Help!! easy child may be becoming difficult child

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ChefPaula1965, May 2, 2008.

  1. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    this is going to be a change for those of you who know me as Andre's mom... my question this time is about "Boo" my almost 9 yo easy child/difficult child....
    He is in 3rd grade this year and is getting in MUCH trouble at school.... to put it simply he is VERY bored!!!!!!!!!! He reads the 6th grade books and then takes a reading/comprehension test and gets it all correct.... he uses words such as marsupial, arachnids (he knows these are different than insecs who only have 6 legs while arachnids have 8), etimologist (the study of bugs) ... and such.. he can outspell even me... (lol) .... any way, I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions to get him IEPs in all of his classes............. our only other recourse is to put him in an advanced class in a private school.... we don't have that kind of money.. my H would have to work a second job for us to do this.. (which he is willing to do if necessary)... how do we get the ball rolling.... how hard is it to convince the schools about giving him IEPs.... AGh I am concerned that he is becoming a difficult child .. he always "forgets" to bring his home work home and has a series of "0" grades because of this... yet he manages to stay at the top of his class... he gets in trouble because, after he has finished taking a test he turns the page around and does very intricate drawings.. and manages to get 100% of these tests that he just "flew" through!!!
    HELP !!!
  2. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Paula,
    From the sounds of things, your little one is very bright and gifted, and the school curriculum is not challenging him enough to keep him interested.

    I wonder if posting this in the Special Education forum might get you some clear information about getting an IEP for your son. Clearly he needs something, as it sounds like the school is not providing him with the level of stimulation he needs. It really does sound like your easy child just doesn't have enough to do.

    I wonder if you could talk to his teachers and get them to let him do Mensa puzzles or something if he finishes his work early and has to sit quietly while the other children finish their work. If they don't engage his attention and give him things to challenge him, your easy child might just start making trouble out of boredom.

    Sorry I don't really have any advice to offer, but I do understand.

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He's got to move ahead.
    You can get a scholarship from a private school. Call them first thing in the a.m.
    Why can't he move up where he is?
  5. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    he can't move up where he is because this is a public school who is way indebted to the "no child left behind" ... with- o consideration for the advanced kids...
    Also because of his behavior he has been tagged as immature and they do not feel that he would do well in a more advance group....
    this is very sad.... he will continue to ack "immature" if they continue to give him work that he is way ahead of!!
    Don't you think?
  6. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.


    My difficult child is exactly the same way. We never put an IEP in place, but here's what we did:

    -In Kindergarten, during language arts, he was sent to the 3rd grade classroom to study with them. He was allowed to go ONLY if he behaved during the day - this was kind of like a reward for him. Sometimes he was also sent to the library during that time of day to work on these computer tests called "advanced readers." He had a lot of one-on-one time with the school librarian, which was really nice.

    -In First Grade, he was put in a 1st/2nd split classroom.

    -Now that he's in 2nd grade, he's in a 2nd/3rd split classroom.

    Does your school have split classrooms? Ours are only split when the population of the school works out that way, so they aren't guaranteed, and there are only a few spots for the younger kids in the split. But I've been successful lobbying to get him in there so far.

    The splits have been great for my difficult child because he needs grade-level math instruction even though he is at a high school reading level.

    Is your son doing well in standardized testing? If so, you might try to use that as leverage: "We'd like to get some special accommodations put in place, because we'd hate to take him - and his great scores - out of public school and into private." At least here in CA the school's overall scores are tied to the reputation of the school, and even real estate pricing in the neighborhood.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Paula, you're absoltely right. Setting up an 8 yo to be bored silly is just asking him to act goofy and immature. Penalizing him for it is unacceptable.

    I wonder...if the school's policy is "no child left behind", can you use that argument in Boo's favour? It's evident that he is being left behind as a result of this policy. If he's capable of doing work that far above grade level, then not giving him the challenge is leaving him behind.

    When I was Boo's age, I was in a similar boat. I was lucky enough to be in a tiny school with pretty flexible policies. Instead of moving me to a higher grade, my teacher simply sent me to the "big kids" classroom a couple of days a week, to sit in on their classes and do their work. Other days she would send me down the hall to pick up assignments etc. which I would do in my classroom. The big kids treated me like their little pet, I was no longer bored, and I stopped being such a little PITA in class.

