difficult child's school vs. outside of school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I know so many of you have kids that are fine at school, but not so at home. Anyone have the opposite?

    With difficult child it seems as if school is a torture. He is fine when he is outside of school at functions such as baseball, or even school functions like the socials (dances). Not much problem at home anymore, all school.

    We had it out again last night. I went to school for a meeting about a French trip. Since I was there I went to his locker. OMG...papers all crumpled up, thrown about in the locker. His backpack was also there. So, I took everything out of his locker except the spiral notebooks and folders that were nicely at the bottom..because he has never used them!

    Now I know why he went to class with no books on Monday and Tuesday. He is missing three books. I dropped him of early Tuesday morning and he had one of the books in his backpack. He went for extra help an hour early. Only to find out nobody else showed up..not even the TEACHER!!!

    I uncrumpled every paper and asked what it was. Some were assignments that he "forgot" to turn in. Some he didn't know what they were because he didn't put a page number on it. Some were several copies of the same handout..which he said he did, he got another copy. So he tells the teacher he cant FIND it over and over again. I put all of the work to be turned in, and other work he needed to keep in ONE folder. I instructed him he is to take his binder and this folder to every single class. Take homework out, put papers in. I just losted. Where is his head at??? Where are his books that are missing? He just says, "I don't know".

    Now, he didn't take the math test on Tuesday, he made arrangements to stay after on Wednesday to do it with the spec. ed. teacher so he could get help showing his work. I asked him when he does it in his head..can't he just write down how he does it. He replied the teacher will not accept that way. Has to be a specific way. OK..now I am angry. He is NOT like other kids. He has a different thought process. If he shows the work the way HE does it why can't that be accepted?

    He used his "cool-off" pass yesterday in Social Studies. He was getting upset because she insisted he re-take the test from Friday (he lost it). found it on Monday, but teacher will not accept it. He was not in the class when he finished the test. He did the essay part on the computer in the Library. Anyway, he told the teacher he was going to find one of the specified teachers he was to see when he gets frustrated or angry. He couldn't find them so he went to the office to see where he could find them. By the time he got to the office the teacher had called down and said he "walked out of class". Now EACH teacher has a copy of his cool off pass. They are all aware. Luckily the program directer happened to be IN the office when this call came in. Things were straightened out.

    How can he lose his books, library book, two class books. How can he "forget" to turn in his work? What is wrong with him!!!!

    He doesn't forget how to play computer games or talk on the phone.

    I just lost it with him, even husband piped up. I told him he better take the correct information to EVERY SINGLE class and he better keep his mouth shut.

    Now the French trip is expensive, but I was told from the program director she can get sponsers to help pay. But...No out of school suspension all year. (did not have that last year). No in school suspension or will be placed on a behavior contract and it will be up to the administrators if he can go. No talking disrespectful to any staff member. That has already happened. The trip is in MAY. No refunds after a certain date. Lots of fundraisers that he wants to work on. Just hate to invest the time and money if he cannot do it. He IS good outside of the classroom setting. don't know what to do. Should we shoot for this goal and work hard..or just forget it?

    difficult child also states that others talk to him, but he gets removed and nothing happens to others. That is what really gets him angry and then he says things he shouldn't. I just want to slap him upside the head. Do they every get it??? Do teachers ever give them a chance when the TRY to be good? I was just so angry taking over an hour to go through all those crumpled up papers, missing books...after screaming at him for an hour I just locked myself in the bedroom and went to sleep. Warned him this morning he had better not open his mouth inapproprately today. Not even ONE single time. I have an MRI scheduled shortly and he had better not act up. I will not go get him.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I hate to tell you this, but I've been dealing with this type of thing for a very long time. My oldest difficult child (an aspie - ok, I'll admit it, I often think of him as a pain-in-the-aspergers!) was putting stuff all over the place - sometimes stuff that he actually cared about.

    I thought I was going to lose my mind! :crazy2:

    When we did the neuropsyche, the dr. explained to me that it isn't that he's just being a PITA, it's not important to him. In no way shape or form does it even approach the scale of importance toward his existance.

    What I did was think of the most disorganized, narcisistic boss that I ever had in my live and organized him. In theory, I should be able to hand him something and he'd put it in his folder and all would be right with the world.

