Shy 7 yo having issues at school, teacher said if it continues she'll have to refer him for ADHD test. Advice wanted - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest boy E stared blankly at the paper today when the class was asked to write a letter to their principal asking three questions.  In the hour (not sure if it was a full hour) they were given he ended up not writing a thing.  When DH asked him what happened he said he just did not know what to write.  The teacher said he did not ask for help.

 

He does not like talking to people, let alone strangers and with only a week of 2nd grade under his belt the teacher certainly falls into the stranger threshold for him.  He socializes almost too well with kids, K-1st were usually 1-2 days in the week getting a warning for joking/playing when they were supposed to be working. 

 

He is reading well, and seems to enjoy it.  He loves math.  His school work issues tend to revolve around open ended assignments, like the letter.  The more parameters he is given the better he seems to do with assignments.

 

He had problems getting to the bathroom K-1st because he did not want to tell the teachers when he needed to go. 

 

So, I would like some advice on what I can do as a parent to help him be more confident with his new teacher.  Just telling him it is okay to talk to her hasn't worked out in the past, we've even role played a little at times with no real results.  Any suggestions?

 

I would also like some advice on building his self confidence in his ability to do open ended things like the letter.  His teacher said any three questions would have been fine and I'm sure it was more a way to get them to write than a desire to "grade" their work right or wrong.  I don't want him to feel punished with extra work after spending all day in school, however.  Any ideas?

 

I'm not overly worried about him being tested, apart from making sure he doesn't feel singled out.  I don't see ADHD as inherently a bad thing, however, I am pretty uncomfortable with the idea that on the second week of school his new teacher is already mentioning it.  I'm also concerned that she either didn't notice him (alone of all the kids in the class) not doing his work for such a long time and/or she did notice that his paper was still blank and did not come to him to see if he needed help.  Is this reasonable?

 

TIA for reading this and any advice would be appreciatted.

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#2 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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I had the same issues when I was little. Still do. I don't have ADHD. Social Anxiety Disorder. I'm not saying that's what's going on with him, but it's definitely a possibility. At this point, he could just be a shy kid, but if it isn't handled well, it could eventually develop into SAD. Telling him it's okay to talk to her really isn't going to be enough to make him comfortable with her. Role playing could help eventually, but if you're looking for faster results, having the chance to get more comfortable with this teacher could make all the difference in the world. Would she be willing to give him a little more attention? I always did best in the classes where my teachers understood my hang ups and put forth the effort to talk to me a bit more. One of the tactics a couple of my teachers used was having me stay after class for a few minutes to help with something (stapling papers, cleaning blackboard erasers, cleaning up the class room, et cetera). It gave me a chance to have some one on one time with her and get more comfortable interacting. It made a huge difference. Does she seem the sort that might be willing to set aside a few extra minutes for him?

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#3 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tooraloora View Post

I had the same issues when I was little. Still do. I don't have ADHD. Social Anxiety Disorder. I'm not saying that's what's going on with him, but it's definitely a possibility. At this point, he could just be a shy kid, but if it isn't handled well, it could eventually develop into SAD. Telling him it's okay to talk to her really isn't going to be enough to make him comfortable with her. Role playing could help eventually, but if you're looking for faster results, having the chance to get more comfortable with this teacher could make all the difference in the world. Would she be willing to give him a little more attention? I always did best in the classes where my teachers understood my hang ups and put forth the effort to talk to me a bit more. One of the tactics a couple of my teachers used was having me stay after class for a few minutes to help with something (stapling papers, cleaning blackboard erasers, cleaning up the class room, et cetera). It gave me a chance to have some one on one time with her and get more comfortable interacting. It made a huge difference. Does she seem the sort that might be willing to set aside a few extra minutes for him?

Thank you for replying!  I was a little shocked by your answer and immediately called DH, because we've known for the longest time that DH has an anxiety disorder.  For some reason, I never thought that my son might have anxiety issues as well.  I just always assumed DH's problems stemmed from his time in the army.  I think your post is the first time I've read about someone having SAD as a child. 

