I knew it would end up like this...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    difficult child has a BIG English assignment/research paper due on Monday. They have been working on this in class for at least 3 weeks. The teacher gives them a schedule. Example: Day 1 and 2, research, day 2,4& 5, make note cards. I can tell you by now, when the words "note cards" and "resources" are in the assignment, there are many meltdowns in my life. This past week was the last week for working on the assignment, and difficult child assured me that she was doing lots of work in class. Well, the paper is to be turned in on Monday, and she is not done. Had a major tantrum today - just bringing up the subject of "when do you plan to work on your report today?" It led to tears, yelling, her running out of the house and down the block, as she needed to cool off. Her idea of "cooling off and calming down" always involves her yelling at us to shut up.

    So... after "cooling off" she admits that she left her outline at school and now doesn't know what to do for her report. Huh?? She has been researching, making note cards, reading about the subject, making the outline, and now says she doesn't have a clue what is in the outline?

    Then to top if off, she has the audacity to ask to buy an Ipod today ! She does have some Christmas and birthday money, but why would I let her buy an Ipod when she isn't doing her homework? Just one more distraction to keep her away from homework. To make matters worse, the school doesn't think she has a problem... as she usually manages to squeak by (She had an F the first trimester, and a D the 2nd trimester in this class). The insurance won't approve any of the testing suggested by the neuropsychologist. We are waiting on an insurance OK because we have had our "6" therapy appointments for the year!

    She refuses to open up with the therapist anyway. She won't follow thru with her suggestions. Or she will try something once and give up and refuse to try again. It all seems like a waste of time. No matter what I say or suggest, she has a "good reason" not to do any of it. She will talk and "explain" every detail but won't listen or try anything. I just want to scream. I don't think we have a good diagnosis... ADD and anxiety. I looked up personality disorders as I thought she might be bipolar (like biomom) and there are similarities. But the one that fits her to a T is histrionic personality disorder. I have never really heard of that one on this board (I am new here this last year) but curious if other teens have been diagnosis as histrionic?

    Thanks for letting me vent. KSM
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    (((HUGS))) Sounds very much like son every week with just his regular assignments - minus temper tantrums. I'm the one that has the tantrums when I find out stuff is late or forgotten..........again.

    I'm feeling compelled to play Devil's advocate, or maybe I just want to be snarky and mean, BUT if she's spending her own money for the ipad, it may not be the worst idea in the world. She can put notes (think outline) on it at school and it's something she's never forget at school, right? But I would steer her from an ipad to a more reasonably priced tablet - just in case something would happen to it.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kiesta, I think KSM said ipod, not ipad.
    Hugs to you KSM, I'm raising my granddaughter too and when she was 13 my life was very challenging, especially around school. I hear you! Sending you kind thoughts for some peace for you and husband.
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She doesn't have enough for an iPad. Last Christmas she bought a Zune, which is similar to an iPod... you could get on line with it, listen to music, etc. But she lost it 3 months later. I know I could use it as leverage... but the tantrum that would accompany taking it away from her would not be fun. KSM
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    My mistake, you did say ipod. Different thing.

    Son uses flash drives to transfer work from home to school and back. I pick up mp3 players instead when I find good deals. Most have audio recorders. Yes, I've been talking in plurals because they always do go missing UHG.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Most teens fit the criteria for histrionic personality disorder simply because they are teens and drama is what they do best. The teen years are all about drama and being self centered and feeling the world revolves around them. They go from crisis to crisis because this is when they are learning how to handle these things for when they are older. Some of them are just more drama prone than others.

    As far as the Ipod, I am with you. No buying something like that until she gets her school work under control. If she absolutely has to have something to listen to her music on, well they sell cheapies at Big Lots for just a few bucks...or watch the sales online and you can get them for a song. Onesaleaday has great deals on them. I saw one going for like 7 bucks the other day. I wish I could find one of those old mp3 players like I had when they first came out...you know the ones that looked almost like a usb plug but it had a led screen so you could see the title of the song. It was small enough to fit in your pocket easily and easy to use. Not a lot of buttons to push...lol. idiot proof.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I do realize and expect some drama... and I expect middle school is the worst time ever. But her reactions are so dramatic and over the top. Example, she can hurt her ankle on the trampoline and can be displaying so much pain that I start thinking maybe I should take her to the ER. I mean, there are tears, moaning, groaning, and gasping of breath. Then 15 minutes later she is back jumping on the trampoline again. If it was a real sprain, she would not want to go jump on it. Other times, she demands to go to the doctor so she can get a note so she can use the elevator at school... but runs and plays just fine after school. She will repeatedly tell me she is caught up on homework, then when I get an update and she isn't, she makes it out that I am the problem... I expect SO much from her, and she doesn't want to disappoint me, so she tells me she is doing fine when she isn't, just to "protect" me. When she is nice - it doesn't even feel real... like an act she is putting on. Just tired of all this. Nothing is ever her fault... Everyone hates her... Nothing ever goes right... ya da ya da ya da.

