Areas for growth include continued work on handwriting, spelling (uh.. he has my DNA, there is little hope.) She also talked about how behavior wise that he is nothing like what she expected.
Before the mamma bear in me said, "so just what did his previous teacher tell you," the teacher in me replied, "yes, he had a really difficult year and we appreciate everything Mrs S did to work with Ben and stay in daily contact with us. She only saw Ben on a medication the final weeks of the semester." I also said that we asked for a placement and naturally would think you would discuss his strenghts and weaknesses before he arrived.
Another positive is that he is not showing any type of anger issues in class. She is concerned about him yelling out correct answers after repeated redirection and if not acknowledged will turn to anyone around him and tell them, "I knew that."
Ben and I talked about this the other night and as suspected he told me that he wants everyone to know that he is smart, so he yells out answers. He also said that he feels bad when peers tell him he's not smart. His teacher commented that Ben is very aware that some students are being pulled out for Gifted programs and asks why he is not getting to go.
Part of me is sad for him not being at a level to be considered gifted, but the realistic side is thankful that after a year of lagging behind, he is making progress. I will continue to say that I would much rather have an average student who likes who he is more than a honor roll bumper sticker on my car.
That brings me to the other meeting, an in depth discussion with his counselor about what she had gleaned from that crazy, long developmental history as well as her findings after 4 sessions alone with Ben.
I don't know how much of any of this I want or am ready to post publicly, but Bill and I came away from that meeting knowing that:
1. We are at the right place for treatment
2. Early intervention is going to be key for the long run, both academically and socially
3. We have surely been over our heads in trying to help him by ourselves for a really long time
As suspected there is more than just ADHD on the table, other issues are exacerbated by the symptoms of his hyperactivity. Our real focus has been on his misbehavior only.
We have more upcoming parent meetings with her as well as the center director to discuss what his treatment plan looks like including taking over his medication management.
When she used the word years, with a little s, as far as what she would feel is optimal for his treatment, including multiple visits per week, part of me just sunk back in my chair. While we were not expecting a quick fix I was thinking maybe a 6 month run tops with likely a weekly visit would likely be the recommendation.
The guilt of just what kind of awesome parent has really kicked in this week, and while I know there are so many more factors that have contributed, I can't help but think that some blame has to lie with parenting.
Bill and I are committed to doing what is in his best interest regardless of time investment or money. Neither are an issue to even consider when Ben's well being is at stake.
We have a much needed date night planned over the weekend, as well as an overnight family trip planned to Great Wolf Lodge. Something tells me a night of waterpark fun is needed by all.