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View Full Version : Any teachers out there who can explain this one?



TerzaRima
10-20-2008, 03:37 AM
So I saw this kid in my clinic last week because the parents think he has ADHD and they wanted a second opinion about his meds. I had our neuropsychologist test him and he's smart, a full scale IQ of 130 (average is 100).

This kid gets into trouble a lot at school, and one of his high crimes and misdemeanors is working ahead. For example, the class will read a chapter together, and this kid will finish the entire book during that time. He also gets in trouble for working ahead in things like math workbook.

I thought maybe the family was inadvertently misrepresenting this one, but I reviewed his school records and they're not. I've had many families report this kind of thing before with smart, restless kids, and I'm stumped. What gives? Isn't it, if anything, easier, to have the bored wiseass in the back occupied and reading than forcing them to stay in harness with everyone else?

Medievalist
10-20-2008, 03:47 AM
I've had many families report this kind of thing before with smart, restless kids, and I'm stumped. What gives? Isn't it, if anything, easier, to have the bored wiseass in the back occupied and reading than forcing them to stay in harness with everyone else?

It's not unusual. It's one of the reasons I'm a high school drop out :D

If they had a clue they'd give him extra work, get him involved helping other kids, and taking up running or something similar that allowed for independent physical training.

JLCwrites
10-20-2008, 04:00 AM
I agree with you. The school is letting him down by not adapting their curriculum to fit his needs. He should spend some time with a specialist and get tested for a gifted class, or to be moved up a grade level.

bethany
10-20-2008, 04:01 AM
This is why I have my kids in montessori school. They have their own goals and can work at their own paces, however fast or slow that is.

Arisa81
10-20-2008, 04:03 AM
My brother had this exact same thing happen to him.
When he was in lower elementary the teachers always wanted my mom and dad to have him put on drugs to calm him down. OK, so he was hyper-active, he was also very bright. They never did put him on drugs, he stayed in school and did very well. He's in university now. I think sports is a great option. My brother has always done a lot of running and sports. Maybe that has been helpful!

Clair Dickson
10-20-2008, 04:16 AM
I don't get it either. He can come to my class. =) Of course, at the school where I teach, we are able and willing to let kids get ahead on credits, even though it hurts funding.

I don't have any answer. The parents might look at other options. Perhaps he can dual enroll at a college or even skip the end of high school and go right to college.

I was one of those bored, bright kids (helped that my h.s. believed dumming down was a valid curriculum...). I dropped out, got my GED and went on to be a straight A college kid. Now I teach alternative h.s.

If the H.S. is failing this kid, there are other options. For better or for worse, h.s. cannot accommodate all students. Some fail harder at that than others.

Yeshanu
10-20-2008, 06:35 AM
I had the same problem with a teacher in Grade 5. Fortunately, most of my teachers were a bit more willing to deal with my speed reading habits, unless they happened to teach math. :)

What I'd have done, if confronted with this problem as a parent, is to march down to the school and let them know in no uncertain terms that this sort of behaviour isn't acceptable. No satisfaction, head for the school board or director of education.

Every kid has the right to be taught at his or her level, and if the local school isn't meeting the needs of bright kids, they should be brought to account. Unfortunately, bored, super-intelligent dropouts are not uncommon, and it simply isn't fair, especially when kids who work ahead can be engaged in ways that don't disrupt the classroom, or even make whole lots of extra work for the teacher. (Think extra reading, independent study, and adaptations of that sort.)

Stlight
10-20-2008, 11:28 AM
Okay, I'm taking this slowly. The schools are giving the kids drugs to make them less intelligent? to slow them down? The drugs do what make their brains foggy? Antihestimes (for allergies) do that and do it well. My sister and I had to take them all the way through school because Mom decided we had allergies. It slowed us down, slowed us right out of getting the sort of jobs she later thought we should have. If you've been groggy through lower level math you're never going to get it.

Sorry, wasn't planning to post but saw this one and there is too much to say...

