Page 1 of 2 [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

samssmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 10

14 May 2008, 4:03 pm

I'm a stepmother to a 13-year-old boy diagnosed about two years ago with Asperger's. My stepson seems to be good kid at heart, but he has no respect at all for authority, is exceedingly defiant, and is getting suspended weekly from school mostly for using bad language and fighting. We've had other parents threaten to sue us over some of his behavior. The teachers think we suck as parents and that his behavioral issues are because we don't do what we should be doing. Our school district will not give us a placement to a local, nonpublic school that specializes in kids with Asperger's. We have my stepson in weekly therapy. He takes medication to control anxiety, depression, and OCD. We are constantly trying to figure out how to help him. We talk with him. We try to make connections for him between his behavior and the negative consequences of his actions. He vascilates between believing that he cannot control his behavior and saying that he has no desire to do so. He's told us that he likes to swear and oppose authority on purpose in order to get a reaction. Up to now, we've believed that much of this is related to having Asperger's and to being 13, but perhaps we're just completely out of touch with reality. We have another child to raise with him who is suffering due to the fact that when he's around, all of the attention is on him. We feel like we're completely losing control of my stepson as well as our household. I would like to hear from anyone who has been or is in our shoes, as well as from people with Asperger's, to learn anything I can about what we can and should be doing to protect my stepson from himself, bring some order to our home, and to protect our family from litigation surrounding his behavior.



digger1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,485

14 May 2008, 4:15 pm

Sounds like a touch of ODD (oppositional defiance disorder).

Reward and punishment. "To your room!", "stand in the corner", "no TV for a week!" and stick to it. Don't budge even an inch.

Of course, I'm no expert. Just a thought. Could be simple adolescence taking over too. How much "quality time" does he get with dad or someone else like going fishing for the day or doing things for the day that interest him and him alone?

Do pass it by the doc about the ODD thing. Couldn't hurt. There might be "leash" meds that are prescribed as a leash but the end result is a calmer, more controlled child.



LoveableNerd
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2008
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 380
Location: USA

14 May 2008, 4:26 pm

samssmom wrote:
I'm a stepmother to a 13-year-old boy diagnosed about two years ago with Asperger's.

samssmom wrote:
Our school district will not give us a placement to a local, nonpublic school that specializes in kids with Asperger's.


That is your biggest problem right there. If the specialist school exists and the local school district won't place him there, they are to blame and have no right to complain to you about his behavior issues. Furthermore, if anyone has a potential lawsuit on their hands, it is you. Actually the lawsuit would be your best plan (c)... before that, I'd say (a)relocate to another school district where he can get the placement and services he needs, or if that isn't possible, then (b)homeschool if possible.

Under no circumstances would I let him continue attending the current school and let them get another dime of money from his attendance, until they resolve the placement issue.


_________________
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.---George Bernard Shaw

8th Cmdmt: Thou Shalt Not Steal.


krex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,471
Location: Village of the Damned

14 May 2008, 5:12 pm

I'm not sure I understand what he is doing but I don't think being rude, fighting or "acting out" for attention has anything to do with AS. I had difficulty following some rules because I did not understand the point of them and no one would tell me....I was the kid asking "why" and annoying the heck out of my parents. Once the logic of a rule is explained to me I could follow it and it would be hard to get me to believe anyone would break that rule. , (literalist/black and white thinking).

I think hormones and the increased social complexities of peer interaction in Jr and High School, can bring out some anger issues. Maybe some social skills training would help? It's true I had no automatic respect for someone based on their age or title. I don't actually think most kids do past the age of 10...the other kids just learn how and when to keep their opinions to themselves. Have you read anything about Rational Emotive Therapy? It helped me a lot to learn that life isn't "fair" it;s not going to get any more fair by my getting angry that it isn't fair and I needed to learn how to deal with the reality of it. That might sound kind of complex for a 13 year old but I think a therapist who uses it can modify it for younger kids. I do think I responded better to very honest answers and not being talked down to. Hard to describe but I think kids understand more then they can often verbilize. May take a while to process the information but it can get through


_________________
Just because one plane is flying out of formation, doesn't mean the formation is on course....R.D.Lang

Visit my wool sculpture blog
http://eyesoftime.blogspot.com/


samssmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 10

14 May 2008, 6:27 pm

Thanks to the people who responded.
His original diagnosis was ODD. Asperger's came later when he had brain scans and other tests that revealed PDD-NOS. Then a psychiatrist narrowed it down to Asperger's Syndrome. After reading about the characteristics of AS, that's certainly what it is.