    I don't know how open your SD is to this sort of idea, but it's not fair to your son that his educational needs are not being met because the school's focus is on the children on the other end of the bell curve. They need to accommodate EVERYONE.

    Just my $0.02,
  8. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    unfortunately here in Alabama we have no such programs.. those of us who orriginally bought homes in areas with reputable schools have been marred by "school equaltiy" and bussing kids from less favorable neighborhoods into our schools. Which has, of course, lowered our property values. WE do not have access to split classes and because "boo" is the class clown, they do not want to do anything "special" for him..... I will try the thing about moving him out because his scores are excellent.. thanks for the heads up on that one.....
  9. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    Trinity, you are absolutely right.... Boo should be given special care because of his special needs... seems like this SD thinks that the "no child left behind" is only for the challenged children as they are the only ones given special consideration..
    Boo has been know to help his 12 yo sister on her 6th grade home work.... I have been trying to get through to this teacher about his needs but she doesnt seem to understand too well.. on thing I have accomplished is that she lets him borrow her books to read while he is bored... these are usually books geared towards older people..
    in one conversation Boo was talking to Andre.. who asked about koalas being marsupial and eating eucaliptus.. Boo's Answer"
    >>" Andre, Koalas are not marsupials.. Marsupials carry their babies in their front pouches and koala do not do that. The Koalas eat the eucalyptus but I dont know of any marsupial who eats that as well... besides.. marsupials and koalas are not even from the same part of the world" (he is 8 years old).. even some adults dont know this stuff... How do I feed him more information?? other than buying more and more books?
    He is being tagged as "weird" by all his class mates because of this.. he kinda sticks out like a sore thumb...
    Poor baby!
  10. elisem

    elisem New Member

    My dear, I know you have your hands full already, but would it be possible for him to just stay home? I don't know about your state, but where I live there are several options for online public schools that your child attends at home--and they tend to more flexible than regular public schools. Regular homeschooling is also possible--it's pretty labor intensive, but we do it because it's less work than dealing with the school's perception of my 8 year old difficult child.

    Good luck!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    .... he will continue to act "immature" if they continue to give him work that he is way ahead of!!
    Don't you think?

    Absolutely. Arrrrgh!
    But you've gotten some good ideas here.
  12. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    unfortunately elism... our financial situation is that we both have to work... with out two incomes we would be near the national poverty line and have to rely on public assistance. Not that I condem any public assistance, just that we would be even more limited than we are now... my husbands or my income could not possibly support 4 people... I really wish I had the opportunity to do that.. but it is not a real possibilty in our circumstance..
    My dear, I really wish I could stay home with "the littles"
    thanks for the heads up..
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Does he have any other interests? Does he fixate on a certain subject for long periods of time? When playing do objects have to be lined up? Is his speech animated or monotone? Any unusual speech patterns. Does he have problesm with textures? Has he ever been tested by a psychiatric or neuro?

    Without a diagnosis disorder your changes of getting an IEP for a bright child is extremely low---nearly impossible.

    One thing you can do is talk to the teacher about having him do additional work---above grade level, during down time. I would then go out and buy workbooks ---available at any teacher store----that he could work in while the others finish tests or classwork.
  14. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    hum.. good idea about the work books Ela, thanks..
    Boo doesnt seem to have any of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) problems thatn Andre had... no problems with- any textures or colors and he doesnt have to have any special "order of things" though he is BIG TIME into paterns... in many things that he looks at he tries to assimilate them into paterns... I guess he is looking for some type of order in even some random things... he is the most loving and caring of my 3 kids... he is the most sensitive to other people of the 3 kids I have.. in fact he is more sensitive than his dad.... On days that I don't feel well he seems to know and will come cudlle up to me... and ask.. "where does it hurt mommy?" are you ok.... is it ok if I cuddle wuddle or does it make you hurt worse.... can I get you a glass of water.... He is so sweet...
    I can hardly stand it that he keeps getting inot so much trouble....
    Poor Boo.... he reminds me so much of my self when I was young, except I was not exceptionally smart.. just very dislexic.. which held me back alot...
    Thanks for all the good vibes!!
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    It's too bad that your SD has lost its focus on educating ALL of its students. I don't know how understanding Boo's teachers are, but here are some of the things that my Grannie and my teachers did for me, to keep me occupied and out of trouble. In no particular order...

