How do you get a kid to do his work?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Loony Smurf, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    I made a thread in Special Education forum about my difficult child 2's IEP and teacher issues, and i guess this sort of ties in, but basically:

    How on earth do you get a kid who hates doing something (writing in this case) do just do it anyway? Wont do it at home or at school or anywhere else. Teacher is having a conniption fit. He spent all day today in ISS cause he wouldnt do it in class, and even when it was done they didnt let him go back to class.
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    You find out why he won't do it and go from there. You can't make a kid do it. Ok you can, with enough punishment (or great enough reward) temporarily get them to do it, but that won't help in the long run. Get to the underlying reasons...
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You try assistive technology. Wiz did this. In his case it was largely because his hands hurt and he had to concentrate to write every letter. He got an alphasmart and wowed his teachers with the increased quality and quantity of his work.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with both suggestions. My difficult child has the same issue. He has assistive technology to use at school but I also am having an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done to get to the root of the matter. His hand hurts after only a few words so he has been refusing to write at all to avoid the pain altogether. I would also look at revising the IEP. in my opinion, ISS is not appropriate for some of these kids for refusing to write. Ask that they try options to help difficult child still get the work done without having to write it. There are options out there.

    Good luck.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Has to be assistive technology. My difficult child absolutely adamantly refused math. Wouldn't learn times tables and there was not a doggone thing anyone could do about it. There was no Learning Disability (LD) related to it, no physical or cognitive problem, just... him digging in his heels and refusing, period. Rewards, consequences, didn't matter. I finally had them write in his IEP he was to be allowed use of a calculator - how long do you keep beating a dead horse? Math was a trigger for him since first grade - it is what it is.

    There are teachers/administrators who get it in their heads that they will "force" a kid to do something. That sets up an adversarial relationship between the student and the teacher. In my experience, the teacher *always* lost because my kid's defiance ran circles around her determination. I remember one very smug woman who assured me that she would have thank you doing his time's tables by the end of the school year - this was probably the middle of 4th grade, a transfer to a self-contained school for BD kids. Oh, she just knew that she was far more competent and capable than his previous teachers, and certainly knew far more than I did about teaching my kid. Sometimes you just have to let people learn on their own. I wasn't terribly surprised when I started getting the calls - my son was having to be removed from math class almost every day. Gee.... what a shock. To this day, he cannot multiply in his head.

    I didn't fight the homework wars. I was fighting the showering, toothbrushing, don't assault parents/sibs wars at home. There was no way I was going to tackle homework on top of it all. I made it very clear at IEP mtgs, and I told them *exactly* why I wouldn't do it - with examples of our daily routine of meltdowns, rages, and restraints. They couldn't get him to do work at school - I felt no guilt about not being able to get him to do it at home.

    Keep track of amt of time in ISS - that counts as suspension and when you hit 10 days total, they have to review IEP/BIP. And if that alpha-smart is in IEP and they're not letting him use it, you need to be sure to bring it up at IEP mtg next week. They're suspending him because *they're* not following IEP.

    Hang in there!!!
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, I would have a COW if they were not letting Wiz use the tech in his IEP. HIM refusing it was one thing - and he was NOT allowed to "relax" the standards when he stopped using it because he chose to. School NEVER pushed that on him. They were as unhappy as I was about it. They watned to lower the standards for his papers but my dad was in charge of IEPs by then and he said there was no way in H that it was going to happen. If he insisted on writing by hand then he could provide the same quality/quantity as when he typed. If school had taken it away it would have been a different story altogether though.

    thank you has had Occupational Therapist (OT) to help build up hand strength and with writing tasks for several years. It has done a LOT for him. He still has problems but doesn't actively avoid writing/scissors/anything to do with holding a pen/crayon/etc....

    If your child is having a lot of pain that interferes he needs an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment (pref private as they are much more thorough) and he may need to see an orthopedist or rheumatologist. I had a LOT of hand problems and handwriting problems. Only bad grades I really had were in handwriting. By jr high I was diagnosis'd with arthritis in my hands and teachers who gave me fits got to deal with my mother. One teacher still refused to believe it in spite of seeing reports so my doctor called her and ripped her a new one. She still gave me problems but stopped reducing my grades by a full letter grade for bad handwriting (it was a biology class). She also refused to accept any typed assignments, which was idiotic.

    Try having him use the computer at home. On long assignments have him dictate to you while you type (if you are decent at typing). We did this wehn Wiz was younger - I never changed his writing - typed it word for word as he said it and then made him correct it for spelling, grammar, etc.... Some teachers didn't like it, some refused to believe I didn't do it for him, but 1-2 meetings and seeing samples of MY writing which is quite different than his usually changed that. For the few who tried to not accept it I put it into the IEP and then when they had problems I told them they were not allowed to have problems or lower his grade because it was in his IEP that it was OK. I fought hard to get that in some years, but it paid off.

    Get some software at home to help him learn keyboarding and give him an incentive for learning it. It will pay off in the long run as he will be able to type his own papers, etc...

    I would NOT NOT NOT fight homework at home if they cannot get him to do classwork at school. You have many more battles to fight at home and if his entire day is a fight about school assignments things will just get worse and worse and worse. Kids often have very few hours at home, esp with the entire family. Adding long homework battles takes even more away from this and often just burns kids out to the point they refuse to do schoolwork, esp the difficult children. I know our schools at one time assigned 1 hr of homework per class per day - and kids had 6 or 7 classes. It was high school when this was the policy and the dropout rate SKYROCKETED. Kids didn't have time for sports, clubs, etc, families never spent time together, grades plummetted and a LOT of kids dropped out, took the GED and went to college with-o graduating high school. As soon as this was realized the teachers were forced to stop giving this much homework. It SOUNDED nice but was just too much. It also caused some real problems for local businesses because most of the high school kids had to quit their jobs. So the foundation that supports our school district lost a LOT of $$ from local businesses because they had to pay the college kids a lot more to do the same jobs. Not fair, but reality.

    I am sorry this is such a problem for him. Lots of times it happens because a disorder called dysgraphia, which is a learning disability in writing. Many people with dysgraphia are talented artists, but different parts of the brain are involved in writing letters and drawing pictures. Not all, but lots of the ones I know/am related to. You might do some research on dysgraphia.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I agree, get to the bottom of why and the solution should make itself clear.

    Physical pain = assistive technology
    Learning Disability (LD) = modified assignments, extra teaching
    Defiance = pick your battles

    Tigger has all 3 so it was a daily game of guessing which one needed help at the time. One day, I just used some small address labels and wrote all the words from his word box on them and he stuck them on the worksheet in the appropriate places. Could he have written all of the words? Sure, in about an hour and 3 meltdowns. This took 5 minutes, he got 100% and no meltdowns. The next week, he came home with all his in-class assignments -- straight As -- and all done with small stickers :)
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't think there's anything left for me to say.

    Except... whatever you do, he has a lot of obstinacy to unlearn. He has until now been focussing his brain power on how to avoid/minimise writing tasks. He needs to have his reason for avoidance removed, so he can focus his efforts entirely on completing the task. difficult child 3 used to mentally calculate how few pen strokes he could get away with, in any writing task. Once he was allowed to type (from age 6) he was able to write a lot more. We kept having to fight those battles, with idiots wanting to "wean him off" aids. And now every year we still have to fight for the right for him to do his exams on computer. The school isn't the problem here, it's the Board of Studies.

  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What they said. :)