 

I love your suggestions and DH has already agreed to ask the teacher how she would feel about giving E. some of her time in order to help him feel more comfortable with her.  DH is the SAHP right now so I haven't been around her enough to really tell if she will be good with that, but he seems to think she will. 

 

I went and googled SAD and two things stood out to me, that most children with it have one or two parents who also have it or another anxiety disorder and that it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment.  Given that DH does have his own serious Anxiety issues, this is something that both of our sons may be at risk for.  I keep typing and then deleting, there is a lot to think about here, everything from "is this E.'s actual issue" (regardless, I think your advice is good and will still apply for the problems he is having, even if he is just being shy) to maybe DH and I should reopen a conversation about him looking at treatment options, to how our home environment is either helpful or harmful in ensuring or helping anxiety issues, to how much do I put DH through when I blackmail him into situations that I know make him anxious but feel are good for him, (like going to the pool, or other highly crowded kid oriented activities that I know make him anxious but have always felt to be important for our family to do together) maybe I need to really talk to him about this more and reevaluate the value I place on these activities and either look for alternates or continue doing them as a family to help DS and DH... I'm so not qualified for this...

 

I would like to ask, if you come back to this thread, could you please share a little bit more about how SAD affected you growing up, your family at the present time, the best and worst things about it, and any treatment options you've explored? 

 

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#4 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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I would write her and tell her that he has always had trouble with shyness towards adults, even once he does know the teacher well.  I would also say that you are worried that she is being quick to jump to this conclusion without trying interventions in the classroom like checking in with him to see if he is having a problem with the assignment.  After the horrible experience my dd and I had with her first grade teacher starting in the first week of school (a woman who I later found out had a reputation in our district for labeling kids with problems that only occurred in her class and ended as soon as they were out of it) I would not suggest going along with someone who jumps quickly to a conclusion about a child, especially when previous teachers who know the child better have not said anything about it. 

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#5 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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My 17 yo also has dealt with an anxiety disorder from the time she was little.  She was also social with kiddos - almost too muck; often bordering on clingy.  She was so worried about doing everything "right" that often she couldn't get things even started.  she also didn't do well in groups and still often doesn't ask for help.

 

 She sees a counselor and is on medication.  Not saying your kiddo needs either but I feel like we didn't address it soon enough and that led us to more drastic measures.  Hind sight is 20/20 and we didn't really start seaking help until she was in 7th grade because as a bright kid she could charm her way through some elementary situations.

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#6 of 24 Old 08-22-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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Two book recommendations:

 

Freeing Your Child From Anxiety by Tamar Chansky -- it's got a lot of good stuff you can do at home, and gives helpful indications of when it's time to seek professional help.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much -- can't remember the author, but it's a workbook that you can go through together, and it can help kids rein in their anxiety.

 

2nd-3rd grade is a huge age for anxiety. Developmentally, they begin to become aware of the wider world and negative things that can happen, but they can't  yet put them in perspective. My 7 year old just started going around the house making sure all the doors are locked before she goes to bed because she's worried about robbers. Ds had issues around the same age. We had him assessed, but he wasn't anxious enough to warrant treatment at the time -- they said to keep an eye on it. We did and he's improved hugely. I'm hoping for the same thing for our daughter. But like your kids, there's a family genetic tendency toward anxiety (I've got it).

 

If you know he's got trouble with open-ended assignments, tell that to the teacher and ask her advice on how to help him with those. That will give her some specific things to work on with him and maybe help her pay attention to him when she's giving him an open-ended assignment.


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#7 of 24 Old 08-23-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CallMeKelly View Post



 

Thank you for replying!  I was a little shocked by your answer and immediately called DH, because we've known for the longest time that DH has an anxiety disorder.  For some reason, I never thought that my son might have anxiety issues as well.  I just always assumed DH's problems stemmed from his time in the army.  I think your post is the first time I've read about someone having SAD as a child. 

 

I love your suggestions and DH has already agreed to ask the teacher how she would feel about giving E. some of her time in order to help him feel more comfortable with her.  DH is the SAHP right now so I haven't been around her enough to really tell if she will be good with that, but he seems to think she will. 

