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Am I A Bad Mom?
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Am I A Bad Mom?

I don't know what to do with him anymore. I am so sick of the teachers/principals/busdrivers calling me and telling me all of his bad behavior.

My son is 9 yo and recently has been correctly diagnosed with Aspergers. He also has a new diagnosis (5 mo old) of type 1 diabetes. We are in group and individual therapy, but since this was such a late catch he is incredibly socially deficient. He wants friends so badly but he doesn't respect/understand boundaries, so he's always in your face. He has this thing about touching and has to be touching something constantly, this DOES include classmates and their body parts.

I get to the point where I want to scream. Please.. if any of you know what I'm going through, shout out and let me know I'm not alone.
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Why are the school bothering you about this?  Education is not just about maths and english and science etc.  They are the ones that should be putting together a social interaction and social skills programme to improve on his skills.  What are they expecting you to do, wave a magic wand??  As part of his diagosis of Aspergers specifically includes 'difficulties with social interaction', they should be addressing this need through his IEP and specifying how they will meet this need in school.
Does his current school have any experience or expertise in autism or aspergers.  Are there other children with this diagnosis at the school?
I would start by writing a letter to the principal saying that you 'agree that your son needs help with his social interaction and social skills because that is a recognised area of difficulty that is part of the clinical diagnosis of Aspergers', and ask them 'what they intend to do about it'.  Ask them 'to contact the Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist to assess these skills and to put together a programme that can be worked into his daily timetable within school for those skills to be taught to him by a designated key worker'.  Also state that you 'want those skills to be generalised (ie. learnt in other environments apart from just school eg. on the bus, at home etc'), and you should 'be given instructions on how you can achieve that at home'.
I would also recommend you get in touch with a parent support group, especially one that meets so that you can meet other families in a similar situation.  I would then find out where they are sending their children to school and I would go and visit those schools to see if it would be worth moving your son to a school that has a better understanding of his needs and is better able and willing to support him in those areas.
My son also wants to play but doesn't know how to go about it (he is 7).  His school have devised a support strategy whereby he has a choice of 2 things to do at playtime and he chooses which one he wants to do.  Then he has a choice of 2 children to do it with and he chooses which one he would like to play with.  (These are children who have already been asked and have agreed to play with him).  Then a teaching assistant oversees the play and helps my son interact and join in.  This seems to be working very well.  My son finds spontaneous play quite difficult and tends to want to re-enact something he has already seen on TV, so he needs alot of structure in his play.
My son also goes to dinnertime clubs so that he isn't left to fend for himself during unstructured free time.  If your son has something he is interested in that could be made into a club, then maybe a teaching assistant could oversee the club and your son would enjoy the subject matter.  A social skills club could help teach him ways of interacting more successfully.  They can learn these skills, but they do have to be taught and they will never come automatically.  But school needs to put in the time and effort to achieve this.  Even the fact that he doesn't understand personal space can be addressed and taught to him.  But it must be taught because he isn't going to pick it up automatically on his own.  If he could then he wouldn't be on the autistic spectrum.
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i had some of the same issues while my 9 yr old was in school, i pulled him out and we have been homeschooling for a month
it got to the point where, i knew i would be dealing with someone in the school system complaining about my child, and i prayed about homeschooling then i did alot of research, now that my son has been removed from public school we no longer address alot of the issues he had while maintaining in a traditional classroom setting, i had worked with the school for years and it just was not what our family needed

our life has impoved so much,,
today after learning time, we went to our first monthly pokemon gameday, a large percent of the children there had aspers., yet everything was relaxed and fun!! none of the children felt the need to "fit in" and they all played well together
then we drove downtown and for our weekly homeschool social group, as a group we took a relaxing walk, the children played the moms talked about curriculims, problems and solutions,

basically i had to give up the idea that public school was some how better able to give my child what he needed, they do not have the time to help each student and by the time he got home from school we had no time at home to address his needs, school is your childs first job, as an adult we can change jobs if we get to a point where it is causing more harm than good, but children have little choice, as parents it is our main priority to find that certain something that will get through to our kids

what i found may not work for you, from your post i gathered that you have had your child in school for a long time and its just not working, they are telling you all the bad things he is doing and this has already negativly affected his self-esteem, i suggest that you contact a representative in your area through the department of disibility... tell them you need help, explain to the school that there is only so much negative feed back you are willing to deal with, so many kids are dropping out of school now, and people wonder why, its because the education system has turn into a government institution, leaving the children feeling empty and alone,

