Teacher suggests psychological testing for 2nd grader, wwyd? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Now that I got the form to fill out (and the consent form to sign) I'm not so sure this is the way to go. I'm not adverse to getting more and different advice for him, but it does concern me that this will go into his file and follow him throughout his whole school career. Won't all of his future teachers see this? And then mightn't they think of him as a "behavior problem" right off the bat? What if this is more the current teacher's perception than an actual problem?

I am conflicted about this. I could see that someone might suspect ADHD or some such, but since he is able to concentrate very well on things he enjoys (like art) and sits down to his homework each night without much trouble, I rather doubt it. Any thoughts? Thanks!
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#2 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it.

I would refuse the school assessment and talk to my pediatrician instead. If the pediatrician recommends it, I would have the kid screened by a private psychologist/psychiatrist with experience with gifted children. I understand that $$$ makes this not an option for some families. In that case, I would still talk to my pediatrician first.

There's a long, long history of schools pushing for ADHD medication for gifted kids, especially boys, because they don't want to deal with their energy levels.

It was recommended by our public schools for both of my brothers, for no other reason than "bored, gifted, high energy boy = trouble."

(And my brothers were trouble. But more differentiation, not drugs, was the answer.)
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#3 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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I don't see the problem. She isn't talking about diagnosing him with anything, just getting a little help. As for it "following him everywhere", my son has bipolar disorder, and yes, it will follow him everywhere but sometimes getting your child the help they need is more important than how things "look".

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#4 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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I would suggest doing it.

This is coming from a former educators point of view. I know that the mention of school psychologist/social workers often scare parents. But they are wonderful resources----many of them work with kids that you would never consider 'behavior problems'. Yes, they do work with kids that do misbehave in the classroom----but they also do a lot of preventative work with other kids: A huge part of their rime goes into helping teach kids how to manage behaviors, use energy appropriately, learn how to recognize their own behavior patterns, develop coping skills , improve interactions with peers, provide role-playing opportunities, learn group social skills, and how to make sure self-esteem stays intact through it all. Lots of gifted kids struggle with the combination of high energy and giftedness.

I think it is very proactive to look into it now versus later (after 2 or more teachers suggest it).

The best case scenario is that you get some information (information is always a good thing) and learn more on how to help your child channel his energy appropriately. He feels better about it and he is more successful in the class. As he gets older the way he deals with his energy should mature (what a 1st grader may do is not going to work if a 5th grader is doing it) and allow him to be functional in class. The expectations are different as children age.

The school psychologist may not even want to see/work with him on a regular basis- rather just provide some ideas to his teacher on how to help him in the classroom. He/She could even say that they do not find your child's energy 'level' out of the ordinary- which would also be noted for future teachers.

Worst case scenario-- you dont agree with the school psychologist and simply dont follow the suggestions. That is your choice.

As a former teacher, I dont think that a 'future' teacher will label him automatically. Any good teacher knows that every child can have 'varying years' and the interactions between some teacher and kids is different due to personalities.

It would also be good to know in case a future teacher sees him having difficulty. They could review strategies that worked and would have a baseline established rather than if the teacher does not see it and simply makes another referral to the school psychologist. Or they could see that his 'energy' levels are appropriate for his age/development and save you another referral to the school psychologist.

I dislike the stigma attached to parents/teachers that request more information or evaluations for students. The purpose of evaluating is often to determine if the student 'could' benefit/qualify from extra help (counseling/behavior plan/learning support, etc) not if they will. Is is merely a tool to best help a student that may or may not need more than is currently offered them. High energy is not an automatic 'ADHD' medication route at all. Only a Dr. can prescribe meds, certainly not a school. Plus, more schools are learning ways to help children that are high energy in the school setting before getting pediatricians involved.

I would try to go with open eyes. High energy and intelligence is a wonderful combination if it can be channeled right (these children can be highly motivated, driven, persistent, and have the energy to KEEP going on a task and achieve wonderful things).
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#5 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it.

I would refuse the school assessment and talk to my pediatrician instead. If the pediatrician recommends it, I would have the kid screened by a private psychologist/psychiatrist with experience with gifted children. I understand that $$$ makes this not an option for some families. In that case, I would still talk to my pediatrician first.

