Autism Help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I have a few issues - I'm hoping maybe the pros can give me some advice. I'm sure you know, we're still (stilllllllllll) talking about Dylan :crazy2:

    Here's the major issues I need help with at the moment:

    Head banging. He still continues to bang his head. I caught him, twice, over the weekend playing the Playstation II, getting angry, banging the joystick HARD on his head. Needless to say, that's an immediate shut down. He knows it. Caught him one time with the hand held Game Boy doing the same thing. Obviously, the video games are a HUGE issue for him BUT, they are also a HUGE help for me with quiet time, because it's the ONLY thing that settles him (until he loses, gets mad, and slams the stick on his head, that is). Now, I dropped him off at the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) Sat. night, he had no bruising on his head. Today during our hourly phone session, the therapist brought to my attention that Sunday the nurse noticed significant bruising on his head, which means some time from Sat night when I dropped him off to Sun evening, he was banging it around. He claims he doesn't remember, doesn't know why, knows nothing. That's nothing new. He will also bang his chin. What I mean is, when he gets frustrated or angry, he will take the palm of his hand, face it upward, and hit the bottom of his chin VERY hard, multiple times, almost like some type of stress releaser or something. When we asked him today if his head banging or chin banging felt good, he replied no. When he was asked by the therapist why he did it, he rambled on something about me tickling him and him falling to the floor, totally off topic, again typical Dylan, ignoring the question and going off into another world until the subject IS changed (which is what he wanted LOL). I dunno why he's banging his head and his chin. Why? I also think he's scratching his face. Not alot, but tiny bits when he's frustrated. He says no, but he continually shows up with scratches with no recollection as to how they got there.

    School. Get this. I get an email from the teacher today. They had to make him a cubicle in class to keep him out of eyesight of EVERYONE because his peers annoy him to the point that he cannot do one iota of work. BUT, he is often kept after school to finish work, and when everyone else is gone (peers), he's fine LOL! LOL! What the ?!?!?!?!?!? This is what the teacher emailed to me:

    "We recently constructed a small cubicle area for him in hopes to deter him from being distracted by his peers, as well as to deter him from distracting his peers. This seems to be helping. He continues, however to complete limited work. Typically, I require Dylan to remain after school in order to complete the work that he does not complete during the school day. The interesting thing about this is that he will sit and do his work without any problems at the end of the day. I do not know what the difference is during the school day and after school, other than it is quieter and his peers are not present. At times, there will be at least one or two other students in the classroom after-school as well who are serving detention. I feel that his attention has improved somewhat, yet he is still easily distracted. He is often just sitting at his desk not doing any work, trying to color or draw, making distracting noises, etc. "

    The peers bother him this bad that he cannot maintain in school. That's the bottom line of it, pretty much. How is he supposed to function in school? LOL! He won't be in this Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) forever. The chances of them "curing", "fixing", or "easing" the school issues, to me, seem slim to none. I could be very wrong, but geez, what am I to do?

    So, I think, maybe a 1:1. What, exactly, is the criteria for Dylan being approved for a 1:1 aide? Does anyone know? I have asked, and am continuously turned down with no good reasoning, but have no good support behind me to get him one. Maybe I need an advocate.

    I was talking to him on the phone last night and he was telling me about another boy in the residence that was nagging him to watch tv with him. "Can I watch it?" the boy kept asking, over and over, no matter how long Dylan ignored him. Dylan said to me "stupid Autistic boy" (apparantley the boy uses his Autism as an excuse for alot of things and Dylan's got it the boy is Autistic). I said Dylan, you are Autistic. Silence :rofl:

    His inability to express himself is a huge problem. Today there was an issue, at school. His side of the story was that his lip was bothering him (chapped), they were standing in line to leave the class, he raised his hand, the teacher asked him what he wanted, he said his lip was bothering him and asked to go to the nurse, the teacher sent him out to the lobby for blurting out.

