Another school meltdown day

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HaoZi, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm sure I haven't gotten the entire story out of kiddo yet, but it involved something about double-digit division, her inability to do it, and teachers pushing her to do it while classmates "doubting her". Many self-harming threats were made, shoes were thrown, papers were tossed and torn (her typical M.O.). Principal would have kept her in the office except that she was on the phone with the superintendent at the time and kiddo's yelling was so loud (even through a closed door) that he could hear it and told principal that I had to come get her right then, no waiting 45 minutes until I got off work would not be good enough. She even told the super that sending kiddo home would be giving her exactly what kiddo wants.
    Because, you know, I haven't missed enough hours due to getting sent home when it's slow, weather cancellations that I can't get a sitter for, having to cut my hours short tomorrow to take kiddo to another town to see the neuropsychologist, etc. And I leave the boss and a co-worker in a lurch right in the middle of lunch rush.
    They nixed the idea of sending her to the alt school for a few days, luckily. That would also have cut into my hours next week and caused my boss to have to schedule around it.
    I think this pretty much seals her getting an IEP at the meeting next week, but surely there is a better way. Or at least a calmer one.
  2. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member


    no words of wisdom here since i still get the exact same phone calls on occasion and i dont know who i feel worse for, we adults or our kids.

    the only teensy suggestion i have for you is that if you havent already, try large block graph paper for the division....some kids (mine included) have difficulty seeing where things line up and the graph paper helps them organize better.

    i hope she calms down and you do too.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll look for some of that, thanks! She's calm now, but tomorrow is anotha day...
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Do you have your ducks in a row for an IEP meeting? Might be good to check the forum and find out exactly what ideas are there that might help your child. Hugs. DDD

    Lordy, I vividly remember those calls from the school. I would cringe when the darn phone rang!
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I posted not long ago asking after ideas, thread is around here somewhere. They know we have neuropsychologist tomorrow and are awaiting genetic test results.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh, I'm sorry you had to deal with this. I hope along with the iep they will do an FBA and a BIP. Hugs.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    HaoZi, this one statement really jumped out to me. Being a math teacher/tutor/inerventionist, I have TONS of strategies for most anything math, except geometry, that they can throw at her. Feel free to PM me if you ever have any questions. Most of the strategies I have learned have been from trying to explain/demonstrate math concepts to my Aspie son. With his different way of thinking and analyzing, the way the teachers are made to teach things isn't usually conducive to his thought process. He is doing well in mainstream math but not sure that would be the case if I weren't so knowledgeable in the subject to be able to help him. Does your daughter generally struggle with math? If so, at the IEP meeting I would request special 1:1 support for her in that subject to learn HOW she thinks and work with her to develop strategies that work for her.

    Good luck. I am so glad you have such an understanding boss. My old boss was very understanding and accommodating. The new one, well let's just say, is NOT anywhere near being on the same page.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I remember those phone calls! difficult child 2 was in 5th grade and it was probably his worst year as that's when his BiPolar (BP) symptoms were really coming out with a vengeance. The school simply did not know what to do with him, other than have him sit in the vice principal's office to do his work. The last few weeks of school I kept him home more days than not and simply called him in "sick," since he truly was suffering from an illness, even if it wasn't a physical one. The school understood. His class had a special field trip to a colonial re-enactment farm during one of those weeks. He was too unstable to ride on the bus, so I drove him there myself and stayed by his side the entire day. He was very manic at the time, and there was simply no other way to do it. I practically needed a leash for him, lol. But I was fortunate in that I could do this and I can't imagine having the stress of a job and a boss to deal with on top of all the difficult child drama.

    Hope everything goes well for the IEP and that they can get some appropriate supports and accommodations in place quickly!
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm sorry you've been having a hard time with her. i am so wrapped up in here as of late. when's your iep and yea i would hope this new episode locks it down. all depends on your school district and how they roll money wise.

    if i were you i'd write down specific accomodations and provisions your looking for and why, goals, etc. thats what i did and why. sorry she had a bad day sorry you had to deal with that. i hope tmrws better.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    They already have a BIP for her and a number of supports, this time they weren't able to avert the meltdown (sometimes they can). The IEP meeting is Tuesday. I'm a bit upset that her therapist wasn't made aware of it, we're hoping her case manager was made aware and will be there.