We have tried to use action/consequence-based discipline with my stepson, and it does not seem to work; however, there are underlying difficulties that may be preventing it from working -- he lives 50% with his mom, 50% with my husband and me, so we can only enforce consequences when he's in our home.

Recently, his mom, dad, and me have started working together to create clearer, more consistent rules and consequences in both households, hoping that this will help.

He has only two things he's interested in right now -- skateboarding and R-rated movies. My husband and I have not allowed him to watch R-rated movies because a) he's 13 and we feel the content is often inappropriate; b) he has an incredible memory and can quote movies after seeing them just once (and quotes them as though they are from his own experience rather than from a movie, which causes problems); c) he is obsessed with watching clips from movies repeatedly, and then discusses often inappropriate materials with his teachers and peers.

He currently does not understand why he is not considered as and treated like an adult. He believes very rigidly that because he can converse with adult language that he is an adult. No matter how we try to explain to him that he is 13 and does not have life expeirence, nor does he have the social and emotional intelligence to back up his articulate vocabulry, he does not believe it. He feels like we are talking down to him. He does not believe that his brain is still under development.

His issue with authority is based in a rigid belief that no one should be able to tell anyone what to do or what words to use to express themselves. He expects everyone else to follow standard rules in life and becomes aggitated if people don't (see hair example below), yet he does not see that his behavior is the very behavior he's critical of (i.e., his not wanting to follow any rules himself), no matter how we explain it.

At times, he seems at times to be devoid of the ability to use logic. Example: He used to have really long hair that he refused to cut. He was teased relentlessly about looking like a girl. We explained on numerous occasions that though it is not fair that our culture views long hair as typically feminine, that it does, and that boys his age will often tease one another over things that make them seem femine. We explained that if he cut his hair, the teasing would stop. This went on for two years before he finally cut his hair. No one teases him that he looks like a girl any more, but he still won't believe us when we tie experiences back to that.

I don't think using bad language or defying authority is necessarily typically Asperger's behavior (though I have read that some people with AS indeed have issues with authority figures, to the point that in one book, it suggests notifying the local police if you have a child with AS so that they know that the child will possibly not respond to them the way a neurotypical child likely will.)

I think the language comes from seeing language used a certain way in movies, and he doesn't understand that movies aren't reality. He does not understand why bad language is okay in some situations and not in others. To him it's black or white -- people can swear or they can't. And I think because he sees it in movies and hears it in life, he assumes that it is okay any time, anywhere. He also seems to get something out of the reaction he receives when he uses certain language.

The fighting comes from an inability to read people. He can read expresisons really well when there is no emotional investment on his part, but if a situation involves him and it is an emotional situation, he seems to panic and react with violence. I can't say this is definitively what's happening, but that's what I think may be happening. Example: He's throwing food at another kid, joking around. The other kid throws food back at him, but he doesn't perceive it as a joke, and he gets angry. Or he gets into trouble for doing this, the teacher yells at him, and he flips out over the teacher's reaction.

This is what we're dealing with. We're tyring so hard to help him, but it just doens't seem to be getting anywhere.



Last edited by samssmom on 18 May 2008, 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

krex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,471
Location: Village of the Damned

14 May 2008, 7:21 pm

WOw...that is a really difficult situation. I think As kids need consistency more then just about anything. Living to dofferent lives in two different environments is probably confusing the heck out of him.


Bad language,lol. When I was very young, I thought swear words were actually evil,as were the people who used them. I recall calling some kid who stole my hat a "bad name" and then crying every time the phone rand because I thought his parents were calling to tell my parents. I eventually confessed to them in tears and they were surprisingly nice, just telling me not to do it again. In my teens I believed their was no good or bad words(except the "N" word),all others were arbitrarily assigned power by society and it seemed illogical to me. I swore like sailor when I was around people who swore (this was at 16, not 13). I eventually realized it was a bad habit because.....I eventually was so use to swearing, I couldn't stop doing it when it was inappropriate...like to a teacher or boss. I had no edit switch. Perhaps you can explain to your son that it can be a bad habit that may get him fired some day. You understand the word, n and of itself is not evil but....it can become a habit. I think it makes it more difficult because we really want to "fit in" when we are that age and swearing is an absurd sign of maturity, (when it should be seen as a lazy minds excuse not to develop a vocabulary)


