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How to tell a Mother her son may need help?
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How to tell a Mother her son may need help?

I tutor a 3rd grader after school four days a week for two hours a day. He is very smart but he has such a hard time focusing. I noticed that when I walk away from the study area he seems to get problems wrong or I have to remind him every five minutes he is supposed to be working. I brought this up to his teacher and she says the same thing goes on in his class, she always has to stand near him and point to tell him to move along. He likes to fly his pencil or tap his foot, he is always moving some part of himself around and it takes him a good amount of time to finish even just a few simple math problems or write his spelling words. His teacher wont say right out what she thinks is wrong but I did attend a parent teacher meeting with the child the mother and the teacher and in that meeting the teacher said "I think he wants to learn and he wants to focus, he just can't, it is beyond his control and becoming really disruptive and time consuming, it is not fair for the rest of my class that he needs me right by his side." His mother replied "No he can focus he just needs to put his mind to it" The teacher wrote me a note that said she was happy I took time from my day to help him and that she is worried and thinks it is sad when the parents just wont open their eyes and admit their child might be sick and not a slacker. Now I am an Army wife and I just moved to this base, the mother is my neighbor whom I have been friends with for about 3 months. I only tutor because I am going to school to be a special education teacher and thought I could use some experience with teaching someone other than MY children. I know I am friends with her so I have tried to tell her maybe the teacher is right maybe he just "can't" control himself. She raises her voice everytime so I quit pushing seeing how I do want to help him. The student has also said he trys to control it but it just keeps happening and I can see it is making him feel bad about himself. What am I supposed to do. I am not the parent so I can not just call the doctor, but I think it would really help him if he knew that it wasnt his fault and that their is help out there for him. We are both Army wives so we have excellent medical insurance that would well cover this type of thing so I know it isnt cost. Do you have any advice for me?

Thanks You
Army Wife for Life!!
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
All you talk about is his school work. Since you are a neighbor, observe him at play and in his home when he doesn't know you are watching him. Does he exhibit the same traits? The problem I have with teachers is their tunnel vision, and, yes, I have gone head to head with them over one of my daughters. What was her real problem? She hated school, which she found boring. On her own, at home, she was, lively,helpful and funny, and got on well with her sisters and brother (and was, incidentally, an avid reader). For that reason I paid no attention to the school reports. My interest was in the child as a total person  Ultimately she grew out of her restless inattention at school (puberty is wonderful), and became the most successful academically of everyone in the family, including her parents. I should point out that I did not demand academic excellence. She did it without any prodding on my part.

For me, drugging a kid was never an option. That stuff is dangerous. Some children present problems for the teacher. Get used to it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dose the mother watch what you and her son is doing when you are there,so she can see how he is acting. He may be doing this because he doesn't want to do the work or he does not like school or his teacher at school or the children in the class room.
He may also be playing you all.child do know how to do this.

I for one wish I had never put my son on medicine because of what a teacher at school was doing because this teacher was to lazy to do her job.not that they all are.
My son was on medicines and then started to have seizures back in 2006 and still is.The side effects of both medicines we tried because the teacher would call and write notes that the one medicine was not working.Can cause seizures and from what I have read on line and been told they cant be reversed.

It doesn't always have to be ADD or ADHD.could be other things going on.

I am a army wife also and know there are things this mother can do and get help with.If she thou there was a need for it.The child whom grow up with there parent or parents in the service go there things like Dad or Mom and sometimes both parents not around much and can really take a toll on a family and more so young children.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Another thought. Never in a million years would I subject a third grader to an additional two hours of school, four days a week. That is hard for little kids. And what is the matter with his parents? The little boy should be out in the fresh air with his friends ragging around.

Ugh!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have observed him outside of school he is always at my house with my three kids. His behavior really differs from my kids and my oldest is almost 7. He doesnt want to help clean up messes he helps make, you tell him something and it seems like he isnt even paying attention. He is very rough in playing he has even run over my one year old with a power wheel. Him and his brother are what I would say "out of control boys" but that is compaired to my children and the children in my family.

I am also against medicating my children, so no worries there. But I know there are professionals to talk to about things that you cant talk to your parents about and I think the mother just is stubborn and doesnt want to think her son needs help. She has watched him work at my house and seen how he acts. She makes excuses.