they dont have to feel this way, and you too are not alone, i have been through the negative comments, infact at one point i would cringe driving through car-line because i knew someone was going to say something bad about my kid, enough is enough!!! there came a time when i felt like i had a bad child and i was a bad mother, but these feelings were based by other peoples opinions, i no longer feel that anger toward my son, he is doing the best he can and actualy does well with me with in every subject but math....so i asked my support group what can i do to help him with math, several moms shared suggestions and now we are using math u see....there is always a solution ,, no problem is ever to big, and no matter where i am in life,, there is always someone who has been through the same problem that is willing to help me out
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You are amazing!! Thank you! Just reading what you wrote gives me a better direction to go.
He does have an IEP but they're not doing as they should. We are currently awaiting an OT to come in and evaluate, but in the meantime, kids see him as "bad" because they don't know any better and surely haven't been addressed.
I will request all of the above and see what they will do. Perhaps your wording will go over better than my begging. :)
Anthony enacts what he saw on TV as well and having a 15 year old brother who watches Scrubs religiously has proven to be quite the interesting conversation starter.
"Ma'am did you know when told there was no teacher and another child said "let's have a party", your child said "let's get a stripper". I could have said what episode and who used that line, but instead I got "bad boy baad boy!" attitude from the guidance counselor and asst principal.
Social skills aren't even breeched at his school. There are no children like him, and no one has a clue. They all THINK they do, but when it comes to the 11th hour action, they all call me with "I don't know what to do with him!!!" messages.
Thank you again! You have given me hope! :)
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definantly get your son around people he can be himself infront of,
i forgot to mention that i too have what apears to be aspers, i need to be around people who can expect the unexpected, i may say something completly innapropriate or i may hug someone i just met, as an adult i have found "real" friends who love me no matter what, i remember wanting so much as a child to fit in with others at school but thats not what i needed, i needed people to fit in with me!!!
i am reading a book right now on the social benifits of homeschooling, its really helped me discuss the issue with people who do not feel homeschooling is the best avenue for children, most of these people have never sat in an iep meeting
the book talks about the same stuff i witnessed while being room mom for a self contained class room
basically the kids cannot talk to each other while they walk down the hall, they cannot talk freely to friends during lunch, they have 20 minutes of free play once a day at recess, the friends they do make change when they move up a grade, i never knew the families of my sons friends, even as room mom i had little access to the school, i had to spend two weeks with my son to find out exactly what he was good at and what he needed help with, school does not promise meaningful friendships, i get alot of "Of, but arent you afraid your son will be behind "school kids"? i smile and say "no, he was behind, now we are working hard to get him on grade level while addressing other needs such as spiritual principal, work ethic and developing social skills?"
please do not feel as if you or your son has to "fit" in society...these days it is best seek a different road
i am a member of several internet forum, this is a post from a very young girl on a suicide/depression forum....fitting in is not just a problem people with special needs have, its all of us, no matter what age or what problem you are dealing with, i never want my kids to feel as alone as this young girl, and i knew that my oldest son was heading that way

""""""""Seriously, I’ve been through the lot now. I’ve tried to be friendly, helpful, funny, generous, I’ve tried partying and drugs, concerts, or any combination of the above, but I just cannot seem to make one single friend. I desperately need someone to be there for me, someone I can talk to - but it seems I’m doomed to be a loner forever. Contemplating suicide, should I just **** off and leave you lot to be better off without me or am I going to bother getting up for another mindless droning day? I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong with me."""""""""""

i read this and i wanted to shout WAIT!!! there are people who will love you no matter what,, sorry to post this under your thread but i was reminded of this girl when i read about your son desperatly wanting friends, we all need people around us who love us and support us, people who can look past our deepest defects of character, if you lived near me i would invite you to the next pokemon day, no pressure to fit in just unconditional love

maybe you can find a group like this near you and sign your son out of school early one day a week, or heck just sign him out of school early tommorow with balloons in your car and declare it WONDERFUL KID DAY! grab some hot coco and head for the park, send a note the next day that says "my dog ate my homework" a relationship with your child last forever, your relationship with the school system is short and not as sweet.

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We had similar problems with our local school.  We ended up moving our daughter to another school within our intermediate school district where they actually do "get" her!  The difference is amazing!  Explore ALL of your options, even if that means going outside your local school.  Homeschooling is a great option.  We are worried about next year because the program she is in now doesn't go any further.  Good luck to you, and know you are not alone!
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You don't need to beg or apologise for your son.  You both have rights.  Find out what they are and then make sure you put your requests in writing.  Start filing all your letters.  If anyone phones you or talks to you about your son ask them to put it in writing.  Keep all files for years.  They are your evidence of what you have said and what they have done.
Through a parent support group, or through a legal advocate that specialises in special educational needs, you should get a much better picture of what your child is entitled to.  Schools receive budgets to meet the special educational needs of our children.  
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An IEP is a planning, teaching and reviewing tool.
The IEP should underpin the process of planning intervention for individual children with Special Educational Needs.
IEP’s should be teaching and learning plans that set out
‘what’ should be taught
‘how’ it should be taught and
‘how often’ particular knowledge, understanding and skills through additional or different activities from those provided for all pupils, through differentiated curriculum.
The IEP is the structured planning documentation of the differentiated steps and teaching requirements needed to help the student achieve identified targets.
The IEP is a working document for all teaching staff
The IEP must be accessible and understandable to all concerned.

