D average and in-school suspension

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    husband and I met with-the principal and difficult child's teacher last wk.
    Our original plan was merely to give them the results of difficult child's testing. The test results still are not typed up, however :sick: so we just told them what we knew.
    And they had their own paperwork prepared.
    Turns out that difficult child has a D average in every, single class. They said he has totally given up, and doesn't care about consequences, or at least, being sent to the principal's ofc to sign a contract and get a lecture.

    Which one of you wrote a note similar to this, and I said that when our difficult child pulled this a cpl yrs ago, we held him back? Anyway, they said holding him back is not an option. He's got the talent and intelligence. We just have to figure out a way to move him along.

    So, the prinicipal is going to haul him in on Mon. and show him the contract he signed, and remind hiim that he has not fulfilled one single item on it. (Generally, regular assignments.) She will use that to tell him he now has in-school suspension and will be pulled from class beginning Tues., to work in a rm, alone, on his classwork and homework until he is up to speed. She thinks it will take two days.

    We are also supposed to pick him up in carpool and not leave him in AfterCare, which served him well last yr--he always did his homework with-his friends right after school. Now he says he doesn't have any homework (lies outright), and ignores everyone while they do their homework. The principal thought that removing him from that situation, since he is suddenly so social this yr, would be a good idea.

    She and the teacher said he is respectful and talkative in school, and asked what he's like at home. We said he is extremely defiant.
    She said she had seen us out the window one day when I picked him up from the playground, and saw how he went after me, and she almost flew through the window to talk to him. "Is there some ODD there?" she asked.
    I was so relieved that someone else witnessed it. You know how sometimes you think you're going crazy and no one believes that this kid can turn on you in an instant?
    (I'm guessing he shoved his backpack at me to get me to carry it, and got in my face and yelled but frankly, he's such a brat so often, I can't recall the exact day she witnessed this.)

    Anyway, she and the teacher suggested that he is exhibiting ODD at school in a more passive/aggressive sort of way, by not doing his work. That way, he can "prove" that he is in control.

    It is clear that he doesn't give a whit for social conventions and is not held to "normal" standards of behavior. We told them that it works well when we reward him with-small, childish things like computer time and Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
    She suggested that we offer something bigger ea time he completes an assignment early, and in particular, a larger project, like a book report.
    He's got a book rept outline to do next wk and we want him to do it this weekend. So far, we have not been successful.
    She pointed out that stretching out rewards to 6 wks will not work for him.
    She knew all of this just because of her education background and experience with-kids. It took me yrs of trial and error to figure it out!

    husband and I spoke with-difficult child about our mtng and told him that a D average is not acceptable. He said those were old grades and his new grades this wk were better.
    Yeah, right. :(

    This weekend, I got him to peel all the wallpaper off of the DR wall for me (fingernail, icky paste peelilng) in return for computer time. (He's got a medieval game where he has to build villages. It's a rental and we're returning it soon.)
    He also earned computer time for helping me put up the Christmas tree. (It was way too heavy for me.) And he earned the privilege of lighthing a fire in the fireplace and tending it while I put ornaments on the tree.

    One step at a time.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. Were you even expecting any of that from the principal when you walked in? I also thought you were just giving the "verbal" on the testing until you got the full report in the mail.

    It sounds so very much like what I experienced last year with my difficult child. Complete crash last November in a sense, yet she wasn't social or talking.

    How do you feel about the suspension due to the grades? They say he's being respectful in school, and there is no aggression being shown there. I understand there has to be some consequence, yet do they truly think that two days will catch him up if he's averaging a D in each class at this point? I know with my difficult child it has taken literally mos to catch her back up academically. It's a daily catch up game we play in school and at home. It does sound like the school really wants to work with you and truly cares though. I also know what you mean in regards to "thinking your crazy" when it comes to their behaviors and being releived when someone else finally sees it and can understand your struggles.

    Now, will the loss of the aftercare affect your schedule I would imagine so. Does the school offer any type of after school one on one with a teacher as opposed to large group setting?

    I agree with the rewards being immediate, we were just talking about that here yesterday in regards to my difficult child and her neediness level. They can't seem to make it with long term plans. It has to be immediate gratification for a job well done sort of thing. Sounds like you started off really well with the work in the DR.

    Terry I can't remember and didn't look at signature, what medication is he on again?
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Gotta love when one of the pros actually knows something about ODD. You have a pretty good principal there.

    My daughter was one of those who refused to do homework. Heck, she refused to do work in class and this started in 3rd grade! I agree that rewards geared to the future did not work for her, either. Rewards had to be immediate and definitely not even one day in the future. For homework, I'd break it down. If you read the book, you get to watch TV for 2 hours and you pick the station/program (with mom veto power if inappropriate). Do one-half of the outline, we play a game together. The other half and you choose -- TV, game, go somewhere and have a treat. It didn't work all the time but it did work sometimes. I also added a long-term reward. C or better average for the school year got a year's pass to the local amusement park.

    It's a shame our kids to see beyond an hour or two, but they really can't. Future goals/rewards/consequences just don't seem to equate to their minds. They are "now children." Even 30 minutes or an hour can truly be inconceivable to them. It took me until my daughter was almost an adult to understand this. I wish I had known it earlier. It would have made life so much easier for both of us.

