Hello Everyone! Im new here ;)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Exhausted74, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Exhausted74

    Exhausted74 New Member

    Hello Everyone! Just as many of the others here have found your forums for similar reasons, so have I. Short intro about us:

    We have 4 difficult child. The 2 oldest had normal happy childhoods, now we are in our teenage years with them, and its going good so far. Minor hiccups here and there, but overall good. 3rd difficult child- I knew when he was 8 mos. old that he was "different" than the others. He never slept, cried constantly, seperation anxiety to the max!,defiant,aggressive etc.. 4th difficult child-happy, thinks shes a princess, overall good kid.

    3rd difficult child problems started at about 8 months. Dr. pushed them off as "terrible twos".. well, the terrible twos have lasted 8 yrs and have gotten progressively worse for the past 9 or so years!

    Started kindergarden, teacher stated he was very inattentive,disruptive. 1st grade- was the same. However, the 1st grade teacher set up an IEP for him and he did pretty well with the IEP/ADHD medications. 2nd grade- is where all hell starts to break loose. medications were changed, he started to become VERY defiant, failing school,aggressive to his older brother. 3rd grade he simmered down a bit, still had issues but nothing like 2nd grade.

    Last year was 4th grade and I got a call at least 4 times a week from the school. He was fighting, swearing,.. meanwhile-they knew he had problems and yet, NOBODY at the school even brought of the idea of an IEP. It was " youre not giving him his medications, or youre not doing this or that" at that point I took him to a new psychatrist, who he is still seeing. Its a bit shy of 1 year, but.. he put him on abilify and lowered the adderall xr from 10mg to 5mg. he did WONDERFUL the last 2 months of 4th grade and over the entire summer, minor arguements here and there but no major problems like in school.

    We are now in the 1st week of 5th grade and hes coming home happy, doing his homework without being cued to do it,making sure he stays organized all by himself. We were SO proud of him!

    2nd week of school, BAM! suspension for 3 days for fighting. Another child who had been harassing my difficult child since kindergarden. This other child has the same type of problems as my son. So, they butt heads all the time. From waht I was told, this other kid was talking smack to my difficult child and my difficult child decided to haul off and punch him in the nose.. almost broke his nose. so my difficult child is suspended for 3 days...

    Then the next week, my difficult child and a few other kids were indoors for recess..and they all had sharpie markers..(why they had them, i still wasnt told)-but they "pretended to write on my difficult child's back of his shirt"- so he actually wrote on their shirt.. well phone call again - hes on 5 days of detention...
    That friday (last day of detention) I get another call.. I almost didnt want to even answer the phone when i saw the caller id.. I cringe, I get chest pains and answer , " ok.. what did he do now?" before the principal even starts to talk.

    Here, my difficult child and another kid were "play fighting" and my difficult child took it too far and punched the other kid in the eye, resulting in a black eye. Principal tells me - this is the last time, next incident is expulsion! Well, now im Irrate because I want to know why there are noon monitors on the palyground at recess when they obviously know there are issues and they are doing NOTHING. My husband and I asked for a solution that our difficult child would be able to go to recess with the other class/ or we would even come up to the school to watch him, or take him home for the 45 min of lunch/recess, but those options were not even taken seriously. My serious problem is that whenever "my difficult child" is involved with a fight.. they NEVER see what happened b4 a fight starts. Their exact words for the last 2 times have been "We only saw/heard what difficult child did, nothing leading up to that." I know for a fact that the first fight was egged on by that boy and he addmitted to it, but resulted in no suspension,detention etc.. but my difficult child , they made sure he paid the consequences...

    Im so sick and tired of that school. Hes on suspension right now, and honestly I dont want to even send him back on Monday. I wrote a request for an IEP and had my husband hand deliver it to the principal, his teacher yesterday. When I asked for it at the end of the school year last year, they said they would look into it.. well HELLO? i think the 1st incident should have told u something!!

    Principal called me today and "thanked me" for the "wonderful" IEP request I wrote her.. lmao, could she of gotten any more sarcastic?

    So, we again are at wits end..completely frustrated and exhausted mentally. It wasnt easy when he was a baby, or before he started school.. but this is a nightmare!

