4 year old not managing well in school - advice needed! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would really appreciate some advice from the seasoned Mommas out there!  Sorry this is going to be a bit long.  My 4 year old just started Kindergarten in September and was at home with me/DH/my mom until then.  He never went to any organized day program/daycare so I knew that going to school full days, 5 days per week with 30 children in his class would be a HUGE transition and was worried.  I expressed my concerns on his first day (a half hour visit with DH and I) to the teacher and she told me she felt everything she observed was developmentally appropriate and had no concerns.  DS loves going to school - never any tears, in fact he seems to look forward to going each day.  Every day at pick up I will ask how his day was and the teacher always said "good" or things like "getting better every day" etc.  A concern was never raised.  Well 3 months in we have our first parent-teacher conference and observation day.  I attended thinking it would be a lovely day where I would hear about all the wonderful things my son is doing, how he can improve etc. etc. 

 

Well was I ever blindsided - the teacher literally (I wish I were exagerating!) went on for 25 minutes about all the concerns she has about him before even voicing one positive.  I could barely speak I was so upset and felt the tears developing in my eyes.  The teacher told me that she was very concerned about his behaviour, that he is repetitive and at times "obsessive" (as she put it) in his play, does not engage children and does not give her eye contact.  She said he has no focus or attention and acts "silly" all day.  She said he does not follow direction well and tends to spend all his free time playing/acting silly with another boy in the class who also acts similarly.  When I observed him in class I saw a totally different child from my child at home - he was acting silly that is for sure but when he was in circle time he gnawed on his fingers constantly (I have never ever observed my child do this) which I see as a sign of anxiety.  She even told me that if he continues this way he will not be successful in older grades - quite a weighted statement for a 4 year old.  The only positive comments she had was about how intelligent and bright he is.

 

The observations she made of my child are odd and in no way describe him.  He is a bright, engaging boy who loves to spend time with others so I had no idea where this was coming from.  The observations she said made me think that she is hinting that she is seeing signs of autism spectrum which is completely off base (I am an child therapist and work with children with autism - he does not meet any of the diagnostic criteria in the least).  So what is going on here?  I feel that I have a little boy who is having trouble adjusting to school and perhaps is finding it hard to follow the routine and make good friendships because he has just never been in this scenario and needs guidance from his teacher to navigate this new environment.  I am just beside myself that she is so concerned yet never spoke to me about it once until 3 months into the program.  Never in our discussion did she provide any advice or tell me of a plan to help things improve.

 

Therefore, I have requested a meeting with her and will be speaking with her about just that.  Now what?  How do we work together on this to help him improve?  I am thinking about sending him on a modified schedule (e.g. half days or every other day)or even pulling him out and sending him to another school that has a smaller class size (only 13 other kids) and a teacher that I know is very nurturing and accommodating.  I would prefer to work with his teacher towards a solution here but I feel like she has already written him off and sees him as the "problem child" that she has no time for. 

 

Any advice?  Anyone been through something similar?  I would really appreciate any input....I've never felt so upset in my journey as a parent.  Something about hearing another person criticize your child that has the Momma-bear in me coming out!!!!

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#2 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 06:37 AM
 
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Just out of curiosity, what type of preschool is he currently attending? Just from reading your post I'm wondering if may'be a preschool with a more play based approach might be a better fit for him.


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#3 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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Understandably, you feel ambushed. You should have heard about any concerns and received some warnings much earlier in the school year. It sounds like you are trying to separate any hurt and anger about being blindsided from your anxiety about your son's possible issues. Good on you for doing that. It's going to be very important in maintaining a working relationship with this teacher. You should address how the teacher has (not) managed communication  and information at some point, but the more important concern is figuring out what is happening with your son and how to help him. 

 

I think you've done the right thing in asking for a second meeting. If possible, it will be helpful if you can observe him in class before that meeting. You mention observing him once and noticing possible anxiety behaviours. Was that earlier in the school year or at the time of the teacher conference? If you watch him with the new-found knowledge of the teacher's concerns, you may notice some other things now. Possibly, you may see things that the teacher is missing that can explain his behaviour to her. I'm thinking of things like problems from the other children or feeling unsure about working with some of the toys and materials in the classroom.  

