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#1 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've just had it.

Anyone who has read my posts or my blog knows how strongly I believe and advocate for homeschooling, following a child's lead. Attachment and security. All that good stuff.

You also might know some of the struggles I've gone through with my son. Possibly ADHD. Surely SPD. Now I'm even wondering if it might be Asperger's. I keep thinking I'm seeing progress, then I'm not, it's just as bad as ever.

I'm fed up. Fed up with the defiance, the laziness. He is utterly lacking in self-motivation. Even the things he enjoys, like guitar, he doesn't really "try", he just goofs around. He doesn't care about anything. His empathy is virtually non-existent.

We've tried complete unschooling, total freedom. We've tried complete structure and strict discipline. And everything in between. I've bent over backwards and worked myself ragged trying to find approaches and programs and styles that suit his way of learning, suit his interests.

Recently, we started a Charlotte Mason approach and it seemed to be working really well. Astonishingly well, in fact. Then it stopped working, and it's back to the constant arguing, defying, whining, lying, stalling.

Today, he was supposed to write 4 definitions for his science. That was all -- he'd already done the written narrations on previous days, he just had to finish a few definitions. All he had to do was look up the words in the glossary and either copy it word for word or restate it more briefly in his own words. It took him 45 minutes.

Then in this writing thing we're doing, he had to write "interesting sentences" using certain words -- stupendous, horrendous, tremendous, hazardous. He wrote "This is stupendous." "That's horrendous."

And it's not that he was being sarcastic or deliberately sloppy -- he insists that those ARE interesting sentences. This from the same kid who wrote a song with lyrics "I live in a mushroom that's in an old shoe". So maybe he IS being sarcastic... he just is so defiant about everything.

He just Does. Not. Care. About anything. No desire to do anything except sit around all day and play video games and be lazy. And before anyone says "just let him do that" -- I have TRIED that. He is STILL defiant and rude and uncooperative. His sense of entitlement is unparalleled.

Today, I just gave up. I can't do this anymore. I've been threatening for awhile now that if he doesn't shape up, he's just going to have to go to school and see what life is really like for other kids (he insists that no other kid has such a hard life as he does...). He would be overwhelmed by the amount of work, by the amount of wasted time, and by the almost certain taunting of his peers over his oddities. And probably spend a lot of time in trouble for acting up.

Would that finally teach him a lesson, or would it just scar him even worse. I'm at a point where frankly, I barely even care. I just can't deal with him anymore.

He cries that he doesn't want to go to school, and that I "can't make" him go, that I "promised" he'd NEVER have to go to school (when he doesn't want to do something, it always turns out that I promised him he'd not do it. Right.) He threatens to call the police on me, I say "go right ahead, they'll ask why we're not registered as homeschoolers and realize that legally you're truant and THEY would make you go to school."

I wonder how much of it is me, and how much is him. Then I look at my daughter, just 2 and a half, and she is SO DIFFERENT. She wants to do things, learn things. She responds to things we do that are "educational", she's interested and cooperative. She whines like a toddler whines, but she doesn't throw tantrums that are so explosive that things get broken or people injured. When I was so upset this morning that I was crying, she just looked at my face, gave me lots of hugs and kisses and tried to make me happy. And I realize... this is what kids are supposed to be like. My son was never like this.

I've read "The Explosive Child". I've read books on gifted children and ADHD/OCD. I've read books on dealing with sensory disorders. I've read "Hold on to Your Kids". It's all helped a little... But not enough.

I tried getting therapy for his SPD and was told that it wasn't considered a real illness in Canada. We've done things at home and it's helped a bit, but not enough.

We've tried homeopathic remedies, vitamins, fish oil, diet changes (eliminating chemicals etc). We've tried charts and bribes and positive reinforcement and tried natural consequences and tried doing nothing. We've tried working on attachment.

I can't make him care. I can't make him try. I can't make him want to be good.

Even right now, he's just asked me if he's on his own for today (because I've given up and stopped trying to get him to do his routines). Translation: goody, I've finally broken mom's spirit and I can just do what I want. He says 'no, that's not what I mean.' But I can tell that's what he's thinking.

