Newbie to this forum; a little introduction.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HMBgal, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I've been respectfully lurking for a few days and you seem like a knowledgeable, compassionate group and I've joined so I can learn from you, as well as share any bits of information I pick up that may be of use (you know, those grains of salt).

    I've been an adapted physical education teacher for 12 years, working with mostly moderate/severe students in a very good k-8 school district in Silicon Valley. I feel like know lots of stuff, but I'm feeling stressed, worried, sad, helpless, frustrated, and just plain scared about my five year old grandson.

    He's always been an intense little dude, but happy, sleeps and eats well, hit all his milestones at or ahead. Normal pregnancy but protracted and difficult labor. Suctioned out with lots of swelling on his very large head (he was nearly 9 pounds, daughter's first of two children). Fairly severe jaundice, but nursed well from the start and was released from hospital with mommy and no problems after that. Is missing one testicle (had surgery to try and locate and simply not there). He healed quickly and has had no ear infections, although he has recently developed asthma that begins with a cold, then slowly resolves over a couple of weeks, just like his mommy has.

    He's been pretty much a pre-school dropout due to behavior problems. The schools recommended various observations, and he always "showed" good. But, we saw problems: defiance, hitting, explosions at transitions, just always feel like we're walking on eggshells.

    He started kindergarten in August (he's 5y4m) so he's young. He's in a class with 25kids, half kinders, half first graders. One teacher, no other adult support in the classroom. Academically, he's at or above in all areas, except for drawing and scissor use. He knows all his letters, numbers, and can write them all. Excellent number concepts. He's dexterous in taking things apart and putting them back together, but pretty immature at cutting, coloring, drawing. He had no preschool basically, so that may be part of it. Low tolerance for trying new things, although he rides a two-wheeler, inline skates, uses scooter, all very skillfully. He reads first and second grade level books to his neurotypical three year old sister, can articulate his feelings quite well, can identify how others are feeling. I see some sensory stuff, but mild.

    BUT he stomps on people, hits with his fists, will throw anything, has dinged up our cars by throwing rocks and scratching with toys, will terrorize his sister or anybody, regardless of size. He will hit, spit, and kick adults, including teachers. Grandpa, mom and dad (divorced but very civil...true team in raising the kids) get the worst of it, I seem to get it less. I've got that teacher withitness, I guess, plus a goofy sense of humor. But, when he starts to explode....look out. He also started pooping his pants at home (perhaps for of five times in a ten day period). That seems to have stopped for now. We didn't get mad, just acted all business in cleaning him up. Don't know what that was about.

    He's been to therapeutic play groups and he does very well. But, he's been suspended 8 times for hitting and throwing and non-compliance. He's only in school 90 minutes a day, and grandpa watches him during recess, then he goes home. The school will not let him stay longer. He's been observed by the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) (doesn't qualify), school psychiatric (too high academically and is making progress in spite of his limited access), and behavioral specialist. All sweet, well-meaning people operating in a crappy, dysfunctional school district (not the one where I work. I commute 40 miles each way).

    The teacher turned us onto The Explosive Child and that could be written about our little boy. So what does the behavioral specialist come up with for a plan? Sticker charts. Yeah. He is attention seeking, desperately wants friends, is friendly, makes eye-contact, is affectionate to family, but the kids at school are afraid of him; rightfully so. He's helpful, generous, sweet, then something comes over him and he hits, writes on or tears up the other kids' papers. Impulsive big time. Sometimes we see it coming, but often it just strikes in the middle of what looks like a very calm, nice moment.

    So, he's just started Concerta 6 days ago but dose is being adjusted upward tomorrow. So far, no change in behavior, but we know it's a process. I hate the idea of putting these drugs into his little body...it kills me to see his hands shaking, and his appetite is starting to be affected. But, I feel like he's being harmed either way at this point.

    We've been pushing the school to provide some assistance in getting him to be able to stay in school for the full day (8:30-12:10). All of the science and hands-on learning takes place after recess and he's not there because they won't let him. No FAPE or least restrictive environment taking place in my opinion. Last week, another parent called my grandson's daddy and basically threatened him. Nice. So, the school decided perhaps an emergency 504 meeting was in order and that happens on Monday. Wish us luck.

