Principal calls. difficult child sleeping. Wants me to come get him, he's "wasting their time".

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Lately, my brain hits immediate overload when I have to deal with this carp. So instead of rewriting this, this is the email I sent to the SpEd director.

    What the heck???

    "I just received a phone call from Principal. difficult child apparently slept yesterday morning (this is the first I heard of this) and they woke him. He subsequently had a pretty rough day with at least 2 stints in the safe room (again, I only know these as second hand info, as I have not been told).

    Today, he is sleeping again. Principal is hesitant to wake him because it always results in a very irritable and agressive difficult child, but claims SpEd Teacher doesn't want her paras standing outside the door watching him sleep as it is a waste of staff's time. He asked me to have someone to come pick him up.

    I wish I knew why difficult child sleeps like this. He was late getting to sleep last night because he fell asleep in the truck on the way home from the city at 7:30 and dad put him to bed a bit later. But he was asleep by 7pm Sunday and Monday nights. If I knew why, I would glady fix it. But I don't; I don't feel it is something we can control.

    I am hesitant to send difficult child home with grandma. She is not physically able to carry him anymore, and walking from the school to the car combined with seeing her will probably wake him up for the day - then he would be out of school and wide awake. I am currently missing 2 hours of work a day already to come with him to specials; but I could come pick him up and physically carry him out and let him sleep it off at home. Again, tho, he will wake up, and, again, then he's out of school.

    So I countered Principal's request with an offer to get someone in there to watch him sleep so there para's aren't "wasting their time". Grandma was free and able, so she is going; had she not been, I had another person that I could possible call, or I would have come myself.

    However, if he's supposed to have a 1:1 with him all the time, does it really matter if they're sitting outside a room watching him sleep? We discussed in the IEP meeting that when he does fall asleep, the best thing to do is let him be. SpEd teacher said they have seen the consequences of trying to wake him. And honestly, I'm not convinced its SpEd teacher who's upset about this. I realize he shouldn't be sleeping in school; but in a perfect world, he wouldn't have an IEP or a 1:1, either. This is a fact of difficult child's life right now.

    So grandma is there now, watching him sleep in the little room behind the nurse's office and the office. But what do we do going forward?"
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    The only thing I can think of is medications.
    If he's not on any, then sleep apnea.
    This sounds like a physical problem that needs to be addressed, above and beyond the 1:1 issue.
    Did they explain why they didn't tell you yesterday? They should have emailed or called.
    So sorry.
    Wish I had a brilliant idea.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Shari, it's not uncommon for kindergartners to fall asleep in school... and staff doesn't sit there waiting for the child to wake if the child is adequately supervised (ex: in the nurse's office or at their desk within the classroom). I think you should tell the principal that difficult child 2 will stay in school awake or not.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    WHen we did Dudes IEP for 7th grade we actually WROTE in - not widely acceptable but should student fall asleep with 1:1 in room - student will be allowed to remain sleeping.

    It was that simple - I think TM hit the nail on the head - this principal must be under some kinda delusion that ALL SPED kids are perfect.

    Is he on Clonodine by any chance? That's what caused Dude to sleep in School - that an AbilifyXR.....regular Abilify was okay.

    PLUS - we eliminated almost all sugar from his diets - no soda, candy - and I would guess that over Easter - he's had sugar overload???? That could be doing it to his system.

    IT does for me - I eat 2 or 3 mini snickers and I'm out like a light. Nearly comatose.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We talked about this in the IEP meeting. The SpEd staff themselves said it was detrimental to all to wake him up.

    Grandma said when she got there, the "not so much" para was the one "on duty". She was standing outside the room where difficult child was sleeping, reading the local newspaper. If I'm a betting person, that's where the "we need them elsewhere" problem is...

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to be not so friendly in the very near future. Ugh.

    Editted to add: He's not on clonodine. We use it occassionally, but not often. He had a tiny dose Sunday. Easter Bunny didn't bring candy for Easter. Easter Bunny is learning, just like Santa!

