Heartbroken and Frustrated *Updated**

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stella Johnson, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Today was teacher conference day. difficult child got her report card last week. She is barely passing social studies and science. (modified versions of both) difficult child is shutting down and refusing to work. I know why she's doing it. She's completely lost. She can't read well enough to understand so all she is required to do is copy what is on the board. She's learning nothing.

    Teacher said the biggest problem they have with difficult child is that she is not prepared for class, her organization skills are very bad. She's losing her notebooks and no one knows where they are. I've looked all over the house. I check her backpack every day. I have no clue where this stuff is going. Her desk is a mess as well.

    They don't have books anymore here in Texas thanks to the last couple of morons we have had for governors. The kids copy everything off the board or have copies of books. difficult child's notebooks are sad. She's lost. Her organization is horrible. She writes on one page, skips 50 pages, draws pictures, copies pieces of what she sees but none of it makes any sense.

    She is forced to take the stupid state wide Science test this year even though she has no clue what is going on. It will be modified, they can read it to her. Whoopiee! Theres no way she will pass and her teachers know this.

    Socially she is doing fine now. That isn't much of an issue. She's just more immature than her peers.

    I think she would do better if she had an aid while in regular ed. Some of the kids help her in class but they can't help all the time, they have to learn too. The teacher has lots of other kids to worry about so again difficult child isn't getting enough.

    I guess I am going to have to call another IEP. She needs more than she is getting. :crying:

  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I am so sorry for your mommy heart.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Awwwwwww, poor kid. I have a few suggestions.

    I would have your child completely evaluated by a neuropsychologist. The troubles your poor little one is having are not adequately explained by just ADHD. I'll bet, if she has an intensive testing evaluation, the real problems will be singled out and perhaps you'll find she has a disorder that the school can't ignore. My son is on the autism spectrum and is exempt from having to pass state tests in order to go onto the next grade. He takes the tests, but doesn't have to pass them. With his supports, he's doing really well in school now, but he can't organize on his own either. Since your child has good social skills--who knows--she could have learning disabilities or even a non-verbal learning disability. That can really hamper you in school.

    Hon, please explain WHY can't you have books in school...lol. I had to laugh. It's so moronic I couldn't resist.

    Please do your child a favor and a have a neuropsychologist evaluation done, independent of the school. Your child isn't shutting down to be difficult. She is truly have a hard time, but you know that. I feel bad for both of you.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I know this would be a tremendous amount of work for you, but what if the teacher recorded what was being said in the classroom? You and your little one could listen to the tape at home and you could help her with her notes. That way, she would only have to worry about other visual things (drawings, etc.) in class. The teacher could put the tapes in a special container to be sent home for you every day.

    I do agree that it is time for her to get another evaluation re learning disorders, etc.
  5. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member


    She's had neuropsychologist testing along with every other test known to man... back in Kindergarten.
    She isn't required to pass the test to move on but it's pointless for her to take it.
    No books? good question. Ask the morons in our legislature that decided our kids should be taught to pass this stupid state test. They don't teach to learn,they teach to cram so that they pass the tests. These tests are supposed to show how good the teachers and schools are. :rolleyes: Welcome to Texas.

    I will ask about the tapes but I bet they won't allow it. There are so many privacy laws with schools and kids now. Worth a shot though.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, all schools teach to the test now. I hate it. But ours are allowed books...lol. How sad (which is why I'm laughing--it's not a happy laugh). I would just get more neuropsychologist testing because things show up when they're older that weren't there before. I agree that it's silly she has to take the test, but my son has to do it too (and it's very hard for him and he is exhausted when he comes home). Sometimes I think I could homeschool just as well.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My son has an accommodation that allows for class notes. Because he has bad handwriting, disorganization and inattention, it is very difficult for him to copy from the board or even take notes just listening to the teacher. So he must be provided notes from the teacher or from a classmate.

    Another thought is to have her IEP provide for an Alphasmart plus keyboarding lessons if she can't already type. This would allow her to type notes into a small word processor and then print them out for later use.
  8. branbran

    branbran New Member

    How sad. :frown: Im sorry she is having such a hard time. Would you ever consider Special Education? My daughter struggled terribly in the mainstream classes. At first I didn't even want to discuss the issue, I was so afraid she would be ridiculed by the easy child kids, however she did much better when we finally put her in Special Education. Special Education. is not like it used to be, there are many different variables to Special Education. now. I know how heartbreaking this is for you. I often came home from my difficult child's school crying. You should definately request, better yet, demand another meeting to modify her IEP. Sounds like she needs more services. Become a thorn in their side until you get what you need.