    So, sorry for the wall of text, but I thought if you had a fuller picture, you may be able to drop your wisdom on us. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your families, commiserate during the hard times, and rejoice in the good.
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello. so glad your daughter has you to help sort through this! Do you think she would be willing to join us too?

    First, I want to say I love your job. My son has DAPE and at this point is 2:1 (yes, teacher/ed aide to my kid!) and his dape teacher has known him since third grade, he is now in 8th. It is a place where he was learning more social skills than in any social skills training classes or s/l therapy! (and I am an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), tee hee) NOw it is more like rec. therapy for him, trying to find life skills to help him reduce/relax.

    OK, so your little guy. Sounds like he is in a world of hurt and as often happens, sounds like his school district is dropping the ball. What your daughter may want to do is have a full neuropsychological evaluation done. You may be able to help by asking some of your fellow sp. ed teachers where they ahve seen good reports coming from and maybe ask some of the parents who have done this where a good place is. Often universities, child specialty hospitals, child development clinic...even if they specialize in autism they do neuropsychologist evaluations for many things usually.

    Another thing I would do is have a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. Sensory issues may seem mild, but if you are noticing it, it may be way bigger than you think. Imagine if you had intense itching and you had to just cope with it every day all day.... (not that he itches, just trying to give an impression)... Would you be crabby and mean? I might be. And he may not even be interpreting things that people do and say appropriately at those times. (or all times, hard to tell)

    This kid is absolutely eligible for an IEP! She needs an advocate, they are denying him FAPE. Without an IEP he will be pushed around. IF he was on an IEP he would not be able to be suspended more than 10 days. His day could not be changed unless all accomodations were made, all interventions were being done and sp. ed. was using research based methods to teach...... and then only if the team which as you know, includes mom, felt it was the right thing to do...NOT for convenience.

    Social and Emotional Development is an area of development that allows a child to be qualified for special education. How can he be doing ok anyway if he is not in school all day?

    Has your daughter asked for a full special educaitional evaluation in writing? If not she should start that, even though they ahve done informal things....or small evaluations with Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) etc. IF she disagrees with teh evaluation results, then she needs to ask for an independent evaluation that will be paid for by the school district. It is in her parent rights papers.

    But still, she should pursue the independent neuropsychological evaluation for sure! What is going on is not going to go away and does not sound like an emotional upset.

    (I go crazy with the "attention seeking" etc. excuses that are so limiting in behavior plans. You sound like you are totally on to their goof there, obviously ignorance and laziness on their part)

    OK, I am sure those wiser and less tired than I will come along
    Welcome, really nice to have you with us!
     
  3. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Hey Buddy, love your avatar! Just made me laugh.

    Yes, I do have the best job in my school district, if you ask me. I do travel to 3-5 schools a day, but I really get to know the kids, some for 8 years. I get to play and act goofy all day, and watch the kids relax, get to make some fun choices (their days often involve very little choice, unfortunately). I really believe in teaching about lifelong wellness and fitness, recreation, and social skills. And teaching things that people actually DO after they leave school. I'm even a licensed Zumba, Spinning, and yoga instructor, and I teach kids Zumba--talk about successful and fun! They do fabulously well with yoga, too. I'm so glad your son is enjoying his APE time.

