The school is driving me nuts!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andrea Danielle, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Ahhhh, the school is driving me crazy. difficult child has lots of sensory issues and hates to wear a thick coat, as I mentioned in my last post. The school insisted that he wear a thick coat and not the thin one he likes to wear otherwise he can't go out for recess. So, I sent one to the classroom to keep there about a month ago. They manage to get it on him but then becomes really frustrated about it and hates going to school, every day he complains about it. Yesterday I bought him a new winter coat, a cool thicker one, which he wears with the matching sweatshirt but doesn't want it to be zipped up. I thought I was doing pretty well that I got him to go along with wearing this warmer coat but at school they insisted that he zip it up. He did it but when he got off the bus to come home he was in a horribly angry mood and said it was because he was so mad at his teachers for doing up his coat.

    Also, the classroom feeds the kids sweet things like cookies for a snack at 11am! I complained about it and so today they served chocolate chip cookies to the rest of the kids but not to him because they said that his mom said that he can't have any. So, now he is mad at me!! I hoped that they would get the hint and stop serving 5 year olds with behaviour problems sugar before lunch!! I can't stand this!!!
    Do you think I am being too picky here?

  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Andrea, my son has this exact issue and we went through this at school a few years back. Between the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and the rigidity he would come home really worked up--basically it was one of those deal breaker issues. Now that he's older if he's reasonably dressed they pretty much leave him alone plus besides by upper elementary the other boys are far more lax in bundling up.

    What I would recommend doing is contacting your school Occupational Therapist (OT) and see if she can intervene so it's not you against the teacher, you against the playground supervisor, etc. Honestly sometimes the teachers should just chill out--most kids aren't going to get hypothermia while waiting for the bus for two minutes. More likely overheated...

    If you have many of these issues piling up, do call an IEP meeting.

    From your end if you can work out a layering system that he can use consistently, he feels comfortable in, and that everyone recognizes it would be better over the long haul. I use a Land's End hooded sweatshirt with a Land's End zipper up fleece coat over it, both because the fabrics are soft but also because I'm more likely to find a similar replacement when he outgrows the current models.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can YOU send him a healthy snack? How inappropriate to give kids cookies for snacks and, worse, to announce in class about your son. Sensory issues are hard. My son doesn't like to wear long sleeves and I don't make him, no matter how cold it is, although I do make sure the teachers see that he's zipped up with hat and gloves for recess (and he's 13!!!!). My son itches when he's hot and doesn't like warm clothing. Has your son ever been evaluated to see if he's on the spectrum? Just curious. My son was first diagnosed with bipolar, but that wasn't it. Good luck with the school. Ticks me off when they ridicule a child in front of the other kids. They'd be hearing from me.
  4. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Thanks SRL and MidWestmom,

    I will definitely ask his Occupational Therapist (OT) to speak with the school, she doesn't work with the school now, she is part of the Tourettes Clinic where he goes. She is great though, I am hoping she will get involved at the school, we definitely need support. We are totally caught in the middle, the Tourettes Clinic staff and the Bipolar specialist are all on board but we are left to fend for ourselves it seems in dealing with the really rigid school program he is in.
    I don't know if Land's End will be the answer for us, he only seems to want things that look really cool! Not that Land's end isn't cool but he is really fussy, he wants black clothing or camoflauge. I will check the Land's End catalogue and see if there is anything cool enough for my fussy son :hammer:

    As for sending healthy snacks, I do this, I send fruit, cheese, crackers and he eats it but when there are cookies offered to the others then my snacks don't look so great. They have even offer candies and chocolates as rewards, he has come home with little bags of M&M's that he devours before lunch :frown: I think I have complained adequately about this that it might have stopped for now.
    I ended up calling the school last night and leaving a vm saying to go ahead and give him what the other kids are getting in the way of snacks, because what choice do I have? They are obviously not changing their ways, and if he is being deprived of it because his mom doesn't want him to have it, it ends up causing more frustration and stress in him. I did express my total confusion/dismay about why they are giving 5 year old sugar at 11am. But what the heck can I do?

