Teacher here -- can you help me?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Slynky, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Slynky

    Slynky Guest

    I foundnyour forum last night and have been readingnwith interest. I am notnwriting about a choked of my own and don't know that's appropriate -- please let me know!

    I've taught for many years. I have an 8 y.o. In my class that has me fit to be tied. He wants to be annoying, is a bully, and is becoming increasingly violent. When I talk, he yells above me -- not an out of control yell, a determined "I won't let the class continue" yell. When we do the calendar he counts loudly and wrong. He pinches the person next to him, and when they move away he follows and pinches them harder. Runs around grabbing and tearing up kid's papers, pulls chairs out from under kids, shoves as hard as he can, chokes, spits...recently dragged a child down across the yard saying he would beat him till he was bleeding after school. I am not exaggerating when I say he requires 90 pxt of my time. I've had to have him removed from the class every day. I offer him a choice (sit here, or sit there?) and he screams NO in my face. Meeting on Monday and I know that any evaluation will take at least 6 weeks.

    Have any of your children had issues this severe at school? Was there anything that helped? Thanks in advance.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 27, 2010
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I think if you posted this in the general parenting forum you would get many responses. I think you can notify a mod to move it over there, or you can just copy and paste in a new thread over there.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have his parents tested him.
    I think you should recommend an IEP.
  4. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Have you met with his parents? Do you know if he has a history of this kind of behavior in class? Have you talked to his previous teachers about it? It most definitely sounds like he needs an evaluation and an IEP. He may also need a para. If this is all new to him (just started) something must be happening either at school or in his life that is causing this behavior. I'd try to find out.
  5. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I don't have any practical advice above and beyond what has already been said about needing an IEP. Have you met and spoken with the parents? If they are not cooperative you have a huge battle ahead of you. If they are the "my child is an angel" group they will undermine your authority and efforts. *sigh* I sincerely hope they are open to discussion!!

    What I would like to do most of all is applaud you for being an excellent teacher. Taking time out of your day to research a solution is wonderful. You are a credit to your profession. I also want to let you know that I empathize with your situation. we all struggle with similar issues and/or variations in the area you described. It is very hard to cope and manage. We also don't have 20+ other kids in our care at the same time. :surprise:
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I believe that in most schools a teacher can recommend to the special education department that a child be recommended for testing. That should start the ball rolling for the staff to contact the child's parents that there appears to be problem with a behavior that is impacting his education. Now many parents can be a bit leery of this if they have their heads firmly buried in the sand and dont see Junior's problems as anything but "boy's will be boy's" which is nonsense. I cant tell you how many grown kids I know who cant read past 2nd grade because parents refused to get their kids into Special Education because "their kid wasnt retarded!" Sigh. No, they had a learning disability.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The fact that you have never needed help in your career before should make it obvious to your administration that you have a troubled child in your classroom and assistance is needed. If I were you I would request a meeting with your Principal, the head of your Special Education Dept. and any other authority figure who can advise you and offer you help.
    In our local schools (and Lordy I am not saying they are the best, lol) a disruptive child is sent to the office so the rest of the class can learn. Once standard room control has proven ineffective and distracting, the Deans etc. should outline the intervention steps before removal from the classroom and they should have a conference with the parents. I admire your efforts but don't think you need to assume this burden.

    As a parent and grandparent of ADHD and Asperger students I am aware of disruptive behaviors. The student you have now is showing consistent aggresive tendencies so meeting with the parents one on one would likely put you in the position of being "over your head". If they show up and tell you "yes, he is a problem" you still will have to go up the school chain to recommend testing. If they don't show up at all or say "he is an angel at home" the best you can
    do is ask "why do you think his behavior is so different at school?" and then you have to go up the ladder again.

    Reach up now before the school year progresses and the authorities are swamped with requests. I'm hoping you get
    professional support. Best of luck. Evaluations prior to IEP's etc. often take alot of time. You, and he, need help now
    as the tone of the year is being set. Sending caring thoughts your way. DDD
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Hello and welcome!

    As the parent of a difficult child - I would say that the absolute WORST thing you could do was to ignore the issue and/or "let it slide". If this child needs help or assessments - input from the teacher is INVALUABLE when it comes to finding answers. Teachers who are afraid to upset the parents or try to sugarcoat things do the child no favors in the long run.

    That said - stick to the facts and then let people know. Here is what you are seeing and here is when you are seeing it. Ask for input from the parents as well as your supervisors.

