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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

1st grade help


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Joined: Apr 11, 2008
Posts: 5
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Posted Apr 15, 2008 at 2:25:15 PM
Subject: 1st grade help

Good afternoon everyone, My 6-yr old son was just diagnosed last month w/ADHD. I have created a "communication folder" for the teacher & I to exchange notes and I also created my own Daily Report Card for her to fill out. Well the daily report card she said she could not do, the VP of the school has told her she HAS to do it on a daily basis and also include some positive remarks. Well she has not done this either. She fills it out but includes no notes and no positive remarks....my son seen the report and he himself put a sad face on it and when I picked him up from school he was upset and said he is bad and can't do anything right. How can I get the teacher more involved? My son loves to talk and he is just full of life. I wouldn't change him for anything, he is also very smart but once he gets to school he gets so wrapped up w/the other kids it doesn't show. His teacher has seperated him from the class and he is now seating off to the side, he seems to like it there but he still talks. We have a behavior/responsiblity chart at home & it works great, of course he gets different prizes for x-amount of stickers. Should I try to set something like this up at school? Since I found out about him having ADHD I have re-arranged our home schedule and he has shown progress in his test but his behavior isn't there. He needs positive reinforcement at school but I can't be there all day to see that it is done. HELP!

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 84

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Posted:Apr 15, 2008 4:30:19 PM

Does he have an IEP or a 504 plan in place? He should qualify for a 504 plan with a diagnosed ADHD disorder. Under the 504 or IEP, you can have these accomodations or behavior plans identified and the teacher MUST follow them by law (although sometimes this can create an antagonistic relationship).

I found the best way to deal with the teacher is to always be very supportive of her. Tell her what a great job she is doing, how much your son likes her and enjoys her class, what can you do to help make this easier for her, ask for her advise etc etc. Then follow-up with ideas on how you handle him at home, what works, doesn't work etc. Send her material you have researched that she can read on teaching ADHD kids. If this still doesn't work, then escalate to her principle. (remember though that no person likes to be escalated to their boss and made to look bad, so understand your relationship with this teacher will always be strained and hope you get a better understanding teacher next year! Ask the school for placement with a teacher you have researched for next year.)

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Sophe523
Joined Apr 11, 2008
Posts: 5

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Posted:Apr 15, 2008 5:55:36 PM

Thank you for the quick response. He does not have an IEP or a 504 plan. They said the school psychologist needs to evaulate him to see if he needs any special eduacation needs. The teacher wanted to hold him back so we had a meeting on 3/4 and the VP mentioned she was worried he may have an attention disorder and so I got him tested on 3/26 and found that he does have ADHD. We have another meeting tomorrow to see what we can do to help him succeed in school and to see how the behavior chart is working in the class. He attends a track school so he is off 3 months out of the year, if the teacher/VP voiced their concerns regarding his attnetion span earlier in the school year I think we could have accomplished much more. He now only has 6 weeks left of 1st grade. I have tried many things but it gets frustrating when there is no response or nothing but negative responses about your child. I wrote her a very nice letter about why I needed the daily report card and she said she knows what they need becuase she has worked w/them before. But if she has then why did it take so long for her to recognize it? Also when I've sat in class she acts like she already has him tagged and so when she tells him certain things he shuts down. When working in groups she only addresses him, when he does something wrong in arts/crafts and he messes up she will not give him new supplies becuase she says he needs to follow directions. Now if she says & does things liek that when I am there...I can imagine how she is when I'm not.

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 84

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Posted:Apr 16, 2008 11:31:01 AM

My heart goes out to your son for having to experience this in 1st grade and I can relate to your frustrations. He sounds like such a sweet little boy!

Hopefully your school will do the right testing and get him the right kind of support for next year. He's still young and you can make great progress over the next 2 years. It's alot easier to remediate now vs. 3rd and 4th grade.

If he's having academic struggles, you may want to consider private tutor. You will see much better progress. The IEP process was such a fight for us and it did nothing to help my dd progress. In the end, we did all private and she has told me that being in SPED pullout was the most humiliating experience for her.

