Teacher suggests psychological testing for 2nd grader, wwyd? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 47 Old 03-03-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
But having a child meet with a school psych doesn't make you give up your 'freedom.' That's a bit out there for me...
In and of itself, it wouldn't seem to. And if people could be convinced to always remain in their proper place, it wouldn't. But schools are *notorious* for wanting, and taking, the role of parent.

It's much like the cascading set of interventions that can happen during pregnancy. You give a little and they take a lot, and then keep demanding more. If a parent allows their child to be seen by a school psych, but then decides that they disagree with the recommendations/POV of the psych, and chooses to handle their child's issue(s) a different way, they won't be the first, or even the thousandth, parent that a school has reported to CPS for educational/medical neglect. It happens - constantly. Not occasionally, but constantly (HUGE numbers of the people who start homeschooling do so over this very issue).

Now, that doesn't mean that this happens in every single case. And it doesn't even mean that the people that work for the school aren't well meaning. But it does mean you take a big chance by *hoping* that the persons involved are professional and mature enough to both handle being told that you reject their professional opinion and will be doing it your way. And that they are willing to put your opinion and what you believe to be the best interest of your child above their true loyalty, which is to the smoothest possible running of the institution which employs them. Ideally, that would be the case, but the experience says it frequently just isn't. Those who haven't had that experience with the schools, have had very similar experiences with doctors/hospitals/pediatricians in the areas of birthing/breastfeeding/childhood medicine. It's not really very different at all.
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#32 of 47 Old 03-04-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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In and of itself, it wouldn't seem to. And if people could be convinced to always remain in their proper place, it wouldn't. But schools are *notorious* for wanting, and taking, the role of parent.

It's much like the cascading set of interventions that can happen during pregnancy. You give a little and they take a lot, and then keep demanding more. If a parent allows their child to be seen by a school psych, but then decides that they disagree with the recommendations/POV of the psych, and chooses to handle their child's issue(s) a different way, they won't be the first, or even the thousandth, parent that a school has reported to CPS for educational/medical neglect. It happens - constantly. Not occasionally, but constantly (HUGE numbers of the people who start homeschooling do so over this very issue).

Now, that doesn't mean that this happens in every single case. And it doesn't even mean that the people that work for the school aren't well meaning. But it does mean you take a big chance by *hoping* that the persons involved are professional and mature enough to both handle being told that you reject their professional opinion and will be doing it your way. And that they are willing to put your opinion and what you believe to be the best interest of your child above their true loyalty, which is to the smoothest possible running of the institution which employs them. Ideally, that would be the case, but the experience says it frequently just isn't. Those who haven't had that experience with the schools, have had very similar experiences with doctors/hospitals/pediatricians in the areas of birthing/breastfeeding/childhood medicine. It's not really very different at all.
meh, I've never experienced the 'cascading interventions' and I'm not afraid of the school psych.

However, that scenario seems to fly in the face of all the reading I've done on this, especially the legal protection / role that a parent has in this situation.

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#33 of 47 Old 03-04-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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But schools are *notorious* for wanting, and taking, the role of parent.
They have only been allowed this, because so many parents today lack the ability or will to be the parent themselves.
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#34 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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My son is in K; his teacher said that their school/district does not normally consider ADHD before 3rd grade.

We are seeing an outside family therapist, but I am also pursuing in school help; I don't think trying to take advantage of that help would be any worse that the stack of discipline tickets that are already in his file ...but I don't think it is the same situation as your ds is "exhausting" and not necessarily being labeled as a discipline problem.

We also live in a neighborhood with a "wealthy" reputation; that may influence the "you're the parent" attitude we receive.

We have applied to a "science and technology" charter school for next year; since part of ds' problem is boredom, we hope that a curriculum more tailored to his interests will help. It is also a much smaller school and 2/3 boys.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#35 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Based on what you have written, I would not allow a school psych appointment.

What, exactly, is the problem?

Are his marks floundering?

Is he disrupting others with his energy (and if so - has she tried to get him to channel his energy in more appropriate ways? )

I would try all of the below before moving on to a pych:

-increasing exercise throughout the day, walking to school, walking the halls at school, etc
-what happens when he finnishes his work early? Is he allowed to do other activities?
-does he have something to keep his hands busy at his desk - a worry rock, etc

In may ways I think it is normal for bright boys to be high energy, and I expect the school to accomodate this. I would not allow a psych evaluation as it pathologizes fairly normal behaviour.

If you do decide you want a psych, I would go private. Even if finances were an issue I would try hard to find away to go private (through a university, perhaps?). If you do not agree with the private assessment, you can shelve it, get a second opinion, etc. The school need never know. If you disagree with a school pych, well tough, it is there in black and white.

Good luck!

Kathy
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#36 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I would try all of the below before moving on to a pych:

-increasing exercise throughout the day, walking to school, walking the halls at school, etc
-what happens when he finnishes his work early? Is he allowed to do other activities?
-does he have something to keep his hands busy at his desk - a worry rock, etc
I pretty much agree with you, but as a parent who does private testing, I cannot stress enough how long it takes. I would try everything you list *while sitting on the wait list* for the best person in town.