There's a long, long history of schools pushing for ADHD medication for gifted kids, especially boys, because they don't want to deal with their energy levels.

It was recommended by our public schools for both of my brothers, for no other reason than "bored, gifted, high energy boy = trouble."

(And my brothers were trouble. But more differentiation, not drugs, was the answer.)
That's what I would do. I have one of the extremely energetic, extremely smart boys. He did wonderfully in kindergarten, struggled through first grade and is now doing wonderfully in second grade. Part of it is his maturity level, part of it is the teacher.

And I completely disagree about the labeling part. It can and does happen and while every teacher may not, many do.
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#6 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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Isn't seeing the psychologist confidential?

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#7 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I personally wouldn't do it either. Then again, I've had very bad experiences with school psychologists, so I'm coming into it from a bit of a different mindset. If at all possible, I'd suggest finding outside help before consulting with the psychologist. Could you perhaps meet with the school psychologist beforehand so he/she can give you a brief rundown about what he/she will be doing? Did the teacher give you specifics on how exactly your son is exhausting? Examples of behaviors, ext.? I'd delve a little bit deeper before involving the school's professionals. See, thing is if you find an outside professional and it's not a match, you can cut your losses and move on. If you disagree with the school psychologist or it's simply not a good match for you and your son, there isn't much recourse there since the psychologist will always be there.

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#8 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked a friend who is a former teacher and current School Board member and she immediately said not to do it and to pursue the issue with our pediatrician first. Dh feels the same way. I need to sleep on this for a few days. Many thanks for all your answers! This discussion has given me lots of food for thought.
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#9 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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What is not clear from your post is what your son is supposed to be seeing the psychologist for. Is it for gifted testing, or for some sort of other diagnostic process?

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#10 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 03:34 AM
 
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Can you ask what the psychologist would be looking for? What the outcome would be? What would your ideal outcome be? Can you sit down and discuss this with the the psychologist is first?

Part of the school psychologist's job is to help the teachers better understand their students. They're not all out to diagnose your child or suggest ADHD and meds.

I've asked the school psychologist to observe ds a couple of times, and as far as I know, nothing has gone into his 'file'. (Ds has some anxiety issues and some 'tics', and was having some social issues.) The school psychologist was helpful.

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Won't all of his future teachers see this? And then mightn't they think of him as a "behavior problem" right off the bat?
Do you think the teachers in the different grades ever talk to each other?

My niece is 4 years younger than her sister and 6 years younger than her brother. When she was a freshman in high school, one of her teachers introduced her to another teacher by saying "This is M.K." "Oh, are you related to G.K. and R.K.?" said the other teacher. "Yep," said the first teacher "She's got R's brains and G's mouth." (My nephew was well known for never stopping talking.) And, it's a pretty accurate assessment.

I hate to tell you this, but they've often heard things about the kids who stick out.

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I am conflicted about this. I could see that someone might suspect ADHD or some such, but since he is able to concentrate very well on things he enjoys (like art) and sits down to his homework each night without much trouble, I rather doubt it. Any thoughts? Thanks!
ADHD is often misconstrued as an inability to focus. It's probably better understood as difficulty shifting focus or managing focus. People with ADHD often can focus quite intently on some things - so much so that they exclude other things. I'm not saying that your son has ADHD, as nothing you've said suggests that.

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#11 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 04:03 AM
 
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As for it "following him everywhere", my son has bipolar disorder, and yes, it will follow him everywhere but sometimes getting your child the help they need is more important than how things "look".
One of my children is on the autism spectrum. I'm fuzzy on why anything thinks that a child having a proper diagnosis is a bad thing. It's a way to communicate with others and make sure that child's needs are met. That's all good stuff.

I believe that children are better off with labels than with the teachers all knowing that the child out of the norm but that the parent refuses to address it.

If you aren't comfortable with the school doing it, then get on the phone and find out what your insurance will cover and who your doctor recommends for this kind of testing. Most doctors in this field have LONG wait list, so don't put this off. Depending on where you live, you can easily wait 6 months for this kind of testing. Or longer.

