totally sad---any words of encouragement

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lizanne2, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    So, hello gang....I am returnign for today with a new name as I am at work and can't get my old log in too work. Formerly just Lizanne.

    My boy difficult child brought me here....and I can report----just finished first meeting to hopefully return him to district. It has taken him lots of time but he is progressing......more on that later if you are interested.....

    But of course, prior to difficult child's IEP meeting we slip in just another little bit of info on my daughter, by the way, I hate kid at a time...thats all I can do....

    This is what is bringing me to tears right at my desk..... which is not so good for my job security at this time. She is just not smart. Just not high IQ. tears just start when I think of this. She is a sophomore..... What does the furture hold for her? How do I help her?

    In the past this group on this board has been albe to bring from that can do anything despair to helping my child....

    So any thoughts? resources...ways to process this and move on her up while I am falling apart?

    Thanks for anything you can share!

    by the way, used my hmj mug this morning for coffee.... I suppose that was the first hug from you guys!
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Lizanne--

    When you say "not smart" and "not high IQ"---what do you mean?

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I think to help you we'd need to know more about her. What do you mean by "she's not smart." I don't care about her IQ--that can be deceiving. Has she ever been tested by a neuropsychologist to see if she has learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorder or anything else that impacts learning? What do you mean by "not smart." Does she get C's. D's. F's. Does she not try? Does she get easily distracted? Does she have any psychiatric disorders that are getting in the way?
    What do you expect of her? College? A two year course?
    I have an Learning Disability (LD) twelve year old who gets help with her work. She struggles across the board, but I wouldn't say she is "not smart." She takes longer to catch on and she is very gifted in other areas of life--sports she excels at, art, her social skills are off-the-charts. All of these are very important life skills that she can use that supercede her grade point average. She will never be even a "B" student, and will struggle academically and need a lot of extra help, but she will be able to be productive and successful and certainly she'll be able to complete a two year course in something she enjoys. Her IQ, when tested, was 88. I did'nt pay much attention to it. She has trouble testing, plus she seems much brighter than that--I attribute the score to her Learning Disability (LD)'s. I also have an honor student who is on the autism spectrum, but he will probably have a harder time in life than my daughter because he struggles with life skills and social skills. He worries me more than she does.
    Has your child ever seen a neuropsychologist? I'd start there to find out the cause of her academic issues. Rarely is a child just "not smart." Usually a "different-learner" is that way for a reason and it's good to find out why so you and the school can help her.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm with MWM on this one. Your assessment of her - is this based on YOUR intuition as a mother, or is it a school counsellor assessment?

    Whichever the answer, try to not let it bother you too much because she is her own person and as water finds its own level, she will find her own place in the world. She won't want to be anything she isn't capable of being. One of my favourite sci-fi authors put it this way (via one of his characters): "Ve can't all be first violiners in de orchestra - some of us got to push vind trough de trompone."

    What does she enjoy doing? What is she good at? Maybe she will never do anything career-wise more than working behind a shop counter, or a sweatshop somewhere, but will marry, have kids and be a brilliant home-maker and mother. Maybe she enjoys working in a garden and could study landscaping, or simply work in a plant nursery or for a landscaper as labourer, helping pull weeds, put in plants, maintain gardens...

    When you say she's a sophomore, I'm not so familiar with how old that would be, I'm assuming about 14? I could be way off, I'm sorry. But I do know that for us, with difficult child 3 now 15, we can access our adult education options as an alternative career path. There are always people who leave school early or who for other reasons have never finished high school but who want to go back later on to complete an education. SUch places, for us, allow some kids (as long as they are legal working age) to also enrol to complete education requirements, or at least get sufficient qualifications to be allowed to study further, in the career path of their choice. We're looking at this for difficult child 3 but because he is bright, we won't go that way unless we have to. However, I found out only yesterday, that we could.