IEP’s focus on up to three or four key individual targets and should include information about:

Short term targets set for or by the pupil
Teaching strategies to be used
The provision to be put into place (eg. who will do it, how often, and for how long)
When the plan is to be reviewed
Success and/or exit criteria
Outcomes (to be recorded when the IEP is reviewed.

Whatever systems are in place in the school or setting, the procedures for devising IEP’s and reviewing them must be manageable.
All IEP targets must be achievable for both the pupil and the teacher.

What is a Group Education Plan?
When pupils in the same group, class or subject lesson have common targets and hence, common strategies, a group learning plan can be drawn up rather than producing IEP’s for each child.
Monitoring and Reviewing IEPs.
Ideally IEP’s should be continually kept ‘under review’, and in such circumstances there cannot be a ’fixed term’ or formal meeting for review. However the success of all IEPs should be evaluated at least twice a year.

IEP’s Should :

Raise achievement for pupils with Special Educational Needs.
Be seen as working documents
Use a simple format
Detail provision additional to or different from those for most pupils.
Be jargon free
Be comprehensible to all staff and parents
Be distributed to all staff as necessary
Promote effective planning
Help pupils monitor their own progress
Result in good planning and intervention by staff
Result in the achievement of specified learning goals for pupils with Special Educational Needs.
SMART Targets.
Teachers should generally aim to include SMART targets :

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time bound


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The above info is about IEPs in the UK.  Make sure his IEPs are SMART.  If they are you will be able to see where he is making progress and where he isn't.  These IEPs will also be your evidence.
An example of a bad target.  "XXXX will demonstrate that they can follow a simple instruction with 50% success."
This target does not tell us 'what' the instruction will be.  Will it be words or symbols.  How long will the instruction be?  It doesn't tell us what situation it will be given in, or by whom, or how often.  Someone on the spectrum would need a simple instruction to be used in only one type of setting repeatedly for it to be learnt.  A 50% success rate does not prove it has been learnt, it should be much higher, infact 100% is ideal.  As those on the autistic spectrum tend to be rigid learners they have to learn very specific things first and then it has to be generalised into other situations, environments or with other people.
With the bad example I gave you, you would not be able to tell 'why' the child failed to learn to follow a simple instruction.  If it was a SMART target you would be able to identify what part of the process was causing the problem.  Does that make sense?
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This is one article I found about Delayed Echolalia

"Functional Categories of Delayed Echolalia
Contributed by Beverly Vicker
Delayed echolalia is the repetition of verbal messages that were previously heard and which are repeated after a time delay of a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. It is sometimes more difficult to recognize delayed echolalia since the listener (the one to whom an interactive delayed echolalic message is directed) may not have been present when the original utterance or model message was uttered or, if present, the person may have forgotten. Unless the echoed message is significantly different in vocabulary, syntax, and message sophistication than the echolalic speaker's creative spontaneous speech, the naive listener may not recognize an utterance as echolalic. This may be particularly true of situations when the echoed message is dialogue that seems to fit a current moment or situation. The dialogue, however, may reflect experienced or overheard conversations or may represent dialogue heard from TV shows, videos, or read books. Not all repetitions fit a situation. Many utterances are clearly recognized as possible echolalia since the comment or phrase would never be uttered by a person familiar with that social/language culture. Other more clearly marked examples of delayed echolalia include the use of commercials and song lyrics within what may initially appear to be bizarre usage.

The most comprehensive descriptive article on delayed echolalia is the 1984 publication, Analysis of Functions of Delayed Echolalia in Autistic Children by Barry Prizant and Patrick Rydell. This article appeared in the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research (Vol. 27, pp 183-192). The following is a simplified version of their description, with examples generated by the author and reviewed by Dr. Prizant. This publication is a companion to one entitled Functional Categories of Immediate Echolalia. The goal of this article is to provide information regarding various purposeful and non- purposeful uses of delayed echolalia. It is not intended to serve as a guide for clinical evaluation or classification of data. The original article and other more recent articles and book chapters on echolalia should be consulted when information is needed to guide evaluation practices.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, the term "echolalic speaker" is used in the examples instead of the phrase "the person who uses echolalic speech." No disrespect is intended by the use of non-people-first language.