    I told his advocate, psychologist and psychtrist that I dont want him to go back on monday. Even though hes following me all over the house and trying so hard to annoy me ( he doesnt know this, but its working!), I would rather deal with this than him going into the school and letting god only knows what happen to him, or another child..

  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the crowd! I have a really quick question...

    His IEP should still be in place from last year. Are you sure he had an IEP and not a 504? If it was an IEP, and it was done the last 2 mos. that he was in school, his IEP is still in effect.

    Now I would suggest that you request a 1 to 1 crisis para for him to be added to his current IEP so that you can get someone that can intervene for him as well as know what's leading up to this stuff.

    I'd call the school first thing monday morning and ask why his IEP from last year is not being observed.

    More will stop by, I'll try and write more later (bath time for difficult child 3 - she's driving me nuts today!).

  3. Exhausted74

    Exhausted74 New Member

    No , they didnt do and IEP last year. As a matter of fact, I know that he had one in 1st grade, but the principal who called today told me that he never had and IEP in place at all ever. She said he had an IAP? in 2nd grade ( and I dont ever remember having any type of meeting for him in 2nd grade).

    I know all about IEP's as my youngest has had one for the past 3 years for speech and my Uncle is a retired school teacher. He helps us out ALOT!

    They want him in "SBH" classes. Those classes are for children who have severe behavior problems. My difficult child has been in regular classroom since Kindergarden, and Im not going to let them place him in those classes, esp. since his Kind. and 1st gr. teachers told me to "stick to my guns" and not let him go into those classes.

    But, those are what they keep offering me, and the more I refuse the more angry I am getting...So next week we go for the IEP meeting and Ive been scouring the web looking for info on kids with what my difficult child has , and how to exaclty get what he needs written in the iep.

    Thanks! Im really glad I found this site!
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok, I'm back - all 3 are in bed (supposedly asleep, the boys are STILL giggling up there!).

    Here's what you want to do. Hop onto the Special Education forum and list what you want to question. Sheila and Martie (the moderators on that forum) are amazing - they know it all and can point you in the direction as to where to look so that you can quote chapter and verse about IDEA and all the other regulations.

    Keep in mind that they can't force you to put him somewhere that's a more restrictive environment (they would have to request a hearing to do so).

    Take a look at the Wright's Law website. They put a lot of stuff in very simple words so that you can pick up what you need.

    Have you had a full neuropsychologist done on him? It's some really in depth testing that they give - so you'd feel confident about a lot more of the stuff in general when it comes to his diagnosis.

    You can also tell them that prior to an IEP, you want to convene a team to set up a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) to develop a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). These would also help you in the IEP process.

    Have you considered a Parent Advocate? You can do a search like "free parent advocates + Ohio" and see what turns up.

    Keep us posted!

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Things are probably different here so I won't address the legalities etc.

    However, the people, the personalities, the 'strategies' - it is quite possible that the school is not intervening or trying to prevent harder, because they are hoping to force the issue so your son goes where they want him to.

    I agree with your assessment - a kid who begins the year doing well, then has a series of problems like this - the first one predisposed him for this to continue. Also, if the first one was his response to being hassled and provoked into finally reacting, then chances are so were the next ones. At the very least he would have been stirred up enough to react sooner, rather than wait until someone hit him first.

    Example: a boy in difficult child 3's year at correspondence school was formerly attending a behaviour school. In fact, the same behaviour school also uses the correspondence school so often difficult child 3 crosses paths with these kids on study days. This boy has settled down a great deal since his mother pulled him out of the behaviour school to attend correspondence from home instead. But before he left, and in his other placements, kids were hassling him. His mother was also in a position to hear things because she actually worked at these schools as an aide. And when they put all the evidence together, talked to other kids and kept their ear to the ground they were able to finally prove that kids were spreading the word (even from one school to another), "Go hassle X, all you need to do is say ..... to him and he will react, then he will get into trouble and they will expel him."
    The boy was telling his mother, "I don't understand it. First day at a new school, nobody knows me, and this kid I've never seen before walks past, hits me and calls me the same name they used to call me at the other school. What is it about me that makes them do this?"
    The mother spoke to the principal and told him what she had found out (about the kids ganging up on her son purely for the fun of it) and they wouldn't do a thing about it. So she pulled him out. He is now doing much better, is more relaxed and much happier. He is also now doing well with his work too. Plus he has befriended difficult child 3, which in my book makes him one of the best. It's quite an effort, for another kid his age to cope with him. difficult child 3 is a nice kid but he's hard work.

