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Public school has not worked so well, so I am seeking placement advice

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    Public school has not worked so well, so I am seeking placement advice

    I really need advice again. My daughter has completed the portion of Simply Classical 3 that I could get her to do. She then had to go to public school because she started completely refusing to do any school work. In public school she has been going to 4th grade since she is 10 already and therefore is the oldest in the class. After a couple of months of public school I am physically unable to get her there because she screams, hits, clings to the wall, etc. She has done OK with a lot of school there, but her writing and spelling remain terrible, and public 4th grade is WAY ahead in math. She was also completely unable to complete a science fair project about animals habitats, and was allowed to just put her project together about her pets. Clara has indicated a willingness to do some homeschool again to avoid having to go to public school. I have absolutely no idea if I am even allowed to take her out of public school and resume homeschooling her this year, but I expect to be able to homeschool next year. She refuses to do the SC writing or spelling books, or the Core Skills books, so I do not have a whole lot of hope that she will do them next year, either. She has also been most reluctant to fill out any of the student guides for literature, but it looks like she will be able to do the literature, Christian Studies, English Grammar, and Greek Myths orally in SC 5/6. Should I place her there or should we continue on with SC 4? On the placement test for SC 5/6 she scores 100% on reading, all "emerging" on writing/spelling so I guess that is 50%, 100% on arithmetic, 95% on language, and 80% on social/emotional. Oh, and she has not done Traditional Spelling 1 so she will have to do it over the summer if she is to go into level 5/6.
    JeJe Greer
    Mom to:
    Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
    Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

    #2
    My responses are within the MP Simply Classical Families FB group where this was first posted, so I will defer to others here.

    Comment


      #3
      You would really benefit from an ABA consult. If nothing, when we are double minded or unsure about what standard we want to uphold, our children perceive it and use it against us. As much as I hated the education component of ABA, they were spot-on with the behavioral problems they addressed. We now have a rule of instant negative consequences when crying, hitting or screaming is used to get what my littlest wants. It has revolutionized our ability to get work done. I sometimes think they were there more for me than for him, because it is so incredibly hard to be consistent. It is hard to watch our kids scream, cry, kick, beg and plead. But with my child, if I give in even once, I've bought myself the behavior for weeks more. Once you get the behavioral manipulation where it's manageable, then try to work on desirable school work, then on undesirable school work.

      You should seek the Lord as to whether the child should stay for the rest if the year. I would be tempted to just out of forcing a commitment, especially if some work is happening. Rest, regain your strength. Start fresh in the fall. Work incrementally toward the goal of doing a whole lit guide bu the end of the year.
      Mama to 2, Married 17 years

      SY 19/20
      DD 8-3A
      DS 5-SC C

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by enbateau View Post
        You would really benefit from an ABA consult. If nothing, when we are double minded or unsure about what standard we want to uphold, our children perceive it and use it against us. As much as I hated the education component of ABA, they were spot-on with the behavioral problems they addressed. We now have a rule of instant negative consequences when crying, hitting or screaming is used to get what my littlest wants. It has revolutionized our ability to get work done. I sometimes think they were there more for me than for him, because it is so incredibly hard to be consistent. It is hard to watch our kids scream, cry, kick, beg and plead. But with my child, if I give in even once, I've bought myself the behavior for weeks more. Once you get the behavioral manipulation where it's manageable, then try to work on desirable school work, then on undesirable school work.

