Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Update - 2

Now that my child is in 5th grade, I've begun to think about high school. High school is going to be a challenge for her, I know this and I'm preparing myself.

Last year, when her 4th grade year was so bad, I decided to look into a special school in the area that only has children attending that have learning differences. The place is stunning. No more than 5 kids per class. They frequently did things that would let them release some steam like do some jumping jacks or jog in place. The place was just heaven sent ... Until I saw the price tag. $16,000 per year. I almost had a heart attack. I can't afford that. I work part time now until I graduate in May. Even then, I'll be teaching and there is no way I can afford that (and life) on a teachers salary.

But still, I'm considering it. I feel like it's the place she needs to be. When she visited, they liked her a lot and offered to enroll her without having to jump on the waiting list (because apparently it's very long).

Did I mention that in her current 5th grade year there are 20 kids in her class?! In a private Catholic school?! I am OUTRAGED! Despite the fact that the teachers are accommodating her ... 20 kids per class in a private school?! What?

I am frustrated.

Will update soon.

2014 Update - 1

It's been quite a while since I've updated the blog. To those who happen to come up on it on the internet, I apologize, but I do have some things to report.

First, my daughter is in 5th grade this year. Second, her teachers are actually working with me and actually paying attention to her accommodations. This is new! Last year, it was the worst year EVER and they ignored everything. This year is different and I'm happy about that.

Now. She's had all of her updated testing done and I gotta tell you, the doctor just added more to the list.

2. Dyslexia
3. Dyscalculia (new)
4. Written Expression Disorder (new)

So now I have two extra things to deal with even though I already knew about them. They've just been officially diagnosed.

Although she has a wonderful doctor, the doctor did stress medicine. Now I'm wondering if I'm doing a disservice to my child by not giving her the Focalin every day like I "should" be. 90% of the time I think I'm not doing her a disservice because we repetition, she is fine. Her reading fluency has improved leaps and bounds. She still isn't at grade level but she's come SUCH a long way. As far as her ADHD goes, she isn't the hyperactive one, she's the severely inattentive one. Basically she daydreams a lot, loses her place, loses things etc. Dyscalculia is new but I already knew about it and knew she had it. Dyscalculia is basically where you have a sequencing issue when it comes to math. In other words, you can't figure out what step goes when if you're trying to do a math problem. And finally the WED, she can't get her thoughts together to put them onto paper.

That's a lot, right? No. I've already known all of these things and I'd already been doing everything that her doctor eventually suggested to help her deal with all these things.

So now, the issue is medication. I don't feel like the medication will solve her sequencing issue with Dyscalculia. I don't think the medication will solve the WED. Yes, it will keep her focused, but if you can't get your thoughts together anyway, why add medicine to it? I do believe the medicine helps with retention and attention if given daily. I saw positive proof of that when I was giving it to her before.

This is such a hard one. I don't know what to do now. I feel like I should at least try it out again. After all, she'll be in 6th grade next year. Should I wait until then?

GAH! I'm just so confused.

Update soon.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"I had a great day."

I'd been pretty consistent, up until the last month or so, about giving my daughter her Focalin on school days. February rolled around and I began having some issues and therefore forgetting a lot of things. Her Focalin was one. On average, I was sending her to school maybe 2 days out of 5 with the Focalin in her system. Then I remember her not getting it once a whole week. Anyhow ... Since things lightened up and I began giving it to her every day consistently, she's had such positive things to say about school.

Don't get me wrong, she hadn't been having bad days at school but I remember her saying things like 'I was so giggly today. I couldn't help myself, everything was funny.' Or she wouldn't get any of her homework done at school when she's been given time to do some. Although my baby has no behavior problems at school, it was clear she wasn't paying as great attention as she would have been.

This week, I've been consistent with the Focalin as I should have been all the time and today she got in the car and said 'I had a great day. I got some of my homework done at school so I don't have much to do at home.' The day before that, she told me she got a 9 out of 10 score on a book test. I also notice, that despite I've said the Focalin 'wears off' in the evening, I have a much easier time with her homework when she's had the Focalin that morning.

That's all for now. Hope your children are doing well.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Update Is Due

I got an email from a mother who offered some wonderful advice. Only then did I realize that it had been a while I'd posted.

First ... Happy late Thankgiving.

Second ... I've given things the required time to run their course and have definitely seen results. In regards to her teachers not seeing a difference in her ... That's all in the past. Maybe it was too early on in the school year for her new teacher to learn her. Either way it goes, I sent my daughter to school for 2 days without her Focalin and her teacher definitely saw a difference, lol. During carpool, her teacher came to the car to put her in (which she never does because my daughter puts herself in), and told me that she did ok in the morning but in the afternoon, she was very wiggly and inattentive. She wasn't disruptive or anything bad, but she was just very fidgety.

Her appetite is ok. About the same as it has been. The mom I spoke to recently told me to try some Ensure so I purchased some earlier today. I think I want to try that in the mornings because she's not fond of breakfast. Because of that, I worry more about her not eating enough. However, with the holiday that just passed, my child pigged out in a way I'd never seen before.

Third ... Her frustration level is generally the same. When she hasn't had the Focalin, she is super irritable but she 'turns it off' fairly quickly.

Overall, I'm really happy with how things are going right now. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know. I'm happy to hear anything from anyone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Skipping Days

It's been a while since I've posted but I have had nothing to report. Her teachers don't notice a thing when I send her to school without the Focalin in her system so ... What to do? I really don't know how to better gauge it. What else is there to say? I've skipped quite a few days, all accidentally, and sent the email just in case she seemed to act out but they didn't notice a thing! That could be bad but I've seen great things at home ... Or maybe she's just so into the routine of school that she's not fussing and getting things done without the Focalin? I just ... I don't know. I really don't know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

3rd Grade - Week 4: I'm Having Issues

The issues I'm having are not with my daughter. It's with her teacher. She's very sweet but a little ... What's the word? Scatterbrained? Maybe ... Let's use that for lack of a better word.