    No books!!!! I thought NY's school system was laughable, but that takes the cake!!!

    Hang in there. Let us know how it goes. :smile:
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Steph! Why doesn't the teacher just hand her a written copy of the notes to glue/staple/tape into her notebook. She has to have a copy available to write down on the blackboard, so why not just give a copy to difficult child? You could even offer to supply a reem of copy paper!

    Just a thought! We're going through a rough time too!

  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Branbran: I agree about the NYC school system...man, could I tell you stories...we're going through h-e- double hockey sticks right now! :grrr:

    If I was paid $5.00/hour for all of the hours I spend on phones, picking up kids because the school won't do what we've explained, and looking for an advocate/attorney because of the privacy issues that they violated, I'd be a verrrrrryy rich woman!!! :smile:

    Ugh! Let's not even think about it!

  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    What about an aide to transcribe and email notes and work home. Could S do better if she were paper-free? Perhaps the task of note taking is a big part of her problem, especially if her reading isn't up to par.
  12. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Steph, we live in Texas, too. There's no doubt that the teachers are doing little else right now, but teaching the TAKS tests. Although in my mind and also husband's, we resisted our difficult child being in Special Education......he loves it. He gets the help he needs, he's learning for a change, and not getting in trouble every day. It is doing wonders for his self-esteem. In fact, the teacher has mentioned trying to main-stream him because his grades are SO good.....but difficult child doesn't want to. I'm not for it YET either. Even if the school tried to main-stream him, our child psychiatrist told me if I didn't think he was ready or if HE didn't think he was ready, she'd write a letter to keep him in the class. (Yes, she's a great doctor!)

    Per difficult child's IEP, he has to be re-evaluated every three years by the school's diagnostician. It was the best thing that happened and he's due his next one before the middle of November. Even the diagnostician stated that he was unable to transfer info from the chalkboard to his planner; he loses it somewhere inbetweeen. They have to give him notes, or have another student write it for him, or whatever.

    I'm sorry you and your family are going through this. It's a difficult time for all of you, but Special Education, like someone else said, isn't like it used to be. My difficult child started middle school this year and he's not gotten one bit of flack.....and he's not a bit embarrassed. He KNOWS he learns nothing and gets in trouble in the normal classroom.

    Good luck to you and your difficult child!!

  13. stuckinamess

    stuckinamess New Member

    Something we do for our kids who have problems with notes is still have them try to write the notes. However, they know if they are struggling or fall behind, they don't have to get frustrated. A copy will be supplied for them to finish copying. Now, I teach high school, so it may be a little bit different. The idea behind this is to not have the child sitting there doing nothing while other people are copying. They can at least try to take notes, and hopefully over time, their note taking skills will improve. At the same time, the extra notes allows them to take them home, or to resource, to finish copying them.

    Also, just because there aren't books in the school, doesn't mean you can't have an IEP that requires books. Or her books on tape/cd, so that she can listen to them at a later time.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm wondering if your difficult child has an IEP. If so I would definitely be asking for assistance with notes. Taking notes off the board can be so difficult at that age for any 10 year old much less with one who has organizational problems.

    All students are supposed to be tested but we have it in difficult child's IEP that he not be tested on the standardized test. They have to do an alternative assessment but it's better than having him take the tests that will frustrate him to no end!

    Just a side note-not all of us teachers are teaching to the tests. We're supposed to do a short unit on how to take tests (which I usually can only squeeze in parts of). At my school we really aren't teaching to the test at all. Interesting thing is our scores are usually among the highest in our state.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We held our son back last yr. Best thing we ever did. Can you do that? Of course, if they don't have books in her grade now, they won't miraculously appear in another classroom. Still, the material might be easier for her. She's got to understand the basics, and learn organizational skills.
  16. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I was wondering if they could give her a copy of the notes. Or the important points of the notes that she needs to focus on and know.
    We too are in Texas but Sammy is only 3 so we havent gotten that far in the school district.
    I am sorry you guys are going through all of this! Hugs to you all and hope they come up with a realistic helpful solution!
  17. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I guess it is time for more neuropsychologist testing. Her behavior is so much better than it was the first time around. I guess I just kept hoping one day it would all come together for her.

    I have only seen one alphasmart system. A girl that is in a special needs group difficult child is in has one but she is much much more severe than difficult child. I have heard they are expensive. I doubt I would ever be able to get the school district to pay for it.

