Increased frustration - medications, people, combo of both?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LittleDudesMom, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I mentioned in the morning post that difficult child had another frustration incident in school yesterday. Nothing for the record books or even warrant a visit to the office, however his new Special Education teacher "made" the 1:1 take him down.

    So, I have noticed, since the ad was totally dropped about two weeks ago, that his anger fuse has shortened some. Just a reminder, difficult child was on 30mg of remeron. This summer we began the taper. He was totally removed a couple weeks ago. Within four days he had his first incident at school.

    Now, I'm realistic enough to not allow one incident to rule my thinking. However, this was more than any issues this year. The next day, he had another. And, I have noticed an "edge" to difficult child over the last 10 days - 1:1 has noticed a "lack of interest" over the last 10 days.

    When I went to pick him up yesterday, his 1:1 said his Special Education teacher wanted to talk to me. He told me that she insisted that difficult child go to the office yesterday afternoon even though 1:1 told her he had it and they would be fine.

    When I sat with her, she did two things that raised my mommydar. Frist, she said to me that she was not here to fight with my son or deal with his anger, she was here to teach. Excuse me, you are a Special Education teacher who has a number of behavior issue kids in your class. You are going to have to learn to deal from time to time.

    She asked me what was the best thing to do when he got angry. I told her that when he was angry, any additional talking to him was heard by him as "blah, blah, blah." The the first thing was allow him time to gather himself together. He has gotten really good at "chillin" for five or ten minutes, then coming right back and being fine. "Oh, I thought so", she said.

    Secondly she said "We really need to have a plan in place for when he gets upset" Hello, have your read his IEP which includes a BIP and have you noticed he has a 1:1. It's covered mam.

    So then, difficult child, who I had sent to sit on a sofa by the gym, returns. She immediately begins to talk to him about his behavior, and his facial expressions, and how unfair he is being to the class. Meanwhile, difficult child is backing up into a potted tree (fake) and closing down. I actually stepped in between and said "Ok, it's time to go. Why don't we include 1:1 in p/t conferences next week and the three of us can discuss strategy."

    Anyway, I called the principal to let him know that, in my opinion, she needs to take the time to read difficult child's IEP, allow 1:1 to do his job, and "get out of difficult child's face". He was supportive.

    So, in conclusion!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm kinda thinking that, even though there is the newness and the learning curve with his new Special Education teacher, perhaps he was continuing to be helped by the low dose of ad. I put him back on a 1/4 dose yesterday.

    Thanks for listening to my ramble.

  2. houseofcards

    houseofcards New Member

    I share your frustration with some sp ed teachers, they seem to be trained much better in the skills of Learning Disability (LD)'s and MR then behavior problems, which is puzzling because it would seem that those problems can cause behavior problems as well. Wish I handled things as well as it sounds like you did.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    The medication may have helped difficult child even out. Special Education teacher seems to have a "short fuse" combined with little understanding of difficult children needed interventions.

    You're right - she is a Special Education teacher; she's supposed to know.

    I hope with the conference & the addition of the medication that things even out for difficult child.

    by the way, remeron was a very useful medication for kt for quite a long time. As she hit puberty it became ineffective for her.

    Okay, now I'm rambling ... keep up the good work. You know your son best. :warrior:
  4. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Here is a quote from Jane Nelsen
    Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children DO better first we have to make them FEEL worse? When people first hear this quote from “Positive Discipline,” they usually laugh as they think about how it doesn’t make sense. However, when it comes to application, it seems that parents, teachers, and students have difficulty accepting that people do better when they feel better.

    We have a saying - a positive deeds breeds further good actions , the reward of a good deed is another good deed. When he has gone off track , we have to help him get back on , not make him feel worse

    Don't these teachers understand that for all people criticism and punishment just make people antagonistic. It is so much easier if she would get him on her side with empathy and try come up with a plan instead of sending him to the principle. Alfie Kohn wrote an article - ' Discipline is the problem , not the solution . The kid may be only a part of the problem.
    I hope the principle can get through to her

  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    There is a strange mentality of some adults that they have to get control of kids as opposed to helping kids learn control. It's a tactic similar to making them submissive and break their spirits like wild horses.
    Hopefully, she is enough of a professional to take the time to read and learn. Taking a child down (I'm assuming is a therapeutic hold) seems excessive force for his action. Am I reading that correctly?

