ok, my honest (even if it hurts) friends-

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Below is my difficult child's behavior report from school for last week. He is in accelerated math and collaborative (extra teacher) for English, science, and social studies. On aptitude tests (or learning proficiency tests) he scores advanced in math and science. He was having a problem passing english, but the collaborative teacher stepped up to the plate and seemed to start helping. The collaborative teacher in social studies and science- I've never heard one word from them. The science teacher (regular teacher) has called me twice to complain about the IEP requiring that she help with making sure homework assignments got home. He didn't have the study guide to turn it because it never made it home- and I emailed her to get it and never heard anything back. difficult child has told me a couple of times that he has trouble remembering (refer to last post) but that he's not going to school and admitting that because it's ok for him to look like "he doesn't care" in front of other kids, but he can't go and let them know he's struggling. Of course, I have to weigh in that he's still a difficult child and may be doing some manipulating here.

    Please be honest- are the social studies and science teachers coming across like they are blaming difficult child for doing poorly or am I being too over-protective? Does it sound like they have not accepted there are memory/homework issues with difficult child? Am I being an unreasonable, coddling parent? Am I in denial because I think they should be spending their time on helping with the learning issue instead of behavior?

    Hi Ms. XXXX
    I think we had a very productive meeting last Friday and I appreciate your input. I am glad we had YYYY attend part of the meeting and I know he will continue to progress as the year continues.

    The following are teacher reports concerning YYYY's progress for the week of 1/7-1/11:

    (Art)- Had another fabulous week! no news is good news!

    (Band)-Doing great!

    (Science)- At the beginning of the week, YYYY appeared to following along in class. We had to remind him a few times to stay on task, but there was a fair amount of group work so that lends itself to more "discussion" anyhow. YYYY did not have his study guide completed, or really even started. He had been given an answer key to help him out and he attempted to show me that as his completed HW. When we took a test after we reviewed together in class, YYYYY got a 33%. It took him 11 minutes to complete. He would not leave the classroom to take his test in a small group. I spoke with him about how I did not feel he gave the test his best effort. I asked him to take it again. He spent 13 minutes taking the test and earned a 48% on it the second time. Same test, no scrambling of questions....

    (Math)- Great week! A pleasure to teach!

    (Phys. Ed.)- fine

    (English) - YYYY has behaved well this week so far. I will have him in class this afternoon and let you know if anything changes. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

    (Social Studies) -YYYY has a 75% D in social studies. He has 3 homework zeroes and needs to make up WWI Vocabulary Quiz I. "Collaborative" signs his agenda and makes sure he is keeping up with assignments. A lot of times he claims that he lost his homework. He is dangerously close to failing! He needs to check on "School" link and look at the homework assignments that he has a zero for and make them up for 60%. The propaganda poster project is due next Tuesday, and the WWI test is Monday. Today was the day students could turn in their project for 5 extra credit points. Next week, homework will be slowing down in all classes, so this would also be a good time for YYYY to make up the missing assignments so that he is ready for the semester test.

    Study Hall- Doing okay.

  2. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    Well, it does look like the SS teacher and Science teacher may think that he can do more than he's capable of. If he's really struggling in these two subjects, is there anyway that during study hall, he can be working with someone to help him catch up or make sure he's understanding what he's supposed to be learning? I might put a call in to the school to see what accomodations could be made for him to help him learn better. Expecting the teachers to help him a bit is reasonable but if they have to spend more time helping him and it disrupts the flow of learning for the other students, he may need a different placement for certain classes. I realize that homework is a big part of the grade but if he's really having memory issues, its not fair for anyone to expect him to do what he can't do. It would be like trying to tell a blind person that if they try hard enough, they could see. Has he had a neuropsychological exam? That would be a good test of his working memory. My difficult child is quite poor in that area and used to leave a lot of stuff at school that needed to come home and vice versa. And sure, there may be some manipulating going on on his part. Its sometimes hard to guage how much isn't it? I'm always trying to figure that one out with my difficult child too.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, I think the science teacher is just stating the fact that he's struggling, and giving examples, but not giving an explanation why this could be happening.

