I have been trying to work out how to post this for weeks without giving a longish background essay ;-) I guess it's just not possible.
Essentially, we need information on helping my very gifted second grader with ever-increasing anxiety and ever-decreasing organization at school. At home, we have a system for everything and our systems work. At school, I am not there to enforce or help with that and her teacher seems to think saying, "here are my expectations and here are the stickers/prizes/privileges you will/won't get," should be enough to motivate her to just "do better." All the sticker charts and tick marks are making things SO much worse. The teacher is not going to change her style and my daughter can not go back to her regular classroom because a. academically she's quite far ahead and b. her particular "home room" is chaotic and out of control (very sweet burned out teacher on the edge of retirement).
I have been speaking to her various doctors and teachers about her anxiety for years and I think even this teacher THINKS she's helping and would like to help, she just wants to do it in the way she thinks it SHOULD help. The anxiety could very well be a side-effect of her meds but without them, she can't walk. Clearly not going off the meds. Need to help manage the anxiety. She also has "some kind of movement disorder" - we don't have a very firm diagnosis. This alone has been VERY stressful for her because it is unpredictable. She has a slight tremor in her hands. Sometimes she falls down and she's embarrassed. She can't run at all or walk very fast. I had to ASK the teacher to work out some system with a "line buddy" so she wouldn't get left behind. The more she hurries or concentrates on walking, the worse her gait is and the slower she goes, more she falls. This can be the same with writing and even thinking - when she is stressed or rushed, her brain just shuts down. We don't know what causes it - personality or meds or movement disorder - but her doctors have said if it continues to be a problem, they will both write letters and we can try to have some things written into her IEP. Her teacher has made comments that she is "a turtle" and needs to be "quick like a bunny." Such an awesome thing to say to a child who just finished crying because some kid was an ass in PE when she wasn't moving fast enough (because what could POSSIBLY be more important than winning at some random made-up BS game in PE?).
I need to have a meeting with the teacher, but I need to go in with some ideas first. If I need to, I can have her doctors back me up and really, this school has been so accommodating (and even the kids, when they know she's having issues or realize she can't HELP being slow, are amazing. Sometimes I think at least the walker was a visual cue to slow down and be patient, but she would at this point rather stay home than use it and I feel so blessed that she's not needing it, I feel guilty saying that) but I need to go in with some ideas and strategies to see what she's willing to try.
We would also LOVE an app or CD with some guided relaxation imagery for children - that isn't hokey and cheesy.
If you've read all this, thank you. From my own experiences in gifted programs, I know that maturity and organization don't always or even often go along with giftedness, but anxiety often does. I just want my child to be happy and enjoy school again because it has been such a source of joy to her in the past.