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#1 of 13 Old 04-30-2012, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am putting this here because it covers so many things: Special Needs, Gifted Child, etc.

 

DS is 5yo and just finishing up his Kindergarten year. It has been a tumultuous year for all of us.

 

He has been in in-school suspension several times (including today, which I will get to below). He has been in out-of-school suspension once. The reasons for this are varied, and I will list them with all the details.

 

He is currently undergoing evaluation, which has been extended to include testing on the Autism spectrum, and the discussion of which has been rescheduled twice (after we show up, no less).

 

One of the evaluation team told me that they tested his IQ, and it's at 130. They didn't realize that one of the students that DS has had trouble with (who is on meds for ADD, etc.) is also in DS's daycare and they have very few problems there.

 

DS does have some "signs" of Autism, but I don't think that's what's going on. He does not obsess about things, he has no avoidance of touch or contact from others, and he has no trouble communicating his thoughts.

 

He has told me and his gramma that the teacher hates him and she tells the other students that he's bad. I have seen notes on his schoolwork that I can only describe as bitter or snarky and clearly addressed to DS, not to me ("Didn't write your name. This is not first grade behavior!"). I feel this stuff should be addressed to the child as a conversation, not as a note on paper.

 

DS frequently mentions that if he loses his recess privileges, he is either required to sit in class with his head down or forced to run between soccer goal-nets during the recess time - he isn't allowed to stop. The first is somewhat acceptable, though I know it doesn't work for DS (he is definitely an active-alert/kinetic child). The second, however, seems a little extreme to me (please provide feedback on this, as I don't want to overreact on it).

 

When DS gets into trouble, from what I've seen/heard, he goes to an office and the counselor draws pictures to explain what happened. Good for visual learners, I'm sure - I've suggested role-play for DS as a kinetic learner.

 

He has been "failing" music all year because he doesn't sing and do the movements when he's told to. At home, he shows us the songs he's learned.

 

In summary, DS is very active, but will focus. He is touchy and social and communicative. He is intense and considers every situation an opportunity to negotiate. He uses logic and reasoning to make his 5yo point. He has a very high intellect, but he is a bit low on the social skills.

 

He seems to get frustrated when people don't understand or listen to what he's trying to say. He sometimes assumes understanding of things that he is familiar with but that the person he is talking to may not know (ie, he asks about shows that he watches at daycare that I've never seen, he talks about "that one" object). I would love some feedback on how age-appropriate this is for him - I feel it is reasonable, but I could be wrong.

 

As to why he gets into trouble, just the stick-out examples:

  1. He got sent home for biting a girl. He was given a long talk about why it was wrong, etc. by both the school and by us. The school focused a lot on the fact that he would not admit what had happened, which in my understanding is pretty age-appropriate, if unacceptable. At home, I circumvented his argument by telling him I would not listen to him say it didn't happen. He eventually told me why he bit her - he was trying to tell her something that he felt was important and she was avoiding him. We then discussed why biting her was not the appropriate response and what he could have done instead.
  2. He lost recess for getting out of his chair and moving it so he could look through the hole in the back. I don't even know what to say about this one.
  3. He pushed a boy for cutting in line. We discussed why pushing was not the appropriate response and what he could have done instead.
  4. Today. Today, I almost cried. Today, I got a call from the school. DS was in in-school suspension for pulling down his pants (and underwear) in defiance of the teacher. (He told me just a bit ago that he had given the right answer, but the teacher didn't hear him and made him go work on "popcorn" words instead of playing the word game he likes.) In age/intellect-appropriate language, we talked to him about the problems that come from being labeled a sex offender, about how the school could think that his family is causing him to do this and he could get taken away, about how he wouldn't be able to invite his school-friends to his birthday party in July because parents won't let their kids go to parties for boys who pull down their pants. We didn't pull any punches on this one. We also have him writing a note to the teacher explaining that he knows how wrong his behavior was and that he understands the consequences.

