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8 minutes ago, Ojo Rojo said:

My kid was asked not to return to his school today. Private catholic school, kindergarten.  He's been having behavioral problems since he started school last fall.  He had problems in Pre K too.  The school was willing to deal with certain things like running out of the classroom, hiding under his desk, being generally noncompliant.  They weren't willing to tolerate him hitting other kids.  They did for a while, but when other kids' parents started to complain the administrators' hands were tied.  The first thing that happened is they recommended that we retain him.  That was early February. That was a kick in the nuts. Then we had to come pick him up during their recess period so he wouldn't hit other kids. That was the time when it mostly occurred.  Finally today he hit a kid with his backpack right when he got there.  That was it. It would be really easy to be angry with the school and blame them for a lot of it, but the truth is that they tried.  They didn't handle everything perfectly, but at the end of the day they are not the problem, my kid is.

We had him in group therapy sessions last fall and that seemed to help some.  When things started going off the rails this semester the group therapy sessions were full so we had him go one on one with a therapist. No visible change.  We initiated the full battery of diagnostic testing to determine what's wrong with him.  We just finished that today and we won't get answers for at least a week.

I'm pretty much freaking out.  My wife and I have been doing a helluva lot of work to keep him in this school and to get him to at least be able to stay at the school during the day.  He just can't do it.  No matter how much we cajole, reward, threaten, love on him.  Nothing works.  He just can't do it.  my wife and I are both exhausted and scared. I am really worried about his future. In the immediate term, we have no idea what to do with him now.  Where do kids who are expelled go?  We got him a spot, mostly as a favor, from the pre-k where he was before for the next two months.  We don't think he can go back to the same school. We tested out the public school we're zoned to for our oldest for kindergarten and I was not impressed.  And for a kid with issues?  I just can't imagine it's going to be better.  But then again, I've been told that public schools have more resources for this kind of thing.  It's really a black hole for me.  We know of and have been told about private options. They sound great - for a cool 40 grand a year.  That might be out of our reach unless we make some drastic changes to our lifestyle.

I'm really struggling with this.  Just knowing what to do and handling it...I don't even know where to start. I'm trying to show support and love to my kid; that's all I really know to do. I'm terrified about the future.  What if he just can't be in a traditional school environment? Will he be able to get any kind of education? What are his prospects for going to college, getting a job, having relationships? I'm feeling pretty helpless and really scared for my kid.  Anyone have any experience with this?

First of all, my heart goes out to you and your wife. Obviously a very tough situation and maybe the first thing is to take a step back and reset and take a moment to remember that none of this your fault and it's overwhelmingly likely it's not your child's fault either. 

My sister had this issue and was basically told her kid wasn't welcome (not explicitly, but reading between the lines-- this was a public school in a tony zip code)-- like the equivalent of "resigning instead of being fired". She homeschooled the child and it's worked wonders-- after what has been like 10 years you wouldn't believe how well rounded and smart the kid is compared to the behavior in Kinder. There are still impulse and anger issues sometimes, but it's really are. Some kids might need that level of hands on attention and work and love, I don't know. I'm not a therapist or an expert, just sharing an experience. And I don't have any clue your home life and situation if homeschool is even feasible. 

Whatever the case, don't give up but also it's okay to not have all the answers and next steps by the end of the weekend. Take some time and love on the kiddo and know y'all will get through this together. God doesn't bring you to something he won't bring you through.

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Essentially you're about to become an expert in kids like your son.  The education starts now.  Lots of books, podcasts, youtube, seminars, meetings with children's health professionals, support groups, etc.  I wouldn't trust anyone but you and your wife's instinct and knowledge.  I would try to get some good books recommended to begin to build your foundation of knowledge.  Parenting techniques, diagnosis of all kinds, Lots of personal success stories and failures, new styles of teaching and parenting, old styles of teaching and parenting, etc.

Are you good at becoming an expert at something?  Looking for answers on the outside can be a very empty pursuit.  It's all about you and your wife.  What are you willing to teach yourselves, and can/will you begin to implement changes to your household.  Remember one thing almost everyone agrees on.  It's nature and nurture.  Don't be overwhelmed by guilt but also remember that you two are the most important pieces for his getting prepared to live his life.  You might not be able to pass this off onto school employees. 