 

I wouldn't be overly concerned about repetitive and obsessive play in a 4 y.o. unless it was extreme. It's fairly typical for some children to enjoy working on the same task over and over again. They are enjoying gaining mastery before moving on to something new. I would make sure that he understands that he can participate in other activities in the classroom and encourage him to try. I know of one child who always used the same crayon for drawing because it's the one the teacher handed her on the first day of school. The adults thought she might have a psychological problem but it was all fixed after someone just asked her why she didn't use any other colours. Another possibility is that your Ds hesitates to try something different because of a perfectionist streak. He doesn't want to try something new or different and not do well, so he doesn't try at all. Another possibility is that he has been warned away from some activities by other children who don't want to share. The point is, there may be a reason for the repetitive play that is perfectly logical to a 4 y.o. and that has nothing to do with a cognitive or neurological problem. 

 

The teacher can try gently re-directing your DS to other activities if it is a real issue, for example, if other children want a turn with some materials but your DS isn't sharing them.  She may have to help him at first to find other activities that engage him and make sure he's able and comfortable participating in them. 

 

He may need some help with his social skills with other children if he hasn't had much experience in a pre-school or play program. Coaching and role-playing can help him with this. Set up a few playdates with some of the other children in the classroom. Perhaps start with inviting just one other child. Then try it with a couple. He may do better with other children in a more neutral setting like a playground or in a more comfortable setting like his own home. You don't mention how much experience he has playing in groups other than saying he didn't attend pre-school, so perhaps social skills aren't an issue, but I mention it in case this is helpful. 

 

I wouldn't rule out a modified schedule but I think I'd wait until after you have a little more information first. You've just been blindsided and you need a little time to sort out what is really going on. I think you need to do a little more investigation, observe him in class - maybe a few times - and meet with the teacher first. Then you can decide what will help him most. It may be that the smaller class in the other school would be a better fit for him. It certainly sounds like a more attractive option. 

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#4 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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Is this in Ontario? Full-day for a 4-year-old who doesn't need institutional care is wrong on so many levels. Personally I would consider pulling him out if they won't allow a modified schedule.

 

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#5 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mittsy and Mominmomma - we are in Ontario and children here start Kindergarten at 3/4 depending on their birthday (they must be 4 by December 31st of that year to start in September).  Also, Ontario has also just started the new all day program.  Before kindergarten was only half-days but this year moved to full days, 5 days per week.  A huge transition for a 4 year old....I can't believe there are children in his class that are still 3 - can't imagine how they do it!

 

olleyoxenfree - thank you so much for your insights.  Your comment about being afraid to try new things due to a perfectionist streak is spot on.  DS loves mastering new things but gets upset with himself when he gets things wrong.  When things don't work out perfectly he gets frustrated and wants to stop doing the activity...despite all the encouragement in the world from me telling him how it was great that he tried his best etc. etc. I can't coax him to try again until he is ready.  So I could definitely see why he sticks to the same 3-4 activities in the class...he is good at them and sees success each time.  These are the types of things that I want to bring up at our meeting.  I want the teacher to know him like I know him and let her know about aspects of his personality that can explain some of what she is seeing.

 

The anxiety behaviours I observed were in the recent observation.  On his first day when I was there to observe he was confident and outgoing and was more of the boy that I know.  Since going to school he has changed a great deal.  Of course, the silly behaviour was the first to come out (bathroom talk, talking in silly voices, throwing toys etc.)...behaviours that never once were displayed when at home.  I imagine he sees other children doing them and sees that children laugh and think its funny so he is interpreting this as a good thing?  But he tells me he is placed in time out when he does it, yet he still continues (although I should note we don't use time our as a discipline tool here at home).  But also I have noticed that he does seem a bit more timid to try new things and more "down" on himself when he doesn't get things right.  He also seems to get more excited/ramped up very easily...I find myself telling him that he needs to calm down and relax all the time....again - not something I'm used to from him.

 

As for experience in social settings....DS has had lots of one-on-one play dates but never much more than that.  So I imagine its no surprise that once placed in a class of 30 children he has had some trouble adjusting.  I can't imagine that he is alone in that!  Its loud and there is A LOT going on all the time.  A bit overstimulating for anyone.  I think that I will need to try and encourage some new friendships in the class through playdates though just so he doesn't always gravitate to the one boy in the class that also acts "silly" as the teacher put it - she even said that this was not a good friendship to encourage at this point.

 

I really do want the meeting to be collaborative and a problem-solving opportunity for both the teacher and I to come up with a plan to help him see success.  I know he is young, but his happiness and success at a young age is important in ensuring that his love of learning and school continues.  My first hope would be to make some effective changes in his classroom and not jump to pulling him from the school to go to another...but it certainly is there as an option.  My son is not a cookie-cutter child and is unique...I know that.  I suppose I had just hoped the teacher would see his unique-ness as a positive and help him thrive and shine.  It really upset me that this has all been viewed in a negative nature by his teacher and I'm hoping that in our meeting I can get her to see DS the way I see him....well at least a little bit.