I'm just exhausted. I'm tired of being angry with him all the time. I know it doesn't help. But I've been patient. I've done all the right things. And I can't tolerate this anymore.

I don't know what I'm looking for in typing all this up here. Advice? Compassion? Reassurances and encouragement to keep trying? Admonishment over what I've done wrong? I guess I just figure there are others here who have been in this dark place and would understand, even if they can't help.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#2 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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mama. Be easy with yourself- maybe a period of schooling will be the answer you need.

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
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#3 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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It sounds like you need a break more than anything. If you need to try school, that is OK. How a about having him in a summer camp so you can have some time to yourself with your other LO? It's OK to make changes when things aren't working- you matter, too. Homeschooling has to work for everyone.

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#4 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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i have not read your blog or your other poists but i see and feel the apin in this post

a couple of thoughts

1. how a bout a very srtuctured summper school / camp for him. very structured?

2. I am not trying to insult you -- but have you had him evualted for menth heath concerns. If no one profissionally will recongize SPD (my son too) in Canda, maybe ther eis another DX that someone will give that can allow you to get some help for him?

Maybe school would be good for him -- remove the conflict from YOU.

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#5 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaMonica View Post
It sounds like you need a break more than anything. If you need to try school, that is OK. How a about having him in a summer camp so you can have some time to yourself with your other LO? It's OK to make changes when things aren't working- you matter, too. Homeschooling has to work for everyone.
I was thinking a summer camp or classes too. I am so sorry you are having such a rough time . I wish I had more advice for you, but wanted to offer my empathy.

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#6 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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I agree with Aimee. While Adhd might not be the biggest issue, at least a dx might help you get the treatment for the SPD. I know with my ds, he had many issues, facial tics being one, but not the biggest, of them. But it wasnt until a Tourettes dx that he was able to get help for his ocd, odd, etc b/c those disorders fell under the Tourettes umbrella (and I'm pretty sure SPD did as well)

I'm sorry I'm no other help. We havent started our HS journey yet, so I hope its okay that I responded.

Good luck!
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#7 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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I agree with Aimee. While Adhd might not be the biggest issue, at least a dx might help you get the treatment for the SPD. I know with my ds, he had many issues, facial tics being one, but not the biggest, of them. But it wasnt until a Tourettes dx that he was able to get help for his ocd, odd, etc b/c those disorders fell under the Tourettes umbrella (and I'm pretty sure SPD did as well)

I'm sorry I'm no other help. We havent started our HS journey yet, so I hope its okay that I responded.

Good luck!
you put it much better -- that is what i was trying to say -- who cares what the offical DX is if it will get you heever works lp / care / resources.

Whatever works to add help to your family -- andyour SON for the rest of his life.

for our son they have talked abut SPD and anxiety as tied together too -- and i think everyone accepts anixiety as a DX (?)

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#8 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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Part of being an attached parent is recognizing when a need is not being met. Just because you enroll him school does not mean that homeschooling doesn't work. It just means there is a need it is not meeting. School may be what he needs. You won't know until you try. Don't be so hard on yourself. You have obviously been giving this a lot of thought so go with what your gut is telling you to do.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#9 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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I agree that a dx may assist your family in finding a way to deal with his learning differences.

Be easy on yourself. The thing that I LOVE about hsing is that there is no real timeline. You can skip school for a couple of weeks. You can do school in the summer.

Relax and try to enjoy your son. I know that ca nbe hard when they are being difficult.

I too would look at expectations and discipline. A lot of children/adults with ADHD work better with VERY well written out expectations and strictly adhering to them. And that is coming from a mama who is in the 98% with SEVERE ADHD.

You can do this!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#10 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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I could of written your post almost word for word. I truly know the dark place you are in, I cried going to sleep last night because I am just DONE as well. DD1 has SPD, anxiety, and is dyslexic. It's one thing after another with her, I feel like I battle her so much on her issues that I just don't have any left in me to do with it with schooling as well.



