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High functioning autism


shermax_4 September 29, 2010

My son is 11 years old and in 6th grade. He has been diagnosed with High functioning autism and ADHD. This is his first year at middle school and he is having an extremely hard time adjusting. He has an IEP but the school and teachers seem to have profiled him as a disruption and are just writing him up for everything they can to get him out of class. He has problems with making noises and running in the halls, not taking notes,etc. All of these things are addressed in his IEP.
He's went to school with the same children all of his life and has problems with being picked on by some. They know what sets him off and use this to get him upset. While they know to look innocent, he is crying, yelling,etc. He is then the one in trouble. He's been hit, pushed down, and made fun of by highschoolers (the high school and middle school are together and it's a charter school)yet none of them have been disiplined since they were not seen doing this by a teacher. So far this year he has had 3 days OSS, 4 days AS, and about 6 days ISS. I've had one meeting with the school, at which time they bombarded me with 6 pink slips at once. I've tried to give them tips as to how to get through to him but I don't think their using them.
He's always done well, in the past, when the teachers talked to him one-on-one and made eye contact,caught him doing good instead of always looking for the bad,and being reminded of what he's supposed to be doing. He's in regular classes with the last period being in a special ed. class. At his other school they worked more with him and he thrived.
I've always been an involved parent and have had so many meeting with school officials over the years that I could write a book. I don't expect miracles but do expect compassion and respect for my child. He is usually a much better child at home than at school and I'm considering homeschooling or enrolling him in online school. The only reason I've left him in main stream was for the socialization. It's gotten to the point that I don't see him getting any good out of it though. Just looking for feedback from anyone with similar problems. Thanks!!!

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ohboys September 30, 2010

Wow, this kind of thing makes me crazy! The school should be working hard to make this work for your son -- you (and he) shouldn't have to be the only ones trying.

If it we me, I'd call a team meeting, get a behavior person on board (someone who will look at the situation and say how the situation has to change to work for your son -- not how your son has to change!), get an advocate. Can you bring in teachers from his last school to talk about how they got things to work for your son?

But until then, I think i'd keep him home if the school is toxic for him, because maybe he'll never want to go back otherwise.

I hope you get help!


shermax_4 September 30, 2010

Thank you @ ohboys!
I've had one meeting that I sat through,biting my tongue, while the assistant principal basically said "I know there's an intelligent civilized child in there somewhere!" They have a man (not a good idea since he gets along better with female teachers) that sits in on some of his classes. He seems to be causing more harm than good.
All of the teachers are writing down every little offense from noises to taking to long at the lockers. No matter how many times I ask them they can't ever seem to find time to point out anything good he accomplishes. He may be a disruption at times but he reads on a 12.8 level! I've also given them the name of his most helpful teacher in elementary school but as far as I know they haven't talked to her. She is a great lady and truly cares for him to this day. She emailed me recently to get me to bring him to visit her because she missed him. She could enlighten them if they attempted to show an interest.
He is once again in ISS today and now has OSS for Friday and Monday. I think they are wanting me to pull him out so they don't have to deal with him. This from a new charter school that our town fought for when our highschool was closed. I'm looking into online schools today to see which one is the best for him. I believe any of them would be better for him than going through this all this time.


rosabw October 14, 2010

This isn't advice. Just my story.

My son was on ritalin all through school, but a reaction in 8th grade prompted me to take him off. He was suspended three times. He was flunking algebra. We decided to take him out.

We are in our third year of homeschooling. You would be AMAZED the number of kids who are homeschooled who would have labels and/or be drugged for the convienience of the school. He has been drug free three years. He is at the point where I point the direction and he does the work. The first year, I taught all subjects from books. It was fun, and we both learned a lot. The second year. more online work, and he was dependably doing it on his own. This year~.easiest of all. He works on 1 class a day for 1-6 hours. We do try to get out to be with other kids. He has teachers who he respects that he takes classes from, surprisingly, a lot have a similar story to his and are very understanding. He wants to try to do his last year in public school, and go on to tech, and later college. He is doing it in his time in his way. I support him in any way I can, the stress from school is gone.

Ben's Godmother had a son who was having trouble in 9th grade, and she thought by being tougher on him, he would buck up. She finally gave up trying. He passed his GED instantly upon turning 16...went into the army at age 18, and is working on helicopters. School had nothing to do with life for many kids, especially boys..

