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Pampered Chef: School problem/ADD need help(its long, sorry)

  1. cewcooks

    cewcooks Advanced Member

    Hi all

    here's the deal back in Oct my DD 6th grade teacher said she was having trouble paying attention in class and not focusing as well as having trouble keeping with the flow of the class, in addition she was reading below grade level. So I hired a tutor and I am reading with her seperate from the class assignments twice a week. I am working with her on all class assignments keeping up with the work, I feel that she has improved somewhat some of her test grades have been better from D and U's to B's and A's! Since she was having some much trouble across main subjects they wanted to have her tested. I said ok and about a week ago I met with the school psyc to go over all the testing. Her test scores were erratic in that some things she was high acheiving and other areas she was low average. Her overall intellegence was right where it should be for a child her age(I knew that already) Her ability to achive is there, she is having problems with focusing recalling facts and paying attention and staying on task. She has always been an average student and has some comprehension issues in 4th grade but we worked with her in preparing for SOL tests etc.. In 4th and 5th grade no teacher ever said she was having any problems like this year. The worst thing about this is I also work at the school!! I do keep my distance and I have been getting my daughter to advocate for herself more. The 6th grade teachers are really making me angry, they do not seem to want to work with her. When I Talked to the teacher last monday and I asked to have a meeting about my daughter she said she would get back to me, she did 4 days later only after I send a nice email saying I was available with flexible times. Her comment was that my DD is lost and seems confused throughout the day. I e mailed back and told her my concers as well as a problem that she was having with a boy that sat next to her, I asked that he be moved b/c he was saying very inappropriate things outloud in earshot of her but not directly to her, so after that e mail, my dd said he was moved that afternoon(she was not aware of my e mail) I am at my wits end, I know my daughter is a little slow and tends to discuss things randomly and sometimes seems to talk about things that don't make sense but when I ask her to explain what she means she does and she is soo hard working and likes school and she does the work, however, she is not fully aware of why she can't remember and why she has trouble paying attention. It was suggested by the school psyc that we rule out ADD(When I mentioned this to the teachers in OCt, they were not 100% convinced that this is what the problem was. She seems to fit the profile but I am not sure what to do now, we certainly don't want to medicate her, I want the teachers to just be understanding and work with her but they don't seem like they want to b/c she does not have an IEP, she will not qualify for special services b/c of her test scores.

    How would you as a parent and or teacher handle this?? I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place! I will most likely be taking her to the dr and discussing this with her DR. but I am still uneasy about this whole situation.
    Mar 22, 2009
  2. jross93

    jross93 Member

    As a teacher, the thing that stands out for me is that your daughter has had no difficulties with focus and attention up until this year. Makes me wonder if maybe it's more the teaching style, not necessarily an issue with your daughter...? Have you gone into the classroom to observe? Could this be the issue?
    Mar 22, 2009
  3. Triciascucina

    Triciascucina Member

    I thought my son had ADHD but it turns out it was allergies. ADD and ADHD are sometimes diagnosed when it is allergies causing the issues. Have her tested for allergies. I know I am repeating it but it was amazing to find out. Since then he has had allergy shots and is now an A/B (mostly A's) student. He is in the 7th grade.
    Mar 22, 2009
  4. Darcia

    Darcia Member

    Three things to consider for your DD sake if you are not already doing this- diet (eliminated all processed foods and increase fruits and vegetables) - elimination (colon cleanse) goal at least 2 bowel movements per day - Omega 3 fatty acids including DHA
    Mar 22, 2009
  5. candiejayne

    candiejayne Veteran Member

    I feel for you, I don't have any suggestions though. We are having similar problems with school with my BFs DS, only I am having horrible behavioral problems at home to boot! We recently started therapy sessions with a psycologist for him to find an answer. We did tell her at the begining though that medication is a last resort for us.
    Mar 22, 2009
  6. scottcooks

    scottcooks Veteran Member Gold Member

    As a 27 year teacher, I hesitate to have any kids involved in ADD meds -

    Something is up if the teacher takes 4 days to reply. My hunch is the teacher (probably with GOOD reason) is scattered herself, be it up against some personal issues of her own, or going through financial challenges or whatever. (March Mania - talk to her about the opportunity!) Offer your support - come in to grade papers, change bulletin boards, file paperwork, whatever. [be the change you seek!]

    She is probably worried about you being a "mad mom" - instead, be supportive of her as a professional, but be insistent for your kid.

