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Forum: Learning Disabilities and Special Education


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May 15th, 2008, 07:22 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20,689
I wish I had found this forum sooner. We have my son's IEP tomorrow and I don't know what to do.

He is in third grade and as of right now will most likely be held back. It is very frustrating because he is a pretty intelligent kid, he just refuses to do his classwork and it is a fight every night to get him to do his home work. It takes us about 3 hours to do his 25 minutes of homework each night. Not becaues he doesn't know what to do, but because he sits there and refuses. We have tried everything we can think of that is reasonable. No TV on school nights, no video games/computer, taking away privledges, no playing with firends. Nothing seems to work.

He cries when we tell him that he will have to repeat 3rd grade, or that he might have to switch schools, but then he turns around and does the same things again.

He was diagnosed last year, when he was 7 as being ODD (oppositional defient disorder) with OCD and prefectionsim. I don't see the OCD or perfectionism, but I guess the nuero did. He was diagnosed as ADD when he was 4, but I never agreed with that and I think that ODD is more fitting for him. When they did his work-up last year he tested as average intelligence, but only answered half of the questions on each test, he got every anser he attempted correct. The social worker who administered agreed that since he didn't complete the tests, it was probably not an accurate assesment, but can't re-do the test...I am not sure why, but will ask them tomorrow. Because of this he was not classified as having a learning disability, well not any specific one. They classified him as 'not otherwise specified' since he obviously needs assistance, but they couldn't pinpoint and learning difficulty.

Last year his standardized test score were all in the 80s. So his IQ and and stuff 'matched up'. This year he did well in reading, but poorly in the other subjects tested. He had a 94 for reading and 50s for the other subjects. I don't know if it is part of his "I don't care' attitude, or if he is really having problems with all of his other subjects.

I have been concerned since he started kindergarten that he was LD. I have 6 siblings and 4 of them have some type of learning disabilty, perceptually impaired, dyslexia, nuerologically impaired. So there is a good chance he does too, but found a way to hide it. My brother hid the fact that he couldn't read until he was in second grade.

Right now he goes to private school. They have an aide in his classroom for him and he gets additional time on tests, etc. We are thinking about switching him to public school for the services, but I am not sure if it would help since it seems more like he is just refusing to do anything more than anything else and it doens;t matter where he goes to school if it is pure obstinance. But, on the other hand maybe the public school would know better how to handle him. And at least at public school I am not spending money for him to fail. But, he just started there in 2nd grade, he went to 2 schools before that (I am in the military) so I don't like the idea of switching him AGAIN, especially if we know he will have to switch in a few years when we move again.

Ugh, I just don't know. Maybe I mostly needed to vent. I know he is a good kid, but I just don't know how to get through to him.

When they persisted in questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7
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May 16th, 2008, 08:05 AM
fiefer87's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,336
Oh, sweetie. I am sorry you are having such a rough time. I am not sure I have much of any advice, especially with the IEP tomorrow, though you can always request a review of the IEP at any time, you don't have to wait until next year. My first question, has your son been to a pediatric behavioral pyschologist? My dd is visually impaired and autistic with behavior problems. We took her to see a pediatric pyschologist who specialized in children (all types of diagnoses for the behavior problems) with behavior problems and non-conventional discipline. The nonconventional discipline has been very good. I would definately recommend looking into that if you haven't already. If you can find a psychologist in your area who specializes iun behavior problems in children, it may be very beneficial to get him in to see one and get evaluated. The one I see only uses meds as a last resort, so don't think that he will automatically get put on meds.

Another thought, and it seems very simple, and it works very well with my dd because she gets very frustrated and has trouble staying focused and on task. We use a 5 minute on, 2 minute off. So for every 5 minutes on work, she gets 2 minutes to do whatever she wants, then 5 more minutes of work, and a 2 minute break. She is only in kindergarten, so maybe you could increase the time on task and the time off task. They do this in her classroom and she does beautifully. They use timers to iniate start and stop so there is no confusion and once the timer goes off, she either gets a break, or goes back on task. It took a bit to implement, but has worked wonders for her, very little tantruming and much more work accomplished. Also, she now has stars on her desk. She knows that when the green star is on her desk, its work time, and when she sees the yellow star, its break time. So she will even put the green star on her desk when the timer goes off for work, say work time, and will start working, when the timer goes off for break, she'll put the yellow star on her desk, say break time, and play. She gets frustrated very easily, and this has truly helped her. She does what we want her to, but at the same time, she gets what she wants too.

