What was I saying about peaks and troughs?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, nothing like a difficult child to keep you humble. No chance to rest on my laurels (such as they are). Tonight I picked J up from after-school care at 6.30 and he said he wanted to get his bike. I said okay, as long as he stays at the top of the village. He disappeared, got his bike and then started riding down to the bottom of the village. I shouted at him to stop, which he eventually, did. I told him to come back, he then started rolling on the ground and crying, all the usual histrionics. I said he was absolutely not to go on the road by himself and was to come back up. He still wouldn't come, made a scene within earshot of all the houses around - a sign of my progress or general degradation, one or the other, is that I don't even care any more. Finally I used the one thing that really touches him, which is that he would watch no television on the weekend if he did and just went back up by myself. He appeared not too long after, all excited because the older boy he lives near us (who seemed to be getting into bullying J before the summer but they now seem to be friends again) was wearing his rugby gear and J wanted to go out and play with him. Meantime I was actually on the phone to my ex-husband in Morocco asking him to talk to J because he will not listen to me about not going on the road and it is dangerous. Not probably because J does actually have some road sense and because this is small village where people drive slowly but potentially - he is five years old, ADHD, and it's just not safe to trust him alone. My ex-husband did speak to J, who barely seemed to listen...
    Eventually I got him inside. He has started having homework and tonight had to practice reading the indefinite and definite articles in French, simple little words. I was very gentle with him, full of praise, but it's obvious he hasn't really got a clue and is simply not ready for reading. I have asked to go in and see the teacher on Thursday who, it is clear from a brief exchange I've had with him, seems sympathetic enough but, surprise, surprise, doesn't know what ADHD is, what it involves or how you might deal with it.
    Sigh. Just getting the armour out to polish it up a bit.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sending a dose of dignity-protector, a pallet of patience, and some good humour.
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    From age 5 on my armour has been at the ready and seldom sits long enough to tarnish. I hope things go well at your meeting. Now is the time to start observing for any learning disabilities that more often than not go along with adhd. You might try finding a childs vitamin that contains DHA. It helps with focus, memory, and mood.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the supportive words! He does take children's DHA every day.
    It's clear to me he's not ready for reading. This may be because of learning difficulties or just because... he is not ready for reading. He is the youngest in his class, still five to the others' six, and the only boy. He is already saying that he is not as good or as clever as the others...
    I'd like to be able to convey to the teacher a sense that he should take any pressure off, just let J learn in his own time and his own way. But that may be another educational system than this one...
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    He is so sweet, all the same... Last night he demanded to do his homework again when we had finished, I suppose because I had punctuated it with so many kisses and "WELL DONE!"s. And then this morning he woke up and came downstairs saying "Mummy, can I do my homework?"...
    I just don't think he's got what you need to have in place to start reading. He only knows a few letters reliably and when you tell him a new one, and he practises it a few times, and then ask him a few minutes later, he has totally forgotten it. He just doesn't learn the letters. I suppose this is what you call learning difficulty.
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    If you have time, try to make learning the alphabet multisensory. What does the trick for V is to use sign language: it gives extra visual and it allows him to feel the letters. His teacher is also using this method at school with all of her kids. So that is a good thing even with regualr learning kids.
    Also, keep in mind that reading is not supposed to be mastered until the end of CE1. J has almost 2 years before he should read on his own and that should help since he has a late birthday.
    As long as he is happy to do his work (bravo for praising him and keeping it light), maybe try to not over analyze quite yet. Sure you want results and progress, but right now is a huge ajustment period for him and sometimes it takes a while to click.
    on the other hand, you do want to shelter his self esteem. Now might be a good time to point out all the things he CAN do (ride a bike like a champ which is rare at his age, skate, speak 3 languages, etc...).
    Hang in there! You are a great Mom and even if there is some bad learning difficulties, I don't believe the school system will do anything about it quite yet. School just started. What you want to make sure is to keep examples of his work, copies of notes between teacher and you. It might come handy in the future. If you don't have one yet, invest in a copy machine or scanner!
    Have you educated yourself about special education in France? What the law requires and how it is implemented (usually 2 very different things unfortunately...). Just to be ready and help guide the future conversation you'll have with the teacher.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Ktllc! Yes, I do know a bit about special education here (and how theory and practice are two different things). It's kind of strange in that you have to get your child registered as "handicapped" and then you will be allocated aides and financial assistance. Some areas seem to accept ADHD as a handicap and others not - you have to show that the child is handicapped by more than 50 per cent (all very arbitrary!) and it all depends on the dossier you present.
    To be honest, for myself I'm not worried about reading at all at this stage. I don't think he's ready or interested and I'd leave it for another year. But he goes to school in a system where he is supposed to be learning it now, or beginning to learn. I'm not even in favour of homework, which I think is a really dumb idea, certainly for primary school children :) But you have to go with the flow, Know what I mean??
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhhhh that's so sweet about the home work!!!

    Lol at this, so true: made a scene within earshot of all the houses around - a sign of my progress or general degradation,

    Just take it one day at a time. Hugs.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here they have to be reading a certain Kindergarten list to go to 1st grade and an even bigger list to move on from there. I believe you can get things like the Vtech toys in French. I know they come in Spanish. I would assume if they are sold in France they are in French. If not, I am sure there are some similar toys. We used as many things like that as possible. Can you find computer games in French that he can play that use the alphabet and phonics? Before he can actually read he needs to understand what letters sound like. While there are a few "sight" words, I really believe in phonics. I dont know if Hooked on Phonics comes in French but if you can get it I would. We are using it with McKenzie and have been since she was 9 weeks old and she can already read about 3 words. "clap" "wave" "kick" She is only 11 months old and you might not believe it but all we have to do is put the video on and the word comes on the screen and she will either clap or wave or kick depending on which word is on the screen. She cant speak yet. And no she isnt smarter than the average bear.