I need help with a child

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2007
I need help with a child
Sat, 04-02-2011 - 1:23pm

This is very long - I apologize for that and thank anyone in advance who has the time to read and respond.

I am not a teacher. I am a college student going to school to do therapy for Autistic children and working as a special education paraprofessional in a TINY school district. When I took this job, I was told that I would be responsible for two kindergarten boys – one with Autism and one with a seizure disorder.

The problem is that I was told that the little boy with the seizure disorder has delays and needed more individualized attention to advance his academic progress. His delays, as a matter of fact, include more than just his academic performance. He has numerous behavioral issues as well as physical ones.

This little boy, (I will call him “D”) has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gestalt Syndrome. I had to do my own research to find out what this means. It is not promising. Children diagnosed with this disorder will have numerous seizures throughout the day and night (and most are not noticeable and just include spacing out, arm or leg jerks, drooling, etc.) and medication is not going to ever completely control them. He has neurological problems that are affecting his cognitive and social/emotional development.

His physical delays include stunted development in large and fine motor coordination. He is often unstable on his feet and he cannot write. He gets PT, OT, and speech. And he also goes with a special education teacher for a half an hour a day and I work with him one on one for an hour a day.

He can write his name and some individual letters. We are working on him writing his numbers to 10 and seeing some progress. The highest he can count depends on the day (but I have gotten him to count to 67 once), but he is supposed to be counting to 100. He doesn’t get anything out of group activities (such as carpet time) because he is not paying attention to the teacher – we can get him to sit there quietly, but most of the time he is just spacing out and if you ask him questions on the lesson, he cannot answer them.

He is not “fully” potty trained. Sometimes he wets himself, and I think most of the time it is because he has had a seizure. And sometimes he defecates himself. He is often constipated because of the medication that he is on. And we are working with him on wiping himself. And if we do not remind him to pull his pants up, he will walk out of the bathroom with his pants around his ankles.

He is a very verbal and social child. But I do notice that sometimes he says nonsense sentences (especially when he is excited), or asks questions that he already knows the answer to. He has asked me before, “Is this chair blue?” When he knows his colors and knows that the chair is blue. Or he’ll ask me, “Does my grandma have tools at her house?” That sort of thing – just inappropriate conversation skills.

The real issues is his behaviors. There are bad days where he is more defiant and violent than usual. But I can give a run down of typical things that he has done. He has a problem with transitions and despite his teacher and I trying everything we can think of to ease him into them, there are some days where he refuses to stop playing, come to the carpet, line up, sit in his seat, etc. He kicks, hits, and tries to bite us when we have to physically remove him from the room. He is extremely violent towards the other children. He has bit them, hit them, slammed their hands into doors. One day last week, he tried cutting his teacher with scissors.

At his I.E.P. meeting, his teacher and I told the principal and his mother that we need a formal behavior plan in place for him. The principal’s suggestion was to give him an order and count to three, if he did not comply, then we are to take him to time-out. And his mother doesn’t want us to “cut him any slack.” We promise her that we are not letting him get away with these things, but nothing we are doing seems to be working.

Milford Sound in New Zealand
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sat, 04-02-2011 - 1:40pm

Congrats on caring enough about a student to try and do something for him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Sat, 04-02-2011 - 3:28pm

As Beth said, you are to be commended for caring so much and trying to help. Have you had a class that includes the IDEA?