Once you have your ducks in a row, let the teacher know your plan and that you are taking her recommendation seriously. She spends all day with gifted children and she's picking up on something. I think it's worth checking out.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been very instructive for me to "unpack" my concerns about this, especially with your input. To be clear:

I don't think I would be concerned or feeling resistant about any other kind of issue if it were brought up (anxiety, aggressiveness, autism spectrum, bipolar disorder, etc.) -- but "high-energy" puts up red flags for me. It is the conventional wisdom that elementary schools are not particularly friendly to high-energy boys.

Also, I come from a home-schooling bias that suggests it's unnatural for children to sit still in school all day -- it seems that the days he has the most trouble are those when they have indoor recess (which happens a lot in the winter). If the teacher suggests there's a problem with his energy level, I automatically think it's the school that's the problem, not ds (not that this is necessarily correct, but it is my first response).

Finally, I work as a doula and as such deal often with institutions and their willingness (or not) to embrace the needs of the individual. My assumption is that when an institution suggests a plan of action for an individual whose needs or wants are outside the norm, that although plenty of lip service is given to the idea that their proposed solution is for the individual's benefit, their bias is, of course, to serve their own needs. I don't want to assume an adversarial relationship where there is none, but I also want to be an effective advocate for my son, asking the right questions and so on.

Our next step is to ask for a meeting with the teacher and the psychologist. Part of the disconnect is that when the teacher presented the idea to us, she acted as if it weren't really necessary and that we probably wouldn't want to do it -- while the school psychologist said that the teacher presented it to her as a boy whose activity level was way outside the norm. I think we all need to see each other face-to-face so we can get all of our questions answered and concerns addressed.
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#13 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Our next step is to ask for a meeting with the teacher and the psychologist. Part of the disconnect is that when the teacher presented the idea to us, she acted as if it weren't really necessary and that we probably wouldn't want to do it -- while the school psychologist said that the teacher presented it to her as a boy whose activity level was way outside the norm. I think we all need to see each other face-to-face so we can get all of our questions answered and concerns addressed.
Sound like a good plan! Don't forget to write down all your questions and concerns before the meeting.... and take lots of notes.
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#14 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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One of my children is on the autism spectrum. I'm fuzzy on why anything thinks that a child having a proper diagnosis is a bad thing. It's a way to communicate with others and make sure that child's needs are met. That's all good stuff.
My problem is not with a diagnosis, but with who is doing the diagnosing.

I don't trust a school psychologist to give "a proper diagnosis" for anything.
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#15 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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This is said as a teacher with a gifted student in her classroom...

I would go along with testing. Our school psychologist is the biggest advocate for this boy in my classroom, and she was the one talking to me in the beginning of the year about how to challenge him, and that it's okay if his behavior seems a bit off, what he needs to feel accomplished in the classroom, what to do to make sure we provide what he needs, etc. The psychologist provided me with resources, and the parents of the boy seemed very satisfied with testing done by the school. They requested for the student to stay in my classroom for the second year in a row (I moved up a grade).

Parents and schools can work together. The intent to test is not always to label a child, it can truly be "to better understand and find ways to better support".

Do you trust the teacher in other areas?
My advice, I guess, trust your instincts, but don't assume the worst.

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#16 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I would do the testing with the school psychologist. I have taught gifted self-contained for many years and had my share of gifted students that needed alternative ways to deal with their high energy. Good teachers can deal with this in a productive way for all parties involved. One year, I simply allowed a student to jog the hallway two times to release his energy and he was fine. What a simple fix and without medication! A psychologist will have a myriad of ways to help teachers assist with this concern.

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#17 of 47 Old 02-27-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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OP, a couple things.

Have you actually sat in on the class and been able to observe your son, and the behavior the teacher is describing? I think this would be helpful in understanding if this is just typical "high energy boy" or something else. If it is the something else, then I'd seek out the help of the school psych.

If they suggest anything that makes you worry, or feel is not a right label, ask for a full neuropsych evaluation. But school psychologists are really good at finding ways to helps a child manage behavior in a school setting.