    Now, why would she do that if he raised his hand and she responded? Waiting on the teachers side from the therapist.

    Anyway - Dylan fell to the floor, started crawling around, crying. Couldn't get anyone to get him to talk (there goes that flat affect :censored2: again, GOOD, IM GLAD THEY ARE SEEING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and it took forever to get him redirected and back to class (2 hours).

    I don't know how to get him to communicate LOL! And obviously, neither does the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) :sad:

    The therapist gave him a stress ball. He CLAIMS it works, but yet, I never see him with it. I found some cute Sponge Bob ones on Ebay, we'll see.

    I need help. I could go on and on and on and on.....

    Thanks ahead :smile:
  2. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Hi Janna-
    Sorry you are stuggling with so many different issues. In regards to getting classwork done, perhaps the teacher should use some type of incentive sheet or chart at school in order to motivate him to complete his work. Perhaps he can earn a sticker/point for each sheet completed. You've mentioned in the past that he seems to resonds well to charts so I would recommend they try one.

    Unfortunately a 1:1 is very hard to get--The assistant can help Dylan to focus and stay on task, however even with a 1;1 it sounds like he will still stuggle because he seems to be unable to sustain his attention over time. Again, I think the school may need to break down his tasks into smaller sections so that he can feel a sense of accomplishment for work completed. They may need to really praise his efforts.

    It sounds like the medications were treating many different symptoms and now that Dylan is medication free he needs to relearn how self-regulate and self-monitor. Have you ever considered having Dylan wear ear plugs or ear phones during indpendent work time? This may help to drown out some of the classroom noise. It sounds like he is easily overstimulated in the classroom which causes him to accomplish very little. Perhaps he needs one of the sensory chew type toys...this may help him to focus more. Is his still in the emotional support classroom? How many kids are in the class. I know he's having major attention issues, but is he making academic progress? Have they noticed improvements since being in the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)?

    Head banging is an autism thing, but it sounds like he's banging his head out of frustration....whereas some kids bang their hands for sensory stimulation...kind of a pleasure seeking self-stimulant behavior. I would definately ask them to work with Dylan on anger management/self-calming strategies such as deep breathing or some Brain Gym excercises. I've tried teaching my boys other strategies such as counting by 10s to 100 three times in a row or doing some crab walking.

    It's never easy !! :hammer:
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The noise blocking headphones could work along with being in the cubicle. I had no problem with mine being isolated that way. Some parents do. They arent kept there for hours and hours.

    Dylan could make his cubicle his own little work station just for him. If he needs a special chair, stress ball, headphones, whatever...special charts even...they could be all taped right there in his cubicle. In some instances the teacher could even wear a mic that transmitted into his headphones so he only heard her voice and nothing else so he didnt miss any lectures or assignments.

    If reading or doing written work is a problem he could read into a tape recorder.

    There are many accommodation's that can be used. He could even sit in his cubicle on a mat on the floor if he was more comfortable. Who cares as long as he is working.

    We had one teacher who put a big washing machine box over Corys desk and let him hibernate in there. Every so often he would toss some work out of it and answer a question or two. It kept him quiet and he did his work. I am sure more than a few parents wondered about that
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janna, Lucas used to do that all the time. It's part of the frustration of autism in some kids. He would bang his head or hit himself in the face and say, "I HATE ME!" He no longer does it. I would not discipline him for it because he's not being defiant. I do think it's good to take away his games if they are upsetting him so much. Frankly, after a while I'd say gently to Lucas, "Lucas, if you get so angry playing that game, I'm going to have to give you a rest from it" and he would stop. Pronto. Now he no longer self-abuses.
    Janna, I think your little guy needs a lot more supports in school than he's getting. The teacher doesn't "get it." What he did was just so..."autistic" lol. At least he raised his hand. Have you thought of changing his IEP for autism help rather than whatever he's getting? It's NOT a psychiatric or behavior problem--he needs badly to learn to communicate and relate better and school can really help that. Send me an e-mail or I'll send one to you. Lucas stopped his self-destructive behavior after he stopped being so frustrated at nobody understanding what he meant. He still gets frustrated, but it's nowhere near the level it used to be. (((Hugs)))
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Janna, Occupational Therapist (OT) may help with some of this. Kids who are more agitated in the sensory sense are more prone to become highly irritated by sensory input such as surrounding noises. I would caution using noise blocking headphones on a regular basis--occasional use is fine but the more people wear earplug or noise reducers the more sensitive they become to noise (found that out from forums when I had ear problems).