One of my biggest resentments and most confusing thing to me at his age was that "the other kids" got to...(fill in the blank). Some how, it seemed like the most popular kids were the ones with the most freedom...they could wear make-up, watch any movies, go to the mall to hang-out. I really blamed my lack of popularity on my parents being so "strict". My parents knew nothing about AS but they seemed to pick up on one thing...I was VERY literal and very nieve. I may have had an adolescent body but I had the emtional level of a 5 year old. I didn't know that there were guys who would lie to have sex ith me. I didn't know that there were such things as preditors. I hated my parents rules but they probably saved me being abused. I thought I was more mature then my peers because they giggled but I was very nieve about human potential for explotation. Good luck getting your son to understand that...)peers who may talk him into commiting crimes or breaking rules). We may be indenpendent thinkers but we are also more vulnerable to peer pressure in our lonliness and desire for friends (and our ability to read NVC.


I wish I could give you some advice. I just wanted you to know your not alone. It can be very confusing time(teens) for AS kids and their parents.


_________________
Just because one plane is flying out of formation, doesn't mean the formation is on course....R.D.Lang

Visit my wool sculpture blog
http://eyesoftime.blogspot.com/


ster
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,485
Location: new england

14 May 2008, 7:48 pm

we had quite a rough road with our son when he was 13.
things that helped: different meds, different school, different therapist, taking the emotionality out of his episodes ( in other words, not over-reacting to things he did. instead of freaking out because he did A, B, and C, we made him aware of the house rules and what consequences would be for not following the rules. I'm not saying that this eliminated behaviors right away, but it helped in the long run. It also helped for him to be a part of the decision making process-when he was in a good mood, we'd discuss what sort of punishments he felt were harsh, and what sort of punishments he thought were fair. we were able to discuss and negotiate these "terms" . i wrote the "terms" down & had son sign it. When future incidents occurred, we pointed to the terms.........

things that didn't work: black and white thinking on our part-ie; "do this or else...", negotiating during a conflict, trying to make him see things from an NT perspective

son is 16 now. has been rough raising him. no support from my folks. little support from hubby's folks.....i think trying to keep my sanity during all the chaos has been the most difficult thing



Shrubbie
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Age: 66
Gender: Female
Posts: 5
Location: Minnesota

14 May 2008, 9:10 pm

I feel the frustration in your post. I do have some problems with the school situation as I thought changing districts and even moving to another state would somehow help my son and his academic and social problems. Firstly, do you have an IEP? Secondly, I doubt a school psychologist has the education and experience to properly evaluate your son so if you haven't you should request in writing and Independant Evaluation from your school district. This is done at school district expense. You want him evaluated in ALL areas from ODD to Sensory to Depression. If you don't agree with the evaluation once you get it , you can dispute it. Also request (again in writing) why the school doesn't wish to accomodate your request to move to a more appropriate educational setting. Consider taping (audio) and and all meetings with school personnel. Ask your local social services or even your insurance company if they can provide family therapy. I feel for your other child as my daughter became very resentful of the time spent away on school meetings, evals, doctor appts. etc. She even questioned if she were 'as important' as her brother. Do you have a support system??? Do you and your husband have time alone? Do you have time alone to just relax? Your school has a legal right to educate your stepson not in the best way but the most appropriate setting and if that other school seems like it, go for it!!

Good Luck!



rottenlittleboys
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 64

14 May 2008, 10:56 pm

samssmom wrote:
Thanks to the people who responded.
His original diagnosis was ODD. Asperger's came later when he had brain scans and other tests that revealed PDD-NOS. Then a psychiatrist narrowed it down to Asperger's Syndrome.


It IS possible to have both.

samssmom wrote:
Until recently, there was little agreement about what was considered unacceptable behavior, and also no agreement on consequences, so there was no logic for him to follow, no black and white. His mother, up to now, had a somewhat permissive and free expression parenting style that was the opposite of my husband's and my more structured and less permissive style.


That is a problem and can even confuse NT kids. Can you work with the mom?


samssmom wrote:
He currently does not understand why he is not considered as and treated like an adult. He believes very rigidly that because he can converse with adult language that he is an adult. No matter how we try to explain to him that he is 13 and does not have life expeirence, nor does he have the social and emotional intelligence to back up his articulate vocabulry, he does not believe it. He feels like we are talking down to him. He does not believe that his brain is still under development.