    We're taking easy child 2 and difficult child to see the Hannah Montana movie tonight (being able to sit thru a movie is a new, and still not frequent, occurance). Maybe I should email the whole school and let them know that tomorrow he might actually have a REASON to be tired (cause principal is certain there has to be a tangible reason for difficult child to be sleeping at school; ie - mom's fault)

    Or is that being too over the top?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Heh heh. Very tempting. ;)
    Enjoy the movie.
  7. dcmckay

    dcmckay New Member

    Is it possible that this is "sleep inertia"? My difficult child has been this way since she was 4 or 5 (she is now 14). Everyday, she tries to sleep until 10 or 11, whether she is at home or school! She then escalates as the rest of the day goes on until by evening, she is hyper as can be. We, too, put in her IEP that it was ok for her to sleep at school. We had to have a letter from her pedi stating that she had been checked out and there was not a PHYSICAL reason for her sleepiness. Every school morning, she heads straight for the oversized bean-bag chair in the quiet room and sleeps for at least an hour or 2. It doesn't seem to matter what medications she takes, what time she goes to bed, or anything else. It is like her body is not CAPABLE of functioning prior to 10am.
  8. dcmckay

    dcmckay New Member

  9. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I would suggest to the school that they give him a motor break when he looks as though he's about to fall asleep. Sometimes these motor breaks are what they need to get "their blood flowing and energry up". If they motor break doesn't help, than perhaps they should let him fall asleep.

    I know that for many hyper kids, when they are asked to sit still for extended periods of time, their bodies get doesn't initally mean they are tired, but limited activity brings on the "triptafan" (stuff in melatonin). If when kids/catnap...I think it needs to be quite brief and woken within 10 minutes or allow them to sleep for a while.

    If he's tired they should send him to the health room...he can always sleep there...

    They really seem to be pusing all of your buttons....I'm surprised they wouldn't chose a sleeping difficult child than an active one....

    Did you ever find out more about the self-contained class in the other town that no one knows about?
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Risperdal affected difficult child 1 like this, even on tiny doses. It got so we could only dose him in the evening, because he would take quarter of a tablet and ten fall asleep for most of the day. Not good. difficult child 3, a third his age at the time, took three times the risperdal without the sedation factor. So you can never be sure how it will affect someone.

    The para does sound like a possible suspect for the "he's a waste of space" accusations.

    Thinking back to your previous post on the topic, maybe it's not been the principal so much after all? Or is this para cultivated by principal, and being a snitch and nessage-taker? I can understand the school nurse saying that concerns have been expressed from Special Education department and you interpreting that as coming from SpEd teacher, when in fact it could have been this particular aide?

    I'd be quietly asking the nurse if perhaps the message came from this aide after all - and in which case, I'd be asking to have her removed as difficult child's aide. She's already blotted her copybook a few times, she doesn't sound like she's motivted to support him. And from my experience - aides we have had, have been almost asmother-tigress towards my boys, as I am.

    Yesterday I bumped into difficult child 1's former aide (also his English teacher at the time). It reminded me that while she was suitable professional and detached, she went way beyond the call of duty in trying to get her lazy colleagues to dshift themselves and provide the support and information she needed, to do her job. The whole process in difficult child 1's case was being undermined at acting-principal level, by the deputy (because the then principal was off on sick leave a lot of the time, having chemo for breast cancer which she unfortunately did not survive - a lovely lady who would have helped us, if she hadn't been "sheltered" from what was really going on with the megalomaniac deputy).

    Shari, there's ongoing skulduggery here. WHile I feel the air of concerned response that you take in your letters is appropriate, I tihnk it's time to stop giving them so much rope - keep future letters shorter, much shorter. This will give the clear impression of "I want this silly game to stop" while still being polite and friendly. In the letter you sent, you first raised a real concern about a strange asttitude on the part of the shcool which is also congtradicting the IEP - and you then go on to say that you are also concerned about difficult child being sleepy! By doing this, you distracted the reader of your letter from the main issue - the school not following through on previous agreements and some woodworm in your son's support structure.