    I don't know what the medication does in 1/4 dose but if he is struggling, it may help him over this rough period.
    There is nothing worse than seeing a kid shut down because he can no longer take the verbal assault to his person. It's when you know the adult has gone too far. (I have done it and I have seen it-I try hard to not repeat the behavior)
    Submissiveness is not what any parent should strive for in a child.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sharon, I too have dealt with the same types of behavior by difficult child's Special Education teachers over the years. There are some that are great, take the time to read the IEP and know her...actually try to understand her triggers and then there are others like the one you descibe. Good for you for standing up to the 1:1. I really hope the PT conference yields good may be that a new 1:1 needs to be assigned. Hugs~
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathie, I agree. You would think that Special Education teachers would have a little knowledge since many Learning Disability (LD) kids carry some frustration trailing behind.

    Linda, difficult child has been on remerson since fall of '03! Since he is approaching puberty, I stand in rediness for the dreaded prophacy of increased behavior issues and medication changes!

    Allen, thank you so much for your wonderful words. They were very uplifting.

    Fran, when I said "take down", I meant she had the 1:1 take him down to the office when 1:1 was handling things out in the hall. The office is the last resort if he appears unable to pull himself together. Just walking the principal's office and sitting on the sofa being quiet calms him. But, we use that as a last resort. I only dosed 1/4 to start, will call the psychiatrist's office, and plan to increase to 1/2 this weekend.

    Thanks guys.

  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    His facial expressions? She's making an issue over his facial expressions? In a Special Education class with a kid with diagnosed conditions that effect behavior? And she doesn't know that getting in their faces can trigger incidences? I think "The Explosive Child" should be required reading for Special Education teachers.

    As for the removal of the AD, chronic withdrawal last for months. There can be mood swings or temperment issues off and on for a long time after the drug is removed as the brain reverses the changes made by the drug. For some people, tapering eliminates a lot of those withdrawal issues but not all of them.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Sorry, I misunderstood what a take down is.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad to see that, as usual, you are right on top of this before it escalates. Glad Principal was supportive of your observations. Hopefully, Special Education teach will step up and read about her students - unbelievable!
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't think a new 1:1 is needed, I think the Special Education teacher needs to go back to school. Certainly needs to read the file and listen to the 1:1. And you. And the principal.

    While you're getting her to do some reading, print out the stuff from Early Childhood on TEC and make her read that as well.

    I hope you kept a copy of your notes to us on your own file on difficult child at home - if you're certain of her exact words, put them in quote marks in your file. At some future stage you may want her to eat them.

    Some Special Education teachers are fabulous - most, in my experience. But I've encountered a few, including one who thankfully was not directly teaching difficult child 3, who I really wonder about. The one who wasn't teaching difficult child 3 - she badly mishandled not only difficult child 1 but another young friend of ours, who she labelled as a huge problem when his mother came to complain to her of her treatment of this boy. I was there to back the mother up in an incident which had involved me - the teacher neatly deflected the mother by claiming, "And he's been a problem all year, refuses to work especially with other kids, is sneaky, he's lying and I just can't trust him." So instead of being angry with the teacher, the mother went home to ream out her son.
    Then, after he protested his innocence, she belatedly remembered to check his half-yearly report (issued a month previously) which, in the teacher's own handwriting, declared what a cooperative, helpful, lovely child he was.
    Basically, a Special Education-trained teacher lied about a student (badly lied) in order to deflect a parent's wrath over a bad mishandling of an incident. And subsequent to that incident, my volunteer work at the school was cut short. "Your services are no longer needed." because I knew the truth about not only the iincident, but the mishandling.

    So always remember - Special Education training doesn't always make for a Special Education teacher. Sometimes it just gives them more education. They then have to use it. Some don't. They give a bad name to all those wonderful teachers who DO help the kids in their care. And I do think that aides are unsung heroes, in many cases - they have to be at the coalface with these kids but get little recognition for it and often, little or no support if they happen to be working for a Special Education teacher who isn't really considering Special Education needs.

    Sharon, I'd be keeping a close eye on this teacher.