    What I'm saying here - if your son has become a target for other kids fun, then the problems will continue. YOu would need to put in place constant playground supervision as well as insist that ALL offenders be dealt with equally, for it to have a chance of being stopped. It is horrendous just how much this can go on and just how much damage it can do to our difficult children.

    Seriously, I agree with keeping him home until the school can give you an assurance that you will keep HIM safe. They are accusing him but not finding out what is causing the problems. As a result, they're doing absolutely nothing to prevent recurrences. Suspension is not the answer.

    If you're going to keep him home, get some schoolwork form the teacher. The first work to give him is anything not completed in class. After that, keep him busy. Being home from school for whatever reason (including being ill) is, in our home, never a free pass to duck out of schoolwork. Keeping him working does several things:

    1) It stops him from getting used to skiving off during school hours.

    2) It stops the school from accusing you of not being serious about his educational needs.

    3) It helps him maintain a work ethic and helps him make up anything he's missed in his education; it can even help him get ahead, if he works hard.

    4) It can set the stage and help prepare you both for the possibility that he might need to be home-schooled for a while, at least.

    Advantages of keeping him home for home-schooling (or correspondence, or similar):
    1) No more phone calls from school aggravating your heart problems.

    2) You will know ahead of time exactly what you will be doing and where you will be going (if anywhere).

    3) You will have more freedom of movement - no more having to stop your shopping trip or medical appointment to go to the school to collect your wayward child.

    4) HE will not be getting hassled by other students; instead, he will be home right under your nose, working hard.

    The principal THANKED you for the "wonderful IEP request" you wrote? Did she have anything to say about her failure to take it seriously?

    I don't blame you being cranky.

  6. Exhausted74

    Exhausted74 New Member

    First off, I want to thak you all very much for the replies. My stress level has gone down so much, in reading the posts on this forum. Until, Monday comes, lmao:tongue:

    Now, as far as the school goes...
    The principal is being extremely nice, and I understand her points. I understand that she has a tough job and I might have had a negative view of her yesterday when she called. I did think about alot of what she said. Our son's psychologist told me to try and understand both sides, and that she (the principal) needs to keep the other children safe. I do understand that. but, as you said...

    My son even told me that these boys are trying to get him expelled. LOL, thats pretty major for a 10 yr. old to understand.

    The principal did tell me that the 2 boys that were involved in the last 2 fights can be pretty mouthy, physical and nasty. She told me that she has 0 tolerance for bullying. She hates to suspend kids for any reason, but our difficult child cant seem to understand that he needs to control himself and not take it to the next level. so i believe it was used as a scare tactict in my mind. That was her reasoning for suspending him, while the others were "talked to". Did I mention the other kids were in Severe Behav. Disorder classes?

    I know our difficult child isnt an angel by any means. I will tell anyone that , and I do. I just feel like whatever I say or I do about all this, that Im being the ridiculos about the situation, and I dont know waht Im talking about. So, Ive gotten a notebook to write down anything and everything for these meetings next week.

    We are awaiting the referral to a Nuero specialist. Even though we are into his 6th year of school, this is all VERY new to us in some aspects. Ive never gone to the level of having to see a nuero dr., having an advocate (which the center we take him to-offered an advocate, so we jumped on that offer). I have a team behind me, just as the school/district will.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    None of the previous posters has brought this subject up so I will. Your difficult child has a lot of dxes that don't give a comprehensive picture of what's going on. For example, my son exhibits anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability and oppositional behavior, but it all comes under the umbrella diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I'm not saying your difficult child has bipolar, but he may have one umbrella diagnosis that would explain his behaviors and drive the treatment (medications, therapy, academic accommodations/services). In addition, if he had a clearer diagnosis, the school might better understand how to help your son.

    Furthermore, the medications your difficult child is taking aren't addressing all of his symptoms. Is he better, worse or about the same since starting these medications? What is being done for his anxiety and depression? To my way of thinking, the mood issues need to be addressed first before the ADHD for a couple of reasons. First, anxiety and depression can cause ADHD-like symptoms. When the mood issues are treated, the ADHD symptoms frequently improve. Second, the medications used to treat ADHD can often make kids with mood issues more anxious, moodier, more oppositional and more aggressive. I'd raise these issues with his psychiatrist to make sure he's getting the appropriate treatment. I'd also recommend a thorough evaluation by a neuropsychologist (found at university and children's hospitals) to make sure your difficult child's dxes are accurate.

