Ds is using his powers for evil. What to do?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-20-2011, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds6 is in kindergarten.  He has been in trouble every single day.  He clowns in class, especially at circle time.  He intentionally does things to bother the teachers and/or the other kids (repeating silly or offensive words, touching people or leaning into their space).  He frequently tells the teacher he doesn't want to do things that are "stupid" or "boring."  Sounds like a charmer, doesn't he?  redface.gif

 

He's doing very well academically, though.  He loves "reading group," and is usually totally focused there.  Comprehension is excellent.  He gets the math very quickly.  Teacher reports that even when he spends half the lesson fooling around, he picks up the material, and is often able to "make connections" that the other kids haven't.

 

The school wanted him evaluated.  I think he is the poster child for Dabrowski's Overexcitablities; his teacher thinks ASD, ADHD, or both.  The assessment results are not in yet, but the psychologist said he doesn't think ds has ASD or ADHD.  He thinks ds is behaving negatively because he gets so much attention for it.

 

Well, I'm sure this is a large part of the problem.  I love the school, but it's a button-down kind of place, and ds is a "let your freak flag fly" kind of kid!  Taking him out doesn't seem like an option.  Our local ps isn't good.  I can only afford this "budget" school because I work there, so other privates are out.  I would LOVE to homeschool him, but there are varied reasons why I can't. 

 

He is not a candidate for acceleration because he is not 2 grade levels ahead (or even one level), and because of his obvious immaturity. 

 

I think this year's problems have been exacerbated by a mismatch between him and the kindy teacher.  He needs a calm, firm, consistent hand, and she's not it!  The first grade teacher is a much better match.  I hope that with that teacher, and some advice from the psychologist, next year will be smoother.

 

Anyone got suggestions to change his behavior, or deal with the fallout?  There are still 2.5 months of kindy left, and they may get more challenging as I have just complained to the principal about ds' teacher  shy.gif (She spoke ill of him--not just his behavior-- in front of dozens of people.  For the second time).splat.gif

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#2 of 17 Old 03-20-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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Barring finding a PS that works, you can try bribery. (I call it "incentivizing the system." DH is a counselor with an MS in behavioral psych and he calls it behavioral therapy.) DS#1 has been acting out and refusing to do work this year. I outlined specific behaviors with him that I wanted him to stop and offered to pay him $1 per day for every day that he stays out of trouble. It worked. It hasn't cut down on every incident, but it has cut down on most of it. 

 

You don't have to reward him with money. It can be anything that he finds rewarding. It has to be something that he finds rewarding. If he doesn't like the reward enough, it won't work. 

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#3 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 05:11 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by darien View Post

Ds6 is in kindergarten.  He has been in trouble every single day.  He clowns in class, especially at circle time.  He intentionally does things to bother the teachers and/or the other kids (repeating silly or offensive words, touching people or leaning into their space

 

Did the eval include sensory issues? Can you pursue an evaluation on the side?

 

Offering a reward (favourite videos), occasionally negative consequences worked great for DS, who had very similar troubles. I did have issues with this, as might a lot of parents in this community, but some kids appear to need it. I had a psychiatrist suggest this to me in our first consultation. I too am waiting for results but AD/HD was ruled out from the first and I have had hints it may not be ASD (or not full-blown ASD) either from the psychologists too, so a sensory processing eval is what I need to pursue next.


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#4 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by darien View Post

 

his teacher thinks ASD, ADHD, or both.  The assessment results are not in yet, but the psychologist said he doesn't think ds has ASD or ADHD.  He thinks ds is behaving negatively because he gets so much attention for it.


Why on earth ASD? Nothing you said sounded like ASD to me.

 

He sounds like a bright little boy. He catches on fast while only half way paying attention, and he's more interested in everything else going on. What is he like outside of school? Do you see any ADHD kind of things at home or in other context, or is this just a school problem?

 

I think you did the right thing by going to the principal. The teacher was out of line. I think it's great that you are getting an assessment to figure him out more.

 

thank goodness the year is almost over!

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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Maybe if he actually needed to pay attention it'd be easier for him to pay attention?

 

Are there any other teachers at the school who might be more experienced with differentiation instead of jumping to conclusions about disorders as soon as a kid doesn't follow all their little rules? Because some harder work would probably do your ds wonders, but I don't know that I'd trust his current teacher not to frame it as "punishment" .

 

Is he horribly immature or is he just too immature to be able to hide his boredom?

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#6 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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I would have him moved to another class,or simply tolerate it. We had a kid like that in ds's class and the teachers tolerated it(with repeated punishment) since they knew the kid was not coming back the next year. We did have one kid that was asked to leave the school,but that was around November....plenty of time to see he wasn't a good fit for the classroom. These are private schools though.In public school problem kids were simply tolerated and no amount of red marks made things better. I guess the hope is they mature with time or get put on medication.

 

Best wishes!

