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Primary & Secondary Education This forum is for parents to discuss issues related to their children's education and AD/HD.

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Old 05-18-17, 08:17 PM
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Unhappy Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

Hi, I am new here. My son who is now 6 and in his last few weeks of kindergarten was diagnosed at age 3 1/2 with adhd (the city preschool program wanted to bring in a paraeducator for him and needed a diagnosis to get it, I have never disagreed with the diagnosis.)

Kindergarten has gone well. He is above average in all subjects but particularly reading, he is currently at the fourth grade level. In March we finally got him an IEP and he started speech therapy for a stutter and social language skills. His teacher has been wonderful about appreciating him for who he is and not thinking of him as willfully disruptive or disobedient (except when he truly is!)

So, the end of the year program is in a couple of weeks, and speaking parts were handed out this week. My son comes out and is sad he doesn't have one. Not wanting to complain but wanting to understand why so I could explain to him, I asked how the parts were given out. She said they were first offered to children who didn't speak at the Thanksgiving program, then the rest of the class was told to talk to her at recess if they wanted a part. He wanted one but forgot to talk to her, which didn't surprise me. Ok, these things happen. She said she would keep him in mind if something opened up. We go home and then I realized he didn't have a speaking part at thanksgiving either so why hadn't he been offered one before it was opened to the rest of the class? I asked her as much today and had to ask twice to get a direct answer. She said she offered the parts first to those who hadn't had one and who she thought would want one.

So it's up to her discretion who gets a personal invitation and who has to advocate for themselves. My son is more than capable of memorizing a few lines. He did it in preschool. Now she is saying he can be one of a small group who does a dance at the end of the program. He doesn't want to dance, he wants a speaking part! I'm involving him in letting the teacher know how he feels and what he wants because he needs to speak up for himself in life. But I'm frustrated that she didn't give him a chance at all, that other kids were asked but not him. What if they had been excited about recess and forgotten to talk to her? Maybe I'm overreacting but my child is disappointed and I don't want adhd to block him from opportunities uneccessarily. I don't want to end the year on this note.

Last edited by peripatetic; 05-19-17 at 09:57 AM.. Reason: made paragraphs more distinct; no other edits
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Old 05-19-17, 03:54 AM
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Re: Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

Wow this is odd. Maybe she forgot or overlooked him honestly and is now embarassed and grasping for a reasonable explanation? Like, maybe she even forgot he didnt speak at Thanksgiving as well? Those are the examples I am hoping for. My gut is hoping it has nothing to do with his speech issues. I dont think adhd would be the issue but I do think it could be his speech and that the teacher might not want "her program ruined" by lack of absolute perfection. Some teachers let their ego affect how they give students opportunities as if it would somehow reflect on their teaching abilities.
I am very direct and if you dont buy what she is selling you, I would just ask, in the most non-accusatory way if it has to do with his disabilities.
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Old 05-19-17, 09:58 AM
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Re: Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

I'm the parent of a 14 and 7 year old and I can tell you that the stuff I got irked over when my 14 year old was growing up still happened to my 7 year old but this time I didn't even blink.

Choose your battles. My bar, if you would like to call it that, is "Will this issue affect my child in 6 months?" If the answer is no, I just let it go. If the answer is yes, then I fight like heck for my kid, but more often than not the answer is no.

Remember, your kid is watching YOU. Yes, he didn't get a speaking part, and yes he probably should have, but maybe it is better to show your kid that sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you just have to roll with it?
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Old 05-21-17, 12:26 AM
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Re: Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

Thank you both for your replies! It's so good to get some one else's perspective. I can see how the teacher may have thought he wouldn't want one, and for most children assuming that those that do want one will come ask at recess would be fine. I don't think it was per say her ruling him out, just perhaps not thinking ahead that in five minutes when the bell rings this child won't remember to ask and more direct communication is needed. He follows general group directions (everybody line up, take out a pencil, etc) okay if the action is immediate, but not if its delayed without a reminder. If she opened it to the whole class at once and he forgot, I would probably be less bothered, it's that others got the help of being asked directly which he really could have used.

There's a personal component to it, I admit, I feel like I was overlooked a lot as a child for having adhd, seen as less capable, and I don't want anyone to overlook him.

Either way, I've talked to him, encouraged him to let her know what he wants, the results of that we can just deal with. At least he gets experience speaking up for himself.
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Old 05-21-17, 01:10 AM
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Re: Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

ADHD or not, sometimes in life, we don't get what we want. Was he the only kid that didn't get a speaking part? If so, then there may be a problem - but if not, then there maybe weren't enough speaking parts to go around... and maybe ADHD had nothing to do with it. I think we have to be careful not to link everything to it. I'm reminded of a threat I read on here when I first signed up. A young man ( I think?) was worried about his ADHD causing this and that - and the symptoms he described weren't ADHD, they were diabetic. It's often difficult to look past it ( as I'm learning this myself ) but not everything is caused by our ADHD.
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Old 05-24-17, 12:27 AM
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Re: Not offered lines in a school program, son is disappointed

self reward as a general skill for an ADDer in life can be liberating. use this as a pointer and experience to instill the capacity and ability to praise oneself.... and treat external "constructs" of the meek proportion which they are due.

what will allow them to see and reward strides?

keep the focus on self awareness and praise, the aim is to build resilience to external inputs.
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Old 05-25-17, 09:07 PM
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What About Helping Him Do a YouTube Video?

I think OP was right to empathize with her son and to follow up with the teacher on the method. Yes, a mistake was probably made in her son's case, but it needn't jeopardize his entire education or self-image. He probably wouldn't even remember this if she had just pointed out (as a face-saving fact) that many others didn't get speaking parts either, etc.

But now that it has become too big a deal to forget, why not try to have some fun with it?

The most important thing, I think, is to celebrate the progress her son has made with his speech. And this does not depend on being given some tiny little speaking part--mouthing someone else's words-- in a class program. What does her son have to say for himself? About this or any other subject that interests him?

First help him write/sketch out what he thinks about several different subjects from this past year. Something is going to be funny or have some compelling emotional point. Pick that one and let him expand on it a bit. Think about whether he should stand or sit, have visual aids, or even try to shoot it in an empty classroom.

Then start shooting a few segments, let him review them and go looking on the internet for some other popular kid-vid cuts, which will give you both some more ideas (but only after he has captured and developed his own content and voice first).

Have fun with this. It doesn't matter whether it goes viral; it doesn't matter whether by September he is more famous than any of this June's little speakers and squeakers. The important takeaway is that he has more control over his destiny than those who can only wait to be picked and complain when they are not picked. He will look back on this as a moral victory, and he will be right.
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