And her teacher just called me...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    Apparently, the teacher has noticed how far behind her reading skills are, and she is getting a 0 on the last assignment because she pulled the info straight from the book and didn't put it into her own words.

    Teacher hinted that she called me because she's heard I'll try to help.

    They are reading a book in her English class. Cgfg had worked on things for this book a couple of times, and I had asked her what she was writing the paper on while she pounded away at the computer...she said "microscopic word". I said no, I mean, what's it covering, and she had no clue what I was asking. Finally, I said "what is the assignment" and she read me the directions straight off the paper.

    I know she was struggling with the assignment because she kept asking me questions. One of the things she was to write about was a character's appearance. She kept putting things down like the character could read at an early age.

    Anyway, today's teacher asked me if it would be ok to put her into the 40 minute remediation that's built into their day now. I said I need to verify with dad, but I think it will be ok. She also asked if I would pass this info to dad, so she doesn't have to call mom, she doesn't think that would be beneficial (hmmm - why doesn't she want to call mom?). I said yes, I would be glad to. She also said she is going to exempt her from the next assignment (supposed to be a many-page essay on this book) instead of setting her up to fail and her getting farther behind, the teacher will work with her and hopefully help her catch up. And now that she knows she has some reading issues, she'll keep an eye out and call before she gets this far behind.

    She asked about some history, and I explained to her that I have had to take a bit of a backseat because I'm step mom, and she understood. I also told her that cgfg has expressed an interest in living with us, so I appreciated that she was just going to let this go for right now, because the homework situation may well be changing in the near future. Told her about the evaluations and tutoring attempts, and where she tested when that was done. I also suggested instead of exempting her from the assignment, could she maybe just give her a modified assignment that is more something she can handle - as she was pretty good at finding ways around work. Teacher was all over it, and said she'd modify it to seek the same information, but not in an essay form - she would still have work and the same material to cover. Perfect.

    She thanked me profusely for trying to help (again....hmmmm) and understood my position (again...hmmm). Now I'm calling dad to make sure what I gave the ok for was what he'd done. (he can't take outside calls at work, so he couldn't have taken this call...)

    What am I doing???
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Shari - as I said before... the process has a life of its own. This is an evolution... but happing at a much faster pace.

    Reality is: cgfg actually wants it go to this way - she wants the structure and the rules and the help that goes with it, because she's getting old enough to know which side her bread is really buttered on.

    Got your seat-belt buckled? Might be a bit of a roller-coaster ride for a bit, but I expect you'll come out the other end just fine.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What are you doing? You are being a good parent - and pretty much the only parent cgfg has who gives a hoot. You are loving that girl.

    I am willing to bet teacher has spoken to mom and/or gma and gotten nothing. Chances are very low that another teacher or the counselor told her that you would help and know more specifically what the challenges are. Cgfg is most likely the one who told her this. If it was my daughter's group of friends, I would suspect one of the other girls had told the teacher, but cgfg doesn't have a group like that. Heck, I never had, or heard of, a group like my daughter's friends. They have no problem going to a teacher, parent, principal, whatever and saying that there is a problem with something and could they help their friend as this is just odd. Odd group of girls, but totally awesome and have been like this since first grade.

    I imagine the teacher is incredibly appreciative of your willingness to help. It is hard to know a student has a real problem and to not be able to give the help needed because the parent won't allow it or help. I wonder if this is part of why cgfg is wanting to live with you. She likely is beginning to realize what her future will be if she stays with her mom.

    You are a great mom.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I can't get back into this mess unless cgfg is under our roof a whole lot more and husband is, at the very, very least, on board with the situation (he needs to be handling it). I just can't. I won't.

    But if, indeed, the tides are changing, I'll do all I can to help this girl out.

    I knew she was lost last night. We were out of ink and I printed her papers for her at exMIL's and I told exMIL when I printed the papers that I wasn't even sure cgfg had made it thru the book to where she's supposed to be. I've known for some time that she's bordering failing in 3 classes already.

