Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tutoring Update..Good News and Questions

I had a pow wow with Thing Ones tutor today, we are about 1/2 way through her first round of tutoring and getting ready for a break before the summer tutoring rounds start. There was good news and impressive results along with questions about what the decisions and forward steps should be. 

I have questioned a lot about our choice of tutoring, where and who, and how much; but today changed my mind.  Thing One is reading 20 words more per minute than previously and has increased another score by 1/3.  She is making great strides with phonics.  The phonics breakdowns she couldn't do before she can do now and with ease.  She was playing around and answering almost quicker than the questions being asked. Her math score though low, was attributed to attitude more than anything else. 

The issues and questions are around the attitude along with her attention.  Her tutor multiple times mentioned that she was highly distractable even though this was one on one tutoring. The line that really made me think was, "She is so distractable in here, I can't imagine her being productive in a classroom environment".  This may explain why there were so many teaching concerns this year, the questions always seem to be is this her processing, her attitude, or that she just isn't paying attention? 

This keeps coming up, her attention, her focus, her ability to be successful in class. She didn't trigger the attention scale, she had 6 markers, 7 identifies her as having an attention issue.  6 out of the 7 is awfully close though, and her support adults keep bringing this up. I read quite a bit before we received the report about girls and ADD. Most girls don't get identified until junior high because at junior high the organization most kids have ADD girls don't and they fail. Medication can be most effective early so that a child with attention issues can learn those organization skills and can usually be discontinued in late adolescence if kids start by 8 at the latest. Thing One is 8, if there is an attention issue and we start her now there is a chance a lot of the attention issues may resolve which will give her the focus to learn the skills she needs.  I am just not sure if she needs medication, or if it will help, and haven't we dragged her through enough?

The only true way to tell if a kid has ADD is to give them the meds, if they get hyper they don't have it and if they get focused they do. The question is, do we try the meds and see if they help?

The tutor and I have decided a summer of work with the coaching counselor and the tutor keeping a close eye on Thing One's attention will help clarify what is going on. I don't want to rush to medication, but I do realize the girl can make some people, me, crazy.  She is difficult to keep focused, has a hard time initiating work, we have a long running joke of yelling 'SQUIRREL' when we want to get her attention. 

No decisions have been made and we don't know for sure the path we are going to take, but now more than ever before I am feeling like a decisions need to be made, and end of summer will come awfully soon.

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