My Dd's Teacher Says She Has To Focus Better...

Lounge By just_for_fun Updated 8 Dec 2009 , 11:48pm by just_for_fun

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just_for_fun Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 7:40pm
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So yesterday was our PTA meeting, and my 3rd grade dd's teacher says that she daydreams in class and is very easily distracted. She is a bright kid, so her marks are not terribly affected by this, but she has started acting up in class. This is a kid, that up until a few weeks ago was the best behaved kid in the class. Her 1st & 2nd grade teachers always said that she participates well, is always part of the class even when she sits in the back, and is a well behaved child. She is recommending that I find out about vitamins or other excercises that I can do to help her. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks so much!!

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suz3 Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 7:45pm
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I work with a child psychologist so I know a little about the things that can affect children. Have there been any changes any where? Any at all. Sometimes the littlest things bother kids. If no, she might just be bored. You said that she is bright and often bright children are not stimulated and then get in trouble. You might have her tested to see what might be going on. So many things with children look like other things that it is best to let a GOOD professional take a look. If you have any other questions I can help with, let me know.

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Rachie204 Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 7:57pm
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Well my son is 5 and in kindergarten and we have had some issues with him so i will share my experience...

Many people are going to shout "ADD", but please research carefully before jumping to this conclusion.

My son has ODD (objective defiant disorder) and in the process of diagnosing this we filled out Vanderbilts and meet with a therapist.

My doctor said that ADD symptoms are usually always present and don't usually come and go.

My doctor also said that usually sudden changes in a child's behavior usually reflect a change in their environment.
Perhaps something has changed in her class...A new kid, old friend moved, seat changed, new teachers aid....I would ask the teacher if anything is different that might be affecting her.
Also something that I have learned is that allergies, especially food allergies can have HUGE effects on a child's behavior and learning ability. You might want to research "behavior and food allergies"

Also remember that if she is having trouble seeing clearly or hearing clearly it may cause her to loose interest and begin to day dream. Check with her doctor and have them look her over just to be sure.

Lastly be patient and loving and eventually you will get to the bottom of it...HTH Keep us posted on her progress...


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Ruth0209 Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 8:25pm
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I saw a story a while back about kids with ADHD symptoms who actually had sleep apnea. They took out their tonsils and they improved dramatically. This seems to be more common in children who are too heavy, so if your daughter has put on any chubbiness, you might check on that, too. The chronic sleep deprivation from sleep apnea can cause those symptoms. Allergies can also cause this.

My DD had true ADHD. I tried every non-medication option possible to help her first. Eventually, I did put her on some ADHD medication, which helped, and I was very glad I did that. But I was happy that I'd exhausted all other alternatives before jumping to the medication. And even with the medication, there's a lot of ongoing behavior management that you have to help kids with ADHD learn so they can manage their impulses better.

Good luck! Keep searching until you figure it out.

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Texas_Rose Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 8:43pm
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When my oldest was in kindergarten, we kept hearing that she needed special help and was in danger of having to repeat the grade. She's done great in first and second grades so all I could really ever figure out was that the problem with kinder was the teacher. Val didn't feel like she could tell us when things were wrong, she thought school just had to be like that.

I wouldn't start thinking ADHD or anything like that yet. For the teacher to suggest vitamins because a child isn't paying attention sounds like that teacher has different ideas than most of us.

I do remember when they figured out I needed glasses, it was because I wasn't paying attention in class anymore (I had a W name so my desk was in the back of the room and I couldn't see anything more than a foot in front of me icon_biggrin.gif )

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CakesByJen2 Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 9:17pm
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My gut instinct in reading this is that the problem is probably with the teacher, not your daughter. Her suggesting "vitamins" & "exercise" is kind of a red flag to me. Like she is trying to make some pop diagnosis. Is their anyone else you could get some feedback from, who has observed your daughter in the classroom? LIke parent volunteers or a teacher's aide?? Or parents whose kids have had this teacher before? THey could give you an idea of whether your daughter's behavior has really changed, or whether this teacher has unrealistic expectations.

My son started getting notes sent home this year (1st grade), and I became concerned, but after talking to a couple of other parents and the teacher's aid (who was also his aide in K), I realized it was just his K teacher was much more lax, and this teacher is a little more uptight and rigid, and sends notes home for little stuff, too, not just big things. So getting a note from her is not nearly as big a deal as getting a note from most teachers.

Getting your daughter's vision and hearing checked wouldn't hurt, and consider where she is sitting in the classroom and who with; maybe she just needs to be relocated.