    SHe is in Special Education. She is mainstreamed for Science, Social Studies, and classes like Art and PE. Until a couple of years ago she was in Special Education all day.

    That is a good idea. I will mention that to the teacher or in the next IEP.

    I think it's good for them to at least make her try to copy them for practice the only thing is, I think they are all a bunch of unknown symbols for her. I don't think it's sinking in. I could paint the Chinese alphabet all day long and not have a clue what any of it was.

    I'm glad to hear your difficult child is doing so well and that you have a good psychiatrist. :thumbsup: difficult child has been in some great Special Education classes. I'm just not sure what to think of the mainstreaming right now.

    I understand having her write them just so she isn't sitting doing nothing. Just seems like it's all a waste of time. The things they are doing in class are above her level so she isn't learning squat. In 5th grade the curriculum really changes to a higher level. Just not sure what to do about it.

    She has had an IEP since PreK.

    That's the problem. She doesn't have the basics so the rest of this is for nothing.

  18. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Steph

    It is heartbreaking.

    If difficult child is emotionally stable now, it might be time to get her IEP to include reteaching and getting her back on track academically, via 1:1 or 1:3 tutoring -- something like that, ESY, etc.

    You might want to consider having her re-evaluated via a psychoeducational evaluation to see what her strengths and weaknesses are, where she is, and the best way to get from Point A to Point B.
  19. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I am going to reply without reading the other replies, usually a no-no but, I am always running in the morning but wanted to address a couple of your concerns.

    Some of the problems you are having with difficult child are similiar to what I deal with here. I want to give you a couple suggestions.

    One thing that I began two years ago with difficult child that has helped organization tremendously is a large "Five-Star" binder that zips up. In elementary school he only needed four sections. In middle school this year he has one for odd days and one for even days - each with 4 sections.

    Each section includes a spiral notebook, looseleaf paper and is divided by dividers with a pocket on each side. At the front of each five-star is a large pouch that holds his calculator, spelling ace, pens, pencils, glue, ruler, highlighter, colored pencils, etc.

    As he goes through his day, everything that is loose - handouts, etc., go into that binder. That's all he carries with him. Granted, when he gets home most of the papers are all in the front of the book and not in their sections, but at least the papers are there. It took several months when we first started to get him to remember to put all the papers in the notebook rather than his desk.

    I'm telling you that it really helps and he is much more organized. If he comes home and has a history test the next day, I know all the information we need to study is in that binder. A couple of his teachers wanted indiv binders for their classes, but I spoke with all of them and told them "this is what we are going to do" - no arguments from anyone!

    In regards to the being lost in class - couple suggestions for the IEP. In the mods/accoms section - have "written notes" put in for all Special Education and gen ed classes. The way the teacher will provide notes for her so she doesn't have to do it. While her reading level may be low, the two of you could read it together at night - that's what I used to do with difficult child - it was part of our evening routine. You may also want to get "reading assistance" on all state-wide assesments and classroom tests. You also may want to ask for "written homework assignments" - that can be done by a peer or the teacher. Also, since she has such trouble with the reading part it probably translates into her writting. I would also suggest "written answers only" meaning that she doesn't have to write the question then the answer. My difficult child also uses a spelling ace ($20 purchase at CVS) when writing to help with his awful, terrible spelling (hmm, wonder who he got that from??)

    Those are a few of things that have made a difference for difficult child - and for me! It may take her awhile to get herself into the habit of using the binder, but I'm telling you it is the single most important change we made for difficult child in 3rd grade that has made a positive difference for him at school.

    Hope some of these are of help to you guys.

  20. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    The notebook and folders are a great idea. :thumbsup:
    I emailed difficult child's old teacher. I love that woman. I wish she still worked in our school district. :crying: She was such an amazing teacher. I truly think we would not be in this position if she was still in our district.

    Here's what she said:

    1. They should give her hard coy of notes and let her highlight as
    they cover material---or let her draw a picture of what they are talking
    about.. (IE talking about plant having roots and leaves, have her draw
    that in the margin.)

    2. Teachers can keep her notebooks etc.in their room.. just put it
    into a crate or something that she has access to..

    3. Reduce the appearance of the content..life cycle is the life
    cycle.. doesn't have to be small print and wordy... let her color the picture
    with the correct stages, that should be her test along with what the
    work looks like.. She needs to learn the basics, not the extra higher
    order stuff.. straight basics!! :smile: