Teacher on the warpath

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, not exactly ... but last night, difficult child pulled a classic Aspie trick. He is working on a science chapter that deals with-minerals, gasses and liquids, and how you can tell the difference between a chemical change or a physical change. One of the questions on his study guide was how to tell the difference between a chemical change or a physical change in iron, and how and why iron would be useful for pots and pans.

    He went straight to a gridded section in the textbook that listed different minerals and their qualities, etc., and copied it word for word--"It's malleable and it rusts."

    Since when is rust a useful quality in a pot or pan? And why do you want it to be malleable?
    Wouldn't you want it to be able to retain heat with-o melting?
    I told him that the operative word was "useful."
    He refused to change his answer. He went ballistic and insisted that what he wrote was correct because his teacher said he should use that grid. He literally couldn't think outside the box.

    I left a msg on her voice mail today. I told her I was excited because it was a classic Aspie response, and to please not direct him to only use that type of thing; to be careful to use words like, "Helpful," "Tool," "guide," "in general," etc. She left me a msg in return, and b4 I was able to retrieve it, I picked up difficult child in carpool and she walked right up to the car and started in on the msg.
    "I never told him that, I never told the class to use that chart and I never told them to use anything in that chapter."

    Say what? We buy the books and the accompanying workbooks, she teaches out of them, but she doesn't really use them?

    Oh, for dawg's sake. Her ego is more important than recognizing my son's Asperger's and learning a new teaching method.

    She did have a good point on the ph msg, where she said maybe he just didn't want to change his answer.
    Which is also an Aspie thing.

    They're both sticking to their guns and I can see this teacher and her method are not "useful." :tongue:
    Public school is looking pretty good ...
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well at least you have a month to strongly consider public school.

    I would cautious you not to get so hung up on the "Aspie" label. Not that your son isn't aspie, but everything you have described about him lately would fit most of our difficult child boys at that age- whether they are aspie or not. If teachers realize that, and many in a public school will, pushing "aspie" instead of specific issues that need to be worked thru might result in more resistance.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can hear where you're coming from. At the moment a part of you feels the desperte need to say, "See? Now THAT was typical aspei, did you see it?" while the rest of you wants your child to learn how to function.

    You need both approaches. But until you can have him in a placement where the teacher can see what you need, can help difficult child see that he needs to be adaptable in his answers, nobody is going to learn anything.

    The teacher sees you trying to use your child to prove a point, you see the teacher as stubborn and refusing to modify her approach one iota and denying any evidence she needs to.


    You can break a stalemate with a meeting which lays it all on the table. "difficult child has been diagnosed with asperger's Syndrome. it would explain a lot. But it doesn't mean we justecuse it all and don't have expectartions for him. But it could mean needing to find a different way of trying to get through to him, working within his current limitations in order to move him beyond these limits."

    If she can't even 'get' this much, then public school can't be much worse, surely? But I would talk to them first, make sure you can find it better and not be out of the frying pan into the fire.

    We should always try to re-educate the people in our kids' lives, because if we always use the 'turn and run' appraoch away from problems, we don't know if we're risknig walking in to bigger problems. besides, a battle alrady half-fought is a battle you are halfway to winning. Why fight any part of a battle over and over? If I had walked away from a school or a teacher every time I had a problem, difficult child 3 would have been moved around a great deal more, probably with a great deal less benefit. and the educators we left in our ake would have biased ideas against a kid like difficult child. PLus, these people talk to one another. They live inthe same area they work in, they talk to othr teachers and word gets around.

    I've seen the same phenomenon in patients with various chronic illnesses. Some, when they encounter doctors who give them a hard time, will walk away. others stand their ground and say to the doctor, "You are wrong and I want to discuss this." Sometimes the ones who stay and discuss, still end up leaving. But sometimes it works and what you get is a doctor whose opinions have changed, for the better. and it works the other way - these guys talk too, and share their new knowledge with their colleagues.

    The difficult patients - they would move on. And move on again. I made recommendations of good doctors to some of these people, often to find that the doctor may have been having an off day, or the patient met someone in thew waiting room they didn't like, or didn't like the receptionist or the registrar... for whatever reason, they would move on, often until they had exhausted all possibilities. I know doctors talk, and these patients would get a reputation.

    Sometimes the patient has something genuinely, seriously, physically wrong. mother in law was talking to me in the car the other day about how she would love to go back to see a certain doctor or two and shwo them hr blood test results. These doctors, years ago, had expressed deep cynicism about her medical condition and had literally told her to pull herself together and stop malingering. She turns out to have a serious neurological disorder which needed urgent treatment. But every time she changed to go to a different doctor, it was like re-setting the clock on her treatment. All the previous time wasted.

    The same thing happens with teaching - a teacher who has never encountered this problem andwho wouldtend to not want to beleive this problem, will at first try denial and sometimes angr at the parent. It is the FIRST thing that people do, to blame others. Especially the parent. But if you gently persist and use the proper channels, you have a chance of turning this around.

    It may not work - or you may not feel it's worth the other hassles, all things considered. But you can learn from this encountr - how can you prevent this happening at the public school? What can you put in place now to ease the path for you and your child?

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Marg, the reason Terri mientioned public school looking good is because her difficult child will likely be asked to leave this school at the meeting in Dec. It is a private school and they do not have the funding to meet all the things he needs. They don't legally have to offer an IEP and while they have made some accommodations, they don't really seem able or willing to really understand and provide what he needs.

    Public schools are often considered less desirable and are thought to give a lower quality of education, so many people try to keep their kids there instead of in public schools. The catch with this is that the private schools are great at teaching to the middle of the bell curve. They don't offer much to the real outliers, with exception of some schools designed specifically for the very gifted or those students with specific narrowly defined disabilities/problems.

    Our public schools are required to offer what every child needs, and they cannot use lack of funds or other issues to deny services. For many of our kids, it really takes public school to find a program that can help. The program won't be perfect, but it HAS to educate the child so they usually work to find a way.

    She isn't just going through all the schools because she has a problem here or there.

    Terry, it sounds like you and the teacher probably are NOT going to agree. I think the biggest problem here is that difficult child told you that she said X. You called and left your message assuming (as is normal) that the teacher DID say X. The teacher does not think she said X. So either difficult child is lying and believing his lie, or the teacher said one thing and he understood it to be another thing. (Of course it could be that he just didn't want to change it and said something to get you off his back.)

    Chances are he heard Y and understood X. Or the teacher said X, tihnking the students would understand she meant Y, and she truly does not realize that she said X. Either way, it is a perception problem. Teacher perceived she said one thing, difficult child perceived seh said another. You perceived difficult child as being truthful and correct.

    It would be great if the teacher would put the assignment and directions for resources on a web page. But most give the barest description of the assignment when pushed to put them online.

    Anyway, I am sorry she cornered you like that. It seems unprofessional of her.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Susie, I tihnk you've got tis teacher's response spot-on.

    I'm sorry if I gave the impression that you are likely to be moving on too impatiently or 'shopping around', Terry. I was commenting on the sort of attitudes that teachers like this can have, from either past experience of othr parents or form talking to other teachers. You do get some teachers who have preconcieved prejudices before you ever begin to deal with them.

    I'm surprised that your private schools aren't also bound by IEP rules. Ours are. And ours can also access government funding. In fact, Aussie private schools often get more goverment funding per capita than public schools. Go figure. It's causing a lot of outrage.

    I agree, this kid heard Y when teacher said X. The impotant thing is to try to explain to whoever is going to be this child's tea her, that this is a problem. Instrucitons need to be as clear as possible, no ambiguity, no sarcasm. In writing, for preference. At least, for difficult child.

    and to attack difficult child or you for the message - just plain wrong. The first step, even if you had left a very insulting message making remarks like, "your grandmother wears army boots," she should have come to you and said, "We need to talk about this," and not immediatly weighed in.

    methinks she protesteth too much. In other words - she has her own strong ideas and they are indeed so strong, that to consider anything else is to risk accepting she may have made a mistake, and that would be unthinkable. Much easier to stick to her guns and insist the kid is beihg deliberately insuordinate, than to accept she has got him badly wrong and is doing damage. Besides, if she's picked up the vibe that you're planning to move on, then she has even less need to emotionally invest in helping this kid (who I gather the school would love to see the back of).

    Sometimes private is not better.

    My schooling - I spent some time in my high school years attending a very exclusive girls only school. While it was a public school, in many ways it ran like a private school. But despite the higher standard academically as well as socially, I did badly trhere. Very badly. I was bullied by kids (beaten up regularly) and bullied badly by a couple of teachers.

