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Back to School August 21, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, IEP.
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Well the kids (and me too) are back in school.  This is a double edged sword around here.  B has already had some trouble.  Day 1 & 2 were fine.  Day 3 he had to change his colored card for talking.  Day 4 he kicked another kid.  Day 5 we end up in the principal’s office for throwing sand at a teacher’s face.  Day 6 we over turn chairs and desks in the classroom and visit the principal again. Eachrage just increases in intensity.

I had a feeling this year would bring the same issues back to light.  When we went from all day to half day kindergarten last year, we saw HUGE improvements.  Now we are back to all day and things aren’t going to well.  We may be in 1st grade but this is the 3rd August of school/PreK and the 3rd time we have started down this road.

I will be seeing soon if they are going to put him back on an IEP.  They are going to have to do something before someone gets hurt.  Boy do I ever wish this whole parenting thing was easier.

School October 26, 2007

Posted by linnic in Education, IEP.
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For many, where to send a child to school brings with it many questions. Parents seek a school that offers rigorous academics, a positive environment, and nice facilities. Often there are several schools from which to choose. When you have a child with special needs, the chooses seem more difficult. You have to take into account so many other things. Will they offer what my child currently needs, can they meet his needs in the future?

Right now we are struggling with where my son should go to school. I am fortunate in that I am a teacher and he has for the past few months attended school where I teach. Due to the recent increase in behaviors, his current school is unable to meet his needs. I live and work in separate school districts which is causing some further complications. Will my work district continue to help meet our needs, or will they pass him to our home district.

I must admit, I do not know much about our home district. We moved recently and I never really considered the schools because I “knew” I could keep my kids in my school. My work district is large and has an abundance of resources and a lot of experience with kids with problems similar to that of my son.

Our district is big on inclusion, which is not an option for my son right now. He needs to be self contained (will mean going to a different regular ed school) or put into a special school for students who are labeled “ED”. He does not yet have this label, I’m not sure we want that label and several people on his IEP team don’t think he will qualify.

So what do we do? At this point, we are weighing options, but there is a limit to the time before we will need to make a decision. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, no magic wand.

The Beginning October 24, 2007

Posted by linnic in Diagnosis, IEP, Medication.
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My son was born 5 years ago and from the beginning, had more energy than his body could handle. By 5 months, he was doing “tummy scrunches”. He would lift his head and feet up off the floor while lying on his back. He did this so much, his little tummy looked bloated!

Later we hit the terrible twos. He wasn’t much different from any other toddler. He had way more energy than mom and we were forever chasing him. He had temper tantrums like any other boy his age. Unlike many boys his age, these tantrums never improved.

When he was 3 he started preschool. Within 6 months he was being sent home for hurting others. We sought counseling. Things kept getting worse. His tantrums became unmanageable and we had to physically restrain him. I have a background in special education and had been trained to deal with severe behaviors that required physical restraint. Soon we were restraining daily. We sought out a psychiatrist to begin medication. Soon, things at school were not good and he was asked not to return. We sought testing for special education placement. So far we were told this was ADHD (a severe case) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Testing showed he was gifted in math. No surprise there. At 2 years he was able to add and subtract in his head, although he had no idea what math symbols were. He was placed on an IEP and into a special education Pre-K. With med adjustments occurring monthly, things still weren’t right. He completed the program and we had a nice summer. That brings us to the present.

This year my son started kindergarten. His first few days were great. We were in the process of finding a new house, and moved about a month ago. This set us into a downward spiral that we are still in the middle of. At the beginning of October, he had an episode at school in which he was restrained for over an hour, the decision was made (by me and the school personnel) to call in a community police officer to help transport him to a crisis center. A hospitalization at a pediatric psychiatric hospital followed. That had to have been the worst 5 days of my life! Since we have had med changes, and finally, what I consider an accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis of Pediatric Onset Bipolar Disorder was given last week. Since then I have done a TON of research and things are finally making sense. I see the mood swings that he is cycling through at the incredible rate of manic to depressive within minutes.

I decided to begin this blog as an outlet for myself and hopefully as a resource to others. I have not yet found a support group, but am looking for one. Until then, and even after, I plan to use this blog to post my thoughts, research and insight.