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Need help with 7-year-old in music class

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This could go in the schooling forum, but I thought I'd get better advice from the SN forum.  I'm still pretty new at this, DS just got approved for an IEP last week for his ADHD and behavior at school (it's actually not even in place yet, the 2 weeks to get the plan written up hasn't transpired yet and I haven't been able to sign anything).  DS has always had behavior problems at school, from verbally harassing other kids to mouthing off at teachers, not doing his work, etc.  So that's the bulk of what's going to be addressed in his IEP.  But apparently he's being completely defiant in music class - they're preparing for their spring recital and he's absolutely refusing to participate and is making it hard for the other kids to practice.  The music teacher actually called me yesterday to ask me to talk to him and get him to behave.  I did talk to him but he staunchly refuses to participate.  He doesn't want to, he thinks it's stupid, and he's not going to.  Would I be off-base to ask that he not have to participate in music class while they're preparing for the recital?  On one hand, I don't want him to think that he can get out of whatever project he doesn't want to do by just refusing and being defiant, but on the other hand I don't think forcing him to participate in the musical is worth the headache for him, the teacher, and the other kids at this point.  I wanted to get some opinions and suggestions before calling the school.

post #2 of 6

Don't look at the behavior - look at the cause.  


Is it possible that your son finds music class overstimulating?  Often sensory processing disorder is comorbid with ADHD.  My son has to wear headphones in music class or he gets completely overstimulated and acts out.  Is your son verbal enough to talk through his feelings - getting beyond the "it's stupid".  So maybe having a conversation like


Honey, I really want to understand the challenges you are facing in music class so that I can help you.  Can you tell me what it is about music class that you don't like?


It's stupid.


Hmmmm, that could mean a lot of things.  What's stupid about the class?


The teacher


Well, teachers are usually very smart, what makes you think she's stupid?


etc etc etc till you find out the root cause.  Then you can work on fixing the problem which should fix the behavior.


Good luck!

post #3 of 6

I did. DS1 was terribly disruptive during vocal music and PE last year. The school excused him from those two classes. Some battles just aren't worth fighting. 


He is at a different school this year and loves both music and PE. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm just worried that if we keep him in class, he's going to disrupt the entire musical.  I did try to dig deeper into why he doesn't like music class and he said it's boring and the songs are stupid (mental note, ask him what kind of music he'd rather sing in class).  He's also upset that other kids have more lines than him.  Sigh...  I think I'm going to call the social worker (part of his special ed team) and get her opinion.

post #5 of 6



DS1 did disrupt a performance. His class was singing Christmas carols at a meeting for the Optimist Club.  He decided to enrich the experience by quacking throughout the songs. Quack, quack, quack, quack... a teacher hauled him off the stage by the scruff of his neck. The Optimist Club thought it was really funny, his classmates thought it was funny, but his music teacher did NOT think it was funny. 

post #6 of 6

Can you reach out to the music teacher and talk to her/him about maybe doing something in your son's comfort zones for the recital?  I'll never forget, my son was pre-k and going to summer camp.  The kids did a show for the parents.  His counselor recognized that my son didn't have the ability to learn and perform a routine so she let him do what he was good at... walking around with a play guitar strumming it.  He fit right in, he felt that he got a special thing to do and everyone was happy.

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