    Perhaps the child has a learning disability? Perhaps he has a form of autism/aspergers? Perhaps there is a medical condition affecting his behavior? Perhaps something is going on at home?

    And if the parents should bring you any assessment forms to complete for a doctor or therapist - please fill them in completely. Your observations will go a looooong way in pinpointing the issues.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome. Three thoughts came to mind:

    1. Get a copy of Dr. Ross Greene's book "The Explosive Child". I believe he also has a book geared toward educators.

    2. Advise the parents (on the sly) to send a certified letter to the school requesting a full & complete evaluation if it seems they are receptive. Stress that they mustn't let it be known that it was your suggestion as it could put you on the wrong side of the administration. A certified letter kicks in a legal time frame for an evaluation completed (30 days, I believe).

    3. Suggest this website or other support for the parents if they are receptive. Most parents of a difficult child are blamed for their child's behavior and they are carrying a great burden. They will need all the support they can get.
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It looks like the process for evaluation has already been started.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    How does he do academically?
    Does he have any friends?
    Is there anyone he interacts(adult or student) with in a positive way?
    How did he do last year in school?
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!! It is nice to see a teacher who cares so much. You are the type of teacher I want for my children!!

    We rely on several books here. We all have our favorites, and these are the ones I found most helpfu: "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene; "What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You" by Dr. Doug Riley, and whichever Love and Logic books seem best suited for this (I am not familiar with the books aimed at teachers, but I am positive that they are excellent.), these are all books you should read for help.

    Evaluation/testing is a must. Parents need to be spoken with and asked to help. The child may have something obvious (parents divorcing bitterly) or hidden (some kind of abuse) going on at home. Or home may be fine except for the rages and violent behavior of the child. The child needs help, but what kind of help is hard to figure out. That is why I listed the books above. It could even be related to diet. Some kids react this way when they eat various foods. Gluten and Casein are the ones many of our kiddos don't handle well. Docs can test for allergies and celiac disease (body cannot process gluten), but sometimes the test results are normal and eliminating the foods help anyway. The boy could have various sensory problems, and many other things. It could be related to or caused by fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effects, or exposure to something else.

    Without testing you won't know. the books will help you figure out some strategies to help him, and it may be that you have to keep sending him out of the room because he is just too much of a problem. Given his level of violence, he may need to be hospitalized to figure out how to stop that. Many parents balk at that, but the school needs to insist on some kind of consequence for every single time he hurts someone or is threatening or violent in any way. It may need a large, imposing man to do this.

    If the parents are not willing to work with him, to help him, it may get to the point with his violence that the police need to be called. Especially if he assaults another student. The other student's parents may want to charge him with assault and the school with negligence for not keeping their child safe. You may want to suggest this if they didn't figure out some way to help you ASAP.

    What an unfun and scary place your room must be for the other kids. Until he is able to control himself better he is likely to be causing significant anxiety in other students. It will be good if you can be on the alert to this, and make sure to let theschool counselor know that some of your other students may need some support during this period until a plan to handle the troubled child's behaviors is implemented. You may find that various sensory activities are helpful to soothe the other students. There is a book called "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" that is packed with various sensory activities for kids with all sorts of sensory issues. Those that are soothing to many kids with sensory issues are also soothing to others. Many of the activities can be done with simple, cheap items and/or items you have on hand. The book includes many ways to modify the more expensive ideas to a tap water budget (I doubt that teachers have even a beer budget to work with these days!). Some of them might help in your room.

    Thanks for coming here. It is nice to hear from a teacher who really cares.
  13. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Guest

    Great advice given so far. I just want to thank you for making the effort to come here and ask for help and possible solutions.
    As has been said, many parents of difficult child's are put through the ringer for years with everyone they know blaming them. I know I was.

    To my experience, with foster kids and my own, it would take some really bad parenting to cause the kinds of issues you describe...however be prepared that sometimes parents can be embarassed or in denial about a difficult child, too. Or they could feel quilt or fear if they have done something significant that could have led to problems in their child. I'm just saying that reactions you may get from the child's parents may be surface reactions to deeper feelings.

    I know that I tend to be defensive when anyone implies that I have failed to discipline because I know this is not true, though it has reached a point where I have gotten too tired to keep fighting battles I can't win....and one of them is homework.
    It is often implied that parents of difficult child's are lazy. Too lazy to impose boundaries on their children and when the kids are completely out of control because of it then they scream to the rest of the world to help them "fix" it.

