Good mtng with-teacher; great mtng with-pediatrician

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Big day yesterday.

    I met with-difficult child's teacher. I missed parent/teacher night (I was out of town) so we met one-on-one. difficult child has caught up with-most of his work but she gave me a cpl worksheets to help him. She is giving the kids a 2nd chance on tests at the beginning of the yr, because she wants to make sure the kids really know the material. So she hasn't recorded all of difficult child's grades. His most recent math test was a 71, a C-, but she wasn't alarmed because he's missed so much school. (She didn't ask exactly why he was in the hospital so I figure, don't ask, don't tell :tongue:) Still, she sent the test home so he could take it again to see if his score improved.
    (He had a fit, yelled that he had already taken it, did not "get" that he was getting a 2nd chance ... it is outside the rules so it makes him upset. Sigh.)
    She said she's got a very talkative class and he is a talker, (quite a change from last yr!) but overall, he pays attention in class and answers questions. Yaay!
    I told her that he is very literal and that he has a hard time grasping the main points of stories and gets hung up on the details on the last page, for example, and may memorize math problems one by one but not get the concept, so she took note of that. (She said she had several other kids in class who were literal rule followers so difficult child did not stand out in that regard.)
    I will not pursue anything else with-her unless I hear otherwise. I did not tell her my ideas about difficult child being an Aspie, since her teaching methods seem to be fine for him.

    I also met with-our pediatrician to dovetail info about the psychiatric hospital.
    difficult child's official diagnosis was "Mood disorder not otherwise specified, ADHD, ODD."
    The pedicatrician thought that was pretty lame--on one hand, the psychiatrist is bold enough to say that difficult child's behavior is deliberate and willful, but on the other hand, gives a garbage bag discharge diagnosis.
    I knew we'd hit it off right there! LOL. ;)
    Turns out he did his residency at a local pediatrician psychiatric hospital! He was full of info and very chatty and very helpful, at least in the sense that he gave me a psychological and moral boost and was happy to discuss all the issues. (He also mentioned that particular hospital is for severe cases, where the ins has run out, and it's more of a dumping ground. Our hospital was clean and upbeat and just the opposite.)

    He agreed that because difficult child is hitting puberty and thus, complicating his issues and confusing a potential diagnosis, but he also agreed with-the hospital psychiatric and our regular therapist that stealing the panties and looking at porn on the computer was a blip on the sexual radar, so we probably won't have to worry about that any more. He (and they) did not think that was indicative of bipolar, unless we see other issues.

    Right now, difficult child clearly escalates because of stress and changes in routine and we can see it coming.

    The pediatrician mentioned a diagnosis called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (which I've see on this bb) and he said that is definitely not difficult child and I agree.
    He asked me why I thought difficult child had Asperger's. He listened very well, and agreed that there was a piece of "something" missing, but would not commit to any diagnosis, of course. He did repeat several times that if difficult child is an Aspie, there is no real test for it and nothing we can really do for it except to continue with-therapy and social training, and I agreed. (I think he's leaning toward that diagnosis, which makes me happy.)
    I told him about the neuropsychologist opinion (where the dr saw difficult child darting his eyes around the rm and immediately concluded he was ADHD but not Aspie) and the pediatrician literally scoffed. (Music to my ears.)
    He knew the dr and I got the impression he was not impressed, as he said "he's the only game in town" and that I could drive to Richmond if I wanted to reach outside the network. :D:D:D
    I wanted to hug him.
    We agreed that I would get an updated psychiatric battery done (the one the hospital did was very basic) and I told him I already had plans to see someone who specialized in spectrum disorders. I also have an appointment with-a child psychiatrist and he said to keep trying until I get one who is good because it's not easy.

    Obviously, very supportive.
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    You have been busy, Is this a new pediatrician? Sounds like a great one. As far as the teacher, she sounds like she is willing to work with you, hope things continue to pull together.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am glad you have people working with you.

    I can hear my difficult child in your difficult child's protest to redo work. I don't know how my difficult child came away with the grades he had last year in math - he was so against the teacher and so not into accepting the openings he was given to improve. His teacher tried so hard to help but he had taken his hatred for homework to the personal level against her so would not listen. We had a tutor two days a week that helped alot. This year he is going to the same tutor and when there is no homework, they will work on last year's foundational skills which I believe were not learned well because of his attitude plus missing almost all the first quarter.

    Next time you come to the twin cities, we must get our difficult child's together - they are a like in so many ways.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hey, Andy, I didn't even think of that! We could have gone out to lunch or something (minus our g'sfg). I'll definitely PM you next time.

    Yup, that test and homework redo stuff is such a stumbling block for these kids. Sigh.

    by the way, I forgot to mention that the pediatrician and I agree that difficult child has anxiety issues and needs the medications he's on so far, and that we need to figure out where the anxiety is coming from, if possible.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I live 3 hours from the cities but can work something out. I have a sister and an sister in law to stay with.