It sounds like you are very close to where I'm at. DD1 will be going to school next year if this private school accepts her. I need a break from her so I can be a better mom to her. I don't like the person that I've become. I want to enjoy her again instead of waking up every day filled with dread that it's another very long day with her. I feel like I've tried everything else but school, we've done OT, therapies, she is doing language therapy 5 days a week right now for her dyslexia, on and on. In the beginning, when I made the school decision, I couldn't believe that I was doing this, but as time has gone on, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It doesn't sound very AP or homeschooling but I need this 7 hour break from her. I need to reconnect with my other children, and find the parent that I once was before DD1 just utterly drained me. I hope that someday DD1 will be at home with me again, but for the next year, this needs to work for us.



My DD2 sounds just like your DD, she is the same age as well. She is entirely different, and dare I say normal. I feel that she is getting crushed and lost while DD1 gets 99% of my attention because that is the way it has to be or else the world will stop turning. DD1 also doesn't want to go to school, it was a painful decision to make to send her anyway (especially with her anxiety), but at the end of the day, she needs a happy/pleasant mother and happy is something that I am not right now.


No real words of wisdom because I don't have any for myself, but just that I know where you are at. If you want to continue homeschooling then great, if you don't then don't beat yourself up. It also doesn't have to be all or nothing, take it month by month or year by year, whatever works for you. Take care of yourself.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#11 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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Sounds like he might have ODD (oppositional defiance disorder).

As other posters have mentioned perhaps enroll him in a camp and assess his needs after a set timeframe.
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#12 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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I don't know anything about SPD, and I'm sorry you are in the spot you are in. I am sure it is very frustrating for you.

Have you asked him what he wants to do with his days and what he thinks he should get out of them? I know some children are defiant just because THE adult comes up with it. Maybe if you make what you are doing into all of his ideas it will work...maybe...for a short time.

Just a suggestion.

Hang in there.
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#13 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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or making him THINK they are all his ideas...
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#14 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Been there, done that.

I have to say, I'm honestly very surprised at the overwhelming chorus of "so send him to school already." Whatever I was expecting, I wasn't expecting that.

See, I haven't really "thought it through" already. I'm fed up and wish someone else could take the responsibility. But I really don't see how school would make our days any easier.

Sure, I'd have a few hours to myself, just me and DD -- but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.

Then if he does get in there, I've just got a new set of problems to deal with. Teachers reports and calls about his behaviour, asking why he hasn't been evaluated (ie, medicated) already, the implication (stated or unstated) that every little problem he has is because he was homeschooled. Dealing with report cards and parent teacher conferences and battles over homework and being blamed if he doesn't do well...

And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#15 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 09:28 PM
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What are the specific things that are difficult right now? Your examples were both about writing - would not doing any writing for a while help, do you think? If he has ADHD-type symptoms, maybe doing more things like field trips, or you reading to him (and he does something with his hands while you do, like legos), or watching videos and talking about them, or games like Monopoly or Midnight Party, or Yahtzee (I'd even offer to be the scorekeeper, if he doesn't want to write stuff down).

Instead of thinking in terms of laziness, maybe it would help to think that he's preparing to bloom... my kid has always had long periods when it looked like she wasn't doing much growing, and then sudden bursts of new knowledge. She was growing inside, but I couldn't see it yet.

You said you'd tried unschooling - what happened? Why didn't it work?

 
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#16 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.


And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.
Wow, that's really where I am right now, too. I printed out the public school application yesterday, but I really think it would be just as awful, in a whole new way.

So no advice, but I feel you...sorry.

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#17 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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I think that when it gets to the point that mama is that burned out, school is a great option. It doesn't have to be forever. Take it a year at a time. Do what feels right for your son and you.

Plus, he might shock you and love school.

I would start changing the talk about school now to pointing out the positive, great things about school, and getting him ready to go emotionally in the fall.

Good luck. I hope it goes well.

