View Full Version : Help with School Compromise

12-17-13, 10:06 AM
I am hoping that someone may have some ideas as to how we can work with our elementary school regarding "consequences." This situation is that when our son has had a problem with the principles office, which is about 2-4 times a semester, it takes at least a day or more for the principal to bring our son in and then she seem to like the 5 days without recess as a consequence.

We don't disagree that there should be a consequence, but we would like it to be as immediate as possible and possibly hit a more effective area (i.e. no free computer time that day.) We feel that both the delay in addressing the issue, as well as the delay and length of the punishment will not be very effective in the long run.

The school explains that a lot happens in a day and that they don't have the resources to address everything the same day. I can see their point of view, but if the purpose of the punishment is to help my son to understand and change an unwanted behavior, I feel that there is greatly reduced effectiveness and possible backlash given my sons ADHD/ODD.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to work with them given their resource constraints? Is there any research on the efficacy and unintended consequences of delayed punishments? Thanks.

12-17-13, 12:28 PM
Does his IEP cover anything with regard to recess? It's ridiculous to take away recess for any child, let alone a child with an ADHD diagnosis. And you are correct, a disciplinary action that takes place 5 days after the event has occurred is worthless and does nothing to help your son to understand why his actions were wrong.

You may be able to get his Dr to write a letter recommending appropriate discipline techinques for a child with ADHD, such as immediate time outs, short losses of privileges, etc.
I have printed out some of the information in Dizfriz's Corner and given it to teachers in the past, also.

12-17-13, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the response. It was obvious to me that the teachers and staff don't agree with the principal using recess as a punishment either, but they can't say as much.

His IEP currently doesn't cover recess. That is something I wanted to add. The principal likes to point out that the have 30 minutes of daily PE and 20 minutes of recess, with the reasoning being that keeping him in from recess isn't a big deal since he will also have PE. Well PE is great, but it is very structured and sometimes pretty competitive, which I think is a far cry from free play time outside or in the gym. In addition, several of his incidents over the past two years have been in gym class.

I would like to see if we could include something to the effect of consequences will happen the day of the incident, but I know they will not accept that. I was also wondering if it would make sense to ask if they cannot provide the feedback an ADHD kid needs in the appropriate timeframe, whether or not they can actually provide an adequate education for him.

03-05-14, 06:54 PM
So we had a meeting with the principal regarding the punishments. I pointed out the research and the fact that there is a state law requiring recess and the principal countered with the alternative is suspension "Would you rather I suspend him?" In the end we found a compromise where he would spend some after school time in some sort of punishment which we suggested earlier. Anyway, I really think that ignoring state laws and choosing the blackmail the parents is a pretty effective strategy to keep the status quo.

Ms. Mango
03-05-14, 10:33 PM
"Would you rather I suspend him?"

Would you like me to retain an attorney?

File that away under things you'd like to say but probably won't. However, if your child has a behavioral issue he can't be punished if his actions are a direct result of that issue. If his behaviors aren't serious enough to address immediately then the consequence of losing 5 days of recess is too severe.

You could ask for a functional behavioral assessment. The FBA looks at the problem behaviors, what might cause them and how to address them. It would also spell out consequences that can be carried out immediately. Check out the Wrightslaw site for some information on the FBA