At the end of my rope!

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by melodie_a, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. melodie_a

    melodie_a Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2010
    Sanford, NC
    I just needed to rant a bit...

    I have a 13 year old daughter who is ADHD. She was medicated when she was in the first grade and we dealt with her issues fairly well until last year. Well, last year was a NIGHTMARE in school. She was in the AIG (academically gifted) program and things just spiraled downhill all year. Her grades fell to failing and no matter what I did it made no impact at all. We finally decided to take her off of her medicine because it just wasn't working any more and we were noticing side effects that were concerning us. She came home with a 43 on her report card in Language arts. This upset me greatly because when I got a progress report she had a B average.. the problem was that there was a reading journal that counted for 5 test grades and she didn't turn it in. It was due the last day of the grading period so of course with 5 zeros her average was destroyed. She ended the year last year with a failing average for English and she didn't actually pass her end of grade testing. She missed it by two points the first time and three points the second time. They did pass her for the year so she advanced to the 8th grade this year. Several administrators at the school told us she was a perfect candidate for the "avid" program where they focus on study skills and organization, leadership, preparing for college etc. So we did all the work to get her into the program. She is very smart but she is very immature and irresponsible. She doesn't turn her assignments in on time, she doesn't focus well, she lies frequently, has impulse control issues, and we can't find any punishment that actually works for her. Part of he ADHD causes her not to really care about very much, she is not really "connected" to anything. This was great when she was a young child because she didn't care if she was wet, or tired, or dirty or hungry, she never got attached to any particular toy and when another child took something away from her she just happily got something else to play with. It made for an easy toddler... but it makes a nightmare for trying to teach her any kind of lesson at all. There is no cause and effect for her, she lives in this very minute... and it is very hard to learn a lesson without caring about the consequence. We have always tried to be consistent and she gets in trouble, she knows that she will get in trouble and I don't think she wants to but she just can't seem to gather up the determination to do what it takes to avoid it.

    So, today I went for teacher conferences.. she has been struggling with AlgebraI. I don't think she has a very good teacher, she is floating by in most of her other classes barely for the moment. (And this is with me riding her as hard as I can EVERY day) I have talked to every teacher multiple times in the month that she has been in school. Today at the conference they tell me that they are going to kick her out of the Avid program because she just can't handle the organizational skills that she needs to succeed in the class.

    I just don't know what to do.... she is never going to get into college at this rate. She is so smart, but it is such a struggle with her. If there is a choice she is going to make the wrong one... guaranteed. I am just about ready to pull my hair out. I don't know what to do. I am struggling to raise two kids, 11 chickens, 2 dogs, a rabbit and a couple of cats, I have a full time job, a rocky marriage and am working on getting my degree so I am struggling with classes myself.

    I feel like I am about to lose my grip on what tiny amount of sanity I have left. Does this ever get any easier??
  2. annanicole18

    annanicole18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    At some point you are just going to have to let her grow up and recognize her own weakness and overcome it. I work with a girl who knows that she has ADHD badly she was on medicine when in school and for a few years out of it. Then she got married quit going to the doctors because they couldn't afford it nor the meds. This past month she finally took herself to the doctor and got put back on medicine. She is excited to have the chance to really focus and excel. But she had to do it at her own pace no amount of pushing could get her to the point she needed to be at. While I understand pushing her to achieve I was the kind of student in school that preformed poorly from boredom and laziness. People have to grow up at their own rate now as an adult I realize I should have done better previously but made my choice and live remembering the standard that I want to live my life. Trying to engage her in school so her attention doesn't wander is the best thing, removing her from the gifted program was potentially a mistake. Have you had her to the doctor to get her drug levels re-evaluated?
  3. artsy1

    artsy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2011
    Sorry about your problems, my daughter just barely graduated from h. s. last year.
    I have some advice for you, that I wish I had known when my daughter first started having problems in school.
    It started in 9th. grade. Up until that time, she was a b student.
    Basically, the school was unbelievably inept and the the whole public school system has decided they hated her, wouldn't give me any help or advice.
    I wish that i had pulled her out and looked for other alternatives, on-line schooling, homeschooling, charter, etc. actually anything would have been better.
    The 4 years was a living hell.
    She will be going to college, but needed a little time off to recover from the ordeal.
    We would have begged family for money to send her to a private school, I would have tryed anything to remedy the situation, if I had known how terrible it was going to be.
    I have lost all hope in the public school systems and know that they do not work............
    p.s. when my kids were little I was actually a substitute teachers aide in the school system and started to see that things were just no good.
    I hope that things workout for you...........
  4. melodie_a

    melodie_a Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2010
    Sanford, NC
    Quote:We have had her re-evaluated and have switched medicines several times until we got to the point that we have tried everything and nothing is working anymore.

    We didn't take her out of the Avid program, I actually fought to keep her in it because she NEEDS the skills that they are supposedly teaching, but they kicked her out of the program because she isn't organized enough and that is a requirement. Her binder is too messy and she doesn't take enough notes. Yes, that is why they kicked her out, not because she is a behavior problem, but she is messy and can't keep an organized notebook which is a requirement for that program. I did back off last year, I am very much a hands off type of parent. I hate to constantly have to be on top of stuff. I am ADHD myself so I struggle to do everything I am supposed to do much less keep up with everything around her as well. When I backed off last year, that is when she failed... a 43 in English??! She ended the year with a 66 average which is an F. So while I would love to just say "it is on you" I don't want her held back in school or falling even further behind at 13 because of these shortcomings. I have even told her at this point that I don't expect her to be perfect, I probably shouldn't have said it but I said I don't even care about getting A's but she has to pass her classes. She cant stay in the 8th grade forever and next year at high school it is going to be even harder.
  5. melodie_a

    melodie_a Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2010
    Sanford, NC
    Quote:Thanks for your response. I am afraid that is where we are heading. I just don't know how I could possibly work it out for her not to be in public school though. We only have two private schools in our town and to be honest they are pretty much the same as the public school, but they have all the kids who have been kicked out of public school thrown into the mix. It is just so very frustrating. I have a friend who pulled her daughter out and they are doing online schooling for her and she loves it but her mother in law is homebound so it works out that her daughter can stay at her house for school during the day. I don't have anywhere for mine to stay because we both work and my parents are very busy all the time.

