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23 January 2008

Comments

Mijk

I think I owuld wait a couple of weeks to see how he is doing and then tell it. The teacher then has had some time to form an opinion of your son without all the things he might assume when hearing add without knowing the kid.

Shandra

I think you should make the decision based on your son's needs and not how you'll be perceived, so what I would do is give it a week or two and see how your son's doing - if he's having issues then tell at that point.

GL! It actually sounds like a great situation.

Miss W

Popped over from Tertia's...
I was a primary school teacher (mostly 3rd grade, so 7-9 year old age range) before leaving the field to stay home with my son. For me as a teacher, I liked knowing my kids' medical needs. It helped me out quite a bit in knowing how to respond to the child's behaviors. A child who is normally medicated and able to perform as a normal child suddenly isn't focusing, not getting work done, distracting others, etc., I could quietly ask the child if she had had her medication -- if not, we call the parent to let them know and to see if anything can be done to remedy it. I also had a student who had such severe ADHD that he had to take a dose upon waking and another at school after lunch. Without either dose, he literally climbed desks, did cartwheels in the middle of lessons (quite disturbing, that!), etc. With him, my knowing was of paramount importance as I had to help keep track of his daily meds -- including reminding his (not so wonderful) caregiver to go pick up his prescription already!
I'm sure you are much more responsible and manage his meds well, but it is nice to know. If there ever is a day he's off his meds, it would be a shame for him to get into trouble for misbehavior when the solution could be as simple as a phone call home and someone to bring him a pill.
Of course, not all teachers view their students as "their kids" as I do, so maybe not all teachers want to know? In the end, you have to just decide what's best for your son in his particular situation and go from there.

Miss W

Oh...and something I did with my ADD/ADHD kids re: the homework/notes home issue. My class all had planners that they wrote daily homework assignments in. For the ADD kids (and others who were generally disorganized/forgetful) I would look at their planner before they walked out the door each day to make sure all assignments were written down. I then signed their planner to let the parent know it was correct. If I sent a memo home, I also wrote in their planner "teacher note" so the parent would know to ask for it. When those kids got home, the parents' part of the deal was that they had to read the planner and sign it. This way they knew how much work the kid had, that he knew how much work he had, and whether or not they needed to ask for letters from the teacher. Since his teacher is trying to equip them for high school/adulthood, this seems like a fairly logical system that he might embrace -- and it takes only a moment or so at the end of the day for all the adults involved.

polly

I would tell. I understand the reasons for not wanting to, but a teacher needs to know about his/her children in order to tailor the teaching style to match the child. my mother was a teacher w/ lots of ADD/ADHD students (as well as dyslexic) and it was VERY useful for her to know each child's needs. This isn't like something the teacher asked NOT to have (past reports of behavior, work or character). This is ADD, which isn't behavior, work or 'character.' Plus most teachers worth their salt know that ADD children can often be the brightest of the bunch....they just require learning a different way etc. That would also allow the teacher to know what causes, say, Daniel's forgetfulness. Not an excuse for the behavior but a reason....which is useful for a teacher to have as they deal w/ the children.

Lindsay

Please tell him- it'll help.(See Tertia's blog- for comment.) Well done for being class rep. We love nice people as class reps - spoil the teacher, he'll appreciate it!

Lindsay

Please tell him- it'll help.(See Tertia's blog- for comment.) Well done for being class rep. We love nice people as class reps - spoil the teacher, he'll appreciate it!

Tania

Talk to the teacher, tell him what the issues are and that you are scared your son will be labeled in school. I have found in my experience as a mother of a little girl with SID (same as Adam) that NO I did not want her labeled but on the other hand I wanted her teacher to be aware of why she might have a melt down that changing over from recess to another activity quickly might "stress" Lexie out, why she won't keep socks on her feet even at 30 degrees below zero.

I didn't want her teacher to concentrate on things like fighting with her to keep her socks on and wasting valuable teaching time for things that really matter!!!