    I'm using difficult child 3 as an example, I also could have done this with difficult child 1 if only we'd known. The boys are bright but due to their learning problems and autism, find some educational areas very challenging. Through our TAFE college system I can get difficult child 3 into a course teaching him the basicskills needed to work as a shop assistant. It teaches how to manage change, how to talk to customers, some basic bookkeeping, how to perform well at a job interview. And while difficult child 3 will never work behind a counter (I don't think it would work for him) he COULD do well in the course. Passing this course would replace his School Certificate (one of our high school stages, it corresponds to completing high school I think, for the US) and he would then meet School Certificate entry requirements for the courses we DO want for him - the Information Technology. difficult child 3 is brilliant with computers and software, we think this is where his future lies so we're going to try to fast-track him in that direction and maybe do it while he completes his Higher School Certificate (HSC) part-time.

    With difficult child 1, we chose to help him complete his formal schooling by doing it part-time. This meant that when other kids finished their HSC at 17, difficult child 1 was 20 and completed it at the same time as his younger sister, who was 17.

    But then after a couple of years' volunteer work (also useful to get your kids into, if they can't get a job) difficult child 1 realised he wanted to work with his hands and get an apprenticeship. But nobody wanted to hire a 22 year old apprentice. If only we'd known, we could have gone down this path when he was 15. However, our government does have employer incentives to subsidise older apprentices, plus I have found some courses difficult child 1 can do, to help get his qualifications up. He can do the practical component as a volunteer again, and because it is something he loves, he does well at it and this attrcts employers who come to these colleges to recruit.
    Fingers crossed! My current anxiety is that difficult child 1 is now 25, back on Disability, just married and with a huge debt hanging over him due to a car accident last December in which he was at fault and uninsured. It's looking like he may not have to declare bankruptcy, but if he does, he will probably be just coming out of it as he completes an apprenticeship, so it shouldn't affect his credit too badly when he really needs it; he would still be working for other people at that point instead of trying to set up his own business. (I still can't visualise difficult child 1 being able to run his own busiiness, but I shouldn't sell him too short).

    To give you hope - one of my sisters was brain-damaged by encephalitis at the age of 5. She did badly at school despite a lot of support. Her memory was badly affected. She would be learning her spelling words, would have a list of six words, very simple ones and by the time she had got to the last word, she had forgotten the others. While everyone else in the family was made to complete high school, my parents let her leave as soon as she was of legal age to do so. She got a job in an office (through the church) where she did some typing and filing. I think she was answering the phones a lot. Her work was as easy as it was possible to make it. I really don't know much about what she did because I was still in primary school (elementary). It was weird, being able to do more than my sister, knowing more than her, etc. and still having her treat me like she was an adult and I was the kid.
    Then a few years later she left that job to work closer to home. Her next job was for a bloke who sold light fittings. She worked in his office transferring numbers from this page to that, carefully, one number at a time. As she got used to it she got more confident. And because she was still young, her brain was learning, growing and recovering. She moved on to longer lists of numbers, to more filing, until he moved her to the showroom office and finally the showroom itself where she was working with customers for the first time. She ended up running the office for a while, the boss was really relying on her and when she got married and began to have kids, he insisted she come back to work afterwards because he needed her.
    But the next snag - she wasn't adaptable enough to cope with motherhood - it hit her hard with the sudden change and she got post-natal depression. She came out of it stronger, did get back to work for a while but left permanently when she was able to sort out a replacement.
    She keeps a lovely house, has learned some artistic hobbies and also taught some of these. As her kids grew she helped out at school andalso supported her husband in entertaining his work contacts.
    Then she did yet anouther course, this time in business, and weith a friend opened a craft shop. She did the bulk of the face-to-face shop management and did well, but decided she needed to go in another direction and sold the shop. About this time she divorced - she had continued to grow and learn and had finally outgrown her husband. A pity. She went back to school and studied accountancy, now she works as a bookkeeper and accountant and has so much confidence in what she does! Her kids are now grown, she has remarried, is very happy and enjoying grandchildren.

    My sister married for the first time when she was mentally still a child. It's no wonder she eventually grew up. it just took her 20 years longer.

    Sometimes our kids just take a bit longer to get where they are meant to be.

    In our generation (us parents) people have an average of 4 careers. In our kids' generation, it is expected that people will have 6 or more consecutive careers.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was accepted into school early, because of her genius IQ. However, she horrified her principal when she kept insisting that her ambition in life was to be a hairdresser. The principal was disgusted - such a brain should study law, or medicine. But seeing what easy child 2/difficult child 2 has turned into (a creature with Style indeed) I'm beginning to think hairdressing wasn't such a bad idea. She's not done as well at school as she should have (because she chose 'soft' subjects because of their design connections) and is now following the TAFE route to univeristy that I described above. Her current aim is to teach. It will be her fourth career already - she's been paid as a stiltwalker/circus performer, as an actress, currently works in a shop (in between more performing work) and is halfway through her teacher training in the evening.

