The picture above is how I have felt for the past five weeks. My oldest was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in February of this year. Medication was started and by May, his grades were making a turn for the better. School year starts, first and second week are ok. In comes third week and bam....the trouble begins. He is 9 and in the third grade. They have started changing classes. One teacher in the morning who teaches Science, Social Studies and Math and one in the afternoons that teaches Spelling, Vocabulary and Reading. A note is sent home by the afternoon teacher, who also happens to be my stepsister who has been my stepsister for 12 years and I have never met's daughter....our families do not exactly get along, saying that Jackson is not focusing and she wants me to talk to him. Okay. I will talk to him, but he's a 9 year old boy that doesn't exactly "listen" to mama. I also write her back reminding her about his ADHD since that causes one to not "focus" and that we had just started him back on his medication a few weeks before. The next week, she sends home a two page note stating that he is still not focusing and that it is not the medication as he is chosing not to focus because he told her he chose not to focus. Ummm, is it just me, or isn't that the VERY definition of ADHD? I call her and we talk and no plan is made to help the situation. I asked her several times what she wanted me to do so that I could try to make this situation better and she says she has no suggestions. OK. The next week, I notice that he has written in his planner that he has a Science test that Friday (this is Monday). I write in his planner that is sent home everyday that he has not brought home a Science Study Guide and was wondering if we could get one sent home to study. Tuesday comes, nothing is sent home. So, I write in the planner once again that he needs a study guide. On Wednesday, the teacher writes that Jackson lost his study guide and it is now up to him to get with another student and copy their two page study guide onto a sheet of paper. I then write a long note back to the teacher how ridiculous it is to expect a 9 year old boy to take it upon himself and get with another student and that I send him to school to learn and expect the materials to be given to him to learn and that if she would send another study guide home, it would be greatly appreciated. I also called the principal and voiced my disappointment in this decision made by the teacher. I am told that the Superintendent will only allow the teachers to use so much paper and that if a certain teacher uses "too much" paper, she will have to buy paper out of her own pocket. Ummm... once again, I'm thinking to myself, "Isn't that what we pay our taxes for? Oh, I forgot it's not so my child can have an extra study guide, it's for the Superintendents almost $200,000 a year salary." I am then told that the study guides will now be available on the internet for me to print out in case this ever happens again. I also tell a school board member who is a friend of mine how ridiculous the whole "paper issue" is and he agrees. Good thing that Jackson loves Science, because he made a B on the test after only studying for it one night as he found his study guide in his desk. Sigh... Last week, something not too big happened that I can't remember. Tuesday of this week, he receives a strike (check on the board) for not bringing his planner from his morning class to his afternoon class and then yesterday, he received a strike for not bringing this reading book that I was told was only needed on Mondays along with another note from his afternoon teacher that he continues to stuggle and a meeting is requested with both teachers on Monday of next week.
This is our fifth year at this school and this is the first time I have ever had this problem. Yes, we held him back in first grade which was a great decision. Second grade was a struggle only in Math. He has been tested for learning disability in math, which I think I blogged about previously. He does not have one. We are taking our medicine everyday. He continues to struggle with math. He does very well in Science and Spelling. Our problems are vocabulary and math.
My questions for you all are this:
Am I getting defensive by thinking that my child is being picked on? I found out that his afternoon teacher has talked to my stepmother about my son. This is NOT OKAY with me and isn't that illegal? I do not even talk to her about my child or anything else for that matter.
We actually live in another school district that has smaller classes that everyone around here loves and I have found somewhere they can go in the afternoon. Should I switch schools? They want to, but I'm scared that maybe I am reading too much into this situation and what if it happens up there?
We do homework everyday and go over study guides and spelling words everyday. Is there something else I should be doing? Jackson does have an "I don't care" attitude in the afternoon classes now. If he is yelled at or talked to in a certain tone, he shuts down so to speak and doesn't even try. He has started calling himself a loser and stupid. I reassure him that he is not stupid and definately not a loser.
I am at my wits end. What do I do?