So it looks like difficult child will be outplaced from school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Alisonlg, May 17, 2007.

  1. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Today was day 3 for M to go back to school, post psychiatric hospital discharge, and the refusal to go to school started back up again. :frown: Thankfully, on the homefront it was MUCH MUCH calmer than our past school refusal days (no major meltdowns, no restraining, no violence), but the school sees it as a repeat pattern and a sign that things aren't working.

    So, I spoke with the school SW and she has been in contact with the SD and they're discussing out placing M at an alternative school, which I'm sure is truly the setting he needs, but I'm very nervous and hesitant at a placement at this time of the school year. Their school year ends a few weeks earlier than the regular schools do, meaning they only have a few weeks left...and his anxiety has been high about "being kicked out of school" for years since he was kicked out of two day cares as a preschooler. I'm just worried this would be a difficult blow for him. I'm all for it for the next school year...but I'm concerned about placement for just a few weeks to a month.

    She had mentioned something earlier about a private tutor...perhaps I should call a PPT meeting and request that and see how far I get? Gosh, this is such unchartered territory for me. To "guess" what decisions are going to keep my child the most stable weigh so heavy on my heart. It's no wonder *I* feel so unstable myself as of late. :::sigh:::
  2. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Alisonlg, I just went through the exact same thing with my difficult child. The school district personnel suggested removing my fifth grader from one elementary to another that has a social development teacher/class. I was very nervous that there was only two months left of school....what could he learn in that short of time and what will happen to his friends in the current school {HA! He had no friends, anyway!}) husband almost came unglued over it, but we consulted his doctors and they thought the good outweighed the bad. So, reluctantly we moved him from one school to another. It has been totally REMARKABLE! Honestly, this should have been done TWO years ago and he might not be in the position he's in right now. We didn't know such a class even existed. Unfortunately, he's going to have to be in a social development class beginning the intermediate school in the fall, but if it's half as good as the one he's in now, it'll make a huge difference. Perhaps he can learn the proper attitude and social graces that most of us learn automatically and he'll be mainstreamed in no time. My suggestion to you is to go visit and talk to the administration of the new school. AND the school district is recommending Extended School Year (Summer school) so that he doesn't lose what he's learned in the last two months. Because THEY recommended it, it's paid for by the SD AND they provide a bus to pick him up! Look into it!!
  3. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Ah....Summer School would be AWESOME! I wonder if my SD has/would offer that. From what I was told, this school would become my son's psychiatrist & SW, etc. So, I'm guessing if he were able to do a Summer School program, that would eliminate the need for me to send him to the Day Program I am hesitant to send him to (and pay for LOL). I suppose it could be a blessing in disguise.

    Thanks for your feedback, Pamela. I appreciate it so much.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with Pamela -- call today and make an appointment to go visit the school. Your gut will help you make the right decision.

    How are the new medications going?
  5. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    The medications seem to be going fairly well. :::knocks on wood::: Still holding my breath waiting for the bottom to fall out, but the meltdowns are fewer and father between, and when he has them, they're less intense and more redirectable. But, he's obviously not 100% (granted, he's a difficult child, so I didn't expect he would be)...still *having* meltdowns and still having oppositional behaviors, hence the refusal to go to school today with a still unidentified trigger (he said he was "tired").

    The Seroquel seems to be keeping whatever "manic" type episodes we used to see under control...I haven't seen any of those since he's been home from the psychiatric hospital. Still seeing the "mood" shift though...for instance Sunday was a multiple meltdown day and I knew it would be just by his mood. I knew today would be a rough day (I anticipated the school refusal) by the fact that I was woken up by his unusually loud, hyped up voice this morning (yet he was "tired"????? LOL). Right now he's very moody...edgy....loud....yelling....I'm awaiting the next meltdown.

    Anxious to see if he developes a negative response to the Strattera over time...
  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Alisonlg, there's a trigger somewhere with my difficult child, too. For the most part, I think his "trigger" is me. I don't know what to do about it...I AM living in this house and I AM his mother. Even the therapist agrees it might just be ME, but unsure how to handle it. It seems to mostly stem from his jealousy if ANYone talks to me or calls me or takes any of the time away from difficult child. Severe separation anxiety.
  7. oceans

    oceans New Member

    The right school can make a big difference. My difficult child started at the alternate therapeutic school at the end of March, when he was discharged from the 2nd psychiatric hospital. It is really much better for him there. It is very small with a 1:5 ratio of teachers to students. They have behavioral and psychological support on staff. They really go out of their way to work with the kids at their pace and need. They have a positive point reward system in place so the kids can buy things at a little store they have when they earn enough. They send the point sheet each day so I can see exactly how he has done, and I sign it and fill out how the evening and morning went...then it goes back in.