        You should seek the Lord as to whether the child should stay for the rest if the year. I would be tempted to just out of forcing a commitment, especially if some work is happening. Rest, regain your strength. Start fresh in the fall. Work incrementally toward the goal of doing a whole lit guide bu the end of the year.
        I looked up ABA and it seems to be for autism. When we took Clara to the 3 days of testing and consultation regarding her behavior the psychiatrist team was quite clear that she does not have autism. They could not be sure regarding ADHD because of her other issues, but autism was ruled out. There is a place that does this service in Denver so I will call. Could you let me know what kind of negative consequences happen? We have no ability to get Clara to respond to positive or negative consequences. If you have one that might work I am definitely willing to try it.
        JeJe Greer
        Mom to:
        Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
        Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, ABA is currently a treatment that works well for kids with Autism, however the outfit we used for 2+ years with my son (who does NOT have an autism diagnosis anymore) was working to branch out to children with Downs Syndrome, ODD, ADD/ADHD and other systemic disabilities that affect impulse control, language, and behavior. The reason they aren't getting a lot of traction is the cost. It is so incredibly expensive, and unfortunately the only diagnosis for which insurance companies will cover the treatment is autism. And when certain insurance companies were mandated to cover up to 40hrs/week of ABA for children with that diagnosis, the upstart ABA companies started billing companies for everything they had. We racked up $5,000/month usually in treatment, and we didn't even come close to the 40 hours per week they recommended. That aside, there are some good companies who will equip and empower you to do what you need to do to regain control of your family. Most of it is hand holding, because YOU have to do all the tough work anyway. You are looking for antecedents to undesirable behavior (what happened before that possibly sparked the outburst). You are monitoring on paper how many times a day you see the undesired behavior, what was the environment like, what did someone else say or do, how the child was feeling, whether she rested, well-nourished, free from nuisance stimuli, etc. Then, you work on reducing the undesired behavior through consistency, calm adherence to boundaries, and 100% follow-through on both the task and the consequences. Good ABA therapists are detached about being shrieked at, spat upon, kicked and hit, and grappled with. It can be grueling for the child who feels out of control. Many out of control kids feel so much relief when there are consistent boundaries, expectations, etc. I learned a ton about how my approach with alternating bribery and rewards and punishment and consequences were extremely confusing. I have to say that the one thing that ABA did right was force me to be a consistent parent. I hold to guidelines NO MATTER WHAT. It's exhausting, but I know what I'm buying myself in behavior if I have an off moment where I give in to crying as manipulation.

          What works for my little guy would be completely irrelevant to your situation, unless your daughter like Matchbox cars. ;-) You have to know your child. ABA is quick to use food as reward, and frankly with any kid on the spectrum being predisposed to obesity (no one's looked into the cause, but I'd bet some money it has to do with frequent use of food a reward), I wanted to avoid that from the get-go. Also, we demanded there would be NO screens as a reward. No phones, TV, laptop, games, gadgets, ipads/Kindle, etc. It is crap for their brains, so says the AAP and WHO. We use fun outings to the park, bike rides, special alone time, a trip to an indoor playspace, music--a favorite song on the stereo or Echo, stickers, hugs, cuddles, tickles, attaboys, a favorite book, a favorite dinner later that night, or even down time playing with his favorite toys. Now that he's a tiny bit older, we will occasionally let him have a food treat for a really challenging doctor appointment or for persevering through a challenging lesson, but you have to not be offering those highly addictive events (sweets, treats, screens) as a matter of course. So, you can go back to none for a while to detox and add in less-gratifying rewards like stickers, attention, preferred play until they truly become a reward. Then, when you really need to elicit high performance on really difficult tasks, that is when you break out the big guns and use those super-gratifying rewards.

          One of the rules we have in our house is that unless you're physically injured, all crying happens in your room. You have the right to express crying and outrage in your room, but not around others. As soon as (and I mean it--this is not a "time out") the crying stops, he can come out and talk rationally with us. He can explain what happened, why he's upset, what he'd like to do differently, etc, but the minute he starts screaming, crying, falling down, etc, he gently is taken to his room if he will not go himself. I will calmly and quietly walk him back every single time. There is not a time that we haven't done this. If this means outings are cancelled for a while, so be it. Outings increase as controlled behavior increases. We also have a rule that we repeat daily: we don't use crying to get what we want. Sadness is welcomed in this house, as is anger, but we don't tolerate abuse, manipulation, violence against self or others, and out of control behavior that makes it so that we can't communicate with each other. When cooler minds prevail, we tell him our rationale for our final decision. Often, even if he has a point, we won't give in during that incident, but we will make an effort to remember his complaint for the next time and tell him how he brought up calmly, so we listened, and now we're adjusting the situation because we listened to him when he spoke calmly to us. Enough of these incidences over time will give your child a comfortable pattern for the expectations of the household. It's the inconsistencies that drive children to push harder. Think about the variable-interval schedule of reinforcement (like playing the lottery). It is one of the most addictive ratios of keeping a behavior going. You have to break that. Our children have the disability, but it is up to us as parents to do all we can to disincentivize undesirable behavior.

