20 answers

Daughter Not Doing Well in School.

My 13 year old loves school, is a friend to all, but her teachers all say the same. " she is great to have in class, works hard turns it all in on time but, if you are not walking her through things step by step she gets lost." I have the same trouble at home, she will even start to cry. I am already working with the school to have her tested for different things, but that can take some time. what can I do at home with her to help?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

When my daughter was younger she was diagnosed with ADHD. She hated the medicine but had a hard time following step by step without it. In the end, her problem was about anxiety, something you may want to have evaluated by a mental health professional. But before that was diagnosed correctly, we tried having her eat coffee beans (which she loved), which helped her stay focused without the "drugs". Good luck. T.

Hi C.,

I do not know what state you are in, but in MI you have 30 days if you have requested testing for special education. You can ask for, if you did not recieve, a parents book of rights. It is a busy time in special education now but there is still a 30 day limit. Have you asked her teachers if they have tried anything different at school to help her through the steps? Has she had this difficulty since she has been in school or just since she has been in middle school? Maybe she needs the directions written down for her and placed at her desk. This could be done for any notes too. They could have a copy made for her. I don't want to over whelm you with questions or ideas.

D. O

More Answers

Hi C.,
I had the same problem with my daughter but she was only 7. She would get lost and not understand what was going on. I talked to her doctor and had her tested for ADD. Seems that was the problem. We found that putting her on 10 MG of Addrall helps her a great deal! It only helps her when she is in school and by night time it's out of her system, we haven't had any problems with it eaither. I know that some people do have problems with it, but we haven't. We make sure she does her homework right when she gets home so it's still there a bit, but even if not we can sit down with her and help her out. You may want to talk to your daughters doctor.

Hi C.,

I would have her hearing checked by a specialist. I am now 43. As an infant, I would get fevers from my vaccinations which caused me to be hearing impaired. I never did well in school and unfortunately did not have teachers all the way through school who guided me or reconized my problem. My own mother (a registered nurse) when I got older and found out about my hearing problem, told me she thought I was always just ignoring her. Now that I do know of my hearing problem, looking back I can see why I was always treated differently. People didn't know that I was not understanding things so they assumed that I was rude, ignorant, or stupid.

good luck!

Hi C.,

I do not know what state you are in, but in MI you have 30 days if you have requested testing for special education. You can ask for, if you did not recieve, a parents book of rights. It is a busy time in special education now but there is still a 30 day limit. Have you asked her teachers if they have tried anything different at school to help her through the steps? Has she had this difficulty since she has been in school or just since she has been in middle school? Maybe she needs the directions written down for her and placed at her desk. This could be done for any notes too. They could have a copy made for her. I don't want to over whelm you with questions or ideas.

D. O

C.-
Sorry so late in responding. Does your daughter have a learning disability? I have the same problem as your daughter to a point. Is she able to tell you how to do it but is unable to implement it? I am able to tell you how to do a math problem but my brain will not tell my hands how to write it. It is a very frustrating thing to deal with. I didn't get diagnosis until I was 35 yrs old. I received great marks in school especially if they (teachers) explained everything.

Learning disabilities are heredity. Does anyone else seem to have that problem in the family?

Good Morning C.,
There is hope. I too have a daughter that loves school, is a friend to all, a very hard worker and a pleasure to have in class. She is currently in the 6th grade at a public school. She has struggled since kindergarten, repeated kindergarten
because this public school didn't have a junior first, long story short, she has been tested and retested by the school and I was told that she has an auditory processing disability. My husband and I took her to a psychologist in the Ann Arbor area back in the 4th grade. He told us after a 2 hour session, that there was nothing wrong with her, that she is a little slow but, don't worry she'll catch up! That said, he also added to enroll her in piano lessons or music where she would have to use both hands. It's that left brain, right brain thing. She needs to exercise and develop both sides equally and strong. My husband and I have had 5 meetings with the school so far this year. The 5th was yesterday. I'm constantly on them because once she entered into middle school (this year), they had her pulled out of all the general classrooms and in with the lowest of low students. I'm not saying anything against these other students, they are wonderful children too! I just wonder how many more are in classes like this because the teachers don't have the time to spend with students like this and their classrooms are so over crowded. We push to get our kids the help and then we're pushing to get them the education they deserve! I've been told that the course she's on now will not qualify her to graduate with a high school diploma but, she will get a certificate of completion. This is because of the new curriculum. We did have a great meeting yesterday. The good news is, I had our daughter moved into a team taught general ELA class. Well, guess what! She's doing great! We don't know why but, her writting has improved over the last several weeks and she wants to be in these classrooms and Not be pulled out. She does need to be pulled out for math. This is very difficult for her. I have a wonderful pool of info. as well as websites if you're interested. I hope this has been helpful. When it comes to our children, we ARE their best advocate!
Have an awesome day!
K. W.
Coldwell Banker Town & Country RE
###-###-#### off.
###-###-#### fax
###-###-#### cell
www.kathywalls.com
"Exceeding Your Real Estate Needs"

