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susieq76 
Posted: 29-Sep-2004, 05:28 PM
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Come on, all you single parents in HR!!

I will start this thread with a request for advice! Cuz I sure could use some!

I am just feeling really frazzled right now, what with all my commitments (my daughter, work, school, etc.) so of course my little one picks this time to begin acting out wink.gif

I am in the process of getting her evaluated for ADD, and am trying to get cooperation going between herself, the teacher and me. I had a parent-teacher conference today (the equivalent, for me, of being put on the rack!), and the teacher mentioned that Mackenzie is being really rebellious and apathetic. For example: they are supposed to do their best handwriting in class, but Kenz refuses to do so. She isn't rude, she is just immovable. She doesn't care about what the teacher thinks, doesn't like her (and the teacher is a sweetheart), and is willing to take the punishment for not writing her best. She just quietly refuses to do anything she doesn't want to do. How do you handle a child like that? The teacher made it clear that she is not being rude or talking back or anything. She does the same thing at home, BTW. I tell her she needs to eat or she won't get any dessert. So she says, "Fine, I won't get dessert then." or my fave: "Fine, I didn't want any anyway."

Urgh....battle of the wills 101. It's like Ghandi - peaceful resistance, eh?! Except she's 8.

Someone help! I am reading this great book called "1..2..3...Magic" by some dude named Phelan. That may help, but I would love any suggestions anyone else might have. It would help to go into detail right now, but suffice it to say that she is angry, sad, hurt and has low self-esteem to boot. I am trying to get her into counseling for that, but it's not working out well yet.

So, anywho....any advice or commiseration would be welcomed! I love hearing from all of ya'll!

I am getting quite wacko.gif from all of this!


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maisky 
Posted: 30-Sep-2004, 08:03 AM
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You have my deepest sympathy. I was a single parent and I AM ADHD. At least she isn't hyperactive to go with her ADD. There are a number of helpful books on the market on how to deal with her. My parents, after much grief, went the Ritalin route. It worked for me, but isn't for everybody. It tends to be over-used. The teacher will just have to find things that interest her for a reward for cooperation. Good luck, as it gets worse when they are teenagers. On the plus side, it also means she is very intelligent, so there is room for hope.


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susieq76 
Posted: 30-Sep-2004, 11:14 AM
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Thanks so much, maisky! I also have ADD, which is why this is a bit tougher than normal. Trying to get both our acts together!! Whew...
Ritalin used to work for me, but the side effects are getting too bad now, so I am trying to find another medicine that will work. I have heard Wellbutrin has been positive for some folks with ADD. Mackenzie is incredibly intelligent, and so creative! Those are things that I love about her, and am so grateful for. Thanks for the encouragement!! I think you are right about the teacher using reward systems. Since she is in a private school (and there are other ADD children in her class), I am hoping the teacher will be able to devote a bit more time to helping Mackenzie find her niche. I know that once she does that and gets on meds, things will be much smoother for her!
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 30-Sep-2004, 08:24 PM
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Susanna

I wish I had a "magic" answer for you. I don't think anyone does. My older son was a "dream"; well behaved, good grades, etc. My younger son was much as you describe Mackenzie. When it came to school he was sullen, unco-operative, defiant, you name it, he was it. I'm sure he had some type learning disability, but we couldn't get any help from the school (public school). In fact, his ninth grade teacher had the gall to tell us he "should be institutionalized before it was too late". Only time I ever wanted to hit a woman (no, I didn't). He's now almost 25 and doing fantastic. But we struggled through school and never did find a solution. He finally quit regular high school and graduated (not a GED, a diploma) from community college in town. He then went on to college but then quit after three semesters. He's very intelligent, just can't "get" school. Whatever, I'm very proud of him.

Make sure Mackenzie ALWAYS knows that you are proud of her and love her. Her accomplishments may be different from what other folks expect, but that doesn't diminish them at all. Try to be encouraging and positive. Don't get caught up in "power struggles" over petty arguments. (such as dinner) It's emotionally draining and counter productive. Try and identify her "style" of learning. Some folks learn by listening, some by reading, some by seeing, some by doing, etc. Find her strengths and build on them.

Apologize for rambling on, but I feel for you. Any time you want my input or think I can help, ask. Mackenzie sounds like a super kid.

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susieq76 
Posted: 01-Oct-2004, 12:40 PM
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Thanks, Bill! Mackenzie is super! There is nothing that kid can't do. And if it makes you feel better, her counselor said last time we met that she was very disturbed and she might have said she should be institutionalized, if I had given her the chance. Poor kid just gets bored so easily.

I am glad that your younger son is doing so well. Several of my brothers and I also have learning disabilities, and did not do well in school. We are in community colleges and colleges, and all doing well now. But it was hard to figure out the way we learn. My daughter tends to be very kinesthetic - like me (I swear, it's like I spit, and there she was) - and learns by doing.