    If something is wrong they call the psychiatrist to let him know, and they will be working to transition him back to the regular school next fall. He will be going there on a part time bases and they will moniter him to see how he makes out.

    I can't say enough good things about this school, and feel that difficult child should have been there years ago.

    Check out the one they want to send him to. You should be able to have a meeting to see what it is like. You should get a feel for if it is the right place for him.

    Good luck!!!
  8. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    I THINK I FOUND OUT THE TRIGGER FOR TODAY!!!!! Well, that only took 6 hours. Last night there was a big string of storms that went through New England and husband was driving home from his business trip. Well, husband's 3 hr trip turning into an 8 hr trip because of downed trees, telephone poles, and powerlines all over the roads and M heard about it when husband called to tell my parents who were sitting about why he was runnning late (I was also out of town for work). Apparently, M went to bed worried to death that something bad was going to happen to husband, like a tree or a telephone pole was going to fall on him. :frown: So, it's no wonder he was "tired" this morning. And no wonder he's in quite a mood today.

    Trigger solved!!!
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    We're going thru something similar here with the school (Virginia). I just learned from an attorney that, at least in VA, they can't just name one school and force you to send your child there- so, I would suggest asking for the options so you can check out more than one- some are not so good, at least in this area. Not to be pessimistic, but you might want to add this question to your "interview" questions- "what percentage of your students return to mainstream"?
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS- On a better note, I've also learned that if the schools they propose don't seem appropriate to you, if you find one you like better and can show reason why you think it would be more suitable for your child, you can take it to the table, since it was them who brought up outside placement in the first place.
  11. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    One thing I will say is that we are fortunate to have a very caring and compassionate school. The SW and principal truly do care about M. They always seem to act in his best interest and I do believe they make decisions that they believe will benefit him.

    The school they are trying to get him into, according to them, is WONDERFUL and all of the students they have outplaced there have returned back to mainstream within 1-2 years and you can't even tell the difference between them and any other student. They are all wonderful, successful children. The school is in a nice country setting the next town over and apparently runs $100,000 a year for tuition. TG we moved to the SD we did, because apparently the other SD in our state do not outplace students!

    I should get a call tomorrow to let me know if the school has an opening...they want him to start next week if the school can take him. There are other schools, but apprantly, this is the BEST.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like you (and difficult child) are very fortunate then- maybe we'll move to your area!! I'm going to post something on Special Education forum about availability and success rates in different states.
  13. oceans

    oceans New Member

    That is great news! I hope that it works out well for him!!!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like it could be a great opportunity-with only a few weeks I'm surprised they don't want to wait til next year.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It does sound like a wonderful opportunity. Fingers crossed that everything happens for the best.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think making the change now could be a good thing - he gets a chance to settle in before the new school year. If he's going to be difficult about attending school anyway, then why not try a change now? This way, you should have some idea before the end of the school year if this is going to be a good thing or a bad thing.

    I hope it works out for you.

  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    This sounds like a good solution for your difficult child. If something isn't working it doesn't pay to keep doing it over & over. Time to look at something new - SD sounds very proactive.

    kt & wm's special day treatment/school placements have mandatory extended school year. So it's only a week & a half off in June & a couple of weeks in August.

    Keeping fingers crossed that this is a start to a positive path for difficult child.
  18. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    The school has an opening!!!! Now just waiting for a call from the new principal to set up the PPT to get his start date next week.

    Next week should be interesting when M finds out. I'm sure no matter how positive we are, he'll interpret this as being "kicked out" of another school. :frown:
  19. Crazy-Steph

    Crazy-Steph New Member

    :bravo: Good for you! I know this must be a huge weight off of your shoulders!

    Even if M thinks of it as "being kicked-out of another school" at first, maybe he will have a great 1st day next week and be okay. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!
  20. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    We were really concerned how difficult child would take changing schools, but after the first week of being scared and shy, he loved it! Good luck to all of you!