    And finally, a point from my own difficult child 1, from yesterday - his paed is trying to get him to cut back his ad. difficult child 1 has tried but found that he felt more in control on his current low dose. Then he thought some more and said, "Maybe I couldn't cut it out completely because at the time I was having trouble with the course I was doing and it was very stressful, I felt I needed some of the ad to cope because I felt too bad without any."
    And it could be so. difficult child 1 took months to taper back and every so often would try to cut back on that last tiny bit - he just feels too edgy without it, unless he's on holidays.

    So your difficult child is likely to be a bit more stressed than usual, with a Special Education teacher like this. The last thing he needs is his anxiety aggravating her problems. He's the one that will suffer for it. I think you're doing the right thing putting him back on a small amount. I would consider weaning him off next long holidays and see how he is then. He may be like my difficult child 1 - needing a small dose just to help him hold it together (which they increasingly do for themselves).

    I still can't get over her chiding him for facial expressions!!??! Where did she get her qualifications? Or does she have some warped idea of ODD being permanent and needing strict, harsh handling? And seeing ODD under every classroom chair?

  12. kris

    kris New Member

    <font color="brown">i think putting him back on the AD is probably a very good idea.

    teacher sounds like she has a lot to learn about your son ~~~ & i'm sure he's not the only one. it's so good that the VP is so supportive of you both. is she a brandy~new teacher (new grad) or is she *experienced*?

    kris </font>
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sorry things aren't smooth these days. The increased edge and little incidents sure do raise the stress level.

    If she's been getting in his face like that he surely feels threatened in the authority department and needs to rethink her approach. How experienced is this teacher? I don't think this skill is something they can learn at school--definitely something that is picked up on the job.
  14. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I just reread the OP. Do I understand that you are still within the first 2 weeks of totally withdrawing the Remeron? If so, this sort of behavior should have been expected. It is not necessarily an indication that he needs to have it restarted, it is more likely acute withdrawal. Even after tapering, agitation and mood swings are common withdrawal symptoms regardless of why the antidepressant was prescribed. The fact is that people taking ADs for reasons other than mood disorders report the same withdrawal symptoms as those taking ADs for depression.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The Special Education. teacher's comments really concern me. I'm glad that you already talked to the principal and that he was supportive. I hope the increased frustration for your difficult child is short lived. Hugs.
  16. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I'm sorry things have been so rough.

    The teacher is really not OK--I mean reading the IEP is too much to ask? Sheeesh

    I think you handled all of this REALLY well.


  17. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Martie, last year I checked with difficult child's art teacher to find out the reason he got a B instead of an A. I'm not dead set the kid has to get A's but I'd never had a kid get a B in art and since he is by far the best artist in the house thought I would check in. I especially wanted to make sure it wasn't due to anything attributable to issues related to special needs such as auditory processing.

    The response: "Oh?" "Does he have an IEP?" :hammer:

    When he checked his folder, sure enough the IEP was in there. Given he's probably got about 600 students in 3 schools and difficult child's issues are very subtle these days the oversight didn't surprise me entirely. But I would have at least thought with so many students a teacher couldn't possibly even learn all of their names they would have at least make a tiny little dot or something beside their name in the gradebook.

    I just chalked up difficult child's B in art to being a misunderstood artist. :wink: Dr. Seuss' art teacher highly recommended he find a career other than art so he would be in good company.
  18. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey guys,

    thanks for all the opinions and support.

    I believe I will keep him on the low dose (which is only 7.5 mg), with the idea that it may go to 15, and not do the total off until summer.

    I called and moved his psychiatrist appointment up a month - still a month away - but I wanted to give difficult child a little time.

    difficult child and I were in Target yesterday and my cell rang. It was the principal. He spoke with Special Education teacher. He advised her as to what the "plan" is as outlined in the IEP-where his BIP lies. Principal seems to feel that perhaps the 1:1 is a little to blame as well because he didn't remove difficult child for a walk around the school or a trip to the library when he saw him getting angry. He believes the 1:1 is doing too much talking as well. He will meet with him today.

    We'll see.......

    I'm just not willing to wait and see if this is "rebound" from ad or not at this point in school. I don't want difficult child going where he was in second grade. I will do what I have do - yank him out of there first - before that happens again.

    I'm wishing for a positive day today.

  19. pigless

    pigless New Member

    Sharon, I'm sorry that NotSoLittle Dude has a Special Education teacher focused on the "ed" portion of her title. :confused: Ugh. Thank goodness for "mommydar." Your instincts where he is concerned are always right on target - even when in Target!