Hi Im new and at my wits end!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by VickyLynn, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. VickyLynn

    VickyLynn New Member

    Hello! Im very new here my name is Vicky Im 33 yrs old. I have 2 kids. My son Bryan is 6 and has be diagnosis'd as ADHD I guess he is my difficult child as you put it. I also have a 2 yr old daughter. Im married( for now) but the marraige is not going well lots of stress there.
    My son is in Special Education and on medications( Focalin 15mg short release..10 in morning 5 in afternoon) He was in an 8:1:1 classroom but the teacher and him were butting heads so we moved in and they put him in a gen ed classroom with his personal aid. That has NOT gone well!!!! he is having these violent outburst where he is very mean and hitting punching threating to kill the teachers and I dont know what to do anymore. The have all these behavioral mods in place and they arent helping. He is in kindy and has been suspended 5 days already this year! Now they are asking for a full psyc evaul because they feel there is something else other than the ADHD...such as ODD or bipolar. I kinda have my thoughts too... they have asked me to keep him home for the next few days cause if they suspend hima gian he might get kicked out of the district. He has an appointment with him psychatrist on Mon. But the principal is also saying she wants him back in the 8:1:1 so he is more contained and I dont know if that wil work with that teacher I dont liek, plus his aid and this Special Education teacher dont like EACH OTHER! how is THAT gonna help Bryan!!!!!ARGHHHHHH!

    Im sorry this turned out to be a book I guess I just need some support I dont even know how to find out IF my son is ODD or Bipolar!!!!!! HELP!

    Vicky
     
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Vicky and welcome to the board.

    One thing I would ask is that you find the time to do a profile/signature so that we can get the "full picture" of your family. You see the bottom of our posts. It really helps us when remembering the specifics of posters.

    A couple things stick out to me. Them asking you to keep him home for a few days because the might be kicked out of the district is HOGWASH!!!! Pure and simple. Their real reason is that the teacher is frustrated and the school doesn't want to deal for a few days. That's reality. If being suspended over five times means being kicked out of the school district, well then 99% of the kids on this board have been kicked out many, many,many times!

    Go ahead and sign off on them doing the testing. But don't limit the testing to a psyc evaluation - have the school do a full battery of academic testing as well. You don't have to go out and do this yourself. The school, once referred by a teacher or requested by you, can do all this testing themselves. You are, by all means, able to do your own/private as well. However, I would urge you to have the school do it as well. That way, they can't fight any of results as far as services needed.

    It appears that there are two choices here - he was in a smaller room but he and the teacher didn't get along; he was then moved to gen ed with an aid but that is too hard on him. Well, I would suggest keeping the aid and going back to the smaller size class. The teacher there, while perhaps not the perfect match for your son, is bound to be more experienced than the kindy teacher in dealing with the day to day issues. If his aid and the teacher don't get along, demand the school get your son another aid. Perhaps having the aid in the smaller class will buffer between your son and the teacher.

    Was your son assigned to the smaller class by an IEP? If so, was there a formal "change of placement" meeting of the IEP team before he was moved to reg ed?

    You need to be careful here. You need to know the law. go to http://www.wrightslaw.com to get a really good background on your son's educational rights. Also, please check out the Special Education archives here on the site. They are a fount of information regarding dealing with the school.

    For now, I would fight this suspension. They just don't want to deal. Heck, the law allows for 10 seperate suspensions a year before a hearing is even held at school. They are dropping the ball on you. Throw it back!

    Sharon
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Vicky,
    Welcome to our corner of cyberspace. Sorry you have to be here. FWIW, my understanding is that most kids with ADHD aren't overly aggressive or violent. They just tend to lack impulse control. What do you think is going on with your son? I personally would go for the school based evaluation and schedule a private one as well. Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a neuropsychologist, developmental pediatrician or to a children's/university hospital for a multidisciplinary evaluation.
     
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If the school is suggesting that you keep your son home for a few days for behavioral reasons probably related to a neurological condition then you should request that they send out a homebound instructor.
     
  5. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Good Morning Vicki, if they kick him out of the district, they have to put him somewhere. Ask for an out of district placement with transportation to and from and an aid on the bus. Remember we are not doctors here, we just share our experiences with things. I found that Focalin was NOT the best medications for my daughter who is my easy child/difficult child 3, she has ADD the in attentive type and it didn't do squat. She doesn't take anything now. My difficult child 13 is on 54 mg of Concerta and 50 mg Zoloft for anxiety. It seems to work. Keeping a daily journal of moods, outbreaks, good times is a good idea to. Matter of fact, I am going to take my own advice and start one for difficult child 3. Sometimes when I am overwhelemed, I have to take a step back and stop. Start a list of things I need to address, then put them in order. As far as you and husband. Even an hour a week works. Like someone said in your other post, go food shopping together or Kmart. Something to just get away, you can walk around and talk in private. Maybe a diner over some coffee or something....again WELCOME. There is so much information here.


