School issues with DS

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2002
School issues with DS
1
Mon, 04-07-2014 - 11:39am

I'm at the end of my rope and hope someone here will have some advice. DS is 11 and has PDD-NOS. School has always been a bit of a struggle. He needs extra help, gets pulled out a lot for small group or one-on-one help. But he's always cooperated. This year he's done a 180. He continually comes home without his homework. He claims he forgot or his para didn't put it in his backpack. I met with his special ed teacher and his room teacher and we devised a more simplified binder organization system for him and the para started putting his homework in his backpack rather than rely on him to do it. Somehow assignments still don't make it home - they magically show up stuffed at the back of his desk or in the recycling bin, so obviously he's deliberately hiding them. Last week he came home with an assignment and didn't seem to know what to do with it. He worked on it and said it was done. There weren't written directions so I had to trust him. It came back the next night with a slip for me to sign that he didn't turn it in. He told me he gave it to his teacher, she told him it was wrong but didn't tell him how to fix it or give him a new sheet (he needed that to do it). He was adamant about all of this. I sent an email to his teacher telling her that it's imperative that she make sure he understands assignments or send written directions and make sure he has the materials he needs. I got a long email back detailing recent struggles. In that particular case, his para had him explain the assignment to her and he did it flawlessly. When he came back that second day, he didn't show her what he had done and told her he couldn't ind it but she did give him another set of materials, which somehow never made it home. And he clearly lied to me about all this. She said he doesn't work at school - he just sits at his desk, which explains why he's had so much homework. They have him sit out recess and he still doesn't get anything done. My husband and I have tried everything to motivate him. We've taken away everything he holds dear, we've tried offering incentives. Nothing works. At home, his behavior has gotten worse. He snaps and turns on his brothers in an instant - he headbutts, hits, kicks, yells at them. He yells at us and defies us. He's always been explosive but his fuse has gotten even shorter and now he's lying and disobeying. He's supposed to start middle school next year, which would be challenging and difficult even if he was cooperating, so I can't imagine what it's going to be like with the way he's performing (or not as is the case) now. Does anybody have any ideas? He's on Tenex, Abilify, and sertraline. We've seen therapists but I never seen any benefit. They just talk at him and tell him to stop and do breathing exercises and send him on his way and that all goes immediately out the window. He's a smart kid so I don't want to see him fail just because he doesn't feel like doing the work. And his behavior at home is endangering his little brothers. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2014
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 4:08pm

FWIW, My oldest is just finishing up Middle School but I know so many of his friends have struggled with these same behaviors.  He is typical as are his friends.  It started around 11 and they do grow out of it but forgetting assignments, not turning them in and not being honest about it seem to be an issue.  Its really about staying on top of him and having the teachers sign off on his daily homework assignments that he wrote them down (a lot of time assignments are on the computer so make sure you have acess if this is the case).  The nice thing about have a para is that they can assist.  It is really an exhausting time for many parents.  We don't understand how they can work on an assignment and not turn it in...but they don't....

I had my younger son's developmental ped tell me that a lot of her patients are 11 year old boys and they seem to have magical thoughts that no one sees what they do.  I'm glad I have a couple of years before we are there again...ugh....