And..... going down, again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V is just a pain since school started again. Seriously, everything is no or negative. He does not even take a minute to think. Just no right a way, even when the question is addressed to someone else. He gets upset over everything. He is like that with myself, husband and also Partner.
    I actually feel bad for Partner. What am I supposed to tell him? I don't even know what to do about it myself.
    V does not have constent big meltdowns (although he has those as well), but just a bunch of negativity that will drive evryone bunkers. Nothing is ever right and he will not stop complaining for us to "fix it" or just obey his every demands.
    It's like a twisted piece of tape on your finger, you can shake your hand all you want... you just can't get rid of it.
    For the big meltdowns, I've been using the advised techniques "I'm not going to get -------, but I will be fine" and if he does say it, big hugs and small stiker. At least, I can stop those with this method without yelling (that's nice!).
    The little BS, I don't know what to do. It is all day long and it is really wearing on me. Now, I know no matter what I cook, I wil get " Ooh, that's gross. I don't like it". No matter how nice Partner is, he will always play wrong according to V. It is just non stop.
    How do you deal with it? Any tips?
    husband thinks V is not kept busy/thinking enough at school and we pay for it at home. When there is no school and he goes to private tutoring for a couple hours, he is SO much nicer. The school is a big trigger for him. husband believes V's brain is iddle because the school is just not stimulating enough. At home, we always do stuff. Of course, lots of free play, but the boys are asked to help fix the equiments with their Dad, we do science experiments, they help around the house, do yard work, etc.
    I think husband's theory holds some water, but what do I do about it???
    We see the therapist tomorrow, but she never sees him at home, only at school. If V keeps that same awful patern, he will turn us into crazy people.
    Any advise welcome!
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    No real advice Klltc, I'm afraid (let me know if you find the magic solution and pass it on :)), but I found it interesting that V is so much more positive when he is with the private tutor... How come he goes to a tutor sometimes? Do you actually have any options where you are in terms of schooling - I get the impression you are in a very rural place, is that right? If V is getting bored and not stimulated enough at school, do you think he is perhaps brighter than average and not getting what he needs?
    My son also gets grumpy and negative, critical about things. I usually find I can distract him out of it one way or another and he also has a very bouncy, happy, enthusiastic side so it's the two sides of the coin, really. Does V have a sense of humour that you can appeal to?? I often find that works for me.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I can really relate to this because when we are off school lately, the stress lowers and Q's blurts and behaviors go WAY down. I too think that at school he is not kept busy...not that he is gifted or anything, but it is that the emphasis now is all on behavior and that is stressing the bananas out of Q and the behaviors increase. One admin said at teh beginning of the year that no one should hug Q anymore because he was hugging everyone. But I can see the developmental issues, it was the one thing that reassured him things would be ok etc. Now that they have removed all good touch he is looking for touch on his own.

    So, the question is, how to put that so that they dont just get defensive and shut down any discussion of changing. It is not that I care about their feelings it is that when you suggest a problem is at the school level they dont want to hear it. If the emphasis was on what he could be doing... as you are saying with the tasks at home, etc.... then there would not be as much of an issue.

    Other consideration of course is the types of tasks... School tasks are not so hands on and engaging as the kinds of things they can do at home. How can they make his learning more multi-modal?? Sounds like hands on activity is a good thing for V. Does he have a harder time , maybe, with paper pen work? Not to mention the level of social demand in a school.... FAR more peer negotiation and cooperation. That is also very different than home. So, could parts of it be that he has the skills to do better at home versus the deficits while at school? I do think that is a part of it for us too.

    No easy answer for this. I am searching my heart big time because Q will be devastated if not allowed to go to school. He even said something like , do you think I can ride a skateboard to high school, even though I know I will probably never go to highschool...IF I did do you think it is too far to ride a skateboard to. The question popped up because of a ripstick his grandpa and grandma gave him but in the middle of that fun thought..... the depth of his real worry popped out... These poor kids have way more stress than any of us had to live with during their school years. How to make that better for them???? I wish I had the magic answer. I agree, hubby is on to something. It is usually a complex solution but you know V and if increasing meaniungful learning activities helps, they need to provide that some how.
  4. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    This is pretty common with our kids, in my experience--school is very stressful for them, and when they get home they tend to fall apart, because they've used all of their coping skills/energy to deal with their school day.

    That was one of the reasons I pulled mine out of school (among others). Like Buddy says, though, that's not without its own problems. Brownie really misses school, even though he wasn't really learning anything there. He misses the social part and the predictable routine, etc. The trick, I guess, is to get the school to give them therapeutic breaks during the day so they're not so wasted when they get home. For Bug, we figured out one of the most stressful things about school (for him) was the bus ride--so we drove him. It was a pain but it was something we could easily control.