  
Functional Categories for Delayed Echolalia
Interactive Scenarios, that is, communication directed to another person

Category Description Example
Turn taking/ interactive Utterances used as turn fillers in an alternating verbal exchange.  Adult speaker: "What did you do this weekend?"
Echolalic speaker: "Don't take your trunks off in the swimming pool."
Adult speaker: "Oh, you went swimming?"
Echolalic speaker: "Put your goggles on. Then you won't get chlorine in your eyes."
Verbal completion/
interactive Utterances which complete familiar verbal routines initiated by others. Adult speaker: "Wash your hands."
Echolalic speaker: As he washes his hands, he says, "Good boy." His teacher typically says that to reinforce completion of an act.
Providing information/
interactive Utterances offering new information not apparent from situational context (may be initiated or respondent). A parent is about to begin preparation for lunch. She says, "What would you like for lunch?"
The echolalic speaker begins singing a song about a brand name luncheon meat as a way of communicating that he would like a sandwich for lunch. No luncheon meat was mentioned nor was anything visible that would have triggered the idea of a specific luncheon meat sandwich.
Labeling/
interactive Utterances labeling objects or actions in environment. An adult and child are sorting through video tapes. The echolalic speaker picks up a Sesame Street video and sings a specific song as he makes a quick look at the adult.
Adult acknowledges, "Yes, that's one of your favorite songs from that tape."
The child goes on looking through the pile; he doesn't indicate that he had wanted to see the tape; thus, it was a comment of identification or recognition of the tape and a song associated with it.
Protest/
interactive Utterances protesting actions of others. May be used to prohibit others' actions and reflect prohibitions expressed by others. Echolalic speaker sees another child throwing paper on the floor. He says, "How many times have I told you not to do that? I've told you a 1000 times. Go to time out. I'll count to three. 1-2-3."
Request/
interactive Utterances used to request objects. The echolalic speaker goes to an adult and says, "Do you want juice?" as his means of saying he's thirsty.
Calling/
interactive Utterances used to call attention to oneself or to establish/maintain interaction. An echolalic child named Jordan walks over to an adult and says, "Jordan is an interesting name" as a means of initiating an interaction.
Affirmation/
interactive Utterances used to indicate affirmation of previous utterance. The adult asks the child, "What would you like for snack? Juice? Crackers? Banana?"
Echolalic speaker says, "Do you want juice?" to indicate that he wants juice.
Directive/
interactive Utterances (often imperatives) used to direct another's actions. The echolalic speaker walks over to an adult standing by the TV/VCR. He says, "You. Ready; let's exercise. Touch your toes, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Now to the left...". By using some dialogue from a videotape, he is indicating that he wants the adult to play that videotape (an action) so he can exercise.
Noninteractive: Scenarios, that is, messages for personal use
Category Description Example
Nonfocused/
personal Utterances with no apparent communicative intent or relevance to the situational context. May be self-stimulatory. The child walks around the classroom repeating portions of a sports broadcast heard sometime in the past.
Situation association/
personal Utterances with no apparent communicative intent which appear to be triggered by an object, person, situation, or activity. The child sees the Indiana University logo in a store window and begins to sing the Indiana fight song in Japanese. He has learned the song in Japanese from a commercial which aired during televised university basketball games.
Self- directive/
personal Utterances which serve to regulate one's own actions. Produced in synchrony with motor activity. The child begins jumping on the bed. He loudly says to himself in a angry tone, "How many times have I told you not to jump on that bed? The rule is 'No jumping on the bed.' I'll count to 3. 1-2- 3." The child then gets down off the bed.
Rehearsal/
personal Utterances produced with low volume followed by louder interactive production. Appears to be practice for subsequent production.  The adult asks, "What do you want to eat?"
Echolalic child softly says to himself several times, "I want cracker, please." He then looks toward the adult and says, "I want cracker, please" at normal voice volume.
Label/
personal Utterances labeling objects or actions in environment with no apparent communicative intent. May be a form of practice for learning language. The echolalic speaker notes an open window. He walks in big circles repeating, "Window. Close the window. It's cold in here. (It's 80 degrees outside.) Close the window." He makes no attempt to close it or to get someone else to do it. "
  
The Indiana Resource Center for Autism is grateful to Barry Prizant for his assistance in the preparation of this training paper.


Vicker, B. (1999). Functional categories of delayed echolalia. The Reporter, 4(2), 7-10.

