What do I do as a parent... Where do I start?
(ASTON, PA, USA)
I am confused, frustrated and I feel like I am failing my child. She was tested in first grade and it seemed everything was going well. Now that she is in third grade, I feel that she is only understanding as a first grader.
BACKGROUND: I don't know where to start. Her teacher is trying exercises with her along with the instructional support teacher but I just feel that nothing is getting through. I am staying in prayer because I get so frustrated that I feel that she's not learning because of me.
She was a very happy baby, not afraid of anyone. Slept through the night. The only thing I noticed about her as she grew was her speech was not developed as it should have been by age 3. I kept having her tested because I thought she was hearing impaired. But they kept telling me she is fine. FINALLY at age 4 she started talking to a point other people understand her.
In Kindergarten (private school) they told me she was having behavior problems not paying attention, being a clown. They wanted a psych evaluation done on her and I was upset because my child has always been a good child and didn't understand why they wanted to treat her like she was Dennis the Menace. I was upset.
Well, I finally removed her from that school after having my own doctors test her and find out the level of teaching they were on was too advanced for any child and because the teacher was very verbally abusive toward her (awful experience). One day, my daughter even said to me, "MOMMY, DID YOU PUT ME IN THIS SCHOOL BECAUSE I'M BAD." My heart was crushed; you think you are giving your child a better education and she is put through more stress than public school!
So I put her in a certified Kindergarten and she was fine but the class size was 5! When she made it to first grade (class size was 24) that's when the teacher started saying that she is having behavior problems. We all had a meeting (Her teacher, the instruction support teacher, school psychologist, reading teacher, and the reading specialist who sat in). The teacher mentioned that instead of asking for help she would act silly or cry. Then I mentioned how when I would say something to her, she looks at me like I said it in another language and that's when the instructional support teacher said, "I BET YOU SHE HAS AUDITORY PROCESSING PROBLEMS." So from that meeting the teacher was told to teacher as if she has it until we all do the testing and get the results from the reading specialist.
After some time, we received the results from reading specialist and it was confirmed it was an Auditory Processing Disorder. Now, my point in saying this is that I wasn't really told what to do. I tried to find information and just felt that wasn't it. I talked to our local Intermediate Unit and was told that the school will be able to give her the help she needed. But, I really felt that there was no help.
I find that now, half way through 3rd grade, she is struggling and trailing further behind than she was in 1st and even 2nd grade.
I don't know where to go or where to start. I'm frustrated and agitated and that's not fair to my little pumpkin. So any advice would be appreciated. I just can't seem to figure out how to help her. It takes us over 3 hours to do one paper of her reading assignment.
Thanks for listening I feel better just writing this.
JessicaThe SPD Help Line Answers...
Oh, Jessica, please let me first apologize for my delay in responding to your submission. Did you ever "misplace" something and kick yourself for doing so when you found it
again? Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. It doesn't happen often, but once in a while it does... I am so sorry it was yours!! Forgive me.
Anyway, I feel your frustration! So many other parents have been there too. What I don't understand is how they have identified the problem and are not really helping. If her auditory processing problems are interferring to the point you indicate, she should indeed be getting (and entitled to get!) help on a weekly basis through a Speech Language Pathologist. Do they have an SLP at the school?? You didn't mention one. The reading specialist certainly can help (although it doesn't appear they are), but an SLP would really be the professional you need involved for Auditory Processing Disorder.
Did they officially call it "Central Auditory Processing Disorder"? There is a lot of information out there on it... just google it and you will find a lot! Meanwhile, can I suggest a wonderful book (so I've heard)?! It is called, When The Brain Can't Hear
. I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of it. Another good book that may fit your exact needs? The Mislabeled Child
. EXCELLENT book that may help you truly understand what might be going on and give you specific strategies to help.
Although SPD can be a controversial school treated diagnosis (I prefer private therapy anyway for this to fully treat it), Auditory Processing Disorders are easily within the scope of needing treatment that is school based and certainly WILL interfere with school work! So... I suggest you fight for Speech Language Pathology services!!
Talk again and again and again, if you have to, to the special education team about the specific issues your daughter is having, how it is specifically interferring with her schoolwork and behavior (especially after you read more about it... you will know exactly what is affected and how) and fight for services on a weekly basis. Then, make sure they are giving you and her things to work on at home.
That said, even though you are entitled to these services through the school (oh, and if they don't have an SLP, they are responsible for providing those services through somewhere else), you may want to go to a local clinic or children's hospital to work with a speech pathologist even more than what they will provide through the school. There are some wonderful programs (ONE of many examples is Therapeutic Listening
) they can do with her that will help tremendously. If you find the right SLP, and you do your homework, you will see a different little girl!
I want you to start there, then update us on what you are able to get. Ah, and since it has been so long (sorry) since you wrote, maybe you have found some solutions or made progress in the meantime? Can you give us an update? I will respond quicker this time.
Also, I would highly suggest joining our online support group, AllAboutKids, where you will meet literally hundreds of other parents who have kids with auditory processing delays and SPD! They can give you some great advice and resources!! Here's the link to check it out/join... SID-DSI_AllAboutKids
You are not failing your daughter!!! You are trying so hard to help her... keep up the great work and keep fighting for her. I am sorry others have not been responsive to your daughter's needs! I do hope this get's better. You are doing exactly what you need to do... you have never given up despite the obstacles and you continue reaching out for help and asking questions. Be proud of yourself for that!! I am! This WILL get better with the right resources. We will help you find them, ok?
Does anyone else have any thoughts or ideas? Please let Jessica know. Thanks in advance.
We hope to hear from you again Jessica!
Take good care.