That is called being a teen and does not mean it is necessarily from AS.

samssmom wrote:
no matter how we explain it.


Stop explaining, tell him and walk off if you must. No discussion, no debate, just is. Life stinks.

samssmom wrote:
We explained that if he cut his hair, the teasing would stop. This went on for two years before he finally cut his hair.


Ok, he is 13 now, right? Who gave this kid the right to choose the length of his hair at nine or ten? Why did the mom or dad not put their foot down and say 'no'? Sorry, I am a little confused here.


[quote="samssmom"] but if a situation involves him and it is an emotional situation, he seems to panic and react with violence./quote]

Has he ever been told to stop doing this AFTER the situation? He needs to be trained how to respond. He does not know how. I am telling you this both as a parent and as a possible Aspie. Subtlety does not work, hints do not work, flat out saying 'This is how it is' and sticking to it over the years is what he needs. KREX is very correct about Aspies being taken advantage of. Give him those tools to say NO. :)

Oh, and to FORCE the school to provide an appropriate education. Sometimes you have to fight.



Catster2
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 587

15 May 2008, 4:03 am

With "bad" language everywhere and used constantly I think it is pretty normal for a 13 year old to use it. It is on the train, TV, books, movies, radio, in shopping centres, on the street, at school, at work and in society in general in a way it never was before When my nephew swears I simply ignore it it would be hypocritical to do otherwise as most adults swear too. Fighbting is different however I think he has anger issues and given the isolation and social issues for people with AS this is not unusual dont worry about others they have no idea what it is like to raise a child with AS.



samssmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 10

15 May 2008, 10:46 am

OMG! I am so happy that I found this spot! All these replies are helpful! I want to respond to everyone, and hopefully I can remember everthing that everyone said. Here goes:

I am deeply concerned about how vulnerable my SS (stepson) is. While teachers and the parents of his peers may see him as a tough bad boy, we see him as a very niaive 13-year-old who doesn't have the coping skills and what I would consider more innate skills of detecting when someone truly has bad intentions as a NT (though he often reads bad intentions to innocent situations.)

He feels like we're trying to control him, when what we're really doing is trying to protect him, and help him to be able to successfully navigate the NT world around him. I don't want too change him to be NT, just to know how to get by. It may sound like he's rotten, but he's truly a good-hearted kid, and I believe that he wants to be "good".

We cannot change that he lives in two different households, but we can work with his mom to make the households more consistent (same rules, same consequences, etc.) I LOVE the idea of a contract that we write together that gives a bullet list of what's okay, what's not, and agree upon consequences (when everyone is calm) that we post in both households. That way we can point to that when things come up, and rather than getting caught up in the endless cycle of questioning us, we can point to it and walk away.

My husband, SS's mom and I all need to learn how to do that. We've all made the mistake of trying to explain things, then we get wrapped up in this endless, pointless conversation. As the adults, we've given my SS WAY too much power to direct how things go in our household. From what I've read and to some degree, have witnessed with my husband, divorced parents carry a lot of guilt and often overcompensate to amke up for putting their kdis through that. I've also read and heard form my own therapist that they should compensate by being good parents, showing the kids they love them with boundaires, affection, and being there, and avoid the temptation to give in to their every whim and doing everything for them. I figure it's easier to see the negative types of compensation as a step parent, and I can hopefully help the situaiton by pointing it out to my husband. He's very responsive.

As a stepmother who's trying to gain the trust of a child, I've succumbed to giving him his way, too. We're all just learning this together. He was only diagnosed two years ago, and I'm seeing that there's a lot less support for people whose kids are diagnosed later. Tons for toddlers, not a lot for an adolescent.

Honestly, his meltdowns are intimidating, and he's gotten his way, at times, because we've been suckered in to wanting to avoid the tantrum. We're emotionally exhausted, the other child needs our attention, etc. We're learning. With SS's mom wanting to work with us to have common rules/consequences, perhaps with some time, we can get our homes under parental control rather than under the control of my SS. We don't want to control him; we just don't want him to control our home. A 13-year-old should not control the home.

As for long hair, I'm in CA -- lots of boys have long hair. Not a big deal, and would not have been a big deal with a different type of kid. But SS reacts VERY poorly to being teased. The more he reacted, the more he was teased. Had he not reacted, I don't think the teasing would have continued. And if he had more self esteem, he wouldnt' have cared if people thought he looked like a girl.

