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DS, 1st Grade, can't get his classwork done.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My son is struggling in first grade.  He will be 7 in April.  His teacher called us in for a conference because J cant get his class work done.  He rarely finishes an assignment.  Teacher is concerned with his ability to focus and his daydreaming.   On Friday’s he brings home half finished worksheets and grades of 48, 59, 62, etc… rarely anything north of 80.  We have started a “Communication Notebook” where she tells us each day how he did.  The idea is to create incentives at home for improved performance at school.  He is reading at grade level, his math skills are good – though he struggles with verbalizing why he know what he knows and with word problems.  His spelling is fair but handwriting is atrocious.

 

I was home with the kids up until a year ago when finances forced me back to work.  Money is tight so costly approaches are out of reach.  Does anyone have any book recommendations, idea for things we can do at home to help him follow instructions better.  He is very distractible.  Tell him to put his shoes away and hang up his jacket and he forgets where he is going halfway to his room – distracted by the coin he found on the floor.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 8

Ds has ADHD and after a year of his (old) school and us (and family therapist) trying every incentive type we could come up with, we finally tried medication. All those incentives couldn't work if ds was incapable of focusing. The first medication we tried helped a lot, the second helped more (he finally started making progress in therapy as well) and he is doing the best he's ever done in terms of focus and impulse control.

 

I think that ADD/Inattentive is a possibility. I would see what type of testing is available through your school/district.

 

http://www.goaskmom.com/AllKinds_adhd_inattentive.html

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Oh, I just hate to even think that is his problem.  He does well if someone work with him one on one.. it's the class setting he has trouble with.  Oh, how i wish we could homeschool... BUT I've got to work with what I have. 

 

Is 1st grade too early to dianse ADD?  His teacher has stressed to us that he is not a behavioral problem, he doesnt act out in class or get rowdy.  He just doesnt focus on the task at hand.

post #4 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post

Oh, I just hate to even think that is his problem.  He does well if someone work with him one on one.. it's the class setting he has trouble with.  Oh, how i wish we could homeschool... BUT I've got to work with what I have. 

 

Is 1st grade too early to dianse ADD?  His teacher has stressed to us that he is not a behavioral problem, he doesnt act out in class or get rowdy.  He just doesnt focus on the task at hand.


My son has ADD/Hyperactive (ADHD) and has had significant behavioral issues; he also does better with one on one attention. But, ADD/Inattentive (also ADHD Inattentive Type) children are often described as dreamers (or lazy--as it may appear they just don't care to put in the effort), but not disruptive. With younger children are it can be difficult to discern what is normal and what is a problem so it typically isn't diagnosed before age 5 (ds' last school told us that they don't consider ADHD before 2nd or 3rd grade, but his symptoms were so severe that we had him seen privately)--my ds turns 7 in March and was diagnosed at just under 6.5.

 

I just wanted to bring it up as a possibility because it may be that he doesn't have control over it and it is good to have that possibility in mind when trying different tools to help his attention and focus. Ds' last school kept saying "we just don't understand--we've done behavior charts A-Z, ISS, suspension and they don't seem to work", then they'd draw up another chart.

 

Age When ADHD is Diagnosed

 

http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/bgdisplay.jhtml?itemname=adhd_diagnosing

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the links.  Are there any activities, excercises we can do at home to help him build the ability to focus or does it all hinge on medication/supplements?

post #6 of 8

its stinks.  Is there ANY way you could swing homeschooling?  (I only say this because the OP has said she would like to, i am NOT pushing a "homeschool is always better" approach)   I don't know your situation, but I know homeschooling can work in many working-parent situations, unless part of the issue is that you are dependent upon the "free daycare" that the school provides.  My husband and I both work, and we still homeschool.  Our kids go to daycare, and yet we homeschool.  Homeschooling takes so little time, it doesn't matter. 

 

I am hearing you say you have a little boy whose personality does not mesh with school, and I fear that will get punished out of him, or drugged out of him, so they can file down the corners of his square peg enough to pound him into their round hole, and that just makes me so sad.  :(

 

On the other hand, we have 1 boy (out of 7 kids) who truly functions better on ADHD meds.  Once he was older, 9-10ish, he was able to explain to us the difference, and how it helped, and asked us not to keep trying to take him off them (we didnt want him on them) because he NEEDED them.  He is almost 14 and doing really well, in public school. 

 

Its hard to know what is best for any particular child.  I hope you find something that works.

post #7 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post

My son is struggling in first grade.  He will be 7 in April.  His teacher called us in for a conference because J cant get his class work done.  He rarely finishes an assignment.  Teacher is concerned with his ability to focus and his daydreaming.  .... he struggles with verbalizing why he know what he knows and with word problems.  His spelling is fair but handwriting is atrocious.

 

 


 

I think there are enough flags there to request an evaluation. I sounds to me like there is something going on with him, and that more of the same isn't the answer. It's not just a focus problem, there are fine motor issues and trouble putting thoughts into words.

 

I doubt that homeschooling would fix the problem, though it might mask it for a while. It's very easy to gloss over children's mild special needs when homeschooling, but identifying what the problem is and the taking corrective actions is far better for the child in the long run.

 

I would request an evaluation from the school (request in writing, in a real letter with a date and a signature).

post #8 of 8

This is a page from the goaskmom.com site I posted earlier. You could also try posting at the SN board; the first time I heard about ADD/Inattentive was there.

 

Diet and ADHD - an ADHD Diet?

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