 

I went and googled SAD and two things stood out to me, that most children with it have one or two parents who also have it or another anxiety disorder and that it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment.  Given that DH does have his own serious Anxiety issues, this is something that both of our sons may be at risk for.  I keep typing and then deleting, there is a lot to think about here, everything from "is this E.'s actual issue" (regardless, I think your advice is good and will still apply for the problems he is having, even if he is just being shy) to maybe DH and I should reopen a conversation about him looking at treatment options, to how our home environment is either helpful or harmful in ensuring or helping anxiety issues, to how much do I put DH through when I blackmail him into situations that I know make him anxious but feel are good for him, (like going to the pool, or other highly crowded kid oriented activities that I know make him anxious but have always felt to be important for our family to do together) maybe I need to really talk to him about this more and reevaluate the value I place on these activities and either look for alternates or continue doing them as a family to help DS and DH... I'm so not qualified for this...

 

I would like to ask, if you come back to this thread, could you please share a little bit more about how SAD affected you growing up, your family at the present time, the best and worst things about it, and any treatment options you've explored? 

 

When it comes to pushing your DH into outings, it can actually be a good thing if you work with him on it. The key is to finding his comfort zone and going just above it (not five steps above it) and providing an easy out if it becomes too overwhelming, then moving forward as he feels more comfortable. 

 

My situation is a little on the more extreme end, and I seriously doubt your son will end up in my position, having a supportive family. I ended up having to leave public school due to anxiety by the end of 9th grade, and became almost completely homebound before reaching adulthood. A couple years ago, I managed to make a good bit of progress on my own (even took a plane trip by myself), but regressed after a couple setbacks. At this point, I'm not able to go anywhere without a support person (someone I'm close to who can stay with me and help me stay calm, or leave if need be), and I avoid most trips out. There haven't really been any good things about it imo, but the worst is that I'm very co-dependent, fears that I know are illogical keep me from really living, and providing socialization for my 6 year old DD is a nightmare. My family didn't believe in mental health treatment and viewed my issues as a good thing. My mother didn't really like the idea of me ever going to college, or working, preferring to keep me at home with her, and she felt helping me work through it would have worked against her goal. I haven't spoken to my family in 3 years, and wasn't able to seek treatment until after I cut them off. It took some time to find someone experienced with SAD, but I finally found a good psychologist a few months ago who referred me to someone specializing in phobias who I'll be starting starting intensive behavioral therapy with later this week. From what I've heard behavioral therapy tends to be very successful in treating SAD, so we'll see how it goes. I spent a long time looking for someone to go to for behavioral therapy and heard many times "Never heard of it" or "I don't think anyone around here does that." Prior to that I'd seen a regular therapist and a psychiatrist who prescribed medication. The meds were helpful in controlling anxiety attacks, but neither the meds or the therapy addressed the real issue. I can see how medications could be helpful combined with behavioral therapy, but alone, they really just partially mask the symptoms. While I've been waiting for my appointment, my roommate has been helping me to start getting out a bit more. He's been really great.

 

I hope you're able to find a workable solution for your son (and your DH) whatever the underlying issue turns out to be. In any case, having an understanding support person can be a life saver, and it looks like you could definitely be that for them.
 

 

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#8 of 24 Old 08-23-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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dd has anxiety. not enough for medication or therapy. but enough to give her a stomach ache.

 

k thru 2nd the first month was high anxiety for her. 

 

i discovered what usually helped her a lot was hanging out with the teacher after school. i'd go and chat with the teacher ALONG WITH dd (i'd ask dd earlier if i could tell her teacher something about dd). the teacher would then not only answer me but also talk to dd directly instead of just me.

 

i have gone too to ask teacher if she needed any help always with dd.

 

you know something i see this in college too. many kids have problems with open ended assignments. so its pretty normal. 

 

if the teacher is open to chatting with you (please let us know the outcome if you do) i'd tell him about ds. however i am really shocked that at just two weeks she is drawing this conclusion. 

