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  1. #11
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    sorry i was such a grump about it... i was in a funk all day yesterday...

    xoxos.



    Quote Originally Posted by anthrogirl
    Again, thanks muchly. Elixirbeth, I hear you- this is really about the internal fights his parents are having with each other, with him inthe middle (and in part, pitting them against each other). His mother knows she's doing a shit job.

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  3. #12
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    Re: Problems with an ADD student

    Quote Originally Posted by chromegrrrl
    Give the kidlet a break and do some crafty stuff with him towards the end of each tutoring session, don't lecture but do point out to him *other peoples' actions*. Instead of telling my son "Your manners are awful!" I compliment him when he overrides the attitude and shortcutting stuff and I also point out to him "Wow, isn't that nice? That kid opened the door for us. When people are so nice I feel really good being around them."

    You need to drop the parents are crap parents line, even if its true its not helpful. You can't control what they do or don't do with their own kid, you can only control you and your actions. That child is already between his parents, he doesn't need to be between you and them as well. Every hour that this kid is with you for tutoring he's on a little vacation of sorts, feel good about giving him that attention and structure for that hour.
    I'd actually like to do crafting with him, and we may find time for that. Unfortunately he has so much homework that if we took a half hour for crafting, he'd be up until 10 pm finishing homework. What he does like is reading, and we get out books all the time. What I will do is start bringing some crafty things with me for the times when he doesn't have too much homework- it's rare, but it happens.

    I agree with you- he doesn't need for me to be in the middle of it too. I actually like both of his parents, but they have different agendas. His mother is the one who says that she doesn't know what to do- I think she's doing the best she can, given her own personal and human limitations, as is pretty much everyone involved. I try to make the 4 hours a week as enjoyable as possible, and find time for him to read for enjoyment, which he loves doing- I have him read aloud so we can work on his phonics and pronounciation. But I'm feeling my own limitations, in that I'm getting bombarded by his parents and him, and it's hard to deal with it all. Or, out of nowhere, I run up against the ADD brick wall, where he goes off to another world somewhere. My boyfriend ses a similar wall with his autistic music student. It's different than mere distraction or bordom- it's like seeing someone slip out a backdoor into anothoer universe, leaving only a shell behind, until he or she comes back of his or her own accord, which can happen anywhere from five seconds to a n hour later.
    I recognize the brick wall, and it's eerie seeing it from the outside- because I also had similar problems growing up, and used to slip out all the time too. Now I see what it looks like, and I better understand whay it must have frightened my parents so much. Generally I just wait patiently until he returns and we start again, or use movement (like using a pen to follow a line in a book) to keep his concentration on the work.

  4. #13
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    I hear you, some kids are definitely "out there" learners, and when they can't move and process information they zombie out for a bit. If he's had a learning style evaluation it would be helpful for you to have access to that information, otherwise you might have to play detective.

    My son is an extremely visual/kinetic learner, but leans more strongly into the kinetic catagory-- so when he's having a really off day I put his knitting or plastic canvas work in his lap and tell him that he can answer math problems between stitches if he likes or do stitches between math problems, whichever he chooses-- the movements of making a stitch seems to help him sort out the problems. Now I'm not saying this like I'm some sort of educational genius, it took two years of trial and error to figure out what clicked with him and I have the luxury of being 24/7 mom able to observe every moment of his day-- you don't have that.

    I do commend you for caring so much about this child and his future success, but I am also a bit scared (for you) of the personal investment your making.

  5. #14
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    Thanks muchly. I occilate between being intense about this (like when I'm writing here) and removing myself entirely (like when I was croceting earlier).

    In a way, the question I'm asking is less about the kidlet than about a larger problem- namely, how do we get through to children who for some reason are at a disadvantage when it comes to processing information?

    I like your idea, though. I have concentration problems myself, and the way that I deal with it is to work on more than oe project at once. It seems to clear my brain cache. I also take frequent breaks. I allow the kidlet to get up and go to the bathroom or wander when he needs to- but the work has to get done, since it's what I'm getting paid for.