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The more able the child appears, the harder it will be to recognise the echolalic utterances.  But the example you gave of repeating something said from Scrubs is a textbook illustration.  He obviously must have seen an episode which involved a party and has probably memorised the complete episode dialogue.  Because he thought this was a similar scenario, he obviously thought that "to order a stripper" was an appropriate thing to say.  As he won't have any deeper understanding of the dialogue from Scrubs other than the words spoken, he won't understand the social gaff of saying something like this in school.  He might not even know what a stripper is!.  This is going to cause him alot of stress/anxiety and upset when he is trying to communicate and is using communication tools available to him (ie. echolalia) which other people are interpretating as being naughty, rude, or bad behaviour.
As you said, you know immediately where he got that phrase from.  It is exactly the same for me and my son.  So when my 7 year old turns to an adult and says "that really pisses me off".  I know that he got that phrase from the film "I Robot", and I know that he is using that phrase in a similar situation to the one he saw on the video.  But he doesn't understand the language he is using.  As I mentioned to you it is like putting a piece of a verbal jigsaw puzzle into place.  They think it fits, but we know it is inappropriate.  However, as I already said he is very clever to be doing that.  But EVERYONE involved with your son needs to read up about Delayed Echolalia and the Speech and Lanaguge Therapist should give advice to school about this.  He should not be told off for using languge that he doesn't fully understand.  Echolalia is consistant with a communication method used by children on the autistic spectrum.  It is part of his diagnosis.  Someone should have picked up on this, and the implications of it, ages ago.
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I am stunned at the information! Thank you ever so much! We have another IEP (our 4th) the first week of December. I'm writing down sooo much from this post! Thank you all so much again! I will keep ya'll updated! ;)
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Let us know how it goes.
I think it would also be very helpful for you to find and join a parent support group because you will meet other families in the same situations as yourself.  It is also useful if they meet together to socialise as your children and any siblings will get to meet and socialise with other children and their siblings.  I think it helps everyone in the family to realise that they are not alone in their situation.
A support group will also have lots of information and advice from parents who have been through whatever you are experiencing at any particular moment.
I don't know what country you are in.  If you are in the Uk then contact the National Autistic Society.  If you are in the USA get in touch with the Autistic Society of America.
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Sorry I am kinda in a hurry so I didn't read all of the posts but I did read to the one that your son said let's get a stripper. That made me laugh and please don't take affence to that. I have learned to laugh off a lot of those times with my son. He will be 8 in two weeks and will also copy everything he sees on t.v.  Luckly he is the oldest of my children so I can maintain a tight rope on what he gets to watch without stepping on another child's toes.

As far as other children are concerned I have witnessed other children being sarcastic and saying things to my son that he would normally laugh about but hurt him instead. I explained to these other children that Toby is different and that he doesn't understand what they were saying wasn't meant to hurt. Also we have a wonderful teacher for my son who as soon as he was diagnosed explained to the whole class that Toby was different and that some of his behavior is something that he can not control. Being that he is in 1st grade it is easy for him to be excepted by others now that they know.

I pray your school will help your child with his needs. I had to turn red in the face and demand. I even threatened T,E.A. on our school and a attorney before we were able to get help. Sometimes it takes you constanly up there telling them what he deserves to get lazy administration to help.
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No, your not a bad mother - maybe you should be asking if you have a bad school!!
Your son can't help having aspergers, but the people around him can help him with his aspergers - and thats not just you.
I had similar problems at my sons first school, we didn't have a diagnosis so I can't judge what they would have been like if they had known he had Aspergers.  However, I felt constant pressure from the school to "do something" about  his behaviour, and we eventually moved house and schools, partly because of it, and because the other kids whose behaviour problems (and learning problems) at school were being fobbed off on their parents too, were beating up my kids!!
Insist that they have a behaviour modification plan for your sons social problems and that he has a safe place at lunch and recess if he gets angry.  His new school allows him to go to the learning (special ed) centre and cool off.
My son likes to touch too, and his teacher helps by reminding him not to hug his freinds publically (his age group are getting homophobic) and I help by making sure we have high bounce balls in his bag or pocket, as he can stim himself  by bouncing and picking up the ball constantly.  Other kids then join in ball games with him too then.
Good luck and keep smiling!
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The need for constant touching and hugging could be a tactile sensory thing.  Google Sensory Integration Disorder.  If his senses are over or under sensitive that can give rise to any number of autistic behaviours.  He would benefit from a sensory diet put together by an Occupational therapist who has experience of SID and Aspergers.  He might benefit from having something in his pocket to fiddle with, the OT should also have access to things like weighted blankets etc if it is the deep pressure he seeks.  In our schools they also give the children frequent breaks and might get them pushing against the wall, or pulling on a tug of war rope.  This all gives the deep pressue they seek.  If it isn't sensory related, but is down to inappropriate social interaction, then the Speech and Language Therapist should be addressing this.  My son goes to a weekly social skills group where they discuss these types of things eg. when to hug and when not to, who to hug and who not to hug etc.
He will learn and grow out of alot of these behaviours, but these usually get replaced by the next set of challenges.  They are just growing up and moving through the different stages just as other children do.
But the right school environment, and professional input is extremely important.
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The problem is that as parents we are so busy apologizing that we forget that they have him most of the day - but that can change so easily.  We had doe all the right things - intensive therapy, kept him at a high academic level when the teachers had failed to engage im, etc,, etc.  After a while we said that unfortunately this is a shared problem and since they had him most of the day what were they going to do about it.  PUT IT BACK ON THEM.  

