Whiney vent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    This is the third week of school, and I have been called by the school again. The only week we missed was the first. This is getting old. So far these matters are dinky compared to other calls last year.

    Last week difficult child was caught kicking bikes and scooters at the bike rack. Some adult came up and told him to knock it off (not in those words) and he looked at them and said it's not my property, why do I care? Isn't that a great response? The principal is looking for the owner of the scooter (guess is has the most damage) and we may have to pay the damages. It will come out of difficult child's allowance, but at this point I cannot even afford to give allowances!!!!

    Today, difficult child was bringing in the balls from PE, another boy was opening and closing the door. difficult child finally got thru. Could he just go put the balls away? He was in the building, it would have been easy. Not for him. He pushed the kid, who then tackled him. I believe all he missed was recess, no suspension or anything.

    Why is this bugging me so much? He has been suspended before, there was talk about him being expelled at one point. This is piddly stuff compared to past things.

    I am ready to lose it. Between easy child acting like a difficult child, difficult child at home acting like a easy child and acting like who knows what at school, then add in husband's health problems and all the financiall s#***, I am just ready to hide from the world. husband is getting his tonsils out in October, I have been seriously thinking about taking difficult child up to OHSU for a neuropsychologist evaluation. This is all big stuff to me. The neuropsychologist evaluation is huge. I would probably try to schedule it during spring break, but the expense will be huge. Food lodging and gas will be big, not to mention the cost of the test.

    I just want to go for a walk in the woods and cry. Not an option right now.

    Thanks to those who made it this far.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off ((((hugs)))). You certainly have a lot on your plate right now. I can totally empathize with wanting to hide from the world right now. Saying a prayer things get better soon.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    They're all possessed right now. I don't know what it is, but all of them are evil little changelings that I really didn't wish I knew.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm in the financial bind of a lifetime and can't even think about going back to work because difficult child 1 has caused so much trouble. I'm trying to find work on line to try and make a buck. I'm behind on everything!

    Ugh! I'm sorry things svck so much for you!

  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I don't blame you for being frustrated. Those are certainly things the school should be able to deal with without pulling you in. (except to pay for damages.)

    Do you have e-mail contact with the school? I think they should be sending you written reports via the e-mail. When they call you on the phone, they put you on the spot to solve the problem then and there. Even if they called, "just to let you know", you feel that they are asking what YOU are going to do about it. If they put it in writing, you have more time to ponder and ask questions to gather info and give your input if you choose. In other words, e-mails give our momma bear feelings a chance to calm down before reacting. Always put it back on them, "Thank you for letting me know. I do realize this is a school matter for your staff to handle. Please let me know what his consequences are for this action and continue to keep me informed as to his behavior. Thank you!"

    These events should be FYI situations only. They do not need to interupt you with a phone call. E-mails are the way - then you have their viewpoint in writing - no one to say, "I didn't say that!"
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I vote for getting the neuropsychologist testing done asap. The school is treating your son like a behavioral problem, right or wrong, but whatever they are trying to do to help him with it sure isn't working. I think you need solid recommendations from professionals (including whatever will be written in the test results) so you can have some weight in an iep meeting. I'm not saying his behavior shouldn't be improved- I'm just saying that obviously, the methods being used right now aren't working. Does he have a therapist that can attend an iep meeting with you or send a letter with recommendations for you to take to a meeting? Have you tried The Explosive Child techniques at home? If they work at home, you can try to pick out a couple of things and get them incorporated at school.

    You can find more suggestions on the Special Education forum- have you tried posting something there?
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    He's ten years old. I strongly recommend using a Communication Book - let the school vent in this. Similarly, you use it to let them know what else you're dealing with because the impending surgery for his dad will also be impacting difficult child in some way. Same with the other issues. The Book also gives a written record.

    As for paying for damages - there are several ways I heartily recommend making restitution.

    First - he has to hand-write a letter of apology. That goes without saying. And a separate one for each person whose stuff he kicked/kid he beat up. And if there is others who are also at fault - too bad. Let them decide for themselves if they should also apologise to him, but at least HE needs to do the decent thing.

    Second - practical payment to fix things. If you can't afford to pay pocket money right now, then difficult child needs to earn the money in some other way. Chores - perhaps for other people - is a good start. You will probably need to supervise or in some other way ensure the work is done properly, but DON'T rescue him. Maybe he could do chores at school for some sort of financial payment - I don't know. There should be plenty of little old ladies who need gardens weeded, bathrooms scrubbed, odd jobs done. He might even enjoy doing something good - that doesn't detract from the lesson in any way though, because after he's earned back what he needs to pay for damages, he can always continue to do chores for payment as a positive thing.

    These are natural consequences. There should be no need for any further punishment, either at home or at school.

    Like you, I grew to hate the daily phone calls. The school would always expect me to drop everything and go collect difficult child 3. Often I'd be finally on the way to see one of my specialists (having had to cancel several previous appointments for similar reasons). It got to the point where if I had a doctor's appointment that I didn't want to cancel, I'd just pull difficult child 3 out of school for the day, so at least I wouldn't get a call to go to the school!

    I did get to the point where I began to unofficially home-school difficult child 3, if it looked like he would have a bad day at mainstream. I was determined - if I had to go to the school to bring him home, it was NOT to be a reward in any way, so I would make him do schoolwork to make up for what he had missed out on doing. It didn't take me long to realise - difficult child 3 learned far more in one day at home, than he did in one week at school. It took a little longer to realise - difficult child 3 had, over the years, learned just about everything he had, on his weekends and afternoons at home and NOT in his weeks/years at school.