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#7 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I would have him moved to another class,or simply tolerate it. We had a kid like that in ds's class and the teachers tolerated it(with repeated punishment) since they knew the kid was not coming back the next year. We did have one kid that was asked to leave the school,but that was around November....plenty of time to see he wasn't a good fit for the classroom. These are private schools though.In public school problem kids were simply tolerated and no amount of red marks made things better. I guess the hope is they mature with time or get put on medication.

 

Best wishes!

I'm sorry, but I don't see how repeated punishments is "tolerating" anything. Could you clarify what you think the OP should do in regards to parenting her son and/or working with the school?
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#8 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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If you could homeschool him through the summer, he might be 2+ grade levels ahead before school starts.

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#9 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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He sounds an awful lot like my charming 1st grader. I don't have any wisdom here other than to add that mine does indeed struggle with ADHD. 


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#10 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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The behaviors that you list aren't really the typical "bored gifted kid" behaviors. (I'm coming from significant experience here in several generations of my family & DH's family, including our kids.) Gifted children get bored. They may talk too much, be slightly mischievous, even be the class clown, etc., but not respecting others' space and repeatedly offending classmates/teachers aren't hallmarks of problems related to giftedness, or even just really bright kids. Hyper-focus in reading group doesn't suggest that he's significantly advanced, or he'd have the problems there, too. 

 

I do agree with LOTM that ASD kind of surprises me. I don't know a ton about it, but the behaviors you describe honestly don't sound like other ASD kids I know. I will say that there seems to be 1 boy in every group we're in - soccer, school, etc. - who does the things you're mentioning. I would say that about half seem just to develop really slowly, and a year or 2 makes a big difference. The others have some sort of underlying issue. I don't think it would hurt to have an evaluation from a developmental or educational psychologist who may be able to help you determine if there's something going on with him. 


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#11 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darien View Post

Ds6 is in kindergarten.  He has been in trouble every single day.  He clowns in class, especially at circle time.  He intentionally does things to bother the teachers and/or the other kids (repeating silly or offensive words, touching people or leaning into their space).  He frequently tells the teacher he doesn't want to do things that are "stupid" or "boring."  Sounds like a charmer, doesn't he?  redface.gif

 

He's doing very well academically, though.  He loves "reading group," and is usually totally focused there.  Comprehension is excellent.  He gets the math very quickly.  Teacher reports that even when he spends half the lesson fooling around, he picks up the material, and is often able to "make connections" that the other kids haven't.


This could describe ds in K though (including the "stupid" and "boring" comments), he wasn't ahead in math. Everyone, including his K teacher, thought that he was constantly in trouble due to boredom but it became clear to us that this alone wasn't the case (ds' diagnoses are ADHD, SID, possible Aspergers'). Now ds can deal appropriately with things he does not like to do; his current teachers all have things that he likes to do available once he completes his work and most of the time he complies. Nothing you said about your ds flags ASD for me though.

 

 

Quote:
The school wanted him evaluated.  I think he is the poster child for Dabrowski's Overexcitablities; his teacher thinks ASD, ADHD, or both.  The assessment results are not in yet, but the psychologist said he doesn't think ds has ASD or ADHD.  He thinks ds is behaving negatively because he gets so much attention for it.

 

It seemed to me that ds' classmates were more interested in praise from the teacher for doing what was expected. With ds, one of the things we tried on the advice of the therapist is making sure we gave ds more positive attention--it didn't make a difference in his behavior before he started medication.

 

We had ds evaluated this year by a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician. They can take awhile to get into so you may want to get onto the list for an appointment in case he continues to have issues next year. It could be helpful when dealing with the school if they have particular ideas about what is causing the behavior.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#12 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

The behaviors that you list aren't really the typical "bored gifted kid" behaviors. (I'm coming from significant experience here in several generations of my family & DH's family, including our kids.) Gifted children get bored. They may talk too much, be slightly mischievous, even be the class clown, etc., but not respecting others' space and repeatedly offending classmates/teachers aren't hallmarks of problems related to giftedness, or even just really bright kids. Hyper-focus in reading group doesn't suggest that he's significantly advanced, or he'd have the problems there, too. 

 

I do agree with LOTM that ASD kind of surprises me. I don't know a ton about it, but the behaviors you describe honestly don't sound like other ASD kids I know. I will say that there seems to be 1 boy in every group we're in - soccer, school, etc. - who does the things you're mentioning. I would say that about half seem just to develop really slowly, and a year or 2 makes a big difference. The others have some sort of underlying issue. I don't think it would hurt to have an evaluation from a developmental or educational psychologist who may be able to help you determine if there's something going on with him. 


Thanks for all the insight, everyone!  VisionaryMom, I've been a Gifted teacher (as opposed to a gifted teacher winky.gif), and I've actually seen a good amount of this kind of behavior out of gifted kids.  I'm not trying to say ds' behavior is a sign of his brilliance, or any such.  He does have some sensory issues, and he is an ornery little cuss!