    The sad thing is - her bio mom is just like this... but she is over 40! I am scared that she will never learn life's lessons, just like her mom. Biomom's parents don't even want a relationship with biomom because of all the drama over the last 25 years. They have pretty much written her out of their lives. KSM
  8. Oh KSM, you could have just described my son! Nothing is ever their fault, no one's life could be worse than theirs, and we expect too much from them. That very much sounds like typical teen behaviour but when they take it to the extreme it becomes difficult child. I know how you feel.

    I don't have any answers for you. But a hug on this Sunday morning.
  9. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    My difficult child is SOOOOOO like this and has been for years. She does this too with tears, like when there's a sad part in a movie. I can just tell it's attention-seeking and insincere by the way she goes about it.

    Ugh. No advice, just commiseration.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, JMHO - but...

    IF your child begins failing classes because she can't do the work - the school might be forced to admit there is a problem.

    Maybe Mom needs to back off a bit about the homework (just a few timely reminders - no nagging and DEFINITELY no arguing about it) and see what happens ?
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I had the school have her tested this year and she is in the top 13% IQ in school... But the bottom 13% for processing speed. They seem to think she is capable... well she is, based on her intelligence, but not based on her ability to organize and actually finish the work. I have backed off. I don't even tell her to do the homework. I do ask if she has homework and when does she plan to work on it. Hoping she will prioritize her free time on her own. But it doesn't happen.

    It sounds like in 7th and 8th grade, they don't hold them back and make them repeat a class. But once she gets to high school, the whole ball game changes, and if she doesn't have enough credits she won't graduate. I am hoping that since she was one of two girls in 8th grade to be on the schools girl choir she will have an incentive to keep up... as she can't compete or perform in concerts IF she isn't passing. Just like sports.

    The school seems to think since she isn't a behavioral problem at school, that things are fine. KSM
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    This is the opposite of capable. She has the intelligence, but NOT the ability. I'd keep pushing for an IEP Failing grades should do the trick.
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    In the past she didn't fail, because I pushed hard for her to get things done. It caused lots of drama so I have backed off. She can do OK with classes like art, music and even math... as the math teacher doesn't have "projects". Most of the math and science classes have work sheets - you do it and your are done. But you say "research and note cards" and all hell breaks out! The last English "project" was also a fiasco. She never handed in any of the outlines, note cards, etc. But did do the power point presentation, which was the assignment. She got an A+ on the presentation, and zero's for all the assignments leading up to the presentation. So she got a D-.

    I will be calling the school again - but then that just makes her mad when I "get in her business". I can't win. KSM
  14. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Hi KSM,
    my son is 13 turning 14 and in grade 8. He has a high IQ but lacks in executive function skills so big projects are big problems. he is in an advanced program which the centre premise it community so there are a lot of projects and a lot of group work!
    Here is what,s working for us.
    1. spoke to the school and got an IEP. Modified conditions but same curriculum and same testing standards. He is allowed to ask for extensions without being penalized, allowed to ask for re writes on tests ( he regularly studies the wrong chapter). he is allowed the use of a lap top in class which the school will provide. (he has refused this be cause it would make him stand out) They offered a homework group ( again he refused) so that he would not have to worry about bringing the right things home. There are few other minor things tha,t i don't remember at the moment.

    2. I decided that he would be required to a half hour homework per school night. This is not a lot, it's 2 1/2 hours a week, which is not enough to do everything. Often he will decide on his own to do more, often just getting him to do 30 minutes is a bit of a push. However it does allow for a predictable routine for him. I informed the teachers of our plan. We also settled on once a week he has to show me his agenda, so I can look over and discuss the week before, the current week, and what's coming up for the next week. This is quick! Blink and you miss it because he doesn,t want me in his things.

    3. I'm reading a book called Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson. I haven't read enough of it yet because I've been focusing on other things, but so far I think it could be helpful.

