3rd grader with issues concentrating on school work

Tracy - posted on 01/19/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My third grade son has problems concentrating on school work and homework. He is easily distracted and is having problems focusing. His teacher says he sits with her for almost every assignment and spends most of his time staring off. He came home with a note he made in his planner "Homework - letter". He was able to tell us he was supposed to write a letter to Mayor but could not tell us what the letter was supposed to be about. When we spoke to the teacher she said he had an hour to write the letter in class but only wrote one sentence. We suggested that if he wasn't completing his school assignments she have him do it during recess. This was not working. My son said she had him sitting outside with his work and he was watching the children play instead of doing his work. His teacher said that he gets frustrated and upset at school during some of these assignments. She is asking us for suggestions. When I suggested she have him spend recess in the principals office doing work where there might be less distractions she responded "she'd try that but it is always hard at lunch (recess follows lunch)because we all have duties..." I considered volunteering once a week but I am not sure that is what is best for him. We have the same issues at home with homework. Instead of just doing his homework (of which he is capable) he will find distractions... need a drink, food, call the dog over, if anything is sitting near -paper, book, toy, mail, need to go to the bathroom, anything - he will start messing with that instead of focusing on homework. We usually make it through the homework but what should take a half hour -takes 1-2 hours. I am open to any suggestions.

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/27/2012

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Do you have an ADHD child Dawn? No one here said anything about drugs, did they? However, it is something that, if your child has "true" ADHD helps them but it is NOT the answer in the least.... There are many other things that must be done, such as behavioural techniques. They must be "taught" the tools a "normal" child already has. No one said her son "had" ADHD either, just that it "sounds" similar, the acts "sound" like ADHD/ADD symtoms... ;) My daughter has severe combined ADHD and it is not used as an excuse ever. She is to do everything just like everyone else, she just needs a bit more guidance. You definitely can not or do not want to avoid it, otherwise they may not make it through school and become a productive Adult. ADHD/ADD is a congnitive disorder and it is "real".. It is closely associated to Autism, would you say that if a kid had full blown autism or if the kid was physically impaired? All we are saying is it could be a possibilty, I say it because I live it and have for the past 9 years... It is a good idea to get it checked, that is all....

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/30/2012

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The way you worded your reply was directed that parents that use meds are not doing everything they can to help their child. I am just saying that is a very unfair "label" as well. My child was diagnosed at age 5 and yes, she was placed on medication. The medication helped her tremendously during her elementary years of school. I am not sure where we have any of those schools you state but they aren't here in NS and the few that are designed (2 to be exact) are extremly expensive. My daughter would also be required to live at the school and only be home for the summer months. There is no way I would be doing that.



This part of your comment is not feasible for all, actually quite the contrary, it is expensive in the least:

"Montessori is one of these schools that helps the children of today. Princess Dian sent her boys there, Julia Child was a graduate of this beautiful way to invite all aspects of learning."



However, because while she was on the medication I was able to guide her with learning how to gain the tools she requires to survive according to society's measures. She is now 13 and has not been on medication for a year. She is doing great but if she had not had the meds so that I could help her learn how to work with her uniqueness, she would have never suceeded.



You're correct way too many children are being diagnosed when they do not truly have this disorder, however if the correct steps are/were taken in diagnoses you "must" help them. Unfortunately, meds are usually a part of the "help". Although, strictly meds is not the answer. It takes alot of effort from the caregiver to learn and use different behavioural techniques that will eventually allow the child to figure themselves out and how they can cope with their personality.



Some kids may be labelled, especially if the parents allow it. I, for one, do not. My daughter is expected to do just like all other children, she does not get a "get out of jail free" pass. I just need to put a whole lot more effort into her to ensure she is on and stays on the right path.



However, making a parent that just wants to "help" their child feel bad because they have administered medication is very insensitive. They are doing what they know to be best. There are hundreds of thousands of children living with this disorder and aren't on medication and you can really tell the difference. All we want as parents to see our children blossom into young adults that can make their own way in life in a successful manner. Sometimes, unfortunately, medication is required to assist. Meds are not the end all answer but they definitely help you, as a parent, get to the end result you are seeking for your child. They provide your child with temporary increased matter to the prefrontal cortex which increases the neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine brain functions. This allows for them to be able to focus, giving them longer attention spans, better concentration, and more patience so that they can sit still and complete tasks successfully. Which in turn allows a parent to teach them methods that are effective in the long run with the hope they will not always require medication. This worked for my daughter, however it still took a whole bunch of work and patience from me. I had to learn new ways that would help her understand, then what I would if she had been "normal".



In the end it is best to do what you feel is best and run with it. We as parents are the only ones to make the decision. I know for me a combination of meds, behavioural techniques, patience, consistence, strict routine and boundaries and more patience worked. I don't feel bad for it, I feel relieved that I can now see that she is making her way to being a very respectful, enjoyful, beautiful, intelligent, rewarding and ambitous young adult... Since at first, when she was a toddler, before I knew she had ADHD and after I found it I wasn't sure how we would ever get to where we are today! Now I am relieved and so proud of her!!

Dawn - posted on 01/30/2012

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Wow it was my understanding that this was a sound board of living advice and helpful tools and personally chose not to be placed on the witness stand! Not to negate from the question but a clinically diagnosed child can be miss diagnose and when they receive this label and placed in their school it goes on their permanent record. We would like to all be in Alice and wonderland but the truth is they are discriminated against. Yes from the primary question there was no talk of medication but once diagnosed this is a route the clinician and parent will follow. My child went through many tests and was diagnosed at a very early age (not on record), we used many techniques such as a ball to sit on during class and was placed on meds for 2 months. When placing him on meds he was trapped in a world were being a child didn't exist. So I tried proper eating techniques that fit his blood type (from Canada-

Dr. Jones www.DesignerHealthCenters.com), chinese herbs (recommended by him) and Network Chiropractic (founded by an Autistic adult) once every two months. Its been 7 years later and he no longer has these signs. This also worked for my friends child who HAS SEVERE AUTISM who refused meds and hes 18 now. So you can get significance and connection by telling everyone in your first sentence that you have a child with this or you can take a step to be a leader and and make a change. I understand your pain and the dog that chases its tail around in a circle is only a victim.

Dawn - posted on 01/27/2012

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Why "label a child" especially when these labels haunt us every day until adulthood, thats if they make it. A LABEL is a wonderful excuse to point the finger and place them on medications that help the drug companies rake in the big bucks. Every child is a gift and thus gives a gift! Concentration is school when its just drill and demand is not working for your child. Find another place where he can be that Eagle and soar. Montessori is one of these schools that helps the children of today. Princess Dian sent her boys there, Julia Child was a graduate of this beautiful way to invite all aspects of learning. Learn from the leaders and explore your options! I see a bright future in your child thus a purpose for a new gift!!!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/27/2012

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My daughter has ADHD, she is 13 now and was diagnosed in Kindergarden, age 5. Could be a sign, may not be too but, I would have him checked... You never know...

Sherri - posted on 01/20/2012

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Sounds like he needs to be evaluated for ADHD. That would seriously be my first step.

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