    I've seen a number of other kids with similar issues- they have a diagnosis of ADHD (I can see possibly some Aspie traits) and their anxiety was so heightened at school that they were on a hair-trigger, ready to explode at the slightest aside glance or accidental bump from another kid. difficult child 3's current school placement is correspondence, with occasional optional study days in at the school site. I meet these other kids on these days over the years and I've seen some wonderful changes in them, as they have relaxed at home, learning that they ARE safe, they can concentrate on what they're studying and when they DO meet other kids, nobody is out to get them. The teachers supervise closely and know the history of these kids, they know to watch for the possible social clashes.
    One boy in particular - he used to tease difficult child 3, whose anxious obsessive reactions would annoy him. But last week at the special study day - this boy showed a lot of maturity and support for difficult child 3. His mother had explained a bit of difficult child 3's story to him and that, coupled with the boys' now-lowered anxiety and less-sensitive hair-trigger, helped him understand. So all day, this other boy would encourage difficult child 3, would give him high-fives and say, 'well done'. The positive response to all this reinforced the good deed.

    Teachers have commented on how much progress difficult child 3 has made. I've also heard teachers talking to this other boy's mother, about how well HER son is doing socially. You wouldn't think that reducing the social interaction at mainstream would improve a student's social function, but time and time again, I see that it doesn't, not in these cases.

    We've only had one really bad day at this school, and it was a day when difficult child 3 had missed his medications. The teachers had two other children just walk out of the school (they weren't coping) and they brought difficult child 3 to me (I stay at the school premises for these study days) and suggested I take him home because he just wasn't able to function. He was not in trouble. The two students who just walked out, were (but the teachers understood).

    Your husband is home. Is there a correspondence option you could plug difficult child into at least for a term? husband would only need to make sure difficult child was working and not playing. Often under these circumstances, our difficult children can work better and can be easily motivated, even where they were kicking over the traces in mainstream.

    Hugs. I really hated those phone calls.

  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Actually, both times the school had difficult child call me. Which is fine, but I cannot always understand him on voice mail, as I can only rarely get to the phone. They are mainly fyi calls, but I am just tired of it. I am tired of everything. I did not even call back today. I was not asked to, and I did not see what point it would serve. difficult child was made to call me to tell me what happened, so I know and I do not need to call back.

    He is a behavior problem. How to fix it, I don't know. I do know psychiatrist lowered his Lamictal a couple months ago because he thought it could have been activating him. I do not know if that has anything to do with it.

    What is really weird is that difficult child is not so bad at home. Does his homework without being asked, says please and thank you occasionally. He does seem a little more irritable and edgy at the same time. I will e-mail psychiatrist and let him know. I will also see what I need to do to set up the neuropsychologist appointment. I will have to wait as I need funds and a car that can make it over to the valley. A 3hr drive with lots of nasty mountain passes. Not a good winter time trip.

    I think today I am just burnt.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Marg, there really isn't any husband could deal with difficult child all day. They are too much alike. husband is full blown BiPolar (BP), Adhd and lots of anxiety. He does not sit well, and is not patient. I think they would kill each other, or go build or fix something and never get any school work done. They would do it "later" but "later" would never happen. He does have many traits that could go to many diagnoses.

    You know what just slays me???? difficult child does great in the classroom. He is horrible in PE, Music and any recess. He just cannot interact with others well.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It still might work, if you could find a way for difficult child to work independently. If husband were simply there to help him understand a question, for example. it does sound to me like difficult child is already well motivated to work on his lessons.

    A 'classmate' of difficult child 3's is at home unsupervised. he doesn't come to study days any more (they live a long way away) but I saw them last Speech Day (like a graduation day thing) when her son scooped the pool with class awards. She found that he worked better when she left him alone, so she went out and got a full-time job. It's against the rules, but hey, the kid is doing brilliantly, so the school clearly isn't worrying.

    I am increasingly leaving difficult child 3 to work on his own. He has a couple of subjects where he needs me sitting beside him - I don't help him work, I just sit there mostly. But it's the autism side of him that is having trouble.

    The point would be academic, if there isn't anything suitable available either online or correspondence. Another possibility - partial attendance for a while? Have him home, working at home, one day a week and see how he works?

    It is so difficult when you have illness in the family, and a desperate need to get out and earn money. I'm fortunate tat I am able to supervise difficult child 3's learning. I don't teach - I am officially called his supervisor, not his teacher. The only other thing I do for him is shove food in his direction during the school day, so he can keep working while eating.

    What happens if you discuss the issues with him and with husband? Or is that too stressful for both? Are there any local support networks you can talk to, for kids with ADHD? Not tat we're not always here, but sometimes a local perspective can put you in touch with more choices.

  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think if I talked to them both about difficult child staying home from school we would have fireworks. First of all, difficult child loves school. Go figure. husband won't like it either.

    As for the local support groups, I have not found any. There was one, but it was a joke. I do think difficult child has more than just ADHD, but I just do not know if it is a mood disorder or something else.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    have you talked to psychiatrist about all this and maybe tweaking medications recently?
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    What about social skills classes or social skills group therapy kinda thing? Just a thought since he seems to do well contained, but not one on one. They can work on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors/responses.

    I'm sorry you're so fried. You've had all summer to not have to deal with school issues and when it starts up again it's sooo hard. You just start to relax and then....

  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Wynter, this year they have a social skills group!!!! It will meet every Friday. It is run by the main sped teacher in the school. difficult child was in an anger management one a few years back that was run by county mental health and put on at the school, it seemed to be kinda a joke.

    I am going to e-mail psychiatrist soon, he has been at a conference for the last 2 weeks. We don't see him untill October 1st.