School behavior problems/diagnosed ADD - long vent! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 04-21-2005, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
loved's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: A little duplex w/a dog and my kids
Posts: 390
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ds 7 has had a pretty horrible 1st grade year this year. He has been acting out - throwing fits, yelling, crying on regular basis. He follows directions about 3/4 of the time, but has trouble with writing, sitting still, listening/paying attention and staying on track. His teacher is truly not the best teacher (nice to know - this late in the year!) - and she 'diagnosed' him ADD after 3 weeks of school in the beginning of the school year, then later suggested asperger's - all very inflammatory in my ears and really put me on the defensive (more on that later).

Here's where it gets confusing: in her class there are several boys (mine one) who are disruptive. One of them is really, really out in left-field. He throws these huge fits of rage, complete with screaming and throwing things. He repeatedly will not follow simple directions like coming into the classroom after recess and throughout the school year, has become more and more obstinate. He listens to eminem and plays pretty violent video games. He is just a little guy! His father died two years ago - poor guy.
But most of the boys in class are drawn to him - as is my son. We do not have play-dates with him for the above reasons, but I really feel for that boy!
And my son's behavior has recently taken a turn for the worst...he is very interested in violent things (all of which we have tried to shelter him from, ie no toy guns, video games etc.) and has taken to disrepecting his teacher, yelling at her, telling her he wants to stab her, feel like punching someone/her, cutting off someone's head...agh. She told me yesterday she has been "documenting all this throughout the school year".

Now it gets more scary. Yesterday, as I was collecting ds's things from class I overhear another mother say, "When does this become a safety issue? I am really concerned and worried. Aren't you supposed to contact CPS?..." and then something about "when he is violent toward the teacher..."

I am pretty sure they are talking about the other boy. But I really felt this deep fear in my heart. I know it could be my own.

All across the county kids are being expelled and worse for behaviors that may/or may not be unsafe.
I read Raising Cain about a year ago and am so aware and saddened by how oppressed and hurt little boys are in our culture.
I have to tell you that I believe that my child is getting these violent ideas from other children/on the playground. He says he is bullyied regularly.

Yes, I succumbed to our screwed-up pop-culture and got him YuGiOh cards (very violent) and bey blades. He got pretty obsessed with them - but no more so than his classmates (and that why we got them - EVERYONE had them). It's like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. I know one sweet little boy in his class who's family does not let them go to anyone's house or anyone to thier house - and he's great and kind and doesn't have a clue about YuGIoh!!

Is that what I need to do?

I try to be so careful.

Anyway, here's the other part. At his teacher's insistance we have tried to do the 'right' thing and had SST(?) then evaluation. They say he has ADD and SEVERE emotional problems. (He draws a TON of battling robot or people pictures - though he calls the weapons in the picutres ray guns or lasers. The first picture he drew for his teacher really disturbed her - she said it was "violent". When we asked him about it - he said it was him with his YuGiOh Duel Disk - looked like a gun in the drawing but far from it! duh, you really need to ask the child.but he IS sad and anxious a lot). My problem is this teacher made up her mind early on and has treated him like his behavior is pathological.
This hurts and is so, so scary in light of the above.

I feel that my child does have special needs - as do ALL children! He needs excellent one-to-one attention. He needs to be allowed to work on his schoolwork at the pace that suits him. He needs lots of help socially - figuering out how to BE in the world.

Right now, he hates school. Hates it. He blames everyone else and then sometimes he blames himself for when he acts out/is disruptive. And the school psychologist really emphasized this in our IEP meeting yesterday saying, "He wants to blame others because the alternative is himself and the fact that he has no control over that is hurting his self-esteem."
This is what gets me. I see him struggling so hard to fit in, and lately he has started saying things like, "I'm a loser. I can't do anything right, etc."

The other thing - his teacher has this whole writing the name up on the board for discipline. Early on - it was clear which 'BOYS' were being "Bad". She uses it to get her classroom under control. And if the kids who are the most disruptive (ds included) are good for however long they will get smiley faces and then a special lunchtime with her after accumulating so many.
Sounds good, right?
It has NOT worked.
Recently is my son's friend came over the other day and said, "Only the bad kids get special things...___(DS) gets to have lunch with the teacher because he gets his name on the board."
I was really amazed at his astuteness and ds replied, "It's true. I am always bad."
The teacher really pushes the reward/punishment thing and we started it 2 weeks ago at home after much reluctance on my part to do so. I HATE it for many, many reasons. ANd as I said, I have not seen it work for her, but in order to be a "compliant parent" I agreed.
So far no real improvement.
Really, throughout the school year his behavior has gotton worse. Now he too, is disrespctful toward her and becoming mean on the playground.

