Well that was so NOT helpful!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Well that was so NOT helpful!
5
Fri, 08-22-2003 - 6:30pm
I finally decide to talk to Mike's teacher today. I had let the beginning of the year go since I knew this teacher was under loads of stress. I decide just to check in with her after school to see how Mike is doing and if she was aware of his 504 plan.

Her reply, "Yes I had heard of the asperger's thing, but he seems more like ADHD to me." She then proceeds with this litany of how asperger's and ADHD are on the same spectrum and yada yada yada. Not all kids with asperger's diagnosis actually are. Who is his doctor? Her's is this other doctor I know that specializes in ADHD. (My friends kids go to that doc and I have my questions about her as well) How she talks to him the same way she does her ADHD dd, etc and knows exactly how to work with him. (Gosh I wish it were that easy to totally peg a kid in 5 days and know everything she needs to know without ever reading his 504) That she is very knowledgable about autism and has a nephew with autism. She just doesn't see it, he looks more ADHD to her.

This is the woman who's dd passed away this year my friends dd went to school with. This girl from afar did have a number of asperger's tendancies. I know I posted about it here and all the horrible comments otehr students made about the girl. She did mention she has a dd with ADHD and that she just needs to work with Mike the same way. I do feel for the woman and will give her extra patience due to the situation. But I do wonder if I am dealing with one of those folks who are in denial about the spectrum of autism and unwilling to accept that diagnosis except in the most obvious cases.

I appreciate her knowledge and background as a parent, but she seemed very anti- ASD diagnosis to me. She was also very patronizing, talking to me like I don't know anything. She hadn't even looked at his 504 or bothered to ask me anything about him or my concerns.

At anyrate, she seems to have her oppinions already and knows all. I and Mike's Dr's are wrong. Never mind that we spent 2 1/2 years with the wrong diagnosis.

Anyway, just needed to get a frustrating conversation off my chest. I will still volunteer in the class and put my best foot forward hoping it was only a bad first impression.

ACK! I had high hopes for this year!

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Fri, 08-22-2003 - 10:38pm
<<<>>>

Jordan had the same type of teacher last year in 3rd grade (we didn't classify him until this year because of last year's experiences). We went in the beginning of the school year to explain to his teacher Asperger Syndrome and how best to handle him. She knew best and told us that he didn't have that, it was a home problem. If we stopped spoiling him, he wouldn't act that way. I was ready to choke her by November because Jordan would come home daily with another episode of misinterpretation. If I dared questioned her about an episode, she'd accuse me of firing him up and that he would drop it if I did. Obviously she doesn't know anything about AS. She also told us very matter of factly that she had 22 other students just like our ds.

Jordan had an incident in school that really anger us. We had him tested by the local Children's Specialized Hospital for a private child study team eval. The teacher told Jordan she couldn't figure out we were putting him through all this testing when he was perfectly fine. That put the bug in his head that there was something wrong with him.

We've not told him specifically that he has AS, we've told him that we are treating his anxiety with medication, but there is nothing else wrong with him. AS is his personality and we can't change it. We can work with the AS things that can be "fixed".

Good Luck and vent away

Leenie

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Sat, 08-23-2003 - 5:55am
Ya know, that attitude isn't just limited to teachers. My aunt....oh, wait, she's a teacher too, lol. Okay, let me restart......Not ALL teachers are that way.

My aunt has been on my case for a while over Eva's ASD dx. She insists that Eva CAN'T be autistic because she doesn't seem 'that way' to *her*. Never mind 4 different drs agreeing that the preschooler is not only ON the spectrum but are now thinking she is on a down slide and are rushing her into EI classes (ABA) and intensifying her SP to help 'put the brakes on'. Of course, this is the same aunt who thinks that the only thing wrong with Jade is that she is homeschooled. Never mind that my PhD is a hybrid of Educational Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, and that even after SHE worked with Jade for a week Jade STILL couldn't count coins but she COULD recite the distances of the 5 closest stars to our solar system and explain how those distances are measured. SHEESH.

Maybe this teacher of Mike's just needs a little more time? Unfortunately there are people out there who don't believe in Autism as a spectrum or that autism can come unaccompanied by MR. Not every ASD case is a Rainman (or worse) scenario. To me, this is just more reason to take every effort to assist in the Autism Awareness Campaign.

Hugs to you, Sweetie,

and Peace,

Candes

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 12:04pm
renee,

just read your note and popping in to say i am sooo sorry that mike has this teacher. i sincerely hope that it does get better. did mike have a horribly year last year or was that just cait? i was truly hoping that all that was behind you. i hope this teacher wises up and gets over this "i can diagnosis children" thng. personally, i find nothing more annoying than a teacher who thinks they can hand out diagnosises better than a medical doctor (just really burns me up). i really hope this was a one time thing and that mike does have a good year.

bless

bugs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 12:20pm
Thank you all.

Mike had a wonderful teacher last year, and actaully it was her that spoke to this new teacher and tried to fill her in on Mike and the asperger's.

Mike and I had an appointment with his psycholigist yesterday and he had some great observations and ideas. First, he said he does believe Mike is asperger's. That with his history of not responding to ADHD medications usually indicates that there is something more physiologically going on that ADHD. Also, Mike has been on Luvox for a few months and it is doing a good job helping him manage some of his more asperger's type behaviors. She may not be seeing in school those behaviors that are part of his diagnosis. He noted that Mike's ADHD symptoms tend to occur as a result of his asperger's rather than true ADHD. For instance, when he is either bored (hyperactivity) and has a hard time regulating himself and finding appropriate activities or when he is perseverating on something (distractability). That his distractability is not the kind typically seen with an ADHD child, but rather he cannot get his mind off whatever the perseveration is at the time and onto the new task at hand. He thought I should make these points to the teacher as well as had some good ideas for how to intervene with them.

He also had some good ideas for stopping the shirt chewing thing.

I really like this guy and will be setting up a meeting with Mike's teacher when we go back next week. Hope that will work.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 2:25pm
Please Renee, pass on the shirt chewing ideas. My son chews on his shirts constantly and doesn't know it. Thank god Target makes cheap tee-shirts (LOL)!

Leenie