Call with-Sp Ed Teacher= Disheartening

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Castle Queen, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    Warning: This could be long.
    So I got an email from Knight's Sp Ed teacher yesterday. I will call her Mrs. C. She asked me to call her regarding "the incident on Monday." She was concerned by his reaction when it was discussed with Mrs. C. I'm like, what incident on Monday? So since it was evening and the school was empty, I asked Knight.

    Turns out Knight received a detention in Phy Ed Monday. Supposedly he called a girl a wh***. But he said he didn't, he admitted using the word but was referring to the screen print of the celebrity on her tshirt, who he thought was Miley Cyrus. As in "She's a wh***." I explained that even using the word at all was a punishable offense, but he was fixated on being wrongly accused for whom he had directed his remark to. He also received a "suspension" from class for the week so will lose out on those participation points. He's only making a C as it is for messing around and not following the rules.

    So I called Mrs. C today. She said Knight seemed "cold" and didn't seem to care that he had hurt the girl's feelings. (the teacher wasn't the one who reported him, the girl went to the principal and was crying.)

    Mrs. C: I don't know that we are going to be able to do anything for him. I don't know if the school can give him the help he needs.
    Me (losing it a little): He has had the IEP for barely two weeks and it sounds like you are writing him off
    already. Based on this one incident.
    Mrs. C: I'm just saying if this doesn't work out there is another program. Blah blah (didn't quite catch the
    name but it was something mental health.) Does he have any other diagnoses besides ADHD?
    Me (look in the IEP and you will see his diagnoses): Yes. Social Anxiety Disorder is the other confirmed diagnosis.

    Went on to discuss that this incident didn't seem to have any triggers that met their hypotheses of what supposedly motivates Knight. I responded that since the school hadn't emailed, mailed, or phoned me I couldn't comment. I had no details save what Knight told me. I suggested that Knight should apologize for what was said, even if misinterpreted, as a consequence.
    Mrs C.: That might be uncomfortable for the girl.
    Me: He could write a note.

    I explained that sometimes it was just a matter of no impulse control and having no filter to stop what you know you should not say, from coming out of your mouth. I pointed out that difficult child "blurts" and this is documented several times in the teacher interview portion of his IEP. I explained that difficult child was probably fixated so much on the fact that the school was "wrong" to say he'd called a girl that name, that he couldn't see his part in it to take his portion of the responsibiity. I said I'd observed that he seemed to have trouble holding himself together all day and seemed to be taking turns as to which class he was going to act out in. Maybe he needs some sort of break during the day. For a kid with social anxiety disorder, there is not much that is really a break, even lunch.

    Mrs C.: Mmmhmmm. Mmmmhmmm.

    I don't think she listened to a word I said. At least she is going to make sure Knight's apology note is delivered. That's something.
    Thanks for letting me vent. But I feel like the school isn't really very invested in helping him, at all. I think to them he is coming across as a bully.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'd be livid.
  3. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I'm sorry. I haven't met a teacher/school yet who seems interested in helping kids whose disabilities present as behavior issues. They don't get it one bit. They think just because it is a school rule that you don't say whore or its in their iep that they will refrain from saying whore 100% of the time over a 3 month period or whatnot that the kid should magically be cured of having any impulsiveness or magically have the filter they have been lacking. It really irks me!! Dealing with the same stuff and wondering if anything would really be any different if I stopped fighting the fight.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    When you posted about her almost incomprehensible statements in the draft IEP (and it is only a draft until you sign off on it) I had bad vibes about this teacher's capability to rally understand how to cope with kids like this.

    Whether he was addressing the girl or the t-shirt - someone needs to simply say, "The word is the problem. It's a bad word. Don't use it especially in a school setting." But the thing is, kids (even difficult children) use words in the setting where they have already experienced those words. So there are other kids using that word in the same setting. So why is HE suspended for it? Because he's a difficult child, because people are waiting to pounce, because he is seen as more of a problem than other kids for whom such things are let slide.

    We went through this with difficult child 3. I got a note home from his class teacher saying, "He has to learn he can't call kids [bad word meaning homosexual; bad word meaning person of minimal intelligence] or nobody will want to be friends with him."
    I pointed out that as she well know, he did not hear such terms in our home ever. And given the type of insult it was, I could 'hear' that it was the sort of insult that really mean kids throw at others. And difficult child 3 was not able to think up such stuff for himself. The [person of limited intelligence] part of the tag was clearly an insult that had previously been directed to difficult child 3. And the [bad word meaning homosexual] tag was a typical one used especially by mean boys about others they wanted to bully. In other words, difficult child 3 had been bullied, in the classroom, and being a fairly typical autistic had simply delivered the insult that had been used at him, back at the kid who had used it first.

    It took some years before I could talk to difficult child 3 about it and get a comprehensible answer, but he did identify the source of the insult. Ironically, the kid who had bullied him has since turned out to be a moderately decent kid who has helped him when he was being attacked. We had to work at establishing a better relationship, but it is to the credit of both boys that we succeeded.

    The thing is - schools are too ready to be hypercritical of the difficult children and at the same time, too forgiving of the kids who are around our difficult children and often are the trigger of bad situations.

    Of course difficult child needs to learn how to behave more appropriately. And that should involve an apology. The girl he upset has to be big enough and brave enough to face him and accept the apology. She needs it, he needs it, and for the SpEd to suggest it shouldn't happen - well, the woman is nuts and should get a refresher course in how to do her job.
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007