Tuesday, January 20, 2009

focus pt. 2

Apparently, I'm not the only one with focusing issues. Today, the boys and I had lunch with Gillian at her school. Her teacher pulled me aside and mentioned that Miss G has been having problems recently with paying attention in class, like she's in her own little world. Ben and I have noticed this more and more at home too and discussed it the other day. I don't know what to do.

When Ben was younger, he was diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, one of those attention disorders. They later figured out that he had bipolar disease. I'm not sure if that means that the ADD had been misdiagnosed, and he was actually just bipolar, but still, he had a hard time with it.

I'm always skeptical when I hear teachers mention that their students have attention problems. We love Gillie's teacher, but since she's a teacher and not a doctor, I'm going to take her opinion with a grain of salt. But then again, like I said, Ben and I have noticed it too. And it's not like she tried to diagnose Gillie. She just mentioned that she's noticed that she's having a hard time focusing recently.

There are times when she is completely focused - when I'm reading her a story or when she's watching a movie. But there are other times - when I tell her to put on her shoes or clean up her toys, that I have to keep reminding her of the task. Sometimes 5 times a minute. Yeah. Scary.

I didn't know if it was just a 6 year old thing or something more individual to her. I asked her teacher if she sees the same thing in her other students, and she admitted that a few others have a hard time, and that Gillian hadn't been this bad until just recently. It makes me wonder if she's getting enough sleep. (She and Josh go to sleep around 7pm every night, and don't wake until 7am. Although recently, Gillian's been finding it harder to fall asleep. I now wonder if it's because she can't slow down her thoughts long enough to let her body ease into sleep...)

I worry that if I say anything to her doctor, that they'll immediately start trying to fill her up with pills. I worry that if I don't put her on meds, that she'll get worse. I worry that if I do put her on meds, that she'll lose that light about her that everyone loves so much. I don't want to create a zombie.

It makes me think that if this gets worse, I may pull her out of public school and buckle down and homeschool again. I don't know if I'd have the patience for that with the other two boys needing me at the same time, but plenty of moms have done it. I just worry that, again, I'M not focused enough to give my kids the education they need to succeed.

Maybe if I just did it for a year or so, to really get a feel for how she learns best, what her optimal learning environment would be, then we could rethink schooling options later. She loves 'going' to class and being with friends so much that I sort of hate to take that away. But I have to do what's best for her. And I don't know if putting her on pills would be the answer. Maybe just a change in environment or a more one-on-one with her teacher (me) time...

Obviously, I'm just thinking out loud here. I'm hoping that by laying out all my thoughts and fears here, that someone will comment with a suggestion, or at the very least, pray.

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