View Full Version : what to say to teachers at yet another meeting!


clancyfish
03-06-13, 03:02 AM
My 16 yr old is on Concerta and Ritalin for ADHD since age 8. He has always been inattentive/slightly disruptive etc in school. His high school teachers have always brought him to task for drawing in class. Year after year they call us in to talk about how he draws in class instead of listening. He is disruptive sometimes or just doesn't listen. Same old stuff. We talk to our son, try to motivate him, take away his electronic games until he stops drawwing in class etc.
He is now in Year 11 and we've now got another note to come in and see his Maths/English & Biology teachers. Our son tells us its because of the usual behaviours and he promises he will try to be better. He does usually perform well for a while and then it all falls apart. He tells us that if he doesn't understand something, he can't ask the teacher to help him as he doesn't know how to phrase the question - lack of confidence as he is not very articulate.
I'm so tired of all of this. Does anyone else go through this? What can I say to the teachers? They realise he is ADHD and try to accommodate this but they feel he could try harder and they are not willing to put up with drawing in class or disruptive and inattentive behaviour. I don't know what to say to this anymore or what to do. I would love to hear from anyone that is going through this.
Thanks.

zette93
03-06-13, 06:16 PM
Why is the drawing in class considered disruptive? For some people, they have to doodle or draw in order to keep their hands occupied so they CAN pay attention. Is this the case for your son -- does he listen and remember better if he draws during the lecture? If so I would push for this to be considered an accomodation for him, and ask for it to be added to his 504 plan.

Alternatively, would your son be willing to make an effort to confine drawing to something that relates to what his teachers are talking about, as a form of taking notes?

Perhaps he should get some pragmatic speech therapy to help him learn to ask questions when he doesn't understand...

clancyfish
03-06-13, 07:38 PM
That's a good suggestion to limit his drawing..he is going to have to use his willpower but often he starts off well for a few weeks and then he feels schoolwork is getting beyond him and so the same old pattern starts. He does have tutoring which helps.

I think his reluctance to ask questions is due to extreme lack of self-confidence. He has a group of boys that he has lunch with every day and hangs on the fringe of the group. He told me that he never really talks as he is not confident enough. We've tried drama lessons, martial arts etc. but he is really lacking self confidence.

His teachers don't seem to understand his limitations and keep telling us that he has to concentrate and try harder. We know this but it's not as easy as they think for him to do this.

Adduce
07-26-13, 10:58 AM
My 16 yr old is on Concerta and Ritalin for ADHD since age 8. He has always been inattentive/slightly disruptive etc in school. His high school teachers have always brought him to task for drawing in class. Year after year they call us in to talk about how he draws in class instead of listening. He is disruptive sometimes or just doesn't listen. Same old stuff. We talk to our son, try to motivate him, take away his electronic games until he stops drawwing in class etc.
He is now in Year 11 and we've now got another note to come in and see his Maths/English & Biology teachers. Our son tells us its because of the usual behaviours and he promises he will try to be better. He does usually perform well for a while and then it all falls apart. He tells us that if he doesn't understand something, he can't ask the teacher to help him as he doesn't know how to phrase the question - lack of confidence as he is not very articulate.
I'm so tired of all of this. Does anyone else go through this? What can I say to the teachers? They realise he is ADHD and try to accommodate this but they feel he could try harder and they are not willing to put up with drawing in class or disruptive and inattentive behaviour. I don't know what to say to this anymore or what to do. I would love to hear from anyone that is going through this.
Thanks.

I've posted some videos on this section of the forum in the thread 'teachers note to a 6 year old boy' on page 1 which you may find interesting regarding whether drawing in class is always 'wrong'.

RobotInDisguise
07-27-13, 08:45 PM
umm... wow
I've had teachers ask me not to draw before, but never had any send home notes lol

My solution is, if it's really impossible to pay attention, write fiction.

I basically spent all of my high school classes doing the following:

drawing, ironically in a sketchbook that a teacher gave to me as a reward for something
writing fiction
doing homework that's due in an hour
in detention for forgetting homeworks or being late
studying frantically for that quiz that I totally forgot about
exploring the lesser known functions of a graphic calculator
attempting to pay attention but not usually doing a good job of it

Maybe the first and last items on my list can work for your son

amberwillow
07-27-13, 08:49 PM
Drawing in class is not a negative.

If you don't mind me asking Clancyfish, what state are you in?

Mom2GnJ
08-14-13, 03:41 PM
I'd sit down with your son and come up with some ideas to help him to talk to his teachers in a one-on-one setting. I'd ask to to come along and observe, but try to have him lead the discussion with his teachers. He can talk about why he draws, tell if he's actually gaining the information while drawing, ask for substitute behaviors for if he's feeling confused, come up with a signal? Ask to come in later? If you give him some ownership, it'll help him become more articulate.