    Anyway, as to the school district's ridiculousness, we are going to see what comes out of the 504, and while most of my experience is with IEPs, I know that 504s certainly have very little power to hold their feet to the fire. As for the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, we requested a private one and was denied. It's Kaiser...huge here in California...and we will be appealing. I've been trying the sensory diet things that I've seen work with other kids (trampoline, movement breaks, weight on lap, fidgets, checking for hunger, thirst, potty) but haven't seen much interest in that here at home. Of course with us, he's using a BOSU, riding his bike, moving, but then content to sit and read or watch a show, educational activities on my iPad, etc. I did see a trampoline at his school and recommended movement breaks. I don't think a young child is really ready for much seat work at that age: they should learn by DOING and MOVING. I can teach such great stuff simply by building cross-curricular stuff into my adapted PE curriculum. The sensory stuff I see with him is mostly oral motor: lots of drooling past the infant stage, and still have to remind him to swallow. He will be concentrating and he'll drool sometimes, and he will start talking with a mouthful of saliva. He still doesn't use a cup as well as his younger sister, but handles a fork well, and is starting to use a knife to cut his food. He doesn't seem to have any tactile defensiveness that's readily apparent. Doesn't mind getting and staying dirty (except for poop--wants us to make sure he's clean--so funny). Not fussy about clothes, shoes, etc. He is antsy, but not crawling under the table, running into things, running into people accidentally, etc.

    In addition to the psychologist-led 16 week play group, he's had 5 individual sessions with a child psychologist, and a 90-minute evaluation by a child psychiatrist, hence the drug recommendation. We are having to plow our way through the system at their pace, but I must say that Kaiser has been fairly responsive and quick.

    Parent's Rights Paper? Ha ha ha ha!!! I know what they are and my students' families can probably wall-paper their entire houses with the ones we give them where I work. We've yet to see anything like that in this school district. As a matter of fact, we have never heard from or even seen the "Special Programs Director." The school psychiatric is young, fresh out of school, and new to the school district (they never stay; they high-tail it out of here every year). He is very idealistic and has spent a lot of time observing, but has not formally evaluated our boy. We have never signed an assessment plan for anything, either. The "team" said that difficult child might qualify under SED, but his academic performance hasn't suffered. Well, I gave him a piece of my mind, saying he knew how to read, his letter, etc., before he even got here, so it's just a matter of time before the cushion he had is gone. And the label SED may limit his opportunities later. I hate the whole idea of the 13 disabling conditions label anyway. Kids just don't seem to fit labels in my mind, and in practice, as well. They are allowing him to be suspended 20 times. Isn't that swell?

    As for his mommy coming on here, I will certainly try, but forums aren't her thing, but I will try. I find hope and information in forums, although I'm very selective.
     
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I would suggest going the whole nine yards with a private evaluation--an assessment with a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neuropsychologist, private speech and private Occupational Therapist (OT). It will address two key issues here: First, play therapy and prescribing Concerta without having any firm diagnosis is like taking a shot in the dark. We would be talking malpractice when doctors start treatment without knowing the source of the problems but when it comes to behavioral issues it's less black and white and people buy into it more easily. Dig in and find underlying reasons and you'll be more apt to find effective treatments. Secondly, the private evaluations tend to be more thorough than school evaluation. It's no guarantee of increased services, but they at least have to take private evaluations into consideration. If they go this route, don't sign off to authorize diagnosticians to send copies of reports to the school district--review them first and make sure it's representative of the issues and then hand deliver copies to the school.

    The district is taking the easy--and possibly illegal--way out. If they hold out long enough desperate parents might find doctors who find the right combination of drugs to manage his behavior. It's cheaper and easier for them than to provide staff such as a classroom aide or one-on-one. I also will mention that in my state there's a trend towards qualifying fewer kids for IEP's and handling them with any other possible means in order to avoid creating failing subgroups for state testing.

    Also, be sure to research the mininmum instructional minutes required for kindergarten in your state to make sure the district is in compliance.
     
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    arrggg explorer shut down and I wrote a whole response to you!

    OK I will try to make sure I get this straight, if I am not clear in what I write, Q is bugging the snot out of me right now for some reason. But I am standing firm because I have devoted my whole day to him!

    1. A child 100% does not need to be behind academically to qualify for an IEP. There are some categories that have that as part of criteria but that is like specific learning disability. The disability area DOES need to affect school progress... that INCLUDES social and emotional and behavioral development. SOOO they are just not doing their jobs.

