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Old 10-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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So overwhelmed

I guess I'm here looking for advice or just someone to tell me everything will be ok. I hope this is the right forum for what is going on. If not my apologies. I know things will fall into place eventually but ugh right now things seem so overwhelming...

My middle child Noah has always been behind. He talked late, he wouldn't say Mommy until he was two and when he was in Kindergarten I was told no one could understand a word he said. Being his mom I didn't really notice it. I feel bad I didn't notice it but I thought he was just being like any other little kid... sometimes they have a hard time pronouncing.

Since Kinder he has been in speech therapy and has improved but his speech is still "off". Also, he has been struggling the entire time. He barely passes each grade. He can barely read, he has a hard time retaining information, and he can't spell very well. He gets so frustrated and he works SO hard.

This year he is in 3rd grade and he is at the breaking point. He is testing VERY low. He is overall testing at the level of everyone else in the first month of 2nd grade. His reading is at the beg. of the 1st grade level. He is guaranteed to be held behind if things don't improve by January. He has trouble listening, paying attention and retaining information. He has a modified spelling list and he studies all week and even weekends (she gives him the list on friday to get a head start) and he is still only learning 2 words a week. He typically comes home with 20s.

My husband went to our conference for him and found out how bad it was. I stayed home because we didn't want him to hear what we were talking about. I'm afraid of him feeling like he is wrong or bad because he isn't doing well. He often doesn't pay attention. He will sit at his desk and not speak, stare and ignore everything. Today he was at the principal's office for 2 hours because he wouldn't do anything. He just stares at the teacher. He is a complete mess and will go off in his own world and just cut up paper all day. His desk was FULL of little squares of paper. It is only getting worse every school year. Before he was behind and could always bust his butt and barely pass, now he can't. We are being told we should have him evaluated for dyslexia, add, and adhd to begin with. I know something is up with my child and it breaks my heart. I don't know what to do. I'm just exhausted. I spend my whole evening helping him study for tests he fails. I see what that does to him and that is why I am so tired. I wish I could fix it, I wish I could figure out what will help make things stick. He gets so happy and excited at home when we study because he eventually gets it but by the time he gets to school its all gone.

What if they don't figure it out? He needs help big time. I feel like I've failed him by just letting this go last year. I asked his teacher last year and she kept insisting it wasn't necessary and I wish I had ignored her and went ahead with testing. I feel horrible for not.

All and all though he is a good boy, he is witty, so funny and I just love him to pieces so this all is hard for me to watch.
Sorry for writing a novel. Has anyone else's child been there done that? I just want so badly for him to be happy and successful in life.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:23 AM   #2
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Re: So overwhelmed

Aside from getting him evaluated for those things, please do know that there's nothing shameful about having him repeat a grade. My friend had her child repeat a grade for much less serious issues and at first her DD cried because all her friends were moving ahead and she wasn't but then she got over it and when school started she made new friends (but still has one best friend who is a grade ahead now) and she also has a ton more confidence because she's not struggling all the time anymore. She says she feels smarter.

I hope you find answers. Most likely they will label him with "something"...who knows what. Try not to leap to meds though. It can be a slippery slope. Tutoring, therapy, repeating a grade, alternative schools, etc are all worth trying first.

My same friend has an 11 year old who has been diagnosed with adhd and extreme anxiety. He's been on a slew of meds and they are trying to get him off of at least some of them because they are NOT doing what they are supposed to do and he's a zombie a lot of the time. She started him in an alternative school this year and he's already thriving and bringing home A's and B' (he had straight F's last year). Sometimes they just need something different than what everyone else needs.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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Re: So overwhelmed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaunam View Post
Aside from getting him evaluated for those things, please do know that there's nothing shameful about having him repeat a grade. My friend had her child repeat a grade for much less serious issues and at first her DD cried because all her friends were moving ahead and she wasn't but then she got over it and when school started she made new friends (but still has one best friend who is a grade ahead now) and she also has a ton more confidence because she's not struggling all the time anymore. She says she feels smarter.

I hope you find answers. Most likely they will label him with "something"...who knows what. Try not to leap to meds though. It can be a slippery slope. Tutoring, therapy, repeating a grade, alternative schools, etc are all worth trying first.

My same friend has an 11 year old who has been diagnosed with adhd and extreme anxiety. He's been on a slew of meds and they are trying to get him off of at least some of them because they are NOT doing what they are supposed to do and he's a zombie a lot of the time. She started him in an alternative school this year and he's already thriving and bringing home A's and B' (he had straight F's last year). Sometimes they just need something different than what everyone else needs.
I don't think I'm ashamed of him repeating but I get upset about it because he is so afraid to. He cried for an hour yesterday when we sat him down to talk about what we need to do. I keep telling him he has to do whatever will help him learn and he said that the kids will make fun of him and call him a baby. I don't think that is very true but I think some of the fears come from the fact it is hard for him to make friends.