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cabecakes Posted 7 Dec 2009 , 11:16pm
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My daughter was considered "gifted", and we had all kinds of distraction issues with her. Even today (she is now in college) she still has issues with "getting bored" and "becoming distracted". Just because she is distracted doesn't mean she has ADHD. Gifted children are often distracted if they are allowed to get bored. If the work is not challenging enough for her, you may want to talk with the school about putting her in some advanced classes. My daughter could read when she started kindergarten, by the time she was in third grade she was tutoring children with reading difficulties. When she was in first grade, she was in a second grade math class. By fifth grade, she was doing junior high work (on her own because the teacher refused to take time away from the rest of the class for one student). This teacher, by the way, is the only teacher who had complaints about my daughter's behavior. My daughter didn't like her, because she refused to answer the simplest questions for my DD. She said if she was in advanced placement, she should be able to figure it out by reading the textbook. Your daughter's issue may not be her own, it may be the teacher's issue. I agree with Jen. I would look into the child's classroom situation a little closer. Ask the teacher or aides if your daughter seems bored. It could be you just have a gifted child on your hands. Gifted children can sometimes come off a little "quirky", not meant in a negative way. It's just how they are. Sometimes they require a great deal of patience.

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ElectricCook Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:31am
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All three of my nephews and my son are gifted. Nephews are 18, 15 and 12, my son is 9. When my first two nephews were in 1st grade the teacher told my sister to put them on Ritalin because they were too distracted. With my 1st nephew she considered it, but I had a long talk with her an told my sister that it was the teacher. My sister suggested to the teacher to give my nephew extra work and to let him help out in class. That solved the problem, but my sister was very firm and didn't listen to the teacher. The same thing happened to my 2nd nephew.

I say all of this to tell you to go with your gut. This is your daughter and you know her best. Any teacher that would suggest that your child needs vitamins or more exercise, should be able to tell you what she has tried to do to solve this so called issue. If you are going to get your daughters hearing and eyes tested go to a Specialist not your Pediatrician. The Specialist may catch something that your Pediatrician may miss.

Also ask you daughter what's going on in class? Who does she sit next to, did anyone get their seats changed, what's happening in the lunchroom and so on. Ask about what happens before class starts, ask if the teacher had to say anything to one of her classmate, did any of her friends make new friends and so on. Also ask her if she likes her teacher and try to get details on what exactly she likes/dislikes about her.

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prterrell Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:37am
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The change in the amount of daylight at this time of year affects many people. This may be part of what's going on w/ your daughter. Your doctor should be able to give recommendations on how to counter the affects of reduced daylight.

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indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 1:53am
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My son was also found to have a genius IQ level, which is why he was bored in class, which equals distracted, looking around, not paying attention. I actually had him tested for ADD and that's how we found out he did NOT have ADD, but had a genius IQ. We moved him to harder classes and the behavior cleared up plus his grades went from C's to straight A's ... in HARDER classes.

High IQ kids require special handling, just like Special Ed kids do. They learn different. They process different.

I remember in first grade, my teacher complained to my mom that it was hard to keep me busy. I remember actually being yelled at by this teacher for getting my work done "too fast" and how she didnt' have time to find me something to do. So I also agree it could also be partly an issue on the teacher's side, too.

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just_for_fun Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:15am
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Thanks all for your responses!

This problem started a few wks ago, when I spoke with my daughter, she said she could not see the board. So I had her checked out, she got glasses, but her behavior got worse.

The teacher was not recommending excercise, but special excercises that help with focus and concentration. She is an experienced teacher, almost 20 years, but I think she's off base. Don't get me wrong, I am all for treating problems, but only if they're there.

My daughter has two teachers, a morning teacher for religious studies and an afternoon teacher for general studies. This is the afternoon teacher. She is known as a very hard teacher, but my daughter actually loves that because she "has so many interesting things", she just is restless and lately has been disruptive by both teachers. The morning teacher called me last week to discuss this (I had not realised that it was still going on since she got glasses), and she wanted to know if anything is going on at home or between her friends that I knew about. I felt that she was handling it much better, trying to find the cause. Since I could not think of anything, we decided it was an attention thing, so we are both giving her positive attention, and she tells me that she sees a huge improvement. The afternoon teacher, however, thinks that it is something else. I just felt that it was a bit off mark to tell me to give her "vitamins", maybe I'm wrong, but I think she was hinting to meds.

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Texas_Rose Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:20am
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Originally Posted by just_for_fun

I just felt that it was a bit off mark to tell me to give her "vitamins", maybe I'm wrong, but I think she was hinting to meds.

