School Planning For difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. One thing we've learned from therapist and recent hospitalization is to try to plan for difficult situations well in advance, list out the what may happen and try to help difficult child plan.

    difficult child will completely shut down and/or go to the wall before he will admit to any major problems - especially if it is in any way public.

    School in our area starts up in very early August. Got him through last year spending as much time at private school as I could - great school/difficult difficult child. Long story on the public schools, but they are terrible with learning disabilities (whatever the cause) if they are not obvious. difficult child was failing and falling to pieces in other areas at the same time.

    Current plan of action is to start school as normal at private school, if he trys to control classroom; pull him and put him into public schools and let him fail. Private school is a sacrifice for us; but more importantly - other single parents there are working 2 jobs just to pay for it - and their kids want to learn.

    If we completely walk away and go with the current plan, and have to jump in at any point, he sees this as rescuing him.

    He only really responds if we constantly play hardball (done nicely and fairly for our little difficult child's head). Dare be a little too nice and give in - and he reminds you of it as he is walking out the door.

    Issue: Incredibly smart, gifted child, knows the system well and how to work people; if major issues crops up - he shuts down completely in that area while still functioning decently (to others) in different areas. He won't touch these things (even I only know what some of them are). If you dare to touch on them, he'll take you to the wall, and if you are going to push - you had better know what you are doing:) Major episodes almost always occur around him being unable to control what is happening to him. Up until now, either sheltered too much or too smart to get into major trouble with other people besides us or private school (which I am thankful for).

    Difficult to know sometimes where he is working us and where the real problems lie.

    Great psychiatrist. good with GP - never saw anyone like our difficult child.

    Any suggestions? His fall outs are always messy and extremely ugly; but never seems to learn any other way; but lots of problems that stop him.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I wish I could say "here's a great plan", but I can't.

    I've seen failing kids do a 180 turnaround the next year, and I've seen failing kids become angry and get worse. As I'm thinking about it, tho, the good list outwieghs the bad list for kids that I know personally.

    Trust your gut.
  3. He could surprise us? Nah, reality - difficult child will get angry and more defiant - guaranteed. But it all seems to come down to what he is unable to handle; yet the way he presents and acts is "normal", untreated ADHD for many people.

    Here's my son:

    Take your medications difficult child - ok; clean your room difficult child - grouch, you can't make it - but still do some of it, babysit little brother, OK-but how much will you pay me. (Hint: difficult child gets a bigger tip based upon how good a time easy child has while we are at dinner, short dinners).

    Make him do homework or something else he is unable to/can't/won't do - difficult child tries to burn down the house or starts pounding people instead of saying - help! Yet, he will not accept one bit of help either and fights you to the death over it - until you just give up.

    I can see us in 6 months - him looking at us from inside of a psychiatric ward wringing his hands-almost catatonic again, truly not understanding what happened.

    But what we know is he spent so much time holding it together at school, nothing else could happen.

    School's not the only thing; but it represents a lot of what he struggles with everyday. He's doing "very well" at the moment because we put absolutely no pressure on these issues (there would be no purpose at this point); but as soon as he even senses something, he'll go back into hiding again.

    Perhaps I type out pieces of this message and give it to him in a few weeks? I really think he sometimes just doesn't get what "help" means. His distorted head sometimes sees it as an attack.

    Last time he was in the hospital, he was absolutely, utterly shocked that the therapist (difficult child said she was mean) could see him in jail in a few years for "real" violence. Hearing the same thing we'd been saying for years stuck for at least a few weeks.

    Reality, he fails - heads back to hospital at first major outburst (defined by hospital/docs/us), end of story - no being nice about it. We can't afford to. Does this sound terribly mean or too hardball for a kid like this? Never sure here either. It just makes no sense that a difficult child that will do the things he does over the "untouchables" can also babysit easy child?
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess I'm not really seeing what other options you have. Lay it out to him up front, maybe even in writing, and go with it.
  5. I'm sure you 100% correct - it's the only thing to do and the only option.

    We all need a life around here and easy child actually wants time to play sports rather than sitting at the doctor's office with me for difficult child.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The biggest (and the only) turn around at school has been this last year after I started implementing The Explosive Child concepts at home and got difficult child (unknowingly) engaged in CPS and then, FINALLY got a few at the sd to engage in problem solving with difficult child on a couple of occassions. Not only is this helping because difficult child is handling things differently ( alot of times- not always), but the sd now sees how differently and better he acts and deals with things when they don't approach him like a behavior problem. My plan is to get them all on board with this- for my difficult child and hopefully, they will consider it with others in the future. :)
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry your public schools are so lousy. Have you ever requested an evaluation, it isn't right that they are only treating "obvious" disabilities.

    I'm sorry, it sounds like a difficult situation. (((Hugs)))
  8. We have had several evaluations through the years; different tests show different issues; auditory processing is a biggie as is short-term recall; related to ADHD per the tests. Deficits in math and reading on some/but not on others. Current school district did great testing actually in 5th grade. Grade school counselor was pretty convinced about chemical imbalance issues even before we had a real diagnosis of any sort besides ADHD. However, the grade school's IEP plan was not great since they focused on him working on 3rd grade work - which difficult child did not like.

    We were warned about issues with transitioning to middle school with his IEP - and they were not kidding!

    difficult children at grade level now in terms of academics; before he was simply always behind. If he gets put back into the public schools, it will be without an IEP for much for the year given how slow the move, his lack of cooperation, and their inability to handle disabilities of any sort beyond the truly obvious ones. Since they only see ADHD; they cannot get past the fact that he is not on stimulants.

    Maybe I'm being too worried and he'll do well where he is at!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you have a good handle on your difficult child.

    I must caution you to NOT count on him not hurting easy child. These things can change, and if he thinks this is a bargaining chip - if you don't back down I will do X to easy child - he very well may hurt easy child. He also may be threatening easy child to keep things to himself.

    Hugs, sounds like a tough road. I do agree with putting him in public if he won't behave as is appropriate at private school.
  10. Thanks - I know, it probably sounds crazy to even think about letting him sit. While difficult child has been a target in the past, and there was one long period in which easy child was never left alone because of difficult child; it was a finite set of time. He tried the violence with me; and that didn't work to well. I think he holds most of it in and that why all the "you can't make me"??

    We saw therapist this afternoon, she says find new school - he'll fall apart at public schools. I don't disagree, but there is nothing even remotely close that could begin to handle him, he does to well for a therapeutic school, etc., etc. But he falls apart when we hit these types of things.
  11. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You obviously know your son best but I'd be worried about him babysitting easy child as well. If he has been violent in the past, something could set him off again.

    I think you are doing the best you can as far as school is concerned. My difficult child is returning to public school this coming year and I am promising myself that I am not going to take responsibility for difficult child's behavior at school. I can't be there with him and no amount of reward or consequence seems to have an impact.

    Good Luck!
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

  13. Website looks great; I'll be looking through it this weekend. Thanks!