 

you know with self confidence - it has really, really helped dd to hear my stories of when i was scared, concerned myself. its gotten to a point where i am finding i am talking more about my fears to dd these days. and how i coped with them and what i did. she's sometimes come running to me and told me ma i remembered ur story and what u did and i did the same thing and i wasnt scared any more. it worked ma. it worked. 

 

 


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#9 of 24 Old 08-24-2011, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tooraloora, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you!  I hope that you get the results you are looking for with the behavioral therapy! 

 

I had a really good discussion with DH about everything and I now have a better handle on how to discuss future outings with him.  He told me that if I really want to do anything as a family he does not want to discuss and plan and talk about it, he just wants me to tell him what and when and let him formulate a plan and stick to it.  I have been making things much harder on him by trying to talk him into things that we end up doing anyway but all the talking about it amps up his anxiety and by the time we go he is much more nervous than he would have been otherwise.  He opened up a lot, and we realized even the smallest things can turn out to be affected by his anxiety... he started mountain biking again and in the course of our conversation he realized that he is choosing to go early in the morning in order to avoid running into other people. 

 

Quote:
The key is to finding his comfort zone and going just above it (not five steps above it) and providing an easy out if it becomes too overwhelming, then moving forward as he feels more comfortable. 

 Thank you, I think this will help us a lot.  He doesn't have to go with us to the Children's Museum for ex. but a walk out in the forest where he is more comfortable will give us just as or more valuable "family" time without putting a member of the family through the wringer. 

 

I know that a lot of the fears DH has are percieved as "illogical" but really aren't, the world is still dangerous you just need to find your peaceful compromise.  TBH it sounds like you have done amazingly well with the tools you've been given, and you keep trying to do more.  I'm going to think of  his anxiety as one of the invisible "illnesses" now, I have fibromyalgia and one of the hardest things for me is when I'm in serious pain and normal day to day gets very tough but to look at me there is nothing wrong with me, so no one understands why I get so sad and cranky sometimes unless I tell them and I get tired of talking about it.  Now that we've really opened up about this I'll be paying a lot more attention to his "cues"... like I know he sweats like crazy when he gets anxious and he can get cranky really fast as well.  If you keep an open conversation about it with your daughter in as she grows older, you can teach her how to be strong and selfless, like you are being in your efforts to live well and to enable her to live well.  Please PM me if anything comes up that you would like to share, I've learned so much in just two posts and I'm quite interested in you (not in a stalkerish way) because you have a hard row to hoe (so to speak) but you are sharing and helping others and trying to make your own progress as well.

 

I spoke with the teacher at the Early Learning Center I take J to and she suggested the same thing you did, trying to get some one on one time for him with the teacher.  She also suggested I talk to the school counselor.  She said they do lunch dates with the kids sometimes either one on one or with some of their friends invited and let the kids play games while they are there to help out.  Today E had a wonderful day at school, no issues at all and came home very happy = )  I have more to write but have to go

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#10 of 24 Old 08-25-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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I've had a kid hold it all day because just asking the teacher to use the potty was too much for them. It's tough and so hard to see them struggle this way. I would talk to the teacher a lot, any opportunity you have it allows our kids to see that you too can talk to the teacher. It sounds odd but I tried this due to a suggestion by a friend of the family who has had to deal with the same things with their daughter.

It didn't work right away, DD still didn't feel comfortable but I kept at it. By the end of the week DD actually became engaged in the conversation cautiously of course. It may be a trust thing on top of the anxiety. With my own anxiety I deal with trusting others as well. It is such a hard concept for them. Good luck.
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#11 of 24 Old 08-26-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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I would read and learn everything I could before agreeing to any testing.  I think if it is only small issues, that you and the teacher could work it out with the ideas the Previous posters have suggested.

 

If the teacher is aware that he has issues, then perhaps she could move his desk closer to where she usually is, and look at his work more often.  She could send him to the bathroom occasionally.

 

I hate the idea of him being afraid that his thoughts would be judged, so he didn't even try.  I had learning disabilities, but had great ideas.  Instead of a teacher ever saying "hey... good story", or "good thought"  They just pointed out my poor handwriting, or the reversed letters.  As if pointing it out on every single paper was going to change things.  

