Wee went to school today. Behind the 8 ball.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I didn't take him yesterday, because SpEd teacher was out. He's also not going Thursday for the same reason.
    But apparently, this "only 1 day suspensions" was intended for in the future, and the statement that he'll be in school "Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday" wasn't really supposed to be how it worked.
    'Cause they didn't want him til tomorrow, today is day 5 of his suspension, and I got talked to.
    They didn't make me take him home, but principal, at least, wasn't real happy.
    I don't expect it to be a good day/week. Very first thing said to him by another student when he walked in was "have you been sick all this time????" and of course, Wee said, "no", very quiet and sad. Everyone is wearing a hat today for "Hats for Haiti". Of course, Wee didn't know, so he is not. He has an inch of homework in his mailbox that he's worried about doing. And they started a new token system last week in math, the kids earn fake coins for doing things and then get to "buy" something later. Everyone has a bag full of money. Wee has none.
    He lost it last week 'cause he felt stupid and left out.
    Yup. This is gonna help lots.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This story just breaks my heart. I'm sure you've been asked this before--but what are your options to that school? Anything?

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh this is just so not right.

    I really could understand if he was 15. He is 7.

    I had a principal do this to Cory when he came back to school after being gone for the 16 months to wilderness camp. He looked up that first day when I brought him in to enroll him in classes after doing the whole IEP thing before hand and the guy just basically rolled his eye's at Cory and said "Oh no, you are here again!" Cory was 12.

    I blasted him right there in the office with everyone around. I said something to the effect of how did he think that was going to make a kid with behavioral issues and mental health issues feel about coming to school? Did he want to cause him to drop out?

    These schools just dont get it and they never will.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Is there any way you could take a hat to him? Talk to the teacher about rewarding wee more often than the other kids to build up his confidence? So he would have that money bag in a day or two and then they could taper down on how often they reward him? Maybe one coin for each side of a homework page?

    Why did they not give you the work for him to do at home? I would blast them for this.

    I think that you may have enough days of suspension (cause those half days of school count because he was not ALLOWED to go to school a full day) to push a change in placement to an out of district school if you can find one. I would look for a school for kids with special needs, if that is possible.

    I really do not think this school is going to work out for wee. Poor guy. I just wish these people could see how much they damage him with each stupid move they make. He is such a sweet kid. It breaks my heart.
  5. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Where is the compassion of these teachers/principal. This situation is definitely not right. I hope wee manages to have a good day despite all of these obstacles.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Pretty sure the teacher will make up lost ground without saying anything. She doesn't see it all, but she made sure he had a coin before I left.

    Homework will go back to SpEd Teacher and he won't be doing most of it. He just saw the pile...

    And I really don't know of any other placement for Wee. There's nothing here. The alternative school in the next district doesn't take any outside kiddos. Homeschool isn't even really an option 'cause he needs to learn the social stuff as much as the academics.

    I am feeling really defeated today. In a major sort of way. Yeah, I "won" this battle, but the war is still waging. This year has been much better than last, but still, we can't continue even as we have this "good" year. There's got to be something better.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Shari, this is pure propaganda, put about primarily by schools who just don't understand how some kids CANNOT learn social skills in a school setting. Also it is pure myth that home schooling prevents kids learning social skills. Utter bunkum.

    However, I know you work, so I know home-schooling wouldn't be easy. But considering how much suspension he's getting, you may as well consider this. You're halfway there already.

    I had this same situation to deal with, with difficult child 3. Only difference (mainly) was it was difficult child 3 constantly throwing up at school and spiking a mild fever, that had him home so much. I made a point of keeping him working on schoolwork and when I didn't get enough from the school, I gave him my own lessons at home (I bought books and computer software). I kept dropping in to the school to collect work for him and also keep up to date with news sheets etc. The school helped a little (belatedly) by letting us know when there was a special thing (such as the "hats for Haiti" - they told us about Harmony Day and difficult child 3 got dressed in his orange shirt like the other kids for the school photo, then came back home with me despite teachers trying to entice him to stay).

    However, that was pretty much where the help left off, with our local school. They also really nagged me about their concerns for his socialisation. The district office actually had been exercising their veto over the correspondence option we now use, because they said he MUST attend mainstream because he's autistic and needs to be around other kids to learn social skills. I found out this is plain wrong. Besides, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids cannot learn social skills by osmosis, the way other kids learn to socialise. Instead they need to be socialised under supervision, with support and in amounts the kids themselves can control. At school it tends to be chaotic especially in the playground, where socialising can be anarchic and confusing for kids who have problems in that area. Also, school is a very unnatural environment - at no other time in your life will you have to spend much of your time with a group of others the same age as you but spanning a wide range of abilities; people who behave often in a very immature and impulsive way, and who are also under the charge of one individual in a position of authority.