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#6 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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Oh, mama! I really feel for you and could feel your pain when you described the conference. I admit that I couldn't help but feel kind of angry at this teacher!  I was going to suggest that you pull him out but I can also see your point about working through this. I really don't know what I would do in your situation but I wanted to say hi and offer you a little sympathy. Have you decided how you will approach her in the next meeting? 


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#7 of 23 Old 11-25-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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Also, I wanted to say that she sounds like she does not have children. In my DC's conferences I can really tell the differences between teachers with kids and those without. The ones without can sometimes be oblivious about how deeply we are sensitive to our children and how they are viewed by others. I think if you can appeal to her humanity in this way maybe you will find some common ground. hug2.gif


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#8 of 23 Old 11-26-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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My son was a social outgoing, independpent, eager, curious bright kid, who never displayed signs of social anxiety/or anxiety in general....not until he started school at 5.

 

He then started twiddling with his hair, chewing his sleeves, making silly noises in class to the point of being disruptive. His best friend was the other kid who did the same.

 

It turns out he has auditory processing issues, meaning in a large group, the noises overwhelm him, and his body goes into fight or flight mode-ie anxiety behaviors, and loud noises, disruptive behavior etc. 

 

The teachers asked me, what techniques do you use at home to deal with this? My answer, i never had, nor do have , these issues at home. Its the group situation that is the problem.

 

He now receives OT for this.  Your child may have something sensory going on (doesnt mean there is anything 'wrong' with him, the idea of a 4yo in school all day boggles my mind)

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#9 of 23 Old 11-26-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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You are totally on the right track in asking for another conference to focus on strategies to address his adjustment and behaviors and day-to-day communication.  You seem to be hitting it just right in asking for a discussion so that you can work together.

 

I'm not clear on how things work in Ontario, but if you can get him on a list for a full evaluation, it might be worth it.  You are describing a fairly extreme reaction to starting school.  Going to all day is a big adjustment and a struggle for many, but generally those aren't the responses that happen.  He also sounds like things are going well from his perspective (still going willingly, etc).  As contactmaya noted, we also didn't see any anxiety behaviors in our DD until kindergarten.  They changed a bit each year, but only until much later have we gotten a diagnosis.  Now in retrospect, they've been there all along.  At home, however, we're set up for things to be comfortable for all those at home, so we've naturally incorporated DD's quirks into our life style all along.  Not until school came along did these quirks blossom into anxiety.

 

We've learned a lot from a full evaluation, and I do wish we'd done it a lot sooner.  Life would have been so much easier for DD had we been addressing the mismatch between DD and school environments all along.

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#10 of 23 Old 11-26-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Identitycrisismama - I have decided to go into the meeting to talk collaboratively and try to work together with the teacher to develop a plan for how to address what is happening.  As is stands - I have no idea what is doing to manage these behaviours in class so that is my first starting point....to find out what she is presently doing so we can create a new plan with my assistance and input.  I'm hoping to help her understand him a bit more so that she can try to engage him a little more in the class and help him to overcome some of these difficulties.

 

Contactmaya and Geofizz - I am definitely not against any sort of assessment...I don't see any harm - the worst that can happen is finding out that he is experiencing difficulties in a particular area so that we can better assist him.  If anything is suggested by the teacher I am open to it.  I have been thinking alot since my meeting with the teacher and trying to evaluate some of his difficulties looking for a pattern or grouping of symptoms that could lead towards a potential source of his difficulties.  He has one sensory issue (does not like loud noises and covers his ears) but does not experience any others....so I don't see this as a sensory processing disorder.  He does express some characteristics of auditory processing, but when you look at the diagnostic criteria he doesn't fit that either....he follows verbal instructions well, has no issues with reading or phonics, no speech delays or difficulties, has an excellent verbal memory (actually somewhat scary how good his memory is!) so I don't see that as a fit either.  I keep finding myself looking more towards anxiety as a potential issue. Contactmaya - I found it interesting however, how a few of the things you described about your DS also sound like what my son is experiencing at school (making silly noises and being disruptive).  I definitely am keeping all of these things in mind going forward.

