Spring Break?

This week is Spring Break for the girls, which is sort of like a vacation for me too.  The treadmill slows down a bit.  I don’t have to crack the whip and get Lily out the door to school at the break of dawn.  I don’t have to worry so much about getting homework done every night. But I am still concerned that there’s schoolwork she’s supposed to be working on this week. She doesn’t think she does, but you never know.  Plus, I feel like she must still have makeup work to do from her sick days 2 weeks ago.

Lily stayed home from school 3 days because she was sick.  Of course, I was instantly worried about her falling behind in school.  I emailed her teachers to get her assignments and then I looked in her backpack.  Big mistake.  

Of course, the backpack is stuffed full because she brings EVERYTHING home EVERY night, so she won’t forget anything.  But there’s also a big, messy stack of loose papers in there and that makes me wonder which ones are assignments past due because she forgot to turn them in and which ones are assignments she’s supposed to be working on, but has forgotten about. I need to sit down and go through it with her.  She told me she thought she was caught up, but the online parent portal still has her missing assignments.  Lily doesn’t really seem to know.

That’s one of the hardest part of helping her.  I want to be able to prompt her and support her in remembering until she learns and develops the Executive Function skills to do that herself, but I never really know what’s going on with her school assignments and neither does she. We–Lily, the school and I, have just not been able to come up with a system yet that works for her.  She gets frustrated and discouraged because organizational systems are imposed on her and they don’t seem to work.  She also feels that accepting help  and using tools to support her organization means that people are once again trying to ‘fix’ her.

Of course, she has the same planner that all her classmates have, but it’s blank.  Lily hates writing in it.  I think that’s pretty common with these kinds of kids.  She tries to keep it all in her head.  I try to encourage her to use Google calendar or other digital tools, since I’m guessing that’s what she’ll use eventually, but nothing has worked so far.

It’s hard to scaffold the support of her Executive Functioning at school when we don’t have a system in place.  I suppose it takes trial and error, after all, there are adults who have yet to find an ideal system.  But I think this piece of her twice exceptional school career is going to be huge for her.  

Next week is Lily’s annual IEP review meeting.  I’m supposed to bring my thoughts on her goals for next year.  Organization is at the top of my list.  After her success in 6th grade this year, we know that she’s learning.  Her scores on the acuity tests that predict her performance on state assessment tests increased dramatically this year.  She’s getting very good scores on her quizzes and tests in class.  But she’s still struggling and doing poorly getting assignments turned in.  That’s hard to watch when I know that she has really learned the material.

Next year, the demands on Lily’s Executive Functioning skills are only going to increase and that has me concerned.  She’s going to need more support and scaffolding to be successful and that’s what I hope to address at next week’s IEP meeting.

Posted on April 1, 2011, in ADHD, Advocacy, Executive Function, Gifted, IEP, School, Twice Exceptional and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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