Having a compassionate teacher made the most difference for my dd. I 'hand' picked each teacher for my dd every year and if I didn't know about any of the options, the school was very good at suggesting and placing her(the only positive thing they ever did for us). It sounds like your VP might be a good advocate in getting a better placement next year.

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Sophe523
Joined Apr 11, 2008
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Posted:Apr 16, 2008 1:41:08 PM

We had our meeting today and the VP went over w/the teacher how she needs to focus on more positive reinforcement and the best way to fill out the behavior report. The VP also said next year she already new what teacher she would put him with. I have my son in private tutoring, he goes 2x/wk, he is in Tae Kwon Do & soccer. He still has energy...crazy boy. I also believe the teachr makes all the difference, I am hoping he has/well we both have a better year next year. He has had it rough. I asked my son what can teacher do to help keep u on task & said she can tell him when he's off task. That tells me he is more of a direct person, she gives warnings but he's not taking it as a warning he needs to be specifically told he is off task. So asked if she could let him know to take a deep breath & that he is off task. She said "NO" she said he is responsible for his actions and he needs to have self control. I can't win!!! 6 more weeks....6 more weeks... :)

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Apr 16, 2008 10:37:49 PM

I can totally relate. We had a problem teacher in 2nd grade. She basically kept telling me that my dd had to grow up. She actually stood there with her arms crossed and complained that my dd would cry at school and would constantly tell me "The older she gets the less help she'll get." She was/is on an IEP and everything! The teacher said to me on the 2nd day of school "She doesn't follow directions very well, does she?" HELLO!! She has a language disorder! Of course she don't follow directions very well!!! At the end of 2nd grade I called a meeting with the 3rd grade teachers (there are only 2) and gave them the run down on what I need as a parent as well as what my dd needs. I did not include the principal or the 2nd grade teacher. I brought along our K/1st grade teacher that we have become friends with since she knows us and she knows the other 2 teachers well. Then, she met with each of the teachers individually and asked them HONESTLY are they prepared for this or not! LOL!! One of them said that he would LOVE to work with me because I am so on top of things, but that he didn't think my dd would be well placed in his classroom. I was glad he was honest even if it sounds unkind. He's very direct and she is very sensitive so she might have gotten her feelings hurt from him. The other teacher really wanted my dd in her class, so it was obvious. Having said that, I learned something new this year, I ALSO need someone who has had experience with special ed kids! As great as our teacher is, she is very new to teaching (3 yrs) and therefore I found her running to the resource teacher (who I don't always agree with) or to the principal for advice on what to do. Without experience, they have no instincts to follow.

So, you might want to ask the VP who she has picked out for your son and ask to have a 1:1 with this teacher (or bring someone along with you) and tell him/her that you want daily reports so you can follow through immediately at home. You are not a true partner in the relationship if you don't have all the information. If it's a problem, then the IEP or 504 might help get what you need for your son. In the IEP you can ask for regular updates as needed (as YOU request).

Don't worry about this year's teacher if the year is almost over. Have your son bring her a card or a flower on the last day of school and thank her for teaching your son and try not to look back. That's what I learned. It's easy to dwell on the past.

Kathryn

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cissie
Joined Apr 18, 2008
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Posted:Apr 19, 2008 2:59:09 PM

Believe it or not you can request to have your son evaluated and the school by law has to honor your request. My son is a first grader. He has an IEP based on Other Health Impairment/ADHD. He was recently evaluated and now has a one on one para. This person was hired to be with him in school all day. Having a one on one and with other accommdations/modifications his behavior has improved over 90%.
I am currently reading a book by Pete and Pam Wright From Emotions to Advocacy. It has a lot of information. It also has copies of the forms and sample letters to use when making contact with the school. There's a website: wrightslaw.com

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LindaW
Joined Jun 16, 2003
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Posted:May 14, 2008 10:38:12 AM