    Stick to the important issue - if you need to mention you are also concerned by your son's over-sleeping, then say so briefly. "We are also concerned by his sleeping but this is a medical issue which we are working on independently, it has already been established at his IEP meeting that if he falls asleep in class he is to be left to sleep, because it is too disruptive to wake him. Taking him home is not an option and would also not achieve any learning outcomes. If this is not satisfactory then we need to schedule another IEP meeting to discuss this and it would be beneficial to have present, officials from higher up the Special Education system in the district, to advise the school on the right way to handle these matters without breaching anti-discrimination legislation."

    Check this last phrase - it is what I wqould say in our situaiton here, I'm not sure what sort of legislation you have. For us, a child with a disability is entitled to asmuch support as you can get/as he needs, in order to get an equal shot at a decent education. For exampe, if a school fails to provide alternatives to a blindchild and instead only provides work written on the blackboard, or a school has a child in a wheelchair but fails to put in ramps or similar to allow the child to get access to all the areas the child needs to get to - that school is in breach of anti-discrimination laws. In the same way, a teacher who punishes an autisticchild for stimming or for tics, is in breach of antidiscrimination laws here. But I dont beleive in pouncing too hard - I make it clear that the school is in breach by informnig them in writing along with asking thme what they intend to do to rectify te situation, often I also include some (polite!) suggestions on better alternative management strategies. And only after they fail to comply and have had reasonable time to begin to make changes, THEN I take the matter higher up.

    Sometimes that 'reasonable amount of time' has of necessity to be shortened; once I had to act within hours, because we were about to lose a classroom and a teacher which would have seriously disadvantaged difficult child 3. In that case it was the District I was gunning for and not the school.

    So the next piece of advice - know your target. In your case, you need to determine who is the fly in the ointment here (or as I described it before, the woodworm in the support structure). Is it this particular aide? Or the principal? Or both, tag-teaming?

  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The schools my difficult child have attended have never woken him when he is sleeping. I always figure if a child is sleeping they need it. When it was chronic with difficult child we were more concerned than the school. The psychiatrist adjusted medications so it helped.

    I'm sorry you difficult child's school is being such a PITA.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Shari, you have gotten a bunch of great advice here. I would certainly edit the letter the way Marg described, but run it past the Sp Ed ladies for correct phrasing (FAPE in LRE ring any bells to these idiots?)

    I would NOT EVER mention that you took him to a movie that kept him out late. They may then use the email/letter to show that you are neglecting your son to the point that he can't stay awake in school. And you never know what CPS is going to do.

    If they are so worried about wasting his para's time, why not have her cut out things for class projects or bulletin boards for difficult child's grade and for other grades? Or have her do other busywork that would help other teachers. Even grading some papers might be helpful. That way her time wouldn't be "wasted" and difficult child would still get the services he needs.
  13. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I think I would be upset if you have not been informed of things that have happened. Due to issues from past school, I made sure his IEP states that I am informed when he recieves a referral. Prior years we knew nothing and then they would call and throw it all at us. We had no idea anything was going on at school.

    Principal of difficult child's current school says it is common for kids to sleep the entire first period.

    Is your difficult child in a growing spurt? Medication side effect? I would not pick up my difficult child. If I was told he was sleeping then he can go to ISS for the day, but NOT home.

    Good luck. Hope difficult child is feeling ok.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    AS always, thanks for the input. Marg, you're right...the letter needs to briefer. My problem is that I wrote it to a person that isn't kept in the loop unless I keep her there, and I think that needs to be taking place a lot more frequently so that letters addressing concerns about schools staff's actions don't have to have background info in them. I will work on this.

    Marg, I beleive this para is in cahoots with the principal. From things the SpEd teacher has said off the record, she has been a problem for SpEd teacher before, and principal will not support her to fix it. I don't know details, I just know this is what SpEd has said more than once. I know this para was the problem with difficult child before half days, and little was done to truly address it. My gut feeling? She's the one who reported him so "dirty", and formal channels would dictate that she tell SpEd and SpEd tell nurse. Nurse said it came from SpEd. But I don't think that's where it originated. I will get SpEd alone to talk to her, even if I have to call her at home tomorrow. I really think she is not the root of any of this. I think her hands are tied.

