First-Grade Homework Battles - Desperately Need Help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by stressbunny, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    Hello everyone,

    I'm very new here. This is my second post. It has been a tough week. Tonight, my 7yo difficult child 1st grade son, came home with his usual load of homework - an entire Dr. Seuss book to read, a one-page writing assignment, and a math fact project. Realitstically, this would probably take a good 45 minutes to an hour for him to complete with help.

    My difficult child is ADHD/ODD/autistic spectrum, plus he has severe apraxia of speech, and he has already been held back a year in school due to his behavioral and developmental issues. He has an IEP.

    Anyway, this type of homework comes home every single night. The battle to get him to do this is causing unbearable stress for our whole family. I use prompts, reminders, etc. to prepare difficult child for when we'll work on his homework. I stay calm and firm. But he wants no part of it. By the end of the day, his ADHD stimulant medication is worn off, and his afternoon short-acting dose just isn't as effective as the long-acting daytime medication. So he's completely defiant, out of control, and unwilling to do any of it. He runs around the house screaming and slamming doors, and hits and kicks me if I try to redirect him. Tonight this went on for an hour, and of course, we hadn't even started the homework yet. This is just the preliminary to the main event.

    But, I'm thinking that this is crazy! I can't do this any more - period! I don't care if all the other easy child kids at school can sit and do their homework - mine can't! He's out of medication and out of control. I know he needs help with schoolwork, but I need to have a sane household too!

    I can't believe that first graders have SO much homework every single night. I feel completely demoralized, exhausted, and basically stressed to the limit.

    A lot of people looking in from the outside would say this child needs more discipline, but that won't work - I can guarantee it. No one could reason with him or punish him or give him enough rewards to make him do his homework. He is totally overwhelmed at even the thought of it and simply will not do it, no matter what.

    It seems unreasonable to expect an ADHD/ODD/autistic 7-year old to come home and work on schoolwork for 45 minutes every night after trying to survive for seven hours in school all day and after his medication loses effectiveness.

    By the way, we aren't able to increase his after-school dosage of stimulant medication because then he can't sleep at night.

    Have any of you abandoned the homework battles completely? I would like his IEP modified to prohibit homework assignments. I think most of these "assignments" are resulting from the time he misses in class to go to speech therapy. Aren't 7 hours enough school time for a seven-year-old?

    Please help . . . I'm totally at the end of my rope with the meltdowns,

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, I have abandoned the hw battles with my difficult child. We stopped fighting that battle when my difficult child was in the first grade. We did get it written into his IEP that hw not be an expectation. If he is up to it we will help, otherwise we refuse to do the battle. He used to get violent over hw and it just wasn't worth it.

    by the way, that seems like a lot of hw for a first grader-that is what I expect out of my 4th and 5th graders-about 45 min. per night.

    Welcome to a fellow Wisconsinite!
  3. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Good evening. I feel your pain. Yes, I too abandoned the homework battle, not every night, as it was dependent on N's mood, but often enough. HW is a school issue and in my opinion should be dealt with at school. I let the teachers know that I was not going to allow HW to ruin our family life and if N's work was not done, they needed to handle it however they saw fit, with the understanding that N is ADHD and ODD. Daily after school N and J were expected to sit down and start homework (after snack and short play time). Somedays went fine and others were a disaster. If N chose not to cooperate, then she went to their room until J was done. Then life went on as usual and any consequence was handled by the teacher. It did not solve the problem of finishing the HW, but it eased the problems at home.
    Hope this helps and hugs to you.

  4. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    My difficult child has it in her IEP to limit the amount of work sent home. They do mostly direct teaching with her and her classmates anyway. She might have 2 items a week, if that. And just this week they're modifying her work further. Oh and she also has a chance to correct mistakes on her papers, quizzes and tests. Teachers figure that the corrections are still a way for the kids to learn the material!

    Boy does your post bring back memories tho. We used to do battle for hours trying to get just one worksheet done back when she was in first grade!!! it's like she gets home, has a snack and then from that point till bedtime was a battleground.

    Certainly ask for an IEP and let them know what's going on. It's way too much energy to be expending after school and will deplete anything in reserve for the next day. Plus it could fuel anxiety about school. Good luck.
  5. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    Wiped Out, Naomi, and Nancy,

    I can't tell you what a relief it is to have found this place. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone most of the time - some sort of alternate reality or something! Are other parents actually going through this?

