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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

school is optional?


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Apr 18, 2002 at 2:44:37 PM
Subject: school is optional?

My friend has been having some trouble with her son lately. Her story is that at first she thought her son's teacher was being too boring and her child wasn't doing work because he was bored, he already knew the subject. Now she thinks her child has decided school is optional and just won't do any work. He has been grounded a lot for lying lately also. Now, she has told me that there is a family member who is dyslexic. He doesn't seem to have inherited that difficulty, apparently he does very well when he decides to do the work. Maybe he doesn't want to work, but I have read too much on this site that makes me think perhaps he isn't being lazy or thinking school is optional, what if there is a reason for him to act this way. Can't put my finger on it though. He is a very active child and will play video games for hours. He is a 4th grader. His mom and I will be comparing notes tomorrow after our parent/teacher conferences. Just wondering what you all think. I'll tell more if I get more info.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 18, 2002 3:33:38 PM

Testing such a child might demonstrate the presence of underlying learning disabilities. Talking with him should uncover his feelings about school. I have meet students, from time to time, who are truly committed to the belief that school is their choice. But not often have I met with that idea.

I will say I think school can become too serious too soon for some students. Not every child, by virtue of maturity or attention span, is ready for serious work in the younger grades. That doesn't mean those children can't go on to success in the higher grades or in life but it does mean they struggle with school and their teachers in their younger years.

My first approach with such an interesting child would be to have a long but pleasant conversation as to his feelings about school. That even without the testing might give you some clues as to what might be going on here.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 18, 2002 3:50:50 PM

Amy -

Our son is dyslexic and dysgraphic. In 3rd/4th/5th grades, every time he put something on paper someone would tell him he was stupid because of his bad spelling or make fun of his poor handwriting. One teacher would even hold his paper up in front of the entire class and ridicule him. He was completely convinced he actually was stupid, and he was devastated by it.

I think our son had days when it was just easier to take the bad grade for not trying at all -- that way he didn't have to internalize all the criticism he endured when he did try. He is a deeply sensitive child, and takes the smallest comments too personally. Nobody could say "what stupid spelling" or "what sloppy handwriting" if the paper was blank.

This might not be what's going on with your child but it's something to think about. After years with private tutors, and a few years with some very supportive teachers in middle school, our son is finally back on track. I hope you find a way to help your child.

~aj

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 6:41:10 AM

I appreciate your responses, well, it turns out that this past 9 weeks went ok with school after all, although the family is still dealing with the lying. Come to find out that the problem should have been somewhat obvious. We live in a military community and the Dad was in Kosovo for 3 weeks then came back for a few days and back to the field for another 3 weeks. A whole different child once dad came home. My friend had only mentioned that he was having some difficulty a couple of times but didn't elaborate too much before. I know from experience that it is hard for the kids when their dad is gone for any length of time,especially when they go somewhere that is on the news. I really feel for the kids whose parents are in Afghanistan, that's gotta be really scary. I guess we'll see how things go this 9 wks since his dad won't be going anywhere until summer.Thanks y'all.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 11:57:03 AM

Ah,yes. You see there is always a *reason* for why children behave as they do. Anxiety can manifest itself in so many ways in young children. May I suggest that, even though Dad is back for the summer, you encourage this family to seek some type of counseling/support to help this child deal with his fears/feelings when Dad goes away again - as he surely will. I would guess that the military has some such system already in place for their families. This could also help uncover why the child does not always tell the truth - a behavior which also has a *reason* - see if it can be found. It seems to me that this young boy is somewhat "fragile" at this point and would benefit from a careful and watchful eye during what still may prove to be a difficult time for him.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 3:24:46 PM

needs his parents to eliminate the video games, and not backing down by teaching him how to spend his time doing his "job" which includes going to school, putting in his time and doing his assignments. He can be rewarded by earning time to play the video games by doing his "job first" which is school. Perhaps his parents can stress this with him that their "job" is to teach him to be responsible and that if Dad or Mom decided that their "job that brings home the paycheck" was optional, they would not have money to pay the bills for food, clothing and heaven forbid the video games that he loves to spend time with... Is he on medication to control his ADD-inattentive/impulsive behaviors? Because... it sure sounds like he is ADD.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 20, 2002 8:54:30 AM

A lot of things can "sound" like ADD, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they "are" ADD and even if testing done by a qualified professional indicates that attentional dysfunctions are present, pharmaceutical intervention is NOT always the answer nor is it indicated for every child.

Again, I would encourage this family to seek evaluation and support from a mental health professional with follow-up by their pediatrician if necessary.

Fourth grade is a difficult transition time, especially for active children. Involve the school in the plan - most teachers do care and will help where they can.

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