 

It's like undergrad now to build your foundation of knowledge and then as you begin to learn about his specific needs, go to "grad school" so you can specialize your knowledge based on your kid and how you want this journey to unfold. 

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Ojo—-be objective.  What are the communication levels of your son?   Not at home..:but at school, in public, with strangers, on weekends, etc?   Not saying this is the he solution but so much behavior like this is due to kids that age being unable to communicate effectively (speaking, body language, vocabulary, word recall speed, listening, etc.).  They are/hear their contemporaries doing it with age appropriate ease and they lash out from frustration.  Just one thought.  Probably not it, but my wife sees this every single week at her practice.  Just to check a box, get a full SLP evaluation done immediately. 
 

also, my heart goes out to you brother 

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I don't have any direct advice - but it sounds like you're considering or imagining a lot of worst case scenario type stuff without really having a diagnosis or any answers. Maybe it's a very complicated issue, or maybe it's as simple as something he grows out of. I don't have kids but I have four younger siblings that are all considerably younger than me and it's amazing how much they change (or have changed) sometimes as quickly as year over year. 

Regardless of what the reality is - you have a long time to figure it out. Your kid won't be doomed to a life of failure even if it takes y'all a few years to find the best environment for him. 

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Hang in there.  My oldest has Aspergers (actual diagnosis was PDD-NOS which means pervasive development disease - not otherwise specified, but he presents similar to an Aspie).  Very smart kid but public school just wasn't for him.  He never hit other kids, but when he would melt down he would scream, flip desks, run out of the room, etc.  We went through a couple preschools and then 3 elementary schools by 5th grade, which was when we pulled the plug and went the homeschool route.  He was miserable in a school setting and we were miserable forcing him to stay there.  Homeschool was hard at times for him and my wife, but it was absolutely the right call for him.  He's now 18, has graduated high school and is going to community college.  10 years ago I might not have thought that would happen, but it did.  Kids mature, but some need more help than others.

Homeschool was a great thing for him and us.  Definitely consider it if you can swing it.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, PRONG HORN said:

Essentially you're about to become an expert in kids like your son.  The education starts now.  Lots of books, podcasts, youtube, seminars, meetings with children's health professionals, support groups, etc.  I wouldn't trust anyone but you and your wife's instinct and knowledge.  I would try to get some good books recommended to begin to build your foundation of knowledge.  Parenting techniques, diagnosis of all kinds, Lots of personal success stories and failures, new styles of teaching and parenting, old styles of teaching and parenting, etc.

Are you good at becoming an expert at something?  Looking for answers on the outside can be a very empty pursuit.  It's all about you and your wife.  What are you willing to teach yourselves, and can/will you begin to implement changes to your household.  Remember one thing almost everyone agrees on.  It's nature and nurture.  Don't be overwhelmed by guilt but also remember that you two are the most important pieces for his getting prepared to live his life.  You might not be able to pass this off onto school employees. 

 

It's like undergrad now to build your foundation of knowledge and then as you begin to learn about his specific needs, go to "grad school" so you can specialize your knowledge based on your kid and how you want this journey to unfold. 

This times a million.  It is up to you and your wife to figure out how to best help your son.  Nobody else is going to do it for you.  It's hard and it's often thankless, but it's on you.

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Give public school another chance as they really are setup much better than private schools for handling special needs kids. They don't always get it right, but more times than not they really do try to. Either way though whether private / public or homeschooled (considered private for needs) depending where you are located your local school district will provide support services and financial support for services / therapy. In Texas it is all very legally specific and requires specific rules be followed by all parties to try and get the child the help they need.

Second, your kid is only in kindergarten so still really early on. It could be he's just not have at this one particular school because of some unknown reason. Change and/or time might correct some of this too.

If you decide to try public schools again, contact the school and request a meeting with the school counselor and special needs coordinator before your kid starts. Be honest about the situation. 

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I have a kid on the autism spectrum that turns 24 next month. Echo above comment - private schools aren't set up for any student that challenges the system. You need a public school and their SpecEd resources and programs. Send me a PM if you want to talk to someone who has been (and is) where you are.

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Thanks for all of the responses. It helps.