Just be honest and upfront with the teacher and tell then you feelings!!!

ls

I have to echo the above: be honest and tell her that you are worried about her opinion of you, the limits on labeling, etc. I have ADD myself and try pretty hard not to hide it anymore, b ut I also don't use it as an excuse, either. She may be very empatheitc towards you/your child, and if not and she has an awful attitude, don't you want to find out now?

Wyliekat

Okay - also over from Tertia's blog.

Here's my question - would you tell the teacher if your son had asthma? Diabetes? Epilepsy?

Just because you've got his challenges under control doesn't mean that you don't invite the other caregivers/mentors/teachers in his life into what you're facing. They might be able to help. And if they judge, that's something you can contend with, as mother bear. If they don't judge and are, in fact, supportive and maybe even teach you some things, you've done both yourself and your child some good.

I'm wondering if you're afraid he'll be treated differently - or if you're afraid you'll be treated differently.

Have faith in this teacher until/unless he proves otherwise. Then, you know what you have to do. This is a fight you'll be fighting for a long time, but hiding it won't make it any less real.

I hope I don't sound harsh, because I don't mean to. My daughter, to my knowledge, does not have ADD or ADHD, so I'm very lucky. I can only imagine how challenging and heartbreaking it must be to know your child has been "equipped" with extra hurdles to leap, simply to live a good life.

I wish you all the best.

Jazz

Hello Dear Friend

Have no experience in this as such....but gut instinct says tell. Either now or in a couple of weeks (as a couple people above have suggested). It gives the teacher time to get to know Daniel a little. But do, do it and not put it off in a couple of weeks just coz all is going well.

Cheerio!

Melissa

Hi there,

I think it's really important to keep the teachers in the loop. I agree with some of the comments above - particularly the one from the teacher about how she can help if a child misses his meds for a day(lets face it, it can happen - no matter how diligent a caregiver is) and how she can assist in organizational areas. I also liked the comparison made by ls - you would tell if your child had asthma or some other condition, right?

One more thing to think about: I'm a step mom to a 15 year old son who's been medicated since 3rd grade. In the six years that I've been working with his mom, teachers and my husband to keep him on track, his meds have changed multiple times. This can be due to growth, hormones, or other factors we probably don't even know about! Often it is the teacher (who spends 8 hours a day with him!) who first notices that the meds may need adjusting. Just something to think about.

Good luck. It's not easy, but you are doing a FABULOUS job!

Hugs,
Melissa

Beth

Hi!

I, too, have come over from Tertia's site and felt the need to weigh in. While I admire your son's teacher's desire to give all of the kids a fresh start by not focusing solely on any past issues, I feel it is necessary to inform the teacher of any struggles your child may encounter.

My son is 9-years-old and is in the 3rd grade. When he was in pre-kindergarten, he was diagnosed with ADD. We learned several years later, however, that he actually had an auditory processing disorder which was causing his attention problems. We've had him off and on medication for the past several years in an effort to find the right one to make things a little easier on him.

In my personal situation, I feel it is extremely important for the teacher to be made aware of my child's dilemmas so that accommodations can be made to assist him in terms of classroom placement. Due to the auditory issues, my son has trouble verbalizing and understanding verbal directions. It is important for his teacher to repeat directions to make sure Christian understands them.

But aside from the accommodations, the main reason I like to keep the teachers in the loop is due to the fact that Christian IS on medication. I have to know that it is working or whether or not the dose should be adjusted. I need to know if it's wearing off mid-day, etc... I also like to eliminate any frustration for the teacher because I don't want her to look at my child at any time and wonder what the hell is wrong with him. I want her to know that I am aware that my child has issues and that I am there to support her in any way, shape, or form.

At the beginning of each school year, I schedule a separate meeting with my child's new teacher (away from the hustle and bustle of Open House). I present her with a short history of my child's struggles and what has worked in the past. His teachers are ALWAYS grateful for this information. His previous teachers always offer their support to the new teacher.

My son's situation may be a far cry from that of your son's, but I still feel that ANY information that may affect your child's performance, mood, etc is VERY important for a teacher to know. Should you decide to share the information with your child's teacher, you may only need to say that your main reason in telling is due to the fact that you want to monitor the medication use. It may turn out that the dose may need to be adjusted due to your child's weight gain, etc.