    Expressing himself--you might suggest looking for alternate ways for Dylan to express himself when frustrated. Having the dialogue on paper works for some kids--slows down the process and changes the channel. This is used with many kids who are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/hyperlexic because they're more in tune to written language.

    Appropriate behaviors--have you or the school used social stories with him? This is a very common technique used with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids to teach appropriate behaviors. There are also a ton more materials than even 5 years ago to help get the message across. I don't think this DVD set has one on anger but here's an example that's been getting rave reviews from parents:
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'd say the head banging would bother me the most. Travis was a huge head banger, although if it was out of frustration I never saw any indication of it. It's like he'd zone out, then his head needed to come into contact with any hard surface. And when I say ANY I'm not kidding, patio doors, tile floors, cement, brick walls, you name it. If that wasn't bad enough, it was HARD too. He wore goose eggs from the age of 6 mos til he was 3.

    We tried everything to get him to stop. Made it worse that we couldn't seem to find any triggers for the banging so it always seemed to come out of nowhere. Finally we found a football helmet that fit him and he wore that for awhile. Didn't deter the behavior, but did minimize the damage. We still have no clue as to why he stopped head banging so abruptly.

    Just curious, has Dylan had an EEG since he's been off his medications?

    As to the cubical, I spent my 4th grade yr in school in one. (ADHD diagnosis as a kid) Wasn't my most pleasant year, but I did make it to the 5th grade. lol

    I like MWM's suggestion about the video games. I used that method with Travis alot. Actually caught myself using it with Darrin just the other day. lol

    I also think Dylan needs alot more support at school. I would think he'd qualify for an aide at least.

  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    A parent just posted on Early Childhood that her son told her that banging his head felt good and helped his brain focus again. You have to wonder if there isn't something to that since it sometimes does persist past those younger ages.
  8. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Janna: I'm sorry I don't have any wise words to offer, but was wondering if you've seen this website, AutismLink? I believe it was started by a woman who lives pretty close to where I do. I've heard it's a really great site, if you have a chance, please let me know what you think.
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I think MWM is correct. Dylan needs specific autism supports in his IEP.

    Additionally, the teacher may have to make some modification in her requirements of Dylan. If she has just taught a lesson in history and gives the kids two work sheets to complete, Dylan should be required to complete just one. Some teachers are so "set in stone" that they take personally accoms and mods for kids with special needs.

    In regards to the 1:1, it is difficult road to haul. But what you will need to do is go at it to show that having a 1:1 with him guarantees his legal right to LRE (least restrictive enviornment). Staying in the classroom is the LRE, period. Also, modeling peer behavior and learning social cues from his peers is extremely important to his future success. If he has a 1:1 in the classroom, he gets LRE and positive peer relations. Another thing that could help are his grades. I know that when I went to the "hearing" to justify difficult child's 1:1, the group seemed impressed that this was a child with behavior issues that were disruptive to the learning enviornment of the classroom, but was able to maintain honor role or scholar role in addition to getting advanced proficient on all his standards of learning state tests. They viewed the 1:1 as a support that could help difficult child stay on task and anticipate issues with frustration and anger that would free the teacher from having to take valuable classroom time to handle those issues.

    I hope you can get some academic supports in place for Dylan. It's work, but I can tell you from personal experience, it can make all the difference in the world.

