Last day of school term

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    The last day of the school year here in France - you "break up" (as we say in the UK) much earlier in the States... We just heard that J's best friend (well, and only other boy in the class) is leaving, as his family is moving. Poor J - he will now be in a class with three girls and that's it! One of the girls is his friend, a rather feisty, tomboyish character and there will be older boys in the school. In the new school year he will be in a new building, next door, with the new teacher. I did meet him briefly the other day. He seems very reserved, rather cold - could just be shyness, of course. People are a little concerned because he has never taught a large age range single class before. Basically, in the one classroom (of about 15 kids), there are five year groups and the teacher has to organise and teach them all... I'm not quite sure how it's done but there must be lots of autonomous working, which J is already used to.

    I went in to have a brief word with the teacher at lunchtime. I asked her whether she thinks J probably has learning difficulties. She says (but this is someone who historically doesn't particularly want to know about such things) that in her view not, but that he will have to work hard in learning to read. She says he does not form part of the group of children who, over the years, she has felt would have problems in school. She says there is no reason at present to think he is dyslexic. I am trying to get an appointment with a speech therapist for September, recommended by the child psychiatrist we see. Meanwhile, we are edging towards an ADHD diagnosis, I think. I saw her on Tuesday and she asked me the Connors questionnaire. I was extremely honest in my replies and I think it really gives the picture of a hyperactive-impulsive child. We did discuss the eventual possibility of stimulants. She says she tries as far as possible to avoid them but where they are given to help a child who is suffering from school or social problems, they can be invaluable. She gave me the impression that if we go down this road with J, it would not be immediately in any case.

    So maybe things are in hand as much as they can be.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Keep taking the pieces of information and build the puzzle. What the teacher says is her opinion, not a statement of fact. It may be or may not be. It's too early to write anything off completely. I am glad the psychiatrist is thorough and conservative when it comes to medications. That is a good thing in MANY cases. I hope the information keeps coming and you can get the full picture soon. As for the learning disabilities, I do have another spin on that. If he really does have ADHD, it could very well be that his mind is going a million miles an hour and concentrating on something as "mundane" as letters and numbers instead of what's in his own head could explain a lot. IF you try medications, that is one thing that should fall into place if it's helping. JMHO of course.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    To build on TeDo's post...

    When discussing ADHD as a possible diagnosis for J, there are at least five possibilities, really:
    1) it isn't... he's just more active than most, and will grow into socially acceptable norms (it DOES happen, just not that often)
    2) it is "just" ADHD - in which case, IF medications work, they can make a huge diff. (medications work more often than not, but not necessarily the first one you try)
    3) it is ADHD plus... because there are a number of other things that tend to be co-morbid with ADHD. From the sounds of it, motor skills issues are NOT going to be on J's list. The other stuff? only time will tell. medications still help with the ADHD part... interventions and accommodations help with the other stuff.
    4) It is other stuff without the ADHD - yes, it could be dyslexia, for example, without the ADHD (not the most likely given J's profile...)
    5) It is something else entirely... (how many of us have been there done that?)

    (twenty years from now, you MIGHT actually know what was going on and what the right answers were...)
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think really, to all intents and purposes, he has ADHD. That is to say he is hyperactive, impulsive and has attention that fluctuates, though his problem with concentration is clearly not as bad as with some kids. In the end, the difference between "having ADHD" and "having the symptoms of ADHD" seems rather irrelevant. I'm happy for him to have a diagnosis if it gets him a little more understanding and tolerance. The teacher reckons that with the small school size, it will very quickly become apparent whether he has learning difficulties. I hope she is right.
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Does she know what dyslexia is?? Dyslexia is a child of normal (or above) IQ who has troubles learning to read in a traditional setting. If she stated that he would have to work hard to learn to read, then she is saying he is dyslexic at least to some degree.

    ADHD is attention, and Dyslexic kids have a much higher chance of having ADHD as well.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, what she says she meant by it is that he would have to work hard to concentrate. She was describing learning to read as being a very arduous, difficult task that required a child to work very hard... I said to her that I don't remember being that way at all. I do actually remember learning to read individual letters when younger and then to read properly when I went to school at 5 and it just seemed very natural and easy. So I don't know that she's right.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Now that school is over, it will be interesting to see how and if it impacts J's behavior. Of course, I imagine, he will not stay home with you all the time and he will be kept busy with activities and people. But at least, the need to concentrate hard to keep up with the school demand won't be a factor this summer.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, the routine is good for him of course... he tends to be more "difficult" on the unstructured weekends. And he will spend the summer in Morocco, with my ex-husband and family... there everything happens completely differently, of course! But it is good for him. He really is a little Moroccan boy and needs contact with his culture. He is asking for that... he keeps singing Moroccan-sounding songs, for example, in a made-up Arabic that nonetheless sounds very convincing. Or sits with a piece of paper chanting from it as though reciting the Koran - I don't know where he's seen that, if he's seen it anywhere. So although it's a complete leap of cultures, I welcome it for him. Wish us luck... tomorrow we drive to the Moroccan consulate to get his new passport and I only hope it is there! (Have tried ringing lots of times but no-one ever replies).
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Are you going with him for the summer? ( not staying in the same house but in Morocco? ) just curious.
    I like that your doctor seems to match your style of being open to the possibility but slow and cautious if he can do ok . It means alot to know she won't let him suffer if things go that way. Stims were the easiest for us to figure out because they were so obvious in terms of working or not and since they didnt need to build up it was easy to stop the one that didn't work. Of course if he'd have had serious side effects it could have been harder.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    At five years old, J can't get to Morocco without me :) But in fact I am flying from Morocco to the UK for a couple of weeks about a week after we get there and then going back to Morocco again for three weeks. I did this last year also. And the year before that. What is better in the situation now is that my ex-husband is polite and respectful towards me in front of J. I don't know if J remembers on some level, my ex-husband being crazily abusive to me when he was 18 months/2 years old (doubtless he does) but it is very good that he is now being shown a different model of behaviour.
    Yes, the doctor is cautious. I honestly don't know if any child psychiatrist here rushes to prescribe stimulants to ADHD (or suspected ADHD) kids. And here there are only two to choose from... Ritalin and Concerta.