I have been fantasizing about school myself lately.
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#18 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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I haven't posted in a very long time but after reading your thread I had to.
I'll save you the long story which is very much like yours and say this.
I don't believe for a minute that public school will be better for him or you.
If you thought that you would already be heading in that direction.
I recently spoke with the school counselor about my 10 yr. old son maybe attending our small town public school and I hung up wondering what the he** I was thinking to even begin to believe they would understand or even attempt to understand anything other than forced learning,medications,psychiatrists,psychologists,t esting,etc.,et.,etc.,blah,blah,blah.: She had no understanding of homeschooling nor did she care to.
I'm positive she was rolling her eyes through the whole conversation.
As hard as some days are.As tired as this 48 year old mama is. I've got to figure out another way. And in the meantime this child of mine will play playstation,watch dvd's and play outside when his school friends come home for the day. Those are his interests. That's it. I just remind myself he is only 10. We have time,lot's of time.
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#19 of 43 Old 05-15-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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Been there, done that.

I have to say, I'm honestly very surprised at the overwhelming chorus of "so send him to school already." Whatever I was expecting, I wasn't expecting that.

See, I haven't really "thought it through" already. I'm fed up and wish someone else could take the responsibility. But I really don't see how school would make our days any easier.

Sure, I'd have a few hours to myself, just me and DD -- but that's assuming we can even get him out the door in the morning in the first place. School would mean an earlier wakeup time for all of us. Making and packing lunches. Him bringing unfinished lunches home or whining that I didn't make enough, or made the wrong things, or he just forgot it.

He doesn't want to go to school, he says I can't make him, he just won't go. I can't physically pick him up and throw him into the building.

Then if he does get in there, I've just got a new set of problems to deal with. Teachers reports and calls about his behaviour, asking why he hasn't been evaluated (ie, medicated) already, the implication (stated or unstated) that every little problem he has is because he was homeschooled. Dealing with report cards and parent teacher conferences and battles over homework and being blamed if he doesn't do well...

And him being tired all the time because he won't go to bed on time and school is so draining, so that when he is home he's worse than ever, and his low motivation and self-esteem getting even lower because I can't make him do his homework so his marks are bad...

I just really don't see it being an improvement. I'm fed up and considering giving it a try, but honestly, I'm just as stressed about the idea of sending him to school as about continuing to keep him at home. It's just trading one set of problems for another set.
I see a lot of truth in your post. Sending your special/high needs ds to school,*could* just be giving up one huge set of problems/issues...for another. The further downside to this, is that you've brought in adults who don't love him-ever. He will be expected to comply,your family will be expected to comply, everyone will have to adjust to an entirely different lifestyle-and that is not always good.

I really don't see how sending him to a camp is going to help. If he is as special as you say he is, he will be an outcast in the hands of adults who are just trying to make some extra cash for the summer.

ITA with Dar, and AngleBee(?). If it were me, I would totally decide which battles are worth fighting. Writing? Sticking to a schedule? No video games? YKWIM?

I'm too tired to see if you already mentioned this-you've done waaay more than 90% of parents do for their dc,so I'm sorry if I am suggesting something already tried. Have you tried to ditch the video games, and replace them with an endurance-type sport, or ANY type of physical activity? martial arts? dance? biking? running? swimming? This could be an outlet for him, build confidence and discipline,and is overall healthy. He may sleep well, and his overall wellbeing may improve? Could it be something that the two of you do together-or maybe something that is just HIS thing? ( I mentioned endurance, as endurance exercise is known to help both dc and adults with anxiety or behavior issues.)

Instead of sending him to school, is it possible to enroll him in ANYTHING-either academic,social,recreational,athletic,artsy,crafty ,etc...something that would give you a break on a regular basis?

Just some more advice.

I have been in similar situation, and for me, it was all about survival and damage control. I found out the hard way, that I really needed to address the other family member, but myself also. Is there something you can do, that would refresh your soul? Yoga? Any exercise? Mom night out? Escape reading that you can look forward to all day? Most of all-BE GENTLE ON YOURSELF.