 

I just don't know what else to do. Taking things away from him doesn't phase him. He entertains himself during timeouts. Food and gramma are the only things that he will even get more than temporarily upset about - and my mother undermines the punishments when that happens. Also, he goes to gramma's mostly so I can attend events/festivals where my store is vending at.

 

I think I've covered all the big stuff... I'm sure I've missed something. I know there's something wrong, but I can't figure out what it is (except for the fact that this school system is NOT the best environment for DS).

 

HELP!


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#2 of 13 Old 05-01-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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I dont have time to give a lengthy response but i have a 15 yr old who had SUCH a hard time in preK and K...acting out, very physical, super bright but totally misunderstood by his very punitive teachers. It was horrible. Now that i have two four yr olds with totally different personalities...i see his behavior was quite different. If my younger boys were acting the way you described (biting, hitting, pulling down pants) i would be horrified and think there was some horrible problem...BUT because i went through it with my oldest i know that it really was a problem of environment for my oldest son.

 

I dont have any advice other than....i finally pulled my son out of the middle of first grade when it got to the point where we'd literally have to physically drag him into the building to get him to go. i said enough is enough. I quit my job, moved back home to be near family and where i could have a stay at home job, and homeschooled (radically unschooled actually) until he went back to school in sixth grade (long story, but biggest regret of my life letting him go back, seriously)....he went from a rather violent, moody crazy kid to just wonderful and no behavior problems.

 

To me it does not sound like his school is a good match and everything you are going to have to do for him to protect him is going to be a big battle. My daughter's school and my boys' PreK are totally different than the atmosphere at my oldest's school. I can't imagine my kids' current schools doing anything remotely like what you are describing but could totally see the first school doing it. My son had the meanest K teacher ever, i didnt even know such a person could exist, why would you teach 3-6 yr olds if you are a mean crabby person???
 


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#3 of 13 Old 05-01-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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It sounds like the school/teacher might be a bad fit for him as the pp said.  I was a teacher at a school for kids with learning disabilities before DD was born and I'm dyslexic myself.  Some of your DS's behavior sounds a bit like a kid with learning disabilities.  (I want to stress that I'm not diagnosing here.  Your post just raised a flag or two.  I just want to give you another possibility to explore, not scare you or even say that I think your DS has LD)

 

Impulse control seems to be an issue for him.  Is his academic achievement on par with his IQ?  Is he disorganized with his stuff?  How is he with following directions? Can he remember and follow a short series of directions (Hang up you coat and book bag then take out your reading book and sit on the couch) or does that overwhelm him or does he get distracted?  Does his acting out correspond to a particular time of day or type of lesson?  (i.e. he's usually fine during math time but always seemed to act up during reading time)  Some LD kids cover the fact that they're having trouble with a particular subject by causing trouble.

 

Those are just a few things I thought of off the top of my head that are common issues with kids with learning disabilities.  I hope you can figure something to help your DS.  I know issues with schools like this are incredibly stressful for for parents and kids.


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#4 of 13 Old 05-01-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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I think sometimes kids can act out too if they have high IQs and are surrounding by people who are on a different level. Those kids are sometimes more questioning, more creative, *more*...they arent content to just follow what the teacher is wanting them to do. Combine that with a child who has a high energy level or something like that and it can be a recipe for disaster. At least it was for my oldest son.
 


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#5 of 13 Old 05-01-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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Boys in particular tend to need an honest relationship with people like teachers. By that, I mean they need to feel like the teacher truly likes and respects them beyond superficial social pleasantries. It sounds like this teacher is a particularly bad fit for your ds and likely bringing out the worst in him... The failing music bit reminded me of my ds confiding in me that he didn't sing in music class, he just moved his lips to trick them into thinking that he was (when we tried pre-k when he was 4). 


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#6 of 13 Old 05-01-2012, 09:48 PM
 
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How many areas did they test his IQ in and what kind of range did the see?  I have a kiddo who is both gifted and on the autism spectrum. At her last eval, her IQ was tested in 6 areas and there was a MASSIVE spread. Not only can this make clear why a child is "smart" but not doing well in school, the specific pattern can indicate what is going on with the child -- the pattern of highs and lows means something.

