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ElemenTchr ElemenTchr is offline
 
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It's only been 3 weeks...
Old 09-28-2016, 04:13 PM
 
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We started school the day after Labor Day and I can't believe it's still September. I feel like I've been in school for months...all because of 1 student and his mother.

There's so much back story to this woman but the most important thing to know is that she will excuse away everything he does and say that it's his ADHD or his anxiety (which he doesn't have, the doctors wouldn't diagnose him with it & all of the signs she told us of his "anxiety" are classic ADHD.) When she's not excusing away his behavior she's saying he's the victim.

Just like his mother, there is so much to say about this student, but the gist of him is he is constantly calling out and talking over everyone, including myself. You have to call his name 4-5 times to get his attention. He makes noises, like helicopter noises, rocket launching, etc. And usually when you ask him to stop he gets louder. I ask him to stop, the kids ask him to stop, I talk to him quietly, just us...doesn't phase him.

Before I tell you about today, this is the setting....I'm a 3rd grade, pull-out resource room teacher. I have 30 minutes of writing in the morning and only an hour and ten minutes in the afternoon for LAL, so needless to say we have to hustle and keep moving. Most days I have students that leave for Speech during the last 30 minutes of class, so I try to see those students and their small groups first.

So today...we come in and we get right into centers, after I explained one change to one center. All of my students find their center and start working (very proud of them for being able to do this early in the year), EXCEPT this one friend (mentioned above, along w/ his mother). He takes a seat at my low round table that has 4 crate seats, and proceeds to sit there and bark and make other noises, at a level that is not quiet. I prompted him once, asking him where he was suppose to be. (By this time I'm writing everything down that he's doing and the time frames.) Another student that was near him asked him 4 times to stop with the noises, because he was trying to work. About 7 minutes into this rotation, I leave my small group and go talk to him privately about where he should be and what he should be doing. When I asked him what he was doing, he said "I'm having fun!" He was doing nothing but being loud and disruptive. So now he goes over to the shelf and gets his word work materials (after I lay it out step by step). He brings it back to the table and proceeds to turn the crate seats (4 of them) into a bench, which he is now laying across and tossing the dice from the word work center around. I prompt him again, nothing. Time is up, students clean up (not him, he has to be reminded), and they move to the 2nd rotation, which for him is the computer center, which he ran to. I then proceed to pull him and his partner to come work with me, he screams. It then took him 4 minutes to get to the table with me. Once he gets there he's loud, talking over us, etc. He finally settles down, slightly, we get some work done, not nearly what I had planned. Then he moves onto the 3rd rotation, which was read to self (where he had leveled books on his independent level and one sheet to do with one book of his choice). First, he tries to read the book upside down on the bean bag chair. I take that away. Then he lays on the floor with his feet up on another chair, I take that away. Then he takes his book box and puts it over his face and starts making noises like he's a rocket ship taking off. I take that away. Then he puts his book over his face and thinks this is hilarious. Halfway through this the speech therapist arrives and he leave the room for speech. Through this escapade one of our special ed. case managers was in my room observing the few students she had in there, so there was another witness to all of this. His case manager has been in to observe him, along with the school counselor. Next the principal is coming in to observe him.

He acts very similar to this in his math class, as well as in his homeroom. I'm at my wits end and we've only been in school for 3 & 1/2 weeks. I've feel horrible for the other 5 kids in my room, because I feel like we are getting no where. I constantly I have to stop what I'm doing whether it's whole group or small group.

I e-mailed his mom at the end of the day to let her know of his disruptive behavior. I didn't go into great details, just the overall basics, because I'm sure she's either going to e-mail me back with excuses or ask me to call her, where she'll keep me on the phone, during my prep, for 45 minutes of my 50 minute prep, and just go on and on about how he has ADHD, he's bored, he's a victim, etc. Of course he's bored, I'm not an electronic. I'm not Minecraft. I can't compete with that.

My principal knows what happened today and she said if mom wants me to call her to tell her that I have meetings during my prep this week, since she doesn't respect our time. We're trying to come up with an individual behavior plan, but the counselor is concerned that he won't be able to meet any goal that we set for him, which is why the principal is going to come observe so she can see first hand what we are trying to wrap our brains around.

I use class dojo and the students can cash in there points for different rewards, the higher the points, the better the reward. I also give out brag tags, and the class can earn minutes toward fun friday. None of this phases him.

If you have any suggestions please help, they would be appreciated. Sorry this was so long. This is my 4th year and I want to retire already. P.S. his teacher last year did retire at the end of the year, because of him and his mother.


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holy crap!
Old 09-28-2016, 04:42 PM
 
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i'm exhausted for you just from reading about this one chunk of time!

is he not medicated for his ADHD?

what a little $h!7! i feel for you. sorry!
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3 weeks
Old 09-28-2016, 05:07 PM
 
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What a little cretin...all his mother's making. You are very lucky all the professionals have been witness to his antics and are supporting you.

Out of curiosity, do you think he would behave this way if his mother was in the room? Would it be worth it to invite her in or is that just asking for double trouble?

