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  • Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

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    Old 03-14-2005, 08:19 PM   #1
    Tom1221
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    Question Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    My wife and I are going to have a meeting with my son's teacher and councilor soon and talk about my son's behavior at school.

    Derek is 6yrs. old and in 1st grade and is very energetic, but also very smart. I know they are going to to suggest that he be tested for ADD but I want to make sure i know what to ask the school before i do anything. They say he doesnt get his work done in a timely manner. They say he likes to talk and we get notes that tell us that he talks during reading time and in the lunch line or ni the hallway. His teacher has only been teaching for 2 yrs. we are not sure whether she should be making these kinds of suggestions or not. As far as the councilor goes we know and several other parents we have talked to say that she likes to blow things way out of proportion.

    Our other son is 15 and also went to this school and they also tried to tell us we needed to have him tested for the same reasons but we refused to listen and now he has a 4.2 gpa and has been part of student leaders for the last 4 years.

    I guess what we are trying to say is do they really know what they are talking about? We need to know what to ask before we go in to sit with them so we would appreciate anything anyone could reccomend we ask at this meeting.

    Thanks for listening,
    Tom

     
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    Old 03-14-2005, 10:45 PM   #2
    Jennita
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tom1221
    My wife and I are going to have a meeting with my son's teacher and councilor soon and talk about my son's behavior at school.

    Derek is 6yrs. old and in 1st grade and is very energetic, but also very smart. I know they are going to to suggest that he be tested for ADD but I want to make sure i know what to ask the school before i do anything. They say he doesnt get his work done in a timely manner. They say he likes to talk and we get notes that tell us that he talks during reading time and in the lunch line or ni the hallway. His teacher has only been teaching for 2 yrs. we are not sure whether she should be making these kinds of suggestions or not. As far as the councilor goes we know and several other parents we have talked to say that she likes to blow things way out of proportion.

    Our other son is 15 and also went to this school and they also tried to tell us we needed to have him tested for the same reasons but we refused to listen and now he has a 4.2 gpa and has been part of student leaders for the last 4 years.

    I guess what we are trying to say is do they really know what they are talking about? We need to know what to ask before we go in to sit with them so we would appreciate anything anyone could reccomend we ask at this meeting.

    Thanks for listening,
    Tom
    I do not believe in taking the teachers' word for this sort of thing, as you have already found this out thru your other son. Energetic behavior, IMHO, should not be medicated. My son loved to talk too much during class...I believe highly intelligent kids simply get bored, and they love to socialize.

    I wouldn't put too much worry into it, I simply told teachers I would talk to my son about how disruptive the talking was....I used some simple ideas in the way I put it to him. It worked for him but maybe you know of another way of telling your son so as to make him identify with the problems he is creating at school.

    I explained we pay that teacher thru our tax money to teach him (and other kids)and his talking is preventing her from doing it well. I went on to explain how school will give him a happier, more productive life of work so it really is all for his benefit, this "school" thing!

    Also, I asked him if he'd feel bad if because of his talking, she wasn't able to be a good teacher and would maybe get fired....getting fired would mean she couldn't buy her children food or toys.

    Those are things my son identified with: the loss of money for toys and food. But that happened to just be my son's reaction, I don't know if it would work for your son, maybe you could find something in the situation that strikes a cord with him....

    But, the #one thing I always made him understand is that I would never "side" with anyone against him, but merely make him see the other persons' point of view.

    Speaking of taking sides, yes, I would always put him before what a teacher thought....even if my son was acting up....I would always try to get him to see the error of his ways but never, ever punish him. I explained to him that he must do everything he can do to help the situation, because nobody wants to be kicked out of school and become poor because of lack of education/job (again, the food/toys loss)

    I don't know, like I said, that seemed to work for him but each child is different and relates to different ideas, fears, etc.

    I did notice, however, he didn't feel so "against" the teacher anymore because he knew she couldn't get him "into trouble" with me. So perhaps, stripping her of that authority made him see her more as a human being, one that he was causing alot of problems for????

    Ok, well, however you can manage to convey things to your son, the important thing is do NOT let any teacher bully you into thinking your son has a "mental disorder". ADHD is classed as a mental disorder, aka the new tactful way of saying mental illness!

    As his parent, you are best to judge if your son needs help or not in that area!!

    It does help even us parents to view the teacher as human, not as an authority figure.....I think we tend to hang onto that notion from our own childhoods, eh??