We're getting the full battery of tests done.  We finished it today, actually.  The testing is hard on the kids because it basically drives them to frustration level intentionally to see how they respond.  He was angry when I picked him up. I took him to a toy store to look around (trying the Breakfast at Tiffany's therapy) to get him to calm down and change his mood before taking him back to school.  He did have a mood change after about 10 minutes.  I thought it was safe to take him to school.  It wasn't.  He was still agitated and he didn't last 10 minutes before he hit a kid. That's when I got called and they broke the news to me when I picked him up.

Right now we're just waiting for the test results so we know the next step to take. We're researching education options - public and private  - to try to learn what is even available.  It's impossible to know what to do without a diagnosis. We've talked about the home-school thing, but it would have to be my wife and she doesn't want to give up her job and we need her salary.  We could do it, but I think it would be very hard on her and we'd have to make some big changes.

My son appears pretty normal. He communicates well and has a good vocabulary. He looks me in the eye when we talk and he has an emotional connection with me and his mother. It's hard for me to say how he is in school or in public or with others because I only really observe him when he's with our family. I have gotten a couple of glimpses. I was watching him and his little brother at a playground recently and he didn't interact well with the other kids. He didn't know I was watching him. He got in a scuffle with one kid who he claimed had made fun of his name (I don't think that actually happened and according to my wife he has used that as an excuse before). He hit or started to hit a couple of other kids on the playground and I had to call him down and then threaten to take him away from there if he didn't stop. Other kids seem to set him off. Like he gets nervous and starts lashing out. It might be overstimulation. He doesn't really seem to have any friends right now, though he gets along well with certain kids when it's just 1 or 2 in a group. We don't think it's autism. At home he does great. He doesn't eat what we want him to eat and will only eat a few select things, but otherwise he obeys. He plays well by himself. He plays with his brothers and roughhouses. He's playing t-ball now and doing well with it. He can do schoolwork and reading and math with us at home pretty easily.

I know I'm jumping to some conclusions and fearing worst case scenarios. I do that. I have been told and have read that kids with these kinds of issues who have engaged, loving parents who do what's necessary to help them have good outcomes.  I also know that a lot of the people living on Skid Row started out with problems like my son.

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My wife is an elementary school assistant principal and has years of experience with special needs students. PM me if you have any specific questions and I will see if I can get some answers. In general what I can say from my experience as her husband is that not all public schools are created equal in terms of special education support. The best school may not be the one you are zoned for but rather one that has specific resources that your son needs. Like others have said hang in there!

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If you go the public school option, understand going in to it, getting help/resources will happen very slowly, especially for this age. Although as @TexEx15 mentioned, meet with the school admin ahead of time. A good admin can expedite processes in extreme cases.

There usually is a minimum time requirement to see if normal classroom interventions work and data collection before the next steps. Then it will be more waiting for documentation, observations, committee meetings, 504/sped meetings.

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I have a kid on the autism spectrum that turns 24 next month. Echo above comment - private schools aren't set up for any student that challenges the system. You need a public school and their SpecEd resources and programs. Send me a PM if you want to talk to someone who has been (and is) where you are.
Public school struggles with them, too. But they are better equipped than privates, for sure.
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Every kid is different, let me start with that.

My son, now 17, was diagnosed PDD-NOS when he was 3.  That day was the most confused, overwhelmed, and helpless I've ever felt.  Like you, I imagined all the worst case scenarios you can.  Fast forward to now, and he's in normal classes at a normal high school.  He's a good kid and a good student.  He's quirky.  And he can still get overly emotional when things go off course.  But he has learned to adapt and succeed - so hang in there, there is hope!

Get all the help you can - talk to people (like you're doing here), talk to experts, talk to off-the-wall-kooky doctors.  Talk to everyone.  You will find stuff that works for your son.  You will find things that your logical brain says shouldn't work, but you won't give two shits if it helps your son.

We still leverage the public school resources, and also did a lot of therapy when he was younger (ABA was fantastic for us).
 

Keep your head up, and realize that this isn't the final outcome.  But this is the start of a journey that you & your family will have to navigate and complete together.

Send me a PM if I can help.