    It's been a tough week, and I'm SO worn out with the defiance. I honestly cry at night and wonder how I'll find the patience to cope with this behavior another day. How do you all do it? I'm stressed out to the max.

    What's worse - after enduring the defiance and meltdowns for hours on end, difficult child has the nerve to blame me! He takes zero responsibility and has zero insight into his role in the problem! He thinks he's a victim somehow - because big, bad mom requested that he get started on his homework! Wow! I'm way out of line!

    But, on the other hand, maybe I am. Maybe he really isn't capable of doing it, because he's operating without adequate control of his ADHD symptoms. He simply cannot meet the demands placed on him.

    My morale is really low right now, and I feel so low - like I'm failing and have the most dysfunctional life in town.

    Wiped Out - where are you in Wisconsin? I wish so much I had a friend to talk to. I have no social life due to responsibilities for difficult children.

  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    been there done that. Some ideas:

    As the others have said you can get homework flexibility (tasks and due dates) written into the IEP. This opens up possibilities such as reduced amounts of work, varying methods for instance he dictates and you write or maybe he listens to that book with you reading it to him or from an audiobook. Also with this you can tune into when he could best do the work--ie maybe instead of work getting in piece by piece during the week you turn it on Monday because he copes (just an example) better with it on the weekend because it's not on top of a full day of school.

    Timing was everything at my house--no one here comes home and does homework--everyone gets a snack and a break and we find out what homework time is most productive for them. A child with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and sensory issues might benefit from a sensory gym set up in the basement so he can burn off energy after school and be more ready to face homework tasks.

    Experiment around with different times of day. One of my kids did all of their homework in the morning because they could nail it in a fraction of the time when they were rested and not exhausted from school. With reluctant homeworkers, I'm apt to slide it right at them when they are taking the last bites of dinner because then there isn't a transition to make. Good sensory snacks can help: licorice, bubble gum, soda sipped through a straw, crunchy crackers.

    The real bottom line question with homework should be: Is this assignment benefitting the child?
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, we abandoned homework battles. Also, school problems stay at school. If he got into trouble at school (say, hit someone) we did not punish any more at home, if school was already dealing with it. He would get a talking to, but nothing more.

    Yes, you should be able to get the IEP modified to eliminate homework, at least homework after school hours. It's hard enough for our kids to hold it together during school hours, to then have even more to deal with afterwards.

    Also, to expect a kid with ADHD to be able to maintain focus once medications have worn off, is just plain cruel. It's also setting up for problems with the parents and only making self-esteem issues and discipline issues much worse. ODD is just around the corner, if you insist on homework under these circumstances.

    HOWEVER - if your child is not getting work done in class,then he is not meeting the learning criteria and he is simply coasting through. While the school may be happy to let him prgoress through the geades, this is still bad for him because at some stage further in his education, he is going to hit a brick wall academically, because of everything he is missing. You need to address this independently of the school. You can also support the school with some assignments, within reason, if he can do them on ONE day over the weekend, during the day while medicated. In fact, the city school my older three kids went to actually did this for the whole school - they dropped all after-school homework completely, replacing it with ONE larger assessment task per term (four school terms). The kids could do the task on weekends and had about a month to do it. It was usually a poster presentation on a particular topic.

    That was a far-sighted school! They also had a high proportion of difficult children, including the highest number of indigenous kids Sydney. A lot of these Koori kids had their own home issues that also made after-school homework difficult, plus many kids had to be in after-school care because there wasn't a parent at home to mind them after school.

    HOwever, to those weekend assignments - difficult child 1 struggled, even with those. His particular problems with his constellation of disabilities, included the inability to mentally multi-task. He was unable to extract from a text the information he needed. So if he was asked to write a report on Einstein, for example, he would have some books from the library but would need to just pull out enough information to caption any pictures. But he simply couldn't extract JUST the info he needed, and no more. To do this meant not only holding the iinformartion in his head, but mentally adjusting it, fiddling with it, selecting this bit and rejecting that bit - too many mental steps which he just can't do, he can only hold one idea in his head at a time, even when medicated. It's a memory thing - it's like short-term memory just isn't working, so he learned to use his long-term memory to do the job. Slower, but it has meant that anything that manages to eventually get through to his long-term memory, is able to be pulled out at any time later on. Years later, sometimes.

    difficult child 3 is different, he CAN mentally multi-task. So this isn't a feature of every person with autism, it's something thatsome have and others don't. It's not a severity-based diffrence either. it just IS.

