Wednesday, October 20, 2010

31 for 21: #21 Homework

Elise loves homework. LOVES it! She wants to do hers, she wants to do her brother's, she wants to make her sisters do school....she is depressed when it is Saturday and she can't go. Sunday School at church helps bridge the gap until she can get her fix.

Gabriel is disinclined to do his homework. He is disinclined to do his classwork. We are having a bit of a battle right now. Now, this is not to say that it is a shock. He is in 7th grade. I don't know a soul who didn't try to get away with a little something in middle school. But it has always been a little bit of a tussle to get him to do his work. The funny thing is, his teachers write "He is such a sweet boy. He just needs to pay attention"..."focus on his work"...."turn in____." So I guess I should be thankful that the laziness is not going hand in hand with a snarly attitude.

Elise, however, gets "She works SO hard in class! She loves the computer! If only she would keep her hands to herself." She comes home begging for TV, but she can be derailed if you offer homework. She asks if she can watch "Rat Cook" (Ratatouille), if you say "No" she'll pitch a mini fit. If you say "No, but you can do math", she'll come with out a murmur, sometimes even a "yay!"

I wish all my kids had her work ethic. She will sneak windex and try and clean the kitchen. She'll return to a project that interests her constantly until it is complete.

I have been approached by several people suggesting that I should pursue the ADHD diagnosis and consider medication. That perhaps an easy fix to her impulsivity would help her keep her hands to herself. Occasionally, I think about it. On a particularly "red" behavior week, I think how nice it would be to not battle this. I would happily allow her to drink Coke, but she doesn't like it. I encourage chocolate...the caffiene that make most people a little strung out, mellows has the opposite effect on her as it does on most people. (Benedryll is like giving her Speed. It does NOT make her drowsy.) Which is a arm-chair confirmation of the diagnosis of the ADHD. On really bad days I push the caffiene. But I drag my feet on the diagnosis. I don't want her on meds. They still don't know the long term effect many of these drugs will have, we are still on their first generation. We certainly don't know the impact on kids with Downs. Their systems are so fragile, that any negative would be compounded. And I really don't want to risk losing her passion for everything! She is so awed and excited by life. And there is no substitute for Love of Life. No pill that can replace that if it is lost.

So, we continue to pursue behavior modification. And get excited by every social improvement we see.

School continues to be a reward on the behavior scale. She is SO proud to show me her returned assignments. She is thrilled to demonstrate counting or telling me information that she learned. I believe that as she gets older, she will continue grow scholastically, and being allowed to attend school will act as a giant behavior modification, and we will continue to see massive growth in that area. She is so socially driven. (Her father's daughter!)

She is reading simple sentence books.

Here is a video I made last night.
I am SO proud of my girl!!

She is growing physically like a weed and mentally by leaps and bounds...I don't know if her new teacher has more of a handle on what drives her, or if this year is a culmination "click" year. But I couldn't be more impressed with Elise's gains. My hope grows with each returned work packet and book read.

And chocolate is good for you anyway, right?


  1. Dark chocolate is suppose to be great for you. Too bad I only like the milk kind. I had a friend whose doctor wouldn't even talk ADD until you did the "Mello Yellow Test", meaning if you give your kid a mellow yellow and it calmed them down, then he would talk to you about it :)
    I don't know that this will make you feel better, but Rocky never did homework either.

  2. SOOO proud of our Leesie!!! She's doing great! She couldn't have a better tutor, either! God job Leesie and fantastic job, Mommy!