Friday, February 22, 2008

Parent – Teacher meeting

Last night was our quarterly parent-teacher meeting. We got to see samples of Liam’s work, including his “self assessment”. He feels that he is good at listening, that he needs to work on “work” and that his favorite thing to do is to play outside.

The teacher’s had expressed concerns back in November that they felt he wasn’t progressing the way they thought he should be. At that time we discussed 2 possibilities:

1) he had only had his glasses since September, so reading, drawing and writing would almost be brand-new for him, since the previous year he couldn’t see to do it.

2) We all felt that he just didn’t understand that school was a place to WORK and not just a giant play-date that he got to go to everyday.

So Hilary and I talked to him about school being for work time, and that yes, he still gets to play, but he has to do his best work first. And the teachers reinforced this with him as well. And that did seem to be making a difference. Then he was off for an extra week of Christmas to have his tonsils out and after going back in January for 1 week he was off again to have his dental work done. It’s really only been 6 weeks that he’s been back into the swing of a regular routine.

The teachers (whom we LOVE!!) have notice that there has been a lot of improvement. His pencil grip is better, he is now working with both upper and lower case letters (where as in November he was struggling to get through a sheet of just upper case), and his pictures are becoming more detailed. He frequently surprises them (and us) with remembering different facts that they have covered weeks ago. But they are still struggling to keep him focused. In order to get him to do his self assessment, which included 3 pictures and copying 3 lines of text, Alana had to sit beside him the whole time and keep “bringing him back to the task” They are wondering if there is the potential for ADD. They are not thinking ADHD as he does not show any hyperactive tendencies, but they did mention that he does his best work after he has played outside and had that physical release. One of their examples is that if they are talking directly to him, he only seems to get ½ of what is being said. Either the first half because they got his attention when they started talking, but then his mind wanders off part way through and he stops listening, or the second half because his mind has been wandering and all of a sudden he realizes that someone is talking to him and he pays attention. Both Hilary and I agree that we see this at home too.

From everything I have read, 5 and a half is still too young for a definitive ADD diagnosis. We do have a referral to a pediatrician next month to see about having various evals done, mostly to rule out other possibilities like auditory processing disorders, sensory issues, receptive language delays.

For now, I will keep reading, trying to see if there are techniques or exercises we can do at home to help Liam focus.
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