Need Some Help

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teacheratheart, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

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    Feb 21, 2008

    I have an 8th grade boy who is diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar, and Tourettes. In the past he has been on meds for one or more of these conditions. But his year, his father refuses to medicate him and won't come to any behavior meetings we've had. He has basically washed his hands of his son as far as school is concerned. I don't know what to do for this kid. He has made no academic progress in 3 years. We were going to move him over to the self contained but my sped director said we can't even though the entire team agreed that would be the best environment for him to learn in. He can't learn if there is the smallest distraction in classroom. If I breathe too loud, he can't concentrate. It's just me and my aide in my room and at times we have up to 20 students in my room so one-to-one assistance is virtually impossible. Any ideas or suggestions?? I'm losing my mind over this one student.
     
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  3. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Feb 21, 2008

    try something different

    With 20 students in your room he isn't learning either. So what is the big deal in trying something different. I know you can't beat the top authority.
     
  4. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Feb 21, 2008

    In my district, data makes a huge difference. Can you document the fact that he needs a different environment? Can you try working with him when there are fewer students in the classroom and take data? "He was able to complete X amount of work X% better when X amount of kids were in the room" or something similar? Then, you can present data that reflects that he needs a change in placement. Sometimes, when a parent refuses to medicate, they don't realize that the environment might become more restrictive because that's what that child needs to be more successful (when off meds).

    Self-contained can be a god-send for some kids. I don't understand why it's not an option for a child who may need it. Are the kids cognitively much lower in your self-contained classes? I teach in a self-contained cross-categorical class K-5. I have kids ranging from IQ 46 to IQ 83, MR, AU, SI, LD, ED etc. It's the "melting pot" (what our administration calls my classroom). Pretty much any kid who's not successful they drop in my room. If they legitimately belong, they stay. If they are way too high functioning or can be more successful elsewhere, they don't. Can you go to someone higher than the person who's saying self-contained can't be an option?

    Have you tried incorporating some self-contained concepts into your classroom? Even though you say you have a ton of students (which is understandable) can you set up a work station for him in which he would be able to work at independently? Physically set it up so there are fewer distractions? Get noise blocking headphones? Let him listen to music while works (calm music) -- create some sort of work system in which once X is finished, he gets X?

    Just a few ideas... I'd say if they're not budging on the SC placement, to look into some strategies that might help him in the current placement. Structure, structure, routine, routine.
     
  5. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Feb 21, 2008

    I'm just an intern looking for a position right now, so I'm not an experienced voice.

    However, I am the mom of a seven year old who has bipolar disorder, sensory integration disorder and hearing loss. Meds have been a godsend for us, I can't imagine taking mine off meds.

    However, when we have the ups and downs with meds, we have similar behaviors at home and school. Would you consider earphones and either white noise or some soothing muzak, rainforest, waterfall sounds to block out the periphery noise? He may not be able to tolerate the earphones at first. I'm not suggesting actual music, just something soothing that will give the kid a chance to focus.

    My daughter is much younger, but she does better when she has a chance to get up and move as much as possible between learning activities. Going outside and getting fresh air helps a lot.

    Maybe he could be your office messenger in between structured assignments?

    I'm attempting to become a teacher, so I'm not the best source. But I have lived the realities of a child with bipolar disorder with and without medication. We are just beginning to discover she is capable of grade level work- but she'll fight us all the way- and her teachers say she only works if they sit on her.
     
  6. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

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    Feb 22, 2008

    Thanks for the ideas! I am going to try to get some noise blocking headphones. I have tried headphones with him already but they were just noise reducing. And my classroom is set up so he or any student can have their own workspace in a corner but that's still not enough. I heard there are study carrels though that come off past the end of the desk so they block even peripheral vision so I am going to try to get one of those also.
     

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