 

I would learn some things first, then make an appt with the teacher to give her ideas, get some of her ideas, and brainstorm together.

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#12 of 24 Old 08-28-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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***

My oldest boy E stared blankly at the paper today when the class was asked to write a letter to their principal asking three questions.  In the hour (not sure if it was a full hour) they were given he ended up not writing a thing.  When DH asked him what happened he said he just did not know what to write.  The teacher said he did not ask for help.

***

 

This sounds to me like a normal kid who is baffled by open-ended mind-reading assignments.  I don't blame him at all.  He can't think of anything he wants to ask the principal, and why should he?  Does he even know the principal? 

 

Part of the problem is that kids (especially bright kids) expect the assignment to make sense.  They're completely stymied when they can't see the point.  In this case, there isn't really a point -- the teacher just wants the kids to write something for the sake of writing something. 

 

I would tell your son that when the teacher gives vague assignments like this, she just wants to see something -- anything.  He should just come up with three random questions.  ("When is lunch?  Why is the sky blue?  How tall are you?")  He shouldn't worry too much about making sense, or having real questions that he wants to hear the answer to.

 

In any case, I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion that there's something wrong with your son.  What you've described here sounds utterly normal to me.

 

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#13 of 24 Old 08-28-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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I would agree with FedUpMom about the assignment.  In regards to the teacher, her approach with you was wrong.  Diagnosis of adhd is not done by simple referral from teacher.  Schools evaluate students for a series of issues, but not students who skip an assignment in the 1st week of school.  They do not label their findings with a medical dx because you need to have a dr. do that.  Usually, if there is a concern, whether adhd, behavior or academic, teachers need to have documentation of a series of examples of how the student is unable to meet the task or cause for concern.  This becomes a very formal process, if they believe it is truly a disability.  There are laws that require that the school follow specific measures and rights guaranteed to the student.    

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#14 of 24 Old 08-28-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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First, I want to invite you over to the SN forum if you have questions or concerns about ADD/ADHD, testing, school, etc.  Lately we seem to be covering a lot of ground over there, and it's a welcoming place for questions and support!

 

Secondly, I have a ds with these exact issues.  He is very bright, but struggles mightily with any open ended written assignment.  Journal writing is absolute torture, as is almost any timed writing assignment, to the point that the anxiety about writing is starting to be a real concern.  He is very articulate and can clearly tell us that his mind draws an absolute blank when told, for instance, to write about something interesting that happened yesterday.  He was recently dx w/ADD, and treatment has begun to help a little.  We'll see how it goes this year.

 

Interestingly, my ds was at a summer camp for G&T kids, and a good portion of the boys in his group were just like ds-far more interested in doing, exploring, hands on learning, than writing about anything.  It was very interesting to see how free from stress my ds felt when he was allowed to really learn, and communicate in a way that played to his strengths.

 

 

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#15 of 24 Old 08-29-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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Pretty quick to send a kid to the doctor! I would be concerned about the label as well.It will affect a child even if the dx is not adhd.He will know the teacher sees something wrong with him when really there probably isn't any issue. I don't see why more time isn't given.It takes time for some kids to settle into a class and get used to teachers/students.

 

I bet my 12yo dd would have had a blank page on that one as well.She often had little to nothing in her required school daily journal entries.NOTHING and yet at home she has notebooks filled with her witten stories.

 

The bathroom thing is common when you have to essentially annouce to the class that you have to go.In my kids school they just get up at go.They have a friend who goes to PS and he holds it all day.

 

 

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#16 of 24 Old 08-29-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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I would tell your son that when the teacher gives vague assignments like this, she just wants to see something -- anything.  He should just come up with three random questions.  ("When is lunch?  Why is the sky blue?  How tall are you?")  He shouldn't worry too much about making sense, or having real questions that he wants to hear the answer to.

 

In any case, I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion that there's something wrong with your son.  What you've described here sounds utterly normal to me.