    2. I would suggest not letting the school district take the lead. IF she writes a formal request in writing, doesn't have to be fancy, then sends it registered or certified mail so that it is date stamped....the clock will be ticking. That is LAW as you know so nothing they can do but respond. Then she will have options for appeal etc. AS time goes on this is going to be very important because even if they get away with this for a while, if he continues to struggle and it is shown that they have neglected him and she has fought, it will work in her/his favor at mediation etc. Have her start ONE notebook recording every phone call, letter written etc. Keep every single due process paper.

    3. I respectfully disagree with you (doesn't mean I am right) about labels. This is not the older days when people could reveal diagnoses. Once in the system it is all confidential. Only people who can find out are those that mom chooses to tell. (within the school district, on a need to know basis only too) As you know, all children with behaviors are labeled and in my humble opinion, having the appropriate label is better than "rude" "disrespectful" "attention seeking" "poor parenting" "under achiever" etc. These gossip labels DO follow a child thru school. A legal disability category can open doors for assistance, accommodations, and entrance into higher education even when other indicators might block them due to their disability.

    4. A neuropsychologist evaluation for this child sounds super important. We say that alot here, but he is a kid who seems like it is a really good idea. They are the ones who can help sort thru a variety of options, not focused more toward developmental, neuro, mental health, etc. Their role is to look at behaviors and development and associate it with how our brains work. They can help with differential diagnosis. No psychiatrist worth their salt would not WANT this information and be grateful for it. They can be one to two day evaluations. They will look at ability, development, health history, emotional, adaptive skills and behavior level, communication, social skills, motor, processing, etc..... really good stuff if you are in a reputable setting.

    5. Ritalin/concerta worked great for my son. There are many kids who it can cause aggression and other negative symptoms. I am sure she is watching closely. I knew it was a good thing day one for us. Not like a medication that takes time to build up or anything. but may take time to find the right dose.

    6. kids can have a variety of sensory integration issues and they can be different for different senses. Do you have the out of sync child? there is a companion activity book. My son can't function when he is doing gross motor activities. Loses what little impulse control he has. In a gym it is complicated by sensitivity to the smell and sound in a gym. BUT he is a sensory seeker when it comes to touch and he really is over the top. can't judge how hard he does things and he needs pressure and heavy work to help him regulate neurologically. Trying different things can help, but you might be setting one thing off while trying to address another without the Occupational Therapist (OT) sensory profile and assessment being done. Do you have any Occupational Therapist (OT) friends who could just grab a protocol and do it as a favor for you? I have done that (shhhh) for people.



    Is kaiser the assessment place? as in kaiser hospital? Anyway, here there are small children's therapy clinics and they do Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations. that might be still really worth your investigating. You may want to advise her to do auditory and language processing evaluations too to cover the bases.

    I always did both....school and private at the same time. A neuropsychologist evaluation can help with any disagreements with the school.

    so, these are just thoughts. Of course it sounds like she is doing so much and may be just at a place where to survive emotionally she needs to try one thing at a time. I get that. if anything I said here is not a good fit, no worries. Of course we just throw out things to eachother and what helps is great and what doesn't may help another.

    I think you are an amazing grandma and your grandkids are probably about the luckiest kids to have such a fun grandma. sounds like you really know your stuff so your perspective will be really nice here! I hope you keep us informed.

    I love the explosive child and have used methods there for years.

    So glad you are here, thanks for your patience answering questions etc. I sure hope your daughter feels like she can check in once in a while. But it can be overwhelming so maybe you can be the buffer for now....
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with SRL. Get him evaluated away from the school. I like neuropsychs. They tend to hit every area of function. They are non-partison and have nothing to lose or gain when they do the testing. The school district does.