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Janna, this isn't easy. It's even harder with him not being at home with you. But you have to work, don't you? So at least with Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), there is someone there to help him when school isn't coping (correct me if I'm wrong).

    The head banging - sorry, but punishing this isn't helping him or you. He's going to do it, or something like it. If you try to stop a stimulant or similar, they 'break out' somewhere else.

    So, a suggestion - it seems the trigger is frustration, especially with the particular game he's playing. So when he hits himself, don't shut off the game but instead, make him take a five minute break. Tell him to put the game on "pause". And if the game cannot be paused, then ban it for now. Make him play only pausable games.
    Another string to that bow - make him wear a cyclist's helmet when he is playing. Not a stack-hat, more the sort that is padded but has gaps in it so he can see freely. You can get them with chin guards as well. If not a cyclist's helmet, then maybe something else - a hockey mask perhaps? The thing is, he needs something that will surprise him and make him stop when he next tries to hit his head. He knows he shouldn't do it and inside he probably doesn't want to, so he probably is as compliant as he can be with this. So hopefully this will help him stop and think long enough to 'turn it off'. But you need to be there too, to make him change task for a few minutes, take a break so he can get control back over his frustration. Don't do this in a spirit of punishment; instead, make it clear you are trying to help him learn to deal more appropriately with his frustration. Basically, act as if some uncontrolled third party is hitting him when he is frustrated and helping him reduce his frustration will stop that person hitting him. This may take a little time to set up and get working or it could begin to work straight away.

    The schoolwork - the cubicle is good thinking but it's not enough. Janet's suggestion of headphones is a good one. Also, customising his space - all these ideas need to be tried or considered, to see what works best. The washing machine box - my boys found this one by themselves. Regarding the headphones - you may need to pipe some music through. The purpose - to produce a sort of "white noise" or alternative sound which is less distracting for him.

    difficult child 3 had (has?) this problem. He got practically nothing done in mainstream, then they would send it home for homework and he didn't have a hope of doing it after school hours when his medications had worn off. For us, homework was a huge battle because he'd been trying to hold it together all day and then he had to keep going after school too. It sounds like Dylan is motivated and willing to work. Therefore a reward chart probably will not help much. The problem isn't lack of motivation, it's distraction. And for these kids, it can be extreme. I'm just surprised the teacher can see part of the problem but not grasp just how bad it can really be.
    difficult child 3 had his desk moved to a point where his view of the other students was completely blocked. When bookwork was set difficult child 3 sat in the classroom while the teacher explained what to do and then went to his special desk to actually do the work. Sound was blocked out by use of headphones with CD player. The selected music was classical instrumental with upbeat 'feel' and not too soporific nor too many sudden changes in volume. Good choices include Handel's Water Music, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Beethoven's Sixth and Ninth (we allowed Fifth as well) and just about anything by Mozart or Bach. More modern permissibles included Gerschwin and a lot of backing music to Japanese animé. We let difficult child 3 have a say in what music we selected - he also chose "Classical Gas" played by Tommy Emmanuel and Sydney Philharmonic Orchestra.

    But this wasn't enough. It helped, but a big part of the problem also is the way schools change task too often for autistic kids. Often difficult child 3 would be just getting started when they were told to put that worksheet down and take out another subject.

    What would bother difficult child 3 (and still does) - the sounds of people coughing, sniffing, talking ("Please miss, can I have another worksheet?" "Now remember class, when you finish page one you have to turn it over and finish the other side."), scraping chairs, the vibration of footsteps in the classroom or even outside' the sight of wind blowing in the trees, the feel of the chair, the peripheral vision of people walking past.
    Now he's at home and doing his schoolwork under conditions he can control and I can eliminate as much sensory distraction as possible, issues we still have are - too many people in the house (just the peripheral vision again plus the feel of their steps and the sound of their voices even whispering); the sound of any interruption such as the phone ringing or the doorbell; and the feel through the ground of building works over a kilometre away. A truck driving past. The postman. A rumbling tummy. Thoughts intrude, unless he can bury himself sufficiently in his own concentration. He will be trying to work but thinking about a particular computer game, so the day goes as follows:

    9 am - begin work.