I am realizing that SS has several comorbid conditions -- AS, paired with OCD, anxiety, depression, and I think ODD is in there, too. The school did an evaluation back when his mom set up his IEP and gave ED (emotional disturbance) as his primary and SLI (specified language impairment) as his secondary. I've been fighting the district along with SS's parent to have it changed to AUT (autism), and they aren't agreeing to do that. They simply switched it to SLI as his primary and ED as his secondary, stating that his impairments that are eveident in school are related ot SLI and ED, not autism.

I disagree, and I worry that he's not getting proper evaluative testing. I feel like they are not measuring successes for his impairment. I also feel like he may not be receiving supports that he's entitled to because AUT is not on his IEP at all. I think we're getting to the point that we need to hire an advocate, but with three of us in therapy and everything skyrocketing price-wise (in CA, gas is now over $4 a gallon, and my husband and I have to commute 80 miles a day), I don't see how we're going to be able to afford one. We have to figure that out.

Sorry I'm all over the map here -- I'm reading replies, then responding up here.

Yes -- we do tell him to stop doing things after he does them, especially the school stuff. We try to discuss unacceptbale behavior when he's calm. We try when he's having a meltdown. He just doesn't get it.

We've begged the school to have on-campus suspensions because there's nothing short of torture that we could do at home to make him hate being there mroe than he hates being in school. They don't understand that and they think it's because we don't want to discipline him at home. We have told them that suspension just gives him a positive consequence for his neagtive behavior. The shcool we'd like for him to attend doesn't suspend. They work through the behavioral issues with the hcild instead. The public school system simply cannot do that. They do not have the resources.

This is where we are so frustrated with the school. We feel like he needs to have social skills interventions throughout his entire day. I think it is more important right now than academics. The school where we would like for him to go has social skills built into the curriculum. He would have group training three days a week, and individual training one day a week.

The district keeps arguing that he needs to be in a mostly inclusive envirionment so that he does nto become even more isolated from his peers, and that by going to a school for kids with AS, we will be denying him interaction with NTs. Right now, I really don't give a flying flubber about his interacting with NTs. It's not working, this interaciton, at his school right now.

The way they respond to him is very NT -- they lose their tempers, and this just escalates things with him. We make the same mistake, too, but we're trying very hard to learn to remain very calm. I truly believe that in a school where all their kids have AS, they are trained to respond more appropriately than any teacher in any public school who is having to respond to kids with a whole range of issues, some like my SS's, but most with things like ADHD.

I think they are as much to blame. I should mention that in one IEP meeting, we were accused of being bad parents by the IEP team leader, and not a single person from the district reprimanded the woman for her comments. It was infuriating.

Right now, I think we need to do several thigns that I've found in part from these replies (thank you -- thank you -- thank you!! !!) and in part from what my gut is telling me. I really appreciate the replies and the support.



Last edited by samssmom on 18 May 2008, 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sinagua
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 368
Location: Rhode Island

15 May 2008, 11:17 am

Speaking as a former child with multiple step-parents who wanted nothing to do with me and viewed me as "baggage" and a threat to their position and sometimes their children's positions, I just wanted to applaud you for giving a damn about your step-son. It is so refreshing to me to hear of a step-parent who actually WANTS to be a parent to a child not their own. And your tone as you describe him isn't angry or malicious, as I've heard other parents/step-parents describe their kids. You really seem to CARE, and WANT him to like you, even to the point of making some mistakes and being a little too easy on him at times.

I think you're awesome. :)

I won't offer much advice because I think everyone on this board has already said nearly everything I would suggest. But as a child of divorce myself, I HATED "joint custody" - I really felt it was designed for the parents, not the kids. I was forced to spend time with my father when I did not want to, and there were definitely different rules in the different households. I had no say in whom I saw, or when, or where. And usually I felt my dad considered my visits burdensome, especially when he was busy having a "lifestyle." It's incredibly confusing to a kid to have different rules in different households.

As much as I want to tell you "Oh, you worry too much, all teenagers are defiant, don't understand why they're not adults, want to swear all the time, etc..." I know I will be the parent of a teenage boy in four short years and I remember how I was back then (problems with "authority," sense of innate injustice everywhere I looked, felt oppressed and misunderstood). Come to think of it, I STILL have all those things, lol! But as an adult I've learned how to better deal with and express these things, and even when it's best to keep still/quiet - that is to say, most of the time I am now very restrained. I am able to speak to people without swearing when necessary/appropriate, even though secretly I LOVE swearing. I don't scream at people for thoughtlessly killing insects - I WANT TO, mind you, very badly - but I don't.