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I am in a different state so ymmv but I know that here many parents don't realize that there are resources available to them in the form of "advocates" which will help you in dealing with public schools, and the legal documents that they are required to draw up and adhere to for your child. A brief search turned up a few sites but if you go the public route, definitely see if there is something like this available in your area. It would be a huge help in navigating those waters.

https://www.studentadvocacycenter.org/special-education/

Also I don't know shit about fuck but don't rule out anxiety. 

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I have a friend going through the exact same thing w his 3 yr old daughter. Kick out of last school for hitting, biting, etc...essentially the school couldn't control her and recommended they medicate her. Our group of friend said that was BS and to get her to another school. That helped for a short time but the issues came back up and he's lost for solutions. As none of us have been in the situation, we're not of much help. I wanted to throw out have g her see a counselor for "play therapy" but thought it might be insensitive. I dont have any answer for you but simply know others are in the struggle with you.

Would love for you to keep the community posted though as I think it could help others.

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Public schools no matter what State in the Union are under federal law to provide for special needs students. Private school is just that--private. Public schools have to arrange an I.E.P. for each special needs student. The more progressive districts are easier for parents to work with. The rural districts sometimes have to have the gloves threw down.  

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Ojo, I don’t have any great perspective here. You’re doing the right thing in gathering info, and you want to do right by your kid.
He’s in a tough spot right now, but he’s got parents who are ready and willing to move mountains for him. That’s a hell of an asset. He’s lucky to have you, and y’all are already putting him in a position to succeed.

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On 4/1/2022 at 1:52 PM, morehornsepower said:

Every kid is different, let me start with that.

My son, now 17, was diagnosed PDD-NOS when he was 3.  That day was the most confused, overwhelmed, and helpless I've ever felt.  Like you, I imagined all the worst case scenarios you can.  Fast forward to now, and he's in normal classes at a normal high school.  He's a good kid and a good student.  He's quirky.  And he can still get overly emotional when things go off course.  But he has learned to adapt and succeed - so hang in there, there is hope!

Get all the help you can - talk to people (like you're doing here), talk to experts, talk to off-the-wall-kooky doctors.  Talk to everyone.  You will find stuff that works for your son.  You will find things that your logical brain says shouldn't work, but you won't give two shits if it helps your son.

We still leverage the public school resources, and also did a lot of therapy when he was younger (ABA was fantastic for us).
 

Keep your head up, and realize that this isn't the final outcome.  But this is the start of a journey that you & your family will have to navigate and complete together.

Send me a PM if I can help.

Just asking, what things seemed to help with your son?  If too personal no reply needed.

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2 hours ago, Bevo&Pevo said:

Just asking, what things seemed to help with your son?  If too personal no reply needed.

No worries.

- Applied behavioral analysis therapy was great.  

- Diet changes - no dairy, minimal processed food

- melatonin

- some supplements that claimed to be "anti-inflammatory" (these are the ones that seemed like BS to me at the time, but since we were seeing improvement, I didn't care at all to change it up)

- helping him learn to deal with stress for himself

 

 

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On 4/2/2022 at 12:01 PM, tx 3 putt said:

Did any of the kids hit him back ?

It would be interesting to see how he reacts and if he keeps hitting other kids after getting popped 

 

good luck 

I don't really know, but I don't think so. Most of the hitting situations were sort of spontaneous and I think caught most of the other kids by surprise. At this age I think most of their instincts were to get upset, not hit back.  I think I understand why you are asking though - could he have learned a lesson and stopped the behavior if there was a negative physical consequence? I'd like it to be that simple; to be able to change behaviors like this with negative consequences.  That's the hard thing about this; kids, or maybe people with psychological conditions in general, don't necessarily behave rationally. So punishment or negative repercussions of any kind don't really work.

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Older daughter is on the spectrum, Asperger's. However she is considered high functioning.

Two things come to mind when reading about other parents' experiences and thinking of my own: disappointment and fear.

When our daughter was diagnosed it was like opening a window to her mind. I told her she was no different than she was yesterday. The only thing that was "different" was we had a better understanding of who she really was.

Whatever comes from the testing do your due diligence to fully understand the results.

And just like most everything else, patience is the key. You and mom must be on the same page. You can't have it any other way.

 Learn some coping skills to be the best parents and friends you can be for your son. 

And whatever you do you have to remember this is no one's fault. No matter how frustrated you might get from the circumstances blame can never come into the picture.