    9.01 am - "Mum, when you play Moon Invaders you can move the cursor to the top left of the screen and choose jump from the menu to collect gold rings which you can exchange for mining credits."
    Me: "I don't need to know this. Go begin your maths now."

    9.02 am - [he comes back into the room, pen in hand]...because when you have enough credits, you can also exchange them for equipment such as a space-breathing mule or extra cans of oxygen..."
    Me: I REALLY don't need to know. How much maths have you got done?

    9.15 am - "Mum, how about you play Moon Invaders while I am working? I know you will enjoy it. There is this bit in the middle where the bad guy jumps out at you..."

    Now I KNOW he has done no work - not because the house has been noisy, but because his own thoughts have been. He needs to get it out of his system before he can settle to work.

    This is a huge headache and must drive teachers nuts. I know it drives me up the wall. But the flip side is - when he finally settles to work, he does well and gets a lot done much faster than you would expect.

    This is not unusual for autistic kids, especially those with thoughts racing through their heads in all directions.

    They also feel injustice keenly. To be punished for calling out when he had raised his hand etc, is wrong. And what did the punishment achieve? Did it help him settle faster to his work. NO flamin' way. The fastest way to deal with it would have been to let him get some lip balm and he would have been back in class in five minutes and better able to work without his lip distracting him.

    I don't yell at difficult child 3 (not much, anyway) when he is so badly distracted. I DO call his attention to it, however, to let him know that his mind is distracting him and to ask him how we can help him get over this 'hump' in his day.

    By involving him in the discussion of the problem and asking him for help with the solution, we are engaging him in being positive about what we do as a team. It's the opposite of adversarial.

    We also confront the distraction head-on where possible to lay it to rest. When the building works last disrupted difficult child 3, we put down the work and went for a walk to see exactly what the builders were doing. He was more settled when we returned.

    Sometimes a total change of scenery is needed - a separate, quiet room can sometimes work best.

    It's a matter of trying different things to see what works, and not to see the child as a troublemaker out for attention. It sounds like Dylan is still trying to understand himself and his autism. Could you give him my outline of it? (or something similar). You know the one - different brains learn different ways, we're like computers with different operating systems which can still produce the required identical output, but only with the right software written for the way our brains work. Some people have mac brains, other people have easy child brains. But if you find the thing that makes your brain work at its best, you can do as well as anybody else. Autism is not the problem, it's people's expectations and lack of flexibility and adaptability. Some people are left-handed, some are right-handed. left handed people are often good at creating things while right handed people are often good at analytical things. We use what we have and do the best we can with what we've been dealt. And sometimes we've been dealt gifts along with what seem to be problems. Someone who is sensitive to vibration can be a very good seismologist, or detective. Someone who is sensitive to smell could become one of the world's best perfume makers or perhaps a brilliant chemist (husband can use his nose to detect differences between some chemicals which other people can't recognise). Or a person with a sensitive smell can be a brilliant diagnostician, able to quickly identify a number of different diseases by subtle differences in smell. For example, some dogs are being trained to detect skin cancers at a very early stage - by smell.
    And there are other gifts which we just don't know about until we begin to explore what we can do.

    Give Dylan a list of exceptional people who probably have (had) autism in some form. Bill Gates. Einstein. Gregor Mendel. Any one of many animal behaviour experts. Steve Irwin? Maybe. Other people from Australia Zoo? Probably, we've met them and they're all utterly obsessed with their animals. Many university academics. And so on - think of people you know and love, including family and friends. Having autism can be overwhelming especially when you are still coming to terms with the diagnosis, but you are who you are and it's best to learn to love it. Find the talents and praise him for them. Support his interests and obsessions, allow him to be himself and love him. Help him with his problems but help him to learn to help himself. Recognise that problems such as anxiety are going to be a headache for many more years than is 'normal', and find ways to help you all live with that. You can't program him out of his anxiety, nor can you teach him to not be anxious. It's like trying to teach him to change his eye colour.