Please also know that there is typically a 3 year review--and the information CAN BE REMOVED from your child's file before going on to high school, etc.

Get James Webb's Misdiagnosis book and read it before the parent/child meeting with the school psych. This book is really lovely and so helpful to a parent in this situation.

And now, as a parent going through this with her child, it is a roller-coaster. I have conflicting feelings about it, but ultimately think that if something can help my child, then why stop it!

Sure, you could go the private psych. route, but that person might not be able to observe your son in the school environment. So it might be a huge waste of time, and make you child feel like there is something wrong with him.

We went the school psych way because he is comfortable at school, and we felt that this is really the best way to help him develop skills to manage his issues, without making him feel like there is something wrong with him.

And before there is any "diagnosis" or acceptance of medication, you as a parent have to sign off on it. So there won't be anything going into the file unless you approve of it.

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#18 of 47 Old 02-27-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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We went the school psych way because he is comfortable at school, and we felt that this is really the best way to help him develop skills to manage his issues, without making him feel like there is something wrong with him.

And before there is any "diagnosis" or acceptance of medication, you as a parent have to sign off on it. So there won't be anything going into the file unless you approve of it.
We took my son to a private psychologist and a private speech/language pathologist because we DIDN'T want him to think something was wrong with him. We told him that he was getting a "brain check-up," just like a yearly physical.

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.

My kids are in Montessori, so we get a written narrative for a year end report, rather than a report card. It pretty clearly detailed what the teacher perceived my son's problems to be. I gave a copy of that report and a copy of my son's Iowa Basics scores to our psychologist and the speech-language pathologist.

When I thought our private providers had a diagnosis nailed down, I asked them to talk with D.'s teacher.

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.
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#19 of 47 Old 02-28-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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We took my son to a private psychologist and a private speech/language pathologist because we DIDN'T want him to think something was wrong with him. We told him that he was getting a "brain check-up," just like a yearly physical.

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.

My kids are in Montessori, so we get a written narrative for a year end report, rather than a report card. It pretty clearly detailed what the teacher perceived my son's problems to be. I gave a copy of that report and a copy of my son's Iowa Basics scores to our psychologist and the speech-language pathologist.

When I thought our private providers had a diagnosis nailed down, I asked them to talk with D.'s teacher.

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.
I'm very sorry that your experiences with school psychs has been so negative.

My children attend a Montessori school as well, a public Montessori. I'm sure most schools are different, but there are often parents observing, and having a school psych observing wouldn't be strange in my DS's class at all. Observation is just part of the experience. And the special ed. teacher at our school also works at the gifted magnet in our city, so he is great with gifted kids, familiar with overexcitabilities. Everyone is viewed as an individual learner, so there really is NOT the climate of "oh johnny's doing something different, let's make fun of him."

So there are different situations. And different kids will certainly warrant different treatment--which the parent would know best. For instance, my son has a lot of anxiety (this is one of the reasons he is being evaluated by the school psych.) and he is very anxious about seeing doctors. So telling my kid that he was going to see the doctor just like his yearly physical would totally freak him out.

And I don't see how questioning a conclusion of a school psychologist and refusing medication and asking for a second opinion or a neuropsych evaluation would make one an "uncaring, uncooperative bad parent," but quite the opposite!

School psychologists focus on behavior in a specific environment, school. Why would getting a second opinion make one a bad parent? I haven't gotten that vibe at all.

I think it is fair to ask that the school get someone familiar with gifted kids, and definitely get a hold of James Webb's book: Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults ... After checking it out of the library, I bought a copy of the book.

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#20 of 47 Old 02-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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OP, a couple things.

Have you actually sat in on the class and been able to observe your son, and the behavior the teacher is describing? I think this would be helpful in understanding if this is just typical "high energy boy" or something else. If it is the something else, then I'd seek out the help of the school psych.
I would see if I could observe the classroom. My sister had a teacher that really liked a very quiet, orderly classroom. My sister had great difficulty sitting still. Apparently, she gave the teacher headaches because of her "high energy". My mom, teacher, principal sat down together to discuss this. My mom suggested that the teacher perhaps wasn't the right fit for my sister. The teacher completely agreed and asked for my sister to be moved to a different class. That was exactly what was needed. My sister thrived in the other room where the teacher was very hands on, chairs were optional as long as you didn't disturb the class.

