If your child has had a successful school year...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    in the past or currently...what do you attribute it to? Teacher? Supports? Positive discipline program? medications? For kids with behavioral issues-what has been the best intervention school has used to help difficult child?

    We have a horrible past in school (mulitiple schools), but now difficult child is in a good placement (there's some issues with specialists, but not main teacher) and I attriubute difficult child's successes to his teacher. And the thing is, the qualities that make it successful are about her true caring and concern for what is best for difficult child. She is constantly making adjustments to his schedule and does not blame his behavior on 'discipline issues', but rather on his diagnoses.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's a good time to get this stuff (positive interventions rather than behavior consequences) written in an IEP so it can be carried over to next school year.

    by the way- it's nice to hear that things are going well for him!
  3. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I read your post first thing this morning and have been thinking about it since then. My difficult child is really succeeding at school this year, after a disastrous year in kindergarten.

    I'll give you a quick answer and then the long answer.

    Quickly: difficult child is doing better this year because we have simultaneously been able to reduce his level of need for services and increase the school's willingness and capacity to provide services. There is no longer a gap between difficult child's needs and the school's services.

    The long version: In the spring, difficult child was having major behavioral outbursts at school...so bad that parent volunteers wanted to call the police. It was awful. The school seemed ambivalent about what to do. The principal was unsure whether difficult child was just a discipline problem or a kid who really needed help. We muddled through, but at the start of this year we were uncertain whether difficult child would be able to stay in a mainstream class.

    What changed? medications have certainly been a large part of the change. difficult child's tic level was very high in the spring and he was very stressed by it. His Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was also very bad. medications have helped a lot with both of those and he is no longer having severe outbursts. Intense social skills therapy over the summer has also helped.

    On the school side, I think the key was getting the principal on board. She went from ambivalent to completely supportive. The sp ed person at the district level also got involved in the case and has been supportive. She recognized that the sp ed person at the school level was problematic and assigned someone else.

    Once school personnel got on board, things changed completely. difficult child's one-on-one aide can be much more effective now. Instead of waiting until difficult child is having a meltdown, she can remove him from the room at the first sign of agitation. The most effective intervention we have is trips to the adaptive PE room for exercise. He goes to APE every morning before class to exercise off some of his anxiety. He also has an APE class 2x week and his aide can take him to the APE room any time she feels he needs a break. That has been key. He had a very rough day on Tuesday and spent nearly half the morning in APE.

    It is great that your difficult child has a supportive teacher this year. It is a shame that not all teachers are so supportive and that you can't guarantee the same type of teacher next year. However, I hope you can build on what this teacher has been able to do. You now have a history of success based on that teacher's approach. Now is the time to write into the IEP the types of things she is doing and to document whatever you can about her approach. If things fall apart next year, you can refer to this year's success in asking for changes.

    Good luck.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I agree that a caring teacher makes for an easier success. difficult child's teacher in 5th grade when all H.... hit the fan in negative behaviors had him in a younger grade and watched him grow up. She was awesome! And I mean the most patient person. Very very very positive in the discipline area. She also had faith in how I handled difficult child's inappropriate behaviors.

    His teacher knew that whatever he was dealing with that HE had the ability to get through it. HE had the ability to turn his life around. She knew he did not want to be the terror he had become.

    It was a very hard year for the school. When you are in a very small day school, everyone is involved with all other kid's behaviors. Other parents were concerned that difficult child went on an all school field trip three hours away without a parent (it was Diva's High School graduation day and I wanted her dad and I to both be there for her). The teacher had NO concerns and she was right. There was just a very minor incident on the way back into town but she was able to divert it before it grew into trouble.

    Yes, I really do believe that a large part of difficult child's success has been because of who he had as his main teacher that year. She would apologize to me whenever she had to report something saying that she hated to always be telling me bad news but the other teachers believed I should know everything and for that year they were correct. Even though it hurt me so bad knowing what was happening and what difficult child was putting the school through, I would not have been able to help put and end to it if I had not known.

    Your difficult child is blessed to have a caring teacher. She is really looking at who he is as a person. What his soul and heart is like. She sees past the negative behaviors and sees the positive person that your child is. She sees what makes him special.

    I wrote a very long and detailed thank you to my difficult child's teacher when the year was over. Your difficult child's teacher may enjoy a nice Christmas card with a few words of how much you appreciate her treating your child as the person he can be instead of only seeing the negative behaviors.
  5. agee

    agee Guest

    medications, teacher, and crazy mama advocate.
    But mostly teacher and medications. Crazy mama advocate probably sometimes gets in the way.
  6. Audrey

    Audrey New Member

    It's so great to read positive things about school experience.

    difficult child has been in KG for four months. Just diagnosis. with AS a few weeks ago although had an Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) diagnosis before that and school was pre-prepared for that one.

    I am feeling blessed that he has a teacher who was a learning support teacher before she started teaching KG. She's also a grandmother and has a world of experience behind her. She is amazingly patient.

    This teacher has instituted modifications, stims (appropriately) and other coping tools for difficult child without my asking for them. Right now, she's sending him to the office each day during the class transition periods because she knows he needs to get out of the room to avoid any anxiety. The notes are nothing special, just an excuse for him to take a walk. The school secretary then spends a few minutes hanging out and talking with him before sending him back to class at the prescribed time.

    I don't hold out hopes for each year to be this good for him...but this teacher is great. (The counselor and school psychiatric I can do without!)

    We're looking at a school for kids with Autism spectrum and ADHD next year, but it's private and expensive. Not sure if that will work!
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Personally, I believe in the "circle of life" therory. I believe there isn't any one thing, but a combination of things that form a positive circle. If you have a fabulous, supportive teacher, but a difficult child is not getting the correct medications, is not stable, etc., it can't translate into success. If you have the correct medications but a teacher unwilling to work with the individual needs of your child, it's can't translate into success.

    I think that's why we call ourselves warrior parents. We fight for a diagnosis, the right medications, the right docs, a quality school administration, good teachers, productive IEPs, etc., all in the name of love and trying to give our difficult children the tools of success. We may measure success in different ways than parents of typical kids, but we know succcess when we see it!

    For my difficult child, it has been a tremendous combination of willing school officials, understanding and capible teachers, good docs, the correct diagnosis, the right medications, angels along the way, continued maturity, but more than anything else, his desire to be "a regular kid" and do the right thing. I am extremely proud of my difficult child and tell him that often.

    I am glad that your son is having a good school year. These are the bricks that build a path.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Teachers make a huge difference, as does the right therapy and right medication combo.
    In my case, we seem to have plateau'd.
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think that therapy, medications and the desire to do the right thing are a great help, but for my difficult child who is having his best year ever it is the fact that he is at a new school where they did not know and him and he had a chance to be good, there was no one who always expected him to be the one who did something wrong. That has been the most helpful, his fresh start.