I am not giving him an extra 2 hours of school either just to let everyone know. I tutor him with his own homework. It really just takes him that long to do it if I am not sitting right next to him telling him to do the next problem. This is what the teacher says she has to do to. This is also not his first teacher to say he has this problem, even his mother admits to that. So I am not so sure that he just got bad luck and got stuck with first, second and third grade teachers that were lazy.

My 7 year old comes home goes straight to the table and does 2 pages of homework then studies spelling words for 20 min and then we read together for 20 min. We are doing homework for no more than an hour. I dont have to sit next to her to tell her to focus or to move on to the next question, she does this with 2 other kids running around and the TV on.

When I decided to see how my "student" did in this same atmosphere it was not good. He only had 4 math problems and it took him 1 hour and 45 min to do them and they were not right cause he wouldnt show his work. Finally I sat right on top of him again, cause I believe that too much of one thing especially school is stressing. I couldnt believe that he actually did them and got them right just cause I was sitting right next to him. I dont know why this is?

He is very smart so I know its not that he cant do the work, he knows how to read and he writes clearly. He talks highly of school as far as wanting to learn. I dont think he is bored.

I try to put a time limit on things he has to do, like 4 math problems shouldnt take more than 30 minutes or so. And believe me this kid is always outside, him and his brother rule the roost at their house or at least when their dad is in the field training. They are outside for at least 2 hours a day after school during the week.

I really dont know what to do, I dont want him to be some drone all med'd out and lifeless. I just want him to focus because I know he is smart and can do the work.

His mom just always puts it on him and says he isnt trying hard enough to focus he could do it if he wanted. I think she is just stressed out with doing homework with him.
But I think that he could really benifit from just talking to a professional, no one has to be put on medicine even if the Dr reccomends it, there is no law saying the parents has to go through with it. I surley would go any other route with my own kids and would not reccomend meds. I dont even like taking a tylenol when I have a headache or cramps. I am very careful with what my kids take as well.

So any sugestions even if it isnt ADD or ADHD there is something going on with the kid, and I cant help him, I am not a professional.

Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
About your comment that

"Some children present problems for the teacher. Get used to it."

Believe me I am really used to it, my cousin is Autistic and I used to live with him and his family before I PCS'd here and I was his respite provider and many times sat in on his classes. I know that some students or children can present problems for teachers.

I have patience and I am actually going for my MA in Education specializing in Special Education, so that I can work with Autistic children. I know what I am in for in my future of teaching and ALL my students will be children who will present teaching challenges, I dont have a problem with that, the parents already know there is something going on with their kids and they are trying to help them.

This kids mom WONT admit there COULD be a problem that needs attention from both his parents and maybe a therapist or something. Kids need to vent too, when they hold it in it causes other behavioral problems.

I know this kid I tutor used to have an IEP due to learning challenges he was facing, I know the kids IEP ran out I just dont know why it did.  I just think his mom needs to get up and get the IEP back in play or start doing something more... it never pays to ignore a situation with your children.

