I have a friend who has a fourteen-year-old son with violent behavior. He currently has been suspended from his private school for assaulting a female student and telling off a teacher. My friend is in a bitter divorce battle with her husband, and he has temporary custody of the boy, while the courts decide who will get permanent custody, which she wants to have. The father is talking about removing the child from private school and placing him in public school.
I am wondering if the public school can put the child directly in alternative school placement, once they see his history? Personally, I think he is emotionally disturbed and alternative school would be the best placement in the public system, more for the safety of the child's fellow students and his teachers, than anything else.
The child was dxed with NVLD when he was eight, but neither parent wanted to label him. One of the primary reasons was that he was extraordinarily bright academically, and he currently is in private school on an accelerated track. They thought labeling him would hurt his future in college and the work force. Though this may sound paranoid, both parents work for the government and have jobs which require high security clearances, so I think their attitudes stem from their own realities and what they know of the world.
The mother wants him re-evaluated, but the father does not, and the father has temporary custody. The court-appointed social worker doing the homestudy for the custody appears to be pretty worthless and ineffective. When the mother told the social worker that the child had been dxed with NVLD, the social worker told the mother off, saying, "This child is not non-verbal!" I kid you not. The mom responded with a two-page letter to the social worker's supervisor, and the social worker returned with an apology and said she "misunderstood" what the mother was saying with NVLD. Ahem. Even after the suspension from school, the social worker has yet to contact the school or talk to anyone there. She's been on the case since January.
This child is in bad shape, right now, and my friend wants my advice. I thought I would turn to you guys to give me some advice, some things for me to consider that I may not know, some ideas on school placement, etc. I really care for my friend, her husband, and their child, but I also care for the other students and teachers at the school he is/will be attending, for they deserve to be safe from his raging.
I have known this child since he was born, and I have not seen him rage; however, I have been concerned about him since he was a toddler, and he would walk up to other children, kick the heck out of them, then stand back and smile, while the child screamed. My son and he are friends, and my son may be the only friend this child has. Because he does not have friends, he has spent extended time in our home, which has included two week stays (he lives in a different town), and I have never seen him rage. I should note, however, that I watch him closely, and when I see him shutting down, I tell my son to back off and leave him alone. My son and I have discussed the child's issues in depth, so my son understands and stays away when the child starts shutting down. Last summer when the child stayed here for two weeks, he spent a day by himself--uncommunicative.
It's been a very long time since I have posted here, but I came here years before seeking help for another friend, whose daughter was abusing drugs, and my friend needed to find a therepeutic boarding school for her child. Today, after attending a boarding school for a year, the child is doing very well, is drug free, and has graduated from high school, so I know the advice the members here give to help parents deal with children who have severe behavior issues is excellent. Thanks in advance for any ideas.