    Now I bet I know why she'd been texting Chacha.

    Her mom has said before that she just wants to come here cause I play all the time. No, chica, I don't. I do play hard, but I work dang hard so I can.

    I better be finding that seatbelt....

    (I'm a glutton....)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    There's your seatbelt, sweetheart.

    You and I have SO much in common... And you're doing great!
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have a problem with just letting the copying and Chacha-ing go...that's a big fat no-no. HOWEVER, if we weren't considering a very near future change of scenery for her, I'd have told the teacher "call mom, not my problem". And mom's response would probably be to "ground" her from homecoming this weekend and "tv" (please note - when mom grounds her from tv, that means she can only watch what someone else is watching - not that she can't watch tv...)

    Since we are looking to change the space she does her homework in, calling mom will just open a can of worms that I don't think we don't need right now (and teacher seemed to agree). The kid needs help, and we might realisticly be looking down the barrel at the chance to do that. Punishing her won't get her that help and will just irritate mom and likely make the ultimate outcome harder to attain.

    But I still really do not like it. However, it is how she's learned to deal.

    I need a barf bag, too.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...Brown paper lunch bags work...
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Shari -

    I have no idea what cgfg's dxes all are - or even if you (or anybody) knows them all.

    been there done that.
    And it was NOT done because of cheating and taking short cuts and so on.
    Yes, difficult child knew it wasn't the way to go.
    BUT... he really had no other option, back when he learned to take that path. And then it became habit.

    We couldn't solve this stuff until we got to the bottom of (lost count of how many) dxes... including hidden disabilities that really did mean he could not do what he was being asked to do.

    This is the first year... since the start of grade 2... that I haven't gotten a call about this stuff LONG before now. We're over a month into the school year!!!

    "They would if they could but they can't so they won't"... not sure if thats a Dr Seus line or what, but ...

    Now that your seatbelt is done, hang onto your hat!
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We do know that she's ADHD (untreated, by the way), and she has pretty substantial memory problems, according to school testing. Reading is very hard for her. I had her tested in 5th grade or so, and she tested 3 grade levels behind. I think she had made up 1-1.5 by the school's testing last year. Still. We're talking about a kid in high school reading at a 6th grade level. Yeah...

    Exactly WHAT the reading issue is, though, we do not know. Never could get it taken any farther. Her IQ is not incredibly high, either, so that will work against us in getting help from school.

    But, I very much believe she will do what she can do. She is in an intro to physics and algebra class and she's carrying good grades in there. She understands the work right now. She has no missing assignments in those classes. I really think she wants to do well, and does so where she can. She doesn't know what to do when she's in over her head. When she had to do her work to earn video game time, and how much depended on grades, she'd ask questions and do the work.

    She's older now. These things are habits now (like you say). But I still think she wants to do well enough that she could do much better than what we have right now.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You mentioned her IQ... Is it possible that the reading interfered with the questions, making it impossible for her to answer?

    Just a thought. From everything I've read about her in the last few years, she doesn't seem like she truly has a low IQ. Just confused, frustrated and overwhelmed. And with bio's behavior... Ahem.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yup. Very possible. Her memory was very poor when tested, and in just day-to-day interactions with her, its easily still a problem for her.

    She doesn't have a truly low IQ. Not that should impede her skills, anyway. BUT, her IQ was measured low-normal by the school (with my experience with the school since then? I would queston their method of testing itself - they did, after all, entirely miss Wee's dyslexia for how many years???) And the school says say, low-normal IQ = low-normal grades - she is performing to her ability... I don't agree, but that's their position.

    By no means is that really an impairing factor in her ability to gain the knowledge, though she may need extra help learning it or to learn it in another way. And quite frankly, I loved this teacher's response. It wasn't to jump in and punish, it was to jump in and help, and what can I do to present this so she'll get it. That's pretty exciting, in my book.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    In fact, when she was in 3rd grade and her teacher recommended an evaluation for her, all she needed was the ADHD diagnosis in order for the school to provide her services. With the diagnosis and the results of their testing, they would have found her eligible for an IEP, and she could have gotten additional help. Her mom got the diagnosis, but refused to reconvene the IEP team. So all that was for nothing...
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This just screams re-test.