    I'm sure if you work on it with your son, you can help improve the relations with the teacher...unless she is an outright female doog, in that case, who would care what she thinks?

    Last edited by Jennita; 03-14-2005 at 10:49 PM.

     
    Old 03-14-2005, 11:05 PM   #3
    lateeth
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    My experience with my own son with ADD is that the diagnosis is made basically on a report which is filled in by the teacher then sent to the doctor. Therefore, if you feel the teachers and counselors in the school are in favor of diagnosing every problem as ADD, it might help for you to seek an outside person to fill in the form for the doctor.ARe there any other adults who have experience with your child in a group setting, religioius school, preschool, etc.
    You might ask the school to deliniate the reasons they are suggesting ADD (are they just asking for testing? it sounds like you think they already have their mind made up).Then I would have them outline solutions to the problems your child has. I do not believe the school can force your child to take medication. So if you choose not to, they need to work out a plan which will help your son without the medication. It really does not matter whether he has ADD or not. The goal, I would think, is for him to be able to get the most out of school without disturbing other people while he is at it. The same techniques used with children with ADD might also work for him, things like quiet locations without too many disturbances, making sure things are written down for him, altho this is usually not a problem in first grade, having him verbalize his understanding of what needs to be done, etc. Children with ADD and ADD like symptoms often do not hear instructions the same way other children do. As far as the more disturbing to others behaviours, maybe together with the teacher you and your wife could come up with some solutions. Possibly a reward system of some sort for reports from the teacher that he was quiet during quiet times. sometimes giving a talker a leadership role will calm them down and have them contributing rather than disturbing the class.
    In my school district, I was able to ask that someone from the district level come to the first meeting we had for an IEP for my son. This person acted as my advocate and was knowledgable beyond what the school itself was. Don't feel pressured to have them label your son. the diagnosis does need to be confirmed by a doctor. But if they do give you options you do not like, you can always appeal above their head to the district level (unless of course you are at a private school). Good luck with this.
    By the way, i resisted medications and diagnosis for quite some time. I do however, think my son does in fact have ADD and think that the diagnosis was the best thing to happen for him. Since he started on medications in 5th grade, he is a vastly different person.

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 01:28 AM   #4
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    The most important thing, Tom, is what you and your wife think about Derek's ability to pay attention. What do you see at home? Does he have an extremely hard time staying on task? Does he seem hyperactive to you and your wife?

    As a group, I very much value teachers' opinions. Because of the number of children that they see every day, I think they are in a unique position to tell us when our kids are displaying atypical behavior. That said, though, I wouldn't rely too heavily on the opinion of just ONE teacher. What did his kindergarten teacher say? Preschool? If this is the first teacher to complain, I'd be more inclined to take it with a 'grain of salt' than if several teachers have told you the same thing.

    Another important thing to bear in mind is that you and your wife are in control here. Even if you go ahead with the testing, it will still be YOUR decision if you want him to get special services or not at school. It will still be YOUR decision whether or not you want to persue treatment (be it counseling, medication, or whatever). You are NOT locked into anything just because he gets tested.

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 02:20 AM   #5
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by index.html
    The most important thing, Tom, is what you and your wife think about Derek's ability to pay attention. What do you see at home? Does he have an extremely hard time staying on task? Does he seem hyperactive to you and your wife?

    As a group, I very much value teachers' opinions. Because of the number of children that they see every day, I think they are in a unique position to tell us when our kids are displaying atypical behavior. That said, though, I wouldn't rely too heavily on the opinion of just ONE teacher. What did his kindergarten teacher say? Preschool? If this is the first teacher to complain, I'd be more inclined to take it with a 'grain of salt' than if several teachers have told you the same thing.

    Another important thing to bear in mind is that you and your wife are in control here. Even if you go ahead with the testing, it will still be YOUR decision if you want him to get special services or not at school. It will still be YOUR decision whether or not you want to persue treatment (be it counseling, medication, or whatever). You are NOT locked into anything just because he gets tested.
    Well, I realize now that I gave you some opinions but didn't actually address your question of what to ask at the meeting. My questions would revolve around what is the teacher doing to correct these behaviors and how does your son respond.

    For example, what is SHE doing to keep him on task so that he gets his work completed on time? When he is redirected, is he able to stay on task? Is it in every situation that he doesn't complete his work on time? If not, exactly when is it that he has trouble? What has SHE tried to control his talking? Is he able to control himself once he's been corrected? Has the teacher considered that he might be bored? What has SHE tried in order to hold his attention?