If you feel frustration settling in, try to remember what lies ahead for your son. He's in this way more than you can imagine. 

There is a ton of help out there. Texas Workforce Commission has a program for kids with special needs. You should look into that.

You can get through this. It's a struggle but it's doable.

My daughter is in college, wants to be a pharmacist and yet she does not drive.

Mentally she can't handle the stress of driving but little by little we're chipping away at that.

Like I said, patience. Fully understand the situation and immerse yourself in your son's world.

Be there with him. Be his best friend.

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2 hours ago, Davis Lane said:

My daughter is in college, wants to be a pharmacist and yet she does not drive.

Mentally she can't handle the stress of driving but little by little we're chipping away at that.

Like I said, patience. Fully understand the situation and immerse yourself in your son's world.

Be there with him. Be his best friend.

I feel that.  My oldest has his license but does not like to drive.  He also gets incredibly stressed out.

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Just want to say there is a great deal of advice in this thread that is good.  As the father of a kid that grew up with high functioning Aspergers it was a big challenge during the elementary years.  However, it does get better the more they grow and you grow understanding your child better.  My kid is now 19 and finishing her first year at a&M ( I know).  You guys will get a hold of this and get your child the help they need to overcome this.

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Slight update, mostly because I just need to keep talking about it.  We have an appointment with the testing psychologists on Monday. That's when we will get the diagnosis, and I'm sure there will be a diagnosis. That's probably going to be a hard day, even though I'm preparing myself for it. Once we have a diagnosis then I feel like we will have a more well-defined path instead of being in this forest hell of unknowns. Today was his first day back in the pre-K school. Drop off did not go well. My wife took him and I got the report. She was crying when she called. I think my son realized what has happened, that he's not allowed back at the other school, and now his world has changed. He was very upset and begging her to go back, saying how he wanted another chance and how he knew he "could do it this time."  Heartbreaking. The people at this school are very kind and they seemed to be up for dealing with him and getting him acclimated. My wife gave it 50/50 that this was going to work. We'll know after a few days.

Meanwhile, my wife was not able to be at the meeting with the school administrators where they told me that he was out. She has been asking me exactly what they said and for some reason she thinks it matters a great deal whether he was expelled or if we withdrew him. To me, that distinction doesn't matter at all. It was very clear to me in that meeting that it was over. It's possible that I could have fought and asked to try this or that, but it would have been pointless. We've already had those conversations, several times, where we fought and agreed to take on even more. Maybe I capitulated. Maybe she thinks I shouldn't have. I accepted that they were telling me that he could no longer go to school there instead of fighting any more. They didn't say the words "he's expelled" or "he can't come back." But it was very clear to me that is what they meant. They were just trying to be kind and gentle about it. The principal did say, "What I can do is reserve the option for him to come back next year." She did say that, which to me makes it pretty fucking clear that he's out for the rest of this year. Anyway, like I said, I don't know why it matters. My wife is angry and upset. She's super pissed at the school and especially our son's teacher. I'm not. I'm able to see this objectively. They had to do what they had to do. I don't blame them. They tried. I also think my wife may just want to be able to tell people that we withdrew him and not that he was kicked out. I DGAF what we tell people. The end result is the same. He's out of that school and we have to move forward and continue gathering information and start making decisions for the future.

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16 minutes ago, Ojo Rojo said:

Slight update, mostly because I just need to keep talking about it.  We have an appointment with the testing psychologists on Monday. That's when we will get the diagnosis, and I'm sure there will be a diagnosis. That's probably going to be a hard day, even though I'm preparing myself for it. Once we have a diagnosis then I feel like we will have a more well-defined path instead of being in this forest hell of unknowns. 

I think you're looking at this right.  The diagnosis doesn't change who he is, but it will help you to help him.  It is hard to get the news that your child is different, but in the end that's how you can best help him prepare for life where you're not there to fix things for him.

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Hey Ojo, post as much as you need to bro. Post every thought that comes through your head if it helps you sort it out. There are good people on this site that will listen, and there are good people who can help when needed. 

Especially given what you posted about today, that meeting on Monday is going to be harder on your wife than on you. Be prepared for that. Maybe even some pre-emptive coaching trying to minimize the emotion of the situation. GL. 

