue he talked about. (And all of it--except emotional regulation, and we may try a non-stimulant at some point to help with that--has been improved with meds.)

 

I think a middle ground needs to be sought.  The information given so far IMO does not call for a decision that meds are the clear answer for AggieMama's child.  IMO it is time to be open-minded and try less invasive measures and see if they work.  Honestly I would give the child about 6 months to see if she develops the strategies she needs to be an OK student in the classroom.  Not a perfect student, but a student who can be there without suffering and without preventing other kids from learning.

 

I would also explore other interventions besides meds.  For example, chiropractic.  OP said her daughter is receiving behavioral therapy, so hopefully that will make a difference too.  Again, if all that fails then you go for the big guns.  I don't think the child's life will be ruined by trying different things for 6 months or so.  I guarantee she isn't the only kid who isn't sitting with her hands folded on her desk all day.


Edited by SKL, 04 September 2016 - 11:27 AM.


#19 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 11:47 AM

Oh, I'm not suggesting she jump to meds, of course not. I never said that. We certainly didn't, we waited quite awhile after our official diagnosis. I was just saying that if the time comes, and the other interventions aren't enough, there's no real harm in trying. If there are side effects, they're almost never severe, and only last a few hours. You have no idea how much research we did before deciding it was worth a try. And if we hadn't done the research and tried everything else first, we wouldn't be anywhere near as comfortable with the decision.

 

But there are more reasons for formal evaluation than just meds, and I was trying to gently push toward seeking the evaluation sooner rather than later. It can open many doors to school accommodation, which may actually make meds less necessary. I'd assume from everything mentioned that the teachers are seeing differences well outside of the typical 6 year old activity level and intolerance to boredom.


Edited by nature girl, 04 September 2016 - 11:48 AM.


#20 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 04 September 2016 - 02:53 PM

We have seen this problem both at home and school since DD was two. She had issues in K. When we started doing therapy we began seeing improvements. We think DD is capable of gaining self-regulation skills and we think it was a bad start to the school year. If all else fails we explore medication options, but not until we have exhausted everything else.

#21 kiwik

kiwik

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5370 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:48 AM

100% agree.

When my DS8 was in 2nd, the school situation was such that there was no differentiation and he was well ahead in reading and math. He was bored out of his skull, and he does have lower than average self-regulation skills. Their solution was to "punish" him by making him read by himself in the principal's office - then they were appalled to learn that he actually preferred reading by himself (at his reading level, approx. 5th) to sitting through a class session on basic phonics. He was also disrespectful. When I posited that he might be bored, they said boredom was desirable in bright kids at this age b/c they want the child's mind to "stay asleep" (their words) until 3rd.

That school had an anti-drug philosophy, which we share, so we thought he'd fit in better there b/c any hyperactive kids in the class wouldn't be drugged, and the teachers and curriculum would be designed to accommodate a normal range of behavior. Turns out that they just weed out the hyper kids, so the effect is the same as a classroom with the hyper kids drugged (that is to say, my kid stood out more than he would have 20 years ago, before we started drugging so many kids).


Was that a Steiner/Waldorf school by any chance?

#22 Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11675 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 09:21 AM

Dont forget to look at diet. Sometimes the school is not allowing a snack or water when the nonfree-breakfast crowd with the hour long bus ride or beforeschool program is ready for a recharge.

Anyhoo, the school personnel are not being helpful. They cannot diagnose medical issues as they are not qualified. Ask them what the plan would be for the sam e behavior, but not ADD or ADHD. I had the same scenario, but the school psych knew what frustrated gifted looked like, and we moved the child to a higher expectations setting (no gifted programs here).
  • eternalsummer likes this

#23 OneStepAtATime

OneStepAtATime

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32306 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 09:21 AM

We have seen this problem both at home and school since DD was two. She had issues in K. When we started doing therapy we began seeing improvements. We think DD is capable of gaining self-regulation skills and we think it was a bad start to the school year. If all else fails we explore medication options, but not until we have exhausted everything else.