    You get the gist...

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 07:01 AM   #6
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    Tom,

    We went through the exact same thing you and your family are going through. I truly understand your frustration. It's very hard. We were in denile for a few years and finally I gave in and. May I strongly suggest that you consider taking the steps to have Derek tested for ADHD. It will do one of two things. Either confirm that he is or confirm that he's not. There is more to diagnosing ADHD and ADD than just the written questionaire. That is part of it, but to get a true diagnosis, you will need to see a psychiatrist and have them evaluate your son with a computer based test called a TOVA test. There are two parts to this test. One is visual and the other is auditory. It's played somewhat like a video game. Derek will probably have fun taking it. THe information they gather from these evaluations will definately give you an answer. By doing this you will be able to better handle the situation at school. Either by confirming he is not or by confirming that is he. If the latter is the case then you can come up with a "game plan" for your son at school. If the school is unwilling to cooperate, there are laws protected children with ADD and ADHD. They have to give him the accomodations he needs.

    May I also suggest that you go to the library and check out a book called "Taking charge of ADHD the revised edition" by Russell A. Barkley.

    Please don't think that I believe Derek has this. One way to be sure is to have him evaluated. It may take a little time on your part, but, having the answers will make it much easier in the long run. Hope this helps. Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Take care!

    Divamom

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 01:31 PM   #7
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    Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by index.html
    The most important thing, Tom, is what you and your wife think about Derek's ability to pay attention. What do you see at home? Does he have an extremely hard time staying on task? Does he seem hyperactive to you and your wife?

    As a group, I very much value teachers' opinions. Because of the number of children that they see every day, I think they are in a unique position to tell us when our kids are displaying atypical behavior. That said, though, I wouldn't rely too heavily on the opinion of just ONE teacher. What did his kindergarten teacher say? Preschool? If this is the first teacher to complain, I'd be more inclined to take it with a 'grain of salt' than if several teachers have told you the same thing.

    Another important thing to bear in mind is that you and your wife are in control here. Even if you go ahead with the testing, it will still be YOUR decision if you want him to get special services or not at school. It will still be YOUR decision whether or not you want to persue treatment (be it counseling, medication, or whatever). You are NOT locked into anything just because he gets tested.
    I agree with all this. One teacher's opinion is not gospel. My nephew greatly improved when he entered a new grade with a new teacher. She has nothing but good things to say about him despite the fact he stopped taking med. His previous teacher is the one who suggested ADD...they did give him meds for awhile but my brother-in-law grew tired of the negative effects and took him off, so when he got the new teacher he was no longer on meds.

    And I think index is right, some parents forget they are the ones in control ultimately.

    Last edited by Jennita; 03-15-2005 at 01:32 PM.

     
    Old 03-16-2005, 07:46 PM   #8
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    Lightbulb Re: Parent/Teacher meeting...telling me my son has Add...what should I ask?

    Hi Tom,
    (first of all i'd like to apologize for my english ... I'm from Quebec in Canada.)

    I felt really concerned about your letter. I'm suffering from DDA but I had the diagnosis only 2 years ago. ( My doctor prescribed me Ritalin ) I'm 31 y.o single mom and after my divorce I decided to complete my studies. Well I remember really fast at that time why I left school at 15 y.o. I was the lead in school with really good marks. DDA doesn't mean you are not intelligent, or you don't have good marks :-(( Having the medication really changed my life... I'm more calm, less impulsive, I sleep when I'm in bed , I'm more organize, I can finish what I started, etc.

    What I've understand from your letter is that you don't trust the school « His teacher has only been teaching for 2 yrs. we are not sure whether she should be making these kinds of suggestions or not. As far as the councilor goes we know and several other parents we have talked to say that she likes to blow things way out of proportion. » It must be really hard for you and your wife hearing that kind of comments and i understand ( I have 2 children in school too ) Ask the professor about your son... And you will see if it fits with your vision of your son. Let them explain you why medication should help your son? What can he «wins» by having that kind of test?

    I know you've probably learned to leave with the personality of your kids and that's good, but please don't close the door to the test... Maybe you are right and their is nothing to worried about But let one door open in case of....

    The medication just help me to be really ME.
    Wish you the best for you and all your familly,
    Layla31

     
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