    Then my parents moved to a ghetto suburb and I enrolled in the local co-ed (very rough, low standard) school. I did brilliantly there. There were still a couple of teachers who were difficult and some kids who were bullies, but no physical abuse happened to me there. and as for support - perhaps because it was a poorer area with more needy kids, there was more compassion in general, through the school.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg, in our public schools in Wisconsin you can't even insist on an IEP. Remember that in the US, the government guidelines don't really apply to private schools, including how much education you need to have to become a teacher. Private schools can make their own rules and often don't want kids who are "different." My kids spent three frustrating years at a private school, which turned out to be more inflexible than an Aspie :D. They did a little tutoring, but that was it and it wasn't enough for either of my kids. I thought "You get what you pay for" but that is just not always the case and was not with us. The government is limited in the US. See my paragraph below about homeschooling. Bet you'll be shocked, but it's true.

    If you homeschool in Wisconsin (not all states are like this) you never have to check in with the state. Your child never needs to be tested to make sure he's keeping up. You don't have to really tell anybody what you are doing. All you have to do is send a note to The Department of Public Education to say that you're homeschooling, and that is the end of involvement from any form of government. We did this too for a year. I could have sat at home and let them watch cartoons all day and nobody would have known the difference. The state is not allowed to interfer.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Terry, in my humble opinion you need to pull him from that school and get him in a public facility with a solid IEP to address all of his learning issues. The other alternative is a school geared specifically for kids on the spectrum. Don't know what's available in your area, but we have several here where I am and they make all the difference in the world for these kids.

    Private school is going to be the equivalent of a brick wall for him with no way to get over. Public school will still be a challange, but at least he'll have a ladder to get over that wall. A specialty private school for kids on the spectrum will be like putting a door in that brick wall for him.
  8. Audrey

    Audrey New Member

    Private school is going to be the equivalent of a brick wall for him with no way to get over. Public school will still be a challange, but at least he'll have a ladder to get over that wall. A specialty private school for kids on the spectrum will be like putting a door in that brick wall for him.

    I LOVE the way that is worded! My difficult child is only in KG and we're already looking at a school in our area geared for spectrum kids. I am so grateful they are an option at least.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree that a private school geared for kids on the spectrum would be a wonderful thing.

    There are a LOT of ways to homeschool, and just as many opinions on whether the state should have the right to inspect or supervise homeschooling.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    . But it could mean needing to find a different way of trying to get through to him, working within his current limitations in order to move him beyond these limits."

    If she can't even 'get' this much, then public school can't be much worse, surely? But I would talk to them first, make sure you can find it better and not be out of the frying pan into the fire.

    Oh, Marg, we have done this and done this. I had handouts and the teachers acted like they were all excited. I suspect they were excited about the "idea" of the concept and the challenge, but on a day-to-day basis, it is wearing them down, and he is just a pain in the **** that they have to get past.

    GCVmom, I agree. It was working as well as it could, given the circumstances.

    This a.m., difficult child was contrite and sweet and he apologized. Of course, it was a qualified apology, because his behavior is always someone else's fault. He told me that the teacher said that the rust answer was the correct answer (arg!) and that she marked him off 2 points ea on the last two questions because she couldn't read his handwriting.

    I don't know which one of them I'm more upset with.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, you've done this and you've done this - it must be so frustrating. But what more can you do?

    As for difficult child, he needs help to understand that it doesn't have to be this rigid. However, the help has to come form the teacher as much as from you and if the teacher won't work with you, then you are stuck.

    You are using a communication book, aren't you? Again - what more can you do? I did find that a Book was often the secret to finally getting a teacher on side or at least constantly aware that this kid needed regular tweaking.

    I wouldn't be too upset with difficult child - his thinking is rigid and inflexible because it is all he kows to be. It is his TEACHER'S job to help him with this, to work with this. You've explained to her that this is how he thinks (which is a facet of his disability) and her failure to take this information on board is actively discriminatory. She probably is not aware of this, or of her legal responsibility to do the right thing by him.

    Reminding her of this is your right but may not be a good idea - she really sounds more inflexible than difficult child and that really is a worry.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Marg.
    By a communication book, do you mean written notes back and forth to the teacher? What we've been doing is initialling difficult child's homework planner ea night at home, and the teachers do it during the day.
    At least one of the teachers (incl this one) have initialled it incorrectly when difficult child has merely copied the homework from the board, instead of initialling to show that difficult child has actually finished the assignment. That was not the agreement.
    Also, this teacher, Miss R, initials the line between science and math to indicate her okay, when in fact, she needs to initial them separately. She is very inacurrate and emotional; my husband and I have both rolled our eyes at the irony of how she defies the stereotyped science and math teacher who is logical and precise, and this woman is imprecise and emotional.
    Just like my son ...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The Communication Book we have going would give you more information than you're currently getting. It would of course depend on the teacher and how the book is used - a few times we had to insist that the book be used, because to NOT use it was causing many more problems than you would think possible. At the moment it sounds like any information (either way) is perfunctory and not fully effective.