Getting a private evaluation might help you determine her strengths and weaknesses and any areas that need working on as well as areas that she can really shine given the opportunity.  She may very well be gifted (and bored out of her skull) but often the school testing is not in depth enough or accurate enough to tweak that out.  And she may or may not have ADHD but testing can help determine that.  Testing does not mean automatically needing meds, either.  Evaluation through a neuropsychologist just gives you a fuller picture of your child.  You choose what you do with that information and who gets to see it.

 

But yes, I agree with regentrude, schools more and more have developmentally inappropriate expectations.  Your kiddo may really be desperate for movement and challenge and things to keep her mind and body going.  She is a little kid, and most little kids are hard wired to move and to think and to explore.  Instead, she is sitting at a desk doing clerical work.  Some kids thrive with that environment.  Some kids survive in that environment.  Some kids go bonkers.


  • Bluegoat and nature girl like this

#24 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3836 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 03:07 PM

Was that a Steiner/Waldorf school by any chance?

 

indeed.  we ended up withdrawing him.  not a good fit at all, alas.



#25 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3836 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 03:09 PM

 

But yes, I agree with regentrude, schools more and more have developmentally inappropriate expectations.  Your kiddo may really be desperate for movement and challenge and things to keep her mind and body going.  She is a little kid, and most little kids are hard wired to move and to think and to explore.  Instead, she is sitting at a desk doing clerical work.  Some kids thrive with that environment.  Some kids survive in that environment.  Some kids go bonkers.

 

Yes, and the difficulty, imo, with giving stimulants to many of the kids who can't handle these expectations is that it moves the bar; now, instead of these expectations being recognized as unrealistic and unhealthy, the perception is that they are just fine as long as you are medicating your child (which they will suggest you should be if he can't cope with the unrealistic environment).


  • Bluegoat and OneStepAtATime like this

#26 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 05:12 PM

My DD started school today, and I was happy to hear they have 2 recesses, choice time (with animals! And blocks! And "creation station!") and movement breaks throughout the day. I'm guessing that's not typical? But definitely developmentally appropriate. This is a rural public school, mostly middle class, so I'm guessing it's not completely atypical either. They do have high expectations for the kids, though. (Most kids are reading and writing full paragraphs, and doing addition/subtraction to 20 by the end of K.)

 

A 504 Plan should get you extra breaks throughout the day, as well as  behavior plan. I can't imagine anyone not wanting one if it's offered.


  • OneStepAtATime likes this

#27 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 07 September 2016 - 06:01 PM

My DD started school today, and I was happy to hear they have 2 recesses, choice time (with animals! And blocks! And "creation station!") and movement breaks throughout the day. I'm guessing that's not typical? But definitely developmentally appropriate. This is a rural public school, mostly middle class, so I'm guessing it's not completely atypical either. They do have high expectations for the kids, though. (Most kids are reading and writing full paragraphs, and doing addition/subtraction to 20 by the end of K.)

 

My kids' school is like this through at least 2nd grade, and 3rd & 4th also have 2 recesses and lots of movement and socialization built into the school day.

 

I don't know how common it is though.
 



#28 OneStepAtATime

OneStepAtATime

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32306 posts

Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:35 AM

My kids' school is like this through at least 2nd grade, and 3rd & 4th also have 2 recesses and lots of movement and socialization built into the school day.

 

I don't know how common it is though.
 

That's awesome!  Definitely NOT the norm here in any way shape or form.  In fact, recess is only twice a week and only once a day on those two days they have recess here.  I love that your school has 2 recesses and  socialization built into the day.  I wish the schools in our area were like that.



#29 vonfirmath

vonfirmath

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5041 posts

Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:44 AM

That's awesome!  Definitely NOT the norm here in any way shape or form.  In fact, recess is only twice a week and only once a day on those two days they have recess here.  I love that your school has 2 recesses and  socialization built into the day.  I wish the schools in our area were like that.