    Next Wednesday, husband and I are meeting with the directors of the program he is in to go through all of our issues and these are big ones to cover. We also need to find a way to work with them for the next 5 months, it is hard because they are so inflexible and no interest in adapting what they do to accomodate his needs and have no interest in the Ross Green approach. They are completely Behaviour Management minded and know nothing about Tourette's Syndrome, BiPolar (BP) or Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).

  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hey, my son wore Land's End camoflauge climber pants all of last school year! They were far softer than demin and had a soft elastic waistband. I bought four pair...three of which now have holes worn through the knees because he decided sliding in gym was really, really cool.
  6. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Ok, ok, I hear you. I had really better give Land's End a chance, they are obviously way cooler than I imagined.

  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Darn tootin' they are! :wink:

    I usually order two sizes to give difficult child that "choice" factor of which feels better. Free returns through any Sears store.
  8. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    I had another heated discussion with the teacher today trying to explain the food issue and the coat issue but to no avail. They don't get it. He has to have his coat zipped up apparently, it is the rule. :frown:
    The snack issue they just don't seem to understand feeding kids healthier foods in the morning. OMG.
    I am really looking forward to meeting with the directors next Wed, I am really hoping that they have common sense but shouldn't get my hopes up!
    I am really not a complaining mom, in all of the years my easy child has been in school, I never had one complaint. And, both boys went to a daycare for years and not one complaint there either. I have to keep reminding myself of these things as I know that his current school thinks I am horrible to be complaining!

    Thanks for listening!

  9. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    The coat thing is a sensory issue and I'd stick with it. You're a great mom. I don't see why the teacher can't be a little flexible with the coat being zipped up. What does she do for kids who take off their coats outside?
  10. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Thanks for the kind words!!

    I am not sure what they do with kids who take off their coats outside. This is becoming a big issue between us and the school. They are so inflexible in their approach!! and they think we are not firm enough. They are all about Behaviour Modification and we are trying to implement Explosive Child, hence the fighting!
    It is going to be a long 5 months of school, I can't wait for Grade 1.

  11. pigless

    pigless New Member

    Hi, Andrea. Thanks for making me feel better about fighting for my pupil against the school rules.

    This is my first year teaching and the rules about coat/hat/glove wearing go something like if they came in with it, they MUST wear it at recess. I guess I'm the first person to challenge this all kids must be freezing idea.

    My challenging child runs so much at recess that he gets hot! Red cheeks, sweating, panting - hot. I allow him to unzip (winter) and remove the coat once we're inside. In spring, I will allow them to hang their coats on the fence if they get too hot. Yes, it takes an extra minute to make certain they grab their coats, but they can get overheated running around if they're too bundled up.

    Once a different teacher made him put his coat back on, and he was furious. I matter of factly told her that he is hot-natured and she hasn't interfered since.

    Good luck with your school. Some people can be unbelievably rigid when it comes to rules.
  12. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Pigless, glad I made you feel better about not being rigid like the rest of them! Good job!!

    Here is an update on our situation....
    We had a meeting last week with the director of the program, the social worker and the teachers. There wasn't enough time to go through everything we needed to so we discussed the coat, the lack of interest in learning about Tourette's Syndrome and BiPolar (BP) but not the snacks. It was clear that the director (who has not been involved up to this point) is supporting his staff, and even made a comment about that he doesn't understand how being forced to zip up his coat can cause explosions later in the day - so that pretty much summed up his understanding of the issues...
    We were supposed to have a follow up meeting yesterday but it was cancelled because of the weather. In any case it was probably a good thing that it was cancelled, I have decided that there is no use continuing this, we are just going to remove him from the program after March break. I found another Special Education class for him.
    I still want to complain though for what we have endured, so I plan to write a long letter to the agency. Oh, did I mention that we only just received his first IEP of the year last Friday, the end of February! That was due 30 days after he started in September! They are really not doing things according to the law! I will of course mention all of this in my letter

    What an ordeal! I hate to move him at this point in the year but I think we have no choice and I feel good about the class he will be going to.