          I think you would be far more likely to succeed if you have help, because I broke down crying on more than one occasion trying to combat huge issues. We were victorious by the grace of God and through help from other Christian ABA therapists. It's just nice to know you're not screwing up your kid by being consistent and loving and holding them to a standard of conduct that leads to success. If we truly believe our children with special needs should be treated like neurotypical children, then let's give them access to the fruits of the spirit mention in the scriptures. There are many ways to do this, and ABA is one of them.
          Mama to 2, Married 17 years

          SY 19/20
          DD 8-3A
          DS 5-SC C

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by enbateau View Post

            What works for my little guy would be completely irrelevant to your situation, unless your daughter like Matchbox cars. ;-)
            She actually LOVES matchbox cars! It is one of the only things she will work to get. How funny. There is no way we can afford $5000 a month, but you certainly have a good point about not being clear on some things. I DO NOT want my daughter at public school, and she knows this, so it is really easy for her to manipulate her way out of me getting her there by physically harming me and exhibiting behavior that she knows will cause me to cry. I did just try what you suggested, though, and let her have no choice other than to read a book I gave her to read, and I refused to allow her to do anything else, and she finally read it. I got her to read another one then by reading part of it myself and laughing out loud. Perhaps just reading what you had to say and trying to internalize it no matter what will work. Thank you for the suggestion.
            JeJe Greer
            Mom to:
            Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
            Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

            Comment


              #7
              Haha, then, yes, we withhold cars all.the.time. Cars can go in time out, but people don't go in time out. Time outs, or forcing my son to stay anywhere he doesn't want to be alone, creates escalating consequences that I don't think are profitable. We also reward with cars for dr. appts, potty training, cumulative work in school and cooperation in events that are socially challenging for him, such as public speaking, church plays and choral performances, etc. We withhold his favorite cars as negative consequences for noncompliance with things we know he's capable of. We remove all cars for severe offenses.

              This is how demands go:

              1) State the demand in a calm, encouraging tone with plenty of time and explicit instruction for how and why it needs to be done.

              2) Remind the child that if the task is not completed, X consequence will ensue and she will still be required to do the task.

              3) Arguing and complaining don't bother me if the task is actually being completed. Work on the good attitude later.

              4) Follow through immediately with the consequence if the task is not completed in the time stated. Explain with no editorializing that X produced Y, and then proceed to either escalate the consequence or complete the task yourself with additional consequences. So, if the child won't brush teeth alone, you do it for them and impose an early bedtime that night or on the following night.

              5) Always follow through on consequences you mention. Support your spouse on prior agreed-upon consequences for various types of disobedience. You need to have an idea of what your upper threshold for consequences are, and you need to practice giving them without emotional yelling or criticism or guilt trips for the child.

              6) Praise, praise, praise your child for following through and obeying! You may not think so, but kids love to hear parents praise them in front of others. Also, make it a point of not going over her failings for the day in front of your spouse. If the consequences work, that is enough. Sometimes my husband will ask where all the toys are when he gets home, and if he says anything, he will lovingly remind him that obedience brings blessings and privileges.