 

At our school, they have recess every day through 5th grade.  In K-2nd, they have PE in addition to recess 3 X a week. (The other two days are Music and Art)

 

In 3rd-5th they have PE every third day (so they do a three day rotation Music, Art, PE)

 

In addition, at least in K-2nd, on nice days, teachers will take the kids outside for science lessons whenever possible.
 


  • OneStepAtATime likes this

#30 Ravin

Ravin

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12834 posts

Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:58 AM

Is it possible that she's just bored?  

 

This is what I was going to say.

 

Sounds like she's bored.



#31 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:22 AM

It's definitely possible that she's bored. After having consequences for her behavior at school at home for a week, DD had a great week of school this week. She ended the week with a 100% on her spelling test after very little study.it was a struggle to get her to study, but after a little persuasion she did. She didn't have to sit out at recess either. I'll have to check with the teacher on Monday to be certain, but it sounds like this week was better.
  • HomeschoolingHearts&Minds likes this

#32 Janeway

Janeway

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3861 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:39 AM

I agree with you about not doing the medications.

 

How someone reacts to medications is largely genetic. Our son did not react well. Then, we had genetic testing, years later, but not because of the ADHD. However, we did discover that neither my husband or I would have done well with certain medications. 

 

The school does need to chill. And they can find things to do with her that do not involve drugging her. My son gets motor lab as a benefit. They tell me they have no trouble with him at school now. He basically earns the motor lab. Then he gets 15 minutes in motor lab. He loves it and it keeps his ants in his pants in check.



#33 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:04 AM

It's great she had a better week in school!

 

But I'll ask again why you're so reluctant to have her tested? There are many reasons for getting tested, not just for medication. You'll learn much more about her strengths and weaknesses, and the best ways for you and the school to help her succeed. It's the first step any professional would recommend, and there's really no downside to it. Again, with an ADHD father, and the calming response she shows to caffeine, I think the chances are very strong that she does have ADHD. Most kids will not act up like this just because of boredom. But you want to know if there's giftedness in the mix, whether she has a low working memory, auditory processing issues, spectrum tendencies, etc. All of these will help you figure out the best way to help her.


  • Tanaqui likes this

#34 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:21 AM

It's great she had a better week in school!

 

But I'll ask again why you're so reluctant to have her tested? There are many reasons for getting tested, not just for medication. You'll learn much more about her strengths and weaknesses, and the best ways for you and the school to help her succeed. It's the first step any professional would recommend, and there's really no downside to it. Again, with an ADHD father, and the calming response she shows to caffeine, I think the chances are very strong that she does have ADHD. Most kids will not act up like this just because of boredom. But you want to know if there's giftedness in the mix, whether she has a low working memory, auditory processing issues, spectrum tendencies, etc. All of these will help you figure out the best way to help her.

 

Here, they won't test without the teacher filling out a questionnaire about behavior, which becomes part of a long-term or permanent record.  It is my regret that I allowed that to be done when my kid was 6, in a time period that was not characteristic of her long-term norm.  I may be jaded, but I feel the teacher questionnaire is a real consideration.  I'd at least wait until the teacher has had more time to get to know the kid.
 


  • Mrs. Tharp likes this

#35 Janeway

Janeway

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3861 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:28 AM

I would be reluctant about testing because testing is not that accurate. And if you are not willing to consider medication, there is not much point to the label. I think it is better to work on a sensory program. Sensory sensitivities can appear to be ADHD. I would work on that first, before seeking out any ADHD label.


  • Heigh Ho likes this

#36 Janeway

Janeway

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3861 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:29 AM

Try reading "the Out of Sinc Child." Most libraries have that.


  • Heigh Ho likes this

#37 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:45 AM

I would be reluctant about testing because testing is not that accurate. And if you are not willing to consider medication, there is not much point to the label. I think it is better to work on a sensory program. Sensory sensitivities can appear to be ADHD. I would work on that first, before seeking out any ADHD label.