    Take care,
  13. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    OMG, I just saw this post! I could have nearly written it myself but for Aly, my 9 yo. I know exactly what you mean. She has Hypothyroidism and is HOT all the time. Just her, she is quirky that way. We put on long underwear thermal shirts, then a sweatshirt. That is about as warm as I can get her to dress. Throw a heavy coat in the back pack but the school is having a cow that she is not wearing one in the morning. She rides the bus and is on there like 45 minutes before arriving at school. Of course she gets broiling on the bus and starts yanking off layers. Can I control what she is doing on the bus? I think NOT! And why should she be miserable and overheated and then get off the bus and be freezing? Doesn't make a lick of sense! We still have a good 8 inches of snow on the ground and it IS cold out, but darn it, our kidlets have issues with sensory stuff and they just ruin the day with the idiot ideas of having to have a heavy coat! There are many, very warm varieties of lighter weight jackets I have gotten for Aly and she stays plenty warm in them. Granted, we are in the Nothern CA mountains, NOT Canada, I am sure your weather is colder, but we have had an unusually cold winter so far and this snow ain't melting any time soon.

    About the sugar, I hate that! Finally, this year, we have a teacher for Aly that understands and the only morning/afternoon snacks allowed are cheese, crackers or fruit. Jayme's daycare is the same, so finally some agreement in the diet area!!

    Good luck to you,
  14. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    I'm glad you've got a good place for him to go to. That director was really displaying ignorance of sensory issues.
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Andrea I did find with difficult child once she had been on medications a couple of weeks her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) seemed to decrease a little bit... who knows??? She is very particular as well... I have a very thorough system for dressing her... it is exhausting. But I do love landsend!!! Can't be too tight or too scratchy etc... too warm... she will not zip her coat up past her chest, luckily our hippy school is cool with whatever, as long as she is happy, man!
    We will see when we get to public school.

    He may need deep squeezing, or brushing, to help him get used to his jacket being on... we have had to do some joint proprioception techniques for difficult child. Stretching, squeezing, deep massage, weights, weighted vest. They have the squeeze vests also. difficult child wears a light shirt and then her ski coat which has a fleece zipped inside and is super soft. North Face, 50% off sale !!! Black!!! She loves black and camo also... we have the lands end camo boys pants!!!

    Good luck
  16. mightymouse

    mightymouse Trying to save the day.

    Just had to chime in on the snacks.

    My daughter's public school has a "healthy snack" policy. In some classrooms each child brings his/her own snack and some have a snack schedule where the children take turns bringing snacks for the whole class. I've always wondered if they really inforce the healthy snack rule, especially when the kids each bring their own snacks. Well, a week ago my daughter was sick and I had to pick her up from school. She was too sick to walk from the office back to her classroom to get her things, so I did it. The class was having a snack break. I talked with the teacher briefly and then on my way out, I heard the teacher say, "To whomever is eating Cheetos, that is not a healthy snack. Please put them back in your backpack." I turned and looked at her and she was not even looking up from her desk. I swear she smelled them! :bravo: to her!!!

    I've never even questioned this policy. I thought is was just common sense. Evidently not.
  17. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Thanks for the reply! Yes, it seems like common sense to me too..
    Last week they gave them Dunkaroos for their 11am snack, even though they know that I have such concerns about this they continue.
    Anyway, I am past all of that. I have pulled him out. He starts his new school on March 20th! Hooray!
    I wrote a 4 page letter to the agency where he was going to school. I emailed it to three executives there, and guess what, no one even acknowledged my letter. :frown:
    Oh well, I have done my part. Maybe it will improve things for other families.

    Take care,