Also, there is some program called "how does your engine run". My dh, years ago, did an internship with the school district (he is an OT). My dh loved this program because there were many simple solutions for behavior caused by "energy". They found that some kids, if allowed to have something small (like a marble) to roll around in their hands, or if others were allowed to chew gum, or whatever, that they remained more calm, less distracted and less distracting. I don't know the program other than dh telling me how simple it was to at least try and they were getting very positive results. Sure, some of the kids tried to play with the toy, but then it was taken away. Life at school was better with the sensory outlet so the kids usually followed the rules that went with it.

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#21 of 47 Old 03-01-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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Finally, I work as a doula and as such deal often with institutions and their willingness (or not) to embrace the needs of the individual. My assumption is that when an institution suggests a plan of action for an individual whose needs or wants are outside the norm, that although plenty of lip service is given to the idea that their proposed solution is for the individual's benefit, their bias is, of course, to serve their own needs. I don't want to assume an adversarial relationship where there is none, but I also want to be an effective advocate for my son, asking the right questions and so on.
It is highly likely that whatever the school psychologist would suggest would be based on what the school and teacher could provide. This may or may not be the ideal solution for your ds. One of the benefits of testing outside of the school system is that you are more likely to get a comprehensive and objective opinion.

Your friend, the former teacher and school board member, likely has good reason to tell you to talk to your pediatrician first. All things considered, I wouldn't wait to make this appointment. You can ask for a consultation where your ds would not be present.

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#22 of 47 Old 03-01-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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My problem is not with a diagnosis, but with who is doing the diagnosing.

I don't trust a school psychologist to give "a proper diagnosis" for anything.
i second this. for me its not 'school psychologist' but the person who wears the school psychologist hat. i dont trust 'my' school psych and hearing what she has done with other kids who had issues - i stay as far away from her as possible.

so in my dd's school there is no way i would take dd to see her school psych. however if my retired school psych friend was dd's school psych i would have no problems taking her there.

however on an unrelated subject since i dont have any family here, for my 7 year old play therapy - talking to another person - truly connecting would work really, really well. if her dad didnt disagree i would definitely have her in something to help her sort her issues. talking to me is no longer enough.

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#23 of 47 Old 03-01-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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I saw this on the new posts and I think you shouldn't give your consent. My friend worked in a special ed classroom and she told me that the teachers would tell the psychologist what they saw and he would meet with the kid for a few minutes then recommend an increase in medication. They did a quick snapshot rather than looking at the whole child and the classroom environment and how it affected the child. I also know a school psychologist, and he is the very last person I would turn to for advice about a child. His judgement isn't that great and I am shocked that he got through the master's program.

Can you walk him on a long path to the school in the mornings? That may help him to get some of the energy out. Would the teacher be willing to let him sit on an exercise ball instead of a traditional seat. I read an article about a fourth grade teacher who did this with great success. She also stated in the article that pretty much all kids that age are wiggly. Here are a few links about using the exercise balls in the classroom.

http://student-health-issues.suite10...assroom_chairs


http://www.ehow.com/way_5294812_usin...ad-chairs.html
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#24 of 47 Old 03-01-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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And I don't see how questioning a conclusion of a school psychologist and refusing medication and asking for a second opinion or a neuropsych evaluation would make one an "uncaring, uncooperative bad parent," but quite the opposite!
I agree that it doesn't make you uncaring or uncooperative, but our local public school systems don't agree.

Our school system has a lot of low income people in it, and many of them are without college educations. The attitude from the school system is that parents should do what they're told because the school system knows best.
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#25 of 47 Old 03-01-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I agree that it doesn't make you uncaring or uncooperative,
I can see why school system would feel that way if they recommend testing and the family refuses testing through the school and doesn't set up private testing.