    So take heart - what is most important is, what sort of person is your daughter? Is she loving, generous, kind, honest? That is far more important than to be a highly intelligent but selfish person.

    Do a sig when you can, so we can keep in touch with more accurate info.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lizanne,
    there is always a grieving process when our kids turn out differently than we had anticipated or fantasized. And face it, until our kids are grown, it's all a fantasy. They are their own people.
    I would look for something that your daughter does well and stick to it. Hone that skill--whether it's knitting, horseback riding, or her beautiful laugh.
    Look forward to watching her do that special something every day.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    One can have a High IQ and still be as dumb as a brick. Street smarts beats test smarts every day!

  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so sorry you are feeling so down. I think Terry is right, there is a grieving process that we must go through and it really stinks! But that being said, I don't think her having a low IQ makes her "not smart" at all. As Daisy said, there are plenty of people with high IQ's who are dumb as bricks!!!

    Hang in there, you never know what the future will bring. Your daughter could turn out to be the next President!!! You just don't know.

  8. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    Thank you , thank you , thank you.................................

    I am not sure if you all remember me from when my difficult child was very young.... I knew you all could hlpe. And i feel great being back.........
    difficult child Boy 15 is stilla difficult child but....

    About my girl.......

    I know I am grieving. I just find it hard that it is hard for me to accept and realize her issues. The school is involved, she is 16 and has not had an easy road. Starting with a birth history of 2 pounds at birth. I grieved the difficult child before but it will be hard with her. She barely survived several surgeries at a young age and she is so very sweet(when not a teenager) it just hurts my heart. You all here have already helped tremendously.

    Regarding my daughter specifically, tested IQ in the high 80's, failing at sophomore year.....
    however, she is a state qualifying shot put thrower and I am told to expect college track coach inquiries. It is her dream to go to college. I am worried that this will never happen.


    Regardless, I am feeling very much better already.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is always saddening when our kids have problems. Just remember that testing well or even doing well in school is NOT the best test of later success in life. I never did find my "niche" in the job market. I did well at a number of jobs, each for a number of years, but got bored VERY easily. I did VERY well in school across the board. But my best job has been that of "mom". And it is a very rewarding job, though I have been unlucky enough to hear one of my college professors - and I babysat his kids all through high school and had several classes from him - say that I was "wasting all my education" by being a stay at home mom. It hurt, and he was WRONG. It is the MOST important job.

    Anyway, just because others say she is "not smart" does NOT mean she will do badly later in life. Keep encouraging her, get tutors to help her in classes she has trouble in, and be there to help her when she stumbles. That is all any of us can do. I DO think that extensive testing to identify learning disabilities AND identify her best learning strategies would be VERY helpful. You will problem be able to get school to do some of this, but also will need some private testing by a neuropsychologist to get the full picture.

    Lots of support coming your way!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    80's is average and may actually be higher if she has LDs (which would be probable if she had birth problems and surgeries). I'm sure my daughter tested low because she doesn't test well. She is obviously brighter than 88.
    In no way should that impede your daughter from having a great career. Can she do hair? Become a lab tech? Groom pets? Do real estate?
    Not all kids will be brain surgeons. I have a "gifted" son who is severely underacheiving because he has other problems holding him back. I would not grieve over an IQ in the 80's. That's hardly hopeless and may actually be much higher. My son tested 75 at school, but privately his IQ is 110. Considering he is now getting all A's and is always on the honor roll, I'd say he is closer to the 110.
    Not all kids test to their ability levels. I think you are selling her short and should have her see a neuropsychologist to help her decide on her future. I don't see any reason to grieve.
  11. WSM

    WSM New Member

    My aunt, 4 years older than me is also not very smart; her IQ tested about 90, and worse for her still, she is surrounded by a family of smart, smart people. Her sister is a surgeon (more later), her brother now dead, was enrolled in college at college at 15, her father was an engineer, and she was always sort of a misfit.