    Breaking down tasks can help, but not always. Always worth a try though, so you can find out how much it could help. Providing support through new tasks is good, be prepared to have to do this for longer than you'd hoped. Each time, allow him to try a little bit more on his own but never push him too far at once.

    Good luck. It's a long journey.

  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I think the others have given you good advice. I really can't think of much to add at this point except some things that I've tried that seem to "calm" difficult child 2.

    I agree that the head-banging is probably out of frustration. In difficult child 2's case, he throws violent tantrums when he is frustrated, angry, anxious, or doesn't get a perfect score on a school assignment or win when playing video games. Whenever he didn't win when playing a video game, he would have an extremely nasty "melt-down", complete with throwing and breaking objects, using every four letter word imaginable, and screaming on the top of his lungs.

    In order to help calm difficult child 2 and enable him to have some control over his environment when at home, we removed all of his video games. We replaced the time he used to be allowed to play video games with movies that he enjoys - Curious George and Disney movies meant for much younger kids. After watching these movies, difficult child 2 is usually calm and in a good mood. I think these movies actually help him relax. As a result, there are less violent tantrums at home.

    When I asked difficult child 2 recently if he missed playing video games, he said not any more. He said that he enjoys his movies much more. For Christmas, husband and I bought him a small DVD player that we can give him during his REWARD Time so he can watch movies in his room. (It is unfair to make the rest of the family watch Curious George!!!)

    The point of me rambling is this - Is there some activity that seems to have a calming effect on Dylan? If so, maybe you could have him do this activity as a reward for good behavior. I'm sure if you take away his video games entirely, you'll have a difficult time at first. Hopefully, in time, he won't miss them.

    Another thing that calms difficult child 2 is his monkey puppet. We've explained to him that he can only have his puppet during private time in his room. He knows, even if he doesn't understand why, that "monkey puppet" isn't socially acceptable, but it is ok to play with it when alone. Does Dylan have a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, etc.? If so, maybe it can be used to help calm him.

    difficult child 2 is now receiving counseling at school to learn how to cope with frustration, anger, anxiety, disappointment, and not being perfect. He is also in a social skills group that meets after school once a week. Honestly, I think he needs more help in this area than our school district can provide. We had to fight to get these things in place for him. It took us four months before our IEP was in place. I think finding an advocate to help you with Dylan is a great idea.

    Sorry you're going through all of this!!! WFEN
  12. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Thank you everyone

    No EEG Lisa. He's never had one, ever. I asked the neuropsychologist about having one done, but he said there wasn't a need. Dylan did see a pediatric neurologist when he was 5 years old because of the constant head banging, but the pediatrician. neurologist said everything was fine. I dunno - the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) doesn't seem to have a concern. Maybe I need to bring that up, too.

    SRL, I love the Occupational Therapist (OT) idea, and know Dylan needs it, but the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) isn't going to provide it. They say because he doesn't need it in school, they aren't going to give it, so I will have to wait until discharge, and find private Occupational Therapist (OT) outside of the school setting. We did ask him if his headbanging felt good, and he said no. I can't imagine it would - it truly looks painful.

    I turn the PS2 or whatever off, but he is eventually allowed back on. I turn it off immediately when he's hurting himself because he needs to immediately stop doing that. I don't really think I could get any kind of helmet/hat or anything else on him. He doesn't like winter caps, any type of hats, or anything else on his head, but it's a thought.

    I bookmarked Model Me Kids (thanks SRL) and the AutismLink looks great, thank you ck, but everything is so far away! But, I have it and will read through some more tonight.

    Marg, can we just come live with you for a while? I was going to message you privately if you didn't have time to reply here, and I'm thankful you did. Your insight is helpful, and I've copied all the posts here.

