Just need to reach out tonight

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hanginginthere, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. I've posted here before, many years ago when I was going through the initial evaluation of my now 10 year old female difficult child and found it to be a warm, safe and thoroughly supportive forum, so I've come back for more.

    As my difficult child is approaching her 4th grade standardized tests, she has been experiencing a heightened level of anxiety that has driven her to resort to deception, not bringing her assignments home and acting out in class.

    She is resistant to the idea of going on medication due to the fact that I have a sister, who is her closest confidant, who has put the idea in her head that medication is bad and will "suck out her personality". She's been in therapy for the past 4 years, in a Special Education program at her school, where they moved her into a CTT class, which I think is not as restrictive as she still needs in order to be able to succeed.

    I'm probably rambling on a bit here, but feel that I'm treading water at the moment. I've been out of work for the past 5 months, and just secured a new job that starts on the 29th, and I'm having to take two Xanax a day just to keep up with all the stress.

    Any suggestions, support, similar experiences, would be most greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance for your help!
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm too tired to even make sense right now, but I wanted to say hi and welcome back.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    welcome back to the site!

    I'm not really sure I can make a sensible reply because I'm don't know what is really going on with your daughter. What is her diagnosis? Has she ever been on medications? At 10, the decision to take medications is yours, not hers. Why would your sister be talking to your daughter about meeds? I would nip that right now and let your sister know that you appreciate her love for your daughter, but discussions about medical treatment is off limits - period.

    Since your daughter is in a Special Education room, one idea is to make sure you daughter comes home with her assignments. The teacher could sign off on it and then make sure your daughter puts what she needs in her backpack. Set up a structured time and place for homework - no distractions (tv, etc.). Sit there with her if she needs you to redirect - read a magazine and take a break yourself while she is working.

    What kind of suggestions does her therapist have for this increased anxiety? How do you know it's the upcoming assessments that are setting her off?

    Sorry that I have more questions that suggestions - but it's generally like that with a new poster!

    Congrats on the new job!

  4. Thanks Sharon for your post. Her diagnosis is ADD/ADHD, ODD, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and she is considered to be on the Autism Spectrum with Aspergers. She was in general ed Kindergarten, with a 1-1 para, and in first grade was transferred to another school into a 12-1-1 class, still with a para. She was doing so well there by third grade that they felt it was time to move her towards mainstreaming, so she was placed in the CTT class, and the para was removed. She has had a real up and down year in this environment, and although she receives in-school counseling, Occupational Therapist (OT), PT and outside counseling, her behaviors both at school and home have escalated.

    It certainly didn't help that her therapist of the last 3 years left, and she had to transition to a new therapist, whom she is still not being totally open with.

    I am a single parent, and it has not been an easy road. Although I have good friends who help out when they can, my family are scattered around and dealing with their own issues, and her father is not involved and his family is in England and only in touch occasionally. She has come so far, and I am beside myself at the moment as to what to do next. I am going go to speak to the assistant principal today and we are going to her therapist this afternoon, and I got her to agree to talk with both of us about the testing and her anxiety about it, and am going to try and get an appointment with a psychiatrist before I head into the new job and see about convincing her to try medications.

    She is strong-willed, and her relationship with my sister is one of her most prized. My sister lived with us until my difficult child was 3 and they have an intensely close bond. She has told her that she can talk to her whenever she is upset and that she won't divulge to me what they discuss, which makes it difficult. My sister has her own issues with un-treated depression and probably is bi-polar, and she and I have a contentious relationship, only made worse by her perceptions of what I am doing to help my daughter. I've been actually said to her that if she continues to discuss the pitfalls of medication with my daughter that I will cut her off and not let her see her anymore but I hope that it doesn't come to that. I know that my daughter needs to feel that she has a refuge, and especially living in a city like New York, I want to know that if she does run away, she won't go far.

    Just having someone else to talk to who has been or is going through this is incredibly helpful! Thanks for listening, and for whatever advice or help you can offer.

    all the best,

  5. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    hi there....
    we have seen the exact same thing with my daughter with all of the focus on standardized testing this spring....the pressure is ridiculous and has shot her anxiety into orbit.

    we too are trying to figure out a solution (other than just there is an end in sight, ours takes place the beginning of may, thank HEAVENS!).

    i can tell you, in our case that what we found is that the spEd kids are literally being hammered with "practice" since they fall under the genED teachers scoring and they are trying to get these kids to score very high. its the *only* focus of the spED right now....they often (actually, almost daily) spend the entire period writing essays and picking them apart--do you have three sentences in the first paragraph, do you have transition words, etc--they want them to follow a VERY specific format, and its almost unnatural in writing.

    my kid does specifically suffer from anxiety like yours, and has some motor difficulties to add insult to injury, but i'll even tell you that according to my super secret school spy every kid in the class has been pushed past their breaking point--they are ALL showing signs of the major stress from all of this 'practice".

    so i dont have a good answer for your daughter but i just wanted to let you know that if she's doing similar testing its crazy stress right now. i've stooped so low as to tell my daughter that the test is testing the teachers and not her...not that it made a difference for my daughter, but i cant come up with anything better. my heart breaks for our kids--i could care less if they bring down the standardized test scores for the genED teacher....to me, a test score is more important than your mental health?? who thinks like that???

    oh, and my daughter tries to remember to breathe, lol :)
  6. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I agree with confuzzled in that you need to let her know that you simply do not care what the test results are. Be very lax about it and frequently state how unimportant they are. Tell her that after the test you will take her out for ice cream regardless of how she did.

    Also we had more luck getting my son to take medication after he met another student who took some as well. If you can find someone successful with personality that takes a similar medication and see if they are willing to talk with her about it.
  7. Thanks so much for your reply! We had another difficult day today and she ended up hitting another child and got herself taken off her class trip tomorrow. Took her for an emergency session with her therapist this afternoon and managed to get her to do some of the test prep work tonight. She will be in a class with her old teacher tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get through more of the prep stuff over the weekend. I so wish that they hadn't gotten her so wound up about the tests, and it's hard to play it off now but I'm trying. I've put in some calls to find a new psychiatric consult, and we do have a close friend of hers, albeit in Ireland, who she knows has been on medication for years, so hopefully I can use that angle. Thanks for the suggestion.

    All the best,