    I have two kids who had IEPs and neither one has a low IQ. One is on the autism spectrum under (other health impaired) and my daughter was Learning Disability (LD), but above average IQ. She has been downgraded to a 504. Both are mainstreamed almost 100%. But the early help that they got really helped them. Good luck :)
     
  7. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Thanks to all for your great input. My daughter, sister in law, and husband will be attending the "Emergency 504 Plan" tomorrow. That's what the school district called it after we requested his attendance records and hit them with "You are supposed to be giving him 180 minutes minimum a day, which you've done three times, with 8 suspensions. Exactly what is the percentage of time he's been in class?" along with "Another parent got my SILs phone number from somewhere, called his cell at home and threatened him. Did you know about this?". I can't go because I have a high profile IEP that I must attend at my job, but my grandson will be well-represented. It's so funny. There are usually five or six of us at every meeting. The site director (the school board cut funding for a principal, so there is a part time person, who is also working for the superintendent, and they come and go and are well acquainted with my grandson. The site director is brand new, from out of state, and while very sweet and I do believe is genuinely trying her best, I'm sure she's being thwarted at every turn, as well. She has a pre-teen that was just diagnosed as Asperger's, so is very emotional herself right now. I've loaned her all of my books. Anyway, I'm wondering if they are going to recommend at aide. I'm of two minds about this due to Least Restrictive Environment concerns, but that's another discussion.

    Thanks for the clarification about social progress being part of academics. I hadn't though of that before and don't know how to quantify that, which is what they want, without doing any formal evaluations, of course.

    Kaiser is an HMO, a closed system and if you are insured by them, well, that's that. I will investigate the neuropsychologist, but it doesn't appear that they even have one on staff. Will it cost me my retirement to do it on my own from someplace like Lucille Packard Children's Hospital or somewhere?

    I do indeed have the Out of Sync Child, as well as the Out of Sync Child Has Fun. I use the latter frequently for designing adapted PE activities and recommend it to the parents of the kids on my caseload. Do you know why my grandson got suspended last week? The whole class was playing Duck, Duck, Goose. Yeah. Perfect game for a kid like that, and for several other aggressive (and sneaky) boys that are in that class. Dumb, dumb, dumb on the teacher's part. That is a game for the P.E. Hall of Shame. So, he did something impulsive and goodbye, yet again. I went to pick him up and he's chatting it up, reading to the office ladies, and looking like an angel. He was so obviously upset at being kicked out of school (NOT). Good idea to ask an Occupational Therapist (OT) friend to check him out; she totally owes me for some help I was able to give for some students of hers, plus she's a real sweetheart.

    Thanks for the discussion about labels. So, a SED label doesn't matter should my grandson want to go into the military, law enforcement, teaching, Civil Service, etc? Wouldn't he have to sign something releasing his records to them if he wants to work for them? I'm looking far down the road, but if what the school district is telling us is patently untrue, that would be nice to be able to tell them.

    As for doing poorly on state testing, 40% of the school are non-English speakers (and half of his class) as these folks are bused up from agricultural low-income housing about 15 miles away, so the school is already dancing as fast as they can to get scores up. This district is notorious for poor scores, although my grandson's school was fairly well performing when our kids went through. At my district of employment, we can have a certain percent doing what we call CAPA testing (alternative assessments for students with moderate/severe designations). My grandson is well out of testing at this point because we don't start testing until the second grade.

    So, we are letting the school district lead us around by the nose to see where it leads us, but they know that we know that this ain't kosher and "up with it we will not put" for much longer.

    So glad to hear that Concerta worked for your son, Buddy. We haven't seen much change this week, but his dose doubles tomorrow, so that will probably tell us something.

    So, it's back to school tomorrow for us and our kiddos. Good luck to all and good night!
     
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't know $$ figures for neuropsychologist... but I can tell you that testing is easier to afford than treatment... therapist time is expensive and adds up fast. We had to pay for some of the testing we wanted - other stuff (the major stuff) was covered... but it was the extra that we had done, that ended up telling the true story. Comprehensive evaluations are usually a day's worth of testing or less (4-6 hours depending on what tests they run)... plus report-write time...
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  9. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Good points, all. Thanks.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey...just wondering. This is a sensitive question, but kind of important because it affects the child's neurological development (and behavior). Was your daughter still doing drugs and drinking maybe too when she was pregnant with this child? I adopted a child whose birthmother did drugs...
     
