Category Archives: Parenting my way

Unprofessional.

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I was furious today.  I am one those people who research everything.  It makes me feel better to have as much information as possible.

On this whole thing about HB having maybe problems at school we decided to go with the non-invasive test first and we will not do the ones requiring needles.
I phoned around and eventually made an appointment with the audiologist recommended by the psychologist. I called I checked and I checked again yesterday that this is not a hearing test but a specific test for auditory processing disorder.  I also made it clear I need a written report.  I also made it clear why we were having this test.
It just about killed me that I could not be there for the appointment, but Hubby is his parent too.  Then hubby says she says she cannot do the test.  I speak to her over the phone and she tells me audiologists cannot do these tests.  I was very upset and asked why did she not just say that upfront and now we must pay for a hearing test we did not want because we have a hearing screening every single year for HB and we know already that his hearing is fine!!!! She just did a hearing test! Like what on earth are you doing, when we said we did not need one.  I was livid. Anyway we received a 15% discount and now I am still waiting for the report.  Wasted time and money for something wrong, by someone who should know better.
She, as an audiologist should know what is within her scope and if she can do it.  Anyway, called another audiologist who then told me, of course they can test HB for APD.  I was clear we had already made this mistake once and was told audiologists cannot do the test (when I know very well that they are they only ones who can make a definitive diagnosis).  She explained that not all of them have the capability in terms of knowledge, but yes only an audiologist can make such a diagnosis.  And she also offered a discount since we had already paid for a hearing test we did not want in the first place.
This time, I will take him for the test myself because I cannot just sit and wait to hear.  I am too much of a control freak.
I was so upset that the people we rely on make such idiotic statements, that they do not check who they are seeing for an appointment, that they are just about the money.
I never charge clients for something I cannot do.  I also do research before I see a client to make sure I do have understanding before I see them.  I expect all professionals to be the same.  I have also returned money if I could not do what they needed.
I could have made the correct appointment with the correct professional if she was honest and upfront the first three times I called her office.

Inside their minds.

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My little one things I am so clever.  He has this thing for science experiments and we did one over the weekend.  He is so amazed by the fact that I could do a science experiment.  I am not sure what he thinks about his mother specifically, but science experiments was not on the list of things I was supposed to do.

This had me thinking:  What do our children think about us?  HB thinks the following:
  1. You need pancakes, I am the one you call.
  2. Mama is a witch, in that I can do magic. ( I led him on here)
  3. Mama is good for hugs.
  4. You want sweeties, ask Mama, as she will likely give them.
  5. Mama reads stories well (Papa reads so deadpan, I don’t blame the child).  I do voices and sound effects.
  6. Mama writes everything the right way.
  7. Mama has handkerchiefs and stuff inside her bag.
  8. Looking for something, ask Mama.
  9. Mama knows nothing about science experiments (surprised him on that one)
  10. Mama does not know how to play soccer (surprised him on that one)
  11. Mama works in an office and loves it (he sometimes threatens to punish me by not allowing me to go to the office…I don’t love work that much).
  12. Mama does not know how to turn on the Wii (I led him on here)
Sometimes I wish I could read his mind.

Feedback.

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We had the feedback meeting with the educational psychologist and I am a little confused.  Everything that she said is nothing new to Hubby and I.  We know the child we have. So why did we have to do all this?

He gets easily frustrated, but it is possibly a temperament thing and not a problem.  It is also something he will grow out of and is not a problem. If he is still having the same issue at Grade 5, then we need to worry.
She has not noticed any ADHD markers  etc.
She noticed he mispronounces some things (which I already chatted to the speech therapist about at the beginning of the year and she said it is age appropriate mispronunciation, nothing wrong).
She said he is highly creative and imaginative. Which possibly means he daydreams and does not always listen, but again she says it is not a problem, just the person he is.
She says he does not always follow all instructions, because he is young and young children tend to selective hear.
Mama shouts…which I already know.  And Mama has rules…which I already know.  But HB also mentioned that Mama gives many hugs and kisses and also allows breaking of rules.
The cats bother HB when they fight (they bother me too, and the one is a kitten so it needs time to be broken in and I cannot see how this is affecting HB’s performance in class).
She mentioned that he mixes up sadness and anger.  OK, but it is something he will work out, and we should increase his vocabulary so he has the words to express in between feelings. Like irritation, frustration.
He is a child who feels intensely.  Again, not a problem, but the person he is.
He needs to learn to share better.  Yes we have only one child so he is not used to sharing, but she suggested more playdates…which is something we can do. Again this is not an earth shattering revelation or problem.
The only thing she mentioned was that maybe he could have an auditory processing problem…but she is not really sure that he has this problem.  She will talk to the speech therapist (who I have already spoken to) and we can do some tests at the hearing centre.  We know he can hear perfectly well, perhaps he is not processing it very well.  But this is conjecture, nothing we really know.
Also, she has does not really know why he had the meltdowns he has had at school. The teacher told her about it, but it is so completely out of character that she cannot comment on that.  She will observe him further in class and she will get the teacher to fill out a questionnaire.
She says HB is aware of the fact that he does not always finish his work and feels like he is not intelligent enough in some areas, but that he also feels he is good at some things.  It breaks my heart.
At  the end of all this:
We are going to get him tested for some kind of auditory/sensory processing disorder.
Get him tested for allergies.
Help him expand his vocabulary so he can express the subtle feelings.
Mama will be conscious about shouting and try her very best to do it less.
Model behaviour to deal with feelings.
I almost feel like we are going on a witch hunt to find something wrong with this child.  He likes the time with the psychologist and since we are not paying for it at this stage, we are happy to let him continue with her.  She is not hurting him and she seems like a genuinely nice person.
I am not a perfect parent and I welcome any constructive comment on being better.