    Again, welcome.
  8. Exhausted74

    Exhausted74 New Member

    Well, I knew he had adhd when he was 3-4 yrs. old. I knew he was different than my other 2 at 8 months. I didnt want him on medications at all, and I made that quite clear to the school, dr. until nothing else worked, no matter what I tried.

    Should get the referral for the nuero dr. hopefully this week.

    As far as his medications go and the DR. This DR. is excellent! We've gone through a few since Kindergarden. The last dr. about 2 yrs ago.. he just made him a zombie and that wasnt working for me at all. This DR. actually talks to us, listens,offers his insight,and is a really great dr.

    He was diagnosis'd with ADHD @ 5 yrs. Started taking medications @ 6 yrs. His ADHD is controlled very well with the adderall and always was. He is more aggigtated, easily frustrated etc.when he doesnt take the adderall. Since, the dr. prescribed abilify for him.. is been a god send! hes so happy, laughing,joking. I was very afraid to even fill the RX when he gave me it. But, after reading about it, and talking to our pediatrician about it, I felt alot better. The combo of medications (with some dose changes in the beginning) - hes made a complete turn around. I did ask about bi-polar,and a few other illnesses. He asked me to get the nuero consult done and we will go from there.

    My son- doesnt have the ups and downs-no mood swings- he does have anxiety problems ( but only now and then, hard to explain)-Adhd and the ODD he def. has, as far as the CD-its iffy atm. He does have VERY VERY aggressive behavior and will knock your lights out if hes deregulated. sigh..

    What happens at a Nuero dr appointment? what is done? what are they looking for?
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Exhausted, you said something about needing to see both sides - bravo. I agree, that is important. Even if you disagree with the other side, being able to understand it helps you better counter their arguments. Being able to be balanced also helps you feel more confident about fighting injustice when you see it, because you know you HAVE been able to properly consider the problem from all aspects.

    You also said, "The principal did tell me that the 2 boys that were involved in the last 2 fights can be pretty mouthy, physical and nasty. She told me that she has 0 tolerance for bullying. She hates to suspend kids for any reason, but our difficult child cant seem to understand that he needs to control himself and not take it to the next level. so i believe it was used as a scare tactict in my mind. That was her reasoning for suspending him, while the others were "talked to". Did I mention the other kids were in Severe Behav. Disorder classes? "

    Your son's own awareness that the other two boys are trying to get him expelled - the boys probably told him, or told someone else who told him.
    The principal says she has zero tolerance for bullying, and yet this has been happening on consecutive days - so something just is not working.

    She also says "difficult child cant seem to understand that he needs to control himself and not take it to the next level".

    If your difficult child has a recognised diagnosis of ADHD (with the likelihood of more) then the principal should recognise that there is a very good reason for difficult child failing to control himself. It is wrong to penalise a child who cannot help what he does. While it is highly likely that difficult child, when calm, knows what is right and wrong, the problem is that when he's goaded to snapping point then any self-control goes out the window. The bullies know this and are using this. Why do the bullies realise this, and the principal seems not to?

    I have some questions for you to ask the principal. You also need to go in with some preparation in terms of possible answers she will come up with, and answers to those answers. I agree with your approach in staying calm and also in seeing all sides. It is how I try to handle these interactions also. So these questions CAN be asked with this aim in mind. You and the principal can workshop these questions with a view to finding a strategy that works. To find such a strategy is important not just for difficult child and for you, but also for the school's success with its anti-bullying policy; if they cannot stop the persecution of difficult child and he does end up getting expelled, or even if he gets suspended again, then the principal has lost and those bullies will have gained more power. Every time they succeed, the principal also loses. She needs to know this, because the success of her anti-bullying strategy depends on these boys NOT succeeding in their aims. They MUST be blocked in some way.

    So now to some think tank questions:

    What is the purpose of punishment?
    A common response is, punishment is to help teach a lesson that the behaviour being punished is unacceptable. The lesson is not only for the child directly, but for other children who observe.

