Her preschool advised our arents that she might not be ready for kindergarten, as her birthday was Just two days before the cutoff. At their recommendation my parents kept Jane back and chose to enroll her the following year in a small private kindergarten. She had a rough year adjusting to such a small classroom and often was sent home with reports of inattentive behavior in class and an inability to focus on the task at hand. She was noted for being unaware of personal space often and by year end her teacher would call weekly to report issues with her progress to my parents.
Jane was oved to the local public school for first grade where it was determined she was behind grade level in reading. She was pulled out of class for remedial reading, and with some extra tutoring from her teacher; she was close to grade level in reading at the end of her first grade school year. Some bullying issues and the recommendation of her first grade teachers prompted my parents to move Jane to a different private school for second grade and beyond.
Due to moving schools and different standards, it was determined that Jane was yet again behind in the xpected academic levels, mainly reading, and my parents were asked to get Jane tutors and enroll in a reading program at a nearby university to assist her. The new school expected Jane to be at a third grade reading level upon enrolling in second grade, and she had barely made it to the first grade level by the end of her first grade year. The cards were stacked against her from the get go, but parents, teachers, and students were all willing to work with her to help her succeed.
However, this did not happen. Things kept getting harder and harder for Jane. She also struggled to take ests on topics that she was quite knowledgeable and was often scolded for talking too much and not staying seated in class. At home, I noticed that the only way to describe her behavior was hyper. She was easily agitated, easily distracted in her line of thinking, she often invaded others’ personal space when trying to play, yet she was very creative and could focus on her favorite topic of dinosaurs even creating a detailed dinosaur museum in my parent’s basement.
My parents struggled to understand why Jane was not successful academically and did not have many friends. They often thought maybe her social issues were because she had been raised practically as an only child. They worried that her academic issues were because she did not apply herself to her studies the way she did to dinosaurs. During this second grade school year my parents had Jane tested for ADHD through their pediatrician.
Her general education and art teachers completed the questionnaires along with my parents, and it was determined that Jane did not meet the criteria tor ADHD or another learning disability, and that sne might Just need some different motivation academically. In third grade it became apparent that the school Jane was enrolled in was not interested in helping Jane in any manner unless my parents agreed to have her tested for ADHD again, and see their recommended psychiatrist only.
The school delivered an ultimatum to my parents that if they did not see their recommended psychiatrist Jane would not be allowed to return to the school for fourth grade. After several sessions the psychiatrist diagnosed my sister with ADHD, however my parents were reluctant to medicate her as recommended because of the push from the school to this specific doctor. A trip to another psychiatrist confirmed the diagnosis, and my parents began to look at alternatives to medication in helping my sister, however the school was not very cooperative with these methods.
When my parents tried to modify her diet, the school would not allow for her to have water as needed or particular snacks at certain times during the day. Her counselor and principal agreed in meetings to help in any manner recommended by the psychiatrist; however her teachers were not willing to give her a stress ball to use during tests, extra time on tests or any modified learning pportunities or plans. At the end of third grade, the school suggested that Jane attend a summer program for reading and math, which my parents did not have her participate in and rather began to look into medication options and testing them out over the summer.