 

I completely disagree, read my post for the reasons. Neuropsych evaluations are extremely accurate (much more than school evaluations), and can tell you much more than the ADHD label on its own. My daughter had full-day testing, which gave us a complete picture of her strengths and weaknesses. (If we'd waited till 6, they would have given us even more information.) We had no intention of starting meds when we had testing, only wanted to learn the scope of her issues and get the information that would allow us to help her.


  • shinyhappypeople, Library Momma, AmandaVT and 1 other like this

#38 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 14 December 2016 - 06:27 PM

Update:

We have made it through the first semester, by the skin of our teeth. Okay, so we have two more days but they are fun days. DD is not turning in work and still being disruptive in class. She is now chewing the metal part of pencils off and on Monday tore up her shoelaces. She has had several things taken from her over the course of the year. The other day she had all of recess taken away from her. Teachers are beginning to describe her as sneaky. I hate that this is happening. She is a very sweet girl. The last two days she has been home sick and she has done a lot of work for me. When she MAP tested the last two weeks she scored in the 99th percentile in math and 97th percentile in reading. I know DD loves anything on the computer. I am having her tested for the gifted program, but I'm not sure if she'll get in. I am planning on ramping up after schooling next semester. Also the teacher won't give me the work that she is not finishing. Any thoughts on this situation would be good.

#39 itsheresomewhere

itsheresomewhere

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4225 posts

Posted 14 December 2016 - 06:58 PM

Update:

We have made it through the first semester, by the skin of our teeth. Okay, so we have two more days but they are fun days. DD is not turning in work and still being disruptive in class. She is now chewing the metal part of pencils off and on Monday tore up her shoelaces. She has had several things taken from her over the course of the year. The other day she had all of recess taken away from her. Teachers are beginning to describe her as sneaky. I hate that this is happening. She is a very sweet girl. The last two days she has been home sick and she has done a lot of work for me. When she MAP tested the last two weeks she scored in the 99th percentile in math and 97th percentile in reading. I know DD loves anything on the computer. I am having her tested for the gifted program, but I'm not sure if she'll get in. I am planning on ramping up after schooling next semester. Also the teacher won't give me the work that she is not finishing. Any thoughts on this situation would be good.

 

I don't know if you have gone the outside eval route but now is the time for it.  Sounds like she might be also having anxiety issues with the stress of things.   

 

You might want to check your state laws on if they are allowed to take her recess away.  In some states, it is a no no to take away recess.  


Edited by itsheresomewhere, 14 December 2016 - 07:00 PM.

  • NorthwestMom, nature girl and Tanaqui like this

#40 OneStepAtATime

OneStepAtATime

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32306 posts

Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:47 PM

Update:

We have made it through the first semester, by the skin of our teeth. Okay, so we have two more days but they are fun days. DD is not turning in work and still being disruptive in class. She is now chewing the metal part of pencils off and on Monday tore up her shoelaces. She has had several things taken from her over the course of the year. The other day she had all of recess taken away from her. Teachers are beginning to describe her as sneaky. I hate that this is happening. She is a very sweet girl. The last two days she has been home sick and she has done a lot of work for me. When she MAP tested the last two weeks she scored in the 99th percentile in math and 97th percentile in reading. I know DD loves anything on the computer. I am having her tested for the gifted program, but I'm not sure if she'll get in. I am planning on ramping up after schooling next semester. Also the teacher won't give me the work that she is not finishing. Any thoughts on this situation would be good.

This is extremely concerning.  At this point I would absolutely have her tested through a neuropsychologist ASAP to find out what may be happening, both her strengths and weaknesses, regardless of whether you wish to use any sort of meds.  It sounds like a very bored, very bright, possibly gifted child with lots of energy and a very fast brain who is under a LOT of stress.  She might have ADD/ADHD.  She might not.  You don't know and the school doesn't either.  Testing through a private source may give you answers that may be crucial for helping her not only determine what her struggles are but also what her strengths are and how best to tap into them.  

