Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrating Hard Work!

During the fall, Sarah Graves was really struggling in school. Spelling was a real challenge for her; she was having a difficult time completing her work in class; during a conference with her teacher she noted the difficulty with fidgeting and impulsivity; and she was struggling to get positive points for doing things like working hard and staying focused Not only was she not learning as much as we knew she could, it was really affecting her self esteem. She would tell me she just wanted to be one of the smart kids. It broke my heart to see her feel so bad about herself. I could see the problems she had while doing school work with her at home. Every noise, every movement, every thought was a distraction for her. I decided we had to find out what was really happening for her.
We went to a psychologist and had an educational evaluation done. I was prepared to hear that she had dyslexia or some other learning disorder. I knew she was bright and just not processing the information the way she needed to to be successful in school. The evaluation came back suggesting that the issue was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 
Sarah Graves has a wonderful teacher, Ms. Muller! She offered lots of options to help Sarah Graves be successful like things for her to fidget with, a wiggly seat, and extra reinforcement for her good behavior before we even thought about the educational evaluation. I think she suspected what the issue was, but never once mentioned it or put pressure on us. She was very supportive in working with the psychologist. 
Knowing what the issue was helped. Then, we had to decide how to help her. In kindergarten I started using a combination of essential oils to help with focus and calming, but they didn't make a dramatic difference. We suspect that diet is a big part of it since Sarah Graves eats a high carb, high sugar diet. We met with a nutritionist who had lots of good suggestions, but Sarah Graves was not willing to try most of them, particularly the supplements. Fearing that the longer we waited to do something, the bigger the hit to her self-esteem would be, we met with our pediatrician who considered our input as well as her teacher's and agreed with the psychologist that she has ADHD. We decided to give medicine a try and started with a very low dose around the holidays. 
The low dose of medicine combined with her desire to do well in school was all she needed! After Christmas we got into a great routine and it is amazing what she has accomplished! She is doing great work, earning lots of kudos for her hard work and focus, and feeling so confident in herself. I am most grateful for that, she feels good about herself! That is what I wanted most for her. Even the head of school commented to us on how Sarah Graves just exudes confidence in class now. 

When her report card came and she had great marks in everything, we had to celebrate that accomplishment! 

This little monkey is a bright boy, too!

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