School difficulties

Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 4:42 pm

School difficulties

Postby dragondad » Wed May 06, 2015 5:17 pm

Hi everyone! New here though not no message boards. I have a 7yo son on the spectrum. He is in 1st grade and has been in special day class since TK. This year has been a nightmare. He has always had some behaviors when it comes to doing non-preferred activities, but mainly it was laying like a lump on the ground and fussing. Then he began imitating another student's aggressive behaviors to get attention at the end of last year. They began to get worse. He is receiving outside services after school using ABA therapy and it works. The therapists or us can get him to do what he needs to (homework etc) most of the time.

We have had 4 IEP meetings this year to get the services he needs and craft an appropriate behavior modification plan (the school psychologist did not know how to make one), so the school can be consistant with what we are doing at home. All we have gotten is lip service. They say they are trying to follow the plan, but direct observations by us and the therapy company supervisors shows otherwise. He has a 1 on 1 who the school psychologist says she has trained, but observations show she is not implementing his behavior plan (I could give lots of examples). EDIT: according to his outside therapy supervisor, of the 4 times she has observed in the last 2 months, the 1 on 1 has only been present one time. Because they are not really trying and not being consistant, he now knows if he throws a bad enough tantrum he can escape his task. So at school his behavior has gotten so bad we have been called (and sent home, the ultimate escape) multiple times. He screams hits kicks runs and does anything to get out of the task, for as long as he needs to. Also because they "will not touch him" he knows if he ignores them he doesn't have to do anything. He needs someone to sit him on their lap and retrieve him when he runs away. Despite being SDC, they will not handle anyone physically. He will sometimes try it at home too, but we do not let him escape his task and he usually complies pretty quickly.

He is now depressed and miserable at school and does not want to go, he used to love school. Today he walked up to a yard duty and kicked her in the head while she was tying her shoe. EDIT: The previous was the story the principal told my wife, his behavior chart had a variation where the yard duty bent over to tie her shoe next to my son while he was lying on the ground, he the reached out and hit her (not closed fist he doesn't know how). Very different implications

His school day is one long meltdown. The school has dug the hole so deep with him I don't know if they can dig out, even if they cared, which they do not seem to. I have no confidence that even with an advocate and legal threat they would really implement the plan as it should be and help him succeed.

I am just at a total loss right now. I have lost all confidence in the district. He is smart, reads above grade level, understands many academic concepts (though struggles with some) and is capable when he wants to be. I don't know if we can get him moved to a district that would support ABA, or how to do that. Or If we should home school, and if we do home school will his school provided services (speech, OT etc) still be provided.

Any suggestions or even sympathy is helpful :) I am completely at the end of my rope with them. We and his therapists know how to motivate him and help him succeed. We have in detail crafted a BIP that essentially is an instruction on how to teach my son, but they can't / won't follow it, and are trying to blame us.

Thanks for giving me a place to air.


Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:44 pm

Re: School difficulties

Postby gingernlw » Thu May 07, 2015 12:57 pm

I have no advice, just wanted you to know I read your vent and hope you guys can get the school to do what they need to and are legally obligated to.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 9:20 am

Re: School difficulties

Postby SLPPaul » Sat May 09, 2015 9:51 am

We've had a lot of success using secondary reinforcers at our special education cooperative, and think more schools should use them. Basically you come up with a reward, which can be varied if necessary (the primary reinforcer). The child starts out with a set amount of tokens, for example small laminated "smiley faces" velcroed to a laminated strip that can be portable if necessary. There are strict rules specific to each child, which are a problem for that specific child, but can be attainable - for example "no screaming or hitting." If the child screams or hits a smiley face is removed immediately. If the child loses all the smiley faces, then no reward. The secondary reinforcers are serving as warnings that severe kiddos can understand. The reward is usually something like extra computer or ipad time. As behaviors improve - say the kid stops screaming and hitting, but has always laid on the floor to avoid tasks - then you can replace target behaviors, but the reward should be usually attainable (but not always - especially at first).

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