You may want to get to the bottom of why your son is presenting with "ADHD" behaviors. There are so many factors that can cause these behaviors. Here's a short list: food or environmental allergies, sensitivities to food additives (the Feingold diet really does work for a signficant number of people), sleep apnea (does he snore?), essential fatty acid deficiency (DHA supplements help many children and adults with ADHD and dyslexia), and some sensory issues (tactile hypersensitivity and weak visual skills for instance). You will need to be a detective or find a professional who believes in finding the root cause and not just medicating kids) to help you.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:May 14, 2008 2:46:19 PM

And this would be why i hate labels. I find them to be both vile and cruel. I think it is disturbing every child who gets tested seems to come out positive for ADHD. When will parents begin to recognize, that these experts don't know their child as well as they do? These experts, half of them don't even have kids. I am not saying some of us are not a bit different in some way though the physical evidence for it has not been found and it may be more an issue of personality than one related to the brain. When one, lables a child one sets him or her up for failure by marking them, by staining them. These labels, mean things to society and the experts, who only read what the experts have to say. They don't want to know anyone different. And often we are written about and compared to animals by the experts. They talk about us and essentially say in multi syllable words that we are behaviorally retarded.... I can read and i speak english. Others like me can do so as well.

If you are so troubled by this response, imagine as he gets older and begins to read about "himself." As the experts see him, the image of him they promote to society without even knowing him personally. The diagnosis for ADHD, is one of a completely subjective nature which is a fact they like to deny but the fact is, if you take the time to read their methodology you will find some terrifying things. Such as diagnosis, that is life altering and often life ruining and certainly self respect ruining... etc...

The reality is, the experts know less than you do. I am glad to not hear mention atleast of any sort of drug treatment, as that in my opinion would be even worse.... Maybe the worst....

But daily report cards.... and behavior charts.... etc.... Seriously, i think, you are making a mistake.... If my mother had done that to me.... Oh dear.... hahaha.... First of all it would enhance my feeling of being different as other children i played with did not have all that.... Also, it would enhance my feelings of inferiority, as again, ADHD does not mean unable to use basic reasoning. In that, i would see it as an afront to my person, as it would be.... An indication of all the things i do wrong. That someone has to take such time to do all that because i am bad.... My mother instead, rewarded behaviors she liked, or she ignored non destructive or very problematic behaviors she didn't care for and punished those that were very bad. I don't know how much micromanagement of one's child helps in the long term. Because as they grow.... These feelings stay with them, they realize what you are doing and it hurts them somewhere very deep inside. The best thing any parent can do with a child who is treated as subhuman by teachers and other kids, and suffers in school, is to treat them, like they are normal. Rather than making up charts emphasizing and pushing in the child's face yet again how different they are and how inferior they are. Which they are not.

As for the reward system, i suppose it is alright, but i would watch out with that too, as it won't always work nor will it work forever. Infact your son may eventually get angry about it and tell you to quit treating him like a cocker spaniel. That is what i would have told my mum. Much of what is known about ADHD people is blatantly untrue, though i can see how someone can draw such conclusion (some of them anyway) from observation. These labels limit lives. Many employers fire ADHD people, worried about those weird incidents of deranged people going postal. To most of society, that is what an ADHD child and adult is. A threat. We are on average payed about 30% less than our equally educated 'normal' counterpart for the same job with the same success rate. The only real problem with having ADHD, is that the world is full of biggots. People, happy to judge us for the scarlet letters we wear, rather than for who we are.