We go private for testing, but I let my kids' school know what it going on. We get better results and it saves them money, to it really is a win-win. I do trust the results from private testing more.

School is totally different from home, and I can see why a child could show issues in that environment that aren't problems other places. I would take the teacher very seriously, but I would get the testing privately.

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I don't think I would be concerned or feeling resistant about any other kind of issue if it were brought up (anxiety, aggressiveness, autism spectrum, bipolar disorder, etc.) --
I found the wording on this insensitive. I think you'd very very concerned if someone thought your child had autism or another serious problem. I know what you meant, but your word choice could have been better.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#26 of 47 Old 03-02-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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I agree that it doesn't make you uncaring or uncooperative, but our local public school systems don't agree.

Our school system has a lot of low income people in it, and many of them are without college educations. The attitude from the school system is that parents should do what they're told because the school system knows best.


Yes, and it's expedient if they can just get on with their planning.

I was infuriated earlier this year when the principal told me how much they appreciated how involved I was, because of course I'm involved!! I had to remind myself that the schools deal with a wide range of people and many school staff have probably developed expectations about parents and their ability to assess, advocate, case plan, make decisions in the best interests of the child etc etc., and have lost sight of the fact that "best interests" often depends on where you're standing.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#27 of 47 Old 03-02-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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It is highly likely that whatever the school psychologist would suggest would be based on what the school and teacher could provide. This may or may not be the ideal solution for your ds. One of the benefits of testing outside of the school system is that you are more likely to get a comprehensive and objective opinion.

Your friend, the former teacher and school board member, likely has good reason to tell you to talk to your pediatrician first. All things considered, I wouldn't wait to make this appointment. You can ask for a consultation where your ds would not be present.
I agree with this. We have done assessments by the school, and assessments privately. I have found the scope much better in the privates, as well as the quality (as I've been able to choose the assessor).

I don't know what the scope of a school psychologist would be. Most Master's level clinicians are not trained and authorized to apply the DSM, so any "diagnosis" would be preliminary at best.

I'm still not clear on what the teacher wants the psych to look for.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#28 of 47 Old 03-02-2010, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm still not clear on what the teacher wants the psych to look for.
Nor am I. I understand that he is fidgety and talks a lot but I need more specifics -- I am sending an email to the teacher and the psych to request a meeting with dh and me to discuss exactly this, among other things, before we move forward with their evaluation.
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#29 of 47 Old 03-02-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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When it comes to "wwyd", my answer is going to be...."get him out of the school now, before they ruin him". But, that comes from a perspective of bias with: me believing that industrialized schooling is bad and anti-educational, having an eleven year old son just like yours and knowing I would easily be in your shoes if he went to school, and having a brother with a massive IQ who knows almost nothing and has had a terrible life because of being labeled a problem very early on.

Soooo, assuming that you aren't looking for people to tell you to yank him out now before it's too late, I see two possible options:

1.Have him assessed privately. Whatever it costs, pay it. Tell yourself that you're paying not only for the assessment itself, but for retention of your autonomy. Freedom has no price.

2.(possibly my route, but I'm a smart aleck):

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-- she says "his energy level is exhausting."
Seeing as how she says that *she* is exhausted, but doesn't actually point to a specific inappropriate behavior of your son, then assume that the problem is her energy level (because she's already told you that it is). Share some information with her about good nutrition, getting enough exercise, herbal supplements, and good sleep hygiene. Maybe offer to come to her home and observe her family interactions to point out stresses that are sapping her of strength.

Seriously, though, even if she is well meaning and not trying to make your son conform to an industrial model, the problem really does seem to be hers (by this I mean the problem is her energy level as opposed to a personality problem). Perhaps she needs to figure out a way to better manage her own energy level or maybe it's not the right position for her at this time.
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#30 of 47 Old 03-02-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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I agree that it doesn't make you uncaring or uncooperative, but our local public school systems don't agree.

Our school system has a lot of low income people in it, and many of them are without college educations. The attitude from the school system is that parents should do what they're told because the school system knows best.
that just bums me out. I couldn't imagine sending my kid to a school that treated me that way. This thread is an eye opener!

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...

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