    School is an artificial environment. The social skills we learn in school will not help us much. We learn more, outside school and in small bites after we have learned to cope in school. We first must be able to cope with school, before we can really learn anything of long-term use there, socially.

    If you can't get over that first hurdle, all you will learn at school is the bad stuff.

    difficult child 3 learnt a lot of bad social habits at school. He learned how to swear and use some very bad language. He learned how to hit other kids. he learned that it was his place in the world to get beaten up. He learned that he was not going to be safe at school. He learned that he was lonely and unloved at school.

    These were not lessons I was happy with.

    When he was at home - he worked on lessons during school hours. He often worked much more effectively than he did at school. He could work on the floor if he wanted, or on his bed. or in a box, or up a tree. It's difficult to hold the worksheets till when you're up a tree so we didn't do that one often. We've worked at the beach, in a rainforest, at a wildlife park, in the car at the shopping centre. And I'm talking worksheets here. And he did well.

    Socialising while NOT in mainstream - he would come shopping with me. I could give him the shopping list and say, "Go find X for me. Get the most economical size and brand." That is an exercise in maths right there. A darn good one. He would interact with other customers "sonny, could you get that jar off the shelf for me? Your arms are longer than mine." He would interact with shop assistants, whose job it is to be polite to customers. At first it was under my supervision, but for a few years now I can trust difficult child 3 to go off on his own around the mall. If we're trying to buy something expensive and technical, I can send difficult child 3 to check out all the likely stores for the best deal. He is very canny, will talk shopkeepers into the best bargain, then go to the store where we have memberships and then get them to price-match, plus we get the points on our file. Not bad!

    What social skills does a person need in the majority of their life? We've found with both our boys, when we pulled them out of mainstream school they did a lot better socially and made faster progress.

    What helped me feel more confident on this, was the website of a young man called James Williams. He has autism. If you Google "James Williams" and "autism" you should find his website high on the hit list. Read his description of how he found school. It sounds a lot like what Wee has been experiencing.

  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm not against homeschooling him, and it may come to that.

    However, I have to get fired first. I can't just quit. I would need unemployment to buy time to get SSI filed and started. Stupid, I know, but... I can't homeschool him and work. I don't think I can carry that load, with or without husband's help. If I didn't have to work, I could...

    Besides that, daycare is as impossible as school. If not worse.

    But it may come to that.

    Was talking with our case manager today, too, about moving to another district. I just don't know.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Shari, you've left him with grandma before, haven't you? If you had some sort of rough schedule drawn up, could she supervise his work? I don't mean teach, just supervise. We found that when difficult child 3 (and difficult child 1 before him) had worksheets to do or some other work, all we needed was somewhere for the kid to sit and work, and someone to be there for him to call on if he got stuck. And the same someone to shove a sandwich in his direction at the right time. We found the best schedule was to let him work on a worksheet until it was done, rather than the school method of changing task after half an hour or whenever. Keeping it more flexible like this made it a lot easier for the kids to get into a self-teaching mode at which point they began to get confidence in themselves as being capable, after all.

    My work with difficult child 3 is going to be more involved tis year, but only because the work is getting a lot more abstract. But the worksheets he has are still fairly well set out, all in writing including instructions. All he has to do is read each step in turn, and do it. I 'helped' a bit more today, by encouraging difficult child 3 to get started. We'd talked about what was on the agenda a few days ago, so he knew what to do. He had to watch a movie ("Whale Rider") and then begin to answer questions on the worksheet. After he watched the movie, I asked him some questions (to check he'd understood it) and we talked about it. What did he understand the movie to be about? Who were the characters? What were they doing? And so on. Because this topic involves complex social understanding, he does need a bit more help than usual, but is still doing amazingly well. A lot of the time with more concrete subjects, I can leave him alone and trust him to work. After all, his schooling is output-based.

    A classmate of his (another correspondence student, one who rarely attends study days and who we often don't see from one year to the next) has been doing really well, came first in the year in most subjects last year, and his mother works full-time. She told me she went back to work because he said he could work better in an empty house. And clearly he does.

    Correspondence doesn't always require a parent to supervise. It also greatly reduces the workload of who would otherwise be the teacher in a home-schooling set-up.

    I do hear you on the need to work. It is grossly unfair that some people don't have the luxury of being able to do this, when really it shouldn't be a luxury, it should be a viable alternative.

  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I do leave him with grandma when I have to, but that cannot be a permanent solution. Grandma is 70, and wee is still high maintenance. I am concerned now about her having had him for the past 3 or 4 weeks twice a week for full days.

    I am going to make an appointment to visit the next district. At least entertain the notion of moving.

    And yes...not having the "luxury" of doing what my kid needs just makes my boil. I also just found out that he will not qualify for targeted case management because we have private insurance - only those on medicaid are being accepted.

    It really blows that I have to live on public assistance to get more help for my kiddo. But it may come to that.