That is soooo wrong, bad, and it explains a lot about what's happening out there.

S

Priene
10-20-2008, 01:06 PM
Same thing happened to me, and I fouled up my education. Boredom is toxic for children ahead of their classes. They get so disaffected that they only get noticed when they've switched off from learning altogether and become disruptive in class.

In the UK, gifted and talented (http://ygt.dcsf.gov.uk/HomePage.aspx?stakeholder=14) (which is taken to mean in the top 10% of their subject) students now have to be identified by schools and treated as having special needs. UK schools are much more switched on about this than they used to be. My daughters' head teacher has a spreadsheet showing the exact learning progress in every subject for each child in the school. Each child is not expected to advance at the same rate as their classmates, but instead has a set of individually allocated targets which they're expected to meet. Hopefully, disaffection is much less likely to happen in these circumstances.

So I can't say for certain, but the ADHD suggestion is probably wrong - in a way it's the trendy diagnosis - but he does probably need individual attention.

Pagey's_Girl
10-20-2008, 04:26 PM
When I was little, the school called my parents in and insisted I be put on Ritilan because of - just that reason. My mother was furious with them, but she went along with it for all of one prescription, then never refilled it. Instead, she fought with them to have me put in advanced reading and writing classes, and eventually got her way. I was sooooo happy to finally have one class where I could read ahead all I wanted and not get in trouble for it.

That said, I've come to suspect that they might have been right about me having some form of ADHD...

regdog
10-20-2008, 04:42 PM
Dang reading this thread I feel lucky. One of the grammer schools I went to had advanced classes and put me in those I qualified for. For those kids who were really super smart that school had a weekly program at the high school so they could be taught at a higher level. But then I went to school in the 70's and 80's.

I will say though, the city I live in now had one student in high school who was so advanced in math, they had to create a entire math curriculum just for him and they did.

I think one of the biggest problems today is there are too many parents and sad to say teaches who would rather have the kids drug mellow than normal, active kids. Kids are supposed to be active, curious, questioning, annoying, etc. I think too many parents and teachers just don't want to deal with that.

Also there are too many parents who are not disciplining their kids and won't let anyone else discipline them either. They believe their precious babies are above the rules.

And for those of us here who went to parochial school way back when you know exactly what would happen if you acted up. Sr Mary Yardstick would get you with that sucker from five rows away. And you didn't do whatever it was you got smacked for again.

Kitrianna
10-20-2008, 04:47 PM
I had that problem. I was lucky in the fact that I was caught around middle school and at least placed in advanced Math courses, but that was all my school district offered, so I was bored everywhere else until high school when I could choose my own classes. Unfortunately for me, I took college level courses but never recieved college credit for them. So when I hit university and had to take all the classes again, regardless what my placement exams said, I dropped out. No way was I paying to be bored by the same stuff I had learned a couple years before.

Serenity
10-20-2008, 04:53 PM
As a teacher, my diagnosis is the kid is bored. Bored children will create their own kind of 'fun', often leading to classroom disruptions. But to penalize a child for working ahead? That I would never do. I have enough of a time getting a lot of my children to complete the work they're assigned in the first place.

The school and the teacher need to find a way to gear their curriculum to this child. Yes, it's extra work. Yes, it can take extra funding. But to hold a child *back* from his or her potential is incredibly wrong. And if the child is young, it's also helping him to learn that it's not okay to be smart. Have the parents talk to the school, see if there's a gifted program. Or, if it's feasible, check around and see if there's a local magnet school that works on a higher level. It's also early enough in the school year that a grade level move is doable. See if the school is willing to let him/her try a few classes a day in the next grade-- especially reading and math.

My guess is, once his brain is stimulated enough by the challenge of the work he gets, the behavior problems will dwindle, if not disappear altogether.

