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  #1  
Old 09-06-13, 11:12 AM
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We are really struggling.

I've been reading the forum for about a month, but this is my first post.

I have a 5 yr 9 month old DS who we are in the process of getting him help/diagnosis. Right now he's being treated by his regular pedi since it takes 2ish months to get in with a behavioral pediatrician or neurologist.

We've mentioned many issues throughout the years to our pediatrician, but most have been ignored since they don't like to diagnose these things until the kids are older. In July we finally went to her again because of his anger and lack of focus. I was getting more and more nervous about kindergarten starting knowing we were going to have issues. So our pediatrician put him on Kapvay for the anger and it's worked. He doesn't have the rage episodes. We've also tried Focalin (many different doses) and Vyvanse. So far neither have worked. Both have made him extremely emotional and IMO made him harder to deal with because he gets fixated on something and just starts crying.

Kindergarten started last week. It is not going well at all. I want to pull him out and homeschool, but my husband wants to keep going and hope we can get the right medication to help him. I'm just not so sure.
Like I said we don't have an official diagnosis and he could very well get a DX of Autism (the school seems to think he's autistic) as well as ADHD and ODD so right now we're just trying to keep our heads above water with the school.

I've been called to the school twice to take him home. Yesterday he made it 2 1/2 hours before they had me go get him. He starts yelling, completely shuts down and nobody can get through to him. He's completely isolated, none of the other children will play with him or even seem to talk to him. He sits alone at lunch.

We had a conference on Friday (so day 5 of kindergarten) with quite a few of the staff members (his K teacher, principal, vice principal, school counselor, special ed coordinator, PE coach). The conference was requested by his teacher after the first day of school (this was so disappointing to me-- felt like they didn't even give him a chance to adjust). The school counselor said that at lunch he sits alone because the other kids said they don't want to sit with him. We signed all the papers to get him evaluated through the school, but that takes him and until then he is stuck in a regular kindergarten class.

I'm just really having a hard time believing this is the best place for him. There aren't any other school options. We have no private schools in the area that offer any special ed services. I actually think he's a bright child, but getting through to him is hard enough at home. At school he is not getting anything except grief from everyone.
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Old 09-06-13, 11:44 AM
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Re: We are really struggling.

You really gotta try connect with other parents / support people locally who can advise and support you!!!

Keep following through with the professionals and get some support mum! ( As a side note, maybe there is another pediatric psych w ASD experience nearby? )

Given the strains, I think another year at home might be in everyones best interests, long term. Try not to think of it as backing down or in a reaction to the school experience.

Have you looked into what sort of support / peer networking groups / people are local? Have you heard of Steiner? schools?
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Old 09-06-13, 01:23 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

I think it would be a good idea to homeschool him, at least for this year, until you can get a diagnosis and proper treatment. Homeschooling kindergarten can be a lot of fun. Since he is being ignored by the other children in school, it's not as if he will be missing out on socialization. You might be able to find a homeschool group in your area. When I homeschooled my grandson, we met with a group weekly for an afternoon in the park. Our City's Park & Rec Department also offers a homeschool PE class twice a week and a Homeschool swimming team. Both were very inexpensive. You can take him on field trips to the zoo, aquarium, etc. For curriculum ideas, check out Oak Meadow; they have a wonderful Kindergarten curriculum that fosters a love of nature and a love of literature and is perfect for special needs children.
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Old 09-06-13, 03:01 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Look up wrightslaw. it tells you EXACTLY how to approach the district so your son can get a fair education.
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Old 09-09-13, 03:18 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Thank you for your responses. I really do feel a strong urge to keep him home this year. My husband doesn't feel the same way **yet**.
Today (Monday) we made it until 12:30pm before they called me to send DS home.

Can anyone share their experiences? Is that how most schools handle children with behavioral issues? They just keep sending them home when things aren't going well? I don't know if I have the full story about today, but from what the principal told me he wasn't even in class today when he got upset. He was out with the special ed. diagnostician (they've started the evaluation process) and he started getting really upset. The principal was able to calm him down and then she had them call me to send him home. Is this how it goes for kids/parents like us?
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Old 09-09-13, 03:40 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertmariposa View Post
Thank you for your responses. I really do feel a strong urge to keep him home this year. My husband doesn't feel the same way **yet**.
Today (Monday) we made it until 12:30pm before they called me to send DS home.

Can anyone share their experiences? Is that how most schools handle children with behavioral issues? They just keep sending them home when things aren't going well? I don't know if I have the full story about today, but from what the principal told me he wasn't even in class today when he got upset. He was out with the special ed. diagnostician (they've started the evaluation process) and he started getting really upset. The principal was able to calm him down and then she had them call me to send him home. Is this how it goes for kids/parents like us?
Really, read the wrightslaw site. It tells you all of this.
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Old 09-09-13, 03:59 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