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@Ojo Rojo my wife is in this space.  If you need some help with ways to navigate the public system, she can recommend some people that specialize in ARDs/advocate positions.  Don't know where you are but she works closely with one in Houston that is VERY well known in that industry for getting major results.  She very likely rubs elbows with others in major locales.  

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Ojo:

I have a 16 yo boy with pretty severe ADD.  He has been on medication for about 6 months and it works great and he is happy with his school.  He is way behind his peers in the classroom due to his condition and some serious slacking on his part, but is an otherwise intelligent and fully functioning person who is on the right track.

However, getting to this point has been  years in the making starting when he was 5.  Many interviews, psych evals, electrodes, testing, different schools, and lots of heartbreak along the way.  Nonetheless, still a very rewarding parental experience with knowledge and acceptance of my son's true identity and personality.

Now, I doubt your son's ultimate diagnosis is anything close to what my son's is, but some things are still going to apply from my experience.

Public school: No matter what the law says and what school says, there is only so much that those guys can do with the resources they have.  It is certainly worth checking out and trying, but they deal with certain things better than others and we did not have any success there.

Home schooling: We tried this too, but it is hard to sustain and educational effort consistently and it lacks the interaction with peers and that seems like it would be a big deal for your son.

Growing up:  This helps as the child becomes better at expressing their frustrations and guides you as a helper as they develop communication skills and maturity.  It is hard to imagine that with effort and a nurturing upbringing that issue will persist into adolescence or even adulthood to the point where it inhibits your goals for his happy life

Diagnosis: We had a few wrong ones along the way by competent professionals.  The most egregiously wrong one was a diagnosis of severely impaired gross motor skills.  We tried some physical therapy after the diagnosis, but the exercises were so hard my wife and I could not even do them, so we ended that after only about 6 weeks.  Long story short, shortly after that we noticed that he really liked to climb trees at school.  We guessed it had something to do with avoiding contact with others and it otherwise engaged him.  We were concerned since he had "severely impaired gross motor skills" and we didn't want him to hurt himself, so we got him into rock climbing in a gym with ropes, so at least he wouldn't fall.  Well it turns out out he has exceptional gross motor skills and despite being a bit of a space cadet when it comes to putting in the time to read and solve routes due to his "condition" he made up for it with exceptional coordination and outside the box route solving and from the time he was 8 to now has been a competitive rock climber in all disciplines and ranked in the top 50 for his age group in the US and has also become a really good skateboarder.

Another one was a completely wrong diagnosis of dyslexia.  Turns out that he was so far behind in school, he didn't understand the questions at the time and could not express the issue to us.  Learning issues yes, but no dyslexia.

So moral of the story is don't put too much into any diagnosis right now.  There will be more and you will find what will work best.  BTW, The psych eval was very good and did get us the info we needed to really deal with the issues he was facing.  He was older, I want to say about 10, so he was able to have a really good one on one with the Dr. that I don't think he could have handled when he was younger.

Just don't expect answers all at once.  Your on the right track.

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My boy has what I would consider mid functioning autism. He is verbal and he speaks but not like you or I do. He exhibits all the classic signs of austism but my wife and I have learned to enjoy and cherish every second with him instead of worrying so damn much about everything. He is in public school and it has been a God send. He has grown leaps and bounds. We are starting to have some real hope. He will most likely need some type of assistance as an adult and that is really the only thing left that would keep me up at night if I let it. And thats OK. 

You and your wife will have to make decisions on how to navigate but let me tell you not to beat yourself up too much about the choices you make or have made in the past. Lots of things have a way of working themselves out. Love the hell out of him and do the  therapies and schooling type you think is best. For your son I think he will end up ok. I really do. It just may take some therapy and counseling to get him where he needs to be but he will get there. Show him a life of love and happiness at home. If his life is surrounded by that then that is his best chance to be loving and to be happy as that is what he sees most and how he associates the life around him. 

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I don't have any rep to hit all the posts in here, but certainly a lot of good advice and insight.

- if you've been through this kind of thing already, please, please, please keep sharing.  I remember feeling so lost that hearing from *anyone* who had even the slightest similar experience helped ground me a bit.

