So, my husband and I have noticed that our six-year-old daughter, who is now in first grade, has been struggling with learning. In the morning, without fail, I battle a tiny, stick frame of a little girl with crazy long bed hair to get up in the morning. On top of this, I have heard from her very lips that she “hates” going to school. When asked “why don't you want to go to school”, she answered that she doesn't understand what the teachers are talking about. Talk about shot through the heart!
I knew that in kindergarten, our daughter was having significant issue with her math as well as her language. I thought it was my fault because I had put her in a dual immersion program where she would learn English and Spanish. Then, I started to notice that something was slightly off. I started to pay attention to her at home and our church programs. When my daughter told me that she “hated” going to school, I knew that I had to take the steps to ensure that our she did not get left behind. My first step was to reach out to her teachers and let them know that I felt as if something was wrong with our daughter because of her struggles and “hate” for being at school. I then asked how she was doing in her math and language classes. Along with this, I began paying attention to her while she was at church programs as I am one of her class leaders for GEMS, a girl’s youth program. I also called her primary care doctor to voice my concerns especially after two of her teachers mentioned that she was often distracted and had to be moved closer to the teacher to keep her attention on the lesson. At the doctor’s office, we discussed some of the issues that I noticed, and I was given two forms, one a parent report and the other a teacher report.
At this point, we're at the stage of waiting for the teachers to fill in their reports. Another thing I'm going to do is call our county mental health provider, which can direct us to proper screening for a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). I'm seeking to get her the help not because I want to add medication to her life regiment, but because I want to have a more solid response for school when I advocate for help. I want teachers and administrators to know that my beautiful child is not disorderly or lacking in attention because she is purposely being difficult, but that she is genuinely having an internal mental struggle to be present. I am hoping an individual education plan (IEP) will allow her to get some of the one on one individual help that she might not able to get at school otherwise. I believe an IEP will help because while her grades are low, they are not low enough to meet or qualify for individual math or language help. I am also meeting with her Spanish teacher to get lessons and exercises that we can do at home as she learns best on a one on one basis or a small group.
Some things I have noticed
It is important to note that while I am a mental health professional, I would never diagnosis my own daughter nor would I pretend to be the best person to diagnosis ADD or ADHD. It is my job, as a parent, to present all the information I can to best help those mental health professionals who specialize in treating little kids with possible ADD-H.
If you like this post, please check out the post below that also is about our beautiful daughter Rebekka.