Daughter entering first grade and struggling ... No help at school

by Bethany
(Canton, MI)

Hello everyone. I am a mother of three girls - 9,6,2. My oldest and youngest daughters have a severe food allergies, asthma and allergies.


My middle daughter has multiple health issues, including asthma, allergies, kidney problems, weight issues (caused from steroid use and an endocrine disorder), GERD and eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) which is a food allergic reaction within the esophagus. However, her health is well maintained and looking at her you cannot tell she is sick, even when she isn't feeling well. We have a great team of physicians and a good handle on everything. But when she began experiencing problems in school I attributed it to all of her health issues and worrying (she always worries about her sisters and I know about herself - but she keeps it in).

She started off around the same level as most Kindergarten kids. Math and numbers are not a problem, she is very mature and holds conversations like she is much older - her vocabulary is amazing. She is well behaved and gets along with other children. She has missed some school due to all of her illnesses but not enough to hurt her. As the other kids progressed with words and reading, she remained behind. Even the common words (the, at ,we)were hard for her. I read to her daily, we use flashcards and other word games. I would think she got a word, the- for example, and the next day the word would look foreign to her.

I have asked the teacher repeatedly for help and she just said we need to work harder. So we would work harder and it would always end with my daughter crying and saying she is stupid or going to fail or that her friends are smarter. I felt terrible.

I have asked for her to be tested and the school refused. My insurance won't cover it because they say it is the school's responsibility. I am at a complete loss. I am afraid that when she enters first grade she will fall even more behind and it will be even harder to catch up.

I don't know what else to do. It breaks my heart to see her struggle and I am so afraid of how this will effect her (academically and emotionally) as it continues.

I looked at this website because after I talked with some other parents they suggested a processing disorder. Does anyone have any advice or comments? I thank you for your help!

Comments for Daughter entering first grade and struggling ... No help at school

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May 26, 2011
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Your child's rights
by: Anonymous

There is also a law in MI requiring schools to test children within a specific time frame (30 days I think). The time begins when the parent officially submits a letter requesting the testing.

Jan 16, 2010
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parenting help
by: Anonymous

This is a most considerable problem for you and our daughter. In this important situation it is helpful to choose professional counselors help. These counselors have years of experience in dealing with various types of issues related to children. Don't get tensed it may take some time to get things better by only a planned approach.

http://www.strugglingteen.net/

Jul 20, 2009
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Get her tested
by: Anonymous

Sounds like she has an auditory processing disorder. Think of her memory for reading as a large filing cabinet. She learns the word files it and then when she needs the word it's gone, because it was miss filed or the filing cabinet isn't labeled or it got put out with the trash and not the filed at all. Her processing system isn't organizing the way it's suppose to.
Put into writing that you want her tested for an auditory disorder at her school. In California after a parent puts it in writing the school has 60 days to get the child tested and report back to the parent what they found. Just remember it's your job to make sure your child get what she needs.

Jul 02, 2009
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Pediatrician may be able to help...
by: Anonymous

In my school district, they must follow through with an evaluation if a doctor writes a prescription stating an evaluation through the school system is needed. Contact your daughter's doctor and see if that helps...Keep trying!

Jun 30, 2009
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Don't give up
by: Carolyn

I am a special needs teacher and it is often difficult to get the school to agree to test your child. Just this last year I started helping a student who should be in 3rd grade know and can't remember his letters and numbers. It has been attributed to a sudden onset of seizures that came about because of a high fever.

My point is that he will be in 2nd grade when school starts again and it took 3 years before anyone would test him and allow him to receive the help he needs.

I live in TX and my school requires documentation of what they call Response to Intervention (RTI). What has the teacher or the school done to help your child? How did the intervention help or not help? This documentation must be kept for a certain time period, in my district it is about 1 semester before they will even consider testing them.

You are your child's best advocate, pursue the school district. Make them explain why they won't test your daughter. If it is the teacher who doesn't want to make the referral then go over her head to the principal. If the principal won't help then over their head. If all else fails then look into getting yourself a professional advocate. They are usually professionals who will help you with your fight and let you know if you have a case or not. There are websites with lists.

Jun 29, 2009
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have your pediatritian help
by: Anonymous

Have your pediatrician write a referral for your daughter to see and occupational therapist. Your pediatrician can be instrumental in helping with these things.

Jun 29, 2009
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Getting help
by: Connie

My daughter had medical problems when she was in school. Spent weeks at a time in the hospital. We had a lot of issues with the school. You have to be your daughters advocate. Do NOT let them push this off on you. If you can't get the attention of her teacher, go up the next level. If that don't work go even higher. All kids are different. You know your children the best. Some people with degree's are very book smart, but they have no experience with real life problems in kids. Keep pushing for the testing. Do not let up. One of our fights was about holding my daughter back in second grade. She had missed most of the year, and was struggling. Teacher and I wanted her held back, principle said no way. Well, I won. It took going to the upper levels, but I got what I wanted for my daughter. She is now all grown with children of her own. One, we are pretty sure has SPD. He has been tested by the school, and they say there are not enough RED Flags. We are not giving up. I had to fight for my daughter, I will fight for my grandson. Hang in there and good luck.

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