- @Ojo Rojo and anyone else facing these potential situations: feel free to PM me - even if you just need to vent (which is normal).  I'm no expert - and every kid is different anyway - but I can listen like a motherfucker...

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Thread breaks my heart.   First you and your wife need a support group for youselves.  You're going to have to be strong and supportive for your child so you need help as well.  My wife and daughter both volunteer at a place called SoléAna Stables in Alvin.  I wouldn't presume that this is the right place for your child but look for something like this in your area.

There are some great organizations.   Call around and explain what you're facing.  I know the parents at SoléAna appreciate a little "time off" as well.  I'm so proud of what my wife a 16 year old are able to contribute and my business contributes to them financially.  

There are many many people willing and wanting to help.  God Bless and Hook 'em.

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Just now, Poolflood said:

Thread breaks my heart.   First you and your wife need a support group for youselves.  You're going to have to be strong and supportive for your child so you need help as well.  My wife and daughter both volunteer at a place called SoléAna Stables in Alvin.  I wouldn't presume that this is the right place for your child but look for something like this in your area.

There are some great organizations.   Call around and explain what you're facing.  I know the parents at SoléAna appreciate a little "time off" as well.  I'm so proud of what my wife a 16 year old are able to contribute and my business contributes to them financially.  

There are many many people willing and wanting to help.  God Bless and Hook 'em.

Ugh.  My wife is not 16 you assholes and no pic's you morons!

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My son is 5, we got him tested just after turning 4 due to his low socialization and speech delay.  They let us know that he’s on the spectrum, high functioning, semantic pragmatic disorder with sensory sensitivity or something like that.  We immediately got him in a specialized preK through Round Rock ISD and found out that my insurance covered a therapy center for autism as well.  For the last year we’ve been doing 3 daily pick up and drop offs at those schools and regular daycare.  It’s been difficult in SO many ways, but he has improved by leaps and bounds.  His ARD is next week but we expect him to enroll in regular kinder with very few accommodations in August.  Hang in there and use the resources available to you as much as possible.  It gets better, it just takes time/effort.

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I work in the field that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which includes those with an autism diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis can be scary, but it opens the door to a ton of services and supports. Special education supports a much larger population than most people think. Most think it's just for those with lower cognitive skills, but it is much larger. It allows for all kinds of adaptations that are all individualized with the school. Behavioral supports, classroom adaptations, plus tons more. It also opens the door for county and state supports, depending on the individual and need. I now work in another state, but used to do this in Texas. I love what I do, and the population I get to serve, and there are many who will be available for you. Let me know if I can answer any specific questions. 

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So we had the video call with the diagnostic psychologist today to get the results.  Developmental Coordination Disorder (fine motor skills) and ADHD.  She could have diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder, but declined at this time for several reasons.  We are not shocked or distraught to receive this diagnosis. I think we've already come to terms with it. The good news is that he has a high IQ. His delayed development of fine motor skills is contributing to poor performance. That's fixable and he would probably develop to a normal state given time even without any kind of intervention. Next step is to talk to pediatrician about ADHD treatments.
Overall, we feel better about things. We're relieved that he doesn't appear to have any kind of learning disability, cognitive issues or anything like dyslexia or auditory problems. So we've eliminated a lot of shit. The worst part is just knowing how much he's been suffering since he started school. He's smart enough to sense that something is wrong. He knows he should be doing better and wants to do better, but he just can't. It's got to be a very frustrating experience. And to have been subjected to isolation in his school (they made him sit by himself at lunch to keep him out of striking distance from other kids) and to be treated as different by his teachers and peers - that had to suck. Makes me and my wife really sad for him and guilty that we didn't act sooner. That said, I feel like we've turned a corner and things are going to get better for him from here.  We still have big questions about school, but we took a big step today.

Good stuff Ojo, and much love to you, your wife, and your son.
We had some of the delayed fine motor skills with our daughter, who was also super smart and verbal EARLY, and had a nice little cocktail of anxiety to go with it. We did occupational therapy for a good while to help, and she started seeing a children’s counselor at 2.5 years. You read that right. She’s been seeing a counselor since she was a toddler - your boy’s not too young to start. He can give voice to what he’s feeling and struggling with, and learn some tools to help him manage.
There’s no magic bullet, it’s a process. But you surely know that, and your boy is lucky to have y’all walking along with him.
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My wife and I have been through hell and back with our son and schools. At one point the asst director for Fort Bend ISD special education department was thanking us for not suing them. My son is now in Connections Academy - the online public education school. He’s killing it and happier than ever.