 

Also, the school testing for giftedness may not be very accurate at all for whether she is actually gifted or not.  They are testing to determine if they want her in their program and that kind of testing can be very different from true IQ testing/assessment.  

 

I would also schedule a meeting with the school (teacher and principal) regarding POSITIVE ways to try and help her and start the process of getting a 504/IEP.  Taking away recess IS NOT DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE AND WILL NOT HELP HER IMPROVE HER BEHAVIOR.  I am not shouting at you.  I am shouting at the school in frustration.  This is harmful.  Those labels she is getting at school will eventually internalize, if they haven't already.

 

What you describe sounds like stress and anxiety are also starting to creep in and affect her behavior.  She needs help and she needs it now.  Push to get answers and find a path that will help her.  I do not believe that just afterschooling will help because it is her stress and functionality IN the classroom that is the issue and she is already being seen as a bad kid, as far as I can tell.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


  • Barb_, NorthwestMom, shinyhappypeople and 3 others like this

#41 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 14 December 2016 - 09:01 PM

We are suppose to have an conference with the teacher and counselor after the break. We'll see what happens there.
  • OneStepAtATime likes this

#42 SKL

SKL

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26826 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 01:12 AM

This sounds all too familiar to me, although my kid was not an advanced learner.

 

I tried so many things.  In retrospect, it probably would have been better to give up on pleasing the teacher, and just do the needful at home to get her to pass 1st grade and put it behind us.  I hear people saying "anxiety," and I think there is something to that.  There may also be other developmental things such as simple maturity, none of which are helped by hyperfocus on age-inappropriate expectations.

 

The sneaking and chewing non-foods makes me wonder if there isn't something else going on.  You might pursue testing for a variety of behavioral issues.  But the thing that bugs me is that they are labeling and judging her ("sneaky" etc.).  When my kid's 1st grade teacher started doing that, looking back, I feel that was the moment the teacher gave up on my kid.  There was lots of lip service about understanding and helping her bla bla bla, but nothing ever got better with that teacher.  I wish I hadn't cared what she thought.  All it did was give me white hairs.

 

I guess my experience tells me, test if your gut says it's needed, and focus on what your daughter needs from day to day.  Give her time to grow at her own pace.  Don't worry about her being perfect for the 1st grade teacher.  She already knows everything they teach in 1st grade; next year she will be in 2nd grade and she'll get a fresh start.  At that point, her self-esteem is more important than what the 1st grade teacher thinks of her.

 

I hope I'm making sense ....


Edited by SKL, 15 December 2016 - 01:13 AM.

  • shinyhappypeople and OneStepAtATime like this

#43 Tanaqui

Tanaqui

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7979 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 02:43 AM

She has had several things taken from her over the course of the year. The other day she had all of recess taken away from her.

 

That is not appropriate, and entirely counterproductive. Children need recess. It helps them stay on task.

 

If you think she might be ADHD - or have any other issues - then she needs an evaluation. An evaluation is not a binding contract where you agree that if she fits a diagnosis, you'll drug her to the gills. It can get her much needed accommodations and services - like mandatory recess, no homework, allowed fidget toys, or an aide.


  • shinyhappypeople, Silver Brook and OneStepAtATime like this

#44 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 10:22 AM

Is the meeting next year the first step in getting an IEP or 504 Plan? I hope so, because that's what is needed most here! With an IEP, you can stipulate they are NEVER to take away recess. They'd likely provide an aide, which I think would be so helpful for her, to take her out for breaks in the middle of the day, to sit with her to make sure she stays on task, to prevent whatever "sneakiness" the teacher is seeing. My (very, very hyperactive) daughter has been so successful this year, her first year at school, in no small part because of the aide. She also is learning almost nothing this year, she entered 1st grade quite far ahead, but really has flourished with no real behavior issues despite the fact she's probably bored for most of the school day.

