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Old 08-06-2009, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
340 posts, read 1,095,242 times
Reputation: 201

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Hi,

I need advice from parents who have 'been there'. We have a meeting scheduled for next week with our middle school son's academic teachers. This is his first year in middle school, and he struggled last year, lying to us about homework, avoiding working in the classroom, etc. But, we got him through the year. Thought it would kill me, but did it.

He has been in school 4 days, and I've already had to correspond with his teachers. One is a very nice lady, who is compassionate and empathetic. Another is very abrupt and sort of domineering. The second one sent me an e-mail about needing to meet with us over her 'concerns' about our son. The third is an older, "headed toward retirement" lady.

He is a very smart child, but struggles (see the title). His RAD is milder, his ADHD severe, his PTSD still pretty bad. We adopted him this summer after he lived with us for nearly a year. He is truly struggling now. He has lost his lunch pails (2 days in a row). He has had to have his lock cut off his locker (we got a combination lock because he WILL lose the key), because he put everything in it, and then didn't open it for 3 days, so he forgot the combination. Of course, he also forgot to give his homeroom teacher the note I gave him on the first day that had the combination on it. He has already lied to us about homework. He is lying constantly again, and battling for control of everything on a minute to minute basis. And I could go on. But, despite all this, under his struggles, he is a sweet boy and we love him very much.

My concern: They have a self-contained classroom for kids that struggle. I have no doubt this is where they are going to try to move my child. Do any of you have experience with this? Should I battle them to keep him in a mainstream classroom so he can be challenged to do his best? Will this classroom hold him back? I'm truly ignorant about this, and can't find resources to help me.

Please help.

Thank you.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
753 posts, read 2,295,372 times
Reputation: 767
If he is a disruption to the class than he should be moved. If it is just affecting him, than the teachers, you and his counselor should develop an IEP for him. It seems that his teachers need to be emailing you all his assignments so he can't lie.

Being new to the school and the beginning of a new year, he is probably testing everyone. It would make sense to have a group meeting with the teachers to discuss how they should handle him. If everyone is doing something different, than I think that would exacerbate the issues he has.

If he is a complete distraction than it isn't fair to the other kids to have to deal with it because it will hold the entire class back. And honestly, if my kid were in a class with one child that had these issues and it was obvious that it was affecting my child, I would petition the school board to have the kid removed and put in the "self contained class".

Hopefully you will be able to work things out, but I know how much fuss schools can put up over IEPs and 504s so it will probably be an uphill battle even if they move him. Schools want robots in the class.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:45 PM
 
1,429 posts, read 3,825,111 times
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I worked in a self contained middle school classroom. This is a hard question. Middle school is the worst time (emotionally) for a child to begin with... add in the trauma this boy has been through and being labeled "special ed".... it can kill a child's spirit. But as other's have stated, if it is disruptive to the rest of the class, it is necessary. I know my kids did not like being babied (walked to and from electives... having to use the elementary school workbooks... being closely monitored. What I would do is try and get him into some intensive counceling and tutoring both in acedemics and life skills. See if you can get a trial period before he is placed in self-contained. More times than not, the BEH (self contained behavioral class) kids are in there until they drop out. Sad, but true.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:03 AM
 
3,865 posts, read 10,066,341 times
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Boy, I have to say if it only took 4 days to have multiple teachers contact you this is an uphill battle. There needs to be far more done for him than shipping him to a school. It is hard.

Does he have outside counseling and outside help? It appears someone has diagnosed him. A mainstream classroom is not going to solve his emotional and psychological problems that are at this level. (If you cannot, how can a teacher with more than 20 kids do it?)
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
340 posts, read 1,095,242 times
Reputation: 201
First off, I didn't say it (sorry about that), but he isn't disruptive at all. He tends to draw inside and get quiet. As someone once said about him, "He shows well." LOL

Most of his struggles are at home, because we are the scary ones. He doesn't have to bond with his teachers, but he loves us and that is terrifying in itself, because the people you love are the ones who hurt you, in his past experiences. It's going to take a lot of time and patience for him not to be frightened of loving us.

But right now he is scared at school, and when he is scared, he 'drops' stuff mentally. So, he doesn't disrupt the class, but I'm sure is an annoyance to the teachers when they put him by the window and he proceeds to look out. Or if they put him in the middle of the classroom and having people surround him is distracting. He goes off into a dream world, where his brain plans whole football games, rollercoasters, race tracks, etc. LOL Or when he doesn't do his homework, or doesn't bring the note back signed by his mom.

I think if he is given time, he will adjust. He will never be the model student, but this child has been to hell and back, several times, yet is still resilient and has hope. I want to give him every opportunity to succeed at life. He has already been approved for a 504, and that's what I plan on discussing at the meeting. I've got some great input on how to bring out the best in him. It won't matter to the teacher if his/her career is just her job, but will be a great help if it is his/her calling.

Yesterday, he came home, and had already done his homework, which was wonderful! His math teacher, who is a doll, e-mailed me that he was more focused than he was before, and completed all his classroom assignments.

I've talked with a friend who was in the school system for years, and she suggested (as several of you have, thanks so much!!!) that they give him a trial run of the first 9 weeks, and then we all meet again. She also suggested that if they want to move him then, that he go to the self-contained class this year, repeat the 6th grade next year in a traditional classroom setting (he started school early, would still be 18 when graduating if he were held back a year).

Oh, and yes, he is in therapy. As a matter of fact, his wonderful therapist met with us last night, and spent almost 2 hours with him for no extra charge. He believes that the adoption, followed by his declaring his deep love for us, followed by moving to middle school (within a 6 week period) was more than he can process. Our boy is terrified and needs time to process everything. The therapist thinks we should give it time too.

Thanks again. You guys were a lifeline with this. Blessings to all of you.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
340 posts, read 1,095,242 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinmomma View Post
I worked in a self contained middle school classroom. This is a hard question. Middle school is the worst time (emotionally) for a child to begin with... add in the trauma this boy has been through and being labeled "special ed".... it can kill a child's spirit. But as other's have stated, if it is disruptive to the rest of the class, it is necessary. I know my kids did not like being babied (walked to and from electives... having to use the elementary school workbooks... being closely monitored. What I would do is try and get him into some intensive counceling and tutoring both in acedemics and life skills. See if you can get a trial period before he is placed in self-contained. More times than not, the BEH (self contained behavioral class) kids are in there until they drop out. Sad, but true.
rockinmomma, I'm ignorant with this. Would the tutoring in life skills be something we ask the school for references to? Or his psychiatrist that monitors his ADHD? Or is this something we hunt out locally ourselves? Where do I begin?

Thanks for the input. You guys are the greatest.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:49 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,130 times
Reputation: 11
hi i dont know if this will help but it comes from personal experience ok here it goes yes and i was put in one of these classrooms where you were self-contained, and i have to admit it was ok it helped me and it went on my level that i needed, but you can also get get the iep program and see if the teachers have more problems with him at a certain time of the day, at which at that time he should be in there for help and the other times he can be out and about, they have to work with you and it does not have to go their way, which at times some teachers want, let him also have a say so about this, that way he feels like he is also in control of his life and not someone else always making decisions for him, i have a son who is going though PTSD and ADHD and maybe bi-polar issues i know how frustrating it can be, all the luck,
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