Feeling "off" about son in Kindergarten - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Feeling "off" about son in Kindergarten
Jacksmum8's Avatar Jacksmum8 10:58 PM 02-01-2011

So my son has been taken out of his Kindergarten class twice a week without my knowledge to go to see a resource teacher to work on his printing. My husband only found out because he stayed late to talk to another parent and noticed jack leaving class with another boy and a teacher. When he asked his K teacher about this she told him what was going on. I was shocked I wasn't told he was having problems. I never even had a desk in K so I was a bit surprised my son was already "falling behind". 

 

That being said, both Mr. G (resource teach) and Miss R (K teach) were super apologetic and scheduled a meeting right away. They have both made a point to keep in touch via email and I must admit I really do love them both. My husband loves them too. Jack seems OK with it but I'm still feeling weird. Mr. G has let me know very subtly that he could eventually get a ADD/ ADHD letter home from the school if he doesn't "fall in line". I could tell from Mr. G's face he doesn't think Jack has that but isn't fitting the "model".

 

I feel stomach yuck about all this.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, advice?

 

Oh how I miss the days when I used to post about lack of sleep and sore nipples, it wasn't easier but I knew it would end eventually. I feel like I'm at the beginning of a 12 year rollercoaster.



mattemma04 05:11 AM 02-02-2011

I would just keep in close contact with them. It is tough getting used to the idea that others can do various things with our children,and forget that the parent would want to know about it.

 

Shame they are already talking about medical issues.Some people are so quick to dx and suggest medication.Perhaps mention to your childs doctor before you get a letter requesting you take your child to the doctor for evaluation. I know my doctor pretty much blows off much of the behavior issues the school cites.

 

My other concern is that I hope the staff will not make your son feel slow,stupid,or a *problem*. Kids pick up on stuff and take it to extremes thinking they are dumb compared to classmates,because they need extra help and all that. Anyway I just hope the staff knows how to handle this in a good  way for the child.

 

Best wishes for your ds.


purslaine's Avatar purslaine 06:52 AM 02-02-2011

I would probably send a nice letter stating that I wished to be kept informed of my sons progress - which would  include any special tests, assignments, being taken out of class, etc.

 

Unless you see other signs (other than poor printing - which is normal in 5 year olds) I would not worry too much about ADHD.  In Ontario schools seem to think "ADHD" for anyone who does not fit in their box.  As you can imagine it is highly overdiagnosed in this area.  I wouldn't dismiss what they say - but I would look at it with a skeptical mind.  Be sure it jives with what they say and do not rush into anything.

 

As an aside, things such as mazes, playing with lego, using scissors are really good for small motor skills and thus printing.

 

Take a look at his pencil grasp - is it correct?  Sometimes larger pencils help small hands.  If his letters tend to go all over the page you can sometimes find paper with bigger lines, or lines that are slightly raised so they can feel where the line is .

 

Good luck! 

 

 


melissa17s's Avatar melissa17s 07:02 AM 02-02-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmum8 View Post
That being said, both Mr. G (resource teach) and Miss R (K teach) were super apologetic and scheduled a meeting right away. They have both made a point to keep in touch via email and I must admit I really do love them both. My husband loves them too. Jack seems OK with it but I'm still feeling weird. Mr. G has let me know very subtly that he could eventually get a ADD/ ADHD letter home from the school if he doesn't "fall in line". I could tell from Mr. G's face he doesn't think Jack has that but isn't fitting the "model".

 


Do you just get a letter in Canada?  I would question more because schools should not be making medical diagnosis.   Here (IA, USA) they have an intervention, if a student is greatly behind or has behavior issues.  They have 60 days following the intervention to assess the student and determine student needs and what resources they can offer that would help.  They also set up goals that they feel are reasonable for the student to meet to work toward catching up with peers. The student has a team helping them meet the goals (classroom teacher, parents, other school staff). The plans are 504s and IEPs.  The school can not diagnose or label the disability, if the child has one, but instead identify the skill deficiencies as they apply to school and present ways they can help the student meet goals.  To get a dx, the child needs to be taken to a doctor or psychologist; preferably one that has specialized knowledge in these areas.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:40 AM 02-02-2011

Kindergarten ain't what it used to be!  I'm sorry that didn't keep you in the loop, but a pullout to work on hand writing isn't a big deal. Most schools have programs in place to provide minor types of help to kids without any label (such as a learning disability). Schools are under a lot of pressure to get all the kids to the same place and finding ways for kids to get a little one-on-one help is part of what they are doing to rise to the occasion.

