Have ODD student...need help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ASLteacher, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. ASLteacher

    ASLteacher New Member

    Not sure if this board is the right place to come for help, but I figured you all are going through this every day, too. Please let me know if i am out of line posting here. I teach deaf and hard-of hearing kids, 2nd and 3rd grade, and I have never come across a kiddo like TL. I got him last march as a transfer student. He had just been (officially) identified with a hearing loss, and had been in a class for MH kids (multiply handicapped) because of his behavioral and learning problems. He was diagnosed with ODD and early trauma. They told me he had some behavior problems, and that some one would be coming out to talk to me about him. Fast forward a year...he has decided that he is not deaf, and refuses to wear his hearing aids. He has fairly functional hearing in one ear and is almost totally deaf in the other. He can get about 80% of what is said without aids. He is constantly disrupting the class (8 kids, each with severe learning/language delays). He hits, kicks, steals, lies, walks out of the classroom, screams, swears, flicks people off, tattles, disobeys, intentionally irritates, targets certain kids, obsesses over certain girls...and SO many other things. He is 8, and mom is 21. I get little support from her or from my SD with this kid, and I am with him for the better part of 8 hours. His home life is chaotic and unsupportive for him. I hate calling home to tell them what happens at school, because he gets "whooped". I have a feeling there is criminal activity going on in the home. I have called, and e-mailed my supervisor multiple times with No results other than "try a schedule and a behavior chart". Done and done, and NOTHING. I've tried peer pressure, being nice, calm, and understanding, bribes, threats, rewards, incentives, notes home (good and bad, but the bad ones are usually found crumpled up on the bus) a "safe" spot for him to cool down, behavior plan, teaching him to verbalize his feelings. He is functionaing socially and academically at about a 4-yo level. I was "stood up" by the behavioral specialist last week, and so I sent a nastygram to her today, along with my supervisor stating, "I NEED help!" I have one other behavioral specialist coming in every so often for a half an hour or so, but I keep telling them that I need an aid or someone in there with him one on one to keep him focused so I can attend to the other kids in my class. Deafness is not his major issue and I'm really frustrated that they are refusing to acknowledge that he is in the wrong place. I firmly believe that he needs to be somewhere where they can really focus (and have been trained to focus) on behavior. The only thing I have going for me is that he likes me, and we have a good rapport when he is not in ODD mode. I am so frustrated. He is affecting my home life, because after battling him over every single little thing, I get to come home to my mostly easy child, and have to be the attentive mom and wife when I just want to crawl into bed and cry. I am short with my other students, my classroom is a mess, because he tears through things like a bull in a china shop, my lesson plans are almost non existent because no matter what I have planned, it ends up taking three times as long when he is there, because I am constantly redirecting or correcting his behavior. I am so extremely frustrated both with this child and with my SD, that I am really considering a change of careers. Any suggestions or sympathizers would be greatly appreciated. by the way, our school psychiatric also suspects ADHD, but TL is currently on no medications at all...I could go on and on, but I'm exhausted. -nite
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Talk to the head of your Special Education. dept. Tell that person all of this. Talk to your principal as well, there should be a laundry list of resources for that child, or other things you can try. Document every behavioral issue, even if you are doing it all day long, you need to do this! Do this for a day and bring your documentation with you when you talk to your principal. There are plenty of ideas the school will have for you, trust me. Make it known that the other students are suffering as well, the goal is to help everyone.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First off, is child protection or social services involved? Getting "whooped" for every bad call from a teacher could be abuse. Are there other signs of abuse? His behavior alone could be a sign of abuse in the home. Now I am a mom of a young man who was disturbed and we did NOTHING to abuse him, same for most parents on this board. At the same time, I KNOW for a cold hard fact that most of the kids in my son's ED class the year he was in one were abused at home. not only were there signs on their bodies, quite a few of the moms actually TOLD me so. It is part of your job to be a mandatory reporter. It is NOT NOT NOT part of your job to be the one to figure out if these signs taht could be abuse are actually abuse or not. I know if my son had acted the way your student does, there likely would have been more than 1 investigation because the teachers would not have known if he was abused or not. You say you are pretty sure there is criminal activity in the home - that should also be reported.

    If mom is 21 and son is 8 then mom had him at 13 - there is NO WAY a 13 yo could be a responsible, properly attached parent. Just couldn't be in our society. Sure, in other parts of the world maybe it is their norm, but here iwth so many other things and the fact that no 13yo is even considered old enough to consent to sex, her getting pregnant was because of abuse of some kind and likely makes her not able to really know what good parenting is.