But thanks for the advice.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you tried to talk to this little boy? I know this summer I was helping my neighbor by watching two of her children and her daughter has some problems and new three was a reason for her acting the way she was.So I sat down and talk with her like I would an adult.And asked her if she had told her mom the things I was able to get from her and she said know and when I asked her why she had not she said she was scared.I asked her If she wanted me to help her talk to her mom.And we did .Thou it didn't go the way I would have liked it to.  I know that the young girl did try with my help to get it off her chest.
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel for the child.
  I have watched kids exactly like this go through the school system.  Homework will get longer and longer till they give up.  They will start failing classes and start hanging out with other failures.  There is a good chance that they will start self-medicating. And it will get worse from there.  What will make this even worse is that the Mother is going to blame the child the whole way!  All her attempts to help will be for naught because she refuses to believe that he has ADHD and won't do those things that can help.  And we are not just talking meds here.  There is a lot that can be done without meds to preserve his sanity.  I am guessing that either one or both of his parents have ADHD and because of their (probably bad) experience growing up with it, they maybe  reacting the way they are.  Just a guess, but I have seen it happen.  There are also some whose religious beliefs won't allow them to deal with this kind of a situation. And I have worked with some parents from foreign countries (mainly oriental) who just don't believe in getting psychological help due to their cultural traits.  None of these reasons excuse what is going to happen to the child and unfortunately, most of these are difficult to deal with.
  Your IEP will not run out.  The parent has probably pulled him out of the system - which is even more sad. Frankly, if this is true - and the parents aren't working with the school, the school will start giving up on the parents.  In another year or so, I think you will start seeing the child get suspended from school.  Especially, if he no longer has an IEP to protect him.  Maybe that will finally wake the parents up.
  I'm really not sure what you can do to help.  There are good books out there, but I am not sure if any fit this situation.  If you try to help too much, the parent will probably dump you.  So be careful how you handle this.  The school is really the one that will have to do it.  Sooner or later, the teacher and the playground supervisors will give up, and the principal will get involved and that may help.  It sounds like the teacher is really trying to help.  She needs to get the principal and school psyc to all work together on this.
  I think for now, your best help will be to be very comforting and understanding to the child.  Really try and keep him up on his math (that's the one thing that will really come back to haunt him in upper grades).  Keep your eye open for division, thats usually where things began to get tough.  Do short drills on multiplication.
  Its possible the mom might be open to trying some dietary changes for him.  Check out this post - http://www.medhelp.org/posts/ADD---ADHD/green-tea-for-adhd/show/349853?post_id=post_4974723
  The LT03 sounds interesting.  Unfortunately, people rarely post back to say if it works.
  You can certainly start reading up on how to help ADHD kids.  I saw this post a while back and haven't had time to check it out, but it sounds good.  Of course the standard is "Driven to Distraction" by Hallowell.
  
"Dulcet1pms, Oct 07, 2009 03:33AM
Hi- I also have a son with ADhD and is Bi-polar as well.  THe one best thing I did for him was buy, read and implement the techniques in 2 books.  The first was, "How to reach and teach ADD ADhD kids."  The second was, "The ADD/ ADhD Answer book."  Both of those books are filled with things that help our kind of children"

  Best of luck, I appreciate what you are trying to do.  It must be terribly frustrating for you (well, for all involved).  Hang in there.
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Avatar_n_tn
Even if you lose a friend or a good neighbor, you owe it to this child to point his mother that he needs "help". Gather up all of your facts, find lots of examples, rehearse your "story", print literature and talk to his mother. Even if she rejects it, your conversation will linger forever in her mind; and than may be one day, the light will go on.

Trust me, at the end of the day - you would have HELPED one child, and that is all that matters.

He deserves to be "the best he can be", to do well in school, to be loved by teachers and peers.
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Avatar_f_tn
i was 7 when i was first diagnosed with adhd borderline asperges and was contantly being given a hard time by my teachers so it is wonderful to see that ur caring more about the child then the paycheak u recieve... i think u should talk to the child about it see what it is that he/she is feeling and see if between the 2 of u and idea can a rise... by the time i was 12 i had stopped taking my medication and had learnt to control the symptomes of adhd i am now 18 and have never regreted stopping it as it has taught me self control and one of the things that really helped me was listening to music whilest doing work as for me to concentrate i need to have both sides of my brain stimulated and listening to music help me do that.
and its just small things like that that can really make the differance
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi mam im 18 and diagnosed my self cause my mom did the same thing my teachers would tell her my problem and she'll tell them i should just study she don't under stand the problem and still dont i went to concerta an adhd website and done a miner test on my self wich parents teachers can do on other and it indicated that i had a problem clearly i printed it out and took it my self to the doctor with dads permition obviosly I wont warry to much about the child if the mom is hard heade sorry i know its your friend but as the boy grow you can tell him about adhd like my moms friend did let him look in to it or sugest to the mom that they just try cincerta or somthing just not retelin sorry had bad history just for a week if they see know preformance than they can think of somthing ells but im shore they'll see the deffrence
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been reading the comments regarding the issue and most comments are not really that sure if it is ADHD or not... Consulting a specialist won't hurt at all. It is for the betterment of the child undergoing such behavior. It is still better to seek the opinion of an expert rather than assumptions that we are not even sure of.

It is really hard to tell parents who are defensive with regards to their son or daughter's condition. why don't you try to aked permission if you can videotape the students inside the classroom and show her the video. Maybe that would convince her that her child really needs help.
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