    4. I've decided this his future not mine. I'm in a supporting role, not the lead. If he looses a year, he looses a year.
  15. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I have decided to call the school today and see if they will do what they call an intervention. They pull the child out of all classes and they work in the ISS classroom, not as a punishment, but so they can catch up. I don't know if they will do it... or should do it. As then she misses her other subjects. difficult child seems to think that if the paper is not ready today, the teacher will not accept it late. Either that, of she just wants to ditch it all together even if it means an F.

    So tired of this. KSM
  16. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Oh, boy!! Do I know what THAT'S like!!

    Actually, what I was told was that since he seems to display no behavioral issues at school the problem must be the parents. Yeah. That was helpful. NOT!!

    Did she get any of the project done? Does she have anything to hand in this morning?
  17. KSM - Your difficult child should definitely have an IEP. My easy child daughter is in the 4th percentile for processing as well as viual-motor issues. Part of her IEP is that she has a computer that includes mind-mapping and organizational software - pretty awesome. It also includes breakdowns of larger assignments (by the teacher) into smaller steps and is supposed to include time for them to teach her strategies on projects and test-taking. They haven't started doing that yet and I'm not holding my breath.

    Those are definitely things you should be asking for difficult child. Maybe they can break each part of the assignment down into the smaller steps and just give each step to her one at a time - mark it when it's done and then give her the next step to proceed with. That way she won't have to think about the overwhelmingly large task of the entire project.
  18. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She has about 1 page of handwritten sentences. She says she has one page done at school... but I haven't seen it. When I woke her up this morning she immediately said she was sick. If I was a betting person, I could be making money off of this. It has been 30 minutes, but I think she finally got out of bed. I am still calling the school this morning. KSM
  19. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    OK, here is the email I sent to the English teacher and the principal.... I hope I get a decent response.

    I thought I would give you an update on how things went at home regarding the report that is due today. You don't have to mention this to Jxxx- as that will make her more defensive and less willing to continue working on the report. She didn't have the memory stick at school on Friday, so she couldn't download where she was when she left school. She says you offered to let her call after class time - but she forgot. She thinks she can do this in class today, but I know it takes her longer than what she expects. She said she forgot her outline of her report, so was unable to finish working on it at home. Of course, I really don't grasp how that can keep her from doing the report... as she is the one who wrote the outline... she should have an idea on where the report was headed. She did hand write one or two paragraphs but that was it. She is free to stay after school today if that will help. I asked her about an "intervention" so she can work on it during the school day, but she wants to do this her way. She did say, maybe tomorrow...

    I have been thinking about the problems she faces in school. Yes, she is a fairly good student, not a behavioral problem, and basically not a huge distraction in class. She does fairly well in her other classes, but those don't require a prolonged plan of action. She participates well in singing and PE. There is not much in the way of homework for TACS. In math, they do most the work in class and hand it in that day. Social studies have handouts that they complete and hand in. Science is part hands on and not a lot of working on her own at home. She is smart and grasps the information she is learning about the holocaust. But, this "executive function" area of learning is the part that I have been trying to get her help in. Even the testing done by K Hxxxx shows that she she has an above average IQ but is on the lower level for processing speed. She might keep it all together at school, but the stress then comes out later at home. This isn't just an English class problem. Things at home that takes several steps are difficult for her to finish also. She gets distracted, discouraged and then gives up. She can't even remember things she really wants to do, let alone things she doesn't want to do!

    I can assure you that when I read the assignment involved "50 note cards and research" I knew it wasn't going to come together. It never does. No matter how much I offer help, try to get her to set aside time to work on it, offer rewards, anything at all... it just doesn't work. I am not saying that it is an inappropriate assignment... it is for the majority of students... but it is not something that she is capable of on her own. She doesn't have a concept of the time involved, the work needed, and how to get from point A to point B on a project like this. She doesn't even seem to figure out how to use the information on the notecards to form the report. This is the area of school that I feel an IEP or some type of plan that would be beneficial.

    If you or Mr. Exxxxx has any ideas, I would be open to suggestions. I know that Jxxxxx will be reluctant to take advice today, but I would like to know if there are any alternatives to get her the help she needs.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Janet, lol!

    I agree, she should have some kind of written plan at school, whether it's 504 or IEP.

    Boy, she sounds a lot like my son. Clueless as to responsibility and rewards.
    I would not allow an Ipod or Ipad until she finishes the assignment!

    I would continue to take her to the therapist, unless the therapist is inept in regard to getting her to open up. One thing she or he can do is to talk about her like she's not there, because of course, she's listening. :) He can talk about other kids who have come in with-similar issues and the types of discipline they were given. If he gets to close to home with-an issue, she'll pipe in at some point.