    But she is so kind, and cheerful, and so hard working and tenacious, that it ends up very happily for her (she's in her early 50's). And she's funny and not shy, and likeable. And she is good at tennis and softball.

    Some of the bad stuff about her life: it's been a struggle; she's had to take classes twice; it took her longer to get through school; she lives in a social sphere filled with really smart people who sometimes look at her bewildered and maybe condescendingly because she's said something 'stupid' (I remember once she said something about not realizing the arabs and israeli were unhappy with one another and there were problems in the middle east; another time she thought Australia and Austria were the same country). I think on a few occasions she's been dismissed or rejected for jobs and people (maybe even a bit by her own family) for not being swift enough. Her world is small and she doesn't necessarily make the connections. And she has a few emotional problems, anxiety and a tendency towards excitability because the world doesn't always make sense to her.

    But this is the good news: the race is to the slow and steady. She has a great job with the Veteran's Administration in medical billing, makes a nice amount of money, is respected and appreciated there because of her good work habits, and in 18 months already got a promotion. It took her twice as long to get through college: she wanted to be a registered dietician, but somehow her scores or something were never good enough to be accepted into the program, so she worked for 10 years in nursing homes and hospitals in food service.

    Then she wanted something more, so she went to medical billing classes. Again it took twice as long, but she did well, got a job right out of school about 18 months ago and is happy and has a secure future with a pension, 401k, insurance, promotions, flexibility, and security.

    Her surgeon sister? Well, she never practiced a day in her life once she got out of her internship; it make her nervous she said. She knocked about freelancing at computer, then lived off some savings, then hooked up with her current boyfriend (they've been together about 10 years and will never marry), and they've pretty much have kept themselves afloat by buying houses, fixing them up and selling them. She has no social security credits, no insurance, no pension, no security of marriage, she and her boyfriend even split the cost of groceries and she has 'her' food and he has his. She doesn't drive because it's too much bother, when she had her own house, she never bought furniture because she didn't like having 'things'. She's pretty near agroraphobic. She has a genius IQ.

    Slow but steady aunt has a husband, three houses, a job, future financial security, insurance, she travels, has a dog (genius aunt had a dog for about 3 months then gave it away because it was too much trouble).

    She has always had lots of boyfriends. But had trouble finding one to marry her (truthfully, a couple liked her but gave her a pass because she was a little bit more work--but truthfully, she passed up a guy or two because she wanted to get married, just for the white dress and wedding ceremony, and pushed for the marriage hard before the guy was ready and scared a couple off).

    But eventually she found an autoworker who really cared and really knew what he was getting into by marrying her. They are happy, happy, happy.

    She had a little house that she paid for while she was working food service (she was taught financial responsibility, and because she's not as bright as others, she follows the rules and doesn't wing it, or think she knows better like her 'genius' sister). He had a little house. They sold theirs and built a nice house. That's her house number 1. They like to go to upper Michigan. They bought a cottage and improved it and made it wonderful. That's house number 2. When her parents died, they left their very nice house in Arizona to all three sisters (brother died when he was 19, so it's my mom and the two aunts). Her husband loves Arizona, so she took less inheritance and bought out her sisters. That's house 3. She has two paid for vacation houses and an almost paid for main residence. All are nice.

    Good marriage, good job, good financial future--it took her longer, and yes, society was often a bit hard on her; but she was steady, followed the rules, and frankly, she came out ahead of her genius sister who has no income, owns half a property she shares with a man who won'tmarry her, no retirement or health insurance, and frankly is kind of neurotic. Oh, did I mention genius aunt is mostly shunned from the family because she had a one night stand with my alcoholic exhusband--when I was a stay at home mom with 3 little ones under 5?

    Neither sister has children, but slow and steady aunt is beloved by mine, and by her stepchildren and grandchildren and is welcomed everywhere and included in everything. Genius aunt doesn't get along with her boyfriend's son (boyfriend doesn't get along with boyfriend's son) and I have no idea what they do at Xmas and Thanksgiving and all.

    Your daughter has every chance at having a happy fulfilling interesting life. The characteristics that made slow and steady aunt's life different from genius aunt's life were: hard work, following the rules, good humor, kindness, playing fair, keep on trying even though it was harder for her and took her longer, and putting out the effort.