    Get him a Trapper-Keeper. It has a folder for each class, folds closed (to prevent paper slippage) and allows him to carry his academic life in his hand. The rule is: he brings it to every class, goes into his backpack and NEVER gets put in the locker. Every day you have to review the Keeper. This allows you to have homework, tests, notices, etc. on hand as soon as it walks in the door. (Honestly, I don't even let him go to the bathroom until the Keeper is in my hand). After h-work is done, I put everything back in and it goes into the backpack. It seems infantile, but this kid was turning me gray faster than you can say "Loreal". I'm just not willing to yell about this junk anymore! :thumbsup:

    It's worth a shot!

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You may have to change your thinking from "he won't" to "he can't." My son is the same way, and it has been attributed to executive dysfunction, which is found in many disorders including ADHD, BiPolar (BP) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We work very hard with him to model organizational skills with regard to school. He is slowly improving, but still has a long way to go. Has your son ever been diagnosed with executive dysfunction (by a neuropsychologist)?
  4. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    My oldest easy child is the unorganized one. I too bought him a different colored pocket folder with 3 holes punched in them so it would stay in his binder. Than I color coded them like a rainbow, first class red, second orange etc. It helped a bunch.

    As for behavior at school vs. home, my youngest difficult child does MUCH better at home than at school. I have everyone on a pretty structured schedule at home and with him, structure is what he needs to make it through the day. At school he has problems changing from one task to the next and this can cause meltdowns.

    My oldest difficult child has been amazing this year with organization. Eight classes in all and his binder is a breeze to flip through. One thing that has happened though is that he is so ANAL about organization, that when he began science class the other day, he missed doing his warm-up because he was too busy getting everything in order. I just can't win!

    Strange how each kid is different. My middle and youngest difficult child lose EVERYTHING! Gotta love kids, at least thats what people keep telling me.
  5. joskids

    joskids New Member

    OK, all you experts . . . calling on you for help.

    I'm new here. We have a 7 year old, adopted son, beautiful child, does BEAUTIFULLY in school, teachers love him, don't see ADHD (he's been medicated for 2.5 years). He is definitely ODD (I diagnosed). We are seeing a therapist but just beginning. I'm SO FRUSTRATED with not knowing what's going on with my child. Is it NORMAL for an ODD child to do so well in school and not at home? I realize that he has "maintained" to the best of his ability at school and loses it when he walks in the door. And I know enough about adoption issues to have considered Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or some form of attachment, but he has been with us since he was 6 weeks old and we do not (and neither do friends/family) see anything that would look like Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). He's bright, has a genetic history of a birthfather with likely some kind of conduct disorder. Can anyone help me to explain my child? Am I right that there is no "cure" for ODD? Can you suggest something that may help me to parent him? I did buy the Love and Logic book and am now just getting into it. Some of the suggestions, I don't necessarily agree with for a 7 year old, and particularly this child, but do fully agree with allowing children to experience their own natural consequences. By the way, he is currently medicated with 10 mg. of Adderall XR.
  6. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I don't know if he has an IEP or not, but could he have an extra set of books at home and keep the other text in the class room for his use in class? In my experience the locker always becomes never, never land......never find anything, never knows what happened to it......
    It's really better that nothing goes into the locker....get a trapper keeper for all his papers. Ask if the teacher has the assignments online, or if he could email assignments until difficult child can finally take responsibility for checking online...most teachers are willing to help, but may not be tech savy for this.

    If I had it to do over, I would have tried homeschooling with my son....just too many stupid battles over homework, that was probably busy work anyway....

    Good luck when the "teens" hit....
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Smallworld beat me to it.

    I don't think that ANY of this is deliberate. And I think that he is embarrassed. And when he is questioned (at length), he gets angry, because he has had no other model of directing his feelings.

    I do not think that he is capable of doing what is asked of him. I think he NEEDS to get re-evaluated, see exactly what is going on with him. I think he has an IQ of about 5 million, but being SMART does not equal being able to execute things just because he is told to do so. Perfect example is showing his math:

    He gets the answer right, he just does not know how.

    I'll bet that his mind is like watching 27 channels at the same time, and to expect him to remember every handout and assignment is torture for him. I would bet money that if he could do all of his schoolwork audibly, he would be a junior by now.

