Reply To: What to do in the meantime before meds

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Hi Fluttermind, Thanks so much for your answer. INSTEP is a program that is run in schools for those kids who don’t (or in my daughter’s situation are not allowed to) want to do ATAR which is basically university entrance examinations. INSTEP allows the kids to go into a college (not uni) situation and gain certificate level qualifications in order for them to go on to further study. It is an alternate route into university and often deemed for the non academic type kids. It’s often the case that you’re considered smart and there is always this “but” added in to justify reasons why they are not with the “smart kids”. There are other type programs such as VET that young adults can do in order to make their way successfully into tertiary education.

My daughter attends a private high school and from the get go they flagged her as having Autism “oh she’d be right on the tip” they said and they would add the word weird and my daughter’s name in the one sentence, make derogatory comments such as “Look at that engagement” when she was playing with her little sister and “We don’t care about the label we just care about the funding” which really got my heckles up. Even the woman doing the educational assessment took me aside to discuss the possibility. The year 11 and 12 psychologist at school announced she’d be putting a funding application in before the end of last term and we hadn’t had everything settled.

No one seemed to really listen and take note, not even the paediatrician but I am thankful his colleagues are the kind who really go into this very carefully. She has had language assessments and I think both the speech therapist and psychologist picked up this American sounding accent – which if this is a trait then all Americans have Autism and that is so not true at all! Kids here in Australia seem to have a bit of a twang to their speech these days, much more evident that when I was growing up and I think it has just been so I tuned into our culture that our accents seem to be slowly changing.

I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to be heard. I have had to really tell them that her development was completely on track growing up and I know this because I have training in early childhood development and made darn sure my kids were developing the way they should be. I cannot help it if my poor daughter was rounded on in the playground two weeks into her first year of primary school due to the fact that another child was doing inappropriate things to her in an out of bounds area the day before and she was punished for it. This to me doesn’t say she had poor social skills. It says to me that she was a people pleaser like me.

And just because she might be talented at drawing doesn’t mean she has autism as many children have strong talents and don’t have any disorders.

Your experiences sound very similar to my own and my daughter’s experience at school. She has always had issues with homework and even instrument practise. I would do fun things like play connect four where we would take turns putting our tokens in if she played a line of music correctly or not. I remember she laughed so much at this that she didn’t end up playing much but it made things fun and kids with adhd LOVE fun!

I agree! A tutor would be very very helpful but she is resistant and stubborn and will not do it. However, I was thinking that if we can find a teacher that she connects well with to spend ten minutes with her a day perhaps or half an hour after school to really go through study skills with her and to get her to show her level of understanding, then we will know where we stand where studying is concerned. I know I was crap at studying!I failed my university entrance exams bigtime! And I had classic ditzy symptoms.

She’s quiet sometimes and really chatty at other times and her teacher tells me she is a great conversationalist. Well if this is her strength, why can’t she play to that in order to aid in studying?

We have been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia but they effect the mental blocks and actually putting pen to paper and writing things down. She does have a lot of difficulty starting.

I will get onto head of boarding and talk with her about really encouraging maybe a different mentor to help her through. She ,Ishtar not like the current one but surely there is a choice. Her English teacher last year was fantastic and her marks actually went up in that class.

As for exercise, she walks to the shop if she has pocket money but that is about it. She is also studying Marine studies at school which includes swimming however, we have had to fight on this aswell. The outdoor ed department are literally out of their depth (pardon the pun)because they have never had anyone with her kind of swimming ability before and we again have had to fight tooth and nail to really get them to let her do the course. Once again choosing something like Marine took us all by surprise as I never thought she was really interested in this subject – no restricted interests there!

I just confirms so much! May I ask which meds you’re on? I’m not sure what we will be prescribed. The paediatrician is really wary of giving adhd meds without proof but we do have reports sent to him now so fingers crossed he will let us give it a shot. The current I.E.P is doing NOTHING to help her focus and has nothing in the way of social skills development if they think she is lacking such. She doesn’t need it.

I will call the head of boarding and talk with her about the tutor situation just so that we can try and do something about this. And roll on the 25th where we can start on meds and really get her on the right path. I want to have emails and phone calls from school telling me what a positive difference it is making. It will warm my heart to know that we have finally got something right.

Thanks so much again.