 


Auuugh, I can't stand pointless assignments! They required a lot of extra thinking trying to make sense of them.  I wished someone had assured me that the teacher just wants to see some writing, or demonstrate some certain fact, etc.  It's for the TEACHER, not for some REASON. Just because.  I never quite got that!
 

 

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#17 of 24 Old 08-29-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

First, I want to invite you over to the SN forum if you have questions or concerns about ADD/ADHD, testing, school, etc.  Lately we seem to be covering a lot of ground over there, and it's a welcoming place for questions and support!


 


yes, there are several of us there who are familiar with testing, accommodations, and a raising a child who is a little different in some way.

 

If a child needs accommodations at school or has learning differences, it really is best to sort out what is going on and figure out what would be helpful for them rather than pretending they are like the other kids. Having an appropriate label and appropriate help is far, far better for a child than a parent refusing to allow the school to provide a child with the help they need (which really is how lack of appropriate labels plays out).

 

Ideally, parents and teachers can work together. It's possible that your child's teacher is seeing something that you don't see because they see your child in a different context.

 

As far as your child's fear of speaking to the teacher, would having a conference with the student and teacher outside of school time help? Setting an appointment to stay after school and chat for a few minutes. It might help your son find his voice.  My DD did much better learning to speak to her teachers when she had a chance to do so with just the teacher and me there, rather than figuring out this skill infront of the whole class.

 

And I agree with the poster who talked about working with your son on what to do when these kinds of assignments come up in the future. Help him learn from the experience.

 

Also, if he just seems very timid, may be finding some outside activities that would be fun for him could be helpful. One of my DDs was in drama classes for awhile and that helped her with confidence. Both my DDs got a lot out of Girl Scouts in this respect, because it's a smaller group and the kids take turns talking.

 

good luck.


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#18 of 24 Old 08-30-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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My son has some similar issues. He also never wanted to ask to use the bathroom in first grade and he has terrible anxiety about writing. I thought his teacher for first and second grade handled some of these issues well, and some relatively poorly. I needed to tell her explicitly in the first weeks of first grade, that when he asked to use the bathroom, she should let him go. (My husband had to edit that email because it was too obvious I wanted to call her an idiot for that one!) I had to tell her that if she wanted him to write more than four sentences in a writing assignment, she had to ask for more than four sentences, and if she wanted more adjectives in the sentences, she should give him adjective points. (Neither of which she tried. Silly her.)  On the other hand, she did provide him with "organizers"--sheets that broke writing assignments into pieces. She had some idea of what he needed--but in a lot of ways, I had to take initiative and push her, and I wasn't totally satisfied with how she handled it. They had a long term sub at the beginning of the year who gave the students longer, more difficult assignments broken into manageable chunks, and my kid did better on those because he liked the step-by-step way they were structured.

 

For most of second grade, he wrote much less and more slowly on every written assignment than the majority of his peers. I am still frustrated by how this went down. I am very happy we're moving on to third grade, though I think I'm going to be teaching him a lot about writing again this year. (I also did a lot of reading and math enrichment. So much for the decision not to homeschool.) We also got some books of MadLibs--highly recommended! 

 

 

If they are in the classroom for an hour and he hasn't written anything on his paper after 20 or 30 minutes, why didn't she notice and come over to talk with him? She really watched him stare blankly at a paper for an hour and didn't do anything? It's on the kid to approach the teacher in the first weeks of school?  

 

Or if the problem was that he was distracted by other children, she could have moved him to a new seat. Perhaps she needs a quiet work space in the classroom for some students who can't handle writing in a big noisy group. Email her and set up a meeting to talk about his needs and try to brainstorm solutions. If she really thinks he has ADHD, it won't hurt anything to get an evaluation, but I suspect she's just a doofus. 

 


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#19 of 24 Old 08-30-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FedUpMom View Post

***

My oldest boy E stared blankly at the paper today when the class was asked to write a letter to their principal asking three questions.  In the hour (not sure if it was a full hour) they were given he ended up not writing a thing.  When DH asked him what happened he said he just did not know what to write.  The teacher said he did not ask for help.