    We kept te book informal, allowing teachers to vent without fear of reprisal. Of course we are the ones who can understand best just how infuriating our kids can be - id a teacher wrote in the book, "Your son was so infuriating today, I could have cheerfully throttled him," we understood. We felt it was better to know the teacher felt this bad, than to not know.
    My response to tat sort of post would have been, "Hang in there, thanks for telling me. I do understand - we live with him! But something else you wrote had me wondering - you said he was worse immediately after lunch. I wonder what happened out on the playground? As you know, he is so very easily put out of sorts if something has changed or if there has been a problem, and he isn't very capable of tellnig anybody yet. Could we perhaps re-visit the possibility of applying for a short term of extra funding in order to hire some playground supervision? It might make your life a bit easier also, if he isn't getting stirred up by some other little darlings we know infest the playground!"

    Basically, I did my utmost to keep all my posts and comments supportive, informative and considered, so that together we could use this as a resource to help one another. That was the key - mutual support of teacher and home and in doing so, the teacher didn't need to meet up with me for so many regular de-briefs. As I explained to the teacher - after a day of mental exhaustion and beating her head against the wall of my child's obstinacy, the thing she needed most was to have the freedom to head out the door and go home to a stiff drink (if she chose) and not have to be delayed by talking to me every afternoon. The book was the substitute.

    It wasn't always easy for me - I would say that at least half difficult child 3's teachers were not fit for the job of teaching 'normal' kids let alone someone like difficult child 3. They were lazy, incompetent, unfair and badly out of date. But all I could do was educate thme as best as I could (and as far as they were prepared to learn) and be available. I knew the entire school needed a major overhaul, beginning with the principal. He was a nice guy but had been cowed by his staff into not pushing them to do anything they didn't want to do. They tried to block some really necessry actions - a parent had a wheelchair-bound child who they were wanting to go to this school, and were legally entitled to enrol her. But to do so, ramps needed to be put in place. The job was being paid for out of state coffers, not the school themselves, so there should have been no objection - putting in ramps made life a lot easier for school staff delivering heavy supplies by trolley, instead of lugging them up the stairs. I found it easier myself to ride my electric scooter up the ramp instead of dragging myself up on crutches up the stairs. But the staff did their best to block it, because of the inconvenience of the public works.
    But the job was done (I was working quietly in the background stiffening the spines of this pair of parents - the scholl didn't know) and now the school is proud of having at least some wheelchair capability. True, now this kid has left (graduated out), the disabled toilet is used for storage (highly illegal). But without a student planning to enrol, the school at some point would have had to come into line in terms of disability access anyway, and could well have been forced to cover the cost thremselves. That's a lot of cake stalls!

    When dealing with a difficult child, I try to think from the point of view of that difficult child. But in their own way schools and often school staff are also difficult child and I try to think from their point of view as well. It does help me win an argument with them, if I can sell them on the advantages to them of doing it my way.

    Something I have learned - when you have a child who, for various reasons, spends more time at home or working under parental supervision than normal, you need to modify the educational rules somewhat. I began to modify what difficult child 3 played with at home especially if he were home sick (which happened increasingly). In doing so I discovered that, perhaps through no fault of the school, difficult child 3 was learning ZERO in school. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. So we began to teach him. at home and playing educational computer games, he leanred fast. We would watch baby educational stuff, we had to go back to basics. We had games which had a lot of play content (such as Zoombinis) as well as the various Carmen Sandiego games. We had an earlier "Where in the World" version (black and white, very limited) which in its own way was more advanced than te current version. There were the talking books which were intactive with puzzles. And we bought work books, our own work sheets and we used these as game books on famiy outings, to keep him quiet and feeling settled. They were familiar and helped tide him over any anxiety over being in unfamilair territory. I remember one holiday we were on in Queensland, we were in a wildlife park and watching a public demonstration of various animals. There were bleachers filled with people watching, and difficult child 3 was feeling overwhelmed. So we turned him round so his legs were hanging down through the bleachers, his workbook resting on the seat above him as a table. He had his back to the arena, we were sitting further back so he couldn't see any people and only the wall. In that fashion he worked well and calmed down from the near-panic he had been working himself into. The experience helped de-sensitise him to the zoo environment so a week later when we visited Australia Zoo, he was better equipped to participate in it and enjoy it (yes, we met Harriet, at that time the oldest known animal in the world, this was a few years before she died). Our family are zoo junkies, he's had to grow up and get used to it!