 

He doesn't hyper-focus in reading group,  he's just very focused-- as in, he can concentrate and behave himself when he's invested in the activity (especially if it's a solitary activity).  Also, I said he's a quick learner, not that he's advanced.  He actively resisted anything that sounded like "reading" or "math" until kindergarten.  He's not ahead-- he's somewhere in first grade level, as are most of his classmates.

 

I'm glad you and LOTM are surprised by the ASD thing, because I thought I was crazy/ in denial!  The school thought ds14 was ASD, too (2 psychologists have confirmed he is not).  I think the school has autism on the brain (so to speak).

 

Forgot to mention... I don't think he's incredibly immature, just a regular amount of immature!  I can't move him to another kindy room, because there isn't one.

 

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#13 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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This is sort of out of left field, but it sounds sort of like some males in my family (brother, cousins) and friends who are gifted, but also dyslexic and allergic to a variety of things that caused hyperactivity or "silly" behavior. Usually corn or food colorings.  They were never diagnosed with anything else generally, maybe 1 with ADHD, but sensory issues weren't considered in the 70s and 80s when they were in school, I don't think. It seems like dyslexia can cause the "divergent thinking" that the school might be asking about ASD because of. 

 

My brother would focus when doing something, especially solitary, that he loved, but with more than a few people around, he can't concentrate and is in people's space and aggressive and pushy and telling jokes. (He's still that way as an adult, by the way). Any allergies or potential allergies? LD signs? Otherwise, I would think sensory for sure. 


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#14 of 17 Old 03-21-2011, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Why on earth ASD? Nothing you said sounded like ASD to me.

 


 

Because in many jurisdictions an ASD diagnosis means greater resources/funding for an individual child over other diagnoses - so it's the one I think teachers quickly jump to.  I agree, doesn't sound like ASD to me.

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I would have him moved to another class,or simply tolerate it. We had a kid like that in ds's class and the teachers tolerated it(with repeated punishment) since they knew the kid was not coming back the next year. We did have one kid that was asked to leave the school,but that was around November....plenty of time to see he wasn't a good fit for the classroom. These are private schools though.In public school problem kids were simply tolerated and no amount of red marks made things better. I guess the hope is they mature with time or get put on medication.

 

Best wishes!


Or maybe none of those behaviour charts, employed by people who the child doesn't feel a connection to, aren't an effective strategy.  See Neufeld and Kohn, among others.  "Problem kids."  Glad you didn't get one.



Quote:

Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

This is sort of out of left field, but it sounds sort of like some males in my family (brother, cousins) and friends who are gifted, but also dyslexic and allergic to a variety of things that caused hyperactivity or "silly" behavior. Usually corn or food colorings.  They were never diagnosed with anything else generally, maybe 1 with ADHD, but sensory issues weren't considered in the 70s and 80s when they were in school, I don't think. It seems like dyslexia can cause the "divergent thinking" that the school might be asking about ASD because of. 

 

My brother would focus when doing something, especially solitary, that he loved, but with more than a few people around, he can't concentrate and is in people's space and aggressive and pushy and telling jokes. (He's still that way as an adult, by the way). Any allergies or potential allergies? LD signs? Otherwise, I would think sensory for sure. 


This.  Have you ruled out allergies and vision issues (by a developmental optometrist, rather than a screening)?  The behavioural manifestations of certain vision issues mirror that of ADHD.   SPD would be another good look-see.

 

My son hated kindie, and we HS'd grade 1.  He HATES circle time and a lot of group instruction, where it's paced to the group and they have to be receiving information versus interacting with information.  

 

 


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#15 of 17 Old 03-22-2011, 05:23 AM
 
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OP,  you've had a couple of threads about your son's struggles in school this year.  It sounds like a tough year.  were you ever able to get counseling for him, or have input from a school guidance counselor or psychologist?  I don't know if the testing you're doing is part of that, or not?

 

 

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#16 of 17 Old 03-22-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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He intentionally does things to bother the teachers and/or the other kids (repeating silly or offensive words, touching people or leaning into their space). 



First off, a disclaimer: as I said, we are awaiting results for DS' eval, and I have had hints from the psychologists that DS probably does not have ASD, or not full-blown ASD. But those were exactly the behaviours that the psychiatrist who did the first consultation said was typical of Asperger's - they could be signs of being socially overwhlemed, misreading social cues and body language, poor spatial and body awareness, sensory seeking. She may have been wrong - in fact I sure hope so, and like I said we have reason to assume she may have been - but I just wanted to throw this out there as it may be where these teachers are coming from.

I agree with all of you that if there aren't any other red flags for ASD, it's probably not a red flag but a red herring. And there are other explanations that sound more likely: SPD, which might just prodice the same symptoms, vision issues, or just a bored kid acting out.


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#17 of 17 Old 03-22-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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How about Tae-Kwon-Do? The structure and consistency have done wonders for my own son and has transferred to his school behaviors.


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