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Randee
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10 Oct 2006, 11:48 am

Hello. My best friends daughter has Asperger's. I am very confused on how she is being treated in her elementary school. She is 8 years old. Before starting elementary she was kicked out of 6 different preschools. When she started elementary she was transfered later in the year to a different school that was better qualified to help her. She is now in a special education class of three. Everyday my friend gets a phone call from the school to pick her daughter up because it had taken 8 teachers to restrain her. Last monday she started in school suspension. Things have gotten worse. The school has still called everyday because of kicking and screaming and biting. The school has recomended her daughter to go to a clinic for behavior classes for three weeks instead of school. Now today my friend was called again and had to pick her daughter up and the school has suggested hospitalizing her. I dont understand why a child with this disability could be put into in school suspension and why it would take 8 teachers to restarin such a little child. Arent these teachers supposed to be educated on haw to handle these situations? I feel like this little girl has been pin pointed from the beginning and never has had a chance in her education. Any help to better understand will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. :?



KimJ
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10 Oct 2006, 12:34 pm

Asperger's doesn't cause that kind of tantrum. Something is causing them. Hospitalization for someone that young and for what? It's hard to say without knowing more about her and what she is needing to be restrained for. Asperger's usually doesn't require segregation from mainstream classes.
She needs to have a Behavior Intervention Plan or assessment and then her folks need to make sure she isn't being punished for her diagnosis.
It's hard to really say though, she may have been misdiagnosed or they aren't using the right programs for her.



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10 Oct 2006, 2:18 pm

Perhaps it's a 'false cause-effect' situation. There's lots of possible reasons. One may be altough not caused by AS per se could have people believing it is as it is a condition either present as well as, instead of OR a co-morbid.

Could these be triggered by hyper-sensitivities?


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10 Oct 2006, 7:59 pm

Her mom might consider home schooling, no one will understsnd her child as well as she does. I would suggest it at least for the early elementary years. Age will not make symptoms disappear however as they grow and with guidance they do learn better impulse control and can become easier to handle at school. With my son I just stayed very hands on with him, I volunteered at the school, befriended his teachers, went on every school trip and made myself as available as possible. I lived in NYC when he was little and home school was a completely unacceptable option back then, everyone thought only fanatics home schooled their children. It's different now and if I had it to do all over again I would choose to home school in the early years. That being said my son is now 22 years old and doing very well, he works full time as a computer technician and loves his job, he is even considering starting his own computer repair business. Trust me it took blood sweat and tears to get him to this place but worth every moment, he is an awesome guy, different but awesome :)
Tell your friend my prayers go out to her I know how difficult these years can be.



krex
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11 Oct 2006, 1:33 am

I would have to agree that there may be a physiological cause to her behavior or a sensory/social over load caused by the "ignorance" of her teachers.I dont think it would be a bad idea for her to go in to hospital for further investigation of what is causing her behavior.I would hope that it was with a specialist who shared her parents mindset...that it is not the "fault" of this child but something that is in her school environment that is triggering it(peer abuse,teacher abuse?)Generally the first thing would be to rule out physical cause....sensory overload triggered by school atmosphere(does she have any problems like this at home,is there any thing the parents have observed in other environments that trigger this behavior?)

Most people or animals would not expend the energy to "fight" unless they feel threatened...Is she able to verbalize for herself what is happening in these situations...It can be difficult for a child to verbilize exactly what is causeing these "meltdowns" but she may say something that you can post here and we can see if it fits any of our experiences.Hope that helps.


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skafather84
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11 Oct 2006, 1:40 am

hospitalization?

if she's just got asperger's....she's not psychotic....god, that just seems cruel to me. but i don't know all of what's going on.


also, where is this occuring?


to be quite blunt, a lot of school systems don't equip their teachers with the right material and training to deal with such a situation.


/product of both catholic and public school in and around new orleans...i've seen the good the bad and the lazy/poorly trained.