    We kept the diary on the computer and whenever I made an entry into the communication book, I wouldactually draft it on the computer, print out that page and cut it out to stick it into the book (stickytape was fastest). My handwriting is not good plus it removed any ambiguity. It was faster for me and also meant that if the book went mising, I always had a record of what I had written. Often when I could, I would transcribe the teacher's comments onto the computer. A few times officialdom got involved - having the Book had meant that when a teacher told me of a meeting (by writing it in the book) and invited me to be present, later educational authorities who tried to insist I was there without invitation or permission didn't have a leg to stand on. However, rather than let them have the original book to see for themselves (to risk thme taking it away and losing it) I scanned the relevant pages and sent them in to the education official.
    I was very glad I was able to do that. I was also very grateful to the then school princip0al (different school from the one I was talking about earlier) who backed up what I had said. He could so easily have saved his own skin by saying, "She's exaggerating," or "I don't recall having that conversation with her." I know it got him into trouble, for him to say, "I remember her saying that she was asked to give permission for this procedure, and gave that permission conditional on her attendance."
    I had not at that time written that into the Communication Book myself (an oversight on my part) and it was looking like it was coming back to bite me, hard.

    I have been so grateful we used this method.

    But the best thing about it - looking back over the old books. You see how far the child has come. And also in our case - all the times teachers were not coping, are on record. I will never take legal action against them but I reserve the right to publish my story. I'll change names, because the problems here are NOT these individual teachers, but the system. it is the experience I wish to document, the problems in general faced by all parents in similar circumstances. The system needs to learn in broad, and to change. I have seen how it can work well, how it should work, in difficult child 3's current placement. They are simply wonderful. So I know it's not me, a difficult parent with an impossible child.

    However, it has taken a lot of input from both school and parent, communicating effectively and working as a tight team, to get here.

    It can be done. You do the best you can and the pay-off can be amazing. But it takes committment on all sides, and ANY weak link damages the chain.

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great ideas, Marg.
    I like the idea of typing out everything as a backup.
    Gosh, these kids take a lot of work!
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, it IS a lot of work sometimes but te way I figure it, that effort now will save me a great deal more effort later on. And frankly, there were times when I didn't want to face that teacher because I'd had a gutful.

    Interesting recent event - Saturday was a street fair in the village, Saturday mornings tend to be busy social occasions anyway as people who work through the week go and do their morning shopping, or just go have coffee in one of the cafes we have here. I wentto the fair at about midday, difficult child 3 followed down on his bike. But one of his old teachers stopped to talk to him. I was frankly amazed - she was perhaps the most difficult of the lot, was always very negative and unreasonably strict with him while at the same time doing nothing to prevent the constant hassling ("needling" - literally) from other kids that would set difficult child 3 off.
    But she asked him how he was going, was pleased that he was doing so well (he's halfway through the School Certificate now - a lot of people never thought he'd get this far). I think she must have seen his interview on TV; maybe the photos of the imjuries he got when he was attacked, hit home with her and she realised how much he's had to put up with. I had another couple of people (other parents) come and talk to me about the show, nobody has criticised us for the way the show focussed on the bullying, but then those families haven't talked to me about it at all yet.

    But listening to this teacher say to difficult child 3, "It's always good for me to hear how well my students are doing, I am very proud of you," was wonderful. This teacher has since retired (was made to after a classroom meltdown last year) and I think has mellowed a fair bit. Her husband is stiull working at the local school (so, husband, now you know who I'm taling about - amazing, huh?).

    I think it was very positive for difficult child 3 to hear this.

    The thing is - this teacher, back when she had difficult child 3, was very difficult to deal with. She could be hostile to me, she had been the one who got "showed up" by difficult child 3 when he was in Kindergarten and she ignored the advice to not make sudden loud noises near difficult child 3 and rang a handbell right behind him, to get yelled at in front of the rest of the playground full of kids by this little pipsqueak.
    And here she actually came up to difficult child 3 to say something nice - I was delighted and amazed.