Maybe she sells that Usana stuff on the side...I had a neighbor who sold it and believed it could cure anything icon_biggrin.gif Almost like the iphone commercial about "there's an app for that", with the neighbor it was ,"there's a vitamin for that." icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

The holiday break is coming up soon for most could be that your daughter just needs time to adjust to having glasses and she'll come back after the break focused and ready to go icon_biggrin.gif

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CakesByJen2 Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:28am
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The "vitamin" remark sounded to me like she's working her way up to suggesting meds, too. Some teachers/school systems are quick to want to call any kid who are not docile and easy, the least bit different, "ADHD" and want to medicate them into submission. Any teacher who tries to tell you your child has ADD/ADHD is way out of line. It might be one thing to suggest evaluation, but they are NOT qualified to try to dignose a kid. It's also out of line for them to recommend any vitamins or supplements. They are not doctors or nutritionists and have no business giving medical advice.

However, if a second teacher, who has a different teaching style, is also seeing some behavioral changes, then that does give it some more credibility that there is a problem. I still bet it is something situational, though. Vision or hearing problems, boredom, problems with other kids, where she sits, who knows...Are kids making fun of her glasses? It's just going to take some observation and talking with your daughter to ultimately get to the root of the problem.

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indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:33am
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I have an optometrist (sp?) in my BNI group and she has shared some very interesting stuff about eyes. She actually does vision therapy. She helps train and re-train the eyes to focus, to see, and do what they are suppose to do. If "can't see the board" is an issue and the glasses aren't helping, you might have her checked out by a vision therapist, which may be a bit different than an eye doctor who just prescribes glasses.

But my son also kept telling us "I didnt' see the assignment written on the board." We thought it might be a vision thing. But it was the typical "bored in class". he didnt' see the assignment on the board ... he didnt' even see the teacher standing up there writing the assignment .... he was bored and distracted.

With all of this testing, definitely test her IQ.

And I totally agree with CakesbyJen's 1st paragraph!!

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just_for_fun Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:35am
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I keep talking to her, trying to get to the bottom of it, but every time I think she's going to spill the beans, she just smirks and looks away. I keep telling her that I'm her mother, and she can tell me anything, and I won't get upset, but she tells me "It's nothing".

It's just interesting that the teacher that is looking at it as a situational thing is seeing improvement, and the one that is suggesting that she needs intervention is not seeing that improvement. The other teacher recommended that she also give her some little extras (very quietly, so noone else notices), but she says that it won't help. So my daughter now mostly behaves in the morning, but not in the afternoon.

She basically likes that approach. The morning teacher punished her, but instead of sending her to the principal, she told her to stand a few minutes outside of the classroom "because you probably need a break, I know that you're usually good", my daughter came home to tell me that her teacher loves her, when I asked her why, she told me this, and it seems to work, sort of reverse psychology.

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just_for_fun Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:37am
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Oh, no, Indy. She sees the board just fine now. She says so herself. It's just her behavior that's not improving.

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indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 2:43am
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OK then! Process of elimination has eliminated one possiblity! thumbs_up.gif

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just_for_fun Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 3:01am
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Thanks to all of you, I am feeling much less stressed about this. I was thinking that maybe I'm doing the wrong thing, that subconsciously (sp?) I am getting defensive that my daughter can't have a problem, but I see what I have to do, I really sorted out my thoughts here. You are all a great help!

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bonniebakes Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 9:09pm
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I'm an educational therapist - I work primarily with individuals with learnign and attention issiues.

Did you know there are over 50 things (from sleep to boredom to food or environmental allergies) that *look* like ADHD symptoms?

If this is something new, there is a reason. The challenge is to figure out what it is...

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sadsmile Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 9:45pm
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The vitamin thing isn't really so far off. Having the proper nutrition and vitamins can do wonders for focus and concentration and patience. The right balance of nutrition and vitamins and mineral supplements make things work more smoothly in our systems. It's like the difference from being over tired and weary to fully rested and up for the day. But I would suggest checking withe PEDI and testing Hemoglobin before implementing any supplements.

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just_for_fun Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 11:48pm
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Thanks bonniebakes, I knew we had some professionals around here who would help me with this. I am trying to figure out what changed. It seems like the extra challenges and attention her morning teacher is giving her is bringing amazing results, and the other teacher is starting to work that way, too. (took 1 1/2 weeks of convincing by other teacher). First day today and already a bit of improvement by her! I will still speak to the pediatrician to make sure all is okay.

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