    Anyway, your son sounds a lot like Brownie. Brownie is quite negative; I guess we're just used to it.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    To answer a few questions:
    V's cognitive skills are within normal. Not above average where he would need more academic stimulation. He actually struggles with academic skills despite good cognitive skills.
    He learns best with hands on activities. When he does not realize there is an underlying lesson. For example, I am teaching him writing skills in the bathtub with the water crayons. He loves it and tries to write all kind of words, drawings and works on letter recognition. If I put him in front of a blank paper: not so good...
    As far as distracting V, yes it works to a certain extend. But it does not solve the underlying problem. I have to manage hundreds of different episodes a day and about 5 bigger meltdowns a day. Is my kid out of control? No. But Gosh, it is just plain exhausting and unpleasant to say the least.
    I asked V what he would think if he did not have to go to school anymore. He claims to like it now. I really don't know what he likes about it though...
    We are in a rural area and there is no choice of schools. Next year, it is standart public school or homeschool (which I won't consider unless public kindergarten completly fails).
    I wish we had a school that promotes hands on learning. Right now, his teachers are a lost cause. The Special Education director of the county pre-k denies us any services. We are are just stuck and need to wait for psychiatric. report and new school evaluation. I have pretty much accepted that.
    But life at home is just really bad. I just don't know how to handle it and make it better. I'm not lazy and I'm wiling to work on it, but how do I do that if I don't have any methods???
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, hear you... I feel I also have a child who best learns by visual/kinesthetic means and of course the conventional situation is not set up for that.
    How radical are you prepared to be, able to be, as a family? Would you consider moving to get V into a Montessori school, for example, which will facilitate his learning style? May not be on the cards, I realise...
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    How radical... I don't know for sure. There is A LOT to take into consideration. I know of montessori Charter school in NC (those are public school) but it is a lottery to get in. That would make such a decision very hard. We would not only move 3 kids, but a trucking business as well. We have done it once and I know how hard and expensive it is.
    I have thought about it, but before considering it I would want to make sure we have exhausted all other options. Which we haven't yet.
    As far as private school (which would require us to move as well), that is simply not in our budget. The price usually ranges from 20,000 to 40,000 dollars!
    And to answer your question about private tutor: she used to be Partner's pre-k teacher. She is fantastic and offered to help V in his academic skills. We do it during school breaks. V has learned more in 1 weeks with her (2hours/day) than 3 months in school (6hours/day)!! To me, it is a huge indicator: skilled teacher and lots of 1 on1. How do we do it at school?? Specially next year in Kindergarten? I don't know.
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    The general answer is much easier than the specific answer, because:
    If the school won't cooperate, you won't get anywhere...
    But I'll toss the ideas out for you, anyway, just in case.

    Does well 1-on-1 but trouble in classroom?
    Plus, comes home all burned out and off the deep end?

    What happens if he is given the accommodations and interventions that would normally be given to kids with hearing and auditory processing issues?

    (of course, school has to agree to try...)
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How is it that they just deny you? Have you taken the steps to push for an IEP? This means sending a written letter asking for evaluation via certified mail, return receipt so you can PROVE that they got it. Have you done the meetings? If you ask for evaluation, they have a set amt of time to do it, and fi they don't? They get in hot federal water because federal law is what sets this up.

    Do you have an advocate? IEP's DO count for kdg and I think even head start. If no advocate, get one. Usually they are free through the state board of ed - go to the state board of ed website. Also try googling your state and educational advocate or parent advocate.

    I am sorry it is so tough. Is it at all possible to get this teacher to do homeschool with him? Have you considered unschooling for a year or so? It will seem lke letting him do nothing, but in reality play is a LOT more important than academics at this age. Activities where you work in the tub with letters are actually MUCH more ideal for learning than sitting most 4yos in front of paper.

    Have you explored his specific sensory needs? Sometimes the brushing therapy has to be done for a while before a child can handle things less explosively. Doesn't make life easier for Mom in the meantime, but it can give hope. We saw some improvement FAST, as in right as the therapy was done. thank you could do things better, handle tasks more adeptly with less frustration when the joint compressions that go with the brushing was done while he did the tasks. It was wild to watch, and absolutely amazing to me. He actually was able to use the scissors to cut smoothly when he had not EVER been able to do that before. Of course that wasn't lasting, the brushing/joint compressions had to be done repeatedly, but they sure helped a LOT. We went from a child who could maybe handle the first song of a church service to a child who sat through an entire mass in about a year's time. He made that much progress - and church had more sensory challenges than almost anywhere else - loud sounds, high and low pitched sounds, sitting still, on and on and on. So maybe if he gets the right sensory help, including brushing therapy if that is appropriate, in a year or so you will be in a better place.