    With difficult child 3, he got through primary school (elementary) having missed so much work (it just didn't sink in) that he now has large gaps in his knowledge, so the current work can't scaffold properly. But we have at least partly dealt with this by trying to fill in the gaps ourselves, and also getting the school to modify the work they give him, to match his learning style.

    What we have done is detailed, I won't dump it all on you now. But feel free to pick my brains with specifics. However, the most important point I MUST insist you take on board and do your utmost to hammer home to the school -


    Those teaching them, and this includes parents, must adapt to the child's own preferred method.

    How do you know what is the child's preferred method for learning? By watching, by modifying their learning environment and by taking good notes to help you always move towards a better solution.

    The most interesting thing - in general, autistic kids (and other kids too, I think - but in my experience, especially autistic kids) will seek out opportunities to learn, they desperately want to fit in with other people and will generally use learning as the route. So they will themselves find what works best, given half a chance. So watch what he enjoys doing, follow him into it, DON'T automatically pull him out of apparently mindless repetitive activity, but see if you can use that as your startingpoint and work from there.

    You have labelled your son as iniflexible and defiant. You need to change your 'view' on this. I have got into trouble with some people on this site, by referring to this as "needing to change your mindset towards your child". I do not mean to insult you or to call you a bad parent - far from it. But as long as you try to see your child from the perspective of normality, you will find he falls far short. For your son, normality is too difficult to maintain all the time. He needs the chance to be himself, and part of who he is is someone who needs to have control over his own environment, because for him the world is scary, it's confusing, it's contradictory and just plain NOT FAIR. But with all its faults, he still wants to belong and is trying to find his own way of doing so. Honestly, we don't deserve our kids to be so forgiving and loving, to keep coming back and trying again. And again. The trouble is, we don't always recognise that this is what they are trying to do.

    Read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It won't all fit, but it should help you see what I mean about changing your mindset. You need to get into your son's head (with both boys) and use that as your starting point, to get into his world and from there, help bring him into yours.

    I feel you about your morale - sometimes it just feels so hard, when your child screams at you because you changed the channel on the TV or asked him to go have a bath, or served up a meal and he won't eat it because the texture is wrong or you cooked something new. Or he refuses to wear the new clothes you bought, because - who knows? And the way they speak to us, as if WE are the naughty children!

    It's OK. There are ways to manage this, but as you have already discovered, clamping down hard and getting strict is exactly the worst thing you can do.

    You have an ally, in your child's own obsessive need for control. Because beleive it or not, your child can quickly learn to apply his own controls to himself, often before it is expected to be possible for so-called 'normal' kids.

    Anyway, if you need to know anything more specific, either PM me or start another thread with a specific request. Another thread would be better because there is a really annoying word limit on PMs!

    I have enough info to write a book. I AM in fact, doing just that.

    Keep a diary. Communicate with the school on a daily basis via a Communication Book (which can double as your diary). Watch what your son does and take notes. Find what he likes, what he enjoys doing, and try to do the same things beside him. Try to see the world from his point of view. Don't react to "rudeness" because it actually is something different. Don't shout at him, remember that your behaviour has to SHOW him the right way to behave, regardless of how he behaves to you. Tell him calmly if he has done something he shouldn't, but lead, don't push.

    OK, I'm saying too much now.

    Hang in there. It CAN get better. Sometimes, quite quickly. But the first move towards change has to come from you, even if that isn't fair.

  8. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi Stressbunny - I just want to second Marg's suggestion to read The Explosive Child. It will teach you about chossing your battles. I have decided that homework is not a battle I choose to fight with difficult child as we have bigger fish to fry! The thing is you have have a two hour long battle over homeworke, provoking aggression, slamming doors, breaking things, name calling etc and even after all that difficult child does her homework - she's not going to do a very good job on it and I can't see them learning too much when they're in that state. I decided it just wasn't worth it. Also, even though I know difficult child has what i call a "half-arsed" attempt at her homework, doesn't bring home correct books etc, I have never once been called up to the school about it. If it comes to that point I will collaborate with her teacher then to come to some resolution on it but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, main priority is staying sane!!

