did your kids have a bad first day of school?

My daughter came home from school on her first day.. and oh wow, was she a big grump!  Little things were creeping back in, like mini melt-downs and headaches.  Not being able to focus and fighting with her little sister.  While any one of these things is totally normal for her from time to time, when I saw all them all happening in one evening, something was really wrong.  By the end of the week, I was starting to ask myself, what is happening to her from the time she leaves our front door until she gets home.  Here are some potential places that I looked into.

  • When she walked to school and home, what could be affecting her?  Burning leaves , lawns that had been chemically treated, grass mold, streets and drive ways that could have fresh black top.  I had ruled all of that out, so I started investigating her school.  Maybe bus fumes outside the school?  Of course, I know that I can’t control everything she encounters, but I was going to try to figure this out.. and quick!
  • I also planned a visit to her school, to check out her classroom(s),  There are lots of things to look for including scented plug-ins, teacher perfume, scented garbage bags, chemicals on the desks, dry erase markers, paints, those little tatoo’s that some teachers like to offer their kids, hand sanitizers, hand soaps in the bathroom, candy that could be offered by any teacher, aide, etc.
  • Lunchtime can be an adventure too.  You pack a great lunch and then find out that your child decides to trade with someone.  

Of course, this is a lot to think about, but many times it really helps to go through every possibility.  I sat down with her and we really talked about her day as well. Sometimes they really know that something is wrong, but just don’t feel like they can speak up and say something to an adult or fellow classmate.  Kids with ADHD often blame everything on themselves.

At that point, I did find out what was going on.  She was getting pulled out into another class, where the teacher really didn’t know her that well.  This teacher had scented plug ins in her room and that was the problem.   Once this was changed, things went back to normal at home and at school.  So, if you think things are a bit off at your house, when school starts, don’t doubt.. figure it out!