Lightning88
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11 Oct 2006, 4:47 am

You'd be surprised how rare it is to find a good special education teacher. When I was in fifth grade, I was in a special ed. class for about fourty-five minutes each day and that teacher was pure evil. She once called this one boy's mom asking her about his medication and she had the mom on speaker phone for the entire class without the mom realizing it. The teacher even restrained me once! And since I was only thirty-nine pounds at that time, you can only imagine the pain it caused for me. Anyway, here's an example of a different teacher. In freshman year, I helped out with a special ed. gym class and we were all just in their regular classroom that day since it was the last day of school. One girl named Jennifer (her condition was so bad that she couldn't even talk) was throwing a huge fit and the teacher just locked her in the bathroom. She didn't even want to know why Jennifer was screaming! The teacber replied rudely, "Oh, she's just being Jennifer." And yet, I had not seen Jennifer act that way once. I can think of a ton of other teachers, but it'll end up being too much to read. lol But as you see, special ed. teachers really don't know how to do their jobs. They just do whatever they think is best for themselves, not their students.



larsenjw92286
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11 Oct 2006, 7:14 am

Sometimes, NT people do not understand that people with AS shouldn't be punished as a result of their actions due to their inability to interact socially.


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Rhonnie
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25 Oct 2006, 3:34 pm

Randee -

It sounds like your friend needs to either establish better communication with the school staff, if possible, or relocate her daughter to another school with a staff and teachers who are willing to try new techniques and unconventional methods with their students. I don't think putting a child in an institution or isolating the child with home school will be good for the child. Anyone involved with your friends daughter needs to find out what interests and motivates that child and use that information as tools to help them teach that child better. My daughter has been in school and sure she's been bullied, jeered and taunted, but she has learned to adapt and has adopted more desireable behaviors through my guidance and the guidance of the school staff.

I use to get the daily "meltdown" phone calls to go to the school or the afterschool program to pick up my daughter up until she turned 11 years old... and she turned 11 years old this past July of 2006! She had been kicked out of every daycare and after school program in my area! She is a difficult child and student for anyone to handle. She would have the most horrible behaviors. She even threw desks and chairs across the classroom in her fits of rage. The staff had to restrain her on several occasions and she was even "Baker Acted" on 2 occasions. (I live in Florida - Baker Acting someone is where they transport someone to a behavioral health clinic where they are admitted for their own protection.) I never felt such frustration and helplessness in all my life and had been brought to tears on many occasions trying to figure out what to do. BUT, through it all, the school staff and teachers at her school have been extremely supportive. You (your friend) have to find people who really care about your child (your friends child) or get them to take an genuine interest in their well-being. This is hard to do and some teachers just make the situation worse by expecting your child to act like all the other "normal" children in their class. It takes establishing total open constant communication with the school to achieve it. If you show the school staff that nothing is more important to you than you child's education, many of them will bend over backwards to help you because they have many parents who could care less about their child's educational progress.

I've been lucky enough to have my daughter in a school where all the staff adore her and will do anything to help her in spite of her many "meltdowns". I have constant conversations via phone, face-to-face and email with my daughters Primary Teacher, ESE Teacher, Behavior Specialists and ESE Resource Compliance Specialist and we try new techniques to try to keep her as focused as possible in class and to keep her frustration from building up to a major "meltdown". We've discovered that the main problem my daughter has in class is that she doesn't transition from one subject or task to another very well. SO… her teacher gives her verbal and visual cues ever 5 minutes for the last 15 minutes of a subject or task she is currently working on. Her ESE teacher tried to use a timer, but it only made my daughter irritable to watch her time tick down slowly and it would trigger a tantrum. (Think of it as good old "Chinese Water Torture".) So a simple touch on the shoulder and letting her know that she had 15 minutes left... then 10 minutes left, then 5 minutes left seems to help a lot. She still gets a bit frustrated, but she doesn't lose control of her emotions and feels reassured by the interation she has with her teacher. It's also very important how they speak to her. Things must be phrased the right way and with the right voice tone or she will "go right off the deep end". That one was a bit harder to figure out because what we perceive as a harmless comment or statement is perceived totally different by my daughter. Another thing her teachers did was to give her rewards for good behavior like picking a prize from the treasure box at the end of the week or getting to eat lunch with Mr. G. (He's one of the schools Behavior Specialist and my daughter absolutely adores him!) Mr. G now works in the after school program at the YMCA near the school. He made it possible for me to get her enrolled back in their after school program (after getting kicked out about 3 years ago), so he now looks after her there and I haven't received any calls to go pick her up this school year! I'm convinced that having positive people who care for your child around makes all the difference in the world in the way they behave.

I'm no expert and I'm still looking for any and all information I can get my hands on so I can keep up, or a step ahead, of my daughter. It's all been trial and error for me. I observe my daughters behaviors and try different techniques until I get the results I want. There's a book called 1-2-3 Magic by Dr. Phelan that has worked wonders for me. Here's a link for more information: http://www.parentmagic.com/

I hope some of this information might help your friend... or anyone else that find it useful.

