Thursday, October 22, 2009

School...so far

This is for Robin! You asked for it...Kindergarten has been a little frustrating to say the least. I requested that both boys be held back in Pre-K. I just didn't feel like they were ready for Kindergarten. Apparently if a student is deemed ready for Kindergarten in the Little Rock School District, he can't be held back by a parent. Strange. Now that they're in Kindergarten they're both struggling a little. Twin A, who I've never had any major behavior issues with all of a sudden became a "bad" kid (at least I felt he had been given that label by his teacher). His teacher called me 2 or 3 times in the first 2 weeks of school. Twin B was misbehaving a lot too. I was hoping that maybe they just needed time to adjust to the more rigid structure of Kindergarten. In Pre-K they pretty much got to play all day, and now they're expected to sit still for long periods of time. No such luck. Both boys were having trouble sitting still and focusing long enough to get any of their work done. They can identify only a few letters and numbers. Both teachers were taken aback when I told them I requested they be held back. Clearly they aren't ready for Kindergarten. I guess I could have pushed the issue, but I didn't. If they had been full term babies, they would have been born after the cutoff date and would be in Pre-K this year. After visiting with both teachers and their pediatrician, both boys have been diagnosed with ADHD. I really have mixed feelings about this. I always kind of thought ADHD was just a bogus diagnosis. I just thought it was kids being kids. I struggled a lot about whether to medicate them or not. I eventually decided to go with the medicine. It seems to have made quite a difference at school. I still feel like they're behind most of their classmates though. Maybe their teachers this year will agree with me that they're not ready to advance to first grade. I know there's a lot of time until the end of the school year and maybe they'll catch up. At the very least, maybe with the ADHD diagnosis, their teachers won't label them as "bad" and will work a little harder with them instead of writing them off. They've only been on the meds for about 2 weeks, so hopefully I'll keep seeing improvements.

That's our school year so far in a nutshell!

3 comments:

Robin said...

That's the last time I ask you how you are, Erin.

(You know I'm kidding, right?) That sounds like total school torture. I'm so sorry. On the positive side, I treat so much friggin' ADHD that I barely consider it to be a problem. The kids are so normal. There is barely any difference between the kids in my office and any other kid. If the twins do have a touch of ADHD, they'll do awesome. If they're just a little behind in their developmental ability to exert self control, you'll be able to take them off meds in the next couple of years. I do think our schools are way too rigid with little boys. They're just not going to sit with their hands folded in their laps.

The boys are wonderful, and they're going to do great. I agree with you that with that "label" at least the rigid teachers might cut them some slack. If they do well, in junior high you can just stop requesting services, and the label goes away. Elementary schools never communicate with middle school or junior high school.

Natasha Fondren said...

You know, just having taught a bunch of kids with varying levels of ADD and ADHD, I think not doing something is a bit like asking a kid to go through school without glasses when their eyes see the world all blurry.

It's such a small thing and then they can see the blackboard, get better grades, stop getting yelled at all the time, feel more confident... all sorts of good stuff! It's just as normal as needing glasses, seriously.

There was no ADD when I was young, and boy, did I struggle. I learned to behave properly and to look focused and all that, but that's sort of like learning how to pretend to see the blackboard when you really can't see. It pleases everyone else but it was still a struggle for me. In retrospect, it's a pity I learned to pretend, because I didn't get help. Be glad that you're investigating and trying to discover what's going on before they're old enough to learn to cover it up and struggle inside all alone!

You are such a good advocate for your children. They're so lucky!

conley730 said...

Thanks, gals. You make me feel better. Things are going better with the meds. Robin, I hope you're right and they can quit taking them soon. I have spoken with several people that say the classroom setting is geared much more toward girls than boys. Who can blame a 5 year old for wanting to play, right?