Hope your child has a great year... whatever you decide! And remember, regardless of the comments any of us leave here, YOU know what's best for YOUR child.


-Beth

Amanda

Hi Mel, came over from Tertia's. My son has ADD and has been on medication for the last 2 years (he's 11, started the adderall XR in 5th grade). John also did very well on his meds last year. I chose not to tell his middle school teachers. However, when I checked John out of school early one day his teacher inquired about whether or not he did have ADD. I answered truthfully and she wanted to know about his meds. SO, I think if he is having trouble, the teacher will pick up on it. If he's not having any issues, I think it's perfectly fine not to tell the teacher. I do understand your conflict, you don't want to use ADD as a crutch. You don't want to be unfairly judged for medicating your child. I work with a guy who has been quite obnoxious about my decision to medicate John. Course, now that he has school age children and low and behold a child diagnosed with ADHD, he has changed his tune quite a bit as he recently decided that maybe chosing to medicate your child wasn't a bad idea. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Misty

I know it's already been said a dozen times but I'll say it again because I know the fear all too well... tell the teacher. The reason I questioned whether or not to tell the teachers about my daughter was because I didn't want them to judge her. I didn't want them to make excuses for her or not push her to excel (don't tell) but at the same time I didn't want them to be harsh with her about something that was out of her control or to overlook educational strategies just because of a lack of information on their part (TELL). In the end I told them and it turned out wonderfully. They love her and accept her for who she is.
I understand that there are teachers/people in the world who will judge anyway... that's just how they are but it's my opinion that when we keep things secret it gives them power. There is nothing to be ashamed of when living with/being/advocating for someone who is neuro-atypical (ADD, Sensory, etc.). If a child were diabetic you/I/we would not hesitate to let a teacher know because society does not place blame or shame on diabetes (when it comes to children... adults, whole other story). If the teachers know ahead of time they will be better able to give the ADD child all the support he/she needs. As well, if they know ahead of time and still refuse to accommodate the childs learning needs there will be no question as the whether or not they are unaware of the childs needs.
Best of luck!

Misty - medicating since the lass was 5 years old! Thank heavens for Conc*erta!!

Andrea

"I was very concerned about his age, which I estimate to be close to 60?" Wow. Are we really supposed to be writing people off that young ... not even a legal retirement age, at least not here in the U.S.

(Sorry, I know this is not the question you asked but, I was a little confused by a 60 year old teacher would worry you)

Jerri Ann

I am former teacher (I am only 39 but I retired at 29 because I didn't like it) and a present daycare owner. Oh and I came over here from Tertia's blog. Anyway, I would most definitely tell the teacher. He needs to know what is going on and chances are unless your child is a behemoth of a hellion, he has seen plenty of children who require medication and won't think you are lazy at all. And, sooner or later, a dose of med will be missed and he needs to know why the change in behavior. Also, there's always side effects that could occur while he is in charge and he definitely needs to be aware of everything that is going on. I vote, yes, tell him for sure.

karyn

I am part of the tell the teacher brigade! I work at a daycare centre and in the p.m. help children with homework. It makes it so much easier to deal with the child concerned if we are made aware of any problems.
You are a fantastic mom and never forget that. Hugs always...
P.S. Please could we have an update on Reegan!!! thanks

Becki

My son is most likely on the autism spectrum, but extremely high functioning, so that one might not necessarily be aware of it just from watching him. I find it helpful, instead of giving a diagnosis, to think about what things are particularly challenging for him, and to share those specific things with the teacher so that she can be aware. For instance: "Julian gets really stressed out when he feels like he isn't going to have time to finish an assignment, and then his anxiety keeps him from being able to finish. Here's how I notice he's getting stressed out...here are some ways that have been helpful in calming him in the past..." Then ask the teacher to let you know if he notices any of these behaviours.