 

And as the posters above are saying, you need to get that evaluation as soon as humanly possible. I'm not sure I understand why you haven't done that yet? This has confused me since you first posted...Can you specify what your concerns are with having her diagnosed? At the very least, the official diagnosis may make the teacher more accommodating and understanding. Rather than labeling her a "bad kid," she'll start to understand these actions are beyond her control and be more motivated to support her needs.

 

And lastly, my sense is that ramping up afterschooling is probably the wrong approach altogether. With (likely) anxiety and ADHD, kids need a true break after school, a chance to just get outside and run around, play, use their vivid imagination and decompress. I know you think the issue is that she's not being fulfilled intellectually, and maybe that's PART OF the problem during school hours, but my intuition is that it's only a small part of the problem, and piling more work on her will probably only make the hours in school harder.

 

 


Edited by nature girl, 15 December 2016 - 10:23 AM.

  • shinyhappypeople, OneStepAtATime and Tanaqui like this

#45 AggieMama

AggieMama

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 283 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:14 AM

I understand the benefits of an IEP, as I'm a special education teacher at the school my DD is at. The therapist that DD has been going to for the last 6 months says that she most likely doesn't have ADD, but projbably OCD with being too smart for her own good. She has an appointment on 4th and we are going to discuss things with her.
  • OneStepAtATime likes this

#46 NorthwestMom

NorthwestMom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2407 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:22 AM

This is extremely concerning.  At this point I would absolutely have her tested through a neuropsychologist ASAP to find out what may be happening, both her strengths and weaknesses, regardless of whether you wish to use any sort of meds.  It sounds like a very bored, very bright, possibly gifted child with lots of energy and a very fast brain who is under a LOT of stress.  She might have ADD/ADHD.  She might not.  You don't know and the school doesn't either.  Testing through a private source may give you answers that may be crucial for helping her not only determine what her struggles are but also what her strengths are and how best to tap into them.  

 

Also, the school testing for giftedness may not be very accurate at all for whether she is actually gifted or not.  They are testing to determine if they want her in their program and that kind of testing can be very different from true IQ testing/assessment.  

 

I would also schedule a meeting with the school (teacher and principal) regarding POSITIVE ways to try and help her and start the process of getting a 504/IEP.  Taking away recess IS NOT DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE AND WILL NOT HELP HER IMPROVE HER BEHAVIOR.  I am not shouting at you.  I am shouting at the school in frustration.  This is harmful.  Those labels she is getting at school will eventually internalize, if they haven't already.

 

What you describe sounds like stress and anxiety are also starting to creep in and affect her behavior.  She needs help and she needs it now.  Push to get answers and find a path that will help her.  I do not believe that just afterschooling will help because it is her stress and functionality IN the classroom that is the issue and she is already being seen as a bad kid, as far as I can tell.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

:iagree:  Especially with everything in all caps.


  • Silver Brook and OneStepAtATime like this

#47 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 15 December 2016 - 11:41 AM

I understand the benefits of an IEP, as I'm a special education teacher at the school my DD is at. The therapist that DD has been going to for the last 6 months says that she most likely doesn't have ADD, but projbably OCD with being too smart for her own good. She has an appointment on 4th and we are going to discuss things with her.

 

But a therapist probably isn't qualified to diagnose ADD...Trying to put this gently, but with all the red flags, including a strong family history, and caffeine calming her (which is almost diagnostic in itself) you just don't know. And you NEED TO know in order to help her. There are innumerable potential confounding issues that might be at play, and without a full diagnosis you'll be throwing darts randomly and most likely missing the target.


  • Tanaqui likes this

#48 Lecka

Lecka

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4671 posts

Posted 16 December 2016 - 10:28 AM

You need to communicate with her teacher.

If you suspect OCD, then you need to go ahead and set up the meetings and get things going.

If you don't do anything to communicate, think how you will come across to them.

I think you would be very appropriate to call the therapist and ask what ideas she has for school for right now. This is something you can do. They have general suggestions they can make that can be helpful for this in-between time.