Some kids just need a safe place for a while. School isn't what it used to be. It's becoming entrely disagreeable to those of the male persuasion, preparing them for trouble rather than life. Our "ritalin kids", our auties or aspies or Adders or LD ers have ALWAYS been there, but never has so much been asked of schools to do.There is too much trying to be done for too few, and teachers are stressed. I wish there was more hands on learning...Dr. Temple Grandin suggests that by getting rid of shop, art, music, our kids are being denied an education. Hands on learning is not as stressful to them. She suggests getting them into tech schools early! Doing seems to take the stress out of learning for a lot of our kids, even though they are very bright.

I dunno--I feel like by homeschooling, I'm doing myself, the school, and especially my child a favor.


shermax_4 October 14, 2010

@rosabw Thanks for your story! My son was on Straterra for about three years (only during the school term) until it didn't seem to be helping at school anymore. He was then put on Adderall but after about 3 months I found him upside down in a chair staring at the ceiling ,and I quote,"Looking at the pretty colors!" I took him off of that. He has been on no meds for about 4 years now and has basically been doing fairly well until this year in the new school. I'm in the process of getting all of his paperwork together for his enrollment in an online school. He deserves to be able to learn in a safe and nuturing enviroment without having to put up with bullies and teachers who have no idea how to work with a child with HFA.


1frustratedmom November 2, 2010

What is your childs IEP ruling? For 7 years my child had an IEP for SLD - Reading Comprehension. After fighting with my school district EVERY year I was finally able to get my daughter a comprehensive re-evaluation including autism testing and testing with a speach pathologist and they have determined that she has autism. (tell me something I don't already know!) Now, we are scheduled to have a meeting to determine how they are going to change her IEP. Your story is so very much like my own. I've not had the dicipline issues that you've had, however, I've had the frustration of calls from teachers telling me that my child is rude and refuses to do her work, etc, etc. They clearly have not wanted to accept what I've been telling them for 3 years - that my child has Asperger's syndrome or high functioning autism. She has reads on a 4th grade level and her math is on a 3rd grade level, yet they insist on putting her in pre-algebra along with inclusive math! I've had enough of them telling me what they're doing for my child. They are now going to be playing by my rules! I suggest you contact your local/state autism group and inlist the help of someone outside the school to represent you and your child at school.

I wish you the best of luck!


momz4kidz November 5, 2010

UGH this makes me so mad to hear it! They are and have been doing the same with my 4th grader. I made every conversation and complaint in email form-CC'd the principle and school psych. of repeated offenses, and made sure they saw every conversation, word and attitude was documented by me. Teachers don't like to be told what to do in general by other teachers or the school psych, and don't like the "hassle" of dealing with sped kids and their separate IEP requirements.

Every year I have to go in, make it clear who knows their child the best-ME, and compromise on a few items. I have them work on 3-4 separate SPECIFIC goals such as "keep body to himself at all times" or "go to XXX if upset"-and no more. Teachers would like to see all behaviors improved, like yesterday, but the reality is that is not possible for every student.

They need to be shown that you are keeping careful records, as well that you need to state in writing what you see the specific damage being bullied has done to him. IE, he has been repeatedly bullied DUE to his disability of XXX, and that his self confidence, etc. has been destroyed. Have medical personnel such as child psych or doctor talk over and document this with him. Also, I found Sensory Processing Disorder was alot of my son's difficulties, and co-existed with his ADHD. I find a good sensory diet, including Occupational therapy has helped him. A good OT will also document your son's problems with the other kids, etc. as another professional reference.

Lastly, I'd definitely use legal proceedings if needed. You can call the special ed ombudsman, file a complaint that your son is being bullied and harassed as a direct result of his disability, and that after repeated complaints and documentation (you will have multiple emails, counselor or dr. notes as well) they have refused to do anything about the situation. Make it known that as an IEP student diagnosed with disabilities which directly impact his behavior should there be further amount of suspensions which detrimentally impact his education, you will ask for remediation concerning this as well. Let them know you are in contact with sped. advocacy groups.

They may not like you there, but either way, the chances were that they wouldn't anyway! :P

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