Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The horror of new schools...

So many of you know that my son, T, is bipolar with a side of adhd. I've talked about it a few times on this site, but mostly we just try to deal on a day by day basis. Anyway, T's issues are not the subject of today's torture with school, it's just to let you know that I believe our family has already been handed enough tricks.

So today I called the Fairy Princess's school because she has been having some issues with her school work. I am not what you could call a helicopter parent. I don't hover, I tend to try to let them work their own issues out. But, when I get a paper where my first grader got a c on her reading because her words per minute score is not fast enough, I get a little bent. According to the world wide web, the average words per minute for a first grader is 50 to 70. Fairy Princess got a c for a 49 word per minute average.

Why can't we all understand that all children learn at their own pace?? Why when I call the school, does the teacher tell me that I need to take my child to the pediatrician to ask why she isn't concentrating? I know you are all "Becca, just get past it, every child has issues", but I can't. I am listening to a teacher telling me that my youngest child is not concentrating, she loses her center time almost every day, and she does not ever complete her work.

I have not been told by Fairy Princess's teachers in the last two years that she has problems concentrating. I admit I was frustrated by the amount of homework she has brought home, but I didn't ever know there was a problem with her concentration. Now, she loses her center time daily because she doesn't finish her seat work. When I ask what to do I am told to take her to the doctor to see about meds that could help with concentration. WTF????? I don't want to do this with another child. I don't want her to have a problem, I don't want this life for her. It is so hard, and I am sooooo tired of having to deal with all of these issues everyday.

So, I ask, am I overreacting? Did we have this problem all along, and nobody told me? Have I failed my another one of my children by not noticing a problem fast enough? Sincerely, Becca the tired and frustrated!!


  1. I'm ot an expert in this stuff, but my question is ... why do children so often get blamed for a "lack of concentration"? I wonder how much the teacher tries to engage them using different learning techniques before they label them as "not concentrating"? And why does every child have to subject to the same methodologies? Isn't that a failure of the SYSTEM not of the child?! Ugh. I'm ranty on this obviously.

  2. First:

    Verify what the teacher is telling you. Have her evaluated by competent, outside professionals at a center that specializes in learning disabilities. If the teacher is wrong, try working with the school to move her to a different class.

    BUT, if she's right,


    Take their advice. If that means drugs, so be it. The ostrich approach doesn't help your kid. I've seen too many (doctors, even!) parents decide that there just can't be something wrong with their child--and the kid is left to fend for himself, without mom as a helper and advocate.

  3. @ Faiqa - this is exactly how I feel most of the time. I find it hard to believe that this problem just popped up, however I also know that the last school district ignored most of T's issues and symptoms no matter what I asked for for almost 4 whole years.

    @The Mother- You are right of course. After I mopped up my tears and quit howling in terror, I called the school and arranged for an outside evaluator to come in and monitor Princess's work through a few sessions. If she really needs the help, then I will of course do what she needs, but I just needed to be an ostrich for a moment. :)