              Finally, we have horrible days, too. Commit before the Lord your plans each day Ask Him to strengthen you, guide you, encourage you and undergird you for the road ahead. God is able.
              Mama to 2, Married 17 years

              SY 19/20
              DD 8-3A
              DS 5-SC C

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                Haha, then, yes, we withhold cars all.the.time. Cars can go in time out, but people don't go in time out. Time outs, or forcing my son to stay anywhere he doesn't want to be alone, creates escalating consequences that I don't think are profitable. We also reward with cars for dr. appts, potty training, cumulative work in school and cooperation in events that are socially challenging for him, such as public speaking, church plays and choral performances, etc. We withhold his favorite cars as negative consequences for noncompliance with things we know he's capable of. We remove all cars for severe offenses.

                This is how demands go:

                1) State the demand in a calm, encouraging tone with plenty of time and explicit instruction for how and why it needs to be done.

                2) Remind the child that if the task is not completed, X consequence will ensue and she will still be required to do the task.

                3) Arguing and complaining don't bother me if the task is actually being completed. Work on the good attitude later.

                4) Follow through immediately with the consequence if the task is not completed in the time stated. Explain with no editorializing that X produced Y, and then proceed to either escalate the consequence or complete the task yourself with additional consequences. So, if the child won't brush teeth alone, you do it for them and impose an early bedtime that night or on the following night.

                5) Always follow through on consequences you mention. Support your spouse on prior agreed-upon consequences for various types of disobedience. You need to have an idea of what your upper threshold for consequences are, and you need to practice giving them without emotional yelling or criticism or guilt trips for the child.

                6) Praise, praise, praise your child for following through and obeying! You may not think so, but kids love to hear parents praise them in front of others. Also, make it a point of not going over her failings for the day in front of your spouse. If the consequences work, that is enough. Sometimes my husband will ask where all the toys are when he gets home, and if he says anything, he will lovingly remind him that obedience brings blessings and privileges.

                Finally, we have horrible days, too. Commit before the Lord your plans each day Ask Him to strengthen you, guide you, encourage you and undergird you for the road ahead. God is able.
                I need help with consequences - what are some of your top ones?
                Christine

                (2019/2020)
                DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                Comment


                  #9
                  We escalate the consequence of favorite toys being in time out. He goes from losing them for an hour to 2 hours to half day to all day to multiple days. We also pull fun activities like PE/gym, playdate with friends and loss of ability to eat treats that have been given him (especially around the holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc). Sometimes we have a family treat that we all agree to and we threaten to pull only one child out if it so he misses out. This latter one is usually so effective that we get near 100% compliance. We've also had surprising success at pulling a favorite sweatshirt/hoodie. The only thing we don't pull is his lovey, as that would feel cruel, and we don't ever pull meals...just junk food. Really, it's not the actual consequence that is effective, it's consistency. When you follow through after 1 threat, all the other threats become real.

                  And FWIW, with behavior that he has a hard time controlling that is just annoying, we don't use consequences. We just remove him from others. For the stuff I'd like to think is involuntary, he gets to do it alone in his room, which he hates, or he gets to be pleasant with us. When he can moderate it through sheer will of desiring our companionship, he returns of his own accord. We also do a lot of ignoring. If your child has an underlying disability that inhibits autoregulation, you should decide with a care provider what is appropriate to control with consequences.
                  Mama to 2, Married 17 years

                  SY 19/20
                  DD 8-3A
                  DS 5-SC C

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                    We escalate the consequence of favorite toys being in time out. He goes from losing them for an hour to 2 hours to half day to all day to multiple days. We also pull fun activities like PE/gym, playdate with friends and loss of ability to eat treats that have been given him (especially around the holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc). Sometimes we have a family treat that we all agree to and we threaten to pull only one child out if it so he misses out. This latter one is usually so effective that we get near 100% compliance. We've also had surprising success at pulling a favorite sweatshirt/hoodie. The only thing we don't pull is his lovey, as that would feel cruel, and we don't ever pull meals...just junk food. Really, it's not the actual consequence that is effective, it's consistency. When you follow through after 1 threat, all the other threats become real.