Let us know the continuing saga.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:16 PM
 
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I had a similar kid a few years ago and I feel for you.

Last edited by Zia; 09-28-2016 at 06:37 PM.. Reason: Wanted to be supportive only & not ask questions
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Same child
Old 09-28-2016, 07:31 PM
 
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here, except I am a regular Ed teacher. No help but really eager to see what kind of behavior plan you come up with. I feel ALL YOUR PAIN!!!


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Old 09-29-2016, 02:24 AM
 
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I soooo feel your pain. Being rude is not because of the ADHD...it's because the mom is most likely too permissive. I definitely think it is easier for a child with ADHD to become rude because they require a high level of structure so if they don't get that at home then it's a lost cause but that's not a good excuse for being rude to the teacher.

I have a student like this as well and he's very defiant and talks back (yesterday he called out repeatedly for 20 minutes if he could get water because he was going to die while we were silent reading and I rewarded all of the other kids for ignoring him).
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What keeps
Old 09-29-2016, 02:45 AM
 
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me sane is I remind myself daily I only have to deal with this child for one year. The parents are serving a life term with this child.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:44 PM
 
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Thanks everyone, it's always good to know that there are others all over that are in the same boat.

No he is not medicated.

No I don't think having mom in the room will make a difference, since she a.) excuses all of his behavior away, and b.) at Back-to-School night while his homeroom teacher was giving talking to all of the parents, this little fun nugget came with his mother and he was talking and making noises while the teacher was talking and his mother did nothing to stop him or correct him. So I honestly don't believe her being in the room to witness his behavior would change anything, because he wouldn't change his behavior. The only thing it may do is open her eyes to how this affects the other students in my room, as they are begging him to stop because they are trying to work.

I keep trying to tell myself that I only have to deal with him for 10 months and his mom has to live with this for the rest of her life, but it's really hard especially when you think OMG we are not even in October yet. It's only been 3 weeks.
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Not Much Help...
Old 09-29-2016, 05:43 PM
 
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I am not going to be much help, and what I will write you are probably already doing.

When and if you have a face-to-face conference with this mother, do not do it on your own. You need to include any adult who has witnessed this child in action. If that means five other adults, it means five other adults. They each need to tell the mom what they observed and not let her interrupt with her excuses.

Keep documenting. Eventually, this documentation will assist in placing this child in the correct behavior classroom, sharing with the child's doctor, or showing the mom her son is a beast.

Definitely get your principal, guidance counselor, social worker, and school psychologist in to observe this child. Then it will be time to sit down and decide on a behavior plan. The consequences will need to be severe. This child needs to know that when his behavior is appropriate, life will be worth living. When it is inappropriate, life will be a living hell!!!

If possible, video tape this child so you can show the mom she is raising a monster. When she tries to make excuses, say in a very professional voice, "You are making excuses for your child. Good parents do not do that!" When she comments he is a victim, ask in a very professional voice, "What do you mean he is a victim? What kind of victim? What proof do you have that he is a victim?"

I am praying this improve for you and your other students. Life is not fair, and it is time this disrespectful child finds out how unfair it can be!!!
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He seemed very interested in the computer
Old 09-30-2016, 12:22 AM
 
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Can you base an incentive program for him? For every x minutes of work, you earn x time on the computer?

Lots of small chunks of time through the the day to earn computer time. Natural breaks work best, such as start of day to a special, then to recess, then to lunch, then to end of day (whatever.)

You know the drill. Pick 1 or 2 goals for him to work towards, get 3 out of 4 opportunities meeting the goal in the short time frame, earn reward.

Eventually fading rewards.


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A student and mother's perspective..
Old 09-30-2016, 11:41 AM
 
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Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this as I am not a teacher yet (student currently), but my heart is breaking for the child and the mother you mentioned.
I understand it can be challenging, but have you considered that perhaps the student really can't help it, MAYBE, just maybe he is a victim?? Perhaps, the mother is trying everything she can and is at her wits end too? She doesn't get to send him home at the end of the day, or retire, or get him out of her class at the end of the year. Maybe it isn't "excuses" but her really trying to explain to you that she is ALSO struggling and doesn't know how to help the behavoir? At least she is involved and willing to talk.. I'm not her so I can't possibly know exactly what she is doing or going through but I am a mother to a child that sounds almost identical to the one you mentioned.
My son was non-verbal until after age 3 (babbling and loud noises only). He had major delays and a lot of illness in his early years. He has been labelled as a trouble student, with major behavior issues, and the teacher has suggested ADHD. His pediatrician believes he is on the spectrum (ASD) and he has been scheduled for an evaluation this month when he turns 6. He has been in speech-therapy and ESE (special education) services from age 3 in the public school system, and prior to that early intervention. I have tried everything I can to help manage his behavior but he is just a difficult child. I am not "too permissible", I am not "excusing his behavior away". I spend hours upon hours researching different methods, different behavior tools etc and he is in therapies like crazy, but I refuse to medicate him just to make the teachers life easier.. He doesn't need medication to shut him up, he needs life long therapy and treatment and understanding..
Do you offer the mother any suggestions to what she can do to help? Do you involve her in your discipline or behavior plans? Have you asked her what works for them at home, or what she is doing? I'm sure someone looking from the outside could just label my son as a bad kid, and label me as a bad mom with crap parenting but they don't know how hard we have struggling with a special needs child, and they don't know how hard it is for him. My son looks at me and explains that he doesn't want to be bad, he just "can't make his brain stop". Sensory tools helped him in pre-k but when he went into kindergarten they removed those from him and now he has no options. He has limited activity (PE once a week), no behavior therapy within the school system, no recess, and no assistance.. So it really hit close to home reading the comments and this post talking so negatively about a kid that sounds EXACTLY like my son. His learning trouble and disabilities are the very reason I am leaving the nursing field to become a teacher..
Signed, the crap mom that probably ruined many teachers years with her terrible son
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:44 PM
 