    I realize where you are there just are not options other than public or home for school, but it would still be a benefit to look into Montessori (which I think would be hugely helpful for most kids, esp difficult children as it is more tailored to individual needs), unschooling (a particular type of homeschooling), and the Waldorf method. They are all different approaches to the same goal (education of a child) and maybe you can find elements of each that would work and help your son adapt/cope with school, and maybe help school adapt to him?
  10. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Susie, we went through the whole school evaluation process. Their testing doesn't show a big enough delay. But according to verbal psychiatric. evaluation, V has over 2 years delay in communication among other issues. That's why I'm waiting for the report and schedule the new school evaluation in May. I want enough time to gather all the necessary info (including advocate) and be ready for meeting after achool evaluation.
    My daughter's therapist explained that often, the school will only do screening but not actual testing. Which can explain why their results only show a small delay but not as big as private psychiatric evaluation. It is simply not detailed enough and his strength help average the scores of his weak areas. The devil is in the details!
    As far as Occupational Therapist (OT), we are waiting for the approval since I'm transfering him to a new therapist. With the first one, I did not see any results and she did not seem to really understand V or listen to me. He will now have in home therapy and I hope it will be better. I met with her and she seemed to be good.
    I've just talked to husband about eventually moving somewhere else with more school resources. We are both ready to do it, but we need more info on what V will actually need. On top of the anxiety and sensory processing disorder (SPD), we might also be looking at Learning Disability (LD), but he is too young to confirm it yet (which I'm glad doctor is not jumping to conclusion and stays cautious). Will the communication delay sustain once the other diagnosis are tackled? That is another unknown. Will his hearing loss be healed or are we looking at long term?? Yet, another unknown.
    I feel like I'm drawning with all of V's issues and no real plan to follow. Just my confused Mommy's gut.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is your school district actually refusing to do IEP testing? We had this happen and we fought and won and it really wasn't all that hard either. But we had to go outside of the good-ole-boy school district.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I live in the district (or one of them) that has the Montessori public elementary school. It is actually the school my boys attended but it wasnt Montessori back then. It is about half a mile from me. I would have given my right arm to have had Keyana go there but her mother wouldnt let us but I know McKenzie will be going there. Cory's address has always been my address and McKenzie's address is listed as mine. She will be attending that school. It is the home school for my area.
  13. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Hey, imagine that. We are not that far from each other Janet. Your area would actually be good for business, lol. husband drives there every now and then.
    I keep the idea in mind, but moving is not something we are seriously looking at yet.
    MWM, the school did the IEP testing, but what tests (there are so many kinds) have they used. I'm not sure. It is not in the report. Sweet Pea's therapist was just trying to explain why 2 evaluations could have such different results. Until I have other counter evidence, there is not much I can do.But, don't worry: I am getting ready for a fight and husband is not holding me back! He knows I can fight LOL. I have never been afraid to do it in our professional life (when it is called for of course), I won't be afraid to do it for V.
    Well, hopefully therapist will have some insights tomorrow. It is her time to shine 'cause we really need her.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They are allowed to write a report, based on testing, and not document the tests actually used???

    (I'm in a majorly backwoods area, and... they don't even get away with that here...)
  15. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Ok, my apology. I re-read the report and they used TPBA (transdisciplinary play based assessment) wich covered all area, including language. Is it a reliable assessment method??
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That says to me that they all used play methods to do their parts of the testing but the actual tests would have specific names and would only be "reliable" if there was standardized methods used and anyone giving the test (who was a trained test giver) would get the same/similar results over and over. a bigger question for my mind is if what they did was a valid representation of what he does and whether there is a delay or not. The law requires standardized measures to be used when available. There for sure are general development, language, and motor tests that are standardized so I am not sure if they actually did this or did more of an "observation" which they used to screen for the need to assess or not. If you ask in writing for a complete evaluation, they can't deny you that. I dont remember if you did that. But whoever told you they only do screenings... not true. Impossible since IDEA specifies that parents can now refer for full evaluations. That is federal law. States can have stricter guidelines in terms of time lines (like federal law may say 60 days to complete an evaluation, here it is much less.)

    But as you said, since they have such an uncooperative team anyway.. maybe better to do it next year as long as you ARE getting some help in the mean time.

    Nothing is easy... and it really should be much much easier than this.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you haven't read the sp ed 101 archives, it might be a good idea. They will give you some idea of your legal rights, and your kids' legal rights. Also check out the wrightslaw forums - they are awesome. google wrightslaw and go from there.