    Social studies teacher is putting some of the responsiblity on difficult child -- if he lost his homework, though, what's the plan of action to fix that? Is the collaborative teacher not paying attention and just signing off on stuff without really checking?

    Sounds like he's got a lot of stuff to make up before the semester ends. Would it help if you went in for a quick conference to figure out what he can do to "catch up"? Then I think I'd ask for an IEP review, because clearly whatever supports are supposed to be in place for him are not working, especially if his test scores are so different from his class work results (not at all unusual for difficult child's).
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I glanced at the notes & such & wasn't really surprised. When kt & wm hit a certain age (12, I believe) we started seeing a lot of this. Teachers (even the day treatment teachers) started expecting more out of the tweedles knowing they could do it. They also know that kt & wm can't do it consistently.

    As for your difficult child, I wouldn't take this personally. I'd just take the notes at face value & encourage your difficult child to keep his work in order & do his very best no matter what. That's all we can ask.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I also would take the notes at face value. They come off as factual--both really have quite a lot of data with explanations of the contributing behaviors.

    Looking towards the end result (grades, test scores, amount of learning) you can't separate behaviors from the learning issue because behavior impacts the overall learning that takes place.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    K, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but here's a thought.

    difficult child 1 seems to be a bright child with a few limitations. Did you notice that the only subjects that he's having difficulties in primarily require a lot of reading and "barfing back" a lot of facts?

    We've been going nuts for the past year with difficult child 1 in classes that require this type of effort. I for one felt that he could have a read/write disorder. I called this to the attention to the school, but they disagreed. When I had his neuropsychologist done this past summer, I brought hand-written notes that he made in class and at home. They tested him and he's definately got a problem.

    The school didn't see it because he's so eloquent verbally, could "barf back" (his words) what they wanted to hear and make it look like he knew what he was talking about. Now he's in 4th grade and there's tons more writing of assignments and interpretation on paper and he can't fake it anymore.

    Just a thought! I do agree that the notes are more so "fact-based" rather than targeting, but I also think that he's not getting all of the coverage as per his IEP.


    PS: Do a search on read/write disorders - there are a lot of ways that you can take a look at his tests, papers, notes etc. and see if you think he has a problem. He may be able to read it, but retention could be nil if you question him on it seconds later! Bad handwriting, occasional reversal of letters, "b-s-ing" his way through analyzing a short article. Tell-tale signs!

    If you need more info. pm me and we can research together!
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Ladies! We know he has reading retention problems, at least intermittently. This came through on neuropsychologist testing done almost 2 years ago. The sd has a copy of test results. It jst seems to me like they ignore them or write them off as "testing was done on a bad day" because difficult child doesn't always appear to have the problem (last year it wasn't a problem- the year before and this year it is).

    I like the idea of someone working with him at school during study hall- which is only twice a week but better than nothing. I prefer that over changing grades and giving extra time for test taking, neither of which helps him actually learn anything.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You might want to look into adding resourse room or a reading therapy to his IEP. They can help him overcome these things by teaching him how to pick out the important information and ignoring the "fluff" in passages.

  9. kimno,

    The reports on your difficult child could be reports on ours - in fact I had to look twice to make sure they weren't. I don't know about your difficult child's specific challenges, but our difficult child has Asperger's syndrome. His neuropsychological evaluation showed an incredible spread in abilities and limitations - so much so that the neuropsychologist did not believe he could get a valid IQ score for him. What we see is a "swiss cheese" picture of abilities. The teachers hear his great vocabulary and his persuasive arguments and the less sophisticated of them start to believe that he is lazy and not putting forth effort - or worse yet, that he is a real smart aleck. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact he has "islands" of ability and big gaping holes where he is very deficient in certain areas - organizational ability being one of them.