 

In most places in the states, this is called "Response to Intervention."  This means that the child gets a little extra help, and they see how they respond. For a lot of kids, a little extra help is enough. For some it isn't, so the school can then see about getting some testing done to figure out if there is more of a problem.

 

Before this kind of program existed, it was hard to get kids extra help. I think Response to Intervention makes a lot of sense.  And sooooo many kids are in pullout programs for something that it really isn't as big of a deal to be pulled out as it was when we were kids.

 

Many 5 year old boys have trouble with writing. Is he on the young side for his grade? Fine motor skills often lag behind other skills.


Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 08:48 AM 02-02-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmum8 View Post

So my son has been taken out of his Kindergarten class twice a week without my knowledge to go to see a resource teacher to work on his printing. My husband only found out because he stayed late to talk to another parent and noticed jack leaving class with another boy and a teacher. When he asked his K teacher about this she told him what was going on. I was shocked I wasn't told he was having problems. I never even had a desk in K so I was a bit surprised my son was already "falling behind". 

 

That being said, both Mr. G (resource teach) and Miss R (K teach) were super apologetic and scheduled a meeting right away. They have both made a point to keep in touch via email and I must admit I really do love them both. My husband loves them too. Jack seems OK with it but I'm still feeling weird. Mr. G has let me know very subtly that he could eventually get a ADD/ ADHD letter home from the school if he doesn't "fall in line". I could tell from Mr. G's face he doesn't think Jack has that but isn't fitting the "model".

 

I feel stomach yuck about all this.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, advice?

 

Oh how I miss the days when I used to post about lack of sleep and sore nipples, it wasn't easier but I knew it would end eventually. I feel like I'm at the beginning of a 12 year rollercoaster.


There is a difference between ADHD and "the wigglies" and I'd be careful of them pushing medication for the wigglies. When my son was in K it went far beyond the wigglies and he had pretty significant behavior issues for which we do use medication now. I'd find out exactly what they think the problem is with his classroom behavior. There are many non-medical tricks to help wiggly ones focus and burn off some energy.


karne's Avatar karne 11:47 AM 02-02-2011

If this is your first child to go through the school system, you might be surprised at the range of abilities and extra attention that kids receive in school.  It feels huge when it's your first time around, but honestly, kids can leave the classroom to do all sorts of extra things, not necessarily related to an IEP or anyone having defined that the child is significantly behind their peers.  My ds, who falls in the gifted range, has done lots of extra work on his handwriitng skills.  There isn't a disability, but there's lots of room for support and improvement.  Other kids get support around language/literacy or math--and this is not special ed.-just support.

 

I would just gently ask that you know what sort of plan is in place for your ds, as well as what sort of evaluation of skills might be happening.  If you have parent/teacher conferences this might be the time to talk about it.  I personally find that email works really well.  I highly doubt that anyone is making your ds feel less than his peers, and if you are careful to be matter of fact about it, he probably will be too.


widemouthedfrog's Avatar widemouthedfrog 09:11 AM 02-04-2011

Brandee, I don't know much about the ADHD end of things, only to say that I think that for active little ones the first couple of years of school can be very challenging. I don't think that all of it's ADHD, I think that a lot of it is that school and many small peoples' inclinations just don't mesh too well. I've taught kids with true ADHD who are relieved to have someone address it and kids who are just active and want to move: there's a difference.

 

As for interventions, dd is in an alternate school and part time homelearning this year as we refused full day K. We will be transferring to full days at the local school in the fall. While she is fine with the reading and writing, I am sure that her writing is not up to current grade-level standards. She only became interested in writing this fall, and many of the children in her preschool class were writing when they were 4. I am sure that she will catch up over time, but the system wants children to do thinks on the school schedule, not the child's schedule. This means that I will get her ready to possibly go to a special class next year for some help. I'm just going to tell her that she might get to go and do some extra printing so that she can write letters really well. It's not a sign that she's not smart,  it's just that her verbal/aural way of learning and doing is far beyond her fine motor skills and interest in writing.