Big hugs to you!!!
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#20 of 43 Old 05-16-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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I would put him in a summer camp program, maybe even sleep away if you feel you and he could both use a break from each other. He will miss you, and you will miss him, and perhaps you can start fresh in the fall.

I don't know if you're doing this or not, but my mom was absolutely inconsistent with discipline, and it was very confusing as a child. I know you're certainly NOT doing it like she was, but is it possible that the switching methods for homeschooling and discipline approaches that have failed have, well, set you both up to repeat those patterns?

If you think that's happening, I would treat it like a diet or eating disorder and set up something really really simple, no book or set method. Work it out together. And then stick to it despite the fact that you will both expect it to fail miserably around the same point prior methods have failed. Add 1 new item in at a time after the first routine has stabilized. Maybe make it something you can't really give up on and he can't really refuse to do at this point: "Get out of bed; get dressed; eat food; spend some time with a book in your hands; speak respectfully to other family members."

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#21 of 43 Old 05-16-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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I think I just wrote this post myself a week or so ago I don't think I have quite the level of defiance that you seem to.. but I have enough that when added to my 7yo's serious hyperactivity, my 5yo being belligerent about everything, and a 3yo going wild that I just blew a gasket. So I totally feel your pain I was >-< close to sending them to school.. had dh picking up forms and everything. But I eventually realized that then we'd just have a whole NEW set of issues.

I wish I had words of wisdom... but all I can do is commiserate.

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#22 of 43 Old 05-16-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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Oh gosh, I just couldn't read your post and NOT respond. I am so so sorry you are going through this right now.

Okay, from what I can tell, you are in way over your head with this. There is clearly something going on here that you can't fix alone. Has he recently been evaluated by a professional(s)? What does his pedi say?? I see you are in Canada and I'm not sure how things work there. It really seems he needs to be seen a professional that can give you a clear diagnosis and then you can go from there.

I agree that by sending him to ps, you might be trading one set of problems for another. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try...for your own sanity if nothing else. Don't feel guilty...we all have our limits, even when it comes to our children. Frankly, I'm not sure I would "worry" too much about the school thing right now. Don't get me wrong, it's important for sure, but the underlying cause of his behavior needs to be addressed first and foremost. I know I'm probably sounding alarmist and a bit harsh, but his behavior does not sound completely normal to me and I was concerned after reading your post.

Keep us updated!

Sara Mama to DS (6) and DS (4)
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#23 of 43 Old 05-16-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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I'm sorry to hear that you're losing your religion; I know what that looks like, for sure.

If I could suggest anything helpful, it would be to throw out the video game machine and if possible, the TV. SPD kids, in particular, can be susceptible to actual addiction to that kind of stimulation. I'd pitch those two things, and then call it a 10 week summer break. After he comes down off the video games, see what you have to work with. If it's not better, you absolutely can send him to school.
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#24 of 43 Old 05-16-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldermamato5 View Post
I haven't posted in a very long time but after reading your thread I had to.
I'll save you the long story which is very much like yours and say this.
I don't believe for a minute that public school will be better for him or you.
If you thought that you would already be heading in that direction.
I recently spoke with the school counselor about my 10 yr. old son maybe attending our small town public school and I hung up wondering what the he** I was thinking to even begin to believe they would understand or even attempt to understand anything other than forced learning,medications,psychiatrists,psychologists,t esting,etc.,et.,etc.,blah,blah,blah.: She had no understanding of homeschooling nor did she care to.
I'm positive she was rolling her eyes through the whole conversation.
As hard as some days are.As tired as this 48 year old mama is. I've got to figure out another way. And in the meantime this child of mine will play playstation,watch dvd's and play outside when his school friends come home for the day. Those are his interests. That's it. I just remind myself he is only 10. We have time,lot's of time.
: This is where I'm at right now too. We go on a couple outings a week (and he even gets upset when it's a "learning" outing) and otherwise we are taking a break from learning.

I hated it at first because I felt like I was failing, but slowly I realized it'll come eventually. He will learn what he needs to at some point in his life and nothing I say or do is going to MAKE him learn.