And they did try - and it still wasn't enough.  They eventually reccommedned to the district that he needed to be in private school.  But you need a damn paper trail to get that letter - if that is what you want.  

My advice is that every time that they complain - document it back into a letter from them.  Ask for their solutions in writing.  No response makes it easier if you end up in front of a judge or a district meeting.

Putting Sam in a school designed for Asperger's was the best thing we ever did.  Everyone is starting to notice how his behavior has changed.  He is getting very good at faking "normalcy".  It is an important skill because as much as w
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STOP APOLOGIZING.  Simple advice - every time they call follow up with a letter.  Ask for their recommendations in WRITING.  Forget being cooperative - they can't be they have their hands tied and most of all the important things your child needs has to be approved on the district level.   Hubby is a lawyer - It worked wonders.  

When my son was in third grade we gave up with them.  He was sitting the while day in the corner doing his imagination - but unfortunately he has a very high IQ so he looked good on the books.  When he came home at night we would then sit down and do his schoolwork.  He was being bullied constantly because of his behavior.

After one really bad incident, where the principal was screaming at us to home school him and any normal parent would have pulled him out of school - my husband finally let the principal, the school psychologist, and the vice-principal learn what a $1,000/hr a lawyer is truly like - a real son of a *****.  Four year of documented incidents came out - the women were crying (they had forgotten most of them because truly your kid doesn't matter to them) and announced that he was filing a lawsuit against them for allowing our child to be brutalized at school.  It was our most gratifying moment.  And even though he knew that they were protected under the law from being sued he was going to call the New York Post and Daily News on the story. This was the Upper East Side of Manhattan where your reputation is everything.

I think the best moment of the meeting was when the principal wanted him to apologize for making them cry - and my husband asked why should he apologize for their sensitivities.  They were not particularly understanding of our son's.

Needless to say - we went from no IEP to a fully funded private school costing the district about 75K a year.  No one needs to go that far but you do need to fully advocate for your child.

Two years later and our child has improved dramatically.  His social skills are improving, his emotional regulation is 200% better, and he is now becoming the class model of how to act.  By high school, we are planning to mainsteam him again.

I can't judge how severe anyone else's kid was - but ours was depressed, lonely and frustrated.  Now he is happy - and that was the first step to being able to break through.  Whether we like it or not learning to act "normal" is the most important skill our children need to learn - and he is almost there.


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This is to all the ladies in this forum. It sounds like all of our kids are the same age. Mine is 8 and has Aspergers. I have also had the same problems with my school. Last year my son was tested and was given an IEP. Some how this year, it gone. He now has to be tested all over again. You talk about being upset. I had to get his diagnosis from his doctor again. At the beginning of the school year, I to was getting phone calls about his behavior. His teacher had no clue my son had an IEP ( that was suppose to be in the office)

Does anyone here know if there are different IEPs. My son struggles in some of the learning area. I keep getting this excuse that they have to watch crossing this line and giving him an academic IEP. I always thought an IEP stated the childs issues and what plans and steps were needed to be taken to achieve my childs goals.

When the school pulled his chart (that I made them pull) it stated he had a speech IEP and it clearly stated he struggled with with main ideas, writing stories and language skills. A language grade is given and he is sitting at F and D's all the time. I help him at home all the time. But at school he struggles because he is not getting any help. I have asked his teacher if there is anything I can do to help him get better grades and the response I got was, it wouldn't matter because he will fail his comprehension tests. He gets good grades on his homework because I help him. I think she might of gotten the hint that I was not accepting how things were. She started letting my son sit with the third grade assistant during the tests and his grades have improved. She has mentioned this to the special ed teacher and the asst principal. So now after all my complaining they have agreed to re-test him.AGAIN. But the bad thing is it takes 50 school days for everything to be complete and to determine if he even qualifies for any assistance. I was told Indiana laws have changed and it will be harder for him to qualify.

Its nice to know that i'm not the only one going through this. What's sad is that none of us should even have to fight the school system. It should be a safe place for kids, but it doesn't seem that way with our kids.

Does anyone know who I can contact regarding my son's rights at school.