    How do we measure success of a punishment?
    A good answer here, is we measure success by a drop in occurrence of problem behaviours.

    Is it fair to punish all kids equally for the same offence? Or should punishment be graded according to the capability of the offender to understand?
    If the answer here is that all kids must be treated equally, then ask if that means that a child of 5 years old who hits another child should receive the same punishment as a child of 10.
    Conversely, if the answer is that each case should be assessed individually, then ask what sort of parameters are considered here.
    However, I strongly suspect the answer will be that all children must "be treated fairly" which equals the easy way out, to simply apply the blanket ruling across the board. This is actually NOT fair, because to a 5 year old who has lashed out (as five year olds often do) not only can they not control themselves well enough to be able to prevent a recurrence for sure, but the punishment is going to be much more upsetting to them than to a 10 year old who is a bit more mature, a lot more capable and for whom punishment can even give some sort of social status in the eyes of his peers. Not so, the five year old.

    By this stage you should have a good idea of how this principal thinks, on matters such as punishment. However, discipline does not necessarily have to be punishment-based. Also, in my experience, a school which applies punishment as deterrent, across the board 'fairly' for all equivalent crimes, is actually taking the easy (and unfair) way out. They are also not going to be very effective in actually changing the problem behaviours.

    Why is this the case? Because you can't make punishments the same, when all children are NOT the same.

    A child who is in full control of himself and who deliberately, maliciously plans to do something he knows is wrong (something like stealing money from a teacher's purse) should not receive the same punishment as a kid who impulsively grabs another student who has been swearing at him and tears his shirt in the process. If you apply the same punishment to both, you are saying that each situation is the same.

    You cannot effectively discipline using a "one size fits all" method. The problem for schools, is that they are afraid that if they attempt to personalise discipline they will make the task so huge that they will not have enough time or energy left in which to actually teach!

    But this isn't necessarily the case. And there ARE other, better ways to more effectively fix this sort of problem.

    Punishment is supposed to help a child learn to not do that behaviour. It is supposed to be a deterrent. But it fails, if the child is either unable to learn, or unable to control the behaviour.

    Often an ADHD child DOES know that he has done the wrong thing, but was unable to prevent himself. Punishing the child here does NOT make him more capable to not act impulsively next time - if this worked, the child would already be doing better. To continue to apply punishments to a child who clearly is still doing the same thing, is not only a waste of effort, it can be aggravating the problem (as well as causing a lot of other problems). And if you think about it, it is also sending a message to the parents, that they clearly are not doing their job in teaching the child to behave better.

    You can see the silliness of this in several analogies:

    1) If you punish a child for getting an answer wrong, by giving him a lethal electric shock, you will have made certain that the child will not make the same mistake again. That is a punishment with a very effective deterrent. But it does have a few problems...

    2) If you insist on punishing all children equally, then you should punish blind children for failing to copy accurately form the blackboard. Why do you not do this?

    Incentives work better. Encouragement works better. Mediation works better. The principal needs to perhaps consider having a mediation session with difficult child and these other boys, to not only get to the bottom of the problems but to maybe get a better insight herself into what is going on. Maybe if handled well, it could resolve any issues sufficiently to prevent the continuing problems. As things currently stand, nothing is preventing the recurrences. These other boys are contributing and their contribution is not being sufficiently considered when it comes to meting out punishment. It seems that nobody has really tried to find out WHY they are targeting difficult child, or finding a more effective way to resolve things BEFORE they again become a problem.

    It seems to me that the principal is trying to bandage an open, running sore without cleaning it first, removing any grit, dirt or thorns which will keep the wound open and infected.

    Good luck with this one. I also recommend you put your concerns in writing (continue to do so) and any meetings, conversations, etc you have with the principal, take your own minutes and then afterwards put them in a letter to the principal. "Dear Ms ..., Thank you for talking to me this morning about my concerns that difficult child has been taking the fall for some unpleasant goading instigated by a number of other boys whose bad behaviour is already known to you. I felt we had a very constructive discussion over this and I'm glad you listened to my concerns that... and that you will be putting in place the following options:..."

    By putting it in a letter you are keeping it friendly and polite. But you are also making it clear that you are NOT going away, you will NOT be fobbed off and you are not going to accept the school treating your child unfairly because they're taking the easiest way out. Your letter also provides a paper trail so at no future stage can the school claim that they were unaware of your concerns.