  11. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    No, fairly sure about that. I used to be an intake person at an out-patient drug and alcohol counseling center, husband was the Employee Assistance Program guy for years at his job, my older brother is a certified addiction worker. We know well the addage "If their lips are moving, they are lying." But, she worked her program, was diagnosed with ADD as an adult, got on Wellbutrin for her situational depression and Provigil and says that the desire for meth completely went away. When she wanted to start her family she got off all of that and has been clean ever since (2002). She wouldn't even take any drugs for childbirth, although after 36 hours labor with my grandson, she did agree to a spinal. He was never under any distress, however. So clean for three years before having my grandson). She did have issues when she got divorced about 18 months ago and started Wellbutrin again, but just went off again as she said she didn't feel much different. She has adapted to her new life of school (dental assisting), working full time, and co-parenting. She and her ex live a few miles apart from each other (and us) and both see the kids every day. There was no big drama when they split--no fights, no yelling, just knew they weren't pulling the cart the same way and didn't want things to get ugly. I'm sure there is emotional fall-out with the kids, but they didn't witness any abuse--just emotional distance between she and my sister in law. The younger sib, who is 3, is a delight, easy, loves school, loves life.

    My sister in law (and he was always be part of our family and loves us, and we love him) is another story. He was addicted to downers in high school, his father has some type of issue and is medicated. sister in law has shaking rages and tells people to just stay away until he gets ahold of himself. We feel like we are walking on eggshells around him as he is good man, but a difficult personality. He always has a fidget (rolled up straws all over the house) but only medicates with coffee (don't we all?). So, dear grandson is very much like him. My daughter is very easy to get along with, doesn't confront, yell, fight, bends over backwards to please, much like myself.
     
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    How did the 504 meeting go?
     
  13. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Good morning, SRL. I wasn't there, but four other family members were. The site director was there trying to fill out her first ever 504, along with the first-year, brand new school psychiatric and the classroom teacher. I haven't seen it yet but hope to today.

    There was another lady in attendance from another school that is supposed to be helping the behavioral specialist (that wrote up a plan for sticker charts--gah!). Our concerns about his attending only 90 minutes a day for almost the entire school years was addressed by proposing lengthening his day starting next week (the kids are supposed to be going from 8:30-2:40 two days per week, and 8:30-1:10 3 days a week. He's been going from 8:30-10).

    The behavioral lady in attendance said she will be shadowing Eric this week. Everyone in my family fell in instant love with her. My husband went to pick him up and said this lady (different sort of name starting S) was at recess with him, two feet away, talking, playing, and drawing other kids in to play. husband said she was amazing. We only have her for a week.

    The team did recommend an aide and said they will be getting one, but we don't know exactly when. If I had been at the meeting, I would have nailed that down, but my husband was emphatic that the right aide will work wonders, the wrong one would be a disaster. Some of the aides we've seen around there are retired school teachers, command-style, can't even begin to keep up with their students, and physically not up to it (sitting down most of the time).

    The lady with difficult child said he had a great day, only had to go to the chill zone once, and only for a moment. He always does well in a novel situation, but when the novelty wears off...well, we'll see.

    His concerta dose got doubled this week (he's taking two 18 mgs) and he didn't eat a thing all day, except for a piece of his mommy's birthday cake. Haven't heard how he slept. I would think that the drugs wear off and he will be so hungry that it could interfere with his sleep, which would be baaaad, as we all know.

    So, the little boy is trying so hard that it breaks our hearts, says the sweetest things, was waiting at the end of the driveway for me when I got home from work yesterday, with his bike helmet on and mine in his hand so we could go for a ride. We rode for 45 minutes, jumped off our bikes to logroll down some grassy hills and had a blast. He was so happy and told me several times how happy he was and how much fun he was having with me. Whenit was time to go, he did so with very few problems. Of course when we got home, there was some minor drama, but it passed quickly.

    So, good so far. I sure wish he didn't have to try so hard because you can see the anxiety under it all. Sigh.
     
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sounds like at least movement forward. We have some good behavior people here too...