    I do think the fact that we used the book so thoroughly, is a big part of how this could happen. She learned (without getting it from me to the face, so she could snarl if she felt like it) and I learned her viewpoint without having the chance to bite her head off as she said stuff. We each had the luxury of being able to take a deep breath and write a considered reply. Because we live inthe same small village, it's been really important for me to stay on speaking terms with people who otherwise I have felt hostile towards.

    So yes - it can be hard work, but there are a lot of advantages, and it pays off, sometimes years later!

    Another quick point - when we transferred difficult child 3 to another school (one where they actually try to help the kids and not just cram them into little boxes) I took the Communnication Book with me. I wanted to show them the book to say, "I require this to be done," but I watched the faces of the prospective class teacher and the school principal, as they flicked through the book. I saw them stop at one particular entry (where I felt the teacher, the one we met on Saturday, had really showed her deep bias and lack of understanding) and I saw the looks that passed between the principal and new class teacher - it clearly said, "Wow, she wasn't kidding about this boy getting a hard time!"

    So the Book meant that the message got through loud, clear and FAST.

    I also would take the book to the doctor appointments (psychiatrist and therapist). Again - it's the fastest way to show what has been going on.

  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great about that teacher! Of course now that she's retired, she can afford, emotionally, to take a REALLY deep breath and take it all in stride. I'm so glad she took the time to speak to difficult child 3.
    How did you kep difficult child 3 from reading the book?
    My son would be tearing out pages or erasing entries.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 did begin to read the book at times, I did talk to him and say, "You are likely to find things that make you annoyed if you read what you aren't supposed to." I was taking advantage, I guess, of difficult child 3's autism (and basic honesty) as well as his apathy about anything not directly under his nose.

    I explained to him that this was how his teachers & I communicated. I was careful to keep entries factual so if he read something like, "difficult child 3 didn't sleep well last night, he had nightmares and came into my room several times. He may be extra tired today," then there was nothing in that for him to disagree with.
    Often if a teacher vented in the book, writing something like, "I could have cheerfully throttled him today," difficult child 3 was already aware it had been a bad day. It generally didn't do any harm for him to see the teacher's feelings on paper; he already would have known the teacher was cross. If it was followed with, "I hear you, I know he can be frustrating. Just take a deep breath, he's nnot always that bad. Here's hoping you will both be in better shape after the weekend," then again - nothing there to upset him. Nothing he's not already saying worse things to himself about.

    I said I did this as a computer file - I do know difficult child 3 has gone through the computer files in meticulous detail, in recent years. He says he likes to read about how he used to be, because he knows he's come a long way since then.

    I find these kids tend to be a lot harder on themselves (in terms of personal criticism) than we are on them. So often for them to read what we have really said about them, can be reassuring for them.

    However, no interference with the Book will be allowed. If they do, we have to personally deliver/collect the book via another route. Or do it via emails. I was using the Communication Book at a time when emails were not an option.

    If you do manage this communication via emails, collect them all together into one text file and suggest to the teacher to do the same thing. What really helps, is having all the information in one place because then as you read over, you can begin to see patterns that otherwise you might miss. You might see a pattern, or the teacher might.

    You know - thinking about it, perhaps a computer file of some sort is the best way to go. We often had problems with the book going missing (usually because the teacher tried to make difficult child responsible for it against my strict requirement not to). Things can't go missing electronically, not in the same way.

  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know that a book of your type would not work with-my difficult child.
    Emails would be much better.
    A great idea!
    We did similar things last yr, at the other school, by accident. I'd just send them a heads-up and they'd email back. I would love to do that again.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds like the email option would definitely be the way to go.

    But try to set it up a little more formally - ask the teacher to please transferall emails to and from re your child, into a single text file. That way there's a tendency to read over what has been said on either side and a much greater chance of seeing patterns. This can help everybody, it's "two heads are better than one" sort of thing.

    So you keep a text file, the teacher keeps a text file. They don't have to be identical but the closer they are, the more chance there is of one or both of you being able to catch something as early as possible.

    That's how we caught the pattern that difficult child 3's behaviour would be worse in the three days BEFORE he became symptomatic with a cold, for example. And often again as he was recovering - when we knew it was likely, we were able to plan for it much better and by cutting back on expectations on those days, he did a lot better. And so did they!

  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great idea. Thank you!
    He is lucky to have you. :)