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Needs to slow down when doing school work? ADHD(7 Posts)
DS is going through assessment for ADHD, and we think it's pretty likely he will end up being diagnosed. He's 11, and tbh, we've known forever.
Anyhow, at every parent's evening we've been to, we've been told he is able, but rushes his work. So it's either messy, too brief or full of easy errors (or all three). No amount of being told to slow down, expand on his answers or check his work has made any difference.
His teacher said that he is unlikely to get 'age related expectations' when they take the tests in May because of this, even though he is perfectly able to do the work on an intellectual level.
Any idea of things we can do? I hate the idea DS will think he has failed in his tests, when it is the ADHD stopping him from showing his ability. I know that the secondary school he is going to used to base their GCSE predictions on SATS scores, so this could be a real problem going forwards if his new school has low expectations of him.
We are prepared to medicate DS once we get the official diagnosis as from what we have read, it will make a positive difference to his (and our) lives, but the next appointment isn't until June, so after the tests have happened.
What strategies can we/school use to make sure he can do his best in the tests? He has a reader, has extra time and does his tests in a room on his own already so no distractions. Ta.
Some people who struggle to concentrate do so better with distraction!
Things like music, interesting visual stimulation, wobble cushions and movement can increase ability to concentrate. It may be worth experimenting to see what works.
Thanks for your reply Polter. DS has tried a wobble cushion, but just used to fall off his chair more frequently apparently. School have tried movement breaks, but the problem seems to be that when DS has decided he has finished, he won't go back to his work. Well, he does, but will just sit in front of it and not look at it, or pretend to look through it, but is really just marking time before he can be let out.
I suppose he needs to either care about it, or realise it is important that he does a better job with it. However, there is no way I want him stressing about the tests. What to do?!
My ds EP said that DS should have the reasons explained to him about why he's doing the work and how it will benefit him for him to be able to fully engage in it.
He has ASD but is so very literal - write a paragraph on King Edward 1st would literally be a short paragraph. He needed specific instruction like - when he was born/dies, when he reigned, his family, where he lived.
He then needs to be told things like - learning to read information text and writing about them will help you when you study engineering at uni.
I'm not saying it's perfectly worked but it gives him more of a clue!
Firstly I would contact the senco at the secondary school and ask if they do use the sats scores to predict GCSE outcomes!
Very many secondaries now do their own testing as sats scores are not a true reflection of a childs ability and because very many primaries fudge the scores!
When you know the answer to that you can then decide if you still think its important!
Personally I would be asking the school to get an EP or ADHD specialist in to give them some advice!
I've just spoken to the INCO at the secondary school for a general chat, and she said they use a combination of SATs and CATs for setting/prediction purposes. She didn't really have a clear answer about what they might do with DS if his scores were lower than his potential iyswim. She basically said they can move kids about sets-wise, but he would be put where he was attaining, not where he was capable of (I think). So, not feeling too positive about that.
As for getting a specialist in - I doubt that would happen. There is no ADHD specialist service in our borough that I know of, and our current SENCO has always said they get very little EP time. Not sure where we go to from here .
I suppose I just have to keep reinforcing that if DS has a test, he has to give it a proper go, not a rush job. I just doubt it will have any effect whatsoever. He pretty much lives for the moment. School for DS is just an obligation to get through so he can play football at break/lunch/afterschool.
I can't see him getting the connection between re-reading a maths test to check his calculations, and him getting good enough grades to get an interesting job in ten years time...
My DD was diagnosed with adhd at about that age, a few weeks before doing the year 6 SATs, and she started medication shortly after. Quite frankly, the difference the medication has made to her life and schoolwork is astronomical. She completely flunked the SATs (rushed them, didn't read instructions, etc), but we expected that as the primary school had themselves assessed her as 'untestable'. She went on to secondary school with very very low results. She is now in year 8, and her marks have improved, and the expectations are now that she will manage to get a reasonable set of GCSEs. Two years ago this would have seemed completely impossible.
However, we have really had to engage with the school, and be quite forceful at times in insisting that they reset targets. They initially set her targets both for year 7 and 8 on the basis of the SAT results. This meant a ridiculous situation were she began year 8 with targets that were considerably lower than the the results she had already obtained at the end of year 7.
Good luck with your son, the system makes me want to tear my hair out at times!
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