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As SueNYC says, make sure you put everything in writing.  So when they phone or speak to you, put what they said in writing back to them, and when you want to tell them something, again put it in writing - and keep all correpsondence for years because it is your evidence.
For finding out what the educational law is I presume you are in the USA?
You could contact the Autistic Society of America to see if they have any advice on where to go.  You could also find a solicitor who specialises in Special Educational Law.
You also need to find out what professional is responsible for which part of your child's education.  For example in the UK the Speech and Language Therapist is responsible for speech, social interaction and some behaviours.  So if his educational difficulties are not down to a cognitive problem, but a language problem, then they should be involved and should state what kind of supports your child needs.  They should also assess him for all aspects of speech and social communication.  Find out about relevant disorders for your child and ask SALT to assess for it.  If they don't/won't, get a private SALT experienced in Speech and Social Interaction Disorders such as Autism/Aspergers to assess him.
In the UK the Educational Law states that professionals have to assess and find out what the childs 'needs' are and then the school has to provide support to meet those needs.
As an example, let me tell you what the SALT (private) assessed my son for.
She assessed his Receptive and Expressive Speech.  Very often there is a big difference with expressive speech being okay (or even advanced), but understanding spoken language and instructions is severely affected.  This means he may not understand whole class instructions.  He may need to be told class instructions individually to him, he may also need printed out instructions (if he can read).
Testing of Auditory memory.  Can he remember sequences of verbal instructions.  For example if my son is asked  to 'point to the bus infront of the blue car', he will point to the blue car.  Again, verbal class instructions will be impossible for him to follow.  He needs to be told individually.
Semantic Pragmatic Disorder.  This is a speech disorder that many on the spectrum have.  It means they don't understand the meaning language as we do.  They don't get sarcasm, double meanings, jokes etc.  This can make them look like they are cheeky or rude as they take language literally.  For example, if the teachers says 'How many times have I got to tell you all to be quiet', the child with Aspergers will take that literally, think about it, and answer 'maybe three or four times'.  That might mean he gets sent to the Head for being rude.  He isn't.
Echolalia/Delayed echolalia.  Google this.  If your child has/does repeat things people say or phrases from TV/DVDs/Films then he has a speech disorder and does not understand language as we do.  He might sound okay, even advanced, but his language could be made up of whole scripts which have been lifted from films etc and put together rather like a verbal puzzle.  
Social Interaction Skills.  The SALT should be putting together a social skills programme in a small group format so that there can be lots of role play.  This will cover all kinds of skills such as holding a conversation, asking to join in, asking for help, how to share/take turns etc.
Theory of Mind.  Most children on the spectrum have difficulties with this.  Again the SALT should be able to say to what extent this is affected and give school ideas of how this will impact on your son and what supports they should use.
Executive Function Disorder.  Google that to see if any of it is relevant to your son.  Children with these difficulties may have problems with such things as planning, organisation, sequencing, time management, following instructions etc.  He will need one to one support to help get him organised.  Without this support he will not be able to work independently.
SCERTS is a programme I have heard about in the USA.  It helps all professionals involved to be able to test and assess certain skills to see where he is progressing and where he has difficulties.  I am hoping to use this with my son here in the UK.  Speak to a SALT about it.
Dyslexia - do you have any concerns that he may have dyslexia or dyscalculia?
The hard part about getting supports for those with Aspergers is that they are considered too able.  However, if the SALT and Educational Psychologist take the time to assess to find out what his particular difficulties are, then it becomes more apparent what his needs are.  The more needs you uncover, the more likely it is that he will get support.  That is why it is usually more effective to get private reports.  Again the Autistic Society of America might have advice about that.  But you need to find professionals who do not work for the education authority.  You want independent private reports from professionals who are used to doing these kinds of reports for educational hearings.  The cost may be between £800-1500 in the UK.  If it costs less, then it probably won't be very good.
If the school is not able to meet his needs, then you need to look around for a better school.  Find out which schools have pupils with Aspergers.  A school with experience makes all the difference.  At my son's school there is around 5 children per class on the autistic spectrum.  My son is in a class of 18 pupils where 9 are on the spectrum.  There is one teacher and 3 teaching assistants.  There are also dinnertime clubs and playground support systems.
Hope that helps.
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I don't understand how they can have lost the fact that he has IEPs.  Does your son have a diagnosis of Aspergers through his doctor, or just through the school system?
If so, you need to go to your doctor and ask for a multi disciplinary team assessment of your son as he has Aspergers.  Put in writing that the school has lost paperwork relating to his diagnosis and to the fact that he should have IEPs.
There is educational law regarding how often IEPs should be made.  Find out what it is in your country and write to the school telling them that they have broken educational law.
The school is also responsible for calling in professionals such as SALT and Educational Psychologists.  Find out what the law is and ask the school who they are asking to come in and assess your child.  
You could also send a private message to SueNYC or MJthewriterdad as they know alot about the educational procedure and might be able to give you some advice.
But basically you have to do all the running and find out what they should be doing, because unfortunately everything runs on a budget and therefore it is in their interest not to find out what your child's needs are, because the more needs they find the more support and financial cost that will involve.
I'm off to an Educational Tribunal at the end of January 2009 with my solicitor and reports.  I have also moved my son to a school that has alot of experience in teaching children on the autistic spectrum.  I had to fight the educational authority every step of the way.  Through a legal loophole I managed to move my son into the school he is in presently.  The EA said there were no more special educational places at that school, which was true.  However, I found out that I could move him just as a typical child if the school had places, which they did.  The EA threated me by saying that if I moved my child they would make sure he did not have access to the special supports he needed because I had taken up a 'typical' place not a 'special educational place'.  I spoke with the school about it, and they said that was untrue and that even if he moved to the school as a 'typical' child, because he had a diagnosis and Statement (similar to your IEPs), that the school was legally bound to meet his needs.  So the EA had lied to me and tried to threaten and bully me by saying my son would be in a situation where he would not have any support and therefore would struggle and be unhappy.  So I moved him and dared them to withdraw his supports and I would sue them under discrimination and educational law.  Don't believe a word you are told unless you check it to find out if it is true or not.
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Just like Sally said, get a real doctor's (no hit on school psychologists) report. Schools , for various reasons mostly resource driven, will try to make it look as they can solve or work with your child on most problems.  Some they can, some they can't.  Bullying and teasing, for example, is one that they are very lax on because in their mind your kid is the 'abnormal' one so that it is a normal reaction for the other children to treat them so.  I learned that you can get other kids for suspended for bullying, and soon the smarter ones back off.   But it takes very scary parents to do so.