    I offered to help with ways to do it but she insists she has to do it the school's way. When I told her she could do it alternate way on another paper and then write it out school's way, she was resistant, saying it wouldn't be allowed. I doubt this is the case exactly, I think she doesn't want to deal with it right now. I will write down those ideas and bring them in, and TeDo, I will get with you on some more ways to help her with this, thanks! I mentioned it to her, and it was when I said you have kids "like her" that she became more open to the idea.

    I understand her frustration with it, it was a hard thing for me, too. I took a bit longer to "get" division at all. I had to dream about it before it clicked with me, but once I did, I got it totally. A lot of things in algebra I couldn't get done with the book formulas. Don't know why, but when I tried it their way I would not only get the wrong answer, but every time I would get a different wrong answer. Weird, I know. I went to my Dad, who showed me other ways that did click with me, and luckily I had teachers that said as long as I showed my work they didn't care what formula I used (except geometry, which I barely passed). Considering I was on the math team in high school for algebra, you'd think I'd be able to remember more of this stuff!
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    umm....she's probably telling you the truth.

    thats *EXACTLY* what happened here. it was the schools convoluted nonsensical way or the highway. the pressure to succeed without having been given the tools to do so was unreal. it took me moving mountains to fight the system...ultimately my difficult child 2 ended up on a modified day with math being taught afterschool with a one-on-one teacher who was forced into teaching a more traditional curriculum.

    to this day, we still fight the battle of the contemporary math. its all over the map, and there is no focus on mastery of anything. its a nightmare...our situation re:math gets worse by the minute due to the schools resistance to solve the problem on their end. i'm already thinking of putting her in some kind of tutoring situation over the summer. we have a unique situation where we change districts at the end of this year and i've already been in contact with them so i know where the focus needs to be, and i've also been told in no uncertain terms is this an issue NOT specific to mine--they are having to reteach a large majority of the incoming kids.

    i saw what happened here and my heart breaks for yours--i'm telling you, from an adult standpoint, *I* probably would melt down regularly too.

    and mine will tell you, it was the direct cause of her budding GFGdom. (of course, there are a myriad of other factors, lol, but if you ask her, she'll flat out tell you, it was math)
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I say she might be being avoiding it to some degree because she has told me things like this before and the teacher has said differently. She also tends to try to avoid things that she finds difficult, she doesn't always like to rise to a challenge. I do know some schools are very rigid in how they teach this stuff, and some of what I've seen over the years is way off from how I learned it and doesn't even make sense to me and seems pointless. But I will ask at the IEP meeting just to be certain! Thank you everyone for all your input.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Boy, does she ever sound like my son. You might want to check further into the Aspie diagnosis. My son was only diagnosed last week.

    As for the math, the school I work for is also very rigid in how they teach certain concepts but they are also finding that there are some students who will NEVER be able to do it that way. It is up to the parents, such as myself, to get them to allow those few students to "make sense of it in their own way" as long as they are able to show or explain how they did it so the teacher KNOWS they know what they are doing and not just pulling things out of thin air. My favorite response to some teachers has been "the proof is in the pudding". Definitely bring it up at the meeting and make them allow her the option. In my case, it has worked.

    Good Luck.
  14. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i forgot to mention something....contemporary math is extremely language based these days. (notice the ridiculous amount of word problems kids today do unlike when we were kids with 48 computation problems on a worksheet?!)

    if there is any difficulty with language, in any way, that could be something to look at if there are math issues.
    if there is any difficulty or weakness with mastery of basic math skills, that could also explain sudden avoidance. kids dont have the tools to move on to more complicated math. (but hey, they can tell you what a polyhedron is!)

    and the reason schools are so insistant on doing it "their way" is because the methodology is tied into standardized testing...and you know about that--standardized testing there to test the schools, not the kids.
    so it just might be detrimental to have a student body that heaven forbid can't recognize the egyptian lattice method of multiplication. (its irrelevant that any breating human being would never do multiplication that way and that most adults survived their whole lives without knowing it, lol)
  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She just got irritated with me for writing the remainder "r" as a lowercase instead of an uppercase (it's how I was taught). She said they do this "Stars" thing where you get a sheet of problems from the teacher to work on with a group and you not only have to get it done, you have to get it done fast. I think I'm starting to see where she feels pressured on this, not just the get it done fast part but also the having to work in a group part. She said they're not allowed to draw lines on their problems to keep them straight but she does have to draw the "drop down" arrows. I said draw the lines anyway if you need to, and if she asks or says something about it later, tell her you need it to keep things straight or I'll tell you need it.