The thing is, if you try all that stuff and it doesn't work, then you've wasted a lot of time. If you get yourself on the wait list and the simple interventions work, you can canceal the appointment. You've got nothing to lose. Seriously, going private from start to finish (figuring how who is best to actually having the evaluation in your hands) can take a year.

I just wonder if problems with focus will become more of an issue for this child as the work gets harder and a "boys will be boys" attitude *could* end up denying him access to options (like minor accomodations, behavoir modification, etc.) that could help him reach his potential.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#37 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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#38 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

I find introducing another adult into a classroom to be extremely invasive and something that tends to make children self-conscious. If the other children are aware that the new adult is there to observe a particular child, then that child is going to be a target by other children for being different or damaged in some way.
This is ENTIRELY inaccurate, 100%. At my children's school, there are many outside observers, it really and truly is NOT invasive and does not make any difference to the children. Anyone trained in observation, as a school psych would be, is quite adept at observing without interacting or anyone knowing who is being observed. Also, at my kids' school, plenty of kids have one on one aides. I don't know ANY of the kids who are treated differently because of it, or treated 'damaged'. It is introduced as normal, and they all treat it as such.
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#39 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Also, at my kids' school, plenty of kids have one on one aides. I don't know ANY of the kids who are treated differently because of it, or treated 'damaged'. It is introduced as normal, and they all treat it as such.
I see this written a lot, and I always question it a bit.

I do think think there are some consequences to having an aide or a label. I do not know what the consequences are, and think research in this area on how adults or teens have internalised their labels needs to be looked at.

I don't think it is enough to say "I don't know of any kids who are treated differently. It is introduced as normal, and they all treat it as such". That is great (for now) but does having a label have long term consequences for the labelled person? I would also disagree that it is "normal". Normal means the norm - and clearly having a LD is not the norm. 6 yr olds may not pick up on it now, but they darn well will eventually.

Of course, in some cases it is irrelevant. The pros they have from being labeled outweight the negatives....but I do not think it is a trivial matter.
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#40 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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When I say normal, I mean that the kids are aware that all kids have different abilities, and some need extra help. They don't see it as a bad thing to need extra help. I think it is a great thing to instill in kids from a young age, and can do a lot of good in the way of acceptance. When it is not 'abnormal' or BAD to have an aide, it is normalized.
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#41 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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When I say normal, I mean that the kids are aware that all kids have different abilities, and some need extra help. They don't see it as a bad thing to need extra help. I think it is a great thing to instill in kids from a young age, and can do a lot of good in the way of acceptance. When it is not 'abnormal' or BAD to have an aide, it is normalized.
I think our mileage varies.

I have a friend with a 9 year old kid in one of the best school districts in our area. He is ADHD. This year he is in an ADHD classroom for part of the day and mainstreamed the rest. They've had a big bullying problem as he has moved into a mainstream classroom. The school is doing the best that it can to squash it, but kids can be mean.

So... in my experience, their school has the goals that you state, but the kids don't implement them and are mean as hell about it.
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#42 of 47 Old 03-05-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I just wonder if problems with focus will become more of an issue for this child as the work gets harder and a "boys will be boys" attitude *could* end up denying him access to options (like minor accomodations, behavoir modification, etc.) that could help him reach his potential.

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#43 of 47 Old 03-06-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Too many gifted people in my family have had too many bad run-ins with public schools with an agenda that is NOT in their best interest for me to trust any public school with assessing my child. Refusing a school's diagnosis and recommendations re. medication is a fast ticket to being labeled an uncaring, uncooperative bad parent.
Please be careful how you state such information. The OP said that her child goes to a public gifted school. My daughter goes to a public gifted magnet school--one in which children who are assessed as gifted are "invited" to attend. ALL of the teachers are endorsed in gifted education. Both my husband and I are gifted and I have a PhD in education and have worked in public education for most of my career. I am extremely impressed with our gifted magnet elementary school. They meet my daughter's needs and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of ALL of the learners in the classroom. Gifted doesn't just mean "smart". You can be gifted in a variety of ways (see writings by Howard Gardner) and this school has been the best learning environment for my child. I always cringe when I see or hear things like what you have written because it wipes away the work of those of us who DO understand gifted learners, work with them, know them, and educate them...and sometimes ARE them.

To the OP, make sure your child's teacher has an endorsement in gifted education (it varies state by state). If so, I would assume that she would be well aware of the variety of ways that students who are identified as gifted present themselves. My daughter has classmates who sound very much like your child--and they are not ADHD or have any other "issues" (for lack of a better word). The teacher makes sure that her instructional plans meet the variety of oral, aural, kinesthetic and visual learning needs for EACH learner in her classroom. There are a variety of kinesthetic activities for that style of learner built in to each lesson for children who sound very much like yours--and then, for a child like my daughter, she has simultaneous learning opportunities for those who are "the book worms" and who do best while engaging verbally but not physically.

