Discovered ONE reason difficult child was stalling on his homework, OMG

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This is so bizarre. Last night, after difficult child and I had cooled down and husband got home, we all sat at the kitchen table to help difficult child with-his last Spanish assignment.
    He was to draw a picture of himself as others see him (others who think highly of him), and use adjectives to describe traits. The teacher originally showed me a page in the book that asked, "What do I like to do?" so I had suggested the figure be wearing a baseball mitt, that a cat be in the picture, etc. so that kind of messed up the adjectives. We had to generalize. So the first arrow goes to a pile of chocolate (rectangles and circles colored brown :) ) and says, "Bien chocolate." The second one goes to the cat and is supposed to say, "Simpatico." Which means, "Nice." But difficult child stonewalled. Sat there for 15 min, tapping his pen, driving us nuts until we were ready to scream. "What is your problem?" husband asked. "What do you want to write there? Why are you stalling?"
    "Bien chocolate is written on two lines, one word over the other. Simpatico is only one word. I want them to match."

    OMG!!! We both went "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

    A slap-the-forehead V8 moment. But why couldn't difficult child have said that to begin with? And what can we do to get him to not be so rigid?

    He finally finished, by the way.:sigh:
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    When you come up with or get an answer to that one, let me know. I can so relate to that whole scenario.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    I think if we knew the answer to that, we could make a fortune! Hopefully you've had a nice chat with him so he's aware that he SHOULD tell you these things so you can figure out how to help him around these types of problems.

    Just keep working through it and helping him find solutions to these "stuck" moments. Like for this assignment, I'm sure he's aware that there are all different ways to make things match. Find ways to make them "match". Reality is, they will never match exactly because one has 9 letters and the other 13, but you can change font, size, color, etc to make them "match"

    I've done this hundreds of times with son, and too often, if it's stuck in his head one way, even if he understands my logic, he's still not 100% satisfied, BUT now he can accept it and move on despite not being happy about it. In the past, he just wouldn't, and I'd be contacting the teacher and explaining in agonizing detail why son couldn't do the assignment. Oh the 'evil' 7th grade art teacher comes to mind - she insisted EVERYTHING have color. Son is a pencil sketcher - really not into color. I got him to compromise by adding small bits of color. He hated it at first, but finally got that it's what he had to do to pass.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Have you considered Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a diagnosis for him?

    For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you would try to get him to leave some of them unmatched and for him to realize he could cope with the anxiety that resulted. Then, ideally, he would work up to it not being an issue at all. Do some research on CBT/ERP for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for a better explanation of this.

    For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it is better to have them leave it unmatched and see that the world doesn't end LOL than to find a way to make it match. You really want them to be free of the very idea that it has to match, not spend time figuring out a way to make it work.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    That was similar to what my difficult child did in school - and it was considered Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior and as such, it was written into her IEP and accomodations were made for certain HW assignments that helped her get past certain parts and not stall as you describe. I wonder how many other kids out there struggle with this and it goes undetected and instead the kid is just punished forever for being lazy or a slacker.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I draw on graph paper to relieve tension. I have 9 markers I color the designs with, and colors 1, 4, and 7 must touch, 2, 5, and 8, etc. Letters must be the same height or "size" - i.e., 13x13=12x14, and so on. I count the outlines as I draw... And hopefully the end result is NOT a prime number.

    If I make a mistake that I can't erase or cover with a darker color? I start over.

    Fortunately this isn't for a grade, but I get it. It has to MATCH. Drives me bonkers when it doesn't. And I'm (ahem) "normal".

    In order to get things to match, maybe a thesaurus would be in order; since he used chocolate, perhaps "simpatico gato"? Obviously, this will not matter in a future assignment, but occasionally re-wording is in order.

    ...And... For my high school Spanish class, I had to do an assignment selling something off the wall.

    I chose "conejitos de polvo". Dust bunnies. Your difficult child might get a giggle out of that... I'll have to facebook you a picture.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Dust bunnies? LOL!

