Please help me...frustrated and confused

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tycjcj, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. tycjcj

    tycjcj fighting for his rights

    I need to know if anyone can give me samples of behavior modification plans for adhd and conduct disorder to put into the IEP. I am interested in learning what modifications some o fyou have used that work. My soon is 14. This year has been very challenging! I am at a loss right now as to what I need to do to try to help him. The school has not been helpful to say the least. He gets punished for things that I feel are beyond his control. Like not staying on task and forgetting assignments and not remaining in his seat and not being quiet. All symptoms of the diagnosis.
    He does have problems with disrespect though! This is one of the more serious problems he has. Just refusing to do what the teacher asks and being defiant. Thank you for all of your help and suggestions. Anything is appreciated right now. I am so out of answers at this point.
  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Hello & welcome!!! As far as the IEP, you may want to post this on the Special Education Forum. This is a wonderful place, many ideas, many suggestions, along with great people that want to help & knowledge along the way. I'm a newbie myself & I'm sure others will come along to give you some advice.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi there and welcome. I agree with posting over in the Special Education forum as well because they are the experts over there.

    In my lay opinion, since you're talking behavior modification, I think you need to request a functional behavioral analysis (FBA) from the school district. The way they've worked with my kid is a behavior specialist (yes, our district actually had a contracted behavior specialist, small miracles!) came in and observed behaviors for an hour or two a day, several days over a period of weeks. Then the IEP team (of which you are a full member, don't forget) sat down and we developed a behavior management plan (BMP). A good BMP should use positive behavioral interventions as opposed to jumping straight to punishments. I have to admit, we've never had a useful BMP for thank you because he actually flips out after getting positive reinforcement - go figure. But if your son does respond to positive reinforcements, I'd really try to focus on that as you develop the BMP.

    For stuff like forgetting assignments, that could be covered in the regular old IEP - what do you think would work for you and your son? Copy of lesson plan and assignments for the week sent home (or emailed to you) at the beginning of the week? Assignment book that parent and teacher sign off on daily? I don't know... what works for you at home? I'm not sure what helps in terms of getting the assignments *back* to school, or out of the locker into the classroom - I'm having a heck of a problem with my 13 y/o on that!!

    Anyway, just a few random thoughts from just a mom - please do post over in sped 101. Again, welcome and glad you found us!
  4. tycjcj

    tycjcj fighting for his rights

    How did you get the school to contract a behavior specialist? Is this a state or federal requirement? I think that is what needs to be done but I do no tknow how to get them to cooperate with md. Any suggestions?
  5. Sickntired

    Sickntired New Member

    Hi and welcome. You and I are in exactly the same sinking boat. I too have a 14 year old with the exact same diagnosis. And the school system sounds just like ours. Maybe it's me writing your post in an "out of body" experience!!!!

    I wish I could help you, because to this point, I have found nothing that helps. My difficult child just absolutely refuses to cooperate at all, in any shape or fashion. He actually would have good intentions on the way to school and promise and promise, but once he got there, it just all fell apart. Absolutely refused to do anything. I worked and worked on him, encouraging him, etc. and finally had a promise out of him one day that he would TRY, just try. And guess what. Come to find out he actually did, but I lost what ground I had made because his "teacher" and I use that term lightly, messed it all up. He is only "allowed" to attend for 3 hours until he proves he can do his work. That one day I got him to agree to try, she brought him out to the car and "tattled" on him, saying he had done NOTHING that day, slept. He kept saying he did, she was just trying to get him in trouble. Well, we punished him and had a big melt down and he kept saying just go up there and check. I'm telling the truth. He didn't sleep at all that night, and fell asleep at 6:00 that morning because he was so upset. So we couldn't get him up for school. So I went up there and was going to talk to his teacher, but she was not there that day. I asked her assistant if I could see the work my difficult child did the day before. She said Oh yes, he really did work yesterday. He worked several packets. I said WHAT???? I was told he did nothing. Then the assistant said, oh, after she came back in she FOUND his work. I said how could she not know where it is. There are only 4 kids in this room and is she not helping him??????? So I went by the principals office and told him and he said he would check into it. Then, I had to go home and apologize for not believing him. I went to the school the next morning to confront her. We had a meeting in the principal's office. I demanded she apoligize to me and to him because she had really caused a problem. For the steps we took forward with him, she set him back 100 steps. There was a lot of damage done by that. She ended up the conversation by saying, well, I was going to tell you today that I found the work. I asked her why she didn't call and tell us, lord knows she calls for everything else so I know she knows our number. It would have calmed so many problems. She said I just didn't think it was a big deal. Then she said, well he did do those packets but he could have done more!! I said good grief lady, will he ever please you? From that point forward, my difficult child again would do nothing. Nothing. Nothing. We finally had to pull him out of school for the rest of the year. We are just wasting their time and his. He's not learning, so he can not learn at home. I do what I can with him. I think the school was actually glad he is gone.

    On his IEP they have behavior intevention plans, and they work to some point, but when he is very oppositional, nothing works. I am at my wits end. I, like you, do not know what to do for this child. He won't let you help him. A friend of mine told me he won't get better until he decides he wants to. That may be the exact truth. Wish I could help you, but I can't even help myself. Blessings.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can't help much with the formal stuff for the IEP, but for both of you, Sickntired and tycjcj, I have some BIG suggestions.

