Stressed out and need advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MyHrt31, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    I am ready to pull my hair out!! For those of you who know our situation, my son seems to be doing better with his new medication (Invega) since being hospitalized last month. The problem is, he's starting to have trouble at school again. He's refusing to do any work and he wraps his arms around a pole refusing to even go to class. Once they finally get him in class, he sits underneath his desks and hugs the legs refusing to sit in his desks. He's refusing to do any school work! He says its too hard but its not that. He just flat out doesn't want to do the work. He wants to play and do what he wants to do all the time. The other kids are teasing him and calling him fat so he's even refusing to eat in the cafeteria while at school.

    When he's home, he gives me trouble occasionally but its not nearly as bad as at school. He's been behaving much better with me lately, even sitting quietly through church without any outburst. He gives me the most trouble when there are A LOT of people around. The more people that show up at my house or in any given area, the more he starts to jump around and crawl on the floor trying to get my attention. I ignore him for the most part unless he's doing something that is going to result in harming someone or himself. I am wondering if this is anxiety or if he's just wanting attention, no matter if its good or bad.

    I don't know what to do at this point because I've tried taking away his privileges when he gets home from school. The teacher even called me and put me on the phone with him so I could remind him that he was going to lose all privileges if he didn't make better decisions. The thing is, when he's at THAT point, he just doesn't care.

    I am searching for a full time job now because our savings is pretty much gone and I can't afford to be called in to pick him up if he's acting up in school. If I lose my job, we'll be homeless. There is no one here who I can rely on to watch him for me so finding placement for him this summer should be interesting.

    I just don't know what else to do with him. I'm proud of him for making an effort at home and when he's with me but this thing with school needs to stop. Does anyone else have these types of issues? Any advice? Thanks for letting me rant, I am having some serious anxiety issues here and I needed to get this off of my chest.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Since you're not working FT now, can you stop by school a cpl days a wk to remind him to participate? Or would that make him more clingy?

    This sounds like a new behavior. Interesting, that he's better at home with-you now, and worse at school.

    I would definitely say it's anxiety. He seems to not understand that his behavior is making things worse. Our kids do not, not, not understand cause and effect unless it is immediate and extremely simple. And repetitive.

    Have you spoken to the dr about it?

    Wish I could help more. It's good that the teacher put you on the phone, anyway. She's trying to get the msg across.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I hate anxiety. My difficult child is going through an episode currently. It is so hard for them to function when their anxiety is on the rise.

    My suggestion is since taking away privileges is not working, try the reverse. Rewards for making it through the day. When I had a reward chart for my difficult child, I would include timelines in increments that were the challenges. He earned points for doing well. I don't remember the break down but do remember something like, "15 points for getting ready for school without arguing" "20 points for going from 8:30 to 10:00 (break time) without a problem in school", ect. Whatever time of the day was the hardest for him got shorter time slots to hold it together. Then, he would get a reward for doing well instead of a discipline for not. You can work with the teacher who should be willing to acknowledge what he has earned when he has earned it. That way he is getting positive reinforcement from his teacher.

    Many difficult children do not respond well to the traditional disciplines. When they get a privilege taken away, it really hurts them. They do not see it as, "I better do better so it will not happen again." Many times, they see it as, "I just can not do any thing right, EVER." They need a creative positive way of reaching them to let them know we are just trying to teach them, that they are still special and we love them.
  4. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Hey there, sorry it took so long to reply. We have been having internet issues for the last few weeks and it doesn't seem to be getting better. I did call both his psychologist and psychiatrist to let them know what's happening.

    When I picked him up from school, he said that another kid was calling him stupid and it made him angry so he did not want to do any work. The teacher mentioned that he can be manipulative and make things seem like its not his fault, when he is actually the person who starts it. This is coming from a teacher who has worked with Aspergers children before and believes that a majority of his behaviors are apart of his exceptionality. She thinks that some of the other children are a bad influence on him and its making him test boundaries. He's going to an alternative school for a short time (a school where the "behavior" problem children go) but she does not think this is the proper setting for him. He's learned some really foul language there and knows exactly how and when to use it. Its frustrating because he was doing so well there at first but the teacher seems to think that he's gotten too comfortable at this school and that his other school should not have sent him there for so long. We have an IEP meeting next week and I requested a Assistive Technology Assessment as well as a one on one aid there to help him. He starts to get frustrated and blows up (although he hasn't done it since he's started this new medication). His biggest issues right now are cursing and refusing to do work (he blames others for his anger and says the work is "too hard")

    He's home right now, with no computer privileges (its his favorite pass time right now) and he's hating it! I am doing really good about not feeding in to his anger and staying calm when he's continuously begging for his privileges back and yelling about how mean I am to him.

    He says he's tired and the other kids call him fat so he's refusing to eat in the cafeteria now. He definitely has anxieties about school but refusing to do ANY work is making things much worse.

    As far as checking in at school, I think it would probably make things worse if I am there. He tends to act up even more when I am around him at school. I will try calling every few hours though to remind him that he needs to do his work and to make good choices.

    I emailed his psychologist about this so she can offer some suggestions on how to deal with this behavior. His doctor and his teacher (the one who called today) are both going to be at the IEP meeting so I'm very blessed to have others backing me up regarding my difficult child's education.

    I was just curious if anyone else had a difficult child who acted pretty good at home but was completely out of control at school or in public. He's no angel at home but he's certainly not anything like he is in school. I wonder if he should be put on anti anxiety medication? He's on Vyvanse and Invega but maybe he needs a little something more for his anxieties? Thanks for the advice, I will definitely check in with him at school to remind him about his expectations :) I guess I am just starting to panic because he's due to go back to his regular school on March 30 and I don't want to see the same issues presenting themselves all over again. :anxious:
  5. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    I've tried the rewards thing but not in that same "format". :redface: I'll try the time increments thing to see if that helps any. So he gets a certain amount of points for every certain time slot he participates? Is the reward extra time for his privileges or does it have to be something different? I'll talk with his teacher to see what she thinks. I wish I could have this same teacher for him at his regular school because she really listens and offers great advice. Thanks again for your suggestions and advice, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get him the education he deserves and for him to understand his expectations while in school. Thanks! :D
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My difficult child was 11 years at the time. He earned points (poker chips) for various things. We had a poster board listing what he could do to earn points.

    Another poster board listed what he could "buy" with the points. Example, "100 points a movie at the theater" "50 points popcorn", "50 points pop", "25 points a board game with mom" You can figure in extra computer/video/t.v. time if you want. However, I tried to make these special things that are not done very often.

    A third board was created to help in discipline of very specific issues. You can not take away points unless they are on that board before the incident happens. In other words, he does not loose points if you get angry at his actions. He just will not earn any for that time period. We were having problems with occasional bad language (-25 points), and putting hand on door handle before the vehicle stopped (-50 points). There can only be a very few things on this board because you really do want the process to be focused on the positive behaviors and too many reasons to loose points will defeat the purpose. Make these specific things you are working on.