I'm REALLY afraid of meds. My husband was on meds for adhd as a child and said it made everything better but I don't think I like the idea. I was given aderrall (sp?) as a teenager and they were horrible.

My dh and I were discussing ds more when he left for school this morning and evidently I didn't catch on to him saying this yesterday but our son is now just sitting in class. The first week of school (we knew this already) he didn't say a word to the teacher for a week. She called us in that first week and said something about it but after that he would talk here and there. Now he is back to barely speaking. He straight up ignores her or stares through her blankly. When he went to the principal yesterday he sat and stared for 2 hours without saying a word even though people kept asking him questions. The principal was at the meeting yesterday as well and told my husband he was concerned about this. I'm wondering, what would cause a child to act this way? I'm wondering if it is defiance but he isn't that type of kid. He can be stubborn but he is overall very sensitive and doesn't like to be in trouble so him being blatantly rude like that would surprise me. I don't know. I feel like my child is changing into someone else very quickly. He is a different person at school and it is beginning to change at home as well.


Thank you so much for your suggestions though. I don't think we will medicate but I guess we will see what is going on. I tend to stay away from medication for everything else unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: So overwhelmed

Third grade is the year when kids who are struggling tend to have the hardest time. As a third grade teacher, I have had those conversations with parents many times. Do not beat yourself up for not doing the testing last year. It can be so hard in young children to tell when a child is going to mature and catch up and when they need more help. An ADHD diagnosis would have to come from a doctor. Have they recommended having a disposition at school to discuss testing for anything learning related? If they haven't, write a letter to the teacher asking for a special education evaluation. You can do that at the same time you are working with your doctor.

Meds can be scary, but sometimes they really do help. I had a little girl tell me once that she couldn't concentrate in class because the light was sparkling on the ground too much. She could tell me when she had missed a dose of medication "because her brain wasn't working right." It was heartbreaking how aware she was at how difficult it was to focus, and for her medication made a world of difference. It's not for everyone, but it can be necessary for some. Get a diagnosis and a plan in place first, and then you can worry about medicating or not.

It might be a long road, but it'll be okay.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: So overwhelmed

I am surprised the school did nor have him evaluated earlier. You are doing your best. It is just sad that he is so frustrated. My oldest DS is in special ed, and partially mainstreamed. But I like that he is in special ed, because he has trouble with reading, still getting speech therapy and OT. We had the annual meeting and I found out he is finding 3rd grade reading challenging, and he is in 4th grade. So he will continue special ed for awhile. Just keep encouraging him, he prolly just feels like giving up. Hopefully the school gets him placed in the right area so he won't get so frustrated.

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Old 10-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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Re: So overwhelmed

I would definitely get those evaluations. I would also ask the school if they have begun the process to get him special help and academic testing. He may have a learning disability or significant language impairment, and need special education services. If he does have dyslexia, a learning disability or a significant language impairment, holding him back a year will NOT help. He would need a completely different style of instruction to learn and make progress.

I agree 3rd grade is when a lot of kids start REALLY struggling. It is generally when you are supposed to be done learning to read, and expected to read to learn.

Don't expect instant answers, but getting an evaluation can be a big help. I hope things work out!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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Re: So overwhelmed

I second the special Ed testing. My now 2nd grader was falling behind last year. Spaced out a ton, had to use a wiggle seat because he fell out of his chair everyday. He Receives special Ed services but doesn't have a medical diagnosis. It has been really helpful. He is doing great this year. When i read your op I thought it sounded like your son probably does have ADHD or aspergers. A good psychologist could really help. Neuropsychologists can be even more helpful. The only physician I found helpful was a developmental pediatrician
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Re: So overwhelmed

I was one of those kids who would sit and stare at someone when they asked me a direct question. When something like that happened, it was usually because I was first intimidated by the person and scared. Then when they would try different approaches to try to get me to talk, it was defiance. I didn't want to give in. I think in some instances I even made it into a game.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: So overwhelmed

My son's learning problems are pretty severe so I can't give any real advice because what we do doesn't apply to your situation. I felt bad for your son since he is obviously upset so I did Google coping with learning disabilities most of what I came up with was junk but I did find two articles on research about loneliness among children with learning disabilities so here they are.

Read in order because they are a 2 part series

Article 1

Article 2

Maybe something in there can at least help him cope with his emotional aspects with his learning difficulties.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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Re: So overwhelmed

Just wanted to offer a virtual hug! My middle child (well both of my girls) is developmentally delayed. She'll be five in November and I'm nervous about her ability to excel in kindergarten next year. We had her parent teacher conference at her preschool last week, we still have a lot to accomplish to have her ready for 'big' school next year. We started receiving special school district services last year and I think she's improved greatly. I'd encourage you to reach out to any and all programs in your area that are available to provide you and your child support.
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