    I'm not going to tell them about the movie, either. Just being snide.

    Jannie, if I get a break of more than 2 days of school carp, I am going to schedule a visit with the self contained school. I had to get a "pass" to go, and will probably have to sign my life away to get in, but I have the ok now. I just need the time.

    Thanks for the sleep inertia article. I am emailing his doctor and just going to get his sleep issues on paper to hand to the school.

    Susie, I think that is exactly the problem from today...the para was wasting her time when she could have used that same time to do something productive. And that's not my problem...thats lack of management or something, but its not difficult child's fault. And KJS, they are supposed to be giving me counts of various episodes he's having at school and I'm not getting them.

    I think I've been more than cooperative with these people. I hate the SpEd may be a "casualty", so to speak, but its time for the nice guy to step back a bit. If they call tomorrow because difficult child's "wasting their time", I will offer to come in, but it will take me 30 minutes or so to get there. More than likely, he'll be awake and back in class before I get there. I will still be attempting to work with them, but I'll also be forcing them to deal with him in the meantime.

    And hopefully SpEd Director will get back to me tomorrow. Cause this is bs. This coming 2 days after the "he stinks" routine blows up on them (after all, nurse was apologizing to me and siding with me when it was all said and done) makes it stink as much as they claim he did...
  15. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I don't have any advice but we had this problem with my oldest son. It escalated in 9th grade and his math teacher used to call and complain all the time. Finally, we told him to just wake him up. So then he called back and said that son was snoring away so teacher asked a question and called on him by name. My son jerked awake, gave the correct answer and was snoring again 5 seconds later. He got an 85 on the state exam at the end of the course even though he slept most every day.

    We switched him to an alternative HS the next year and apparently half the other kids also slept so my son didn't think it was as cool anymore and he stayed awake more often.

    We still don't know why he fell asleep. His only medication was Adderall 10 mg. in the morning.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I wonder what the chances of just getting on their payroll would be...? I'd take a ridiculously low salary if they'd provide health insurance...
  17. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My easy child sleeps in class all the time apparently - and he's a senior. He's always been this way. I don't know why they expect teenagers to be able to function at 7:30am. Their bodies just aren't made that way. He's always required more sleep than others and if he's still, he'll sleep.

    And, yet, I've never had a single phone call about it.

    This principal is sounding like a real piece of work.
  18. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Sorry, I haven't had a chance to read all the responses, but doesn't your difficult child have a history of seizures? Sleeping can be something that happens right after a seizure.

    My difficult child always fell asleep, or nearly fell asleep, right after a seizure. Then, he would wake up and be very, Very, VERY hard to handle for several hours. For him, it was all related to his post-seizure neurological state. In fact, the first thing I tell new teachers is: If he falls asleep in class, that would be a possible indication that a seizure has taken place recently.

    Just a post-and-run. Sorry if someone else already covered this.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    SpEd director apparently met with SpEd teacher and principal today regarding the incident with difficult child sleeping at school.

    SpEd teacher called me afterwards to let me know it won't happen again, and apologized for principal calling. She was not the one upset about the para's use of time... (she was also not the one that reported difficult child stinking, tho she couldn't tell me who it did come from).

    SpEd Director thinks we should reconvene the IEP team and this time include difficult child's docs. I had already contacted his doctor to get a statement.

    Now, if only I felt this would solve the problems...unfortunately, I feel like its a patch til pretty boy (principal) finds the next loop hole he thinks he can hang me in. I don't like doubting people's intentions like this.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    At the meeting, also try to invite bigwigs from above principal's level - bigwigs in the SpEd area. It might help, or it might not. All depends on whether tey're competent, or politicians. They might make certain regulations clear to principal, though.