Dealing with school stress
Last week sometime, I got a call from the school that they would be moving Nicky to the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class. What? Not that I don't think my daughter is gifted and talented but she's not ready for an advanced class like that. I was in these classes when I was little and I have a daughter in those classes and they are no joke, especially when it comes to homework. I had to explain that my daughter was recommended to be retained last year so it doesn't make any sense. She would suffer in a second grade GATE class, it is a class way beyond grade level and she would not be able to keep up. The woman from the school office seemed offended that I was saying there's no way that this could be correct. I know my daughter and I want her to continue to grow and learn at her pace with peers who are at her level.
I know how they made this mistake. You see, last year Nicky got a teacher who was a "yeller" and I witnessed her being heartless to a little girl who was crying and scared because she had to ride the school bus home . I went to the principal and asked for him to move my daughter to another class room and he refused. He had said he'd have to get back to me in a week or two. He also suggested that if I was uncomfortable with leaving my daughter at school, I should keep her home! I don't think he knows what a few days home from school means for a kid with ADHD, she's was already behind! Well the principal never got back to me and so I had to go to the school district and they made him move her. I think he was calling my bluff but he said he only had room in the GATE class, I said well if the teacher is aware of Nicky's needs and is ok with it, then so am I. So that's where he put her, and it actually worked out pretty good except in the friend department. The students in this class were advanced in learning and also way more mature then Nicky, they often made fun of her and teased her. Little Snobs! She had a hard time making friends with them and they didn't want to play with her. On the other hand she learned so much and is almost at her grade level. Almost at grade level may not seem good for another child but for Nicky it's an awesome accomplishment!
Starting Nicky on meds also made the difference, it was the scariest decision I had to make. I had tried chocolate covered coffee beans for a while and it calmed her a bit but at school it wasn't doing enough. In Kindergarten she was constantly in trouble, constantly in time out, and she wasn't learning much. She just couldn't pay enough attention to be able to learn. So in first grade I finally said, I'll give it a try. There was a major improvement, pretty quickly I'd say. I only give her meds for school, none at home and none on weekends and holidays. I love Nicky just how she is and I want her to be able to express her self and have a good time. I don't mind her running up and down and driving me crazy, I want her to be herself, I want her to have fun.
Nicky started school a few weeks ago, everything has been going well. I was having regular talks with her teacher and she seemed to be understanding Nicky more by the day. I asked her if it was ok for Nicky to turn in her homework on Mondays because it give me the weekend. I told her homework time is like homework for me and she agreed! WOO HOO Now she's out on medical leave and had some kind of surgery that "went well", I'm told. So now I have to start all over with a sub who will be staying for as short as two months! They let us know in a hand out last night at open house. I wish as soon as they knew the sub would be staying, that they would have told me. I don't think schools understand how hard it is for a child with special needs and how important their teacher is in making it all work out properly. They just figure in the students who don't have any issues and that a teacher is a teacher and everything will all work out on it's own.
All I can do now is hope for the best, start building a new temporary relationship with the sub and be patient which is not my best virtue.