    Yes, difficult child is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He even says it is. (Not in regard to this issue, but other issues. "You know I'm Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Why do you think we're arguing?!")
    But the school doesn't think that warrants anything different. Maybe I should get the psychiatrist or therapist to type a note so that difficult child can get it added into his 504. I think it would help, after thinking this through and reading this responses. I guess I thought it was just. One. More. Thing. Know what I mean??
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    by the way, how would I discern whether it's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or just "normal" Aspie rigidness? Either way, I like the idea of having the dr type up something to get it into difficult child's 504.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    One therapist explained that so many of these dxes are related... ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Asperger's, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, and so on. The labels are just a way of drawing lines in the sand, of creating categories - which can be useful for some things, less useful for others. So... your difficult child's diagnosis could be right, or wrong, or both... as in, he could be more Aspie than they think, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviors are part of Aspie... or, he could just have some Aspie traits plus Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Does it really make any difference? No... one way or another, though, each behavior should match one of the dxes given... AND the usual approaches for dealing with that diagnosis should have impact. If no impact or wrong impact, maybe not right diagnosis? For example ADHD/ODD vs. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... require different approaches.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OMG I can relate to those Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) moments with difficult child! (not another diagnosis, just what I call those rigid rule bound and obsessive/compulsive behaviors associalted with his issues) I agree, anyone find a golden ticket for this, please share...Mostly we work around it.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    In my mind, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is recurring specifically to a specific situation. For example. I watch reruns of Friends, as my "shut off the brain and relax show" The theme song has a percussion part that son likes to clap to. If he hears the theme song he comes running and must clap. If I don't notice him comming and start forwarding through it, I must rewind so he can have his "clappy clappy". Depending on his mood for the day, it can get really ugly if he doesn't get his "clappy clappy"

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) TRAITS or type behavior is a bit more random. May or may not occur for any specific situation. Like Terry's son's issue with the assignment. If when doing homework, he ALWAYS had to make stuff match, she and husband would have clicked into it sooner. I"m guessing this was a one shot deal. Can crop up again, but may not. Next time it might be a different issue, like he wants ALL the answers to start with the same letter because the first three did so he'll get stuck trying to find correct answers for the rest of the questions that start with the same letter.

    For son these things can be so random, and is part of the reason he gets extra time for assignments. Sometimes we just have to figure out what is holding him up, and it's rarely the same thing.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, the psychiatrist thinks it's anxiety. We talked a bit, trying to find other patterns, but difficult child said he thinks it's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). (Like he would know, but, well ... :) )
    I'll see that the therapist thinks next wk.

    difficult child used to have to have perfect papers. Perfect sentences. Perfect words. He would throw away an entire piece of paper if one word was wrong. Or erase the entire line for just one word. Or, finally, as he matures, the entire word, just for one letter. Sigh. We're getting there ...
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Terry -
    I can't keep "history" in my mind... so not sure if this applies at all or not, but...

    difficult child has both a neuromotor disability that affects his handwriting, and dysgraphia.
    He kept up fairly well through grade 4, then crashed in 5. Got minimal technology access in grade 6, and really pumped out - and then crashed again in 7...
    It got to the point that by grade 8, he refused to write AT ALL. 2 words max.
    The problem... was that every time he mastered a writing skill, they immediately jacked up the difficulty level. So, he got tired of struggling all the time, and used every fillibuster technique in the book - and then some - to avoid having to write.

    Then anxiety and/or the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may come from a subconcious need to find ways to reduce the workload, or prevent it from growing. Of course, it would be far more effective if the IEP team reduced the workload... he wouldn't get into trouble for it that way. But our difficult child kids don't necessarily trust us to get the interventions they need implemented (and they are not entirely incorrect!)... so, they just go into "survival" mode.

    If any of this makes sense, let me know, and I'll give you some specific things to try...
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion all three of you are correct. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) falls in the anxiety category. Perfectionism is a trait of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) So perfectionism>Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)>anxiety. And like you saw the other night, if it can't get done perfectly, it may never get done at all.

    Looks like it's getting less profound as he ages. The proverbial "growing out of it"
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a part of Aspergers. My son exhibits Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviors too. Because of that, if he is having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues at school, he SHOULD get accommodations as it is part of the Aspergers.
  16. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I think if he thinks it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), he probably knows best. All of the answers I have found that worked, I "knew" fit our situation. There's a lot of other things we have tried that seemed logical but didn't do much. The ones that have "clicked" when I heard them, have been more successful.

    If it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), there are ways you can work with it, to reduce it. I am not sure why it wouldn't work for the same symptom caused by Aspergers. Basically, it involves training your mind to think differently. Her therapist had worked with children with autism before he started working with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and said there were differences, though.

    My daughter has this "perfectionist" trait too when it comes to doing her schoolwork. I am not sure if it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or not yet, but if she doesn't get more efficient, I am going to treat it as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and take her back to the therapist to work on it. She definitely has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and has done the CBT/ERP in the past. When she has done it, those issues have gone away and stayed away (so far, knock on wood).

    You probably have to find a therapist that specializes in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to get the right treatment.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I will ask around.
    Meanwhile, the psychiatrist handed me some Conner's Rating Scales to send to school. He is being very cautious about changing medications.