 

It sounds like he's been evaluated by the school, but that they haven't managed to tell you anything solid. Have you considered a private evaluation? Checked into what your insurance would cover?

 

You might double post on the special needs board, but I would send a letter to the school (real letter, date and signature) stating that until he has an IEP in place that covers discipline, he is not to be denied recess or forced to run laps. He needs a behave plan that considers whatever it is that is going on with him -- taking recess away from an active kid is just going to make things worse. He needs a real break and down time, and refusing to give it to him while also refusing to put a plan in place to meet his needs is just wrong.

 

Some of the things you list are considered violent behavior -- biting, pushing etc. It doesn't matter what his ultimate diagnosis, if this kind of thing doesn't stop, he can be pulled from mainstream education and put into a program for kids who are violent. This is huge. He HAS to learn to not physical hurt other kids for ANY reason.

 

<<and my mother undermines the punishments when that happens. Also, he goes to gramma's mostly so I can attend events/festivals where my store is vending at.>>

 

your mother isn't helping the situation. He needs clarity and consistency. If she cannot provide that, then find a new sitter.
 


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#7 of 13 Old 05-02-2012, 06:00 AM
 
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I would switch schools or homeschool him.  

 

I would switch schools if I really felt school fit my family needs best, but that this school was a poor fit.

 

I would Hs for the rest of the year if the school seemed good, but the teacher was simply a bad fit.  I would Hs until it did not work anymore if I felt school in general was a poor fit for him.

 

You might be able to get an IEP, a behaviour plan and insist he not lose anymore recess (all great things!) but you cannot make his teacher like him or treat him respectfully.  If you decide to go the school route, do put a structure in place to help him succeed, but do not leave him in his current class if at all possible.  It sounds like too much for a 5 year old.

 

I must say I was a little teary when you discussed talking with your son:  CPS, sex-offenders, no friends at parties, etc.  I do not think this a conversation a 5 year old should have to hear.greensad.gif  This alone (more than anything else you have written) causes me concern.  I would reflect on this situation heavily.  Did you act appropriately?  Is nudity all that odd in a 5 year old ? (I do not think so, fwiw).  If you truly think the stripping thing was horrible - who is responsible for it - the 5 year old, or the environment that brought it out? Both?   What did the school have to say about it?

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#8 of 13 Old 05-02-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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I must say I was a little teary when you discussed talking with your son:  CPS, sex-offenders, no friends at parties, etc.  I do not think this a conversation a 5 year old should have to hear.greensad.gif   

 

I totally disagree, Kathy. The OP described the real-world consequences of the offense. It may not be fair, but exposing yourself at school is considered a sexually reactive behavior. A CPS case could absolutely be opened over an incident like this. Utter rejection by the parents of peers is another likely consequence. Lying to a child about any of that is no kindness. 

 

OP, I have been where you are at, and homeschooling for two years was my solution. My son is now 8, and successfully attending a school where the teachers and administrators are a lot more gentle and understanding than the ones you seem to be stuck with. This year is almost over - what can you change for next year? It may be that a change of teacher is all that is needed - but given that you are dealing with the kind of nitwits who put 5-year-olds on suspension, I don't have a lot of hope for this school. 

 

The evaluation process can only help you - even if you ultimately disagree with the school's conclusions, you will get a lot of information about THEIR thought process and how THEY prefer to approach behavior problems. 

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#9 of 13 Old 05-02-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I must say I was a little teary when you discussed talking with your son:  CPS, sex-offenders, no friends at parties, etc.  I do not think this a conversation a 5 year old should have to hear.greensad.gif   

 

I totally disagree, Kathy. The OP described the real-world consequences of the offense. It may not be fair, but exposing yourself at school is considered a sexually reactive behavior. A CPS case could absolutely be opened over an incident like this. Utter rejection by the parents of peers is another likely consequence. Lying to a child about any of that is no kindness. 

 

 

That's OK.

