Major School Struggle

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child is so fed up with-his English class that last night he exploded and said he was going to deliberately get kicked out.

    Here's my latest email:

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS, sans-serif]Dear Mrs. B and C,

    My son, difficult child, is having issues in your class. It used to be on of his favorite classes, but lately he has been struggling.

    We have exchanged emails in regard to Ms. C, and I want to clarify that her work is capable, but that difficult child does not deal with-change and transitions well at all. (That's mentioned in his 504.) I am not sure what to do about that, except to note that to someone like difficult child, a new teacher is like having him land on another planet. I hope that you did not take the other notes personally; I was trying to keep difficult child on track.

    Yesterday he mentioned a class assignment recently where he was in a group that was supposed to write a jingle for a commercial. Apparently most examples that were given were single sentences. ("You're in good hands with Allstate.") He said that the instructions were to write a 4-sentence jingle, and to include sounds that you might hear on the radio. Someone from his group went to the front and asked what that meant and the instructions were repeated. difficult child and his group did not understand. I asked him, "Do you mean sounds like 'ka-ching' or 'vhroom'?" He said he thought so but he still wasn't sure.

    I have no idea if his group ever completed the jingle, but I want to reiterate that he is VERY LITERAL. Sounds that you hear on the radio, to him, (and apparently, to others in that group) are primarily voices and some instrumental music. It would not occur to him that there is anything else unless it is specifically mentioned. I know it sounds like he's being lazy but he really didn't get it. I have worked with him over the years to identify different sounds on the radio and on TV. He has an auditory processing disorder, and has been placed in a Child Study, and this is a good example of how it happens. He has to be trained to hear and comprehend certain sounds as well as concepts. For example, a jingle is a concept that can use rhyme or alliteration or a familiar catchphrase used in a certain context to promote a product. It can be one line, two lines, four lines, etc. He thinks it's something specific--a one-line slogan. Period.

    Another (good) example (of difficult child's struggle with literalism) is that apparently Mrs. B had asked for some notes to be taken. When difficult child went to hand them in, she said she didn't need them. difficult child said that he threw them away. The next day Mrs. B asked for them. He told her/you that he had thrown them away. Mrs. B apparently had him sign something that said he had not done his work. He admitted to me that it was a poor decision on his part (he even said it was being Aspie, and literal) but again, that's one of those things that a lot of teachers see as impudence and lack of cooperation. I can see that, as well, and have told him that he has to redo any missing assignments, even if he has already done them. However, I have learned over the years not to say things like that because he is VERY LITERAL. He is one of those kids that you could never tell to "take a flying leap" or "go play in traffic" because he would!

    This creative part of the class is something that most honors students would truly enjoy. For difficult child, it is total frustration. He does not get the creative part. He memorizes.

    We spoke at length at the dinner table last night and he came up with a good half dozen examples of commercials with slogans and jingles, and we discussed why they were persuasive or not. But when it came time to write it down, I only saw one written paragraph. I sincerely hope that he finished the other two paragraphs on the bus today, and put his name on the paper.

    I found an assignment online, which we typed out, as well, and I hope he turns that in.

    Please let me know if he does. I told him that regardless whether he completely understands something, he has to do the homework even if it's not right. He doesn't understand the point of the exercise but we do. :)

    The other issue is that he is now taking Depakote, which does not work half as well as Lithium. Unfortunately, the Lithium caused a racing heartbeat and nosebleeds. So he is on edge more than usual. Things that would have rolled off his back while he was on Lithium are now a big deal. Quite a struggle.

    I am calling the dr today to see what we can do about a different prescription.[FONT=Comic Sans MS, sans-serif] [/FONT]

  2. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Wow. Poor difficult child. Those are exactly the types of things both of my boys would have a REAL problem with. And......they would both spend a lot of time in the principal's office for "not working during class" and "beligerence (throwing the notes away)" and anything else the teachers could come up with. You see, where WE live, our staff is still back in the stone age where autism is AUTISM (the full-blown obvious type) and neither of my boys have any form of it.

    I hope this creative part of that class is about over. I really do feel for difficult child. (((Hugs))) to you both. You handled it perfectly on both fronts.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Here's one of three emails the teacher sent to me. Makes me wonder ...

    "The notes that he had did not have that day were taken that day. I usually, as an exit ticket to insure I get classwork from EVERY student, collect the notes at the door as they exit. Those were NOT notes taken on another day, as difficult child would lead you to believe, but the notes they were supposed to take that day in class, that moment in class. When difficult child tried to walk past me, I asked him for the notes he was taking in class with the powerpoint, and he told me he didn't do them (not that he had thrown them away). So, I asked him to turn in a paper as an exit ticket explaining that he didn't do them."
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ummm... OK, the logical questions.
    1) what period is English?
    2) what accommodations is he getting (or supposed to get) in that class?

    We've had teachers like this... and they were literally deadly for difficult child.
    Make-work projects and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) brains don't go together.
    Why on earth are NOTES required? and required to be HANDED IN?
    When I took notes, it was so that I could review the same evening... a day later, they did me no good at all. In which case, what would be the point in taking notes just to "hand in"? Is that to prove that they are listening?
    This is HS, for crying out loud.