I would suggest a neuropsychological evaluation, not by the school. It is a rigorous, all-day evaluation by a neuropsychologist, and it will flush out any dyslexia, ADD, or learning disability she may have. Good luck!

H.

Do you have the opportunity to try Sylvan? It has a heck of a reputation. Talk with the counselor.

I had a similar problem with two of my children. My suggestion would be to make an appointment with your doctor. Our problem was diagnosed as two different forms of ADHD. Our daughter was helped by a very good tutor and our son with medication. Some times the brain will not let them stay focused, so extra help is necessary.

At or around 13, major brain development is underway, causing all kinds of nasty side effects, including the inability to follow complex instructions, limited impulse control, a period of extraordinary 'openness' to addiction, no short-term memory function and the inability to remember ages-old house rules and basic civil behaviour standards.

It is typical for 13yos to have a sudden and remarkable dip in grades, motivation, perseverence and apparent respect. Don't fret too much, this is as freaky and startling experience for your girl as it is for you (and the teachers, who should frankly know better).

She will get over it, it will be remarkably bad for about 5 months with gradual improvements over about 18 months (following the really bad period). Then she'll not only be back to her old civil and delightful self (with a memory) but she'll also have a more-adult brain, capable of abstract reasoning.

A friend's dad called it 'when your child brain fell out and before your adult brain grew back in' <G>

My daughter went through (and still does) a very similar situation. Does she get headaches a lot?
A little background:
We started out with tutors, afterschool help, etc - you know all the stuff to try and help. We still werent' getting very far. Thought at first it was mostly because of my divorce from her dad, which I am sure played a part. After awhile she was feeling very bad about herself because she was trying so hard and then also after awhile, it was like, "why try? I am just going to do bad anyway" My heart just broke. It was a horrible thing to hear.

Anyway, I was finally referred to a neurologist specializing in children. He did a Sleep EEG and diagnosed her with Migrain Seizures. Now this is not a visible thing. She doesn't even realize she has them. It's more like instaseconds inside her head. During school times these would happen so much that she would miss important information the teacher was taling about and miss concepts.
At home it was the same thing - kinda like the 'deer in the headlights' look when I would explain somethnig to her.
After her diagnosis, she was put on medications for this and did eventually outgrow a lot of it.

This whole process took a very long time and I have to say her elementary school grades suffered. We did the IEP (individual education plans) at first and they seemed to help a little but just not enough. I did insist on getting her tested when she was in high school her freshman year because she was going to have to take all this work ahead of her and then college and to prepare her for getting a job and being on her own.

Now after the testing from the school, it was determined that she would be able to take some special education classes. Let me tell you how thrilled I was to watch her achieve good grades for a change. And start feeling good about her accomplishments. She would work hard before and get a terrible grade so now her efforts were rewarded. She still struggles terribly with tests though, but the progress I have watched over the last couple of years has been wonderful.

Her case teacher has been a tremendous help to us and we are very grateful to her. She has also mentioned how this extra help she is getting in high school will help her when she goes to college as well.
By no means is she allowed to get out of work, she just gets the extra explanations (she does require sometimes 3-4 times), longer test taking time, and sometimes takes tests in a resource room which is very quiet. On other occasions, a teacher has read the test questions out loud to her.

Well, I hope my long expanation helps you. Your daughter may not have exactly the same diagnosis, but I would insist on the having the school test her. It is your right to have this done. The school's don't like to always do this because it costs them money but your daughter has every right to an education as everyone else and just because she may not have the obvious signs of a disability, doesn't mean it's not there in some minor form.

Good Luck and I wish you and your daughter success in her education. My daughter is graduating high school this year and I can't wait for her to get that diploma! I have earned it too!!:)

If you would like to contact me you can e-mail me at
____@____.com

Obviously your daughter is trying her best, but is still having problems. If it was an obvious problem it would be fixed by now. I think your daughter needs professional testing from an educational specialist to see if she has a minor disability. So many 'problems' are really symptoms, and parents and teachers are not aware. And so many of these symptoms can be diagnosed, treated, and your child can get on with their schooling. The schools can test, but their standards are not the same as if you were to take her privately. The schools are only looking for those students that will meet their criteria for special help, they're not looking to see if there are other things that she may need help with. I strongly recommend that you start researching on your own for a testing facility, and also start looking at a website called Wrightslaw.com. This website is full of links and information, and you may be able to find some direction there on what is happening with your daughter. Good Luck.