I went through an herbology program in early highschool, learned all about herbalism and was even a legaol practitioner at the end of highschool in my homestate.... The neighbor had a heart attack his kids who wouldn't talk to me in school, and i was not out of control or particularly abnormal socially either, but i was labeled..... They came over in hysterics.... My folks weren't home.... Fortunately i knew how to handle emergencies herbally and actually treated their father. I gave him a kind of herb that is known to be highly lethal. I did it, very carefully, and for a reason.... It slows the heart.... Which ofcourse in a state of heart attack, regulates the heart. It would have killed him eventually. But there are chemicals to counter the effects in every ambulance. I called an ambulance before i did anything.... But they said 15 to 20 minutes he wouldn't have lasted.... The herb bought him time by slowing and regulating the heart.... The doctor at the hospital was astonished and thought i was the most brilliant kid he ever saw.... The neighbor's wife was glad i had been there as were his kids, who still acted in school like i was sub human.
No, i didn't get lucky. I was very very calculating. My reaction was not at all impulsive.... For some reason i find my mind moves very quickly... I *DO* stop to think, i think most ADHD people do.... It just seems to me our thought process is very fast on some things... But i always consider every possible direction and future based on any action i make. I always have... since i was old enough to realize there was a future... So, as we act faster than mocst because our thought process seems sped up.... It does look like impulse.... However, ask us *why* and we usually have a fairly good answer and reasoning for what we do. I did it because, if we all sat there waiting for the ambulance, those kids would have lost a parent. And not just that, the effect of losing a parent, would have ruined their accademics, it would have scarred them for life, it would have changed them and made them... less likely to go away to school and their whole direction in life might very easily have been altered... Did i think if he died i could be blamed? You bet i did. But he was gonna die either way, and since i was already essentially blamed as i have a label, it isn't much different than a prison without bars, so such a degree of blame wasn't bothersome to me at all. But the fact was, i knew exactly what i was doing.... I also knew the right dosage, And exactly how much time within a 5 minute range, we would be buying. I might have been sued had something gone wrong.... I am already paying a debt... A debt i shouldn't have to pay, so a monetary one wasn't an upsetting thought either.... And what was more important was making sure those kids had parents who could afford to send them to college.... After all, unlike me, (as i was always told by experts school and teachers etc,) They would have something to offer society. As i never would, being intellectually inferior with a mind equal to that of a dog... and behaviorally as retarded as i am solely based on the label i wear.... Many teachers saying such things, were not even *my* teachers. Many of them knew me from passing me in the hall and nodding politely or just smiling a brief greeting, just for the sake of politeness.

If there is any actual disability related to ADHD it is that society is made up of a bunch of people who need to feel superior to someone else. So they create these... witch hunts... A different way of thinking about things, is not an indication of a lack of ability to think. It is not a lacfk of ability to understand everything. Labels are very very very very dangerous. The teacher sounds horrible... But be prepared, because i had many teachers before i graduated highschool which according to experts i was never supposed to be able to do.... The fact that i learned to read at all according to them was as miraculous as the rising of Jesus.... They talked over my head, and tested me every 6 months age 4 to 18, in my teenage years they used me as a guinea pig for drug testing, forcibly medicating me even though i was behaving fine in school, my parents were not bothered by my behavior though they thought my hatred of homework was a pain they wanted me to do it.... But that was literally their only problem with me. I held a job the same one for over 2 years, studied herbalism outside of school, and by senior year, i had 4 music teachers outside of school that i studied with every week, and was acttive on the horse show circuit. Where i went to school, we had like 7 hour days, with a 5 minute lunch period, literally. Now in every other carreer you are entitled to a 15 minute break every 4 hours. So if they were going to over work me in school on a daily basis, and i had no interest in most of what they taught, i knew, legally i had to attend.... And so i sat and was quiet.... Unintrusive, not interrupting.... Polite doing as i was asked and told all day long. teachers loved me.... They just never asked *why* i didn't do homework. They told my folks i was a joy to have in class.... But the homework was troubling... I gave them 6 or 7 hours of my day 5 days a week. I lived up to all those inhouse obligations while inhouse, and went often above and behyond the call, or just sat there looking out the window not causing anyone any problems. I felt that, my time then was my time. I did 45 minutes of homework total every night after school, on my own. After that i stopped. I found it to be no longer of value as i still had about 5 hours of work left to do and doing some things for me, was something, that i felt was legitimate, for *my* time. I don't think schools or employers should be dictating to people what they do after work hours.... Demanding certain things at work is totally legit.... But when you are done and out off the property where you work.... It is then your time. And i had my own educational priorities, especially since the subjects i wanted to learn about were not being taught where i went to school.