It has been "Hell Year" for us. Thanks for reading this far.
What do I do?!?

I am working hard on not being in denial IF he really does have ADD - I am reading a lot and trying to figuer out how to rule out "differential diagnosis" - ie, allergies, etc.

What's really got me - and what I can't seem to get past is the idea that the way he is acting is pathological.
What if it's really environment?

He had a hard year last year as well - but we had recently moved to another state and I was incredibly sad and stressed and I know that affected him.
But he is totally not allowed to act that way at home - and really doesn't. We won't tolerate meanness ro disrespect toward us. He understands that.

I don't really know what I am asking. I'm looking for insight...
loved is offline  
#2 of 6 Old 04-24-2005, 08:00 PM
 
QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: with the wildlife
Posts: 18,213
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
loved-
I am so sad that you have to go through this. There is nothing that can hurt a mom more than hearing her child is not "normal" This year my son entered kind. Thankfully we ended up with a wonderful teacher. He is recieving special education services in his regular classroom. But all the testing and everything else was so hard to go through. He doesn't have behavioral problems, but we think this is because we caught everything so early. We have a great family doctor that specializes in herbal, homeopathic and alternative medicine. He has been extremely helpful with supplements and testing. We are doiing chelation to get mercury out of his system. But there is a great book by Dr. Lawless called The ADD answer that address ADD/ADHD and related issues with alternatives to medication. It is a great jumping off point and ther are a lot of things that you can do yourself. Try to find a Dr. that has training in alternative methods, because so many Dr. just want to medicate, and there are so many bad side effects to many of the medication. I really understand your frustration and fear. I hope that you can get some answers, but do not blame yourself (I went through this stage, questioning from when I was pregnant, to what vaccinations I allowed before I knew any better, to the TV he watched etd.) You sound like an extremly loving mom who is trying to do everything right for her child.

 
QueenOfTheMeadow is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 04-25-2005, 03:06 PM
 
saganaga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Midwest
Posts: 830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loved
My ds 7 has had a pretty horrible 1st grade year this year. He has been acting out - throwing fits, yelling, crying on regular basis. He follows directions about 3/4 of the time, but has trouble with writing, sitting still, listening/paying attention and staying on track. His teacher ... 'diagnosed' him ADD after 3 weeks of school in the beginning of the school year, then later suggested asperger's

Anyway, here's the other part. At his teacher's insistance we have tried to do the 'right' thing and had SST(?) then evaluation. They say he has ADD and SEVERE emotional problems.

I feel that my child does have special needs - as do ALL children! He needs excellent one-to-one attention. He needs to be allowed to work on his schoolwork at the pace that suits him. He needs lots of help socially - figuering out how to BE in the world.

I am working hard on not being in denial IF he really does have ADD - I am reading a lot and trying to figuer out how to rule out "differential diagnosis" - ie, allergies, etc.

What if it's really environment?

I'm looking for insight...
How about reading up on ADD & Asperger's?
"The A.D.D. Nutrition Solution: A Drug-Free 30 Day Plan" by Marcia Zimmerman http://www.thenutritionsolution.com/books.htm
"Asperger's Syndrome" by Tony Attwood http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/

Sounds like you've already visited the website 50 conditions that mimic ADHD:
http://adhdparentssupportgroup.homes...icingADHD.html

Something that is so easy to test & so easy to treat is this:
Fast and Free Candida Home Test
http://www.iwr.com/candida/freetest.html

Lots of great links:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...DrugFree/links

For 2nd grade, would you be able to request that your DS is not in the same classroom as this other boy?
saganaga is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 04-25-2005, 03:11 PM
 
saganaga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Midwest
Posts: 830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly
We have a great family doctor that specializes in herbal, homeopathic and alternative medicine. He has been extremely helpful with supplements and testing. We are doiing chelation to get mercury out of his system. But there is a great book by Dr. Lawless called The ADD answer that address ADD/ADHD and related issues with alternatives to medication. It is a great jumping off point and ther are a lot of things that you can do yourself. Try to find a Dr. that has training in alternative methods, because so many Dr. just want to medicate, and there are so many bad side effects to many of the medication.
I agree with this, maybe you could find a DAN! Dr. in your area:
http://www.autismwebsite.com/ari-lists/danus.html