    This kid was born with every strike against him. Simmply being born to such a young mother who's body is NOT ready to bear a child can lead to real problems, add her immaturity, the likely abuse, etc... and the kid didn't have much of a chance. Get social services involved. Then start writing a log of everything that you can. Put the bigger issues/episodes on a timeline so that others can graphically SEE his impact on a daily basis. Take a look at the parent report outline and see what you can use to create a report of his problems to push the school and social services and any mental health agencies in the area to get involved.

    It isn't going to be easy. I strongly, STRONGLY encourage you to make the report to social services anonymously. I KNOW that it isn't supposed to be revealed or held against you, but we all know the world and what is supposed to happen are different. I have heard many stories of teachers getting into trouble with administration for making reports that their principal or supervisor or even the child's regular teacher didn't think was warranted, esp if it came out founded and people started asking the school why the reg teacher, etc... didn't report, etc... It can be a political mess. Your school likely doesn't want to pay for an aide for him or for other services so you will have to push and to prove that your room is NOT appropriate. If you have supportive parents of other students, maybe they can be gently guided to complain about this child interrupting their child's education because there are not enough adults in the room to supervise him and to teach. I helped with that a couple fo times for my kids' teachers when our administration didn't want to provide help.

    Also read "The Explosive Child" and check out the Love and Logic books and website. I am not sure exactly which L&L books would be most helpful, but they have a LOT of teacher stuff. the website is www.loveandlogic.com.

    the parent report that I mentioned can be found by clicking the link in my signature. It is VERY helpful to parents hwo want to communicate everything that they have done/tried/experienced with their kids and may be helpful with your situation also.

    Above and beyond all of this, find a therapist to help you handle all of this. You clearly care very much and it can really eat you alive to have to deal with a situation like this. I had a coworker who's wife taught profoundly handicapped students in a ghetto school. it ate her alive, quite literally, esp when she wound up buying over 50 winter coats one year with help from her parents and some of us who worked with her husband and second hand stores because her students' parents sold their coats for crack and meth money. Your sitiation is a bit different, but if anything even MORE stressful because her students couldn't talk or even move with-o help. You need help to process all that this will do to your emotions and allt hes tress. There is no shame in seeking help. also go to your doctor for a checkup. GEt everything tested - esp thyroid, which can contribute to depression. Then discuss medications for anxiety and depression with your doctor. LOTS of people who deal with kids like this and situations like the one this boy is in need HELP and medications can be very effective.

    Try to find some "me" time - pick up a hobby that you used to enjoy, or start a new one. meditate or do yoga or try to exercise more. Whatever can help you deal with the stress and recharge your batteries. If you need to, take a couple of mental health days and don't let yourself feel guilty about doing some things for YOU.

    I am so sorry that he is so difficult to handle. it isn't your fault and he is blessed to ahve a teacher who cares as much as you do. Thank you for caring so much about a child like this - sadly there are a lot of kids like him who don't ever have someone who cares to this degree about them. I have seen them in some of the schools my kids have attended and my dad taught in.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending you a supportive hug. Sadly I don't have the answer. These are some of my thought and questions. Have you reviewed the records from his earlier school? Perhaps that would indicate either consistently disruptive behaviors or, oth, that his recent move has upped the ante. How does he do on the school bus? Aftercare? Does he have an IEP in place?
    Could modifications be added? Has he had an independent neuro/psychological series of tests that has or could identify his various areas of dysfunction? Is a "quiet room" available to you as an option for when he is disrupting the entire class?

    I agree that keeping a brief timeline journal of his behaviors is a good idea. Many of us have done that as parents in order to assure that our obsrvations are taken seriously. Have you received comments from other parents? If so make sure you keep those notes or make notations of their comments.