And I definitely now appreciate just how ignorant/unsophisticated I was as a teenager, even though I thought I should be treated like an adult. Btw, if he wants to be an adult now, then he should be cleaning his own clothes and preparing his own meals for himself - cuz that's what adults do. You could even ask him for, say, ten bucks a month rent. After all, he wants to be so "Adult."

;) I'm half-joking here, but only half. Seriously, all teenagers who think they're ready for adulthood should be given measured doses of adult responsibilities. With great freedom comes great responsibility.

I remember always feeling so angry and frustrated that the world just didn't seem to operate the way I THOUGHT it SHOULD. I was VERY SPECIFIC in how I thought "things should be." So you can imagine how constantly disappointed/frustrated I felt!

Anyway, I wish you the best. Glad you're here!



rottenlittleboys
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 64

15 May 2008, 11:40 am

samssmom wrote:
I am deeply concerned about how vulnerable my SS (stepson) is.


But you are here and are getting the tools to teach him.

samssmom wrote:
[W]e see him as a very niaive 13-year-old who doesn't have the coping skills and what I would consider more innate skills of detecting when someone truly has bad intentions.


Which is what he is, naive. I have learned to pick up on bad intentions long before most people do over the decades. Even my 14 year old has to a great point.

I wish I knew how, I just get a feeling. :twisted:


samssmom wrote:
He feels like we're trying to control him, when what we're really doing is trying to protect him.


I remember being that age and that is how I felt too. Is this how you felt at 12-14?

samssmom wrote:
It may sound like he's rotten, but he's truly a good-hearted kid, and I believe that he wants to be "good".


Heh, my name is a good natured poke at my two darling boys. :lol:

samssmom wrote:
I LOVE the idea of a contract that we write together that gives a bullet list of what's okay, what's not, and agree upon consequences (when everyone is calm) that we post in both households. That way we can point to that when things come up, and rather than getting caught up in the endless cycle of questioning us, we can point to it and walk away.


I wish the whole world worked like this.



samssmom wrote:
Honestly, his meltdowns are intimidating, and he's gotten his way, at times, because we've been suckered in to wanting to avoid the tantrum.


Oh my gosh do I ever understand! My 14 year old stands a good 6-7 inches taller than me and is stronger than me. I have gotten right under his nose and flat out told him I am not afraid of him and will not give in. Sometimes I think I don't have enough sense to know when to back down. 8O


samssmom wrote:
Yes -- we do tell him to stop doing things after he does them, especially the school stuff. We try to discuss unacceptbale behavior when he's calm. We try when he's having a meltdown. He just doesn't get it.


Nah, meltdowns tend to cause total deafness. ;D Would you believe TV can help with this? Stuff like 'I Love Lucy', 'Gilligan's Isle' (?) even 'Spongebob' can help him learn how to not behave? When ever you are watching any outrageous behavior on TV, point it out and discuss with him. Ask him if he sees any parallels with anyone he knows.

samssmom wrote:
We've begged the school to have on-campus suspensions because there's nothing short of torture that we could do at home to make him hate being there mroe than he hates being in school.

We make ours work, work, work. The worst jobs we can think of. :lol:

samssmom wrote:
The district keeps arguing that he needs to be in a mostly inclusive envirionment so that he does nto become even more isolated from his peers, and that by going to a school for kids with AS, we will be denying him interaction with NTs.


That just does not make any sense, for anyone. Ask them if placing NTs around Aspies will cause the opposite affect?

As for the rest of the school issues, oy vey! What a mess! Good luck.



samssmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 10

15 May 2008, 11:42 am

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I love my stepkids. I know that this is often not the case, but in my case, I do. I was married before, and decided to not have my own kids, and made that choice physically permanent. Once I became part of my stepkids' lives, I realized that I should have had kids. They're both beautiful people with so much potential, and I feel honored that their parents are trusting me to help them raise their babies. And my stepkids are good to me. Difficult, but good.

The kids and the parents have been through a lot. Divorce sucks for everyone. There is no good answer for how to handle custody in my opinion. No good way for parents to have a life while also trying to raise their kids with someone they often can't stand to be around. The downsides for kids are endless. Everyone loses something. I'm sorry that you had to go through that, and I hope that as time passes, if there are issues needing resolution, that you find that!