    1) Lots of puzzle books. Boo can do puzzles to fill in the time when others are still working on their assignments.

    2) Model kits. If he has steady hands, you can get him fairly complex ones that require gluing and painting.

    3) Lego. Bucketsful of lego. Not just the kits, but also just the bins of extra pieces

    4) Books, books and more books. The library might be able to make recommendations.

    5) WARNING: This one is a bit ICKY, if you're squeamish. My science teacher (whose husband was a butcher), used to bring me cow organs to dissect. She brought me a heart, a liver, kidneys, brains, intestines, a placenta. The works. She bought me a little lab coat, rubber gloves and a dissecting kit with scapel, forceps and all. After dissecting each organ, I would have to do a research project on its anatomical function, the differences between animal and human whatever, etc. Strangely, this was one of my favourites.

    6) Running. When I got really antsy, my teacher would send me down to the gym. The gym teacher got me into long distance running. Burned off lots of energy, great exercise, and I didn't pester my classmates.

    7) Book reports and movie reviews. Boo gets to choose the book or movie. The teacher defines the structure of the report (introduction / characters: protagonist, antagonist, etc. / plot / story line / conclusions)...or something like that, and then Boo has to write it up.

    If I think of anything else I will add to the list.

    Hope the SD sees their way clear to meeting your son's needs. If I understand correctly, it's their legal obligation to do so.

  16. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Moved to sped 101 per Paula's request ;)
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I have similar issues with difficult child 2 and easy child/difficult child 3. easy child is in third grade this year and gets in trouble frequently because she is bored. She's reading at a 6th or 7th grade level and complains that it takes the rest of the class forever to "get" things that she understands very quickly. So the teacher is essentially holding back her progress because of the lowest common denominator -- Know what I mean??

    I've asked that she find more enrichment activities for her if she wants to keep her occupied and not causing more problems ;) I'm hoping she'll qualify for our district GATE (gifted and talented education) program, which would allow me to transfer her to the GATE magnet school near us where she would be more likely to get the kind of education she needs.

    We've already petitioned to move difficult child 2 there (he was already identified for GATE) since he's had so many social/behavior problems the past few years and none of his peers seem to understand him. He's almost off the charts for his verbal and very high also in his math abilities, so I think he'll also fit in better with kids that are more like him. They both tend to look at the world a lot differently than most kids their age -- which is great, unless you want to fit in!
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Most public schools have talented and gifted classes. Is your son not able to be tested for the gifted program?
    Many very bright people were and are immature or socially different. Now if easy child can function and learn in a challenging class then being socially different is something that can be addressed but he should be allowed to be learn at an appropriate rate.
    Until you have scores that indicate he is gifted, I don't see how you can access services for your easy child. Hopefully the mods of this forum can answer the specifics of what you can do.
  19. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    Fran, and everyone else
    Thank you so much... We are going to try to work with the school and see if he can be tested for gifted..... I don't know that they will do anything at this stage of the school year since they only have 2 1/2 weeks left!!
    But I must try..... in our area, though, the gifted program in elementary is only 1 day/week.....
    I also want to have him tested for other things... he is VERY distracted.... he can read a book and be completely engrossed.. actually what ever he is doing, if he likes it, he is very engrossed........ but if it is something he considers not worthy he is so distracted... we can ask him to do something.. like... go get some paper towels please......... he walks 1/2 way to the kitchen (mind you we have a small house) and then turns around to ask us what we told him to do!!!!
    this is very bizare to me.. well not really cause I was that way too............. not too sure what kind of diagnosis that would be..
    do you?
    thanks paula
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Unfortunately, gifted is not "protected."

    I'd ask for them to evaluate him for gifted classes next year. All states are different, but to be in the gifted classes in our district, IQ has to be 130 or higher.