Another thought I had is finding a toy solely used for homeowrk completion. It has to be something he strongly desires and will motivate him to get his work done. Only when he gets his work done can he then play with it and for only a certain amount of time. I would base it on how long it takes to get his work done. If it takes 3 hours, then only 5 minutes, 2 hours, 15 mintues, but if he does it in under 45 minutes, maybe a full 30 minutes. Ultimately, I think He needs to be rewarded when he gets his work done, no matter how long it takes. As it takes him less and less time to get his work done, the rewards last longer, or get better. Maybe he gets a bowl of ice cream when he's done, but if it takes the right amount of time, you will take him to dairy queen for a special treat. I seems to me that he thinks he's not getting anything out of it, so why bother. Maybe making a reward system will teach him, at least right now, that doing his work will get him something, and then as time goes on, hopefully he will see his grades come up and he will do well in school and that will start becoming the reward for him.

I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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May 16th, 2008, 01:21 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20,689
Ok, the IEP wasn't too bad. Instead of getting funding for an aide in his room next year, they are requesting funding for him to see a counselor. He fights against the aid, and being told what to do only mkaes him fight more. They think he will benefit more from talking to someone, and I agree. We have had trouble getting him into couseling so this will help. For the summer we will see if he can get seen by a counselor on base.

The assistant principal said they won't hold him back because he would be bored, but if he doesn't shape up next year he will be held back, or won't be able to go to that school or both. They think switching him to public school wouldn't help because he is just obstinant and would be there too. And he really loves St. Rose, so he would be devastated if we switched him.

He will still get resource, and we should see if he is able to get OT for his writing issues.

When they persisted in questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7
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May 17th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North
Posts: 7,824
I see you said you saw a "neuro". Was this a neurologist or a neuropsychologist? How in depth was the testing that they did for the ODD and OCD? If you haven't done so, I would suggest looking into getting hime a full exam from a neuropsychologist. If he's not cooperative it "could" be a problem but it may also depend on the person administering the tests. If he's not finishing the exams, there is no way they can give him an accurate dx or an accurate IQ score. They "can" redo the tests but they like to wait at least 6 months before readministering because they may remember the prior testing and the results wouldn't be quite as accurate as they could be. A full exam is very beneficial but the downside to the neuropsychologist is that it can be a very lengthy wait....months in some cases and can be very expensive if insurance doesn't cover it.

Glad that the IEP went better than expected and hoping things improve for your son.
Tammy, Mom to
Abby (19), Kacie (13), Chase (11), & Jacob (7)

"...They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!" ~ Bobby ~ Supernatural
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May 20th, 2008, 09:32 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20,689
Tammy, I agree that his tests were not accurate. The person who did the testing was a social worker from the school district. The doctor who diagnosed his ODD and OCD was a nuerologist. I am not 100% sure what the nuero did specifically since I was not there for the testing, my DH was a SAHD at the time and I work outside hte home, so he took him to all the appts. Although, my father who is a child psycholigist and has worked with special needs kids for over 30 years agrees with the diagnosis. He works in a school for emotinally disturbed kids and has seen his fair share of ODD and Conduct Disorder, luckily my son is not to the point of being CD. The nuero did say though that a lot of children who are not diagnosed as ODD until 7 years old have already developed into CD, so we are doing something right I guess.

When we take him to see his primary care doc to get a referral for couseling, and to see about getting him OT I will ask about a referral to a nueropsychologist too. It can't hurt to ask, thanks for the suggestion.

I just want the best for him, and don't want to see him fail because of something we could find a way to help him overcome.

When they persisted in questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7
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