I really don't think she understands my concern. I don't think she understands the amount of concern. I think shes operating this ship as if my child doesn't need certain things.

Like I said ... She's very sweet and wants to help but I don't think she knows how.

In the beginning of the year, we sat down and had a talk. It was myself, my daughters teacher (we will call her Mrs. A), my daughters reading coach and go-to-for-everything-not-finished (we will call her Mrs. B) and the school counselor (Mrs. C). I informed them of her doctor recommended needs (Mrs. B and Mrs. C were already familiar because they worked with her last year) and Mrs. A said she would accommodate among other great things. She gave me a great talk about how 'kiddos with dyslexia' need extra time and blah blah blah and how she's fine with all that stuff.

GREAT ... No need to worry!

Now that we're a month into school I am more frustrated now than I have ever been in my life. Why? Because her teacher is scatterbrained.

Is your child (no matter if they have ADHD or Dyslexia) a little forgetful? Mine is EXTREMELY forgetful and I have had to almost beg Mrs. A at least once or twice a week to pack her books for her. I thought it was a small thing to ask because if my daughter does not pack all of her books, she will forget something vital she needs for homework to be completed that night, then I'm sending the teacher and email that she forgot her workbook and therefore the work isn't done.

I say again ... I have repeatedly asked this woman to pack her books for her, or at least have her pack everything! Now it seems like every single day, I am getting emails from her teacher about missing homework. I got 4 today and I am so frustrated I could scream. I am in no way upset with my daughter, that's something she can't help. She's that way at home and nothing will change that. But I am begging this woman, on a regular basis, to at least check and see what she packed and it's not happening.

So this is what I've done. The hardback books they use, go back to school every day for class lessons ... That's fine ... The workbooks are the big things she continues to forget at school so I have gone the route of purchasing all of her books on Thankfully, they're each under $10 used or like new. The only one that costs a good amount is her math workbook but I have made copies at home, lol.

Am I just reading too much into this? When my daughter doesn't have work done, then she's sent to Mrs. B to do it with her but if Mrs. B isn't available ... Then she has double or triple the work load for homework that night. It's so frustrating.

AND THEN TO TOP IT OFF ... I ask Mrs. B if the Focalin has changed her any and she tells me she sees no change in her behavior.
Mrs. A ... The scatterbrained teacher ... Still hasn't answered my question. *smacks forehead* I've asked twice.

You guys ... I'm trying not to lose my mind. And my little girl HATES going to school with out her homework finished. Any suggestions? Am I alone in feeling this way or am I just a nervous nutjob?

Friday, August 24, 2012

3rd Grade - Week 1

What a wonderful first week of school! We're getting up about 6:15am. Once she's dressed, she's given her Focalin, then is sitting down to have breakfast. After she's eaten, she gets her multivitamins. After breakfast, her hygiene is taken care of and school things taken to the car, then we're off.

Reports from her teacher and reading coach have been great. Her teacher reports that she's a hard worker, is following the rules, frequently raises her hand for help as she doesn't want to get stuck and feels confident when turning in assignments.

Now ... Her reading coach is the same she had last year and I haven't yet told her my daughter is taking Focalin. I want her to get another week before I ask if their is a difference between last year and this year.

As for her behavior ... Nothing to report. Although I will definitely be asking her teacher when she seems more fidgity. I would like to know what time her Focalin begins to wear off. Why? Because by the time I pick her up from school, that Focalin is gone and she's back to her jumpy self. Good and bad. Good because my usual child is in there, bad because she has homework in the afternoon. Homework is a struggle, especially with the load she's carrying for 3rd grade. Thankfully, she does get a lot done in class but she is very forgetful and leaves books at school that she needs for homework at night. So towards the end of the week, like yesterday, she had a ton of work that her teacher allowed her to make up so she could get all of her points. Their was just SO much. 3 days of math, spelling test on Friday to study for (and she continued to forget her spelling book so I only got the words on Thursday), Religion test also on Friday, Science work ... She had to do all of this in one day because she continued to forget her books. I've asked her teacher to pack her backpack or double check it before she's sent to carpool every day. I really hate to have to ask her to do it but their really is no other way.

Anyway ... The homework takes quite a while to get through. Have you ever watched a child with ADHD and Dyslexia do something as simple as copy short sentences from a book? It's ... Their isn't a word. She's trying so hard but she's mixing up letters and losing her place a lot so it ends up taking a lot longer than it would another child. Still, she got through it and I'm so proud of her. What a great first day. She got a 100 on her spelling test, a 100 on her religion test (they'd been working on it all week at school) and a 90 on her sentences for English. So proud of her.

What's my one worry? Math! That's a whole nother ballgame!

As far as eating goes ... When I pack her a lunch, I know how much she's eating ... Half of her sandwich, a few grapes and drinks all of her juice. But I do think a lot of that is due to the fact that they immediately go to recess after eating so they're all trying to get out to play. As soon as she gets in the car after school, she's in her lunchbox eating the rest of her grapes, the rest of her sandwich, and still wanting her after school snack. Breakfast is kept simple in the mornings. She's never been too much a breakfast kid during the school year. She likes 2 pieces of toast OR a small bowl of oatmeal OR a bowl of cereal. All she's had so far and all she's eaten entirely so far.

So far so good. Dinner is even a breeze.

I won't be giving her the Focalin on Saturday and Sunday but will begin again on Monday.

Whenever your child starts school, let me know how he or she does. I'd love to read about it.