Any information/advice would be great!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by KayDee89, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. KayDee89

    KayDee89 New Member


    When my little sister was a baby she was intensly attached to a pacifier. IF we could get her to fall asleep without it, no doubt she would wake up in the middle night and cry until she got it. We didn't fight this, but, sometimes we misplaced them. This called for a 2AM trip to Wal-Mart or someplace to buy a pacifier. Then, it was just considered she was spoiled and attached. But, now I think it could have been our first sign that DK was a "difficult child". Other than this, I don't remember many things that could classify her as a difficult child at that age. It was later that it really started to show.

    I am here for help for DK. We truly need to do something with the school that DK attends. In the first two weeks of DK's 2nd grade year she was sent to the principals office SEVEN times. The teacher worked very hard with DK, and it worked. She took the time to help her. To try and help her past her frustration. This worked, she went to the office less and eventually not at all. DK has a reading disability, and she can barely read. So it is very easy for her to get frustrated and quit trying. Her stubborn behaviour gets her sent to the office.

    DK started 3rd grade pretty well. But, of course, that didn't last long. So after she got kicked out of school my mom took her to the doctor. The doctor basically told me mother that she was a "bad mother". She called the school and told them that if DK acted out to send her home. She gave my mother further directions to put DK in a room with a bed and her homework. The next week DK was sent home EVERY day by 12pm.

    My aunt convinced my mom to take DK to another doctor. This doctor disagreed with the previous doctor and put DK on medication. DK worked well on the medication and wasn't sent home. But after about a week DK started crying at a drop of a hat. My mom would ask her, "Whats wrong?" and DK would simply reply, "I don't know." My mom made a judgement call, and had her stop taking the medicine. (This was Christmas Break)

    Coming back to school, DK did pretty good at first. But, soon the trouble set in. DK was sent to "recovery room" aka in-school detention for 10 days for "refusing to do work". Then she was expelled for 3 days for "refusing to do work" in the recovery room. The principal called my mom in to the office and told her that they would have a routine. If DK was sent home early she would not be allowed to attend school the next day but was allowed to attend school that following day. For example;

    Wednesday - DK is sent home from school.
    Thursday - DK is not allowed to attend school.
    Friday - DK is allowed to return to school.

    This past week on Wednesday DK was sent home early for "refusing to do work". She was not allowed to attend school Thursday. On Friday DK went back to school but at 9:30AM my mom got a call and was told DK was being sent home for "refusing to sit down". She was at school for an hour and a half! For DK it is first strike, your out. No compromise.

    My mother and I carry this guilt around, like we neglected DK. But, disciplining DK has never been easy. As a baby/toddler she wasn't so difficult. She was quiet and content. She was very easy from what I remember. (Other than pacifier dilemmas.) As she got older it worsened. And since then, it has never been easy.

    I have been researching difficult children since I read an article and realized how closely DK related to these children. As I researched I realized how much DK related to them. And suddenly, I had clarity on a lot of things that I never understood.

    I used to think that she was just spoiled. I always wondered, where did we go wrong? Why couldn't she just put on those socks and shoes so maybe for once we could get to school on time? What was the big deal about the socks anyway? Did she just want attention? And also why did she think she needed to wear that shirt or those pants for weeks at a time? It was nothing short of war to get them off her to wash. Why was she always so aggressive? Why so much attitude? Why did she throw tantrums/fits for hours? Why couldn't she just be quiet? Why couldn't she just be DIFFERENT?

    As a child myself at the time, I wasn't nice. Me and DK have always been close. My mom is a single mom and works full-time so as a child I was left to take care of my siblings. I changed her diapers, bathed her, did her laundry, fed her. She wasn't easy to deal with. Throwing things, kicking you, screaming, crying for hours. Later she would come and hug you. Be the sweetest person on earth. But, it was so hard. I hated her at times. Now, I realize, it wasn't her fault. She was BORN this way.

    Before we can deal with the school, we need to learn how to help DK. Which is why I'm here. I'm not sure this is the right place, but I hope.

    What should be our first step in helping DK?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome- glad you found us. Don't blame yourself- your sister is very lucky to have you and your Mom. Martie and Shiela can offer great advice- our school situation isn't so great right now, so you really wouldn't want to know what I'm going thru.

    But, there is a lot of support here and others can help with the school issue. Hang in there!!
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    What a great sister you are!

    So many of the things you write reminds me of my son. If she hasn't seen a pediatric Occupational Therapist to rule out Sensory Integration Disorder, I strongly urge this be done.

    Does your sister have an IEP for her reading disability?
  4. KayDee89

    KayDee89 New Member

    No she doesn't have an IEP. And we didn't know before that there could be more wrong with her than just an attitude. So she hasn't been evaluated for anything.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Who diagnosed her reading disability?

    The sd is responsible for locating and evaluating children with suspected disabilities under IDEA. It is a Federal regulations to which all States must adhere. State Education Agencies are suppose to oversee their school districts to insure IDEA is followed. Some do a great job; more don't -- that's why this forum exists.

    Your mother needs to refer your sister to the school district's special education department for an evaluation. Many people believe that Special Education is for mentally retarded children only. That is not true. It's for any child that has a disability(ies) and qualifies via the school district's evaluation.

    It's very, very important to send the letter via Certified Mail. The CM kicks in time lines within which the sd must perform.

    There's a Getting Started thread in the Sp Ed Archives. It will give you an overview of the evaluation process, IEPs, and parent and child education rights.

    A good legal website for Special Education is .

    After you've done a bit of reading, you may have more questions to post. But the first order of business is to get the letter in the mail. The minute the letter arrives at the school district, your sister will gain some rights -- See thread in the Archives entitled something like "Protection for Children Not Yet Eligible for Special Education" and/or "It's that time of the year again."
  6. KayDee89

    KayDee89 New Member

    When she was in 1st grade she was evaluated by the school. Thats when they diagnosed her reading disability. (Sorry - didn't know this information until I talked to my mother.)

    She can do very well when she applies herself - but she gets easily frustrated, and it turns in to a bad deal.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hang in there, Kala. There is obviously something going on with your sister. It doesn't mean it is something that will be a horrible burden to bear all her life or that she'll require severe school changes, necessarily, but the school needs to address it and accommodate it and it doesn't all have to be things like problems with learning to read, etc. The reading disability sounds like it is a symptom of something else, especially after reading all you've posted. They need to get supports in place because the way things are, it is probably just frustrating her more and she probably doesn't have a clue what is going on with her.

    Follow Sheila's advice- there should be another way to get more of an evaluation.
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Sorry, need another question answered.

    If she was evaluated in 1st grade, the sd either deemed her eligible for an IEP or denied eligibility. If denied IEP eligibility she may have a 504 plan. Of course, maybe she has neither, but check with-your mom and see what happened. With this info I will be in a better position to offer potential solutions.