    Kjs, please try more to understand him before you berate him. I bet when he says he doesn't know, he really doesn't know.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Relax. Your son probably has a very poor short term memory. However, if he is very engaged in something, he WILL remember. I was a child just like this. Plus I had Executive Function problems which can go along with disorders such as ADHD (in fact some prof. down the long road told me that EFD is just what ADHD is. I can remember books I read almost by rote, but can't remember why I walked into a room and end up leaving the room only to remember when I sit down. In school I had no idea how to organize my locker and was always in for recess to clean my desk and locker. Organization was torture for me. School was too as I couldn't concentrate or understand the teacher or do the work, yet I was not mentally slow. Has this child seen a neuropsychologist? I highly advise it if not. I saw one and so did my son, and it made all the difference for both of us. I got Disability, and he got services in school that he wasn't getting with the wrong diagnosis. of ADHD/ODD and bipolar disorder. NeuroPsychs are good at nabbing the problem areas a child has. If you've already seen one, but still aren't satisfied, you may have seen a lemon. We had to see two before we found a good one. School was a maze of confusion for me; perhaps it's like that for your little one too. Good luck!
    PS--I not only lost library books, I lost text books. Worse, I'd bring home text books that weren't mine and I didn't remember how I got them. My mom thought I was a kleptomanic! :wink:
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    We have the same problem, kjs. It is very, very frustrating for student, parents and educators.

    It does sound executive function related. He will forever flounder in school unless someone helps him. He needs a daily life coach at school -- someone to meet with him a couple of times a day. In the afternoon to make sure he has whatever he needs for homework, train him in organization skills by checking a planner for assignments, etc; in the morning to make sure he gets completed work turned in.

    Our difficult child has a daily life coach at school as part of his IEP. It makes a difference.

    "Executive functions are the higher-order processes that enable us to plan, sequence, initiate, and sustain our behavior towards some goal, incorporating feedback and making adjustments along the way. Some of the neurobehavioral conditions discussed on this web site such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Depression have been associated with Executive Dysfunction, but it is ADHD that is most freqently associated with the problems described in this section."

    "One area which is often significantly impaired relates to homework. Students with EDF may experience tremendous challenges because they forget to record all their assignments or pack up necessary materials. At home, their parents may report that the child experiences significantly difficulty getting started, or sustaining their attention so that they complete their task. And on the rare occasion that they do complete the task, they may fail to pack it up and/or turn it in to receive credit. "

    "The deficits associated with EDF can be in the form of difficulty in organizing time, difficulty in organizing materials and belongings, difficulty in organizing thoughts, difficulty in initiating tasks, difficulty in switching flexibly between tasks, difficulty in sustaining focus on the relevant aspects of a stimulus or task, or any combination of these skills. If you know someone who suffers from disorganization -- books that inexplicably disappear from desks, lockers, and home, papers that never seem to make it from work to home or back to work or school, school, home, or work projects that seemingly have no known due date, the mysterious disappearance of all writing instruments into some great Black Hole, you may know someone with executive dysfunction."

    You can learn more about it at http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/disorders/executive-dysfunction/overview-of-executive-dysfunction/
  10. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    I feel for you - we have the same problems. I don't think you'll get anywhere until you accept the fact that this child has a neurological deficit that will always make life extremely difficult for him. He can't do what is expected of him and he'll need help more often and for much longer than most kids despite what society says.

    It's exhausting I know, I do it every day but if you continue to believe that he is doing this on purpose, you'll drive yourself crazy. What worked for me was to lower my expectations, sit down with my son when he does his homework to see where the breakdown occurs and establish a routine to help him organize his life. And then you have to do it everyday over and over until he gets it - or graduates, whichever comes first.
  11. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Sheila...I was just looking into that site. OMG. It is him. do you know last year I recieved a phone call at work from his Special Education. teacher saying: "TELL YOUR SON TO TAKE HIS SUPPLIES TO CLASS". She was so angry. What am I suppose to do? I am 40 minutes away from him, I can't make him find the million pencils I sent to school with him. OMG..the article about school supplies going into a black hole.
    difficult child is much better at doing homework. Use to be an hour fight for a 10 minute assignment. He DOES it now, but has to be reminded, and either he doesn't have all the books needed, doesn't remember the assignment or he actually does it but "forgets" to turn it in.
    I just lost it with him the other night about where is his head at. How can he leave a class and forget to turn in a test? Or forget to take his book? AAAGGGHHH

    Will he be a self sufficient adult?
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Well, at least it looks like you have some answers.

    Does not look like he is being stubborn. If he gets the help he needs, hopefully he can be coached. How frustrating to be that smart and not be able to organize your thoughts. He must just be going crazy. Poor kid!