    Please read the Explosive Child - I really think you and difficult child will benefit immensely from it.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SB-I live in Madison-where are you?
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son is on the spectrum. He didn't speak until he was 4 1/2. He had some wild and crazy rages as a young 'un. He has a no homework clause in his IEP. Any homework he has is done in an Learning Disability (LD) study hall he has at school. When he was younger he was in Special Education. It helped him more thakn anything. Now he is almost 16, completely mainstreamed and on the honor roll. I think early Special Education is very important for spectrum kids because they need to learn (one-on-one) study skills, how to see the "big picture", how to take notes, etc. Plus they are easily distracted and this can get much better as they get older, but it doesn't help to know that when they are young and struggling. My son had an aide for his "outise Special Education" classes too and she was invaluable in helping him learn how to take notes and socialize. Today he has a group of friends he sits with at lunch and good self-esteem. I recommend going slow with a spectrum kid in the school system. It could pay off BIG when he's older. These kids have different learning styles and needs and can REALLY improve, but they need A LOT of very intensive and one-on-one help. Welcome to the board :)
  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I would definitely call for another IEP meeting and have the amount of homework changed. In the meantime, have him do what you feel he can do and if he starts to erupt, send the work back with a note. I do this all the time, now. If my daughter starts erupting over work, I just take it and tell her to go take a break. I put a note on it explaining why she was having a hard time with it and send it back to school. I absolutely refuse to do homework battles anymore with her. It's not worth a 45 minute meltdown and having my entire house disrupted for one page of homework. The teacher usually helps her with it at school.
  12. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi stressbunny. My almost 16 year old son still fights homework. He's been struggling with life lately, and I had told the school I would try get him to do his homework. All it resulted in was 2 days of total HECK around the house. So I wrote an email and said nope, home was for family not war been there done that in grade 4/5. I nag him a bit to get it done but the rest is up to him. He'll be having a resource room period both semesters next year so he can get all homework done at school. He's struggled with school since grade one, and I pretty much hear "I don't want to go to school" every morning.

    in my opinion 45 minutes homework for a 1st grader is too much, even for a easy child kid, let alone an autistic spectrum/ADHD kid whose medications are wearing off. If they're fighting it, I don't think they're really learning even if you pull the work out of them. They're concentrating too hard on NOT having to do it. I would definitely ask for an amendment to his IEP for homework modification.
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello StressBunny,

    I agree with all the others. 45 minutes of homework is a HUGE load for any child in Gr. 1, let alone one dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/ADHD. Too much. If you can have the IEP modified with a no homework stipulation I think that would help all of you.

    With regard to learning styles, Marg provides some really good background information, especially about learning how your child learns, and adapting the way you and the school provide information to cater to those learning styles. In fact, it might be worth focusing on learning styles as part of a revision to your difficult child's IEP.

    I also agree that The Explosive Child is a great resource.
  14. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and replies. I appreciate all of you taking the time to share so much.

    After reading your responses, I feel much better about requesting a change to difficult child's IEP. As of now, the only modifications he is receiving in school are his speech and occupational therapy sessions. He is otherwise completely mainstreamed, and it is a lot for him to manage.

    I stayed up until the wee hours last night typing a letter to his IEP team. I feel a tremendous relief and also nervousness at the same time. I don't know how the school will react, but here it is (names omitted):

    IEP Members,

    The assignments sent home with difficult child today are not complete. They include the Fact Power Game Mat math worksheet, Lion and Lamb writing assignment, and Go, Dog Go! book.

    At the end of the day, difficult child’s ADHD stimulant medication is no longer as effective as during school hours, so his ability to sit, focus, concentrate and complete sustained tasks is greatly diminished after school. As a result, homework becomes a monumental effort that strains our whole family. In addition, we are faced with difficult child’s extreme inflexibility and emotional volatility due to his autistic spectrum effects.

    As I write this, I have been struggling to get difficult child to do these assignments for over an hour. He is overwhelmed by the thought of it, and despite incentives or the threat of loss of his favorite toys – Nerf guns and Legos, he has tantrumed and cried and run away from me, resisting all efforts to help him, while slamming doors around the house. We are both exhausted and in tears at this point. And this is just the preliminary to actually starting the homework!

