difficult child 2 suspended 3 times in 2 weeks

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Loony Smurf, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    Here goes again time to dust off the old armor it appears.

    School started here on August 20th. I started a new job (first time I've worked for about 6 years although I was in school 4 hours a day for over a year) on August 30th. difficult child 2 did ok during the summer, we had very few problems with him. Hedid however grow several inches taller. But his behavior wasn't really too bad. He used to be in complete Special Education classroom but last year they moved him to regular ed except for English; he has dysgraphia. He has a few minor supports for that and a dusty behavior plan that hasn't seen much use. Since I've moved I'm not exactly sure where it is and what's in it.

    Apparently last thursday one of the teachers dumped his breakfast tray before he was done with it and put him in a bad mood. he was apparently on thirds (should have been my first clue, he hasn't eaten like that in months). Then the math teacher in his first class marked his entire worksheet wrong because he didn't show his work. He gets the right answers but doesn't show the work because his handwriting is so bad he doesn't have room. So he's failing. Then he was tossing a football around in PE after the teacher told him to put it away, so she sent him to ISS. for 2 days. By then he was agitated and couldn't sit still and be quiet...so they sent him home for the day. The next day, ISS...he couldn't sit still and be quiet again, so they sent him home again. This is after about 15 minutes each day in ISS with a teacher, 3 other kids, and 5 desks. That was episode 1.

    Monday he was very hyper, bouncing in his seat, talking a mile a minute, singing under his breath, the teacher couldn't teach the class because he was being such a disruption. So, they suspended him ISS for the rest of that day and since he still can't just sit there, he got 2 more days OSS. I called an emergency IEP meeting at that point, they set it up for wednesday morning at 7:15. Apparently while he was in the dean's office, he hid the guy's candy jar under a chair. The dean and the school police officer showed up at my house right after he got home (knowing i was at work) and confronted him about it...Didn't tell me anything about it until the IEP meeting (difficult child 1 was at home for a different issue and answered the door and let them talk to him and told me about it when i got home)

    So, IEP meeting. We added in that he can have scratch paper to do his math problems on instead of the worksheet, he can leave his science stuff in the classroom (teacher didn't like that one bit but he can't remember to take it with him to gym and he's late if he goes across the school to his loker and then back) but that support is only for a month. He can now leave his classroom when asked and go to the library and use a stressball for a few minutes then go back to class. I also made clear I had made an emergency appointment with his psychiatric for friday. His school social worker asked me if he had a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), because he's seeing a LOT of it.

    So psychiatric appointment, went through the symptoms with him: increased appetite, less sleep, touchy, rocking back and forth, bouncing his legs, tapping his fingers, making noises, singing, talking, losing things, messier writing, interrupting inappropriately, distractable, can't finish a sentence without getting distracted. On top of the worsening Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms that have always sort of been there but are bad enough to make others notice now. He was never diagnosed until The psychiatric heard more about them today due to what the school social worker said: picking at sores until they bleed...for months at a time. he has sores from july still. Hoarding, obsessive about touching things, taking pens, other cool little items, correcting people if they say anything innaccurate, doing things at exactly the right time, if he has something to say he can't let it go until he's said it despite any known or anticipated consequence. psychiatric raised his prozac for the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms to 30mg/day, raised his metadate to 60mg in the morning and a methylphenidate 10mg at 4pm, he's got to go in tomorrow morning and have a depakote level drawn so we can see if we can raise that too or if it's ok. I have to call monday about that.

    So he gets back to school today and goes through the metal detector and sets it off. Turns out he had something belonging to the principal he'd taken and was going to give back, a railroad spike with 'talking stick' engraved on it. Since he hid the candy jar the other day, they wrote him a ticket (he has to go to court on october 24th at 3) and suspended him for 3 days for stealing.

    Now I have no doubt he took it. He also knew it was wrong. I do question whether he could help it. I know he couldn't help the other times they've suspended him for. I feel at this point they have just plain taken a dislike to him and are going to do whatever they can to get rid of him. The Special Education coordinator and the school social worker like him but his other teachers and the dean don't.

    So, what do I need to be doing? I could use some suggestions. I've been called at work probably 8 times in the short time i've been there and already had to leave several times. I'm afraid they're going to find a reason to expel him, not to mention going to cost me who knows what for the ticket they wrote, they don't do community service here for minors.

    Loony (truly today) Smurf
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Loony... please don't take this as a rant or being harsh, but... wow, have you got a lot of ground to cover fast.

    Now, I have lots of sympathy. been there done that.

    You're dealing with a raft of problems:
    This is a...
    - 13 year old
    - male, with
    - raging hormones,
    - a feast-or-famine appetite,
    - and horrid school history, who is also
    - in the middle of medications adjustments
    - and is trying to survive with almost zero support at school.

    Recipe for problems? In my books, of COURSE he has problems.

    I don't know the right order of things to tell you, but from what we went through... any chance of a comprehensive evaluation on an emergency basis? ("emergency" need got us one in 6 months instead of 18 months... not fast enough, but better than the alternative.)

    You don't list dysgraphia as one of the dxes. What else does he have? Has he ever had a comprehensive evaluation? How about an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation? and all the other fun stuff...

