Conference Day... the good, the not-so-good...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    On a tremendously POSITIVE NOTE... easy child got STRAIGHT A's for the first time in her life (and the first time in my life as a mom) so there was some jubilant exclamations springing from my usually pursed lips today :D After all the turmoil in our family the last three years (difficult child 1's chronic illness, husband's surgery and difficult child 2's mental illness) I finally feel like easy child has reached a point where most of life around her is stable and she is a genuinely happy kid for a change. She enjoys school, she doesn't come home saying she hates it (like last year), and she's getting recognized for her talent and smarts. She tells jokes, she whistles, she sings, she's doing her art more and more. All good signs.

    difficult child 2's conference was not nearly as rosy, but that was not unexpected. He is admittedly sharp as a tack and his teachers say that he belongs in this GATE class because he is so good at grasping higher level concepts. It's just his listening skills in class and his processing speed that is really suffering this year. He reads slower. He computes slower. A big part of that may be the medications. And some of it is just him, which we know from his neuropsychologist testing. So I'm going to insist that we remove anything that involves a timed test in his grading in his IEP. Both teachers said he's not performing at his full potential (uh, ya think?) and they're not recommending he start at Algebra next year because of how slow things are coming along with him. And I'm o.k. with that. It won't really hurt anything. Who knows how things will look by then anyway. He could be more stable. He could be less. I'm learning to let go and take things day by day.

    I took advantage of the teachers' undivided attention to stress the importance of him getting his medications on time. In fact, today he forgot them again (just like Thursday and Friday)! I explained it in terms of something like pain medications. If you don't keep things at a therapeutic level, you lose a lot of ground and it takes longer to get back to the level of stability. And I can TELL the minute I pick him up from school whether or not he got his Seroquel XR dose. Even when he gets it at home, which ends up being three hours late, it messes him up for the rest of the day and sometimes into the next. I told the teachers that it's really, really important that he get the medications on time. Every day. So they're both going to try harder to see to it he gets to the office at lunch. And the nurse said she'll make sure she tracks him down on the days she's there (M-W) if he doesn't show up by the end of lunch.

    Okay so that's my long little update. Fingers crossed this quarter goes a little better for the boys in my life!
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Well it has potential and room for positive! As long as they keep up with the medications... hopefully.
    Sounds like the kids have come a long way!
    Maybe they will work on difficult child 2's IEP and will figure out a good game plan.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Way To Go easy child-great report card!!

    I hope they follow through on his medications-that would drive me crazy-it is the school's responsibility. They should have a nurse or asst. track that down every day.

    Being a teacher I can see where it would be hard for the teacher. I had a diabetic child one year and the parents wanted me to be the one to remember to send him to the nurse's office. I told them it wasn't so much that I didn't want to but that with 26 other children in the room it would be difficult to remember at a certain time to do so. Our nurse used to call every day.
  4. GVC Mom,

    I know that you are very thrilled about easy child's wonderful grades! Way to go!!!

    My difficult child is a lot like your difficult child 2. The abilities are there, but his processing is slow. I also think that his medications may contribute to the problem, but we know he has processing issues as well. I think it is a wonderful plan to give your difficult child more time - on tests, and before he takes Algebra. I keep reminding myself that we're not in a race with our difficult child's education. Some kids take longer to learn and mature - but the end result may be the same.

    Hang in there!
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Congratulations to your easy child!!!:D!!! I can't even begin to imagine how proud and happy you are - Wonderful news!!!

    As far as difficult child 2 is concerned, I agree with Sharon (WO) that it should be either the nurse's responsibility or an assistant's responsibility to make sure he gets his medications on time each and every day. This is definitely the school's responsibility!!!

    I've got my fingers crossed that this quarter goes smoothly... WFEN
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Great news about easy child! Way To Go!

    I'm wondering if the psychiatrist has given any thought to adding in a mood stabilizer. That might even out your difficult child's moods throughout the day and not make the timing of his Seroquel so critical. It would likely allow you to decrease the Seroquel dose as well. I always wonder why psychiatrists feel comfortable rxing large doses of APs, which have significant side-effect profiles, in lieu of mood stabilizers. MSs have side effects, but they have been used for years to treat epilepsy in children and their long-term effects are better known than with APs.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you all, YES I am thrilled :D with my little easy child. I feel like I'm being rewarded for so many years of disappointment. It's also a little saddening because I see her putting forth so little effort and doing so well, and it's in sharp contrast to the struggles my boys have despite their intelligence.

    I think 1 Day At A Time hit it on the head: Some kids take longer to mature, but the end result may be the same. I can only hope!

    SW, I don't know the answer to your question. When difficult child 2 was on Depakote, it affected his processing even more significantly and his fine motor skills, which were already impaired, really went south on it. His mood issues are typically on the manic end, so Lamictal wouldn't be the first choice, even though he was on that for a time when he was on Depakote because he was starting to show depressive signs (skin picking, crying, negativity). I think the psychiatrist was keeping Tegretol(?) open as an option of Seroquel XR failed. In the back of my mind I keep wondering if his dosing schedule isn't right. I keep thinking he should be taking the larger of his two doses in the morning -- but then I remember the sedation factor and I understand that's why he takes it at night. Even the psychiatrist says he's never seen someone like difficult child 2 who needs SO much more medication to achieve the same effect as his typical patient on Seroquel XR.

    As I'm sure you know, it's just so hard to start tweaking things when he's finally somewhat stable because it takes SO long to get to a good place. I tend to want to reserve summer for adjustments like that. For now, I can put up with the dosing issue as long as I have everyone else's support to ensure it happens.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Way To Go, easy child!!!!!! Awesome !!! Woo hoo!

    I hope she keeps it up. No resting on those laurels. :)

    I like the way you phrased the medication issue to difficult child's teacher. Great example. I hope it sinks in. I also hope that you find a medication that doesn't slow him down so much. Sigh. It is so hard. Especially when you know there's a bright kid in there.