    Get her attention by showing up at school and look her in the eye and say "we need to talk". Don't be mean or mad, but be clear. Insist on a sit-down with her in the next 2 or 3 days.

    If the teacher puts you off in the least (doesn't meet with you), go both to the school counselor and to the principal. Bottom line - you are advocating for your kid. Your DD needs you in that mode right now.

    Sorry - devil's advocate time... you may now want to hear this part: Hold up a second - you give your daughter some space? Who is in charge of whose future?? If you are a teacher too, sit down with her at lunch - or take her for coffee. Get her eyes looking at yours and make her hear you
    -DD needs more support from school
    -you are working WITH the school to see her succeed
    -you don't have sufficient evidence that merits medication at this time
    -does she need more stimulus
    -is something making her really uncomfortable / distracted?

    The foggy, hazy, (and weight gain) medication that a handful of kids endure is not an equal balance against the few challenges they make teachers/parents go through--I very much feel ADD meds are a cop out, a panacea that happen to make the kid in question more docile and compliant.

    YOU know your daughter best. If you're working at the school, she'll get over whatever discomfort she feels when she knows her needs are being met - even if it is somewhat awkward / embarassing to her at the moment for you to advocate for her - loudly if need be. Your DD doesn't get another shot at 6th grade. She is forming habits right now that she will rely upon in high school. She needs structure, reliability, dependability and constancy. As a high schooler she will need her sense of self, her supportive family, her skills at studying and her friends.

    Another thought - how close is DD to puberty? The hormone roller-coaster may be starting for her--all the more reason she needs you as an advocate.
    Mar 22, 2009
  7. christinaspc

    christinaspc Veteran Member Silver Member

    My son has those problems, and I was very having a hard time dealing with putting him on medicine and it was like night and day he is totally my doctor told me that if he didn't need the medicine then there wouldn't have a change but if he did need the medicine then we would see the change well we did see the change he is now one of the top students in his class and he notices a change too for the better. He has told me he can concentrate better and focus and his reading level went up a whole grade level. I think you should at least talk to a doctor about it and take your daughter's testing with you and they will look over it. My doctor will check in with my son's teachers time to time to get progress reports and they are pleased with his progress and told us he won't be on this forever cause some do grow out of it. He is just border line of needing it and we were basically told he was taking the meds to excell in school which he has and it doesn't build up in his system he takes one pill in the morning before he goes to school and it usually wears off about 5 p.m.

    So all I can say is talk with your doctor and see what he/she things. Hope this helped you some.
    Mar 22, 2009
  8. myinnerchef

    myinnerchef Member Gold Member

    My daughter has always been organizationally challenged, but a tendency to forget things seems to run in the family so she comes by it honestly. She's a very bright girl and well above her grade level in all subjects except literacy skills - because she can't concentrate long enough to write a decent essay. Unfortunately, this wasn't obvious to any of her teachers until 6th grade when essays become a pretty big part of the curriculum in every class. We saw her go from an A and B student to Cs, Ds and Us. Her Lit Skills teacher was an absolute Godsend and helped us find a counselor who could work with DD to see what kind of treatment would be most beneficial as well as helping us design an IEP to ensure that the school system did everything in their power to accommodate her.

    After two years of an IEP being only partly effective, we found that she really needed medication and it's been like night and day. She still has issues (with boring classes/teachers) but these are typical teenage problems and not the horrors she's had to deal with in the past. We're now transitioning to an IEP for high school and new counselors that will keep her on track for the next four years and prepare her for college.

    I urge you to have a professional evaluate your child. So many things change in middle school. The physical and emotional upheaval alone is enough to distract even the best student. The ADD diagnosis is tossed around so much, and often inappropriately. Don't rule out anxiety or depression or some other imbalance that might affect concentration.

    Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who cares as much as you do.
    Mar 23, 2009
  9. lockhartkitchen

    lockhartkitchen Senior Member

    Your daughter does not need to be on an IEP to have the teachers give her the help she needs. First, you need to speak with your daughter's doctor and get her medically evalucated for ADD. If she is diagnosed, she would qualify for a 504 plan. Many schools do not like to do this, because they do not receive money for students on a 504 while they do for students on an IEP. You have the right to have her put on this for "other health imparments". Don't rule out medications if she is dianosed with ADD. There are many medications that work very successfully. Her quality of education should come first.

    Teacher-17 years
    Mom- of two ADHD,wife of ADHD husband
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