Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

Posts Tagged ‘school’

Give the Boy a Keyboard

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 31, 2008

We were called to school a couple weeks ago to discuss Fast Boy’s behavior. It’s certainly a lot better than it has been in the past, but his teacher is getting frustrated. She said that every time she thinks she finds a reward that works for him, it works for about a week and then he loses interest. Well, welcome to my world! It’s been like that for years. Why do you think I’m so frustrated?

So we continue to chat about what works and what doesn’t. I brought up a time where I had him write down an explanation of his bad behavior, kindof as a consequence for that behavior. I had good results. Making him concentrate on the problem by having to write about it seems to have made him realize more about what he did. Then his EC teacher chimes in and says “I do that with him”. I’m thinking, “Great! He already hates writing and we’re using it as a punishment.” Seems to me that would make him hate writing even more.

But then something really eye-opening happened. I asked to see samples of the writing he has done for her with the explanations for his behavior. What was presented was typed paragraphs. My husband and I noticed the same thing immediately. Unlike the messy, mispelled, incomplete thoughts we see in his handwriting homework, these paragraphs held full complete sentences, grammatically correct without the spelling errors.

So, Fast Boy really can write! He just has trouble writing his thoughts with a pencil. He apparently gets so hung up on the handwriting skill that he loses the ability to put the thoughts together. That would certainly be the conclusion that makes sense.

The school has since given him an “AlphaSmart” to use in the classroom when he needs to write essay style answers. I haven’t gotten a progress update yet, but I’m very interested in seeing the results.

Posted in school | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Academically and Intellectually Gifted

Posted by One Tired Mama on November 2, 2007

Fast Boy has an IEP and was previously placed in the “Exceptional Child Program” for behavioral and emotionally disabled children.  We get feedback regarding his behavior on a pretty consistent basis.  We see reports on what goals have been set for him and what he needs to improve on.  So,  I’m sorry that I was completely confused by the “Nurtured Student Letter” that came home from school earlier this week.

I thought it was just another politically correct way of requesting that my son get some more individual attention to help him with his school work.  Well, I was right… but not in the way that I thought.  Fast Boy has been recommended by his teacher and invited into the “Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program” (AIG) at school.  Apparently he is demonstrating mastery of his grade level curriculum, at least in reading. 

I’ve always known that ADHD children can be very intelligent (which is what helps him find so much trouble) and that they can become hyper-focused on things they enjoy, but this just stunned me.  When the AIG specialist told me that he was interpreting Carl Sandburg poems, I didn’t know how to respond.  You just never know what will interest him. 

More discussion has to be done before we decide to put him in the program.  The AIG classes take place one hour a week outside of the regular classroom.  Fast Boy is already out of the classroom twice a week for the EC program.  He doesn’t like being removed from his normal class.  He is used to that being associated with some disciplinary action.  I guess we’ll just have to talk it over and see what he thinks.

I have a call in to the EC program Coordinator to get her opinion as well.  I’d like to see him excel and take advantage of the AIG program, but I need to make sure that everything jives together and that Fast Boy’s other special needs are met.   For example, if Fast Boy is loving the reading, but is going to lose control because he is asked to write about what he read, can special accommodations be made so that he can type instead?  (Handwriting is a frustration point for him that would make him give up.)  I want to know that someone is there looking out for him.

I’m so pleased!  I hope this works out. 

Posted in ADHD Strengths, ADHD symptoms, Gratitude | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

School and ADHD Medication Update

Posted by One Tired Mama on October 21, 2007

School has been in session for a while now and the Concerta that we put Fast Boy on is obviously helping.  Between those two things, I haven’t felt the need to post here as often.  (Thank goodness!) 

Fast Boy’s behavior at school has definitely improved.  It’s still a far cry from what I or his teachers would consider “normal” eight year old behavior, but I have to be grateful for any positive changes.  His reports from school have gone from many “reds” down to a few “yellows” and mostly “greens”.  So far this year, there has been some pushing and biting, but no hitting people across the face with sticks or sending them to the doctor for potential broken noses.  There has been some speaking out of turn in class and some running in the hallways, but no flat-out disobedience or rages in the classroom.   Gee… While I’m typing this, it almost does sound like normal eight year old boy behavior.  😉

My concerns about medication side effects are still there though.  He appears to be sleeping okay for now, but it is obvious that his appetite and weight have decreased.  I haven’t noticed any other changes. 

I guess all is okay.

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