    Dylan is not able to stay in class, that is the big school thing. I don't know how to get him a 1:1 aide, but I'm 100% positive he needs one. I've emailed the Secretary of the Department of Education in Harrisburg asking for more information and looking for an advocate. If I don't hear anything from him in a week, I will start calling around. I want Dylan to have an aide.

    I've thought, WFEN, about removing the video games completely. The movies are a good idea.

    Again, all the thoughts are appreciated. I'm clueless, again, as to what I'm doing. I'm also highly frustrated because I feel like I'm standing in an empty room screaming for help, and nobody gives a :censored2:.

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "I feel like I'm standing in an empty room screaming for help, and nobody gives a :censored2:."

    Oh boy, do I know that feeling!

    Janna, everything I know now, has been learned the hard way. When I was a kid dreaming about what kind of family I would have, the one thing that terrified me was having a child with autism. I just knew I would never cope.
    But then, what autism was believed to be back then, is not what it is believed to be now.

    Good luck with getting a 1:1 aide, but even if you succeed it still may not be enough.

    I'm wondering about whether they can simply not bother giving him classwork during class time, but instead have him run errands, rest, do physical exercise - and then begin his work when everyone else finishes. After all, the time in class right now isn't working for him anyway, he may as well be useful in some other way.

    Another option that may be easier for the school than a full-time aide - provide a separate room for him to work in. We've always found that difficult child 3 works best when he can choose his environment, and he generally chooses somewhere quiet, away from distraction and actually will work actively and independently. It's taken less time than we thought.

    I'm also using bribes connected to outcome. He gets a pat on the back for getting his allotted amount of work done, but if he gets MORE done, I give him a credit towards a reward (which he has some say in choosing). This is getting him away from the hours-based schoolwork and into outcome-based, which is my ultimate goal. The rewards I've used include a packet of Maltesers, a glass fake gemstone (two credits for that one), a kids comic book (two credits), a game with me on the computer. And sometimes a cheap puzzle or toy.

  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I feel just like you and Marg when it comes to feeling like you're "standing in an empty room screaming for help and nobody gives a :censored2:."

    I have to update my sig soon. difficult child 2 has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's. Even though, as Sheila has pointed out, the school district is supposed to provide difficult child 2 with everything he needs to have the best chance of being successful in life, everything is a major BATTLE.

    Most of the time, I feel exhausted, angry and totally drained. I don't have the money to hire an advocate or an attorney right now. I had a wonderful woman helping me with difficult child 2's IEP (services were free through a non profit group)but she has just left the agency. She has a difficult child of her own and I think it was just too much dealing with her difficult child's issues as well as the issues of so many others' difficult children too. I don't blame her.

    Anyway, it is definitely a long, hard fight to get anything at all. My school district expects me to be thankful for any crumbs they throw my way. :grrr:

    Our SPED director is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I think I posted awhile back about this. I just get so :grrr:!!! It is hard enough getting by day to day while having difficult children, without the SDs throwing obstacle after obstacle in the way of us receiving the services our children so desperately need. :grrr:

    I need to get off of my :soapbox: now. I could keep on going and going and going, sort of like the energizer bunny. Anyway, I hope you're able to get the answers and help you need for Dylan.

    I'll be thinking of you as I continue my never ending battle. As I've told you before, you're a great:warrior: mom!!! WFEN
  15. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Janna: we got a 1:1 with a 504. We basically had the doctor (MD) put in the reason that due to impulse control issues, she could endanger herself or other children by running out of the room, off a line etc. She was listed as ADHD. By adding that his academics are not coming along, and has shown to thrive with a 1:1 intervention during non-class time (lunch time, etc).

    This should help.

    Is he getting Occupational Therapist (OT)? Sometimes head banging etc. are impact stimuli that actually help him relieve stress. I don't know much about it, but sometimes they use techniques like brushing or weight vests to help with the sensory things.

    Just a few ideas!