 

I don't think there is an easy answer to this scenario.

 

I do think bringing up the fact that stripping is inappropriate behaviour is fine (and consequences for any repeat behaviour) but I think going into details about CPS, being labelled a sexual offender, etc, is overboard. There is no way you can bring up these things with a 5 year old without shaming and putting fear into them (as well as breaking some innocence).  I wouldn't do it.   

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#10 of 13 Old 05-03-2012, 10:21 AM
 
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When my son was about six, his neighbor friend (same age) mooned the group of kids playing in my front yard.  I hollered (with THAT voice) at him to pull his pants up and that was the end of it.  The next day some other kids told me my son mooned them while they were playing together in their yard.  I immediately grounded my son for the rest of that day and the next.  He tried to lie about it, but I knew he was copying his friend.  I made it extremely clear how much trouble he was in and how angry I was.  My son was really, really remorseful, but I followed through on the grounding.  I know he thought he was just being funny at the time, and it didn't cross my mind that he could be a sex offender, but that behavior needed to STOP.  He never did it again.  Parenting win, IMO.  I'm a pretty laid-back parent, but when I put my foot down, it worked. 

 

About the other issues, I'm not sure I have much to contribute.  I'd follow up with more in-depth testing for LD and other educational or developmental issues.  I think running can be an acceptable punishment at times.  When my two boys won't stop fighting with each other, I make all three of us run a lap around two blocks.  I run with them, because behavior issues are my issues too as a parent.  If they have too much energy to burn, OK then, let's burn it off. 


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#11 of 13 Old 05-03-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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My dd was naughty beyond belief in first grade after getting a teacher who didn't like her and treated her like she didn't like her. She had been in daycare, preschool, kindergarten, and was in after school care and had absolutely no problems except with this teacher. I pulled her out to homeschooling for the second half of the year and though she did have a little trouble right at the start of the next year it was easily redirected by a teacher who showed she truly cared.

I think you should point out how isolated your son feels to the teacher, counselor, and principal. If you can I suggest looking for research on the effects of feeling isolated on student success and behavior. I am on my phone now but we went over a lot of this type of research in college. You should try to present it in a way that accepts that your son has some serious behavior problems but that you are worried he IA behaving worse because he feels like the bad kid who can't be liked or successful at school.
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#12 of 13 Old 05-03-2012, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, thank you to everyone who responded. I think the hardest part of the whole thing is that it's making me feel like DS is the ONLY child in the world who acts out, and though I know that isn't true, it's nice to hear from those who have gone through a similar incident.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post

Impulse control seems to be an issue for him.  Is his academic achievement on par with his IQ?  Is he disorganized with his stuff?  How is he with following directions? Can he remember and follow a short series of directions (Hang up you coat and book bag then take out your reading book and sit on the couch) or does that overwhelm him or does he get distracted?  Does his acting out correspond to a particular time of day or type of lesson?  (i.e. he's usually fine during math time but always seemed to act up during reading time)  Some LD kids cover the fact that they're having trouble with a particular subject by causing trouble.

 

I think his knowledge base is on par with his IQ, but I'm not sure he's learning all the stuff they want him to. It frustrates me to no end that in Kindergarten, they are teaching to timed testing.

He is disorganized, but so am I. I couldn't say it's just him rather than how he sees us at home.

He follows directions at home, but we do frequently have to repeat ourselves. He either doesn't want to do it or he gets distracted with something. Again, something that I do as well, so it's hard for me to pick up on that as being "abnormal".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

How many areas did they test his IQ in and what kind of range did the see? 

 

It sounds like he's been evaluated by the school, but that they haven't managed to tell you anything solid. Have you considered a private evaluation? Checked into what your insurance would cover?

They have done most of it (I got a packet from the school today of what they've done - by request), but they are waiting on the ADOS. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 16th (two days before the end of the school year irked.gif).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

You might double post on the special needs board, but I would send a letter to the school (real letter, date and signature) stating that until he has an IEP in place that covers discipline, he is not to be denied recess or forced to run laps. He needs a behave plan that considers whatever it is that is going on with him -- taking recess away from an active kid is just going to make things worse. He needs a real break and down time, and refusing to give it to him while also refusing to put a plan in place to meet his needs is just wrong.

