Reality will hit her hard

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, May 11, 2011.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Kanga has settled well into the new placement. They seem to be getting the real her :)

    Our next hurdle is her IEP meeting next week. Kanga is very delusional about her abilities. Part of that is not her fault. She has been in Special Education since Kindergarten and self-contained since 5th grade and in a separate building since 7th grade. And since they give her almost all As cause 'she tries hard', she thinks one of her strengths is that she is "smart". She fully intends on going to college in 2 years, preferably a major university. Um...she reads at a 3rd grade level and has for almost 5 years, almost no progress.

    The 'plan' is that she will take a practice ACT but it will be administred to her as if it was the real test so she won't know the difference. Our school has the ability to run the practice test answer sheet through a scantron reader and create a formal report. If she is lucky, she'll get a 10. They will then use that to get her to create more realistic goals. They think that by blaming 'the test' that she won't take it out on us or them.

    I think when she realizes exactly where she stands (in relation to 'the real world') she is going to lose it completely. 50/50 odds on whether it will be a violent rage or just a complete disregard for the rules with her trademark sneakiness. I think her fantasy of her future 'college life' has allowed her to avoid thinking of herself as 'really mentally ill'.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wow. She is going to have a really hard time. It is likely that she will feel that the teachers and tdocs and everyone (sadly including the family) has lied to her all this time. How can she not interpret the As that way? I would, wouldn't you?

    She has always had some level of delusional thinking, but I don't think that htis is all her fault. None of the teachers who gave her As for "trying hard" did her a service. I know they thought they were being nice, but it sure seems cruel from this perspective. At least to me.

    HOpefully they can help her gain some realistic perspective and help her through this. I am very thankful that she is NOT living with the family as she goes through this mess.

    on the other hand, will she really grasp it or will she just think they are lying and she is fine and stick to her fantasy world?

    I am glad that the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is handling this and I hope that it goes better than expected.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Find out the date that they'll give her the news and be unavailable that day. Maybe plan a nice little day trip with the family to somewhere fun.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This is a very strong possibility.

    I quit letting them use her "straight As" as an excuse during IEP meetings when she was in 5th grade. They had the nerve to ask me "What more do you want, she's getting straight As?" -- Let's see, I want my child to learn.

    Tigger hasn't gotten letter grades since 1st or 2nd grade. Our local schools no longer give letter grades to kids who "access the curriculum at a significantly different point that their peers".
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    The beauty of being so far away, I can just hang up :)
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wow. Just sending strength.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have to wonder if instead she'll decide that they're lying to her now (instead of all along), and are doing it to "hold her back from her destiny" or some such.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    JJJ, the tweedles have been pushed from grade to grade just like your Kanga. They've rec'd A's & B's ~ not realistic or just teaching these kids at a much lower grade level which is the tendency of our SD.

    I'd be unavailable to Kanga the entire week after that test & the results are given to her.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I had a chance to talk to our Special Education director today. I told her about how Kanga thinks she is really smart due to all those As and now she is going to have a rough time with the reality. This woman is so sweet, she offered to drive down to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and be a part of telling Kanga the truth. I asked her to just keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to give grades to kids in lower level sped classes. She said that, like Tigger, more and more kids in the self-contained classes are no longer getting letter grades unless a parent really wants them.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I wouldn't be surprised if Kanga simply ignores the truth - even in the face of undeniable facts.

    My daughter hasn't had an "A" on a report card since 7th grade...and is currently failing two classes - but STILL considers herself an "A Student" and is confident that she is going to win an elite ROTC scholarship to a top university...

    I'll be thinking of you and hoping that Kanga's reaction is neither too far upset nor too far delusional.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This makes me so sad. All of this is so unnecessary. It never had to be an issue. If they didn't want to give the grade she earned they should have not given her any grade. I can see giving a child who is working HARD but cannot do the work a better grade than they earned, but only if they are working HARD.

    I think being unavailable at least that day might be a good thing. It is very nice of the teacher to offer to go and be htere. WIll it help? No way to know. At least she could explain why they did that to her and it wouldn't be YOU explaining. Cause whatever Mom says will probably be "wrong" in kanga's eyes.

    I am sorry this even has to be an issue. I like not giving grades to students like Kanga. It seems a LOT more fair than giving grades they haven't earned or bad grades for things they are incapable of doing through no fault of their own.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    That's the knot of the problem. Kanga has always worked hard at school. She completes all of her work, she asks for more, she studies, etc. But she is borderline intellectual functioning with severe Learning Disability (LD) plus severe MI. The poor girl never stood a chance of getting to college. The grades did reflect how she did on the work given to her but since she was doing 1st grade work as a 4th grader and now as a sophomore is doing 3rd grade work, the grades do not equal "smart".
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    just wondering--know she has issues galore--but is there any kind of trade school she might attend that would give her a sense of going to college? It is sad.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We have looked into cosmetology school, Job Corp, and several others and she just isn't smart enough for any of them. I am currently researching the requirements for nail technician because someone mentioned that it isn't too tough. I asked the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) school to see if she would be allowed to take some 'personal development' classes at the college, either as an audit or a P/F (dance, art, yoga, etc) instead of the core english/math that the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) kids usually do.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That is really sad. It is good to know that she has worked hard at school. We are told that if you work hard you can learn anything, or at least that is the message most schools want you to get. Reality doeesn't measure up to that. I think kid slike Kanga have it hardest. I knew a woman who lived across the street from us while I was growing up. From age 16 on she worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant in a mall. She was the best you could want at that job. She worked hard at school all through high school and tried to take the cosmetology classes. she couldn't even get the first quarter of work, just could not grasp it. For many years she studied and worked to learn the prices and to learn how to be a waitress at the place where she worked. She never could handle it. But she never thought she was smart, or even capable. Her parents raised her with the expectation that she would never leave their home. Her mother couldn't read and so the family never pushed or even really encouraged the girl. Sad because with early help she could have done much more, in my opinion. As it was she mostly supported ehr parents and two younger brothers while the brothers were teens. her mom would watch kids during the day but dad was mostly unemployed. with-o her income they would have lost their house. Right now they are frantic for help because they are old and not well and she cannot live alone and her brothers are NOT fit guardians.