***

 

This sounds to me like a normal kid who is baffled by open-ended mind-reading assignments.  I don't blame him at all.  He can't think of anything he wants to ask the principal, and why should he?  Does he even know the principal? 

 

Part of the problem is that kids (especially bright kids) expect the assignment to make sense.  They're completely stymied when they can't see the point.  In this case, there isn't really a point -- the teacher just wants the kids to write something for the sake of writing something. 

 

I would tell your son that when the teacher gives vague assignments like this, she just wants to see something -- anything.  He should just come up with three random questions.  ("When is lunch?  Why is the sky blue?  How tall are you?")  He shouldn't worry too much about making sense, or having real questions that he wants to hear the answer to.

 

In any case, I certainly wouldn't jump to the conclusion that there's something wrong with your son.  What you've described here sounds utterly normal to me.

 



Yeah..the assignment was to blame, not your kid.  How ridiculous.

 

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#20 of 24 Old 08-30-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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For the bathroom, would the teacher be willing to have him just raise his hand in the sign language for "t" (toilet)? Fist with the thumb poking through a little between the index and middle fingers. DS's kindergarten teacher had the kids do that b/c it's a nondisruptive way to ask; maybe he would be less shy about it if she had all the kids do it. 

 

And, yeah, creative writing is hard, period. 

 

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#21 of 24 Old 08-31-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FedUpMom View Post

 

 

Part of the problem is that kids (especially bright kids) expect the assignment to make sense.  They're completely stymied when they can't see the point.  In this case, there isn't really a point -- the teacher just wants the kids to write something for the sake of writing something. 

 

 

 

 


Well put.  I really do not understand the point of open ended writing assignments for early grade students, for the most part.  I can tell you, this process has just about sucked the life out of writing  for  my ds.  There are SO many more creative ways to ask kids to write if they are stuck then to wait out a kid staring at a paper for 20 minutes.

 

You're right about assignments making sense.  My ds would ask me WHY his teacher needed to know what was going on in his life every day (lol) by asking him to write in a journal.  There wasn't any logic to it.  

 

Just as an aside, I think this is why math works better for my kiddo--it's sequential, has rules to follow, and it's own "language".  It makes sense.

 

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#22 of 24 Old 08-31-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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Well put.  I really do not understand the point of open ended writing assignments for early grade students, for the most part.  I can tell you, this process has just about sucked the life out of writing  for  my ds.  There are SO many more creative ways to ask kids to write if they are stuck then to wait out a kid staring at a paper for 20 minutes.

 

I HATED these assignments as a child irked.gif.


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#23 of 24 Old 09-03-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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One thing I wanted to toss in is that if a teacher is worried that someone might have an issue, she shouldn't be framing the question as though she  already knows the answer. The question should be more like "I wonder why your child is doing the things the things he is doing; let's do some testing to get some of our questions answered." There are many learning disabilities (I am not an expert on this) that could cause the type of reaction that your child had and ADHD is only one potential, not to mention that it could be no disability at all. She needs to proceed more cautiously.


 
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#24 of 24 Old 09-03-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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One thing I wanted to toss in is that if a teacher is worried that someone might have an issue, she shouldn't be framing the question as though she  already knows the answer. The question should be more like "I wonder why your child is doing the things the things he is doing; let's do some testing to get some of our questions answered." There are many learning disabilities (I am not an expert on this) that could cause the type of reaction that your child had and ADHD is only one potential, not to mention that it could be no disability at all. She needs to proceed more cautiously.

nod.gif

 

It's weird that she's making the testing sound like a threat--also, there isn't a "test"; she's probably referring the the Connor's scale which is a behavior survey that distinguishes hyperactive children from typical children; there is one called the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale that helps identify inattentives/impulsives, but based on the OP that doesn't seem to be the case either.

 

In our situation, my son's teacher/school in K said that they didn't consider ADHD before 2nd or 3rd grade and didn't do any testing despite his hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and social skills deficits. Then they were all headscratch.gif that stop light-discipline and behavior charts weren't working and started suspending him.


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