    IQ stuff - can be WAY out, depending on who, what where, when, other things not diagnosed, etc.
    She's within normal range - its not like she's an idiot. And if she's handling physics and algebra? It ain't IQ that's causing the problem.

    Of course, can't kick off re-testing until other things get resolved.
    but the whole "she's performing as expected based in IQ" is nothing but a crock of agricultural output.

    I'm guessing here.. but her verbal output is way advanced compared to written?
    Math and science have way less writing...
    English, social, history - live or die on writing...
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Physics and algebra are pretty easy thus far. No new concepts, and she struggles with the new concepts, but that is much better for her than the languages.

    I agree - "performing at her level" is a crock. But that's their stand. They stood there and said she had all the "red flags" for ADHD, and if a doctor diagnosis'ed in, in conjunction with their test results, they could have given her an IEP. But, that's water under the bridge...

    Verbal is much better than written. MUCH. Still not sure I'd call it advanced, but there's kids in Wee's class who write more complex structures than she can. And most of the graded assignments that end up killing her are research or written tests, especially ones with long-answer... IE reading and writing.

    And she's learning the hard way that "just don't do it", like she did last year, isn't an option. Those middle school teachers did her NO FAVORS by allowing that to go on. So now she's really struggling, and her coping skills don't work any more...
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Dysgraphia. Its a learning disability. School can test for it - don't need separate stuff. (again, can't do it right now, of course, but... )

    Dysgraphia gives you accommodations like: note taking service (EA or similar in class, takes notes for the class, and kids with a number of different issues get a copy on a daily basis), scribing, alternate-format exams (oral, multiple-choice), extra time, etc.

    Working memory issues will get you the same accommodations. And she probably has both.

    Now... school can't get $$ for accommodations like these without IEP, and we know the whole story.
    But you CAN (or husband can) let the teachers know what's up, what things to try.
    We've had teachers change exam format for the whole class... in history, for example (never in English) - to all multiple choice/short-answer and/or oral-presentation formats... and the kids lapped it up and the teacher never went back to marking long-essay questions! In fact, these kinds of changes are ideal because nobody gets singled out, either.

    Other low-cost accommodations:
    If they don't have note-taking happening already - some schools will ask a reliable "top-level" student if they will provide copies of notes for a specific struggling student.
    Teacher can give an outline of what is being presented in class, at the start of class. This enables the student to follow along more easily, and to jot a few words of notes into the context of the presentaton.
    Oral exams can be done at lunch-hour etc.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No it isn't water under the bridge.
    Its a bridge you can't cross yet.
    She has enough on-going issues, that you can force a re-test and IEPs and so on... but not under the current scenario.

    It is NOT too late. 1) she's still alive, and 2) she's still in school and 3) she isn't an adult yet and 4) everybody knows she still has issues, problems and challenges.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    What are you doing? BEING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! :bravo::angel::bravo::queen::cheerleader::its_all_good:

    by the way I posted this only after retrieving it from "Autosave" I posted earlier, but then noticed it missing. :)
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, no, I didn't mean it was too late, Insane. Just that what happened (or didn't) is history. If we can get her here more and get her some help, we can start over.

    Wee's got dysgraphia, too, and the district missed it. So while I'd start there, just because their test didn't show it wouldn't mean she didn't have it. Tho the district has happily accepted all the testing I've had done on Wee.

    And Wee has an account to get audio reason cgfg couldn't use it, also, if she were here TO use it. If the reading/comprehension part was hurting her. Most of the district's texts are available. It would be something we'd try, anyway, and wouldn't cost a dime.

    We'll see where this all goes! We gotta get her here more, first, before we can do anything else.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    One step at a time, Shari...