    The SD needs to know this and articulate this information to the teachers - if this is also true of your difficult child. We are on a block type semester system - and every new semester I have to meet with all of the teachers individually to conduct my "inservice" training for them on Asperger's Syndrome. It is incredibly time consuming and frankly, some get it and some don't. I've even thought of offering to do an inservice for the entire faculty at the high school. Statistics show that my difficult child is not the only student like this at their school.

    I've become a real education revolutionist. It is the school's responsibility to meet the education needs of my difficult child with needed accomodations. This is true of your difficult child as well - as seen by the fact that he has an IEP. I wouldn't feel shy about making sure that the school meets their end of the bargain. This is really more of an administrative - managerial issue than an individual teacher issue. I would continue to let them know exactly what accomodations that you think he needs in the classes where things are not going smoothly. Good luck in your quest!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    1 Day- islands of ability and swiss cheese results on testing sounds exactly like my difficult child. As a matter of fact, when I first saw his neuropsychologist results, I thought it was a fluke because the results are all over the board- and the psychiatric pointed that out as well. His diagnosis is different from your difficult child's. but as far as sd, I don't think diagnosis is supposed to matter. Thanks for the support!

    NVTS- thanks for more ideas! These ideas weren't in the docs recommendations, so even though they are better ideas, I might have to push a WHOLE lot to get them, especially since we know medications might be a contributing factor. But, at least I have concrete ideas I can push for now. I'll start with a meeting at the sd and make sure I document carefully then move up to the next levels, as others have suggested on my other post!

    I wouldn't know how to fight these battles if it weren't for the people here- Have a good day, all!
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The teachers remarks read exactly how so many of my difficult child's reports read over her academic career beginning at age 11.

    in my opinion, it is not wrong for a teacher to put the onus on the student, regardless of his/her disabilities. Who else could be held responsible for his/her academic success or failure?

    I agree that it is wrong for the teacher to penalize a student who has known disablities and an IEP, as well as if the teacher knows that this student cannot do the work presented. I think the teachers were simply stating the facts.

    Having been in your shoes and having dealt with many of difficult child's teachers...some who rightfully expected more than I was able to see her capable of handling...I urge you to call a meeting with the teachers and go over the reports and his IEP to make sure that they understand difficult child's limitations.

    Likewise, I think that at a certain point, difficult child does have to take more responsibility for his work product. My difficult child knew we had been meeting about her and she knew that she had an IEP and why; she knew she was entitled to certain accommodations and she used her ADD as way of always saying, "I forgot my HW" or "I forgot that was due today" or "I forgot today was the test" and expecting to get away with it. I can see that more clearly now.

    I wish I had pushed difficult child more and held her more accountable for her work. I'm sure a teacher would have thanked me. Don't get me wrong. When it came to her disabilities I backed her up 100%. And also, both the teachers and I always tried to take into account her waxing and waning abilities. She was not always consistent in her ability to do the work or remain on task. But there were periods of time when she was right on!

    But her owning up to the fact that she was in school and these were her responsibilities, regardless of her capabilities on any particular week, that is where I think I should have been more firm with her and I actually see a link between my letting stuff like that slide, backing up difficult child when I shouldn't have, and her behavior now. I should have let her suffer the consequences more instead of always jumping in to advocate for her and defend her lack of attention to her work on her disabilities.

    Just my 2 cents. I agree that you should have a meeting with his teachers to go over everything. Best of luck.
  12. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    My difficult child would lose her head if not attached - she can't "remember" where she puts anything. She would do her homework, but it never made it to class as it would magically disapear. The stress it caused her was overwhelming and due to that and other school stress (where did I put my text book?, where did I put the note from mom to my teacher)I finally had to pull her out and homeschool her this year (8th grade) I am moving back up to NY this summer and have full intentions of placing her back in PS. I wish I had an answer, but at this point I just keep crossing my fingers and hope we can find a way to get her through high school. Does anyone know of a method to improve their "memory"? Or is this just how they have to go through life?