    Sorry, Terry. Like usual, there's some people in your school that I'd love to bonk over the head with a good dose of reality.
  5. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Even if he didn't hand in the notes that day it could of been because she didn't take the notes the day before. and i understand that from her view point that might be YOUR problem or difficult child's problem, but lack of consistency doesnt work well with our kids. Tk does that with her spelling which is what I assign not the teacher on Monday and Thursdays. Because she doesn't have to turn them in she doesn't see a point in doing them unless I stand over her and check.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child handed in both of his English papers today. Yay!
    Now I'll talk to him about the rest of the story ...
  7. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I agree with Dixies. That is exactly how a spectrum kid would see the whole thing. They don't get that they should do them because you may or may not have to turn them in. And I agree with IC that handing in notes period is ridiculous. difficult child 1 would have been in trouble every day because he can't take the info in and write it down at the same time. He can only do 1 thing at a time. I'm glad difficult child handed papers in. That is progress from where I'm sitting.
  8. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Ugh. Why do teachers have such a hard time understanding. Terry, I am glad he turned in his papers. Hopefully you can get to the bottom of the story.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I spoke with-him after school and he said that when he handed in the papers, he told the teacher that he shouldn't have thrown the paper away and that it was a stupid mistake. Supposedly she said, "I can poll the class and see whose papers are here. Only you and X are missing."

    difficult child said he fired back, "You can poll the entire row of kids right there and ask them if they saw me do the work in class!"
    (That sounds exactly like his type of argument.)

    Supposedly she said, "You are so manipulative! You're just working the system."

    I can see getting so mad that you would say that in the heat of the moment. And difficult child can be manipulative. But in front of the other students? NOT professional.
    Also, her 3rd email to me said, "He seemed confused. He confuses me! lol!" I guess she was trying to lighten it up, but their comments are so diametrically opposed ...
    When the year began, this was his favorite class and she was his favorite teacher. Now, he hates her. Even more than his Earth Science teacher, because the Earth Science teacher is just confusing and pressuring, but this teacher "disrespected me in front of everyone."
    I emailed the school counselor today and I am thinking it's time to see what's going on with that child study ...
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I hate these kind of problems with teachers because its so hard to change them. And of course they will never admit to being a problem.

    Your difficult child might have the right idea, change classes. Or can he endure another month and a half?
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping he can. He does not do well with change. And I warned him that the other teacher might even be worse.
  12. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Ughhhh if she really thinks that then no wonder she's having a problem with your difficult child.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Changing classes at this point only makes it worse.
    Here... the resource teachers would have him assigned to resource for that period, and the teacher would have to forward assignments etc. to be worked on in resource... and teacher cannot penalize for that.
  14. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    This sounds like the email we got from PC16's English teacher, He is dyslexic and hates English class. This is mythology, which he's good at. Apparently, they were supposed to write an essay on some experience they had from a list. easy child claims he never had any of the experiences or feelings and wrote about that. The teacher, to her credit, wrote to us, explaining the assignment and H, who is also dyslexic, is supposed to work on it with him. I was very nervous about him having this teacher. When difficult child had her for the same class 2 years ago, he wrote an essay on the topic of when time seemed to stand still (assigned topic). His essay was about how the class dragged along and the students couldn't figure out if the teacher was incompetent, uncaring or just biding time till retirement. It was well written but horrifically offensive. He refused to rewrite and took an F on it, which H and I supported. I can't believe how nice the teacher was this time. She did mention knowing that easy child is difficult child's brother.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can FULLY see why he doesn't function well in that class. There is NO WAY that she should have said anything about him being manipulative to anyone in front of other kids and especially not to him. I can just hear the other kids going off on how manipulative he is. Around here they would have taken that comment and kept it going until the end of the year, making the difficult child just ADORE school. NOT.

    What is her problem? Who thought up the idea of making students take notes and turn them in that day? Does this woman have ANY clue about how memory is formed and how recalling memory happens? I would have eaten this woman alive at age 16. She better be thanking her lucky undies that she didn't have me as a student. The entire idea of notes is to help you learn the material, which means putting it into your memory in such a way that you can recall it when you need to use it. Taking notes does help increase your ability to remember them, but reading htem over that day helps even more. So does keeping them organized. This woman has them take notes but then doesn't let them have the to review? Sure, we ALL know how likely our difficult children are to actually study, but the teacher should at least give the students the illusion that she thinks they will study. Otherwise what student would ever bother???

    Exactly what accommodations is difficult child supposed to have and how is this teacher not providing them? It is just so lacking in logic or common sense to take someone's notes away from them so you can prove they took noes. My own aspie-ism would have me tearing apart everything this woman did or said to point out her inconsistent messages (It is crucial to know hwat is said in class so you must take notes. But you cannot study those notes for a few nights after they are taken because I cannot tell if you are participating or writing a love note or taking a nap so I am taking your notes as proof you listened to me.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you, Susiestar, Insane, and others.

    Svengandhi, lol! OMG. I love it.

    I emailed the counselor and have not heard back yet. I also stopped by his ofc yesterday but he wasn't in.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sven, THAT is quite a story! I actually think as a teacher I would have thought it was funny.