I've heard of IEPs but I really have no idea of how to go about getting one. The teacher seemed to think that that wasn't what he needed, but I may end up going through the Speech lady, who has been very helpful and kind.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Some of the things you list are considered violent behavior -- biting, pushing etc. It doesn't matter what his ultimate diagnosis, if this kind of thing doesn't stop, he can be pulled from mainstream education and put into a program for kids who are violent. This is huge. He HAS to learn to not physical hurt other kids for ANY reason.

 

<<and my mother undermines the punishments when that happens. Also, he goes to gramma's mostly so I can attend events/festivals where my store is vending at.>>

 

your mother isn't helping the situation. He needs clarity and consistency. If she cannot provide that, then find a new sitter.
 

That's exactly what I don't want to see happen to him. He is a very smart, generous boy and I can't stand to see people trying to smother that in him with their narrow concepts of what is normal.

 

As for my mother watching the kids, unfortunately its often multi-day, overnight events about 300 miles from home, so finding an alternative that is cost-effective (ie, close to free) is pretty unlikely. It only happens a few times a year, and this last one in April, I actually took away one of the days and made him stay with us at the booth.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I do think bringing up the fact that stripping is inappropriate behaviour is fine (and consequences for any repeat behaviour) but I think going into details about CPS, being labelled a sexual offender, etc, is overboard. There is no way you can bring up these things with a 5 year old without shaming and putting fear into them (as well as breaking some innocence).  I wouldn't do it.   

I understand the concern, but I really didn't go into detail. We said what could happen in general terms that were age appropriate.

 

As for putting fear into him, I wish it wasn't, but that seems to be the only thing that works. I avoid it as much as I can, but when the behavior HAS to stop, we have to bring down the hammer. Anything less, he just kinda blows off.


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#13 of 13 Old 05-13-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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Well, I've got to say I think that teacher sounds absolutely horrible! I think the punishments are way over the top and — ugh —  just mean. The whole school sounds like it might not be a good fit, but it's hard to tell. Could just be that one teacher. Timed testing, though, is not something that I'm aware of being taught in our 1st grade/K classes. My kids did not go to public K, but my dd2 is in public 2nd grade now and it hasn't come up in her class yet.  

 

Have you met with the teacher and/or the principal? What kind of feedback are you getting from them? I know at our school the principal just recently sent a communication out (email, note home, phone call — does every school system go this over the top on communication?) about class lists for next year and invited feedback and suggestions from the parents. This seems like a good time to meet with the principal at your school about next year and just try to make it through to the end of this year. I would approach it with an attitude of wanting to find the best fit and ask for the principal's suggestions. I wouldn't criticize the K teacher outright, but I do think you could say that it didn't seem to be a good fit and you'd like to see him in a classroom where he can really shine. Talk about his good points. 

 

My dd1 has had teachers where she just didn't connect and it didn't mean they were bad teachers—they just weren't a good fit for her. She's a quirky kid who sometimes finds it hard to fit her square peg self into a round hole and when she comes up against an inflexible teacher it's just not a great fit. However, she has had some awesome public school teachers, too. Her homeroom teacher this year is as good or better than any of the teachers she had the crunchy alternative private school she attended before. 

 

I think I would concentrate on next year. If you've got to stay at this school (no charter or private options? homeschooling out? no magnets or other districts?) then I would try to find the best fit possible for next year. I'd be proactive and positive and try to meet with the principal and when you get your class assignment if you could have a meeting with the teacher before school starts that would be awesome, too, or even an email might be helpful to him or her. 

 

And yes, continue to pursue the evaluations and an IEP could be very helpful, too. 

 

Personally, I think the pants down thing is age-appropriate, but I do think it's behavior that needs to be addressed, and I do think some people overreact to nakedness in kids, so I can see why it would be upsetting to you. 


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