Good Luck to you and your friend.



Last edited by Rhonnie on 25 Oct 2006, 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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25 Oct 2006, 3:53 pm

Lots of people with children with AS homeschool - and plenty of PEOPLE with AS like it that way. It is a myth plain and simple that kids with AS need to be in school so they can be forced to socialize. Ask how many kids with AS have been severely bullied - and there is really little to nothing most school even want to do about it.

I think any child on the spectrum can act out like this is they are being overloaded - it is not misbehavior or manipulation on their part. So having AS (versus HFA) does not mean that you would not have difficulties in a mainstream classroom IF you also had anxiety or sensory issues. If this girl is constantly acting out like this than why has the school not done a behavior assesment to determine what is causing this?



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25 Oct 2006, 5:47 pm

If I had an experience, of stranger-adults like teachers, only restraining me. I'd feel the only way to make them leave me alone, was to physically act out against them. Maybe the teachers should see they're only teaching her, that other adults are like unpredictable animals. They're renforcing that your best friend's daughter has to be on guard at all times, when she is in school or outside of her home. Maybe your friend should ask these teachers, "How do you sleep at night, knowing that what you do to my child, makes her feel like all adults are monsters out to get her, and prey on her like violent sadistic beasts?"

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Last edited by violet_yoshi on 26 Oct 2006, 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

SteveK
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25 Oct 2006, 7:08 pm

Randee,

It doesn't sound like she has aspergers. Aspergers people, by DEFINITION, are NOT stupid. Well, at least not overall and certainly not academically. Autistic people, of which Aspergers is one type, can run the gambit from very stupid to very smart.

Still, I have OFTEN been misjudged. In the same day I have had people call me stupid, and others say I was very smart, etc.... LUCKILY, they usually see the smarter side of me. 8-)

If a child is autistic(YEP, even with ASPERGERS), realize that their perception may be VERY different than yours. Try to be reasonable in demands, and watch what you are doing more. Don't expect non-verbal cues to be well understood. Don't use duplicitous terminology.

BTW Most "teachers" are STUPID, and DON'T TEACH! The child might be mistreated, in a bad situation, have an allergy, have an, for want of another term, autistic tantrum. If EIGHT were "restraining" her, WHERE was she trying to go? Maybe her mother should ask her, and SUPERVISE!

The "restraining" is the WORST thing you can do. Try that with one of the teachers, and see if THEY like it!

Steve



Pippen
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25 Oct 2006, 8:26 pm

It sounds like they need to go back to square one.

1) Is the child's home life stable? If not, it's highly unlikely she wil be stable at school.

2) Reevaluation (private, not by the school) is indicated to see if this is really AS and if there are comorbid conditions as well.

3) This is a biggie--Is she on any medications? If so, it's time for a med reevaluation and quite likely a med vacation to see if the med(s) are behind the behavioral issues. Side effects can start right away or they can increase gradually over a period of time. When I suggested that a medication had gradually caused increased hyperactivity and anger management problems, the doctor's answer was that he needed more med to control anger and an ADHD med to control the side effects. Unfortunately it seems to be a common answer to throw more meds at the problem. I got rid of the meds and the doctor instead. The second time we tried medication for acute anxiety the side effects set on hard and fast and it took months to get him back to his self. And yes, that time led to VERY out of control behaviors and he's isn't even fully AS (traits only). Needless to say we won't go there again.

4) It sounds like the parent probably isn't getting any help with the school district, and if parent is going it alone, it's time to bring in an educational advocate. An advocate knows the law and the district's reputation and can sometimes bring about positive changes when a brick wall is hit.



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25 Oct 2006, 10:33 pm

I recommend something called "Collaborative Problem Solving" which was developed by Dr. Ross Greene and is an incredible evolution beyond simple ABA. It actually works WITH the child as opposed to SHAPING the child as though they were an object.

http://www.explosivechild.com/

There are consultations, information, and books available through that website. It seems like something which actually gets to the problem rather than bandaging it over.


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26 Oct 2006, 7:01 am

Sometimes, its not the fact that you're restraining the person per se but rather, how you're restraining them or how the restraining relates to their previous experiences.


For instance: When I was little, I absolutley HATED being restrained, in any way, shape or form.

As I got older, I could cope with being restrained better. However, at the age of 15 and 11 months and a bit, I still hate my wrists being touched.

My aspie friend jumps when you touch his shoulders...every time.

Plus, if you tell someone to ignore something they can't ignore, well...they're not going to be very civil to you.


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