    Beth
     
  6. VickyLynn

    VickyLynn New Member

    Thank you so much for all the replies so far. Lemme reply to some of them

    He has already been suspended 5 times and if he were to be suspended 5 times again for threatening a teacher they have already told me they would suspend him for 5 days...which would be to 10 someone mentioned.


    There was a change in his IEP to reflect the change to the reg ed room! As for the personal aid I fought to get her so I dont know if asking for another would be good either! Plus I hate to make a bunch of changes cause I dont know if that is good for Bryan either!

    I know if need be he can be put in another district if there is a placement avaliable, but again Its almost March I would hate to have to swap him out of schools so late in the year!

    They also said they cant give me home instruction because he is not suspended he is just " home sick" but that the teacher will put work together for him for the next few days for us to do together!!!!

    Im just so upset and depressed

    I will work on the signature thing!

    Thank you again I think Im gonna learn alot here!
     
  7. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style="color: #333399">okay, i don't think a five day suspension counts as five suspensions. it's one. it would have to be five separate suspensions to meed the required 10 for change of placement hearing. they are yanking your chain. i strongly suggest that you pay a visit to the Special Education 101 forum & start getting guidance from sheila & martie. those gals know their stuff.

    suspending a kid in kindergarten seems way extreme to me. there should be interventions in his EIP to avoid this.

    whether or not you like the teacher is immaterial in my opinion. what's important is what is the most appropriate placement for your little guy. it's also immaterial whether or not the aide & the teacher get along. they are professionals & adults. it is incumbent on them to figure out how to rub along so they can work in difficult child'S BEST INTEREST! that, my dear, is there bloody J*O*B. your son should not be paying the cost of their inability to behave professionally.

    do not rely on the school to do the psychiatric part of any evaluation. get that done privately. it seems a neuropsychologist evaluation is in order & you can get his current psychiatrist or pediatrician to make the appropriate referral. the school will do a psychiatric evaluation, but they have an agenda....they only look at what affects his ability to be educated. an independent evaluation will have a much more global view of his problems.

    by the way, have you seen increased aggression since he started the focalin???

    kris </span>
     
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Vicky,

    I think there is one thing I would do at this point. Send the principal a letter by certified mail that says something like this.....

    Per your request, I am keeping Bryan home from school the next couple days. You indicated that he is not suspended, but rather being given some "sick days" because of his recent behavior in the classroom. You are concerned that additional suspensions will affect his placement within our school district.

    I am concerned however, because you indicated that he could not receive in home instruction because he is not suspended just "home sick" per your request. I don't believe this is a solution to the issues my son is dealing with. I remain optimistic that the testing you have requested will shed some light on how to meet his needs.

    By way of the letter, I am formally requesting that the IEP team conviene to recommend all psyc/acedemic testing avaiable for my son. I believe we need to look at both his current and future diagnosis and his acdemic abilities to get a full picture of how his needs can be met in the future at school.

    I look forward to hearing from you regarding this request.

    Sincerely,


    Vicky, it's important to maintain a paper trail here. The school is really not doing "their best" by your so and you need to make sure it is a matter of record that the principal has asked you to keep your son home. Please, please get this letter out today.

    If you have some additional time, please visit the website I recommended so you can begin to understand your son's rights under the law and the schools legal responsiblity.

    Sharon
     
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board!

    You've already gotten some great advice. Love that letter Sharon, by the way. If the school wants to do testing, let them. But I'm not one to rely on school testing to be accurate. I had my difficult children evaled seperately from the school and gave them copies of the reports.

    I'd say you have more going on with difficult child than ADHD.

    Hugs
     
  10. jodyice

    jodyice New Member

    Hi Vicky and welcome to our piece of the world. I don't have anything to offer, other than what's been said, just wanted to welcome you.
     
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Just popped in to welcome you to our little corner of the cyber world.

    Explore, ask questions, educate yourself.

    More importantly, start taking care of yourself right now. Raising our difficult children is a long journey. A step at a time.

    Again, welcome. I hope we can help you through the journey.
     
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Vickie,
    Just want to add in my welcome and tell you you have found a soft place to land-glad you're here.
     
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I think you've already been given great advice too. I just wanted to add my welcome to those that you've already received.

    I came here for the first time in January. The people here are the best!!! I never knew how wonderful an on-line support group could be. You've found a great site!!! I'm glad you're here. WFEN
     
  14. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Nothing beats a register letter to school.....it really gets people moving. Also CC the head of pupil personal services, or who ever your head of special services is.
     
  15. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Vicky,

    The rule is 10 total school days of suspension. Anything after that is a change of placement. It does not matter if the school district chooses to use all 10 at once or suspend for 1 day 10 times. "Smart" school district do not suspend older Special Education difficult children because they often like not being in school. That is why ISS is used. However in KDG, I think suspension is also unlikely to be effective--too close to "staying home with Mommy."

    Your school district is playing fast and loose with the law. WE have a section of the board that helps parents deal with school issues (Sp Ed 101). Feel fre to drop by if you would like. It is much smaller than the General board (here) but the people who "hang out" there tend to know a lot of law and make good suggestions in addition to the two Moderators, me and Sheila.

    Welcome to our world.

