Anxious about Kindergarten - Need advice!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    My 5 y.o. son will be starting Kindergarten on Sept. 5. I am feeling anxious because I fear the worst as far as his behavior and potentially getting called daily. My question is this - Is it better to talk to his teacher in advance about possible behavior issues or take a wait and see approach? What have you found worked or didn't work? In a way, I want to talk to the teacher so she can try to work with him, but then again I don't want her to label him as trouble and look for issues. In the back of my mind, I guess I am hoping that starting in a new school, with new kids and teacher will give him the fresh start he needs and maybe he won't have as many issues. Probably what every Mom hopes, huh?!

    (Background: He attended Pre-K M-F for 3 hrs per day. He had several problems with pushing/hitting, not following directions, and various other social/behavioral issues. He is not a bully and does not 'usually' instigate trouble. When I have attended his class functions and watched his interactions, when he pushed or hit, it was usually in response to someone else doing something to him. It is how he handles his frustration after someone is bothering him for quite awhile and that child does not get in trouble or stop. He wants to be in charge and for everyone to do things his way. He also gets frustrated when trying to do things he has a hard time with - writing a letter the wrong way, getting his shoes on, etc.) The way he responds to frustration is by screaming, saying mean things, blaming others, or aggression.)
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he ever been evaluated? Chances are you're going to be asked to evaluate him.
    I would tell them, but I'd get a private evaluation first so I had something productive to say. (I had horrible luck getting correct diagnosis. from Schools. in my opinion, the price is right, but you also get what you pay for...) I'd go to a neuropsychologist or have a Multi-Disciplinary evaluation, especially since the real deal (real school) is starting.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I agree with MWM- We have spent the past year getting ready for kindergarten! Getting a diagnosis a nuero-psychiatric evaluation a great pediatrician and psychiatrist... All so K might be prepared to face the "real" world of education! Plus she needed the help.
    We have worked on social stories and situations that might occur in school, using your words and not your angry feelings...over and over. She used to bite, hit etc. Now I believe it would take a lot to get her to resort to violence at this point in school.
    I told her kindergarten teacher as well. I have an ongoing dialogue going with her about K's behavior and how she is doing.
    I also am in the process of MDE through the school, for a 504 or an IEP plan, just in case!!!
    It is so much easier to push these things when you have private diagnosis and evaluations that come from reputable people.

    Good luck I was so much more nervous before I had a plan... even if you just talk to the teacher and feel him/her out. It might make you feel more at ease!!!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree an evaluation is a good thing. I would talk to the teacher ahead of time to give her/him a heads up! I know as a teacher I appreciate knowing ahead of time so I can work to make the transition from home to school a smooth one.
  5. loricbme

    loricbme New Member

    My difficult child started kindergarten last year. I chose to not tell her teacher about any behavior issues before school started because I didn't want to bias her. I didn't hear a lot from the teacher before the first conference but boy did I hear it at the conference. So, I knew difficult child was being consistent with her bad behaviors. It's hard because you want so badly for everything to go well in school and have them transition easily. After I had a meeting with the principal, teacher and school counselor the first of this year, I barely heard another word from the teacher. I made it clear to the district that I was not happy with the teacher making such a big deal about things with notes home and phone calls and then suddenly cut off communication with me. I know difficult child was still having problems because the principal would call me and I would speak with the counselor. Counselor saw difficult child on a regular basis. I felt like the teacher chose to not keep me in the loop because she wanted to do things her way. I'm hoping first grade goes well. I'm working on getting help but the first psychiatric appointment. isn't till late September. All I can do is take it one day at a time and breathe.
  6. mattsmum

    mattsmum New Member


    Your difficult child sounds EXACTLY like mine...same exact issues. At this point, his teacher's know his behaviors because he is placed in their room specifically ahead of time.

    I guess I could go either way on this one. Go with what you think is best. Maybe give it a week?
  7. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks so much for the input. No, no evaluation as of yet. I am alittle worried about calling his pediatrician to get a referral to a neuro-psychiatric or MDE -- thinking they might just think I am over exaggerating or try to minimalize it. What has been your experience with this? What exactly do I tell them? Instead of things getting better (as I had hoped), I think they are actually getting worse. We need to do something ASAP. I just read something about giving kids Melatonin at night to help them sleep and it also has inadvertently improved their behavior during the day. Has anyone had any experience with this?

    I guess I am wishful that Kindergarten will go smoothly and all the problems will just disappear, but I have to be honest with myself. I am sure there will be problems unless we get to the bottom of this... and even then, the road seems long and all uphill. Ugggh.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When J (difficult child 1) was 8 and in 3rd grade, I called our pediatrician and explained how J hated school and seemed smart but had difficulty doing the work. Without my saying anything further, he said, "Under these circumstances, I always tell parents to have an evaluation." He gave me the names of two neuropsychologists, and J was evaluated about 2 months later.

    While not all peds are as enlightened as ours, I would hope that if you explain in a straightforward manner what you're experiencing with your son, yours, too, will refer you for an evaluation. Furthermore, if you have a children's hospital nearby, you can call directly and ask if you need a referral for an MDE. You may very well not.
  9. Last year, I had talked to the school in late Spring about options for difficult child. I had had him tested by the school district and he came up as "within normal limits". No one else on this planet would agree. This IS the cub who was kicked out of one pre-school, basically asked to not come back to another, and pulled from a third because he would have been kicked out within a matter of days, so I could only anticipate issues in Kindergarten. Yes, I worried about giving the cub a reputation before he even walked in the door, but he did have a history of trouble and if I were the teacher, I would not want to be blindsided by not knowing what I was being given.

    Our pediatrician gave us some referrals but of course no one was on our insurance plan. To cut to the chase, we ended up trying several drugs and finally settling on Lamictal, which has been wonderful for him.

    When Fall came and he was going to start Kindergarten, I talked with the teacher about him and gave her a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. If you haven't read it, read it NOW. difficult child started Kindergarten rather poorly, getting all unsatisfactory type "grades" in behavior. By the end of the year, his behavioral "grades" were all "good" which we were happy to see. husband volunteered in his class for two days a week to keep an eye on him. [Yeah, husband had quit his job because one of us had to since difficult child was always being sent home.]

    So here's the free advice from the Running household: Get the book, get the cub tested, and talk to the school.