    You see, ADHD rarely stands alone. Yes, sometimes - I have a kid like that. But far more often, it's a matter of ADHD plus a few other things. I think you need to find out what those other things are.

    1) Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills. Might explain the dysgraphia. Might explain a bunch of other stuff, too. And Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations lead to therapies that actually DO work. Plus... other evaluators will make use of the Occupational Therapist (OT) report. Here, so will school. Given that half the kids with ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (developmental coordination disorder, a neuro-motor issue), AND he's got dysgraphia? Chances are pretty high that there's a motor skills component in there somewhere. medications are not involved in sensory or motor skills issues - just accommodations and interventions.

    2) Screening for the full spectrum of APDs. Not just the classical Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) that involves how verbal language is processed. But the rest of them, too - things like auditory figure ground. This can be HUGE. They tell us that about 70% of the kids who have ADHD and a Learning Disability (LD), will also have some form of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).

    3) a fresh comprehensive evaluation, to pull together all the pieces.

    I don't know what all is in that IEP - but if you have to put "scratch paper" into an IEP for a kid with dysgraphia... that IEP isn't worth the paper it's written on. JMO, of course - after living for a lot of years with a kid who has all of the above problems and more, I do tend to get a bit opinionated about these issues. I've seen first hand the damage that schools can do, really fast, when they don't understand. And... even WITH a raft of reports and dxes and recommendations behind you, generally they STILL don't understand.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You have my sympathy. I went through that with our school district until it sent difficult child 1 into such a depression the psychiatrist ordered homebound for the last 5 weeks of school. The staff would NOT accommodate his disabilities despite an IEP meeting a month with an advocate and mediation and threat of a hearing. The manifestation determination meeting determined his behaviors were a symptom of his disabilities but they totally dismissed my requests for accommodations. In the meantime, when THEIR accommodations didn't work, he was sent to the office & then home most every day. If he left his classroom (they would NOT give him permission) when he got stressed (provoked by teachers), they wrote it up as an unexcused absence which after 10 is reported as a truant to law enforcement and CPS. The "feeling" of the IEP meetings was that they just wanted him out. At the final meeting, the principal actually asked me if I'd thought about a couple other specifically named PUBLIC schools.

    The sad part is, once they decide they want him out, they will stop at nothing to get him out. They had all kinds of excuses as to why "this won't work" and "we don't have staff for that" and even "let's try this and see how it goes". They set him up to fail and all it did was depress my poor 12 year old to the point that he'd lay in his bed in the fetal position or sit on my lap crying. I pulled him out of there (as well as my straight A child) and have never looked back. I was determined to fight for difficult child 1 as long as it took ....... until they about killed him.

    If that's the case with your difficult child, I would start looking at options now. You really need to be prepared ...... while you're fighting like h*** for what he needs at his current school.

    Good luck and ((((HUGS))))
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    He has been suspend for a total of 7 days!!!! They only have 3 more days to go before its considered a change of placement. Yeah, you are right they are trying to get him out. And they are moving fast. I don't think you are going to have time to get things in order before they reach 10 days. Can you get an advocate that will help you with the hearing that will be coming up?

    What else are you going to have to put in the IEP (scratch paper is such a no brainer) to make this school bearable for difficult child? "Teacher will use a pleasant voice when interacting with difficult child." ?!? What these people deserve and what would be best for difficult child might be two different things. A different school might be the best thing for difficult child. What these idiots deserve is to be sued within a penny of bankruptcy.
  5. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    Thanks for the great responses folks.

    I need to ask the school to do an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. Got it. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), had to look that acronym up. difficult child 2 has had a psychiatric evaluation done, about a year ago. Turned out he is very slow to process things. like at the 5th percentile. his nonverbal language was also pretty low (don't remember off the top of my head). he also has a HUGE problem with inference, can't tell what is going on in pictures, or what the people in pictures are thinking. The poor kid is really clueless. He is also very emotionally immature, more on the level of a 9 year old. I dare say my 9 yr old is more mature.

    I was surprised the psychiatric didn't come up with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) because I really think it fits. He's got so many odditites and delays...

    There is another school here for troubled kids, plus the school district's alternative school. I think the school for more troubled kids is probably where he Needs to be but I don't have any idea what I'd have to do to get him in there. I guess maybe it will become an option if he's out of school too much.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    First.... :hugs:

    Second...deep breathes, they cannot expel him. As a child with an IEP, they are required to educate him. They can push for a change of placement (they can only do an emergency one if he presents as a danger). At 7 days suspension already, they are very near to the magic 10 days that require an IEP meeting to dicuss placement (note that the 10th day does not automatically change placement, it only automatically convenes the IEP team so that the team can determine if the child needs more support in the current placement or a change in placement).

    With that horrible processing speed plus dysgraphia and ADHD, I'm shocked that he is in almost all mainstream classes at his age. Jr high classes begin moving more quickly than previous years, the kids begin having to not just learn facts but apply them, and many subjects become reading intensive.

    He does not seem to pose a danger to himself, the other students or the teachers. That is really the criteria for a BD placement. Instead of looking at a behavior disordered placement, I would strongly suggest looking at a self-contained learning disabilities placement with non-academic mainstreaming (gym, lunch, etc.)

    When was his last full evaluation at school? Why was he mainstreamed more this year?