Spacemom

Honestly, I would talk to the teacher. Stop for a minute. Do you REALLY think that this man is going to say "What a lazy parent to medicate their child and tell me that her son has ADD! I'm just going to make this even harder on him!" Or do you think the teacher will say, "okay, I'll keep that in consideration, but don't expect that I'll let him blame things on the ADD, I'll make sure he works hard"

It may also be as simple as saying "D has trouble being organized and he has some phonetic spelling. These are issues that you might need to know to help him focus on working on those issues this year"

Good luck

vanessa

HI Mel
Coming over from Tertia (because Im a stickybeak I had to add my 2 cents)I used to teach grade 1 and from a teacher point of view (and as others have already pointed out)the teacher really needs to know.A good teacher will not use the information to judge your son but rather use the information in a way to help your son cope.You admit he needs a tiny bit of extra attention with a few things and the teacher will be sympathetic to this.Rather him be sympathetic then think that some behaviours are simply "not listening" or being "lazy".He sounds like a wonderful teacher the majority of teachers know ADD is a genuine disorder(I hate calling it that but not sure what else to call it)Also teachers can usually pick up the different behaviour very quickly (no matter how subtle)and it would be worse if he mentioned it to you at a later stage and you had to admit you never mentioned it. (I hope I dont come across as condescending I don't mean to be!) I had numerous children with problems in my classes and was always a bit upset when I "found out" about them instead of being told about them,I always felt like I could have made the childs school time much easier if I had the information to provide extra support when needed.

Good luck and I hope your son has a wonderful school year!

Aurelia

Mel,
I'm just cross-commenting this from Tertia's, and I know it isn't the popular view, but I have to share.

"I have ADD, and my son has ADD and the pp is completely right. Do not tell, under ANY circumstances. The judgement, the prejudice, the discrimination are incredible and I would never risk my child's future by putting a label on their permanent record.
That permanent record btw, can be seen by future colleges, by any teacher, by any school employee. Notwithstanding all the nice teacher commenters you get Tertia, they can gossip, and do. Not every teacher is perfect.
Use medication, get your kids on an all-day time release, so they don't need to tell anyone at school and can focus. If they have other symptoms, just talk about mild possible LD issues. They can be explained and accommodated without dropping the neutron bomb of ADD. Lots of people understand LD. No-one gets accused of faking dyslexia, but ADD? Hah...everytime I've ever told someone, I'm accused of being a faker.

If my attitude seems extreme, please know that after years and years of facing Doctors who ridicule the existence of ADD, and teachers who are all over the map in their belief of ADD, I simply can't understand anyone who thinks it's a good idea to take on this fight.
I've had pharmacists call me a drug addict for trying to fill a perfectly legal prescription, and other parents viciously attack me and accuse me of harming my kids. This is a disease where no one cares about the medical evidence, just the media bullshit.

Recently, a survey of average parents found that if the parents knew a kid in the neighbourhood had ADD the majority would forbid their child to play with him. Nice, huh?

I am not ashamed of my disease, but my world is. Don't make your poor kids fight that battle. It's just cruel."

I still stand by my opinion, sorry guys.

Linda

tell...it will come out in anycase.
Linda

tam

Well, I think it's a plus that he's an older teacher & already expressed to the parents that he's open to past challenges, learning behaviours, etc.

Be honest, tell him what you think ~ you're the Momma ~ tell how you think Daniel learnes best & what he needs in the classroom.

It's tough but being (in a past life) an OT & a teacher, I really appreciated it when parents were "authentic"
(is my spelling correct?) & REAL with me. He'll probably appreciate the honesty & know you're a parent to keep in the loop.

Do what feels best to you & feels "right" in your gut! LISTEN to your inner self :)

T

Melanie

I haven't read through the other comments, so maybe someone has already touched on this...but I would tell the teacher exactly what you told us in your post, minus the label of "ADD." You have the words already..."He needs loads of help to get organized and also needs someone to check..." DESCRIBE your child for the teacher, rather than giving him a LABEL, and the teacher should be able to meet his needs. Who cares if it's called ADD or Purple People Eater Condition? Using just the label doesn't say anything about your kiddo.

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