    Did your difficult child learn some coping skills for the anxiety? Is he learning to recognize the start of it?
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nope. We're still working on anger issues.

    Today he tried to download Pirates of the Caribbean onto my computer and crashed it 3X. I don't like games on my computer anyway, and I was WAY more anxious than he was. :surprise::sad-very:

    But after it crashed again, (I use the term loosely--it shut ifself off, a protective device if it's overloaded) he ran into his room and I, in a typical knee-jerk Mom response, told him he needed to get his dirty dishes off the floor. He said no, later ... and curled up in his bed. I rubbed his shoulders and then walked away.
    We avoided a meltdown. :angel3:
    We're both learning ... :) :) :) :D
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 is a bit further down the path than your guys, from the sound of it.

    I could show difficult child 3 a test and tell him his teacher was giving him another chance to do it. difficult child 3 would get that, but he would probably either write in exactly the same answers, or he would refuse to do it (knowing he WOULD write in the same answers!)

    What we've found with difficult child 3 - what work he does, he remembers. For years. His current placement is correspondence, otherwise it's fairly normal in terms of different teachers for different subjects, with work being sent out by mail. Sometimes a teacher will send out work from a different year, if a student is working differently. For example, when we were in NZ last year his science teacher deliberately sent difficult child 3 some work on plate tectonics from 2 years ahead, because it was highly relevant. SO when/if difficult child 3 gets to that work next year, I know he will tell me to send it back with a note, "done two years previously, in June 2007".

    What DOES happen with difficult child 3 - when he gets his work back from the teacher after it's been corrected, he downs tools and sits there, going over his returned work and reading any comments. he checks the answers - if a teacher has marked him wrong i KNOW difficult child 3 will double-check because a couple of times I've heard him on the phone to his teacher to 'discuss' this. Sometimes the first I hear, is difficult child 3's voice from our computer room, "Mr S, you owe me an apology. You marked me wrong in Question 5 and I got it right. You did your calculations wrong - it should have been..." and so on. Luckily the teachers understand the autism well, they don't take this as insolence in any way. I HAVE later suggested to difficult child 3 that a more diplomatic approach will make it easier to get the communication he wants, then we role-play it for a minute or two. Especially if it turned out that difficult child 3 was wrong, and the teacher was right. I then say, "See? If you hadn't started out with, 'you owe me an apology' then you wouldn't have needed to apologist in return. You can always say later, 'you owe me an apology' if you should need to. But it's good to always give people the chance to think of this first for themselves. Then an apology form them, unprompted, will mean so much more, because you didn't have to remind them."

    difficult child 3 has failed the occasional maths test because he just wasn't able to work well that day. He didn't get a chance to re-sit - perhaps because it would have been too unfair to the other kids (a lot of whom have similar problems - hence they're in correspondence).

    We have to remember that the ultimate goal of education is for our children to LEARN. Sometimes their marks don't accurately reflect how well they are learning. Often their IQ score doesn't reflect their true capability - difficult child 3 'failed' his first IQ test because he was only 4 and still mostly non-verbal. He just did not have the receptive language capability to understand the verbal instructions. Ironically, if he had been given the questions in writing, he would have done well. He also failed the mazes section even though he was brilliant at mazes even then (we had a maze-generating program on our computer) because he didn't have the pencil skills to complete a maze without occasionally touching a line. Frankly, I think it should have been scored with his clear INTENTION to draw the line that solved the maze correctly - it was obviously NOT an error due to a mistake on where the line was supposed to go. You could see the pencil line immediately come back onto the correct path. We know that his problems with handwriting are a muscular thing - how can that be included in an IQ assessment? Bizarre!

    With taking the maths test again - I would reconsider, at least talk to the teacher. If he would give the same answers again, then there is no point. But if he can understand it's s second chance, he can put in more correct answers, then he might be more comfortable. But it IS bending a rule he is probably not comfortable about breaking - a rule on cheating, being unfair to the other kids - so it might not be good to force the issue.

    Perhaps a better option could be for the teacher to sit with him and go over his mistakes. If, on the basis of this, she decides to amend his mark (because he clearly understood something he didn't attempt) then fair enough. It's HER option then. But he might still object because it's not done for the other kids.

    Again, it comes back to - are we after marks, or after a good learning outcome?

    After having had years and years of this, I'm certain that a part of my brain is now permanently set on autism mode. I can switch into it at will and know how they are thinking and how they will react. It can be useful - but my friends find it infuriating!

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I will ask him if he remembers the answers he already gave. Good point! I hadn't even thought of that. I may have to type up a new test, very similar, and switch out some of the digits.
    I LOVE your tale of your difficult child calling the teacher and telling her to apologize because she miscalculated. ROFL! That is SO aspie!!!
    Thank you.