Thanks so much for the advice. It's so good to hear from folks who have been there already smile.gif

Susanna
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maisky 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 01:38 PM
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If you start feeling discouraged, just remember that OTHER slacker who had so much trouble in school: Albert Einstein. biggrin.gif
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susieq76 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 01:45 PM
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I sure will! Mackenzie has been doing much better this week. We have instituted some of those discipline procedures in the book I was reading, and she is responding very well to those. I think that she is just very bored, because she is so smart that she really doesn't have to try. Do you have any recommendations for books or software to help her with things at home? I know that would probably make a difference in her interest level - at least she would be getting supplemented at home.
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maisky 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE (susieq76 @ 08-Oct-2004, 12:45 PM)
I sure will! Mackenzie has been doing much better this week. We have instituted some of those discipline procedures in the book I was reading, and she is responding very well to those. I think that she is just very bored, because she is so smart that she really doesn't have to try. Do you have any recommendations for books or software to help her with things at home? I know that would probably make a difference in her interest level - at least she would be getting supplemented at home.

Anything to get her to read is good. literally anything. Once hooked on reading, things will be better. Not to say good, mind you, but better.
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susieq76 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 02:14 PM
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She is a voracious reader! And thank goodness for that - it does help a lot! Right now she is having problems taking timed tests in math, and having problems with her subtraction, so if there were any computer games that you know of for her to practice with, or workbooks, then I would love to hear about 'em smile.gif
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Dreamer1 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 10:38 PM
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SusieQ,

I hope this will help your sweetie, it helped our daughter when she was having similar problems at school. She actually enjoyed it! It's a Math site that gives instant feedback and encouragement. There are many, many catagories to choose from, and if you scroll down you'll find each Grade Level listed on the left side (1st Grade, 2nd Grade, etc...) The site is: http://www.aaamath.com/B/grade3.htm

Keep encouraging her, as you are, and always remind her of how precious she really is! She's very lucky too, that you recognise the strengths and gifts that she has, and refuse to let anyone shut her down.

Strength and hugs to you,
Dreamer1


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susieq76 
Posted: 11-Oct-2004, 01:45 PM
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Thanks so much, Dreamer1!! I will definitely check this site out and I hope that it will help her out! Thanks for the encouragement, too! It is much appreciated.

hug.gif

On another note, my daughter just discovered Shel Silverstein! She hasn't laughed that much in a while! He has a dark sense of humor, like her, and she has loved reading "Where The Sidewalk Ends." Don't know why I didn't think of him before...
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 15-Oct-2004, 09:47 PM
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There is a book that I would highly recommend to all parents. It is A Mind At a Time by Dr. Mel Levine. Dr. Levine explains how different minds are wired and the different learning patterns that result. He shows parents and teachers how to identify the learning patterns of individual children and develop teaching strategies that take advantage of those patterns.

Dr. Levine is a professor of pediatrics at UNC Medical School in Chapel Hill. He is also the director of the university's Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning. For those who live in the area, Dr. Levine evaluates children under the age of 18 and recommends the best approach for each child.

Published by Simon and Schuster ISBN 0-7432-0222-8
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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 15-Oct-2004, 11:50 PM
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Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this. My 6-year old son is having similar problems. He hates handwriting, and almost never gets it completed in school. The teacher keeps sending home notes that just drip with frustration and sarcasm. She keeps saying that he doesn't have any attention span. Yet, when she sends home 7 papers, and 6 are completed, I see that he has an attention span...just not enough to suit her. One day I got a note that said, "he doesn't even have the attention to complete one task". She keeps harping on the attention thing, rather than even looking for other possible problems. I'd rather rule out a couple things first...one of them being his eye-sight. I have an appointment for him on Monday with an optometrist (sp?) to get his eyes checked. However, when I sent a note to the teacher letting her know this, she sent one back claiming that wasn't his problem...his problem is attention oriented and to ask his pediatrician about it on Tuesday when I take him to that appointment.

Whenever she sends home classwork that wasn't completed, I have him sit down and do it, then he shows it to her the next day. I have NO problems getting him to get his work done at home. I have to harp on him a little bit to keep him on task, but it's like the teachers don't want to bother with any child that takes any extra effort. They either want total compliance, or let's drug them into compliance. Maybe I'm just in denial... sad.gif unsure.gif


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 16-Oct-2004, 11:03 AM
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I know exactly what you're talking about Irish. Some teachers seem to think you (the parent) can wave a magic wand and instantly fix the problem. Others just don't want to be bothered by anyone who doesn't fit the mold perfectly. Still others want to "trim off" the pieces that don't fit in the mold rather than building a mold to fit the child. The teacher who is truly concerned with finding the correct solution for each child is indeed rare.
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Dreamer1 
Posted: 16-Oct-2004, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (susieq76 @ 11-Oct-2004, 02:45 PM)
Thanks so much, Dreamer1!! I will definitely check this site out and I hope that it will help her out! Thanks for the encouragement, too! It is much appreciated.

hug.gif

On another note, my daughter just discovered Shel Silverstein! She hasn't laughed that much in a while! He has a dark sense of humor, like her, and she has loved reading "Where The Sidewalk Ends." Don't know why I didn't think of him before...

Our daughter is a big fan of Silverstein's, too! She has both "Falling Up" and "A Light in the Attic", and reads them both constantly. She's even done book reports on them, though I'm not sure her teachers (two seperate years) originally considered those to be appropriate selections. However, they were both amazed by her enthusiasm and by the length and quality of her reports. She won them over! We were just thrilled she'd found books that brought her back to reading!
laugh.gif laugh.gif

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