Also watch the whole special ed mentality - we even had a problem with it in my son's current school.  We are in a nasty name calling bit with his special ed school because the academics this year have fallen to the lowest common denominator - which we refuse to accept.

See the battle never ends.  the only good thing is that the phone calls stop when you light a fire under someone else.
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It's not just your son.  My 7 yr old does the same thing, and it drives other people batty (the failure to understand personal space).  I haven't a clue what to do about it, other than constant repetition that he should make a circle with his arms and make sure there's always open space around him.
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You are not alone... There are ways to deal... but first. it sound like you have found out his ocd, okay, aspies have a funny way with needing to be a part of there surroundings, at home try this, don't be afraid to dicipline you aspie take control by setting boundaries at home with consenquinces. he touch, you take. His fav thing he looses and you must stand your ground...than learn to Laugh. breathe. calm down and see the humor in your aspie kid. okay.. dont come after me so quickly, deal with me for a moment... our kids are a special breed and yes its very daunting the behavior yes we all know this... they have a condition that is not easily understood even more so because no aspie kid is exactly the same but you have to look at your kid as if he is what he is and embrace it. No, not the behaviors. You know your child what is condition and what is personality. And trust me there is a diffrence. Im smiling just thinking about it. wow. they are capable of so much. okay IEP is great i recomend this 100 percent, make sure that when you do this that you have a very positive support person, take great notes and before you go have a list of questions and concerns and the team should be able to answer and help you with all your concerns. keep in mind that this is for the best intrest of your aspie child and be as humble as possible, this is also a great way to get involved in the world of your child. have you ever just got on the floor and played trucks or get in to his or her world, have you ever just meet eyes with your child. the first few years of aspie is trial and error, lots of reading and lots of crying and misunderstandings feelings emotions and anger wanting to throw your hands up. dont do this... stay encouraged. there are so many parents that have been where you are. but try to keep your composure and my fav word REDIRECT... yes i said it redirection is a tool that makes things easy but for this to work you have to know your kid. your aspies are special, smartest kids out there, with tallents that you have to bring out. Gain trust redirect and be presistant. Even when it seems impossible. my son is 11. and it is hard. Guess what, honestly its gona be hard because it takes a very special parent to take on a very special child. You have been chosen, strap in its a long ride. But most of the time i find myself cracking up laughing at many of the things that go on. not in a bad way but a reliving type of way. but the serious things well there are many things to consider like meds and therapy and such things of this nature, but make it as fun as you can. i hope that this helps if you would like any ideas i have tons of them. stay encouraged. read, research, and answer his her questions and dont forget to breathe. and embrace your child with love always. okay. m.
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Both my 14 year old brother (Nathan) and I have Aspergers syndrome.
Nathan wasnt diagnosed until he was 12, and his Aspergers was much more apparant than mine. Before the diagnoses, everyone thought he was just a bad child. Many teachers had dificulty dealing with his behavior. And he had some really crazy "ticks''. My mother didnt understand that he cant touch his food with his bare hand, and doesnt like to bathe or shave because he doesnt like how it feels on his skin, and that he doesnt look at people when he talks, until we were both diagnosed. Now the school tries to make more effort to handle his situation instead of ridule him and writing him off as a bad child.
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My son is going thru the same problem wit his bad behavior and I completely understand the frustration level... And it's not like he can get a beating... Just look at him as he's special... That's what I do... My fiancée & I reward him for when he is having good days and we talk to him on his bad days... He has more bad days then good days but we still tell him we love him and he's special and a gift from God... And we thank God for him everyday...
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Thank you for all the great advice. I've learned alot. Our IEP is coming up and the information will be very useful. Annie456
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