I would say that if your son goes to the same type of school that my daugther attends (a public magnet school where students are identified in the first grade and then chosen specifically for this school)--then there is someone on that staff who can help you. These schools are not funded willy-nilly and they have to keep their noses clean in order to keep their funding (especially in this economy). That's our situation, anyway, so I know my child is getting what she needs. Hope this helps.
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#44 of 47 Old 03-06-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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Saw this in New Posts, wanted to throw in a comment...

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DS, age 8, is in second grade and in the second year of a full-time gifted program at our local public school. So far he's been doing very well. He's always been a very active, fidgety, touchy-feely, talkative kid.

He did fine in first grade. This year he is in a quiet, well-behaved class. Long story short, we met with his teacher to discuss his behavior -- she says "his energy level is exhausting." We've suggested getting him more movement into his day, both in school and out and are doing so. She also suggested that we could track his behavior with the school psychologist's help and get her counsel and I said that would be okay.
This is exactly the situation with my baby brother (very gifted) at that age. They said he had ADHD and wanted to medicate him. He did not have ADHD, he just was bored and needed more mental stimulation. I'd work on keeping him occupied and busy and having things to learn and think about, before sending him to a psychologist.

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#45 of 47 Old 03-06-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Please be careful how you state such information. The OP said that her child goes to a public gifted school. My daughter goes to a public gifted magnet school--one in which children who are assessed as gifted are "invited" to attend. ALL of the teachers are endorsed in gifted education. Both my husband and I are gifted and I have a PhD in education and have worked in public education for most of my career. I am extremely impressed with our gifted magnet elementary school. They meet my daughter's needs and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of ALL of the learners in the classroom. Gifted doesn't just mean "smart". You can be gifted in a variety of ways (see writings by Howard Gardner) and this school has been the best learning environment for my child. I always cringe when I see or hear things like what you have written because it wipes away the work of those of us who DO understand gifted learners, work with them, know them, and educate them...and sometimes ARE them.
Italics mine.

I am glad you found a good fit for your DD. I am glad such schools are out there.

I must admit I always cringe slightly when I read glowing reviews of schools. I am happy for the family, of course, but my own experience with schools and that of many I know has not been positive. While you may cringe at portrayals of schools in a negative manner, I cringe at positive stories. I expect we both do it for the same reason - generalisation. The truth is there is wide variations on quality of schools - and the OP needs to look at her school to decide whether they are trustworhty in her eyes. I think she needs to know that some people have had negative experiences and some have had positive.

Of course, whether the school and its employees are trustworthy/ understand gifted kids are only one variable in whether/where to test.
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#46 of 47 Old 03-06-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Italics mine.

I am glad you found a good fit for your DD. I am glad such schools are out there.

I must admit I always cringe slightly when I read glowing reviews of schools. I am happy for the family, of course, but my own experience with schools and that of many I know has not been positive. While you may cringe at portrayals of schools in a negative manner, I cringe at positive stories. I expect we both do it for the same reason - generalisation. The truth is there is wide variations on quality of schools - and the OP needs to look at her school to decide whether they are trustworhty in her eyes. I think she needs to know that some people have had negative experiences and some have had positive.

Of course, whether the school and its employees are trustworthy/ understand gifted kids are only one variable in whether/where to test.


This captures my thoughts.

I'm concerned that a teacher dropped the bombshell that she wants to refer to the school psych without informing the parent more explicitely what the nature of her concerns are. Yes, I get that the OP's DS is active, but I also understand that he is fine at home and was fine in gr1.

I have had two gifted kids with 11 teachers in 5 different schools. The differences in those experiences are immense, and the interpretation of what's agreed to as a plan has, shall we say, varied . I've had many conversations/agreements with teachers where I know they meant what they said, and really did their best, but from my POV did not meet their commitments, to DS's detriment. Or, at the very least, we had very different interpretations of what the paper said - like the paper said he'd have one of those under-the-bum cushions to help him expend extra energy, but she kept giving it to other kids to use and then complained about DS.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#47 of 47 Old 03-06-2010, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I continue to gain insight from this thread and thank you all for your thoughts.

Just to be clear, ds IS a very active child and always has been. He has been a challenge to us, and more or less to all of his teachers and coaches over the years, because he is often bouncing around, not paying attention, not listening, goofing off and trying to make the other kids laugh, etc. His saving grace, if you will, is that he is a very sweet and good-natured outgoing boy. His teacher also says that she doesn't want to do anything to dampen his enthusiasm.

If I could get suggestions from a professional that can help him to learn to attend and behave, in an age-appropriate manner, I would love to hear them. However, I don't want to "pathologize" what might be pretty typical kid behavior either. The gifted program at our school is very well-regarded and we've had nothing but helpful interactions with them so far -- his teacher is qualified to teach gifted children and has been doing so for several years.

I've sent the email requesting a meeting, and the school psych is working to put it together -- I feel like if all four of us can talk we'll get many of our questions answered. Am hoping so, anyway.
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