                    And FWIW, with behavior that he has a hard time controlling that is just annoying, we don't use consequences. We just remove him from others. For the stuff I'd like to think is involuntary, he gets to do it alone in his room, which he hates, or he gets to be pleasant with us. When he can moderate it through sheer will of desiring our companionship, he returns of his own accord. We also do a lot of ignoring. If your child has an underlying disability that inhibits autoregulation, you should decide with a care provider what is appropriate to control with consequences.
                    This is so incredibly helpful for me, too. It is kind of like a summary of what the therapist has been teaching, but makes it really straightforward and easy to understand (although I know it is very hard to do). I feel like I need to go through the forum and read all of your comments.
                    JeJe Greer
                    Mom to:
                    Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
                    Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                      You should seek the Lord as to whether the child should stay for the rest if the year. I would be tempted to just out of forcing a commitment, especially if some work is happening.
                      I would really like to know a little more about this. I have been praying, but I am not getting any direct answer. My husband has always wanted me to put the kids back in public school. He was thrilled that Clara was going back. Since she has been there he has changed his mind 100%. He wants tomorrow to be her last day and for me to start homeschooling her again. I feel like this is a sign that she should come home, but I do not know if that is a sign for this year or for next year. I have to be out of town next week and Drew will have to go to work late Monday and Tuesday in order to take Clara to school. On Wednesday they have a teacher comp day (I have no idea why they do this on a Wednesday), and he will have to be home with her and miss work. I do know that he wants her to be homeschooled again, but I do not know if the interest in having me start again now instead of in the fall is due to him having to miss work. He is one of those people that never calls in sick and does not schedule even doctor appointments during work hours. At the same time, Clara continues to be very difficult to get to school, says she wants to start homeschool again, and even voluntarily picks up the dreaded Core Skills Phonics book to do work in it to prove her commitment. Yet, she also talks about how she wanted to complete a fun project that they were doing at school with building a car, and talks about the other little girls in her class all the time.

                      We had told Clara that if she went to public school she was staying for the rest of the year. Now we have obviously been waffling, and I have been unable to get her there a few days. So we are not coming from a place of forcing consistency. Since I got your advice 2 days ago I have been completely consistent with enforcing the school work, feeding the pets, walking the dogs, doing the dishes, etc., and she has complied wonderfully. I want to follow this advice as best I can from now on, but I do not know where the starting point for the public school versus homeschool issue should be.
                      JeJe Greer
                      Mom to:
                      Stella (6M in 2018-2019)
                      Clara (SC3 in 2018-2019)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Be on the same page with your husband. Let tomorrow be the last day. The point of seeking the Lord is to seek His wisdom, and it sounds like the Lord has given your husband appropriate discernment.

                        Start with a clear explanation of why you are bringing her home. Appeal to the authority of scripture. Let her know that you have been praying for godly wisdom about how best to teach her. Tell her her father has wisely discerned that she should be educated at home for the remainder of the year independent from her noncompliance with attending public school. Start each day with the prayers she's been memorizing. Really make it a sacred experience and gift to be educated at home...because it is! Tell her about how you pray for her, and that she gets the privilege of joining you in prayer to ask God for the peace, patience and ability to get through the day.

                        I'm going to look for some encouraging scripture that might speak to your heart. The Lord is helping all of us moms of kids with special needs do hard things, whether they are home or away.
                        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

                        SY 19/20
                        DD 8-3A
                        DS 5-SC C

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you for sharing with us!! We have long had kids vent in their bedrooms until they "find their happies," but your explanation filled that concept out SO much more! I'm catching up on the forum in lieu of being able to attend Sodalitas, and almost skipped this thread because it didn't apply to my 17 year old with SN. I'm glad I followed the prompting to read it, because it is exactly what I needed for my littlest. Thank you, all!
                          Rae

                          DD16 MP11
                          DS16 11th grade SPed charter, MP3
                          DS9 MP 3
                          DS7 MP Jr K
                          DS4 MP Jr K

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