I feel for all of us going through this. I don't think there is any right answer.

Mom to DD 14 and DS 12
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#25 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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So sorry you are going through this.

My children are all little, but I was homeschooled growing up and my brother sounds a lot like your DS. My parents took him to be evaluated, and they came back with everything from tourette syndrome to bipolar. Everything made him anxious and so often he would go off the edge. That got to be really scary when he was a hulking teenager.

I'm not trying to give you advice, just sharing my family's experience. In hindsight, he and my mom both realize that what he needed growing up was firmness and structure, as well as someone to talk to who understood what he was going through instead of focusing on how it should be and what he was supposed to be doing. Performing and failing was just too scary for him--he would rather do nothing than be mediocre, and that fear was just too overwhelming that he paralyzed himself. Video games were an escape from the fear and blurred reality so that it was less scary. My mom would try everything, including setting consequences, but she never stuck to them. The feeling that no one was going to help him by giving him firm guidance threw him into even more anxiety.

He went to school for a year in eighth grade, but he was so miserable, and so he continued homeschooling.

He dropped out of college for a couple years when he was 19, basically doing nothing but play video games, and he never really finished high school. But for what it's worth, my parents lovingly told him he needed to find his way and leave home when he was 22. He eventually pulled himself together, worked his way through school, biked several miles every day to work and school, forgoed a car and a computer so that he could pay for his rent, and will be graduating this year at 25. He is now a hardworking, kind and gallant young man, even though he still struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. There's no one I'm more proud of!
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#26 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I am sorry.

I felt like that a couple weeks ago, and went as far as to schedule an appt with the school to review our options since my child is diagnosed with a SN.

But after lots of discussion, my DH and I realized that while it would be a nice break for a couple of hours, we would still have to deal with her issues, i.e. the school calling us, sending notes home constantly about her behavior as if we should be doing "something" to fix her and her behavior. That's why we pulled her out of school in the first place. So for now, we're keeping our status quo, and my DH is making a point to give me more breaks when I get overwhelmed.

Do you have a support system who can help you? Give you breaks, take over some of your responsibilities, so you can have some breathing room?

Whatever you decide I am sure it will be what is best for your son and your family. Good luck.
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#27 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Tankgirl, I'm sorry you're going through this. It's hard, I know. But I think you may be pleasantly surprised at what a school can offer you. They have a lot of resources and experience at their finger tips. (And remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease). Your son has no right to be acting the way he's acting. He is being selfish and rude to you. I also think waking up earlier and packing lunches are a small price to pay. Speaking of which, why would you worry if he whines that his lunch was unsatisfactory? Maybe I'm a mean woman but frankly I would make a nice lunch and invite him to make his own if he doesn't care for what I made. Or he can use his allowance to buy the school lunch.
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#28 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Regarding exercise: He is in competitive gymnastics, in fact he recently competed at the provincial championships and got 2nd overall (and gold on pommel), made the provincial team and travelled to the Atlantics, where he got 5th on pommel. He trains 3x/week for 2 hours. He also has a junior black belt in karate, though since moving home we couldn't find a good karate school so now he's doing Tae Kwon Do, that's the other two weeknights for an hour.

So... plenty of outlet there.

And his behaviour there is okay... not perfect by any means. His gym coach has talked to me more than once about how he can be disruptive. But he is better there than his normal modus operandi. He even helps teach the lower belts at tae kwon do.

As for spending time away from me, he already does -- he spends weekends at his dad's (and grandparents, since his father is currently living with his elderly parents). So I get a "break" then.

Summer camps -- we usually do those every year. Got plans for several this year.

I don't think the issue is so much that I need a "break" from him... I do get enough of that, I think. Also my SIL and her family (also homeschoolers, she reads MDC too) has offered to give me some down time after reading this thread. (So I do have a good support system) I appreciate that immensely, but I don't think that's the issue here. I don't need a BREAK, I need to figure out how to parent him when we ARE together.

