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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I am a single parent (woman) with 7 yr old son in 2nd grade,

Resolved Question:

I am a single parent (woman) with 7 yr old son in 2nd grade, who is struggling with reading. I've been advised by the school to get him some outside help, so he goes for 1 hour every week to a tutor for reading help. He very uncooperative, and balks each time we approach her front door. For your reference, I saw this same attitude when he begged to be enrolled in football, I did -- he hated it and would not participate on the field. The men coaches were wonderful and patient with him, but he would brood and easily get his feelings hurt, it was a disaster for us both. He is very bright; as we walked up the front side walk this morning, he says to me "Momma, I think she's trying to keep me". Like ... 'you need to be aware of a danger here that you are not seeing'. I've told him that if I get a report that he has had a good reading session, we will go out for a treat ... but after 5 sessions now, we have not had any positive reports from the tutor. He told her at last weeks session, "You have to be hard on me and tell me I HAVE to do this". Help please! Ian has very loving and involved grandparents on my side, however my ex and his parents are not involved except on holidays.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must feel a great deal of distress about this, but I believe that your son will overcome this.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that he has been traumatized by more or less losing his father and paternal grandparents as a central force in his life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He feels abandoned and rejected, and he now fears being separated from you, being taken away or somehow losing you. This fear is deep inside of him and when he is separated from you or is with others of authority, such as the tutor or the coaches, he has excessive worry or even feelings of being kidnapped.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

These feeling that he has expressed to you are very typical of a childhood disorder called Separation Anxiety Disorder.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He also has a reading disorder but this may be entirely due to to his separation anxiety.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to recommend a book that will be very helpful to both of you (rather than to just tell you to take him to a child psychologist).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This book will guide you to guide him and will reassure you and give you knowledge and expertise in helping him:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I also have a book for your son. You can read it to him and you can practice reading it with him as he learns the lessons that will reassure him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


This book is very effective with children such as you son and I believe these two books alone will make a big difference in his life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Once he feels more secure he will improve and I believe that his reading skills will improve.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I also recommend these books to help him at home with reading skills:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I hope this helps and I shall keep you in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, I have received a response from you previously regarding a separate issue, and it seemed to be quite insightful and helpful, however I think on this issue you are a little off track. Here's why; Ian does not display any fear of people in general, nor of being kidnapped. He is very outgoing and makes friends easily, with adults or children. He is able to hold conversations with adults especially, interacting more like he is 18 yrs old, able to hold his own and express ideas. While it's true that he must truly feel he's missing out by not having an involved father, I don't believe our current issue with not wanting to cooperate with the tutor, has anything to do with lack of that side of the grandparents, nor with being taken from his mother. That being said, and with your experience; can you offer any other reason why a young child would feel angry or maybe even shame about going to a tutor. One other piece of info -- he has asked me specifically not to tell anyone he is going to a tutor, as if this is somehow making him feel deficient.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful note.

You did write something that clearly indicated a fear of kidnapping (being taken from you).

"Momma, I think she's trying to keep me". Like ... 'you need to be aware of a danger here that you are not seeing'.

How else do you explain that statement? That kind of fear is one of the criteria for separation anxiety. He may not have the full diagnosable disroder but he may have some aspects of it, or something else is causing this anxiety.

Now that you have supplied additional information, I see your situation more clearly.

All disorders, including childhood disorders, do not have to fall neatly into one category or diagnosis. Diagnoses are abstract concepts placed over the behavior in order to define it, treat it, and sometimes to collect insurance payments which require a diagnosis.

Ian may have the inattentive type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which contributes to him faiing to pay close attention to details or make carelss errors in schoolwork. He may also have trouble keeping attention on tasks and play, which may be why he had difficulty with the coaches and the tutor. He may be easily distracted or forgetful, and may not follow through on instructions or direction.

Children with ADHD are often prone to more anxiety, and his anxiety seems to be focused on being taken from you, with that exmple I cited above as one indicator.

Ian is obviously intgelligent and very advanced socially. However, if he has trouble focusing on his academic tasks, then he needs some assistance.

Although ADHD medication is given to children with some positive results, I feel it is more prudent and safer to see a child psychologist who can assess him for ADHD and if he feels this is the problem, then he or she will use therapeutic techniques rather than medication. A child psychiatrist will probably go right to the medication. I don't recommend that course, except as a last resort.

He has a lot of good healthy pride and self-respect, as indicated his reluctance to reveal that he is going to a tutor. I believe that he will overcome this problem and learn to be a good reader.

Those reading guides I gave you will be helpful.

I also recommend the following book for you to consider. This book is good for parents of ALL children who want to enhance their children.

Product Details

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

and finally I book that teaches children English and mannerly living using chants that are said out loud singly or in groups, a book that I was involved in writing.

Product Details

Rhythm 'N Rhymers: The Internationally Acclaimed Guide To Teaching & Learning Grammar & Good Living Through Chants... by Ellie Schmidt MA and Elliott Sewell MAE


I wish you great success in getting Ian back on track.

Warm regards,

Elliott


Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
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35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.