    But I also come from a generation of black people (I have a feeling you would find this among all minority groups around the world) where we were taught to save as many as possible without drowning ourselves. It's interesting- on another part of the forum there was a discussion going on about childlessness and how some people feel that having children is a way of preserving their genes. For me and a lot of black women I know, having babies isn't the way we necessarily do it- we do it through informal adoption and mentoring, because every child in the community is seen as our child. Which doesn't mean we can't let go on the hopeless cases. There have been times when I have done so. But I'm not sure that the jury isn't out on this one. I tutor two other kids, and one of them, while sweet, is probably not going to improve very much because he has no reason to do so. I'm more worried about the kidlet I'm mentioning because I see him as being very capable of being killed or hurting someone with his lack of control, and I saw too many of my students go to jail when I as a high school teacher to not give this my best shot.

  6. #15
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    anthrogirl, my son has ADD, and I understand what you're going through. My own take on the disorder is that the lack of attention is NOT the main issue, but only a symptom of the brain's inability to discriminate between stimuli. ( Your tutee's mild brain damage doesn't help the poor kid any.) The physical activity is an acting out tht mirrors the child's confused and overwhelmed brain cells.

    Does he go to public school, BTW? Does the school he go to have a resource program? Can he get in it?

    My son and my students, who at their age have short attention spans at best, do very well with timers, for one example of aid. I had a class full of adorable 6th graders a few years ago who couldn't find their butts with both hands as a group. I used the timer to help them through their warm-ups and routines and they throve on it. I still use it on my 9th graders.

    There's lot of literature out there on helping students with LD's accomodate to their differences. Dr. Mel Levine, one of Oprah's favorite raves, is actually a highly respected expert on different styles of learning. I recommend his "One Mind At A Time" books. One of my texts for Ed. Psych is his "Educational Care: A System for Understanding and Helping Children with Learning Differences at Home and in School."

  7. #16
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    Thanks, Mrs Stroozi.

    He's in private school, a good local Catholic school. We've gotten him mainstreamed a bit, but the school is patient with him. His public school had him in Special Ed and claimed that he had a 3rd grade reading level at best. It happens that he reads on about the 5th or 6th grade level on a good day, and on the 4th on a bad day.

    The other problem is that we work at the local library, which can be noisy at times. Lately it's been quiet and that helps, once he gets started. But lately I've noticed that it's more than his mind slipping away- he's been angry and sullen, and he feels frustrated because he just wants to get his work done and leave it alone, so he rushes through it without checking it.

    I will try the timer method! I think you hit it right on the head- I can tell that he is easily distracted. Anything will do it. I've suggested that he take music and martial arts lessons, which help with self -discipline and concentration.

    There are times when he's able to focus, and other times, like when he's tired, that he can't- hence my concern about his bedtime.

  8. #17
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    The bedtime issue is one well-raised with his parents. Tired people don't focus as well even if they don't have an LD to contend with. AND my own son thrived with martial arts lessons. It really helps those kids learn to focus, and stay focused. That's good news about his sympathetic school.

  9. #18
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    I would second anything physical for this student. It may be beyond the scope of your tutoring session, but perhaps you can suggest to the parents that he might enjoy martail arts, dance, drumming, or sports. It sounds as if the more structure this child can have in his week, the better.

    I realize in your tutoring sessions you have homework to do that has to be done, so you don't have a lot of freedom to get creative. However, if you can do a craft activity related to something he is studying, that hands-on learning might help reinforce the concepts and give him something new and interesting. For example, creating a puppet or figure for a character in a book he is reading or an historical event, and looking back to the reading for all of the details he needs. That directly reinforces reading comprehension without the absolute drudgery of multiple choice and short answer worksheet questions.
    Also, like it was stated earlier, you can't change the parents. someimes, and this is sad, but the best you can hope for is that the time he spends with you be his dose of quality, structured, positive adult time for the week.
    Good luck, it sounds as if you are on the right track.


 
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