    Realistically, completing the math game, reading the entire Go Dog, Go! book and doing the one-page writing assignment would have taken difficult child at least 45 minutes to an hour, with help. Combined with the meltdowns, this is consuming our entire existence after school.

    This scenario occurs regularly, as he has homework most nights. Last Friday, he came home with five worksheets to complete over the weekend because he did not complete them in the classroom. It is important that you understand that difficult child’s behavior during these times is extremely severe. A tantrum can last for more than an hour, and frustration, anger and defiance rule his actions. Again, this is due to the medication leaving his system. He is generally much more cooperative and level-headed during daytime hours when the extended release medication is working.

    As parents, we have to balance difficult child’s after-school demands with his well being and that of our entire family. difficult child’s nightly homework battles are causing unbearable stress for all of us and occur because his ADHD symptoms are not under control after school.

    It is in difficult child’s and our best interest for him to complete his schoolwork at school, during the daytime hours when his medication is most effective. We know he needs help with reading, and we will continue to read with him at home, primarily on weekends.

    However, we request that difficult child no longer be assigned homework. We would like his IEP modified accordingly for the remainder of the school year. We trust that alternative arrangements can be made to promote his success academically, while also respecting the scope of his medical issues. We are not asking for difficult child to receive special privileges, but for him to have a reduced workload, or perhaps additional supportive services from the special education department that would be warranted for the remainder of the school year.

    We wish difficult child could come home, like most children, and work on his schoolwork peacefully and productively. But our reality is destructively different and far beyond typical childhood behavioral difficulties. Our priority at this point is developing a positive relationship with our child.

    If difficult child is not getting enough work completed in class, maybe it would be best to modify his workload (instead of two writing assignments, perhaps one would be enough to practice the skill). Or he may need more one-on-one assistance to stay productive, and in that situation, we would support his use of special education services, especially if his reading skills are poor. difficult child states that some of the assignments he brings home are “center” assignments he has missed while in speech sessions.

    In any case, we believe it to be in his best interest to receive regular recess times and to have homework eliminated due to his severe ADHD diagnosis. Eliminating the negative after-school experience and keeping expectations reasonable in light of his challenges will promote a better attitude and positive outlook about school for difficult child. If we need to schedule an IEP meeting, please let us know. We would be glad to come in and discuss this with you further.

    Thank you,

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What about the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? That autism is hurting him more than the ADHD. Plus Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD are usually hand-in-hand. Are you going to request any interventions to help him with life and social skills and understanding how to take notes and how to just deal with stuff that comes up? in my opinion ADHD is the least of your problems here--Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is more serious. JMO.
    Also most Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids require more "down" time than "typical" kids. They have trouble enough with six hours of school. They need to have their evenings to themselves or they go into overload. And no medications will help with that because Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is not something you can medicate. Interventions specifically for autism work best for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and Aspergers unless the Aspie is EXTREMELY bright and even then, Aspies do not know how to socialize. THis becomes a huge issue when the kids become pre-teenagers. I suggest addressing life skills and social skills now, and in the IEP.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    MWM makes a very good point. Speaking as one who has both Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD, I think the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) component is probably the more critical one to address.

    Yes, spectrum children definitely need a great deal of down time. Time when there's no pressure to be "normal", to suppress stims, to understand social rules, to interact with others, whatever. Your difficult child's IEP can address all of these things, as well as concrete study skills, adaptations for learning styles, social skills, etc.

    Another book I will suggest that you look into is:

    It's written by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron, and it really provides great insight into the difficulties that children on the spectrum face when trying to learn to socialize effectively with other people.

    Honestly, it was like Temple was wandering around inside my head, when she described how she thinks and interacts with people. Sean Barron's descriptions, on the other hand, fit my difficult child to a tee.

    I would agree that the life skills and social skills components are critical. Learning how to focus and concentrate will sometimes come much more easily, when the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stuff is taken care of.

  17. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    Thanks so much, all, again.

    My difficult child is very mildly on the autism spectrum, but you are right that it causes social and life skills issues. I would love to get those addressed in the IEP.

    You know, in theory, an IEP is supposed to be a wonderful thing, when developed and implemented correctly. However, it has been my experience so far that it is somewhat difficult to get accomodations and services into the IEP in the first place.