    You kids are stubborn and/or disrespectful - you can use this. Once you can get them to value themselves and their work, that very stubbornness WILL work to keep them going.

    Getting them there - you have huge hurdles. So did we - we have at least partly overcome them.

    Home-schooling was our last resort. At least it was possible for us. But it has worked, with the following methods (which can be modified to suit your situation):

    1) Get "The Explosive Child" and really get into it. This is the start, to help you harness the stubbornness.

    2) Teach respect, by showing respect. It's not easy. But do your utmost to NOT fall into the "because I said so, that's why" mould. It's not working, and for some kids it makes them worse. Would you say it to an adult house-mate? If you really think about it, a lot of the rules we try to teach our kids (I mean the really useful stuff) is based on teaching them to respect those around them. Courtesy rules, the sort they will need when they leave home and have to get on with other people. Things like house rules ("whose turn is it to wash up tonight? Whose turn to cook? To do the laundry?"). We compromise with each other - "You run the bath for me, while I peel the potatoes. Alternatively, you take over the potato peeling while I run the bath."
    Rules like telling each other where you are going and when. If hikers are required to let people know where they are going and when they are expected back, then it is good practice to do the same. It's not an adult-child inequality thing because in our family, the adults tell the kids the same things. "OK son, I'm going to the shops. Is there anything we need? I will be back in half an hour."
    It's letting the cook know whether you will be home for dinner, and it's the cook choosing to cook something you really like.
    If the child-parent inequity is not working for you, then begin to teach him to work as a team with the things that need to be done - "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." It takes time to get it started, because the kids are so used to automatic defiance and opposition. But if you refuse to react to their hostility with anything but firm politeness ("I'm not shouting at you; why are you shouting at me?") then you can totally take the wind out of the sails of a tantrum. The book helps here, too.

    3) Set up house rules. Our best one was "school work during school hours." Even if the kid was sick and running a fever, I gave them SOMETHING school-ish to do. Watch an educational DVD; play an educational computer game; do all the outstanding worksheets; get an assignment done early. If the kid fell asleep reading a book or watching a DVD that was OK (and an indication the kid was genuinely sick, not just having an anxiety attack or 'plumbopendulitis' aka swinging the lead). Really encourage him for doing the work - at first he needs your encouragement because he is in an academic vacuum when it comes to anyone helping him feel good about schoolwork. But the more you can make him feel good for doing it, the more likely he is to do it (and use that stubbornness to get it right). If he hates school because he hates the teacher (who says he's hopeless) then make up a big sign and stick it behind the toilet door (a great place for anything you need to reinforce) that says, "Success is the best revenge." Failing, just to prove a bad teacher right, is the worst outcome. Being able to teach him to visualise walking up to that teacher in years to come and saying, "Since I learned to ignore the negativity you tried to instil in me, I have made a success of my life and now earn $200,000 a year." And telling the truth.
    There are more tricks here, to get a kid working. You can have them race the clock. You can say, "If you genuinely work solidly, you can take a break after fifteen minutes." This only works outside school hours, for homework. ANd if they DID work solidly, there should be a surprising amount to show for it. "See? You got more done than you thought. And that was only fifteen minutes. Now go watch that half hour sitcom, and come back for another fifteen minutes." What works for me during school hours - "If you keep working on your schoolwork, I'll go make you a big bowl of popcorn, you can eat it while you're working." Or, "If you finish this amount of work, I will let you eat your lunch while watching that detective show you like." (Of course, I usually keep him working until he takes his lunch break late, so if he doesn't get back to schoolwork it doesn't matter. Besides, he's full up with popcorn, he can afford a late lunch).
    I happily bribe him - if he completes a prearranged amount of work, he gets a prearranged treat (which is best if it's fun time with me, such as playing a game together after school on whatever game console we have).

    4) Observe your child and what they know, as well as what they don't know. Try and find ways to fill the cracks in their knowledge, either by coaching or focussing on that area in home schooling. If he really is struggling due to his disability, here is where you help him find other ways to either do it, or find another option.

    5) The big one - catch him out doing something good, and praise him for it. As far as possible, ignore the negative behaviour. That doesn't mean let him win - just walk away. If you make a mistake, apologise (that is also part of respect and teaching respect).

    A lot of this will involve re-thinking your methods, often having to think outside the square. You need to be inventive, imaginative and adventurous. But if you can, share this with your child so he learns that sometimes you don't have to beat your head against a brick wall - sometimes if you take a couple of steps back, you can see a doorway, just over there...

    This works best if you can home-school, because then YOU control his environment. There's no accusation that he didn't do any work, because you know. And YOU'RE handling it.

    difficult child 3 still has days when he can't settle to work. Now he's in more control of his stubbornness, he is more angry with himself over these days, than I am with him. And when he has a productive day, he is so happy with himself that it keeps reinforcing his rediscovered work ethic. Having me give him a few high-fives doesn't hurt.

    Parenting like this is intensive and sometimes very consuming, but I figure the more I can do now, the better the investment in his future and the less I'll need to worry about him. I want him to do well enough to leave home and earn a seven figure salary, so he can keep me in the luxury to which I'd like to become accustomed. Failing that, I'd like him to not need me so much later on.