    I am really sorry that you are trying so hard and getting no support. One of my family members is an experienced teacher and faced similar issues. Just remember "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and stay consistent with your documents and your quest for help from your school. In our local school system I found that the head of Special Education was the only one who genuinely cared about the provision of services. I have never been a teacher so I don't know if you can make an appoint6ment with her and say "I really need to discuss one student with you. With your advanced knowledge and reputation as being deeply caring...I'd appreciate an hour of your time at your earliest convenience." Maybe, just maybe, he/she would see your initiative as a sign of your exceptional desire to do well. Good luck. DDD
  5. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    sounds like the poor kid does have everything going against him.

    i see you mentioned trying to get him to verbalize his feelings....my initial gut reaction would be that some of his behaviors are communicative, but for a HOH kid, verbalizing may not be enough. surely you have multiple communication modalities at your fingertips and i might look to introduce something else like an augmentative device or even a simple pecs system. i would guess he has some difficulties with the intangible, which in turn would make expressive language pretty difficult. if it were me (not knowing this boy of course, just based on what you said) i would put my energies into that kind of stuff and see if the behaviors level off.

    since you mentioned he was recently diagnosis'd with a hearing loss i'd also assume that there has been an awful lot of assumption on what this kid can and cannot do and what kind of compensory skills he has developed over the last 8 years. with his mother being young and lack of early intervention i would imagine there are learned behaviors that go along with any communication deficits that he compensates for by acting out.

    and i dont have to tell you that hearing aide refusal can be way more than behavioral....there could be improper fit, improper calibration, general uncomfortableness etc.

    of course, i could be way off base, but its kind of the same old manta....treat the underlying issues and see whats left. there certainly may be stand alone behavorial issues remaining (it sounds like he's already travelled one rough road, and it may be a complicated as in utero drug/alchohol exposure or a true mental illness) but he just might surprise you.

    i think its wonderful that you asked :-D
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For communication of feelings there are some great posters and books with pictures of faces and what they mean printed underneath. We used to have a flip book that Wiz could turn to show how he was feeling when he got to the point he couldn't say it, or if he wanted to be left alone because he was upset or angry or whatever. It was hugely helpful. The one we had was illustrated by a cartoonist from Cincy (I think - I know he is big there and a friend of a couple of relatives, but...). Here is a link toit on amazon -http://www.amazon.com/Mood-Swings-Show-Youre-Feeling/dp/0843175605/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296142797&sr=1-1

    It might be helpful in class in some way.
  7. ASLteacher

    ASLteacher New Member

    Wow! Thanks so much for the kind words and support. I ordered the mood book from amazon. I was actually looking for that exact same thing (well, the poster of it) at the beginning of the year for a health lesson, but didn't know who made it or what exactly it was called, so thanks for that.

    Well, I got stood up again by the behavioral specialist yesterday, and he flipped out on me again today because someone stole a dollar that he wasn't supposed to have anyway. I had to send my other students to another classroom so that I could deal with him as he was dumping desks over, rifling through all of my papers, pulling things out of my cabinets and accusing everyone, including me, of stealing his money. The principal called the behavioral specialist and she said she would be there next Tuesday at 10:30. We'll see.

    As for the questions...yes, he has an IEP. He also has a behavior plan that I had to pull out of my *** because I've never had to write one before, and had no idea what I was doing. The only support I got in writing it was "Yeah, that looks fine". Now I don't really know how to implement it. I've reviewed his records from his previous schools, mainly notes on his behavior...he has always been in a room with an aid (until me), and had been frequently physically restrained. I have never done that to him. He has a file with Children's services. I have called a few times. We are getting a pastoral counselor one or two days a week, and she is going to try play therapy with him. She also said that they may be able to get a case worker to come in to class and work with him. That would be wonderful.

    The resolutions I want to see are 1) he gets moved to a class that focuses primarily on behavior, 2) an aid comes in to work with him and can supervise him when he decides to leave the class without permission, deal with his outbursts so I can teach the others, and keep him focused, or 3) pay for additional training for me to be able to deal with him (the extent of my training is a 5 week summer course on behavioral management, and we didn't get in to anything this severe). Realistically, I don't think any of the above will happen.

    I have some questions for you: do any of you have children with-ODD in behavioral classes (ED or something like it), or are they in "regular" Special Education or gen Ed? What kinds of supports do their teachers get in order to deal with the extreme behaviors? How does their ODD affect their academic skills? And at what point does the welfare of the other kids in the class matter? Because it sure doesn't seem to matter much here. I've been trying to work with my sped coordinator, but I'm getting really close to taking this to the sped director, although I don't think she likes me much. Well, we'll see what happens next week. I may stay home on Monday just because I don't want to deal with the child. :(
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    At this point, academics should be on hold for this child and you are right...behavior needs to be the focus. It sounds like he needs 1:1 supervision. Please get a copy of The Explosive Child and/or Lost at School. Visit this website: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/
    You need support, he needs support, the family needs support- I hope you have enough energy to keep fighting so some of that can be put into place.