And another great piece of advice from you -- having my SS have some more responsibilities. This has been a big one. I was doings LOTS of chores by the time I was the age of my stepkids (11 and 13.) My stepkids don't have any chores. My husband would like for them to start, and their mom told me that she has no issues with me starting them on that this summer. I'm planning to teach them something each weekend, and I've asked my husband if I could set them up to volunteer doing somethign with animals, one day a week over the summer. I feel like they both have too much unstructured time. I'm not into kids needing a BLackberry to manage all their activities, but I also feel like kids needs to have some regualrly scheduled, structured things to do.



krex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,471
Location: Village of the Damned

15 May 2008, 12:56 pm

The schools concept of AS integration is based on a gestalt of social services that is not based on reality. It was originally designed to deinstitutionalize kids with disabilities or learning or psychological problems. It is a wonderful concept...like unicorns. The problem is that it does not take into account the disabilities of "normal" people. Teenage years are tough for every child and their inability to integrate themselves with people who are different has been demonstrated throughout the years since "integration of disabled" first become popular. I am 44 and recall very clearly how horrid the kids were to the "special ED" kids in school. Most of the NT kids(and it sounds like many of the adults who appear to be infected with teenage "over- simplification syndrome") are simply not mature enough to know how to interact with someone who is different.

What makes more sense to me...is that your son should be in the other school where he is not seen as "other", the issues he has are shared by other kids and understood by the adults interacting with them. Change is not easy for any of us and he may fight it at first...but if he hates school as much as he says, he will come to appreciate being around kids who share some of the same difficulties. Why should NT kids be held up as "role models" that AS kids should be exposed to and learn to immaculate?
As kids tend to be honest and value learning...are those not traits that are good to be exposed to ? It certainly would have been a better environment for me to have been in as a kid. After he adjusts to the origina shock of change, he can develop skills he would have no chance to develop with NT...The scientist believe that we don't tend to learn by mirroring...so why do they think we will pick up positive social skills by observing NTs? (I still argue that many NT don't have positive social skills...they gossip, taunt the more vulnerable kids and lie to adults constantly. They judge people based on their clothing and who the kid is friends with, one reason even the nice kids are afraid to befriend "freaks" that they may personaly like.


This is an important time for you SS to be developing his sense of self, (that's why it is so hard). Being in an environment that helps him self improve, will give him confidence. I question why the school system would fight his changing schools., doesn't sound like it is because they are so fond of him.....follow the money. Schools get more funding for "disabled kids" and if they can keep the money and not have to make any expenssive accomidations.....all the better for them.


_________________
Just because one plane is flying out of formation, doesn't mean the formation is on course....R.D.Lang

Visit my wool sculpture blog
http://eyesoftime.blogspot.com/


samssmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 10

15 May 2008, 1:10 pm

You hit the nail on the head: Money. I don't believe for one second that they want my SS to stay in district because they truly believe they will help him more than the specialized school, and I know that his current school is all too happy to have him off their hands (he's being promoted from 6th to 7th and will not be attending his current school as of the fall -- he's transitioning to junior high, and we're tyring to get the nonpublic placement that they would have to pay for.)

The district is looking at what's good for them, NOT what's good for my SS. It's in their best interest to believe that they can offer the more appropriate educational outcome. It's in our best interest to not permanently psychologically damage our child. Apart from money motivating them, I kind of feel like they have a little God compelx and see themselves as teachers who know better than us parents what to do with our child. They want to believe that all the problems are due to us parents not knowing what we're doing and not raising him correctly, which is what I think MOST people who aren't exposed to AS think.

Self esteem is a HUGE issue right now. He feels different and isolated, and part of why he's been getting into trouble is that he's trying to connect to other kids by making them laugh, or by doing htings he thinks they will think is cool (i.e., swearing at teachers, throwing food, etc.) He gets a positive reaction from his peers, but he's getting suspended from school.

He has expressed very clearly that he'd far rather be in a school where he isn't "other", and is just like everyone else. Granted, I think in his mind, he will be allowed to swear and throw food, etc., but at least in this other school, they will know how to work with him, and they offer seminars to parents to learn how to take their tools into the home so that he is consistently receiving the same message.

It's all about money. They do not want to fork over the $40K a year tuition.