WendyNYC
10-20-2008, 04:57 PM
If the school cannot accomodate him with a G&T program or by allowing him to skip a grade, you might want to have his parents look at this online program run by Johns Hopkins. (http://cty.jhu.edu/)
It might not help him during class, but maybe if he could be challenged elsewhere it would make a difference in his behavior.

veinglory
10-20-2008, 05:29 PM
The parents have a lot of option here. The can speak to the school and move the kid to another classroom, or even to another school. Also supplimental material can be provided. Unless the kid is reading ahead right there in the classroom (i.e. being off task) then perhaps he is short of reading material in the home? If the rule is to read the assigned pages only, that should be possible for the kid so long as he has non-cirriculum reading materials.

These things are rarely due to just one factor at work. If the problem was just the teaching, would the parents be seeking an attention deficit diagnosis--if they are seeking it, is it justified? If the classroom is implicated the teacher and immediate management of the school ought to be involved--if only because they are going to be ask to administer the short-acting medications given for this condition during school hours--and so need full understanding of why it is being used (although I would really, really hope that a behavioral analysis in situ would come first, it generally doesn't)

NeuroFizz
10-20-2008, 05:30 PM
I owe a kiss and hug to:
Mrs. Brizendine- kindergarten
Miss DuVall -first grade
Mrs. Kennedy - second grade
(I skipped third grade)
Mrs. ??? - fourth grade (I'll have to go back and look it up)
Miss Stevenson - fifth grade
Mrs. Smetzer - sixth grade

They all kept me busy, even when I finished my work early. Then again, the whole "hyperactive" child pharmacology thing wasn't really a recognized option back in the 1950s (as far as I can tell). But these teachers managed to keep me motivated and moving forward, and I know it wasn't easy.

tjwriter
10-20-2008, 07:01 PM
This kid gets into trouble a lot at school, and one of his high crimes and misdemeanors is working ahead. For example, the class will read a chapter together, and this kid will finish the entire book during that time. He also gets in trouble for working ahead in things like math workbook.


Unless the kid is reading ahead right there in the classroom (i.e. being off task) then perhaps he is short of reading material in the home? If the rule is to read the assigned pages only, that should be possible for the kid so long as he has non-cirriculum reading materials.

I'm going to guess, as it sounds like what I did as well, that when the class is told you have thirty minutes to read Chapter 5 as an in-class assignment, this kid is reading chapter 5 and to the end of the book in that thirty minutes.

I would do the same, though I never got in trouble for being ahead. It's sad that this kid is probably interested in that story and yet being punished for wanting to see what happens next.

I was often bored in school. In first grade, I was almost sent to the principal's office because I was putting glue on my hands and peeling it off after it dried. I was that bored. However, I think in almost every class after that, I kept a book for reading at my desk, and after I finished my assignment early (happened almost every assignment), I was allowed and encouraged to quietly read whatever book I had handy. I went through quite a few books in elementary school.

Of course, back then, you know a whole 20 years ago, we had more recess time where we were encouraged to run around and burn off energy so that we could be more focused in the classroom.

I really am scared to send my kids to school.

TerzaRima
10-20-2008, 07:16 PM
I know this is a not uncommon phenomenon. What struck me in this case, as in a few others, was the remarkable amount of energy that this kid's teacher was putting into keeping him back with everyone else, when it would be easier on her (and better for him) to let him just do his own thing. I wondered if it was a resentment thing--some teachers really don't like bright kids--or perhaps an insistence that everyone work in lockstep. I don't know.

I owe a kiss and a hug to my first and second grade teachers. When the rest of the class was working on learning to read and phonics workbooks, I was over in the book corner with Little House in the Big Woods, and all the Nancy Drews.

Thanks for all the suggestions. With this particular kid, we steered him to a supplementary gifted program at the university and made some specific recommendations to the school.

TsukiRyoko
10-20-2008, 07:53 PM
That sounds like how I was in class clear up until college. The best thing the parents could do? Try to get him a grade ahead, or into a harder class. That's not ADHD< that's intelligence and boredom! Pills can't cure brilliance.