    I asked what she needed to do in order to be able to do it fast. She said "practice." Then she got really edgy about it and complained about foot pains similar to the Zyprexa pains. She started the Intuniv an hour before that, so I'm keeping a timeline now to see if it's the Topamax or the Intuniv.

    The titrate schedule she has for both new drugs is the lowest dose for a week, then stepping it up one unit each week. The Topamax is currently at 25mg, and the Intuniv at 1mg. She did sleep better last night and said she feels better rested today (or did earlier). I'm thinking of skipping the Intuniv tomorrow and seeing if the foot pains aren't present. Told her if she feels that again during the day or anything weird to come tell me when it happens. Going to keep track of what/when she eats too, since both say they can have an effect on appetite.
  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    TeDo and HaoZi! Can I get in on those PM's OR can we set up a group for this stuff? HaoZi, I have lost it with my 10 year old who is doing EXACTLY what your difficult child is doing and it also seems to happen most when it's math. I'm always willing to admit I have a lot to learn - and my patience is at "0" right now with this little girl. A refresh on what may be spurring the meltdowns rather than looking at them as being deliberate might be the best course of action.

  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Haven't set up a PM thing yet, but Susie had some good input on it by PM, too. If anyone wanting in on this wants to do a skype chat group you can PM me and I'll give you my Skype name. I've found it really good for group discussions since you can set Skype to hold those convos in memory and you can go back through things you missed.
  18. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    mine--to a T.

    (and she does have processing speed deficits as well, along with poor coping skills)

    i also want to add, our experience showed us that this math business is NOT "disability specific" (don't misunderstand, of course there are math disabilities, and dyscalculia can be common in certain types of disabilities). obviously, some NT kids can "deal" better with it....but from what we saw, the levels of stress in the whole class were something to behold. we had very, VERY good reliable adult input, so it wasnt on my kids word alone. the pressure was astronomical

    and one more thing....(this one took me a while, and i might have said this before)...i forget what grade this was, but when they were "learning" the times tables, mine just had the darndest time with the 8's. i was in a complete tizzy with flashcards, drills, etc, thinking o-m-g she's falling behind. i was really worried that she was not getting it.

    until the day other classmates tests got stuck to hers and came home.

    turns out, those kids were still on the 2's. and not one had a reasonable grade. apparently, the kids all moved "at their own pace", so mine was hardly behind...she was actually advanced. these were NT, typical peers. as a parent, i had NO way of knowing any of that...but it really helped put things in perspective for me. i know you arent supposed to compare your kids to other kids, but frankly, thats an age old method of seeing where yours is at, Know what I mean??

    mine still has math issues. but do i think she has a math disability? no. she has "dysteachia" and "dyscurricula". i too am looking for a way to mitigate the frustration and convince her that its ok to do what she needs to to be successful, and forget what doesnt work for her.

    and those stupid arrows dont. nor, in my humble opinion, does it make a difference if you use a capital R or a small r. as long as mine gets the concepts, i really dont care what case letter she uses.

    and i'm really, really positive that eventually they will learn to work the whole problem out to either the exact decimal or use the fraction, and the "r" will REALLY be irrelevant (i cannot convince mine of that either, but i felt the need to say it to grown ups who know it to be true!)

    ps: mine finally started a new unit, of which i would call "pre-algebra"...she not only got it, but brought home 103 on the test and was beyond proud of it. so here's to holding out hope that it all gets better! :-D
  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Part of kiddo's issue is how much pressure she puts on herself to be the best. Maybe a big part. And so yes, her teachers want her to feel challenged. She's often ahead of the curve on many things, her standardized test scores (no matter how much she frets that they dropped this time and she didn't score as high as her self-made goal) are still way above district average. I tell her time and again I'm happy so long as she does her best, not to worry about being the best. Part of it might also stem from the absent-father "Why am I not good enough?" kind of thing. She has said that she sometimes feels she won't be loved if she does poorly on tests. She's one of those that if she can't be the best she doesn't want to bother because she'll feel she let everyone down and that people think she's stupid and are saying that behind her back. Positive reinforcement of a job well done seems to just make it worse if one other kid scored higher, did better, got more class reaction from their report presentation, etc. Catch 22.
  20. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I could set up a group on here so that anyone that wants to join in can (I don't even know where to begin with "skype" - I'm a little bit of a "techno feeb"). Anyone want to know what to call the group so that others would be able to identify what we would be talking about?