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Hi NekoMimi,

Welcome to PT! You have a very valuable perspective and I'm glad you shared it here. It will be great for helping you maintain patience with your future students and empathize with their parents. I agree that there are some teachers who advocate for medication to 'shut kids up' and 'make their lives easier.' I also agree that some teachers put blame on the parent for things out of their control. Schools should absolutely provide counselling and supports so kids learn to function with the brains they have.

I have been teaching in very difficult environments for a while, and there is a big, huge, giant difference between a parent who is advocating for what the child needs in way that will support the child, and a parent who excuses away behavior that a child can control. As a teacher, it is incredibly frustrating to see the potential in a child as they start to make progress and have the parent dismiss that by saying the child can't reach that potential in social relationships, academic levels, or behavior because they 'can't control' something due to their condition. A parent who says, "I have tried X, Y, and Z. His previous teacher tried A and B. I found that a little bit of Y and a little bit of B worked, but wasn't perfect. What do you think?" is way different than, "Well, did you do something fun? He's bored. And that other kid keeps bothering him by looking at him. And he had a hard night and his sister was supposed to share her snack with him yesterday so he's mad and why are you forcing him to stop screaming when he just needs to let his energy out?" One is seeking solutions to help the child gain skills, the other is shifting the responsibility off the child so they won't have to learn the skills. It's also frustrating when a child has a brain chemistry imbalance and the parent insists that the teacher just wants to 'make her life easier.' I have had multiple true ADHD cases where the child could not function (interact with other kids, keep track of personal items, hold a short conversation) without medication, and by age 6 kids can usually verbalize whether the medication makes it easier for them to keep friends and learn, or it makes them feel bad and they don't like it. We have had kids with so much potential fall so far behind because the parent gives the medication sporadically, and the child can verbalize, "My brain just doesn't slow down to hear you today...I can't make myself listen!" or worse, "I am just a bad kid. I can't stop! I am stupid because I can't learn what the other kids do." Speaking to the parent about medication (if they bring it up, obviously, I'm not a doctor) had nothing to do with making my life easier - I was only going to have that child for 180 days, and if it really came down to it I could let them do whatever they wanted and send them on unprepared if I wanted to make my life easier. It had to do with advocating for the child's best interest so he could be successfully making progress and building self esteem.

I would love for all my struggling students to have a mom like you who seeks resources and supports for their child and knows how to set realistic expectations. Sadly, not all of them do. Teachers will not think of you as a 'crap parent' if you are doing these things. I think you will find when you get to the classroom that while all parents want the best for their children, not all parents are willing to do the very hard work of appropriate discipline, relationship building, resource seeking, and holding the child to appropriately high standards to help their child reach that best.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:53 AM
 
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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I apologize if my response was a bit touchy. I do know there's a difference with parents trying to help versus parents excusing, it wasn't very clear from your original post and I just hate to see people judged for their kids difficulties. We have faced a lot of unjust criticism and harshness from teachers or babysitters etc and it's a sensitive subject. I hope things improve for your class and I hope the mom is able to take responsibility and make an effort. I feel so bad for the children involved when parents or school systems don't offer the resources and support needed.
Again thanks for the indepth response it really helped me to read it.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:51 PM
 
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Sorry NekoMimi, I didn't really explain what the mother does but LastMinute 123 described it perfectly. The mother will tell us things like "He didn't get enough sleep," "He has ADHD, he needs to play," "His noises get loud at home too," "We told him he could act like this at home but not at school." She is truly making excuses. I would love to have a parent who told me that a little bit of this worked and a little bit of that works in previous years, how can we use that to make it work this year.

You absolutely do not sound like this mother. I agree with LastMinute 123 again that the fact that you research and are trying and you are strict with your son, will be very obvious to his teachers and I don't think they will think you are a crap parent. There is no discipline and consequences at home with this student, that is one of the BIG problems.

Thank you for your thoughts though from a parent perspective. My son is heading for an ADHD diagnoses, but like others I do not tolerate that behavior and there are consequences at home for his actions in school.
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