    The teacher called back this afternoon and said she thinks she can get him to do most of his homework at school by using the threat of no recess time if he isn't productive. Ughhh!!!

    We still want him to have recess, for crying out loud! He is severely hyperactive and, as you mentioned, needs the time to decompress from overload. This is just substituting one problem for another.

    Basically, the teacher received our e-mail (as I pasted below), and then she went to the Special Education guy and the principal and discussed this with them, getting them to agree that difficult child should miss recess time if he doesn't get his work done. She also thinks that if difficult child doesn't do homework with us at night, that he should be obligated to "make it up" in school by missing out on privileges.

    What is wrong with just reducing his workload in the first place so he doesn't have so much to do? He is only a first grader. He already cries about getting on the bus in the morning because he doesn't want to go to school. He cries when he gets home about how his teacher doesn't like him and that he misses recess time. His anxiety and negativity about school are worsening. Some days, I'm afraid he won't get on the school bus in the morning, with the fuss he throws.

    This is so hard, and yet, it's isolating - like the world has no idea how disruptive these disorders are within the family.

    We suggested that the school use recess as an absolute last resort - that we would prefer other more positive approaches to motivate and assist him with accomplishing tasks, especially one-on-one help.

    My question - Is it within our rights to have it placed in the IEP that difficult child not be held in for recess due to not getting more work done? How about the no homework idea? Can parents have the IEP changed, or can the school veto these ideas?



    P.S. The real kicker- The teacher said that some of the worksheets she sent home last night were "optional"! What?!!! After I pushed the issue with difficult child and endured a mammoth meltdown trying to get him to do the homework?!!!
  18. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Welcome to the board! Do you have a psychologist or psychiatrist that could back you up in your suggestions? My son's doctors are AMAZING! He sees a psychiatrist, psychologist, and therapist and each one is willing to back me up if I request something that will help my difficult child in school. The psychologist and therapist have even attended IEP meetings with me to support and advocate for both me and my son. (I know, we are VERY lucky)

    My difficult child has had his recess and computer time taken away from him and it did nothing for him. My son's psychologist recommends that his work is literally cut into quarters. The teacher would have to use a timer to get him to do one quarter at a time and in between, he would be allowed a short break. Maybe he could help the teacher with a chore during this short break to get his energy out. Then she'd set the timer again, and he'd complete another quarter. It is time consuming and you have to find a teacher who is willing to do it but if its in the IEP, they are REQUIRED to do it. I hope this helps :) Hang in there, we all know what you are going through.
  19. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    You need to get the Occupational Therapist (OT) on board with you leveraging for him not to miss recess due to sensory needs and ADHD. You also claim that missing recess is totally unacceptable for a child on the spectrum for social reasons, because of the loss of peer interaction. Does he have social skills goals written into his IEP?

    If the situation is such that the classroom teacher is claiming she can only help him complete his work at recess then there's your leverage for a one-on-one aide.

    Make sure that you work through this with more than just the classroom teacher and involve the team. Some teachers want to project the image that they can handle it all (and a few don't like aides in their rooms all day) and are reluctant to involve services that bring in extra help.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IF your son still isn't talking (still has apraxia which too often is a big part of autism), he is not "very mild." Your son should be having speech every day. My son learned to speak well because he had speech starting even before he was two. Now he is very verbal, but it took until he was 4 1/2. Even if your son were the mildest of the mild, trust me, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids need Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) help. The hyperactivity is part of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). My own Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) expert doesn't even call it ADHD--he calls it part of autism. It's completely up to you, but I think the autism needs serious addressing before things will get better, not the ADHD. I agree with the poster who said that once the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) issues are address his attention span will improve. My son was once so hyper he used to literally hang from the chandeleirs. Now he is almost docile. But it happened BECAUSE we treated the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Again, totally your decision. Just my .02 from experience. The older the kids get, the more you see their social discrepencies and how they really don't learn social cues...and then they are really in a mess, very lonely, and unable to figure out how to fit into a "typical" world. Kids on the spectrum usually have very few friends by the time kids develop deep relationships (like around 9) because it is no longer playing just to run around the playground or make silly noises or swing together. It's conversation, give-and-take, imaginative play, mutual interests. You don't want your son to be one of those lonely kids. I've seen it and it hurts. Good luck :)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009