Upset & concerned about Liam
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|Tue, 09-23-2003 - 12:43am|
Over the last few weeks I've noticed Liam has become a bit of a terror and quite hard to handle. I thought it must just be at home, as he keeps getting A's in conduct. So, I've been chalking it up to him still needing to adjust in school. I noticed every time I'd go get Liam at school, his teacher would have him up and out of his seat before I got in the classroom. (she is a sub as his real teacher is on maternity leave, but this is what she does with all the kids-the seat thing). But last Tuesday, he didn't bring home his vocabulary/spelling words, so I went into the class to check his backpack and get them if they weren't there. Liam never has trouble with the vocab words, but can't get more then 6 out of 10 spelling words. (Usually he gets around 4). They are all well above his reading level and I don't think he ever hears what the teacher is saying. So he will write Shik for Ship.
Anyway they weren't there. No big surprise. I think he has a lot of executive function deficits. So, the TA said she would get them from his chair bag. She went over to the timeout desk and got his folders. I had his folder that goes home, so I looked at his conduct grade. It was an A. So I asked why he was sitting in the timeout desk. I was told that is his seat!
Sure enough, his name was taped to the desk. It was pushed up to the teacher's desk. This was well out of sight of the blackboard. I re-explained that due to his processing issues, this was a very bad place for him to be sitting. He could not see the teachers face. Nor did I feel he was in a good place to hear her voice during times she would use the blackboard. And, I said, if he isn't being bad, then why isn't he sitting at his table. I was told that he is distracting the other kids. He wants to talk and play with them, so whenever the teacher isn't looking, he will throw spitballs, or an eraser or do something along those lines. But, because he doesn't get in trouble for these things, it isn't fair to the other kids that he sit with them.
At that point I said it isn't fair to me or him that he not get in trouble. To that they said they didn't feel it was appropriate to hold him accountable for these things. To this, a little pissy, I said if they would read the handouts I gave them on CAPD, they would see it wasn't that he couldn't understand stuff like that, but didn't always get things said to him verbally due to noise in the environment and his slow processing speed. This brought up that they didn't have any of the handouts I had given to the secretary to copy. At this point, I got distracted. I had to get the copy from the nurse and get them new copies. (The school secretary is a ditz).
Well, then Friday I saw his resource teacher in the hall. I asked her how he did. She said, in front of all the other kids being picked up to go home and moms, "Liam has these behaviors. They aren't his fault. He is going to need a very rigid and strong behavior modification program to fix them." I thought, well she's brave, but great. So I asked how we could get that going? She explained to me that his school couldn't do it, but that she'd been looking around at all the other programs in the county to see what would work for Liam. Honestly, I still didn't get it. But as she went on I did. She was telling me of all the programs for kids who were autistic.
So, very nicely, I thought, I re-explained to her that, although Liam may have some traits that made him "look" autistic, the psychologist had already said that they were caused by his CAPD, ADD, and SID. Therefor he wouldn't get into those programs. He will actually be lucky to get an IEP. At this point she asked me when I was going to get the written results from the psychologist. (Still lots of people walking around us, but I'm into this so I keep going.) I said Wednesday. She said, very gently, sometimes we as parents have to prepare ourselves for disappointments, and when they come we need to put our misplaced fears aside and accept that our children are who they are. Because once we do that it frees us up to actually help them. And, that the school had tried some things that usually are very effective with kids like him, but they just weren't working. But, don't worry. They love my son, so they were going to support me and help me come up with what was best.
I may have gotten some of the wording wrong, but you get the idea. At this point, I just said "I think if Liam needs to be someplace else, then Eve (the principal) needs to be the person I talk to about this". Grabbed my son and left.
I was so mad, it took me a few hours to calm down. Even after all I said about the PhD telling me that Liam actually doesn't "think' like an autistic person, they don't believe me! To compound matters, they have totally confused him about consequences. I asked him why he was picking on the other kids. He told me he is allowed to be bad! That he doesn't get in trouble for it because he is special. So when he is extra good, he gets to go to the prize box, but nothing happens if he is bad. So he doesn't have to do anything if he doesn't want to.
Well, all I can figure is they have started some sort of modification program that doesn't include consequences. It is not working! Not at all. Today he came home with a stack of work. On the front it had a note. "Liam refused to work. Stomped his worksheets, then sat on them". Guess what his conduct grade was! An A! My dh called me (I had class). we agreed no TV. Liam was livid. Liam said we had no right to punish him, and it wasn't fair to take away his A.
He has a point. How am I going to play second fiddle to the school? Also, this is a private school, so I am paying for this crap.
Dh says I can't pull him out of school. He thinks we need to give them one more chance and see what they do when they get everything in writing. Oh, but this is hard. Dh says if i pull him out, it will be three weeks with him under the table at the new school.
They haven't bothered to read any of the 411 on the diagnosis' I have given them, yet they are willing to treat him like he has something they have no proof that he has. Now, this is only positively reinforcing bad behaviors. And, still, I am in "denial".
Do you think if I could get him an Asperger's Dx they'd ignore it and treat him like he has CAPD and ADD?