My child has been diagnosed with Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) and ADHD; inattentive type. My child does not struggle with hyperactivity rather she tends to veer off and daydream which causes her to miss important pieces of information. Just in case you don’t know what BIF is, it is when the person has below average IQ. The person’s IQ is not low enough to be mentally retarded but is not high enough to be considered having an average or normal range IQ. She has a hard time learning new concepts and mastering multi-step instructions. She processes information slower than the average child; however, she can master the concept over time. The best way I can describe it is like a sifter, sometimes the information sticks but other times it just flows through and she does not get it. But I’ve learned that the more you pour in the more she retains each time.
Consequently, in school she benefits from having a Individual Education Plan (IEP). Her IEP allows her to be pulled out of class and put into a smaller group to learn new concepts in reading and math. She also gets 50% more time to complete her work than the other students. When she came to us last year from Foster Care, we knew she was behind in school. She was living with people who cared about her well-being but not her education. She was allowed to ignore her homework. She had the attitude that everything was too hard to do so why attempt it. I knew that it was going to be a challenge for her at our home and school because her dad and I expected her to do the work that was given and the school expected her to attempt her work in class. In her last school, she had all F’s on her report card. We knew that this was the result of poor parenting regarding her education and her lack of effort. We believe that every child is smart and can learn with the right help!
She came home the first day from school with science work to do and she quickly let us knew that she was not going to do it. She sat in her chair with the science book open but decided that it was too hard to do. Her dad and I were up for the challenge. We asked her to pick up her pencil and get to work, and she started to cry and say that she is dumb and wants to be dumb. Of course we knew exactly where this was coming from. She was frustrated because she did not understand the work or the instructions. This home was probably the first one where she was made to do her homework. We explained that she was not dumb and that she could learn just like every other child if she wanted to. She had to make the choice. We have always been forth coming with her. We have told her that she is behind in school but that she can get caught up if she is willing to do the work. She has since decided that she wants to try to get caught up and has changed her attitude towards work in general. She does still make careless mistakes and it takes a while for her to understand new material, but she is trying.
This summer her dad and I worked with her on her IEP goals and tried to cover those areas that she is behind in. She has been in school for about three weeks now and she brought home her first set of graded papers. Thumbing through the papers she had one F, two C’s, and a B. That’s a far cry from where she came from. As I kept thumbing through them, I saw a 100% on a Math computation worksheet. Her dad and I were so proud of her, and she was proud of herself. It was her first 100! All the hard work behind us and ahead of us was put into perspective; it was and is totally worth the effort. We all know that we will have to keep on this same path to get her caught up, but as long as she continues to give 100% and not give up, that is enough for me!