Just came back from meeting with sons teacher and principal!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I was SO stressed to go and talk to my sons teacher and principal this afternoon! But it went well and now it's over!
    It took me a while to decide if I must talk to them, but at the end I thought it will be in my sons best interest.

    The thing is.....my son doesn't show any aggression or behavior problems at school....but because of the SI and poor social judgement and difficulty 'reading' his environmental cues he finds it very stressfull...

    They listened and also tried to come up with some ways to help him, like telling the whole class that they will change an activity in say 5 minutes time, or the teacher will try to make sure that he understands assignments, or if she see he is stressing just to walk and maybe touch him on the shoulder and not shifting him around in class the whole time.

    At our schools they don't have any special programs or stuff like that for kids...they do have an Occupational Therapist (OT) and speech therapist but you pay exsta....he is in a private school with high accademic expectations.....but at least they are willing to help!

    They are even willing to walk him back to class after quitar lessons, because he was te anxious to walk back alone and wanted to quit! I was surprised that the principal even mentioned in the beginning that he is trying to manipulate to stop the lessons, but luckily changed her mind when I explained to her the reasons why!

    I did't tell them the diagnosis, because I didn't want them to label him ....I'm always worried that once they see psychiatric diagnosis they will expect less of him?

    I don't know why I feel so secretive about the whole thing....How much do you share with the school? How do you feel about all of this?
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's great the meeting went well and that the school seem sympathetic to finding ways to accommodate your son. You must appreciate that.
    I completely understand your hesitation about sharing the label with school. It's a fine judgement. For myself, having started out not wanting to give any sort of label to my son, I am now in the position of telling the school about the label and getting the teacher to try to understand more about ADHD. The last time I spoke to her, just before the end of this school year, she said she would never had said there was anything "wrong" with J if I had not talked aobut it... this obviously makes me wonder whether I have done the right thing but I think, on balance, I have. We are going to have a meeting between the school team and the psychiatrist in the autumn and one of the things I hope to achieve from the meeting is that J will be punished less at school because the staff will understand and accept that it is counter-productive for him and in a sense unjust. He is punished frequently as a "turbulent" boy and actually I think this really affects and depresses him on some level, although he generally is very enthusiastic about school. And, in the coming year, when they will start teaching his class to write and read, I think he may well experience some difficulties with that and it is better that that is understood.
    Take it slowly... no need to say anything now if you feel uncomfortable with that, but maybe there will come a time when, like me, you feel that the advantages of talking about the label outweigh the disadvantages.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am glad they seem to be willing to work with you to help your son. As for the "label", it opens doors for helpful services here in the US. It also helps describe the issues our difficult child's have so people know how to help better. I hope things go as well as you think they will now that you have talked to them. I wish it was that easy in my school district.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you made it through the mtng and that it went well. Anticipation is always the worst part.

    In regard to labeling, it has pros and cons. On the one hand, it gets my son svcs that he would otherwise not get. on the other hand, it lowers expectations from some of the teachers. Although once they get a good reading on him, say, after the first mo or so, they figure out that he really is smart and can learn and just needs to be pushed. Or sat on. :) Only one teacher this yr really didn't care ... passed him with-a "D" in science, which ticked me off ... but difficult child did learn a lot in that class and just didn't bother to apply it. So maybe the teacher did the right thing.
    The others allowed him to turn in assignments late and gave him 1/2 credit or less, but we worked together to MAKE him turn in everything b4 the end of the yr.

    Best of luck!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have shared with the school and it has been a good idea. I do get the idea that the US and Canada may be alone in helping children with disabilities so you know your school and culture best and have to do what is right in your circumstances.

    I have to say, I am surprised that in so many countries, you do not get help for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities and that the expectations of the children are lowered. It is eye opening for me. But certainly do what is best for your child. Can he keep up in this accelerated private school?
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If private schools there are anything like (the few) private schools here, you should already have - by design - smaller class sizes, more allowance for indiviidualized enrichment, etc. In a public system, just the sheer size of the classes means we "have to" have a way of flagging the kids that need extra help... so, they filter based on diagnosis.

    If the child is highly functional and can handle the intellectual stimulation (which seems to be the case), the academic load may be a positive, rather than a negative. Issues are more likely to be social/behavioral/etc.

    Sounds like you have a good working relationship with the school... which is also a critical factor.

    Don't rush sharing a diagnosis. Start from where you are now, see how the adjustments work, and try to get regular feedback from the school. The more you can get the accommodations without having to share the diagnosis, the better. We're forced to share it here, just to get accommodations, and then the schools take the diagnosis and apply a standard set of accommodations, which may not be what you need at all! It also avoids stigmatism on the part of teachers and students, based on a diagnosis.

    Share a diagnosis when its to YOUR advantage.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    MWM - other countries do cater for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other conditions (not sure what the politically correct word is here:) ) in schools. Britain, for example, has a system very similar to your IEPs. So does France, interestingly, even though no-one round here has ever seemed to have heard of it! I think it must function more in the big towns and cities. Those are the only two European countries I know well but others must have similar provision. From what Marguerite says, sounds like Australia has pretty good networks of care too?
    To label or not to label, that is the question. I am increasingly attracted to the notion as my son is increasingly labelled anyway as badly behaved, badly parented, etc...
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If accommodations and interventions work without diagnosis labels, then you shouldn't hit the "other" labels.
    Hitting the "other" labels means things aren't working...

    It pays to research and know what services and accommodations and other interventions are available based on the diagnosis, in YOUR area, before you release that info to the schools... so that you know what to ask for, in return for that revelation.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I try to keep the communication lines open between school, SpEd, Kiddo's therapist, me, etc. There's paperwork to allow communication with psychiatrist, but I don't think it's been used since psychiatrist is really just for medicating.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We do have good support legislated here, it is similar to the US. Funding comes form the Federal government but is administered by state departments of education.

    Whether to share the label or not - it will depend on how the condition is viewed in your area. For example for Malika in France, there is a much greater tendency of doctors (and therefore other people) to view autism as the mother's fault and a psychological condition. I watched "Temple" the other day and noted that when Temple Grandin was diagnosed, autism = "childhood schizophrenia".

    Autism these days is generally understood to be a neurological condition. Not a behaviour condition (although behaviour problems are often present, because the child has to find their own ways to cope and adapt, often these ways are not seen as socially acceptable) and not a psychological condition, although again a child on the spectrum is going to have, as a consequence of the difficulties they endure, a lot of psychological problems (esp depression).

    I would consider saying to the school that he is being considered for a diagnosis of autism. The operative term being "is being considered for" the diagnosis. It gives you an out to say no, it is something else (if the school reacts with "autism is the mother's fault" attitude) or to confirm if they seem to really understand. It can help cut through the misunderstandings.

    Sounds like the school really want to try to help.

  11. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    If are specific with actual difficulties or missing skills , you have given them much more information which will help solve problems and take into account his concerns

    you did well to refocus the thinking as ' children do well if they can ' and not that he is manipulating