10 yr old having behavior problems in school; esp. with noise & schoolwork

Question: I'm at my wits end with my 10 year old daughter. She's usually very well behaved at home but constantly has problems in school. Her teacher says she complains endlessly about the noise in the classroom, doesn't pay attention to lessons, doesn't turn in her homework, and doesn't socialize with the other kids.

Her classroom is very small and crowded (25 students) but her complaining about the noise has been an issue since 2nd grade though it's gotten much worse this year.

When I talked to her about these problems, she said the kids in the class make noises (like tapping their pencils or smacking their lips) just to irritate her.

She told me school was very boring, she doesn't know why she fails to turn in her work, she just forgets and she doesn't socialize with the other kids because they have nothing in common and she overheard them saying bad things about her when they thought she wasn't listening so now she doesn't want to be friends with them.

At an IEP meeting last school year, I was told by the teacher and counselors that she had a severe mental problem (though they wouldn't say what it was) and that she needs to see a therapist or she wouldn't make it through middle school (she's in 4th grade now).

I've talked to my pediatrician who said she was fine mentally, wouldn't refer me to any therapists, and told me just to put her to bed earlier. When I told her IEP team this at a meeting this school year, they were livid.

I'm trying to find a therapist for her on my own, but the ones I've talked to so far won't take her on as a client because they don't believe she has any sort of mental or emotional issue and they wouldn't be able to help her with her behavior problems at school.

I have another IEP meeting in a few weeks and I'm panicking because I can't find a therapist for her. Is there anything else I can do about this situation?

Answer: You may be able to find a board certified behavior analyst in your area that could help her with behavior issues in school. Just enter your zip code at the following website... www.bacb.com.

You may also ask if they have a school psychologist on staff to assist with helping her or contact the National Association of School Psychologists to find one yourself (they should know of one through the school). I am wondering if she may have signs of asperger syndrome behavior, with the social skills issues you discussed, sensory issues, and poor concentration. Having her specifically evaluated for this might provide you with more options of getting her help.

She may also simply have sensory issues that are causing her to have problems in school and with relating to other children. An occupation therapist could help you with these things. If your pediatrician is unwilling to refer you to someone that could evaluate her for these things then I would recommend taking her to another pediatrician to get a second opinion.

Teachers and others at school are with your daughter more than 30 hours a week, how often does your pediatrician see her? I am also concerned that a pediatrician wouldn't listen to your/their concerns and at least refer her to someone to have her evaluated.

As far as being bored in school, is it possible they are not challenging her enough with the schoolwork? I myself had similar issues in school until my mom figured out that I wasn't being challenged and was very bored. They gave me advanced schoolwork and I started doing better and paying attention more.

Hope this helps!


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