    Genius aunt doesn't want to bother, gave up if it was too hard (book learning and academics came easy to her, but when she had the real responsibility of surgery, she opted out), reserve, being too good to do what everyone else did, and putting herself first. She's self supporting, so she can do what she wants; but ... <shrug>... of the two, I'd choose to be the slow and steady aunt. She's happy and prosperous and has friends and a busy schedule with work, sports, home improvement, travel, friends...

    Genius aunt...well, we all just shake our heads thinking about we pick up the phone to see what's up with her sister.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  12. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    I honestly believe a person's life will be affected more by attitude than pure IQ. My oldest (easy child) has a learning disorder due to premature birth (7 mo), and was in Special Education programs most of his school years. He did well in the programs because he didn't quit on himself. easy child has a very outgoing and likeable personality as well. easy child's even completed a year of mainstream college, and has held the same full time job for almost two years now. He's completed some rather intense training recently, and is up for a promo to a GL position. He does sales work as part of his job, and is the top seller at his location. It's all got to do with his personality. Not bad- he's 23 yo. He's quite the opposite of my difficult child in that way. difficult child doesn't get along too well with most, especially those who are talented. difficult child gives up way too early on himself- he refuses to apply himself. He crys foul all the time- you know, the teacher hates me, the other kids hate me, they're all stuck up, the teacher doesn't explain anything, blah, blah, blah.

    The point again is to say, it's all in the attitude of the person. Nobody wants a schmuck around- someone who complains, can't get along, can't take direction. That's difficult child and is what I'm contending with. I keep thinking he's still young, his hormones are peaking now, maybe he'll see the light and start acting in an acceptable manner. He's doing Community Service now and so far so good. It's at an American Legion Post and I think he's scared to death of the pissing off the guy's there. Vets don't take well to street punk wannabes. I can only hope for the best.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  13. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    Hey Midwestern MOM:

    Thank you. My family too is very full of very smart people. My difficult child and I have conversations that my dear daughter feels lost in sometimes. My mom ,my brothers and the family put a high premium on intelligence. So I worry for her....

    Your post has warmed my heart. I do look forward to the time when my two children are older. I am guessing it will be my loving and fun and generous daughters apartment(perhaps not as flashy) that we all with flock to at holidays.

    I do know that I need to step up my game with her. And give her a more solid foundation. The chaos of difficult child has been immense.

    Even as my teens approach 18, I am still trying to balance the tow sets of needs.

    Everyone enjoy this day.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It can be hard if you come from a family where great store is set on intelligence to recognize that there are many other qualities that are as important or more important to happiness and success in this world.

    Have you read any books on Emotional Intelligence or Social Intelligence? They seem to be FAR better predictors of success than standard IQ measures. There are several books on this that might be very enlightening.

    Another thing to consider: Your daughter has learned very different skills and things from being the sister of a difficult child. I know my daughter is far stronger and more compassionate than many of her peers. She is also more level-headed because she learns from the difficult child things that her brother does.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I expect my daughter to be more successful than my gifted sons. I'm serious. She has the get-go, the know how, the street smarts and enough school learning to be very successful. I never put much on IQs. I know that EQ's are more important (this has been proven) and many kids don't test right. Some test better, some worse. Obviously your daughter isn't slow. Other kids pick up on that and sadly pick on them. I have tons of hope for my daughter. She NEVER makes me sad. I worry about my honor roll son who is on the autism spectrum. He is book smart, but hasn't a blue about life. My friend has a son with Aspergers who has an IQ of 160. He has never been able to hold a job, not even as a janitor. There is so much more to success than a sky-high IQ. Her son is on Disability and has very low self-esteem even though he can speak five languages and do advanced math. But he can't meld into a job situation or understand "work rules" or fit in with company politics and he is too disorganized to work on his own. He has no idea how to make and keep friends either. He married a woman from CHile that he met over the internet and he's lucky she is so tolerant and has stuck things out so far. SHes works while he stays home. A shame, I know. IQ in my opinion is pretty moot.
  16. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie


    I am sure your daughter will be just fine...we all worry.

    That post from WSM was fantastic..I so enjoyed reading it and I hope
    you did too.

    What a super aunt.