Professionally evaluated: As I mentioned, we tried to do that back in Ontario but were shut down. We don't currently have a family doctor, so I've got no easy resource for getting anything done. Since I'm kind of now wondering about Aspergers, I've looked up an autism connections organization in our city and emailed them asking for information about where I would start for getting evaluations, since we don't have a doctor and aren't involved with the school system.

I would indeed like some sort of professional opinions, it's just been harder than I expected figuring out who to ask.

As for video games and tv -- we actually don't watch tv (except streaming online, and that's just me and hubby for the Daily Show and Colbert lol), the tv is just for video games. We have had game-free times and rules and limits, it still doesn't really change the behaviour problems. Lately he's been playing 'good' video games -- Harvest Moon, for instance (requires patience, teaches about nature stewardship, animal care, nice and slow-paced) and Endless Ocean (scuba diving exploration, beautiful graphics, information about sea life. I don't mind him playing those.

Question was asked about what went wrong with unschooling. I thought I answered that in the initial post, oh well. Basically, the behaviour didn't change... he was still beligerent and disrespectful and non-empathetic, the only difference was that he spend ALL his time goofing off instead of just SOME of his time. I think his "self-regulation" is "broken", like a kind of learning disability.

Interesting points raised above about fear of mediocrity leading them to do nothing... he used to be a perfectionist when he was young and refused to do anything unless he thought he'd be great at it, and was crushed if it actually turned out to be hard, he'd give up and refuse to try. Believed he was stupid, even when we tried oh so gently and oh so hard to explain to him that some things you just have to practice and slowly get better at...

I think the same kind of fears still exist in him but I'd not call him a 'perfectionist' anymore. Now, he's perfectly happy to settle for mediocrity, he asks me "what's wrong with being just okay?" when I want him to strive to be better. But to be clear, I'm not asking him to be over-achieving. I just want a "normal" level of motivation, the desire to do well just because you want to do well and not just barely get by, KWIM?

The idea that he needs to be able to talk about his struggles and how he feels and not just about what he's doing wrong and should be doing differently is interesting. I'll have to contemplate that.

Anyway, it's all quite complex and I appreciate the little bits of advice and thoughts here. I'm feeling a lot calmer today -- he had a great birthday party yesterday, had a house full of rowdy 8-11 year-old boys (and one girl lol)... Also the night before, when I was stull in FULL GRUMP mode, he actually did get serious, apologetic, worried about me, instead of just running off like 'whatever'. I know it's not hopeless, I just need a recharge of my patience, a clear head, a plan, and hey a LITTLE cooperation wouldn't hurt, ya know? We'll see how things go tomorrow.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#29 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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A few thoughts that I instantly had:

1. I could see myself going through this with my VERY strong-willed son.

2. You sound like a very concerned, hands-on mama who has been willing to try anything to better meet your son's needs

3. I wonder if he's playing YOU?

It seems to me that he's picking up on your stress and the pressure you put on yourself to have him learn, when really, it is his responsibility to learn and finish his work.

Sounds like schooling would be one way to remove the responsibility off your back and onto his, but I wonder if there is another way?

What if you lay his work out for him for the day, tell him it is a reasonable amount of work, and you expect it to be done before you will offer any extras (driving him to something he really enjoys, etc) and then back off?

He is welcome to ask for your help when needed, but you will only assist him if he's respectful, polite, and sincere.

This is my plan of attack should my son get tot his point, and believe me, I can totally see it coming.

I imagine that this would work since he doesn't wish to go to school. Take the pressure off of you and shift the responsibility onto him.

HTH!
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#30 of 43 Old 05-17-2009, 09:26 PM
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I think Briansmama has some good points.

One other thing though. It sounds like you are using public school as a threat to get your DS motivated. Public school isn't a punishment and it shouldn't be held over his head for not cooperating. If you (and your DP?) decide to send him to PS, have a parental meeting and decide - then tell him. None of this, I will make you go/you can't make me go. If you decide to keep homeschooling him, fine too. But no type of education should be a punishment.
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