    Sad fact is, that this is, in fact, the case in some instances...but when it's not, the implication can be very hurtful.

    Around here (where I live) it's standard for a serious testing facility (like my nuero-psychiatric) to make a parent jump through a few hoops before they will invest themselves in the testing..or even make a firm appointment. This is because a truely lazy parent usually will fail to do the jumping....but a parent whose child is struggling and who has done everything they can think of to help them will jump to the moon if that's what it takes.

    Just some food for thought as you navigate your way through your efforts to find help for this child.
  14. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    I admire your desire to understand, absolutely respect it. The bold sentence in your OP though - it's not that he wants to, it's because he can't help it. It's an impulse control issue, it's the way he's wired neurologically, it is who he is. No child inherently *wants* to be bad or defiant or a bully. Children like your student desire to please us adults, they really do...they just don't know how regardless of how many times we tell them how.

    As for choices that you give him - (the sit here or there) sometimes even choices are too overwhelming for children like him. From what you describe it sounds like he's over stimulated by the environment (I'm not a professional so take this all with a grain of salt and based on personal experiences) perhaps even what I call "sensoried out" too much for him so he lashes out and mainly at you and the peer beside him who is at a reaching distance from him.

    Sounds like he's having a hard time focusing on structured tasks and the defiance of the authoritative figure (you) is his way of expressing that. Granted, it is not an acceptable set of behaviors, I do agree the disruption of the class is not conducive to anyone in the classroom.

    My oldest is ADHD\Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)\ODD - he is very much like your student. We've coped by setting less expectations on him and have a system of red card\green card with the teacher - red card for unacceptable behaviors, three means a consequence or set of them agreed upon between parent and teacher and green card means he's doing well for the day, 5 days of green card at the end of the day brings about a privilege agreed upon between parent and teacher or a set of them.

    My son is a very visual child, he learns by hands on and visual cues rather than verbal cues. The teacher also provides a safe zone for my son where he is allowed to remove himself to (his school councillor's office), he does not need to say anything other than I need space or something similar and he is allowed to go to the councillor's office without consequences. His IEP\BIP is not very specific yet but we're working on changing that asap. In fact, have an IPRC meeting for that this week (Thursday) to correct that issue. His IEP already increases his time frames for in class work, as in he is given exceptionally more time to finish a task (he does not transition well from activity to activity) and he is given a 10 minute, 5 minute and 2 minute warning before tasks are changed in the classroom (say from Math to History as a subject matter within the class or Home Room to Gym or Assembly).

    I hope that helps some, again I absolutely respect and admire you for coming here and asking for help in understanding. That shows me that you are a brilliant teacher and a caring one. I know it's not easy on any side of the situation for either parents, the child or the teacher and staff. It's very difficult and overwhelming but we all want the same thing - for our kids to live to the best of their potential and to strive and achieve success both academically and personally. We really are all on the same side, honest.
  15. Slynky

    Slynky Guest

    Thank you all your input and patience with my typos! Ill be more careful this time.

    We did have a team meeting including his mom after school. As expected, he has a horrible background and home life. His mom is afraid of him -- he tried to push her down a flight of stairs. The short-term solution is to place him with another teacher. If he becomes violent again, the school will call whoever it is that will respond and hospitalize him. I wish I had known such an option existed as I suspect that might be the best thing for him. He is being evaluated now and the IEP will be expedited. Poor kid. In this case, a victim of his background and perhaps prenatal drug exposure (just a guess). Thank you all for your kind words and input.
  16. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    How terrible for that child. It is hard enough when kiddos have these types of issues and also have good, loving, supportive parents. Hopefully he can get the help he needs and deserves. He may need a combination of counseling and medication.

    Can you elaborate on his horrible background and home life?
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Great news. DDD
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Slynky, from the mom of an 8 year old who is struggling horribly in school and has for years, I just want to say thanks for taking the time to try and help this child.

    And I still highly recommend the books that have been suggested, for you and for the child's next teacher. Collaborative Problem Solving (Ross Greene, The Explosive Child, Lost at School) is a godsend. My son's teacher last year has incorporated MANY of those tactics and principles in her classroom and my son hasn't been in her room for quite some time now. She just found them immensly effective for all of her kids, but especially the challenging ones.