 

Geofizz - what were some of the symptoms you observed in your DD that helped lead your doctor towards a diagnosis of anxiety?  What sorts of things have helped DD to adjust better to the school environment?  Even if my DS does not meet criteria for a diagnosis - I still feel like he could use some help to decrease his anxiety in the classroom.  On one hand he is fearful that he is going to get reprimanded for bad behaviour - yet then on the other hand he acts out and does silly things knowing that this is all against the class rules!  I can't figure that out at all!!!! 

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#11 of 23 Old 11-27-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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OP, you may find it helpful to search for old threads about "Perfectionism" or "Perfectionist" and also for "Anxiety" and for sensory issues too. The issue of the perfectionist child comes up often. There are threads in the Childhood subforum, Gifted subforum, and other subfora with lots of good advice and experience.

 

I think you are wise to try to work out what is happening with your DS and to develop a plan to address it, rather than deciding straight off that the problem is simply full day attendance. It's possible that he isn't ready yet for full day school. If that's the case, then a modified schedule or pulling him out completely is probably the best solution. However, given that the teacher seems to be suggesting something more is going on, if you simply pull him out of school without any further investigation, you both may become even more anxious when he starts school again in a year or two, wondering if there was something else causing him difficulties. It seems that he appeared to be ready to attend this year and you haven't noticed any trouble at home since he started, until the teacher raised her concerns at the conference. After some investigation, you may decide that it's best to try a different school or modify his schedule or keep him home. First though, it makes sense to figure out what this teacher is seeing and whether there's anything else going on. 

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#12 of 23 Old 11-27-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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Jl379, in our case, her teacher was seeing things that looks like autism and OCD.   In the end, the issue was an inappropriate educational environment and hidden dyslexia and some more unusual diagnoses, and that DD likely knew more than her teacher in some areas.  Having the IQ and achievement testing alongside the array of diagnoses got her services for the dyslexia and placement at her instructional level with a teacher in a classroom of academic peers.  DD sees a cognitive behavioral therapist, and she has a hand-picked teacher that gets her sense of humor and her keen interest in the natural world.  This year's teacher is stunned to hear tales from past years.  It's simply not the child she knows. 

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#13 of 23 Old 11-28-2012, 06:32 AM
 
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OP, I noticed this thread in another subforum, Obsessing with one type of work, and thought it might provide some insight and help. Although it's not a public preschool setting, there are similarities in the issues you are experiencing. 

 

The link below is in a post in that thread. I thought it should be highlighted. It provides a very different perspective of repetitive work than you've described demonstrated by your DS's teacher. 

 

 

http://kiddietoes.blogspot.se/2011/07/sometimes-you-just-have-to-polish-duck.html

 

 

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#14 of 23 Old 12-01-2012, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I had my meeting with DS's teacher....it did not go well.  I went into the meeting letting her know that the last meeting was very upsetting for me because I had no idea that he was not managing well and was surprised to see the change in him when observing him in the classroom.  I then told her I wanted to work together to create a plan to help him to be successful.  I tried to explain the DS I know - the bright, imaginative boy who can do so many different things and can do them very well.  I brought samples of printing, drawing and colouring from home which she was very surprised to see because she was not seeing that out of him at school.  I offered some suggestions for things that I felt would help him along with my insights into what I felt could be contributing to his behavioural issues (mainly that it was his first time ever being in a setting like this and I felt he was displaying some signs of anxiety).  His teacher listened to me but either told me my suggestions were already being done or that they wouldn't work.  She told me he was not displaying signs of anxiety in her opinion and that her concerns were strictly surrounding his social skills.  Again she went through her concerns: that he has a strict routine in school which he rarely deviates from - doing the same 3-4 activites each day, that he doesn't seem to engage any of the students except for one boy, that he is "silly" all the time, that he doesn't follow the class rules and that he does not give her eye contact when she speaks to him.  I then told her that I was getting the sense that she was suggesting that there was something going on that would warrant a medical diagnosis and she said...that if I was asking her professional opinion - yes, she believes that he needs to undergo an assessment regarding his social skills.  SHe has also suggested a hearing test and speech-language assessment.  The only suggestion of mine that she accepted was to create a communication book which could be used on a daily basis.  I just hope it doesn't come back filled with things he has done "wrong"...that's not what I'm looking for by suggesting this.