    Public school is so awful. It is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, it just doesn't work for everyone.
  6. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Change the "she" to "he" and you have my son.

    Make sure she has an IEP that allows her extra time to turn in assignments. You might have to remind the teacher about the law when they balk.

    Ask the teachers to email you when she falls behind. Make sure she has a case manager at school who is also emailing you. I suggest email because you will need written proof that you have asked for these services when the school manages to forget.

    I am looking for the light at the end of the tunnel too, mine is starting college this year. I am hoping that picking out only community college classes that interest him will help him spark in to school.

    The odd thing is, he wants to be a HS history teacher and his case manager/counselors hope to hire him in the future.
  7. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    I live in Asheboro, right by you. I too have a 13 yr old daughter and she is in avid for the first time this year.

    We wanted her in it last year, but didn't make the cut, due to ME not turning in our side of the paperwork on the deadline. I had thought it was a week later than it was.

    I totally see what you mean about the square peg round hole thing, I think that's often true. I'm surprized they kicked her out of Avid as it is SUPPOSED to help students with those issues. I don;t know how familiar you are with the concepts they are teaching, But note taking is an absolute must and in the way/form they want. As is the notebook check, they check it weekly and one of the tests is to pick it up and shake it too see if it IS tidy, neat and organized, Was she in Avid last year and they have now decided she can't hack it?

    They gave you no strategies or ideas to help guide her at home? SOunds like they gave up on her. Avid is supposed to help children that do NOT have parents that have graduated from college. It is geared to get them ready for the college way of teaching. Here the chair of the avid program says "failure is NOT an option" as they have daily tutoring. That's the only way my kid is making it in Algebra. Something I struggled with myself.

    What about a homeschooling co op type thing? At 13 do you think she could be by herself for stretches of time with you or dh coming home to check on her for lunch or a grandparent. Some colleges offer high school classes at nite.
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Have you considered having her repeat the previous grade? You mentioned a lack of maturity, and with her academics faltering, plus being less mature than the other kids, moving back a grade might be helpful. I've known plenty of bright, gifted kids who were held back to repeat a grade due to their immaturity. And they later excelled. Perhaps she could take the year and be homeschooled slowly to re-teach and re-enforce the things she failed at or did poorly last year, to work on study and organizational skills, and then you can start her back in her current grade next year. This could be equally effective as moving her back this year, and less traumatic as she can say that she "took a year off" rather than that she flunked the grade, and that is why she is a year behind.

    You should also try to get her evaluated to see what style of teaching works best for her. The goal is the knowledge learned, not a specific method. You also need the school to help you keep track of her grades, calling you when there is a concern about low grades or missing work long before a report would be sent. I'm a bit concerned that nothing seems to be effective at motivating her--it sounds like she might be depressed, although it could also be a side effect of her medicines.

    Saying public school is awful is not helpful--every school, district and teacher are different, and there are great ones out there as well as ones that are not as great. One poor public school does not mean that all public schools are poor.

    You also need to get her involved in this--ask WHY she didn't turn in the project, ask what she thinks needs to be done to make things better, ask her what her goals are. There is a possibility that she is actually rebelling against you, the school, her meds, life in general in whatever ways she feels like she can. You said your marriage is rocky, that could be part of her concerns or fears.

    At 13, you should be able to leave her alone for a few hours, if not the whole day. Give her as much time as needed to do whatever schoolwork you assign (if you choose to take a leisurely year off), just let her know that it must be done and that until it is complete, you will be checking on it frequently.
  9. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Red Rock
    20 years and two autism spectrum disorder children and I can tell you that if you can convince these people to do an IEP, that will help. My youngest battles with Asperger's and, while very intelligent, he has serious impulse control problems which can lead to homework disappearing on the way to and from school, spontaneous eruptions in the class, etc. Check with the school district, they should have a special education department. Don't let the name fool you, they deal with all types of developmental disorders including ADHD. The individualized education program (IEP) can include giving her "quiet time" to complete assignments, to focus her thoughts, etc. In some situations, the department will even have a classroom for when children need a little "away from the hustle/bustle" of regular classrooms. Keep hounding these people until something is done that helps your daughter because from what I can see here, they really are not trying at all and lumping it all on you and you cannot in anyway shape or form control her in the classroom setting if you are not there. You can only prepare here and then hope for the best. Once she walks through those doors, the responsibility for her upbringing is then shared between you and them. It definitely sounds like they are NOT doing their part.

    My oldest (PDD-NOS or atypical autism) graduated in 2010 thanks to many of these modifications to the regular education program. The work stays the same, the process of teaching it becomes modified a bit. Both he and his older sister (her delays were never severe enough for a clear diagnosis, but she was borderline Aspergers) had trouble, especially in 7th and 8th grade due to the sudden heavier work load. DD was accepted into MIT and has two degrees right now and DS is currently in his second year of college with a 3.9 GPA.
  10. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Get her an IEP and have her reevaluated by a physician, as she grows and hormones kick in, her meds may frequently need to be adjusted.

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