 

My brother didn't write his name until the end of K, and that was a smattering of letters on a page. Expectations are different now, unfortunately. He couldn't stand school because he had to sit still. My brother is now living in NYC and working as a financial expert after going through an elite university program. And he can print his name. winky.gif

I'm not saying that some kids don't need help, but my view is that with the help, for the majority of kids it will work out.

 

 

 


katroshka's Avatar katroshka 11:55 AM 02-04-2011

The resource time for writing wouldn't concern me, in my experience lots of kids get a little one-on-one time for various little issues, and that's a good thing. It sucks that you weren't aware of it, but I can understand from the school's point of view why they might not mention little things like this. Parents can be a major headache for schools over stupid things. My kids go to an excellent charter school, and one of the reasons it is so great is because the parents are very involved, very motivated people. This is a real double edged sword, however, as I'm sure you can imagine.

 

All that being said, the ADD thing would worry me a bit. I say "a bit" because I totally freaked out last year when it was suggested that my gifted daughter had ADD. She was really struggling with reading and writing, and someone on MDC suggested we take her to a developmental optometrist, which we did. Turned out she had a number of visual processing problems and trouble controlling her eye movements and focusing. We spent $1400 out of pocket to get her vision therapy, and this year she is doing great. Her teacher hasn't mentioned anything like ADD, and has no complaints about her other than her spelling is still atrocious (especially in German, it's an immersion school). Not saying that this is your son's problem, although I recommend that every child get evaluated by a developmental optometrist if possible. DD had had several routine eye exams and was prescribed glasses, they never picked up on these problems. Getting them fixed has made a HUGE difference for her.

 

Other than that, I think you should do your own research about ADD and determine if you think your son may have it. If not, I wouldn't get too worked up about the school's worries unless they get really aggressive about it. He may just be in a developmental stage that doesn't lend itself to seat work, etc., and it may just clear up on its own. If problems with school persist then obviously you will need to explore your options, but for now I would just be vigilant without losing your mind over it or doing anything drastic.


Cujobunny's Avatar Cujobunny 03:20 PM 02-05-2011

I wouldn't feel good about this either. I'm in Ontario & kindergarten is play-based. That sounds way too academic for kindergarten, to me. Last year in JK ds' teacher recommended to me to have him do some printing at home (help with grocery lists, that type of thing) to work on his handwriting. He does a little bit but it's not fun for him and there's no way I'm going to make him do it. Personally I think it's because his mind goes much faster than his hand can go at this point. So I get him to do a bit, but let him quit when he wants to. Now he's in SK French Immersion & once a week he has to read a very short book & write the name of it & who he read it with & draw a picture about it. His teacher this year hasn't mentioned his handwriting at all. I have seen the other kids' writing and some are much better, and some are worse.


One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 03:27 PM 02-07-2011

I think you should accept the extra help for him for the writing because it is a small thing and the writing requirement really jumps up a lot in first grade.  My dd's school had developmental kindergarten and it was wonderful, but they also did some work to prepare them for the jump in writing that would come in first grade.  I refused to let them evaluate her writing in K and looking back I wish I hadn't, her writing is not where it should be.  To write like her peers she has to spend a lot of time focusing, her hand cramps up, and the amount of writing needs to be very small.  I wish I had let her get help when she was little so we wouldn't have had to wait so long for help to come. 


Owen'nZoe's Avatar Owen'nZoe 03:56 PM 02-07-2011

Our district does an academic kindy, and pulling kids out for extra work on things is pretty standard. When my son was in kindy, it seemed like most of the kids were pulled out for one thing or another during the course of the day. In my experience, the kids looked forward to being pulled out for extra help, and there was no stigma attached.

 

As far as the ADD/ADHD thing goes, take it with a grain of salt and don't worry about it too much at this point. I was also taken aback when my son's kindy teacher mentioned ADD to me, although I really wasn't surprised, since I had already heard from other parents whose children had been mis"diagnosed" by this particular teacher. My son is doing great in school, and ADD/ADHD has never been brought up again. I really think it was just a case of a little boy who wasn't quite ready for an academic classroom and expectations that were not age-appropriate. By the time he started first grade, he was ready for academics and did great.


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