Help me help my daughter.
January 23, 2013 3:39 PM Subscribe
How to deal with a school's unwillingness to challenge a twice-exceptional kid?
posted by altopower to education (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My daughter (A) is 8 years old and in second grade. She is unbelievably intelligent by any measure and consistently blows adults away with her knowledge and creativity. However, this has not translated well for her in school. Since she started school, we have tried to work with her teachers and the principal in applying appropriate challenges for her in the classroom. All are in agreement that she is very gifted, but they are unbelievably reluctant to do anything about it.
Last spring, her teacher finally told me about behavior issues A was having in the classroom. I'd had suspicions about her possibly having ADHD since she was three, so it was a no-brainer to go through the testing. After consultations with her primary doctor, a child psychologist, and a therapist, and a full battery of testing, my suspicions were confirmed. So, thus armed, I intended to start this school year off right by scheduling a meeting with her teacher, the school gifted coordinator, the guidance counselor, and the principal. My hope was that we could hit the ground running and not wait around for "Well, let's see how she does blah blah blah." But, that's just what we got. A took the MAP test in October and scored off the chart in reading and language, and above the 95th percentile in math. They claim that in-class differentiation takes care of any challenge she may need, but she's not learning anything from rereading books she read when she was four. Every suggestion I've made (accelerating to a higher grade for reading/language arts, independent study, being her own reading group in-class, on and on) has been rebuffed. Even things that were agreed to in the last meeting (Lexia time, for instance) haven't materialized.
It's now halfway through the school year and nothing has changed. They're making her take the MAP again next week (and she'll do it again in the spring), and we're meeting after the scores come back, but I don't know what more to do. They see her scores and say "Well, test scores aren't everything..." (which of course they're not), but then they make her take the test over and over to see how she does. Students with equivalent abilities (but without behavioral issues) have been grade-skipped, while we haven't been given the option (not that we'd necessarily take it, but it's an option).
Additionally, her behavior and general functioning has improved astronomically with her tiny Adderall prescription and behavioral therapy with a child therapist.
So, Mefi, what's my next step? We've already decided to open-enroll to another district for next year so I'm really just looking for ways to not waste this second semester. What should I be going into this meeting with?