    Good luck on getting him to do the school work. You might try getting an older kid work with him after school to do the work. Sometimes doing the job with someone that our kids admire gives them some impetus to do what is necessary and looking good is important (not to us but to their peers or those they admire), so long as someone is not seen as someone having authority. That just gets automatic refusal. At least it did with my daughter.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He's on clonidine for anxiety, Adderal for ADHD, and Vistaril for sleep.
    I'm actually excited about the ISS, because it's a plan that shows him he cannot talk his way out of things any more. The teacher said he tries to be manipulative with-the homework issue, telling her he left it at home, and telling us he left it at school. We have worked up a system where she will write in his notebook every single day, which homework is missing. Originally, she was sending home bright red sheets of paper, but he would "lose" them.
    I'm not excited about picking him up that early but I will do what I have to do.

    Oh, I mistyped when I said it would take 2 days for him to make up the work. I meant that he can complete the old assignments in those days, and that it will take 2 days for it to sink in that he messed up.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I too have only had luck with immediate consequences and or rewards.

    Manster has a "C" average and I think he could do better but I'm not willing to push him in this area at this time. I just think that being in school and aftercare for a total of 10 hours a day is the limit. Whatever hw isn't finished in after school with the teenager I pay to help him doesn't get done. I will work with him for 30 minutes before dinner a couple times a week but when he starts getting that pre-meltdown look I back off. I know his grades suffer because I don't push him more.

    Good luck and it's great to "see" you. :) ML
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We've got school issues here, too, so I can relate. Both my boys are on planner contracts where the teacher(s) has to sign the book to ensure the student has written down the assignment for the day correctly. Then I look at it when they get home and I sign off on it when the assignment is done. Lots of hand-holding, even for my 8th grader.

    We don't so much have the ODD issue (except when medications wear off!) but we do have anxiety problems that interfere with school. difficult child 1 gets overwhelmed with too many tasks or a long-term task and ends up dropping the ball and not doing anything. And then he "lies" about it (that's a whole other issue).

    While I'm sorry your difficult child is causing such a headache, it's nice to hear I'm not the only one dealing with this kind of stuff :)
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Than that's great! I am sure you are relieved that there's a plan now for him at school.

    Homework can be such a hard issue. Yea I was like wow 2 days they must be amazing over there!!! LOL we've been struggling for mos. now to catch up since she's on this medication.

    i only know of the chlonidine, yet that didn't work with R (difficult child) at all. It was like candy to her.

    i'm glad your happy than.
  8. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    My difficult child needs immediate little rewards like the crystal light tubes you empty into water or little toys. He can't handle the anticipation of a large item, he gets obsessed thinking about it. The school knows this, I keep forgetting and try to build to earning a larger thing. It always backfires on me.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    Good idea, to not make it too big of an item or it will backfire. These things are so tricky.
    I got difficult child to write 3 sentences of his book report today ...
  10. maril

    maril New Member

    Wow - your son sounds so much like my difficult child when he was that age and even older...

    Kudos to you for keeping communication open with the teachers/close watch on homework, etc.

    I am assuming your son will have a holiday break, which may help, too. How about his medications? Is the combination working well for him?
  11. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    I am not dealing with that diagnosis. However, I am leary of the idea that "he" is the one who is not doing the work.
    here is what I think: #1)What works?
    #2) who is doing the teaching of this?

    To learn completion is the key. It also results in the grades.

    When any child is "not doing the work" then what are they learning?
    Because children are learning all the time. Every time a student does not do what is assigned they reinforce that.
    Long assignments need to be broken down into doable parts. and those must be completed. Who is on board to 'teach' that?
    I think that teachers who let any child with a specific learning issue or not fail then what is being taught? I call it 'teaching to fail'. Clearly the ODD learner needs the real time everyday support to achieve the competence and to achieve the habit of completion. If teacher is admiring the behavor that does not do that then what are they doing? Baiting them with reward? REasoning? Making them wrong? The consequence: the work is not completed/ the lesson is not learned.
    By whom? Who is failing in this equation?
    And then they suspend the student? Where is the referal? Where is bringing in the
    procedures that do work for that child?
    Suspend a child for failing to learn? What is the objective of that procedure?
    I would ask what the principle is doing to bring forward the meathods that are successful? How often today in this school for that child?
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Regular teaching and classwork worked until a few wks ago. He started out the yr with-a bang. Then he came to a screaching halt. We don't know why.

    The teacher and principal were not aware that he had a true Learning Disability (LD) until this past wk. They knew he had been held back a grade, but up until now, we weren't using the word "Asperger's" or even talking about Learning Disability.

    I don't feel badly about ISS. I do not think of it as a negative. If this were my easy child, then I would see it as a negative. I think it's a positive move. We are trying to find motivators for him. This is one thing we are trying.

    The objective is to show him that not completing assignments is unacceptable. It is to remove him from distractions and have him focus on the work. And yes, it is to make sure he really understands the work. The teacher is going to visit him during suspension, and teach him what she's teaching the class. Somehow she has to squeeze in the same lesson twice ea day. She is bending over backward for us.
    I think I failed to mention that in the other note.
    What she doesn't have time to do, the prinicipal will do.

    The principal was/is a teacher and loves to teach. She would much rather be doing that than bureaucratic paperwork. She travels to ea classroom and tries to teach every wk, if not every day.
    Does that answer your questions?