    One thing that is done in our district, the behavior (we have a team and it includes a specially trained aide who knows their procedures and attends behavior workshops etc.) team uses their people to train the in school team. so for the aide, she should receive a certain amount of specific training not the general aide training, with the cool behavior chick as a person to come daily to do maybe 1-2 hours for a week and then fade it or some other consistent and predictable schedule (for difficult child's sake). Then add her to the 504 (hopefully an IEP later) to say she can be called any time there is a behavioral concern. True trained, good behavior people look at behavior as just behavior, they dont get all emotional about it, dont judge it, just see how it is affecting the child in his environment and work to help remediate skills and develop appropriate behaviors. An aide easily can get sucked into the frustraton of the staff around them if they do not have good trianing. husband is so right.
     
  15. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I guess I'm a little cynical about behavioral people, as least they are used in the district at which I work. We hardly ever seem them, the behavior plans we get are pretty unworkable as a rule, and when we try to get help tweaking a plan: crickets. I felt so bad for the young, enthusiastic , new (no Special Education people seems to stick around more than a year) young lady working with my grandson. When we gathered to read her report, it was so hard not to groan out loud and say "have you been listening to us, the teacher, the school psychiatric, etc?!" We all had the same reaction. It was the standard sticker chart (without taking things away), give lots of high fives, blah blah blah. Not something the teacher could keep going with 25 other kids to worry about. And it did nothing to address the impulsiveness, provide movement breaks. It was of what we've all been doing for two years and that works with most kids, but not kids like this. I bought the Explosive Child and Lost at School care package for the school and requested the social skills group leader (an MFCC) and the behavioral specialist read it so we wouldn't get more of the same. We all are onto the ABC model, tracking data with little clipboards, frequency counts, etc.

    The only aides I've worked with are the ones in my district at work that are with the students with moderate/severe differences, and they are specialized, trained, make extra money, and there is very little turnover. They are really great, but we are talking about a huge district in Silicon Valley as compared to a small district that won't even pony up the money to pay a principal for my grandson's school of 400 students. It's like Lord of the Flies on the playground. Many parents send family members to follow their students around so that no one gets hurt. I just have to hope that we get lucky, because my husband is a little over doing unpaid yard duty watching our difficult child get singled out, tattled about, watch other kids doing far worse things to each other and getting away with it. It's maddening.

    I guess we should be glad that difficult child is just so upfront with his stuff and not devious and sneaky like so many of the other little boys up there. It's partly the fact that the boys that tend to travel in packs, taunt, etc., are non-English speakers so they are probably dealing with their own frustrations. That being said, they are 40% of the school, so I doubt they are feeling the isolation that my grandson is. Trying to remain positive...
     
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So scary. And yes, there are the sticker chart, nutso (ok to be fair there are probably some mild behavior kids they work on) folks. Luckily in our case these are the true rock stars for Q. They are out of the box thinkers and pulled in the autism specialist and it is a program full of sensory breaks, rewards for turning a bad situation around (not for staying perfect, but for changing from "bad" to better) and then reinforced of course for doing a good job (so he doesn't have to do a neg thing and then switch to being ok to get any reward)... he also has some non negotiable fun time.... or preferred activity time...even if he is awful. Otherwise there woudl be full days he is having icky consequences and he just tells them I give up.

    But in the ned, after those people train and leave, the ones running it must be good at what they do and not make judgements. Our team luckily comes at least 4 out of 5 days per week and spends time checking in with the on site team. I see them in the building every single week when I come so I know they are not lying.

    It is the FIRST time I have had this though. I hear you it is rare. The district you are talking about sounds like a nightmare. No chance they can move or open enrolll in another district? Charter school? Yikes, i feel so badly for that whole situation.

    but you did say that husband thought the behavior person was great right? just that she cant stay there. Can THAT person train someone??? and then have weekly consult by phone at least? or to send email data or questions to? I dont know, grasping at straws here for you LOL, wouldn't it be great if everyone did things OUR way??? Just like difficult child thinking.... this board could solve the world's problems for sure!
     
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