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Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
Really, read the wrightslaw site. It tells you all of this.
I've looked through it. I've seen articles on being suspended/expelled, but nothing about sending a kid home for the day when they are behaving badly.
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Old 09-09-13, 04:50 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccom5100 View Post
I think it would be a good idea to homeschool him, at least for this year, until you can get a diagnosis and proper treatment. Homeschooling kindergarten can be a lot of fun. Since he is being ignored by the other children in school, it's not as if he will be missing out on socialization. You might be able to find a homeschool group in your area. When I homeschooled my grandson, we met with a group weekly for an afternoon in the park. Our City's Park & Rec Department also offers a homeschool PE class twice a week and a Homeschool swimming team. Both were very inexpensive. You can take him on field trips to the zoo, aquarium, etc. For curriculum ideas, check out Oak Meadow; they have a wonderful Kindergarten curriculum that fosters a love of nature and a love of literature and is perfect for special needs children.
Very good ideas. Do keep in mind that not everybody lives in a urban area. Rural areas very often simply do not have these kinds of resources. The poster shows living in West Texas and believe me, many of these areas have very little in the area of parks, zoos, aquariums and such.

I live in rural East Texas and it is is more populated and resource rich than much of West Texas and we have none of these kinds of resources nearby except for some (but not a lot) open land city parks.

I lived in the Rio Grande area at one time and there, the nearest friend of a child might be 20 miles away. We are talking about an area where you can drive for 70 miles and not see a house. They are there but often several miles off the highway on a ranch.

So when we are talking about resources, it might be helpful to keep in mind that these wonderful things are not available to all. It can be a factor in making the decision to home school.

Dizfriz
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Old 09-09-13, 04:58 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertmariposa View Post
I've looked through it. I've seen articles on being suspended/expelled, but nothing about sending a kid home for the day when they are behaving badly.
Sorry then, I must have remembered it wrong.
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Old 09-09-13, 05:14 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Look for information about a functional behavioral assessment and response to intervention. A functional behavioral assessment should be part of the overall assessment the school is currently conducting.

The school needs to find a way to keep your son there--either in the classroom or in some other type of learning environment. Is there anyone you can talk to (like in the special ed department) who can work with the teachers and principal to help them so that their first response isn't to call you?
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Old 09-09-13, 05:53 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

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Originally Posted by Ms. Mango View Post
Look for information about a functional behavioral assessment and response to intervention. A functional behavioral assessment should be part of the overall assessment the school is currently conducting.

The school needs to find a way to keep your son there--either in the classroom or in some other type of learning environment. Is there anyone you can talk to (like in the special ed department) who can work with the teachers and principal to help them so that their first response isn't to call you?
Thank you, that helps. I'm going to print the stuff on functional behavioral assessment because it definitely seems to apply here.

The special ed diagnostician (she's the one that seems to run the special ed department) was the one with him today when we had his outburst. They were able to calm him down and the principal still had her secretary call me to pick him up. He's been there 9 days and he's been sent home 2 of those days.
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Old 09-09-13, 05:58 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizfriz View Post
Very good ideas. Do keep in mind that not everybody lives in a urban area. Rural areas very often simply do not have these kinds of resources. The poster shows living in West Texas and believe me, many of these areas have very little in the area of parks, zoos, aquariums and such.

I live in rural East Texas and it is is more populated and resource rich than much of West Texas and we have none of these kinds of resources nearby except for some (but not a lot) open land city parks.

I lived in the Rio Grande area at one time and there, the nearest friend of a child might be 20 miles away. We are talking about an area where you can drive for 70 miles and not see a house. They are there but often several miles off the highway on a ranch.

So when we are talking about resources, it might be helpful to keep in mind that these wonderful things are not available to all. It can be a factor in making the decision to home school.

Dizfriz
We are in the biggest city in western Texas (border of Texas, NM, and Mexico), but even so we have limited resources. There is a large homeschooling group here so if we do homeschool there is a network of people that I should be able to connect with.
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Old 09-09-13, 06:27 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

I'm not a parent, but I empathize with your situation and especially your young son. I was probably thought of as a terror to my teachers but was fortunate to play sports and make friends.

Some of my social struggles didn't come till later.

I just hope that what's happening to him now doesn't last for too much longer. The scars of childhood last into the adult years. I'm proof of that.
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Old 09-10-13, 07:13 PM
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Re: We are really struggling.

And now he was suspended for 3 days. He threw a book today that hit another child.
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Old 09-11-13, 05:51 AM
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Re: We are really struggling.

Quote:
Can anyone share their experiences? Is that how most schools handle children with behavioral issues? They just keep sending them home when things aren't going well?
Unfortunately, yes, many schools do this. Once he has an IEP, though, they can't suspend him for more than 10 days total in a school year, and if they keep calling you to take him home you can build a case for a 1:1 aide.

My son was suspended twice in first grade, for a total of 4 days. I think it's ridiculous to suspend someone so young, but that's what they did.

A friend of mine also has a son with Aspergers and severe behavioral issues, and his principal unilaterally placed him on half-days in first grade (the school had previously denied him an IEP because he was "too smart".)
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I highly recommend:
Lost at School and The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene
http://www.livesinthebalance.org/walking-tour-parents -- video
Essential Ideas for Parents by Russell Barkley (video on youtube)

Parenting Children with ADHD by Vincent J. Monastra
Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson
Parenting Your Asperger Child by Alan Sohn
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy by Peter Wright
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
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