Wee made it til 930am today. Malory may still be a big issue.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I posted a couple weeks ago about the other little girl in wee's class that has behavior issues and has targeted wee.

    Well, I'm back. And she's not "maybe" still an issue. She is.

    Wee had a WONDERFUL day at school Monday. Tuesday, I took him to school and Malory went to her book bag while we was at his. She growled "MOVE" at him, then saw me and left. AS I was leaving, I told him to have a great day, and he said "I'll try, mama. Malory's here, but I'll try." And I thought it was kind of an odd thing to say.

    He had a very rough day. Spent almost all of it in the SpEd room. And I found out at the end of the day, Malory indeed wasn't there on Monday.

    Today, Malory was there. He made it til 930 before he had to be picked up. He said he just couldn't do it, she made him too angry.

    He had his appointment with his therapist today. I asked her to dig around about Malory with him. Here's her reply to me.
    ***
    "Did a game with Wee where I said a word and he used the dry erase to color or write or pick a color, something to share his feelings. He did fine with several words.

    When I said Malory, he immediately escalated -punching the chairs in my office "Don't say that word" "She is evil" We practiced diaphragmatic breathing and calming down.

    Wee had difficulty describing exactly what she does that triggers him but it sounded like one huge trigger is that when he is trying to concentrate on getting away from other peers who are "it" during a game of tag, she interferes and he concentrates on her and then gets tagged and everyone thinks he is slow.

    He associates her with feeling embarrassed and out of control but I am getting limited details as to why. We will work on ways to better react.

    Wee is de-escalating with my direction for relaxation skills while I am typing this. He is doing a good job. However, I cannot imagine attempting to get him redirected if she were present. He obviously sees her as a huge obstacle.

    I don't feel like I can say for sure what is the best move at this point as far as changing classes as I am sure there are several issues to consider as far as Wee's difficulty with change and adjustments, his rapport with teachers, possible curriculum changes...etc. However, I do understand the reason to consider it as this seems insurmountable for him right now, tolerating this trigger he associates with Malory.

    I want Wee to get to a point where he can handle this kind of challenge but I don't think he is there yet. So no clear cut answer for you but definitely see the problem and he and I will work on positive ways to calm down. Right now he has begun wrestling with a ball in my office and saying "You want a piece of me, Malory?"
    ***
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Her behavior is tantamount to bullying. Why doesn't the school act?
     
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm so glad wee was able to communicate his feelings. That's a big step forward. Now we just have to find a way to neutralize her effect on him.
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Devil's Advocate here - I'm also saying what the school might say. It IS possible that Malory may actually be doing nothing (well, nothing more than the average kid). At least now. The fact that she is a trigger for wee is obvious. But does she deserve to be disadvantaged in any way, because wee has a problem with her?

    OK, you and I are fairly sure that at least at some time in the past, if not currently, Malory has been a HUGE problem for wee and has probably got him into a pattern of reacting now, BEFORE she needs to do anything. her mere presence is now setting him off. So to an observing staff member, Malory could be minding her own business and wee is still having trouble. So watching her and trying to catch her in the act of hassling wee - it won't fix the problem now. The problem has ow grown too big.

    I do think, however, you have sufficient grounds for requesting that Malory and wee be kept apart in different classrooms. I would get some sort of firm statement from therapist (more than what she has written to you) than in her opinion, if wee and Malory cannot be kept apart, then he cannot be held accountable for his inability to function.

    You can't go back and make accusations about Malory, and I don't think it will achieve anything now. The problems are now in place and until wee can experience success while in her presence (and this won't happen without a great deal more support than the school can put in place) then he is set up for failure.

    So I think the angle you now need to work on, is that for whatever reason (and you can have your suspicions) wee and Malory need to be kept apart, or there will be problems. She and wee are oil and water, a very bad mix. It doesn't matter why or who is at fault. It just needs to be dealt with. Even if the school says, "Kids have to learn to get along," then you can point out - wee CAN'T be expected to manage by normal standards. And as for Malory - she has to learn to get along too, and her actions in the past, as far as you have been able to determine, don't seem to indicate a lot of success there, at least as far as wee is concerned. So why should the school set up both of them for failure? Make it easier on everyone and separate them. Failure to take wee's needs into account is discriminatory, especially after the school has been given clear professional advice on his medical needs and they still fail to take them into account.

    But give them the official medical info first, in a letter to the school from therapist, on this topic.

    Play the "no fault" card - you have no way of knowing that wee didn't just get an irrational set against Malory. If you go in making accusations that she is a horrible kid, they will feel bound to defend her. But if you go in saying, "look, these two kids are a problem for each other, please for both their sakes, separate them," you might get better results.

    I've seen both sides of this with difficult child 3.

    1) A kid who was his best friend, difficult child 3 suddenly began hitting him and punching him. It was at chess class (which meant I was there tutoring). Thankfully best friend was very tolerant. I asked what the problem was. difficult child 3 said, "He's cheating. he's lying to me when I say he's cheating."
    I said, "How do you know?"
    He said, "He's smiling. And when someone smiles when you're playing a game with them, it means they're cheating."
    It took a lot of patient talking-to, to explain to difficult child 3 that sometimes people just smile because they are happy, or because you said or did something amusing. We talked to best friend who explained why he was smiling - it was something that difficult child 3 said, that he hadn't realised was funny. They shook hands and were friends. If best friend hadn't been so mature about it (unusually mature for an 8 year old) then it would have been a big problem.

    2) difficult child 3 used to get bullied a lot by about five or six boys in his class. After some months (or more) of this, he was so hypersensitive to these boys that even if they weren't doing anything to him, he was highly reactive and would attack them without much provocation. Or if they looked at him the wrong way, he would immediately put the worst construction on it. Most of these boys have since stopped bullying him, but it took a long time before he trusted any of them. But back in the bad old days, after a long period of being physically hassled and needled (literally sometimes) difficult child 3 would explode and attack if just one more small thing happened. And then difficult child 3 would get into trouble.

    It sounds to me like wee has been badly hassled over a long period of time, and rightly or wrongly, he blames Malory. Something has to change. It's going to take some hard pushing with the school, and you might need to get some strong ammunition from Special Education over exactly what words to use to trigger the school into action. Because as things stand, every time wee goes to school and meets Malory, there will be trouble. And now YOU have it officially from therapist, so now YOU have the responsibility to do your best to prevent this.

    Time to transfer this responsibility to the school.

    Marg
     
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