    Our local school had a very engaging principal, someone I have been on friendly terms with for a couple of decades. However, I have known him to be less than honest over ongoing problems, claiming, "I didn't know it was so serious," or 'This is the first I've heard of this problem," or "nobody else has complained; are you sure you're not ovedramatising things?" when I've spoken to him about something, only for me to later find out that a number of other parents had also spoken to him about the same things, but because it wasn't also put in writing (so he couldn't later deny knowing about it) then he was able to claim utter ignorance. Some of the things he claimed ignorance about when it was later found tat there had been numerous occurrences over several years -

    * very young children being sexually molested by older students who remained unidentified due to the very young age of the victim as well as them being such new students they just didn't know any of the kids;

    * gangs of bullies known by teachers to be a problem, not only not being punished but actually being put into the same study groups (unchaperoned) as their victims;

    * a teacher physically attacking her very young students.

    Putting things in writing can be the first step to getting some change in place. But you do need to be careful to be truthful, to be diplomatic and to be constructive.

    For example, when I wrote letters to the local school about my grave concerns about their discipline policy (it was barbaric) I included some alternative punishment suggestions which I felt would be far more effective and should have been even easier to implement.

    Among those options - immediate lunchtime detention instead of the existing delayed detention. Not suspending a kid (which rewards him with time off school) but instead requiring some form of reparation. Writing an apology to the wronged party.

    I also listed some preventive measures - keep the victim and the bullies apart (or at least, do not send them off together on the same errand!). Put in place good playground supervision for either the victim or the bullies, including some supervised structured activity. Ensure adequate reporting of ongoing problems with certain students with the possibility of providing anger management, counselling, mediation, conflict resolution.

    I hope you can get something constructive in place to help your son. This is not fair, he shouldn't be having to cope with this.

    Also it's about time someone told you to get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's a darn good book. If more schools applied this stuff there would be far fewer problems. AND it would be easier than their current methods!

  10. Exhausted74

    Exhausted74 New Member

    Thank you so so much! I did go to the library and book store yesterday. I have a stack of books that I have been referring to as I write out some ideas for his IEP/Behavior Plan. I ordered the book you mentioned, and should be here by Friday.

    Tomorrow I have to go and see his private "team" of dr's/psychologist/advocate. I printed this entire conversation on this forum, for my use and also I want to give to the psychologist and advocate since they are also helping with the school. You have excellent ideas and I really like your approach.

    I did write a letter last night to the principal. I thanked her for her efforts, but at the same time I did start to take a proactive stance on many things. I explained in the letter that I insist on working towards a behavior goal, and consequences that actually mean something to him. Also, wanting the root of this problem fixed. Offered some tips on how to just read simple body language at certain times during the day, to stop a meltdown. Asked that since the ideas of my husband and I regarding recess were not taken seriously, I want a plan in writing of what her ideas are and how will they be enforced, and also added that I would appreciate it within 3-5 days.

    As you said, with suspension after suspension, it does nothing but label him with his peers, and he doesnt have to go to school. Mind you, they wont even allow him to have or do any school work while he is suspended. So this week coming up is going to be a blast (rolls eyes)!

    Well, thank you so much for the information! You have really given me a ton more information to work with, and when I see her/talk to her tomorrow Im sure it will be quite interesting. ​
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, just wanted to say welcome, and I feel your frustration. You seem to be moving in the right direction, despite everything.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just wanted to welcome you! We have a great Special Education forum to help work through getting enforceable IEP's and protections for your child - he clearly needs the IEP and whatever they have in it is not addressing his issues. YOU are a member of the IEP team and can call a meeting - you don't have to wait for the school to call one. If you pop over to the Special Education forum on this board, they can give a lot of guidance (they are AWESOME!!)

    A child neuro should evaluation your difficult child, and a sleep deprived EEG might find a whole lot! Another member here really advocated having kids checked out this way if ADHD was suspected. Well, with my kids I was qutie surprised - my daughter (who the school told me was inattentive ADHD &/or lazy all of a sudden in 4th grade after NO problems in school) was found to have epilepsy. She was having seizures and wasn't "there" though the swizures are not nnoticeable to most people.

    anyway, a child neurologist is a great resource.