This past Wednesday I turned in my formal request to have the boys' school evaluate Joey for learning disabilities, and today I received a call from the school psychologist. She wanted to let me know that she will be leading the Joey's evaluation. Also to let me know that in his backpack was the form for me to sign granting my approval for the testing. I'm so very glad that get a response so quickly from the school. I'm hoping the school's evaluation will proceed quicker than the medical one.
Then the psychologist said something that really bothers me. She had hoped to have the medical evaluation results back before the school tested him, because he's going to need to be on medication and that will effect his results. She can tell from how much trouble Joey is having in school that there basically isn't any other way than to have him medicated (paraphrased). That "we" will have to re-monitor him after he is back on medicine. If he's on medications he may not need as much intervention.
It really bothers me that it seems the school just wants him on medication. As if he'll take some magic pill that suddenly make him a model student. That medication will "fix" his handwriting and difficulty reading and spelling. While it may help him focus better or sit still longer it's doesn't help him retain the material taught. If they talk to his teacher from last year, she can tell them he still struggled and he was medicated then. Even on meds he didn't sit quietly at his desk, was easily distracted and distracted others, his assignments weren't completed or if they were he couldn't find them in the black hole his desk had become to turn them in.
I understand that in our society everyone is all about finding magic pills for everything. Can't sleep- take a pill, need to lose weight- take a pill, kid can't sit still-give them a pill. While there are many people who do really need to take medications in order to function, why is that always the first option we turn to. With all the research that has been done with children (and adults) with ADHD and Autism and all the alternative therapies and diets, why aren't those encouraged instead of pushing medications.
We have been very blessed to have found a Neurologist and Neuro-psychologist that don't want to look to medications until we have tried everything else first.
I think Joey is doing awesome recently in class! Does he have room for improvement? Yep, tons! The progress he has made isn't coming from some pill I give him every morning. It comes from the teachers who are helping me figure out what tools Joey needs so he can learn to deal with his "disabilities". It's the cushion, the Velcro strips, the change of space (either going to the office or to the resource room). It's me hanging around the kitchen table while he does his homework and the encouraging when he is feeling frustrated with his assignments. It's having him practice writing and reading daily. It's the added step for me to double check that he has put all his homework in the correct folders and that the folders made their way back into his backpack.
He has been in class for 3 weeks. He has only know his teacher for 3 weeks. He only meet the school psychologist a week or 2 ago. You can't tell me that within 3 weeks that both his teacher and the psychologist know him well enough to decide he needs medication. Especially when the Neuro doctors (who have PhD's) and deal with "kids like Joey" are telling me to hold off on medications.
UGH!! I guess the update turned more into a rant than an update, but it just gets under my skin when people who barely know my kids start telling me what I should do with them. Medications are not always the only way success.
So within the next 30 days the school is suppose to test Joey. I'm hoping they do it sooner rather than later, seems they know he is going in for the medical evaluation at the end of October.