Anger & violence could mean elevated levels of heavy metals (like lead, etc.), that can be figured out with a heavy metal test (hair analysis, urine sample).
saganaga is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 04-26-2005, 11:17 AM
 
mamarhu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: dining at the restaurant at the end of the universe
Posts: 3,077
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
I would just like to LOUDLY second the "square peg in a round hole" suggestion above. I believe that a classroom is an unnatural siuation that some (many?) kids simply cannot fit into. What could be farther from the natural instincts of a kid than to sit docilely at a desk for 6 hours a day? Medicating the behaviour may be a band-aid, but hardly addresses the issue. Ritalin Nation, by Grandpre, addresses this at length.

DS,8, is the sweetest, most gentle kid you could hope to meet. But when he was in school, he had his own brand of tantrums (silent but absolute refusal to comply), starting in kindergarden. Teachers, principal, therapists all diagnosed one thing or another. He has now been homeschooled for a year, and he is thriving. Our relationship is no longer adversarial and we can genuinely enjoy each other's company. None of his "problems" were "his". He simply was never intended to adapt to the classroom environment. I know he fits the description of vaious diagnoses, but in the home environment there is no need for a label. I can shrug and say, "That's just how he is", without seeing most of his behaviour as a problem that needs a solution. He has an amazingly long attention span, and will happily work on one drawing for 4 hours a day, 3 days in a row. Imagine how that clashes with a teacher's idea of 45 minute classes, then she changes the subject. I read to him for hours at a time, and he interrupts with well-thought-out questions and comments every couple minutes. Yes, I sometimes wish he would just listen. Usually, I can be patient, and realize that the tangent he wants to explore is just as important as finding out what happens next to Harry Potter. But in a classroom, his input would be considered disruptive. The way his mind works, he needs to address one subject in surprising depth, before moving on to the next. So we have been talking, reading, researching the Civil War for about 6 weeks now. We have studied slavery and ethics, agricultural economics, history of medicine, democracy and world politics, and I don't remember what all else, in the context of the Civil War. This could never happen in a classroom.

When friends come over, some of their play is "violent" - any stick can become a sword or gun, lots of good guys vs. bad guys stuff, superheroes save the day. But I don't see this as pathological.

Ohhh, I apologize. I just reread this, and it sounds like a long-winded advertisement for homeschooling. What I meant to say is that kids (people) have such a variety of different styles of learning. If a 7 year old reconizes that the current situation isn't working for him, what option does he have but to not cooperate? Perhaps he is telling you, in the only way he knows, that he can't handle the demands placed on him.

I really feel for you, and I hope you will find answers that work for your family.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

mamarhu is offline  
#6 of 6 Old 04-26-2005, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
loved's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: A little duplex w/a dog and my kids
Posts: 390
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all so much for your replies. This has been the most difficult and upsetting thing I have encountered in my parenting journey. My own self-esteem as a parent has been damaged (along with my ds's) by this school experience. I have become uptight, angry and controlling. I realize on a very deep level that the stakes are VERY high for my child to conform. And it has caused nothing but huge amounts of stress.

What gets me the most is my intuition is not valued.

And to make matters harder, I am married to a "white bread" man and I am very "brown rice". Talking to him about nutrition is like pulling teeth - he gets very defensive. He thinks I am "extreme" with most of my ideas. I would've liked to've homeschooled from the beginnning but he has been very opposed. I think maybe now he is opening up to the idea.
I beleive wholeheartdely that his behavior and feelings about himself would improve tremendously if we homeschooled.

Our marriage is so rocky - to say the least and I am certain that too, has affected ds's behavior.

There is no easy answer or quick fix. So far - he loves the extra attention and the break going to the resource room affords him (as I think any child would, of course!). I am glad he has at least that. We are looking into family therapy and some kind of marriage workshop (tried counselling in the past and it was not very helpful) for us. Also looking for an excellent ND - they are no covered by our insurance so that's a hardship.

There shouldn't be so many barriers to health! :

I must say that I have loved the book Children Who are not Yet Peaceful by Donna Bryant Goertz. I can see so a many areas where his school/classssroom has missed the mark.

Thank you all very much. It's so powerful to know you are there.
loved is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off