    Martie
     
  16. needabreak

    needabreak New Member

    Hi and welcome.you sound just like me.first they can not ask you to keep your son home second the teacher and the aid are just going to have to get olong to be able to work with your son.i would start having your son evaluated and get couple of oppions.and remember no one can speak for your difficult child better then you so you fight for the servises he should be getting.it can be hard and a long road but dont give up.
     
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Vicky.

    You've had a lot of good advice. I know it sometimes seems overwhelming, but when you grab the reins of control back from the chaos this school seems to be generating, you will feel less overwhelmed. You have rights. Your son has rights. Sounds like these are being violated.

    I especially draw your attention to Beth's suggestion that you keep a diary - this helped us immensely. Far more than we would have thought. What we did:
    We got an ordinary school work book from the supermarket and put a plastic cover on it. We labelled it "difficult child 3 - Communication Book" and put a sub-label which said, "Friends, teachers, anybody - this book is to record anything different, unusual or relevant that we need to communicate between each other about difficult child 3. Please use it freely."
    At home we would write in the book if there had been a problem through the night, or if difficult child 3 seemed a bit more distracted than usual. It was a sort of "heads up" to the teacher. For example - "difficult child 3 had trouble sleeping last night and is likely to be more tired than usual today." With this information, the teacher and the aide are both equipped with something extra to help them understand difficult child 3 for that day. And they may write, "Thanks for the warning. Yes, he was a bit difficult this morning but once we started on maths he settled right down and worked well. Things went badly in the playground though. He simply doesn't know how to join in, the social problems are still quite a problem. How about we ask the school counsellor's advice?"
    This book replaced the frequent conferences on the classroom steps, as well as put it all in writing. The book contents were not intended as a legal record - far from it (although in our case it actually happened that way at one point). But it meant that after a day teaching our son, the teacher did not have to add a talk with us to her litany of woes. Instead, she could head home all the sooner for a restorative G & T.
    We could read through the book and see patterns emerging that we wouldn't have noticed so readily, just seeing what we saw at home. Ditto for the school. There were many times when (via the book) we put our heads together to try to sort out problems.
    The school wasn't perfect, by any means. I also never used the contents of the book against anybody who had written in the book. However, it came in handy when I was accused by school district of being on school premises without permission and I could point to the book as proof that I DID have permission, in writing. In fact, my presence had been requested. And when school district tried to say there had been a miscommunication - the book proved that there had not been, and that any miscommunication was neither the school's fault, nor the family's.
    But the main aim of the book is to dramatically improve communication between home and school. It also helps the school staff to have an opportunity to vent. If a teacher wrote, "difficult child 3 was a little horror today, you're welcome to him for the weekend," I might reply with, "Thanks! At least it's only two days, you've got him for five next week," as part of a flippant reply.
    It is also important to include good stuff in the book and not have it as purely a litany of woes and faults. "He didn't have a good morning today, but I could see he was really trying to hold it together. He's difficult but at least he wants to be good."

    That is the Communication Book, in a nutshell (OK, a big nutshell). When a teacher one year tried to phase it out because she felt it wasn't needed, she cracked under the pressure. We reinstated the book and things improved within a week. Even I was surprised by what an amazing difference it made.

    Others here have urged you to put your concerns and complaints in writing to the principal - I heartily endorse that, as well. As soon as you begin to leave a paper trail, they begin to treat you with more caution and to not try to bend the rules. A phase you may find you need to add - "I require a response in writing..." because in all the letters I wrote, I NEVER got a reply in writing.

    Another recommendation, especially if you're not getting written replies - make your phone calls with a sheet of paper and pencil with you,and then transcribe it to the computer. Minute all your phone calls to and from the school. List date, who you spoke to and what they said. If you can remember what they said word for word, put it in quote marks. If, in six months' time you have cause to quote those words back at them, it really scares them (in a good way).
    An even better proposition is to make your calls while you're on the computer with the diary file open so you can type directly as you talk. If they can hear the sound of the typing - so much the better.
    If they realise you're no longer letting them make the rules without checking up, they will clean up their act smartly and things should improve before you even need to lift a finger. And if/when you do need to get heavy - you have all your data already on file.

    Keep all originals, make sure all reports are copied to you and copy the copies rather than take your only copy to appointments, etc. It's a housekeeping paperwork thing. There's nothing worse than trying to find a vital piece of paper, only to remember you loaned it to the pediatrician or the school counsellor. I loaned videotapes to the class teacher and have never got them back. Very annoying - I had compiled every TV program on autism into one video and I didn't copy it first before I lent it. I suspect the teacher never bothered to watch it anyway.

    Good luck with this one. You're about to have to become very expert in Special Education rules.

    Also, I'm amazed - nobody yet has suggested you grab a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. With everything else you may not have time just yet, but at least make time to go to Early Childhood forum and look at the discussion there on this book. Even if the diagnosis is still being queried, this book can make a big difference to you and the school. It might also help you pinpoint why you don't like the Special Education teacher. You may have a good reason, or you may have misjudged her. The book may help you see more clearly.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

    Marg
     
Loading...