Alborzi Ortho Sep 2017

235 N. SanMateo Drive, Suite 300 SanMateo, CA 94401-2672 Tel: (650) 342-4171

705 Purissima Half Moon Bay, CA 94019-1934 Tel: (650) 726-6321

The Alborzi Standard

September 2017

My Son’s Early Struggles in Prekindergarten SCHOOL SYSTEM SHENANIGANS

and participating. By the end of second grade, we’d switched him to an entirely new

school that utilized a different set of study methodologies, where he did even better.

diagnosed disorder that too often results in overmedicated

Nowadays, he’s double majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering at an exemplary “co-op” program, in which he spends three months working as a junior engineer for the Ford Innovation Center and three months learning theory in school. It’s funny, just like when he was little, he has little patience for the theoretical applications he learns in the classroom, always itching to head back to work and physically apply the knowledge he’s amassed. The work he tells me about is truly impressive. I couldn’t be more proud. As an educator, it’s easy to blame the child. You’re running a classroom of 25 kids, and it can be difficult to accommodate a kid who might be more advanced or that learns differently than the other children. But, as

children, zombified to fit into an unaccommodating school system. But when I talked to my son, it was clear that school was just boring him. The teacher was failing to engage him on a fundamental level. He wasn’t learning anything, so he was “acting out,” a common problem with precocious, smart kids. Fortunately, we found a professional who recognized this and echoed my concerns. Instead of prescribing Adderall or some other substance, they helped me figure out a solution that would help my son become fully immersed in the school environment. We decided, along with the school, that he should skip kindergarten and head straight into first grade. It was a big, nerve-wracking decision. I worried whether he’d be able to get along or fit in with a new set of older kids. But my fears were dispelled almost as soon as the school year began. My son immediately began doing so much better, throwing himself fully into school. The teacher had no problems at all, and in fact, they appreciated my son’s enthusiasm and fervor for learning

From the very beginning, my son was different from other kids. The first sign that this was the case came when he began sounding out words from his picture books at only 2 years old. By the time he was a little over halfway through his third year, he was able to read, poring over these colorful pages that seemed comically oversized for his tiny hands. It was clear that I was dealing with a distinctly intelligent child, but right away, as he started prekindergarten, he began to have trouble in school. I learned, after about a month of him attending a local school, that he was frequently being sent to the principal’s office, cordoned off from the other kids like he was a run-of-the-mill troublemaker. His offenses were the usual energetic kid stuff, like distractedness, trying to be playful with his friends, or talking over the teacher. In a parent-teacher conference, the pre-K teacher began to insinuate that maybe, just maybe, my son had ADHD, that over-

my son’s story goes to show, that doesn’t

mean we should leap to medication as the only solution. Sometimes it’s just a change of scenery or a new curriculum that’s necessary for a child to really shine.

– Dr. Alexa Alborzi

(650) 342-4171 | 1

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