And again we see the teacher.

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This morning we had another meeting with the class teacher to discuss HB.  This time it seems he had an episode of note, that I even had a call from the school principal about it.  I am not sure what else we are supposed to do.  He is seeing a speech therapist, he is seeing the psychologist, and we never have these incidents at home.

I was frank with the teacher, that we do not experience these things at home, so I am not sure what to do.   We cannot punish or guide behavior we are not experiencing ourselves.  The same of the classwork…at home he can read and write and count, but apparently he does not do it in class.  In class he does not want to do the work and sometimes out right refuses to do anything.
I am not making it up.  We have all the workbooks  and worksheets and counting tiles and flashcards…we sit every evening after dinner and go through the things they need to know.  I make up word problems, write up the maths problems and he does it all, without resistance, and he knows what he is doing, so why is this not working in class?  I feel like it is almost futile.  This is not a naughty child.  He is not worse than any other child I know.  I just don’t know what to do anymore.
I do not want him to come home and have to face punishment because he did not do his work at school. I do not want him to feel that all we do is punish.  I wish there was some way to find out what is going on in his head. There must be some reason that he is doing the things that he is doing.  What is going on in class that he refuses to co-operate, when I know he knows the work.  I  know he can count because I have sat and listened to him count to 120, without any problems…and the teacher tells me he cannot count.  He can count backwards from 10, he can count in twos up to 20.  He can recognise all the phonics and he can read three and four letter words.  He can read a three word sentence.  I can tell him a word problems and he can give me the correct answer. He can do a 100 piece puzzle and he has done five different puzzles in the last two months, but at school he cannot do a 48 piece puzzle.
I can tell him a word or show him a picture and he can spell it out for me.  He writes and cuts and colours and sticks and all this means ZILCH….because for whatever reason he cannot do it in class.  Cannot, will not, I don’t know.
I want to beat me chest and stamp my feet and pull out my hair and cry.  He is not yet six years old and will only be six half way through September.  He is my baby and will someone just give him a chance, PLEASE.

Playdates…what to do.

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I am a bit of a helicopter mother, I know.  So this is tough for me. This morning one of the Mom’s asked if HB could come over for a playdate next Friday.  She said she would take him home from school to her place and I can fetch him from their house.

I said, sounds fine, we can talk about it and work out the details.  And then I rushed off to my car to get to work.  I do not have time at drop offs for chats.  We exchanged phone numbers a while ago and I know her for about two years now…but only as a school gate Mom.
We have met both parents…but HB has never been on a playdate without me.  OK we only do playdates with my friend and  we visit while the kids visit. And even with her, I have never left him alone, but I would not think l twice about letting him go with her, because we share the same parenting styles and I trust her and the hubby fully.
So I am feeling a little anxious about letting him go home with someone else.
We know there are crazies out there.  However, I am also afraid of being too protective and stunting HB’s social life. The  parents seem fine.  I know she asked without it crossing her mind, assuming I was fine with it.  They are not South African, and perhaps do not have the same frame of reference of crazies that we have.
Also, HB does need to socialise more so this is good….but…
I do have a full day job, so I cannot be there to take HB to the playdate as it is too early for me.
What would you do?  Say no to the playdate, because after work is too late for the kids to be on a playdate? And I am not available at two to take HB to the playdate.
Say yes, and trust her because the family of four seem perfectly normal and sane?
Is almost 6 old enough?