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Question
Posted by: Mommy | 2012/06/21

My 9 year old daughter

Hi doc, last year my 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with some hearing loss in both her ears on high frequencies (she struggles to hear in noisy environments but is fine one on one). She had to start wearing hearing aids in the class since last year November. She copes very well with this, but we are still in the process of fine tuning these sets to the specific need - it is a process and our next appointment with the audiologist is in the school holiday. With her March report discussion the teacher said she is doing fine, although she is quite a free spirit and does not taking school too seriously, but we do not have to worry, because most kids get this right in their Grade 3 year (she is now grade 3). At this quater''s report discussion all suddenly looks very bad. The teacher says she talks a lot in class and also rush through her work and then makes errors. She also said again she does not take her school work very seriously. I asked her what she suggests and she said that maybe we must consider medication (!). I told her that I am totally against putting kids on medicine for no reason, because my chilld does have a hearing problem and the audiologist told us that these kids loose concentration easily and are easily distracted, because they have to concentrate so much more and even with the hearing aid the bacground noises also become louder and more distracting. She gave me number for extra classes for her, which I will use, but I am very worried about my daughter. She is a very sensitive child, but also fun loving and I can see this whole situation is making things difficult for her. She suddenly hates maths and say she is not good in schoolwork, etc. The teacher also showed me a drawing which my daughter has made of a medusa type of person with snakes for hair, etc. and implied that my daughter gave this to her as if she has drawn her (the teacher). I told her that I do not believe this, because she is definitely not mean and actually has a very kind heart - always draw us hearts and write me letters how she loves us. Whe I aksed my kid about the drawing, she said the little boy who sits next to her said they must draw this to ''scare the teacher''. I told her that it was very wrong. I could see that she did not really had bad intentions, but did something naughty without understanding the consequenses. I have made an appointment with an educational psychologist to help me, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As with yesterday's example, we see a teacher absurdly making diagnoses and recommending treatment - I wish the Dept of Education would specifically ban this dangerous practice. No teacher in SA has ANY qualification whatsoever, to clinically assess a child, to suggest a diagnosis or treatment, and while they may recommend to a parent that an assessment by an appropriate health professional could be useful, they should NEVER EVER put any pressure on parents to make any such referal or to start treatment. In every case where a teacher DOES do this, I'd like to see THEM compulsorily referred for assessment by a psychologist.
Do most teachers no longer have the skills they used to, to deal with learning problems in the classroom by skillful teaching of non-drugged kids ?
I this case the recommendation of drug treatment is ridiculous and incompetent. The medusa drawing may be more accurate than the kid intended !
She sounds like a normal and pleasant child, dealing with the complications of hearing problems and adjusting to these.
An Educational Psychologist should be able to assess her helpfully, and, in discussion with you, discuss possible helpful interventions.
As Maria says, check on teasing. Its not at all uncommon anyway, and more so when a child needs an appliance such as a hearing aid. To this day I can remember the first day I arrived in the classroom wearing glasses, and the hissing whispers as the other kids gasped and responded to this. And such a dodgy teacher may neither notice teasing and bullying, nor be capable of handling it and stopping it.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mommy | 2012/06/21

Thanks for the comments Maria. Cannot agree more about teachers that struggles to handle these normal type of class problems these days! About the teasing, she has been teased on occations and also complained about the boy who sits next to her being mean to her, but we have been trying to equip her to handle this occational teasing, because most of the kids do not even notice her hearing aids, because they are very small and she has long hair. I am worried that when she gest older the teasing will get worse and be a bigger problem.

Reply to Mommy
Posted by: Maria | 2012/06/21

Also investigate the possibility that your daughter is being teased or bullied. Mine went through phases where this was a problem.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2012/06/21

My daughter is deaf in the one ear and has some hearing loss in the other. She has a hearing aid in the ear that works and in class uses a FM radio system. The teacher wears the radio (about the size of a cellphone) around her neck and her voice gets transmitted directly into the hearing aid. Maybe ask your audiologist if this might be appropriate for your daughter. I despair at the teachers actually. They keep referring you to other professionals for things which I feel is a classroom management issue. Last year (grade 3) the teacher complained to me that my daughter does extremely messy work. Well make her redo it then, what do you want me to do about it? We''ve also had the story that she disturbs the other kids - well discipline her then, once again what do you want me to do, I''m not there? The ed psych is the right person to help you, good luck.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/21

As with yesterday's example, we see a teacher absurdly making diagnoses and recommending treatment - I wish the Dept of Education would specifically ban this dangerous practice. No teacher in SA has ANY qualification whatsoever, to clinically assess a child, to suggest a diagnosis or treatment, and while they may recommend to a parent that an assessment by an appropriate health professional could be useful, they should NEVER EVER put any pressure on parents to make any such referal or to start treatment. In every case where a teacher DOES do this, I'd like to see THEM compulsorily referred for assessment by a psychologist.
Do most teachers no longer have the skills they used to, to deal with learning problems in the classroom by skillful teaching of non-drugged kids ?
I this case the recommendation of drug treatment is ridiculous and incompetent. The medusa drawing may be more accurate than the kid intended !
She sounds like a normal and pleasant child, dealing with the complications of hearing problems and adjusting to these.
An Educational Psychologist should be able to assess her helpfully, and, in discussion with you, discuss possible helpful interventions.
As Maria says, check on teasing. Its not at all uncommon anyway, and more so when a child needs an appliance such as a hearing aid. To this day I can remember the first day I arrived in the classroom wearing glasses, and the hissing whispers as the other kids gasped and responded to this. And such a dodgy teacher may neither notice teasing and bullying, nor be capable of handling it and stopping it.

Reply to cybershrink

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