    For a kid who worked hard and heard the message that kids who get good grades go to college, this is going to be incredibly hard for her. It is a real shame. I wish our culture could figure out another message to send, a way to value those who are not able to handle college with-o making them feel stupid. In our town if you don't go to college you are considered a total idiot.

    Kanga sure has an knowledge of people and how to get them to do things for her that is beyond her academic intellect. Maybe a job or career could be found that would use that? Not sure what, but as many people as she is able to snow surely there is SOME way to harness that power and type of thinking and use it for a productive end?
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I spoke with Kanga tonight. She had her pre-IEP meeting with her Special Education director. The director reviewed how the IEP meeting would go and talked about how since Kanga's reading was so weak that alot of her goals would focus on improving that. She told Kanga that her reading level was 3rd grade. Kanga told her she wanted to go to college and it was explained that her reading level would have to get to the high school level before that would be a possibility.

    Kanga said that it made her feel like she was "slow". I hesitated and then used an analogy about how even though she was the fastest girl on her track team, she still liked and cheered for the slow girls and that it was the same with reading, that even though she was slow, everyone was cheering for her to try her best but that even her best might not be as fast as others. I could tell she was devestated that I hadn't disagreed that she was slow (but I am done supporting her false version of herself). She kept repeating that she really wanted to go to college. I told her that most people don't go to college and that her IEP meeting would talk about some of the options she could look at over the next year to try and pick a different direction to go after high school. She asked if this was her fault and I told her no that either she was just born like this or her birthparents did it when they hit her as a baby, but either way it was not her fault and that her hard work would help her with whatever training program she picked that matched her abilities.

    She was clearly very sad but she listened. I know that the anger will come but at least there are now cracks in the rose colored glasses. They are watching her for signs of deepening depression so I hope they can catch her if she tries to do anything to herself.
  17. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    JJJ - my youngest is highly intelligent. I mean, seriously high IQ. We don't know how high because the ADD always interferes with testing, we just know he's at least 130, but they suspect in some areas he could be as high as 180.
    He would love to be a vet. He loves working with animals. However, we knew there was no way he'd ever cut going to Ohio State (our only choice). I tried to get him to consider vet tech (2 year degree) but something happened between him and his father that shot down that idea.
    He knows he'll never be 4 year college material. At best we're looking at a 2 year degree or some type of certificate. But with the ADD, it has to be something he is passionate in. He was accepted into culinary school, but after work for 8 months at a very fast pace garde manger position, he decided he didn't have the dedication to run his own restaurant. He's currently working at a very small (owner and him) gelatto making company. Who knows - maybe he'll go to Italy and become skilled in gelatto?!

    What I'm trying to say is it's NOT just "intelligence" that can hold someone out of college. There are numerous reasons. And the faster someone understands that, the better. What does Kanga want to do, and does she need a college degree to do something in the field? Or is there some part of it she can do with just training? Would her thinking begin to see this as a possibility if presented in the right way (and probably not by you)?
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I agree with Skeeter, that it takes more than IQ points to lead a full and functioning life. Many high IQ type people can not hold a job. I knew someone who had a law degree but couldn't work. She was on disability!!! Shocking to me at the time. She was able to work at school work but it didn't help her to function in the real world.
    On the other hand someone with an average IQ can work hard and learn. They may never be brilliant but most of aren't but we function.
    JJJ my heart goes out to you and Kanga. Her dreams will be crushed but hopefully with the right interventions she can redirect her goals to something attainable.

    I can tell you that getting straight F's or straight A's even if the student is working hard isn't a good educational plan either. You can not judge ability to learn the taught material by the same yardstick if your student has Learning Disability (LD)'s. The educational system must change as we learn more about children learning differently and at different levels. How to prevent abuse of the system is a problem. I knew a young adult who had herself classified as ADHD so she could have more time for tests. She admitted that she wasn't adhd just not as good a student as she could be. I was appalled that she took advantage of what most of us fight tooth and nail for.

    I hope Kanga will find her own road to some sort of success and peace.
  19. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Oh this makes my heart sad. I have a childhood friend who had learning disabilities. I became her mentor in high school and this inspired me to later become a special education teacher. She now has developed schitzophrenia and is in an assisted living home. After high school, those private training colleges kept accepting her and taking her grant money despite her lower IQ (it had begun lowering in her 20's) and failure. She'd fail one, get tutoring, become depressed, not follow through, drop out. Go to another and start the cycle again. Her family finially had to take control of things as she was expected to pay back the grant money when she did not finish a program.
    My daughter, just last night, told me she wanted to join club volleyball again (very expensive by the way). She has been in residential treatment for the past 2 years (mostly), and her skills are not at the 16 year old level and these girls are competitive and athletic. She played when younger and did ok, but her weight was an issue to many coaches. When I expressed my concern, she said, " I can still play if I can't jump serve." It would be a humiliation for her, she doesn't see it. I plan to take her to watch these girls play to see if reality sinks.
    Its such a hard line between not wanting to discourage them and reality. It sounds like Kanga is beginning to understand. Hugs!
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    After everything that's happened, that alone sounds like progress.