debby's picture
debby

struggling 3rd grader

have a 3rd grader entering 4th grade problem w/reading and comprehension..school wants him tested...refuse to do don't believe in meds...any suggestions.....teachers don't want to talk without him being tested...has 76 average in school...and is at reading level for grade and age...already did 1st grade twice



kimhovey's picture
kimhovey

Testing won't hurt anything.  Teachers and schools are NOT doctors and cannot "put" your child on meds.  They can voice their opinions - but you do not have to agree. 

My son was 1st grade and not doing well at all.  The teacher and I worked together on an AIP (Academic Improvement Plan) which helped a bit, but still was not enough. 

In 2nd grade his behavior started to decline rapidly - apparently due to high frustration levels with school related tasks.  We agreed to try a 504 plan, which allowed some accommodations for him in the classroom, but is not the same as an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).  It helped a little, but he was still not progressing well.

At the end of 2nd grade, when the school was refusing to do anything but blame the parents for his problems, I sought out advice from our doctor, who referred us to a pediatric neurologist.  Thank God she did! 

Our son is not only ADHD, but also suffers from Tourette Syndrome and mild seizures.  We NEVER knew it!!  He was apparently attempting to hide the symptoms from us and his peers, which was in turn causing frustration and other difficulties that manifested in bad behavior. 

As an education major in college, I had just learned about the laws and such, and demanded in writing that the school test my child for a number of things.  According to the laws here, the public school MUST provide testing as requested in writing by the parents with a letter from doctor stating what the issues are. 

They finally did it, and we found several problems, including short term memory and information processing deficits, causing a learning disability, which qualified him for an IEP under the OHI (Other Health Impaired) category.

ANYWAY, we now have him on the proper meds for his issues, put him in a more cooperative school, he has a full IEP in place and is doing BEAUTIFULLY!  In one short year he has progressed almost to where he is supposed to be, and is going into 4th grade.  He has become a well-behaved, happy, active child!!

PLEASE ... for your child... at least get the preliminary testing done.  If it does not tell you what you need to know, then find out your local laws and demand that the school does any other testing that they are equipped to do.  If you are more concerned, then seek meical advice on top of that.  There really could be issues that no one is aware of yet... ones that the child has learned to compensate for but could be underlying causes of other things you are seeing.

ALSO... be ready to teach the school whatever they need to know in order to provide a FAPE to your child.  (Free Appropriate Public Education) - that is the law.  For example, most public schools have little idea how to deal with Tourettes Syndrome children, so I actually had to go in and provide a mini-senimar on Tourettes and how to work with my son to best help him.  I also included information on how his seizures and ADHD may interact with the TS and cause the learning problems they were seeing.  They were very understanding and appreciative of my efforts.  (I think they are not used to parents who take that kind of time to do the research and help the teachers!) 

Teachers can only do so much... and TOO many schools are too quick to slap labels on kids today.  I fought it as well... I didn't want to admit that my child may have to be on meds.  BUT I am so very glad we DID find out, as now he has the best care from his docs, his teachers, AND his family. 

Warm regards and best wishes,

Kim