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October 14th, 2009

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Drinky
Name
Clint Harris

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October 14th, 2009

My life is becoming downright soap operatic.  Yesterday, when my wife was talking with our son's teacher about setting up today's Parent/Teacher conference, she was told that they were going to need an hour or more to discus things with her, rather than the usual 20 minutes.  Apparently our son is basically failing second grade.  He has to be badgered all day long to do anything.  We've noticed the last few weeks that things have become that way at home as well.  He refuses to clean his room, get ready for school, etc.  Sometimes it's like having a two year old again.  His goal seems to be doing whatever the heck he wants.  Which is usually reading or playing with his toys.  He is willing to take the chewing out and heat at home if it means he doesn't have to do his chores and he can get out of doing them if he filibusters us enough with getting chewed out.

He is doing the same tricks at school, only at school, their solution isn't riding him until he gets his work done, but rather ignoring him.  When they ignore him, he ups the ante and starts acting like a lunatic until they give up and kick him out of the class for a cool down.  But guess what!  He just got what he wanted!  He doesn't have to do his work because they kicked him out of class or put him on a time out.  The kid was willing to take the heat, and bascially got out of doing his work.  He comes home and tries it with us, and usually fails.

The problem is this.  We are nearly positive that this afternoon parent/teacher ass-chewing is going to offer us a few solutions to our disruptive kid problem.  More than likely, Special Education (which is a joke in our district), a program for violent/troubled kids, or he can get out of their school.  The crux of the situation is this:  though he has not been officially diagnosed, he displays many, many of the symptoms of Aspergers syndrome.  The reason we haven't had him tested is because our school district will just put him in Special education, which is basically where they put the slow kids or the violent kids, and forget about them.  His manipulation of the situation shows he's obviously intellegent, but he doesn't get the social cues or things like how they are shaming him when he just sees it as getting his way.  Unfortunately, getting his way has also alienated him from any friends he used to have (not that he started off with many, since every year, they mix the kids up to keep them from making very strong ties in the classroom) won't have anything to do with him.  He wanders around the playground by himself at recess.  He's totally withdrawn during the school year and now hates school because he's so lonely.  He's lonely because he acts crazy to get his way.  It's a vicious circle.

Anyway, once again, the wife and I are prepared to go to the mat for him.  No.  He's not crazy.  No.  He's not abused at home (though his teachers think our methods of taking away his toys and books if he's bad is draconian) If anything he's a little spoiled.  No.  He isn't slow.  He's failing because he doesn't want to be there.  I know the feeling.  Unfortunately, I was 15 when I started acting like that.

Last year, they were talking about skipping him a grade or two.  He was tested for gifted and talented, a program they were going to open up to him as an exception, since they never take kids under the third grade in this school.  He decided he would rather play with the new kids instead of doing the G&T testing.  Hell, he's seven years old.  What the heck do you expect?  Now, he's alienated himself from his classmates, set himself up as a violent/troubled youth, and now he hates that which he used to absolutely love: school.  How has he fallen this far, this fast?

I swear, if I could, I would pull him out of school and teach him myself.  Or put him in a Charter School.  I wish there was someplace I could send him where they would just "get" him, you know? And why does it feel like their attitude is that he's the only kid with problems like this?  I hear the stats that odds of autism are 1 out of 250.  Out of his school, he's the only one with problems like this?  Really?

Ain't life a bitch?  I feel like we'd be better off living in a cabin in the hills

So, anybody out there, especially with knowledge of Aspergers, know how schools typically address kids with issues like these?  Any help you can sling my way would be appreciated.
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