Hi C.,

I have a 13 year old daughter too, although I homeschool I just told another mom yesterday that it is like my daughter is in lala land. There are days that I feel that I need to reminder her to breath. Truly I think that is a hormonal thing, I don't know about your daughter, but my daughter is changing drasticly right now. If I were you I would just encourage her and love her where she is at. This too will pass.

Blessings,
M.

My first question is like the others - is this a new thing or is it carried over from the past?

If it has been an issue in the past, I would suggest calling your doctor and asking for a referal for ADD testing, or even a neuropsycologist for full testing. My son had that and we found he is bipolar - but it came up much younger.

If it is new, maybe she just is going thru some changes and like others have said, see how she does - maybe she will get it eventually.

Good Luck!!

K.

C.,

that sounds all too familiar... I loved school had a good social network and I worked hard but just had a really hard time connecting the dots unless I had a good amount of individual help.

I would suggest that you keep working with her at home and be VERY VERY patient as I would cry when I noticed the slightest frustration in my parents because I felt like I was a bother to them. I was put into special ed. but in Jr. High I thought it was for "retarded" kids, I didn't realize it would have been a very good thing for me but I put up such a fuss that my parents took me out. I was so worried of what other people would think of me if I was in special ed. and singled out like that. However now looking back it would have helped me tremendously.
I am not necessarily suggesting she go to special ed. though I am not sure the stigmas are any different now than they used to be.

She just may always have a hard time with academics as I did, but will get by with the help from the teachers and you. By the time she gets to late highschool and college asking for help or going to a tutor will be no big deal, it didn't bother me then anymore.

B.

I would suggest some food allergy testing. Allergies and food sensitivities can cause all kinds of things. If you don't want to get testing (which can be incorrect) try eliminating each of the major food allergens 1 at a time for a couple of weeks... It will be difficult if you have never had to do this, but I have two of my four kids with different food allergies any we make it work! Hang in there, you will figure it out.

When my daughter was younger she was diagnosed with ADHD. She hated the medicine but had a hard time following step by step without it. In the end, her problem was about anxiety, something you may want to have evaluated by a mental health professional. But before that was diagnosed correctly, we tried having her eat coffee beans (which she loved), which helped her stay focused without the "drugs". Good luck. T.

My child had the similar trouble. It turned out she had (non-hyperactive) attention disorder. One of her teachers finally helped me to see something WAS wrong. She would take much longer to get everything done, do all her work and forget to take it to school, take it and forget to turn it in, re-do and re-do. Can you walk her through it? Then do that. Get her tested, and see if a tutor would be available through the school. At home, get rid of all distractions. Break up the time to work into smaller bites, and put a very little reward or break at the end. Don't let her stay up late, but aim to get most of the work done.Try to use only positive comments.

I was the same way at that age. email me off this and we can talk more about it privately as there is nothing wrong with her diet that I could think of... I am also a naturalist, so I believe you are fine in that department.

I will tell you what I went through and what was going on... Let's see if anything is the same for her? ;)

Keep your chin up! ;)

As a teacher, I would suggest having her tested at an outside facility like Sylvan Learning Centers. Their testing is free, and if you can afford their tutoring it makes a HUGE difference in their learning and education. I have seen what a remarkable improvement Sylvan has made on many, many, children. Not just in academics, but in self-esteem, and the way they feel about school. Sometimes, having help outside the home is just what a child needs. Check it out, it is worth trying.

I'm into whole foods for health. I suggest taking a look at what she eats first. Wouldn't it be great if all she needed was omega fatty acids needed for proper brain function? http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Here's the next book on my reading list.
The Food-Mood-Body Connection: Nutrition-Based and Environmental Approaches to Mental Health and Physical Well-being by Gary Null
"Many conditions that are generally believed to be purely mental disorders are actually caused by vitamin deficiencies, food allergies, hormonal imbalances, and environmental factors. In this book, the best-selling health and fitness expert who has been called "Mr. Natural" by Time magazine presents nutrition-based treatments for the underlying biochemical imbalances that cause many of today's mental problems."

Good luck and I hope it's as easy as pie! A. H

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.