I love my life today, and being dyslexic i am awfully well read including the old egyptian papyri written in hieroglyphs hieratic sctipt and old coptic.... I frequently read papers in a number of different languages, even though i was not supposed to ever learn to read, also i am fluent both in reading and writing music in both modern western notation and that used by the ancient greeks. I study at the university level and actively hope that soon as my fiance settles down i will be able to attend like a real student again, rather than having to work things out each term with the uni i study through, to be able to get my course and study it at home as attending a school in the usa is not possible when one is presently residing in canada... I am very happy... I have some good friends in my life.... I have a wonderful fiance with a PHD in theoretical physics, he is from Europe, and is therefore as part of his culture much more mannared and socially correct than most americans. He doesn't find me inferior, and has seen people talk down to me (people who know i am labled.) He has told them too, that he loves me because my mind is the only one he has ever found able to challenge him intellectually. He also, was surprised at first by what appeared to be impulsivity. Then he watched more closely noticing the outcomes were almost always good.... AAnd one day asked me why i was doing something. I stopped and explained my reasoning and he said he just wanted to be sure i was reasoning and obviously i was soooo after that it never bothered him. No teacher ever asked. No expert ever asked. No parent ever asked.... No friend either.... No one asked... Instead they just assumed that it was reactive, and yes ofcourse it was, but uhh.... Everyone acts responsively, just some take more time than others to do so. Thinking quickly and reacting are different things. I find it strange that, that is viewed as a disability....

The experts may be able to be helpful in figuring out how your child learns best.... That is easy to figure out.... Teachers, are trained to teach and babysit. They are paid peanuts and working in a totally busted system. In general i would find their observations questionable as they are so outnumbered. Asking a teacher to take such a focus on a single child in a classroom that probably has between 23 and 30 children and where if the teacher is lucky she has an assistant part time. All those other children need her attention just as much as your son. It would seem like an imposition to her, in that it would be time taken from the others she is also payed to care for and to teach. As for what she writes about your son. It is probably more out of spite for being forced to write these daily reports. You might want to take your son shopping and buy her a nice little gift, some nice scented candle, something else.... And give it to your son and have him give it to her as a thank you gift, for all her help in teaching him better behavior. Because in her mind (Weather she is right or not, in her mind she is ofcourse right.) She is going above and beyodn the call of duty, and she makes peanuts.... And is spread too thin.... Some apreciation *might* make a difference. Then again, it might not... Just a suggestion. Sorry for babbling so long as an adult with ADHD, i feel a certain need to protect children that are labeled, from the mistaken views held by their elders who hold power, so that what was done to me in my teens, is never done to another child. You see, as i said, i may seem impulsive, but there is always a good reason for my action.... And that reason is often connected to the future. We are rational and reasonable human beings. We think and we feel.... As a parent, remembering and reminding your child that he is human rather than an alien and protecting him from others who would view him in such a way, is part of your job, as his advocate. If he believes he is bad now.... Then by highschool.... I would have to say the problem you are going to have is likely to be massive.... As that opinion will continue to be espoused by those who he is rforced to respect and those he admires and recognizes as intelligent, educated people.

I think it is a travisty the way America is labeling it's children... Because, it isn't just ritalin that has side effects that are dangerous.

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annette10dance
Joined May 13, 2008
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Posted:May 22, 2008 3:04:23 PM

This is how I look at it. My son needs to make the best use of his time at school to learn and retain new information and material. He needs to use his classtime wisely and get the most of classtime. It not about whether or not I think he has ADHD, its what the teacher thinks and how he is in the classroom.

My son had anxiety issues and it looked like he had ADHD at the end of first grade. We resumed anxiety medication and my son is using the bathroom in school and most of his symptoms of impulsiveness and fidgetness is gone.

Medication alone does not fix the learning problem. There should be supported services with speech therapy or pullouts for reading or math with a specialist. Actually, there are IEP plans made specifically for ADHD kids. Make sure your gets supported services if you choose to use medication.

Good luck with the school and let us know how things are going for her.