#49 Bluegoat

Bluegoat

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12106 posts

Posted 16 December 2016 - 12:31 PM

Is the meeting next year the first step in getting an IEP or 504 Plan? I hope so, because that's what is needed most here! With an IEP, you can stipulate they are NEVER to take away recess. They'd likely provide an aide, which I think would be so helpful for her, to take her out for breaks in the middle of the day, to sit with her to make sure she stays on task, to prevent whatever "sneakiness" the teacher is seeing. My (very, very hyperactive) daughter has been so successful this year, her first year at school, in no small part because of the aide. She also is learning almost nothing this year, she entered 1st grade quite far ahead, but really has flourished with no real behavior issues despite the fact she's probably bored for most of the school day.

 

And as the posters above are saying, you need to get that evaluation as soon as humanly possible. I'm not sure I understand why you haven't done that yet? This has confused me since you first posted...Can you specify what your concerns are with having her diagnosed? At the very least, the official diagnosis may make the teacher more accommodating and understanding. Rather than labeling her a "bad kid," she'll start to understand these actions are beyond her control and be more motivated to support her needs.

 

And lastly, my sense is that ramping up afterschooling is probably the wrong approach altogether. With (likely) anxiety and ADHD, kids need a true break after school, a chance to just get outside and run around, play, use their vivid imagination and decompress. I know you think the issue is that she's not being fulfilled intellectually, and maybe that's PART OF the problem during school hours, but my intuition is that it's only a small part of the problem, and piling more work on her will probably only make the hours in school harder.

 

It's a kind of dammed if you do or don't, I think.  I agree more school doesn't seem right - but for a child who is ready to perform at a higher level, it seems wrong to not let them do so.  Like you are teaching them that those topics are just boring.

 

Given that she seems to work well at her home, I think an ideal solution would be to ditch the school altogether, because it doesn't seem to be serving a purpose and is taking up her energy.  If she can do the school work at home, the school is the problem.

 

ETA: OP - I'd pull a kid chewing the ends of her pencils off in a heartbeat.  Even if she was just going to a sitter for the day until I could find something better.  She isn't learning and is being hurt.


Edited by Bluegoat, 16 December 2016 - 12:34 PM.

  • Heigh Ho likes this

#50 nature girl

nature girl

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1366 posts

Posted 16 December 2016 - 12:50 PM

It's a kind of dammed if you do or don't, I think.  I agree more school doesn't seem right - but for a child who is ready to perform at a higher level, it seems wrong to not let them do so.  Like you are teaching them that those topics are just boring.

 

Given that she seems to work well at her home, I think an ideal solution would be to ditch the school altogether, because it doesn't seem to be serving a purpose and is taking up her energy.  If she can do the school work at home, the school is the problem.

 

ETA: OP - I'd pull a kid chewing the ends of her pencils off in a heartbeat.  Even if she was just going to a sitter for the day until I could find something better.  She isn't learning and is being hurt.

 

I guess that's the question...Is being at school triggering OCD/ADD-like traits? You said up-thread that you'd seen similar ADD traits at home, but assuming you've done afterschooling (and summer-schooling) in the past, has she eaten it up without resisting because it's new material and stimulating for her? Or has she shown signs of ADHD, OCD or anxiety at home that are triggered by schooling? Has she been able to keep her mind on the work, or does she drift, act silly, wiggle or rebel? (All kids will do this to some extent with schoolwork, of course.)

 

As for chewing, that could be an anxiety or just a sensory thing. My DD was constantly chewing on her shirt at the beginning of the school year, we got her a chewy necklace which she used for a week or two, and then she stopped chewing altogether as she got more used to school. I know it sounds awful, the idea makes your heart hurt, but in the end I don't think it's all that serious, and is quite typical for sensory-seeking/ADHD kids. (My daughter doesn't really show other signs of anxiety.) I'd recommend a chew necklace, and perhaps a fidget if you think she'd use it. They can really help kids stay seated and keep their minds focused.


Edited by nature girl, 16 December 2016 - 06:25 PM.