 

I took my son to his doctor the same day (just worked out I had an appointment already booked for a check-up).  I spoke to her about the teacher's observations and concerns and regarding her suggestion for a full assessment.  My doctor knew right away that she was hinting at ASD - particularly PDD as she was going down the checklist of things to recommend (i.e. hearing test, SLP assessment and pediatrician assessment).  My doctor of course went through a list of questioning with me and spoke with DS as well.  Afterwards she said she did not feel any referral for an assessment was warranted.  She noted that DS gave full eye contact when speaking with her, acted developmentally appropriate, engaged in conversation with her and talked about things that were very appropriate for the conversation.  The fact that DS acts so differently at home vs. school led my doctor to agree with me that this was likely more of an issue with not transitioning well to the new environment and perhaps that doing these same activities in the class helped to decrease his anxiety.  She also said there was no way she would jump to any assessment given that he had only been in school 3 months and was only 4 years old.  She said we could review things in 3 more months to see if things had improved and then perhaps then look at an assessment.  Her only other thought would be to screen for ADHD but said that again, she felt this was not appropriate given the discussion we had. 

 

My talk with the doctor made me feel better - but at the same time it left me with an awful feeling regarding his current situation.  I feel like his teacher has made up her mind regarding him and has written him off as a problem child that she doesn't have time for.  We still have no plan in place and she didn't really take any of my suggestions.  I had suggested a modified schedule for a little while but she said she did not feel it would help.  But why couldn't we at least try???  I am now quite certain that I am going to pull him out of this school and look to enroll him in one of our neighbouring schools.  One has a much smaller class size, but is also all day, everyday - however, I know the teacher and she is fantastic.  While the other school offers a half-day only program also with smaller class sizes but I do not know anything about the teacher and don't know anyone who has a child enrolled there.  I feel like a smaller class size would help because it will be less stimulation and just less overwhelming.  I also know that he needs a teacher that is more accommodating to his difficulties and will welcome suggestions from me to help him succeed.

 

Again - I really would appreciate some input into our situation.  I just feel so lost.  I can't believe how much this whole situation is stressing me out and I feel so conflicted with how to proceed to help my little boy be happy and have a great experience.

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#15 of 23 Old 12-02-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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I don't really have any great wisdom here. I'm a homeschooling mom (whose older kids are in high school and university) who thinks that school starts far too early for most kids, and this creates problems for many kids, resulting in labelling and intervention which can become self-fulfilling prophecies -- when in many cases a couple of years of maturity would have looked after things. So anything I suggest is going to be coloured by my biases.

 

I mostly want to say that I think I love your doctor. 

 

And also... you said your ds loves school and really likes going. That's a huge plus: it means that it's unlikely that these ill-fitting expectations for him present any overwhelming urgency. You have time to think before acting. 

 

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#16 of 23 Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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Mooninmamma, im not a homeschooling mom, but i agree with you (i think about homeschooling alot but also love my  ds' school)

 

OP, just sending you a cyber hug,  i can relate to your situation very much.  The difference is, my sons  teachers are more willing to work with him, as it is a smaller school. Can teachers just give up on  kids like that? Thats what she is doing. 

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#17 of 23 Old 12-02-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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I think you should address your concern about her unrealistic expectations with the principal. Only having one friend, being silly for attention (or seeking attention in inappropriate ways), and having a few interest areas that are favorites are all normal things. I don't think a modified day is going to change a thing because it sounds like the teacher is the problem not your son.

I do suggest reading books about friends and modeling conversations for entering play with friends to help him get past seeking the attention using disruptive techniques. It is something many preschoolers need to learn, teaching social skills is the main purpose of preschool. If the principal isn't helpful quickly I suggest looking for a program with a teacher who understands that four year old children are developmentally different than ten year olds.
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#18 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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I have seen reactionary parenting where kids are pulled out of school whenever there are problems and where the long term outcomes are not good, but this really does not sound like your case.  We have removed our dds from schooling situations that were untenable with long term results being positive.  The major one that comes to mind for me was my dd14 who, when she was in 3rd grade, was being bullied by a very manipulative girl who the school nurse personally described to me as a "sociopath."  This other kid manipulated adults and set my dd up to be blamed for things she was doing.  Dd was an anxious wreck and I had a school staff member tell me that dd was the "worst child [she] had ever met."  That, too, is so not my child that I cannot tell you.  After changing schools, her future teachers like your ds' did not recognize the child that I was telling them the prior school had described her to be.

 

She's a great kid and pretty universally loved by teachers.  Sometimes it truly isn't the child's issue.  If this isn't a pattern of the child having problems and the parent denying anything relates to their child's issues (and it absolutely doesn't sound like that is what is going on here), I see no problem with trying something different.  Young children sometimes need us to rescue them when they are not yet old enough to advocate for themselves.  Since my dd is a teen now, I've tried to pass the onus on to her to self-advocate, but four is much too young to be expecting him to deal with a teacher who has such a negative opinion of him.  Poor little guy!