Annette

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:May 23, 2008 10:31:00 PM

Medication actually affects the ADHD brain no differently than it affects the brain of someone normal. It affects the dopamine system. For ADHD sufferers, it is not supposed to be the standard. It is supposed to be a measure of last resort. That doesn't mean it should never be used. But the nation of america actually uses.... 90% of the world's supply of ritalin. The rest of the world splits that other 10%. I don't know your son or how all this has affected him or how ADHD has affected those around him. So i have no idea about anything relevant. But i mention this point here because as a general rule in the usa those with ADHD are medicated. Often most of the time nothing else is ever tried first. I don't know your sone or you at all and this is just a general statement as well. Over medicating in america related to ADHD has gotten *so* bad that the UN has voiced it's conncerns for american children, on humanitarian grounds.

There are those who require medication. and additional treatment. There are those that just require medication.... The issue i have with giving these not so little stimulants to children are 3 in number.

1. With all the money and time and labor put into studying ADHD and the affects of medicine, No one as of yet has any understanding of what if any affect these drugs have on how the brain develops.

2. The brain develops in the womb and then in the outside world until one is in their late mid 20s. (see above)

3. They have had over 25 years to find the organic evidence of ADHD. To this day, it is called a disorder rather than a disease because as of yet no legitimate evidence of an organic nature has been provided. And they have spent alot of time on this trying to prove it. But if you read these studies what you find is that the only thing they are proving is that the ADHD brain can not be told apart from that of a normal brain.

As a person who uses science daily and relies on science when in the field... If i were to make a claim with no physical evidence of any kind based on subjective observation and subjective personal opinion, i would be laughed out of my carreer, and i study people who are beyond caring. People who have beenn dead for a very long time. Where as these scientist study the living. I fail to see what difference it makes to speculate about the dead or to say how they died or whatever based on no scientific tests as the dead are dead, they don't care. Also, they are not fed mind altering drugs while being provided no organic evidence of anything being wrong with them. Even psych problems leave organic evidence. Depression, is easily recognizable when one is testing for the brain chemistry. Dyslexia, is physically obvious as well. I am sure quite a few forms of LD are. But there is no trace of organic difference of brain function or of brain in the case of ADHD.

However, i have met a small handful of ppl that were totally out of control. In a special school of 50 kids medicated out of their mind only about 7 actually behved or seemed out of control. They were sooo out of control one had to feel sorry for them because that really gets in the way of having a life. It truly is a handicap those kids, they should be medicated.... But uhmmm exactly *why* were the other 47 of us medicated?

After all recent studies prove ritalin doen't even help with focus. What it does is it affects the dopamine system of the brain the same way that cocaine does. Only the effect is more extreme. It affects the non ADHD brain no differently than it affects the ADHD brain. It makes people more docile. It doesn't actually improve focus or concentration or stop excessive moving.... Again for some, it offers some help. But i think the rate at which it is used is a bit.... frightening... Though, every case is individual And i don't think anti anxiety meds are the same as those for ADHD? though i know they tested a variety of them on me in my teens when i had no civil rights, forcibly medicating me against my will.

At the time i was a C average student, a second place dressage competition winner, maintaining the same part time job for the second year in a row and studying music after school 4 days a week. (I was on and off the meds, sometimes several months would go by no meds and i would be happier and i would be no less fine than when on the meds when i would often have bruises all over my body and i would be miserable and very unhappy and no more functional than when off the meds.) I can't stress enough that every case is different. I also don't believe it is entirely a myth.... I think however.... That the testing for it is subjective and entirely unscientific. I also think that before you slap a label on a functional person because they are a little dreamier than most, and medicate them beyond comprehension against their will, with a substance that has the same affect on the brain as cocaine, organic evidence of something being wrong should be required by an enforced law.

Please do not take my word for anything that i have said. I am not an expert. And i am not a fear mongerer with an acredited diploma license to terrorize. I am just a woman that had a very hard time and is only now able to put the experience to any sort of use. Please do your own research. Please ask questions of anyone who knows anything. But please also understand that many experts have very strong financial ties to the drug companies. Again, do not take my word for it. Do your own research. And realize, no one not even me is without an agenda and the truth probably winds up a bit to one side of the center line on the issue. However, it does fall on one side of it. Sometimes, the truth falls in the middle. Sometimes... If falls to one side but not as far to one side as it might have fallen. So please don't take my word for anything beyond my own experiences and how they affected me and look into these things for yourselves. It just might surprise you.

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