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#19 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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That follow up meeting does sound pretty discouraging. If you are considering a further attempt to work with the current school, I think I would move on and meet with the principal and possibly any resource specialists at the school. I would address the conflicting views about what is happening with your DS, emphasizing  your own professional experience and your doctor's assessment. I would ask for someone else to observe him in class a few times. Another colleague may get through to the teacher. Unfortunately, it sounds like this teacher is just not sympathetic and doesn't understand your DS. Also, there is still the issue of coping with the full day schedule, even if the teacher does accept that it's an anxiety-related issue. It's understandable why you are thinking of pulling him from that school.

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#20 of 23 Old 12-14-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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He is a 4yo little boy in school full time.  Sounds pretty normal to me.  It isn't mandatory that kids go to school until the age of 6 in Ontario.  I would pull him and go to some early years centers to get him used to groups in a gentle way with mom.  Good luck!

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#21 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 12:27 AM
 
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Well was I ever blindsided - the teacher literally (I wish I were exagerating!) went on for 25 minutes about all the concerns she has about him before even voicing one positive.  I could barely speak I was so upset and felt the tears developing in my eyes.  The teacher told me that she was very concerned about his behaviour, that he is repetitive and at times "obsessive" (as she put it) in his play, does not engage children and does not give her eye contact.  She said he has no focus or attention and acts "silly" all day.  She said he does not follow direction well and tends to spend all his free time playing/acting silly with another boy in the class who also acts similarly.  When I observed him in class I saw a totally different child from my child at home - he was acting silly that is for sure but when he was in circle time he gnawed on his fingers constantly (I have never ever observed my child do this) which I see as a sign of anxiety.  She even told me that if he continues this way he will not be successful in older grades - quite a weighted statement for a 4 year old.  The only positive comments she had was about how intelligent and bright he is.

 

 

uhhh.....he's 4. ??? who cares what SHE thinks. He is getting an early start as it is. Kindergarten isn't necessary anyway. Why not cut him back to a part day kindergarten or take him out and try again next year when he is a bit older. He would likely be happier at home being silly all day!! My kids loved being silly at that age.


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17 yr old

11 yr old 

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#22 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A little update!  DH and I made the decision to move schools/programs.  And I am happy to say it has made all the difference in the world!!!!!!!!!  We moved DS to a half-day program (really not even half a day - the program is 2.5 hrs vs. 6.5 hrs in the full day program).  His behaviour literally changed almost overnight.  He is back to the boy I knew before he started school and is doing very well in the program!  I met with his teacher after his first week and she was so pleased with how he has transitioned and had nothing but incredibly good things to say about him.  In fact, she asked me what was going on in the old school that prompted me to change him (she didn't want to know at the beginning because she wanted him to start with a clean slate and make her own assessment of things which I thought was FANTASTIC!).  When I told her what was happening and what his past teacher had to say she was shocked.  She said that my son is very bright and she has been challenging him with more advanced work which has really kept his focus and engaged him in the program.  She noted that he does have trouble making decisions in choosing which centre to play/work at but that she just provides him with two choices when it is time to move to a new centre (choose this or this - which one?) and made sure to demonstrate each centre to him at the start and now he has worked at each centre and chooses different things each day.  The frustration of this all is that these same strategies are things that I spoke to his previous teacher about and I was told that they would not possibly work for him!  She has also been engaging him in small group activities with other students to help him to play with different students in the class and although she said in his first few days he was very anxious and shy that by the end of the week he was playing with a variety of students and engaging with many different children. No comments about silly behaviour at all!  I really do think it was all fatigue related - we have noticed a HUGE change at home.  His behaviour has been amazing and he is our old child again...engaging in play with us, having great conversations and funny enough - he has actually been sleeping more since starting this program.  I think he may have just gotten into a pattern of overtired-ness.

 

His current teacher also told me that she could tell he had not been given any direction at his previous school and actually made several comments about the fact that it was obvious to her that it was the program that was failing my DS - not my DS who had the "issues".  I am in love with his teacher!!!  She gets my DS more after one week than his previous teacher did after almost 4 months!!!!  This has been a great experience so far and all I have to say is that us Moms really do need to stick with our gut.  We know our children best and despite what an "expert" may be telling us we need to stick with our gut feeling on things and do what we know to be right for our children to succeed!

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#23 of 23 Old 01-15-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Thanks for the great update. It's wonderful to hear how well he is doing now. thumb.gif

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