My biggest advice is that if you can afford it - hire an advocate for any and all ARD meetings with the school. Also, as soon as you start public school (if you go that way), ask to get the testing process going. It is a long and slow process.

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Another slight update.  We had a video call with our child's pediatrician on Saturday to discuss meds for the ADHD and occupational therapy for the fine motor skills issue. She prescribed Focalin for the ADHD and gave us some recommendations for occupational therapists for the fine motor skills. We haven't started giving him the medication yet. I think we're a little scared about the side effects. We have some time between now and the new school year to see how he does with it.  Hopefully, the combination of meds and OT will allow him to have a much better experience next year.  We're also going to retain him in Kinder, so he'll be older than most of the kids, which could be good for him. This was a hard one for me because it's going to stick with him for many years. But he's just missed so much instruction and we still don't know how it's going to go even with all that we're doing. We have decided it has to be a different school. My wife just really doesn't trust the school where he was anymore.  She's worried that he's going to carry a stigma or a label there. Plus, since he's being retained he would be in close quarters with all the kids from his Kinder class who moved on to the next grade. We don't want him to carry any shame or anything related to that. So we still don't know where he'll be for school. The fact is it is going to be an experiment no matter what. Sucks that such an important thing has to be such an unknown, but that's the way it is.

One thing I can already say in terms of advice to anyone else dealing with this is to act quickly as soon as you get an inkling that something is wrong.  Get your kid tested immediately. There is an established full battery of tests for cognitive and behavioral issues. Every ISD in Texas is required to provide the testing if you request it if your kid is in the district, even if they are going to private school.  It's free.  We opted to go the private route and have the testing done by the child psychologists group where he was already going. The cost was around $2,000.  The wait time for private testing was originally like 3 months, but we got lucky that someone cancelled and we were able to do it sooner. I don't know the timeline for the ISD testing since we went a different direction. The reason I say to act quickly at the first sign is that it will take several months to even find out what you are dealing with, let alone getting treatment started. My child suffered, we suffered and the school suffered while we tried to weather everything and deal with it ourselves. That went on much longer than it needed to. If we had acted sooner and done the things we've done recently it is likely our child would already be having a better experience and would have been able to stay in his school. What I really don't understand is why the school didn't recommend everything we did (that we had to discover on our own). They are professional educators who have been in the game a long time. They have a licensed counselor on staff. Yet, it was as if this was the first time they had ever dealt with this. Or, their attitude and approach is just "We don't deal with this." I'm still confused about it.

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Hi! I’ve been through hell and back with Fort Bend ISD Special Education.

Once you request testing, they have 90 school days to complete it and then 60 to implement findings. It took us from basically early November of my sons first grade year until Spring Break to get him out of a general education class room. During that time, he was illegally suspended three times. I should have sued then.

We were put into the Behavioral Support Services class at a different school. That went w pretty good through 2nd grade. I will say that we had an AMAZING teacher. The rest of the admin and teacher in that school - not so much. The kids in this program don’t fit typical special education. Their outbursts are often violent, so they get labeled as bad kids. They get forgotten for things like bench mark testing. This teacher fought for these things.

Beginning third grade, Fort Bend found it brilliant to move us away from the ONE teacher my son bonded with and moved us to a school that would feed into his middle / high school. The principal told another parent she didn’t want this program on campus. They didn’t set it up correctly. They had a new guy that had never run a BSS class running it.

My son did 10 worksheets from August until Thanksgiving. He was assaulted by the teacher. He was bullied and insulted by the teacher. The teacher took away bathroom privileges. I could continue….
We hired an advocate at this point. I highly recommend you use an advocate any time you meet with the school. The asshole was removed and our second grade teacher was moved over.

The district had a meeting with us and formally apologized. We were given 40 hours of compensatitory services. One of my sons friends is around 400 hours of compensatitory services.

My son is now home. He’s killing it doing online public education through Connection Academy. He will not set foot on a Fort Bend Campus again. I’m looking at GED at 16 or whatever to junior college or tech. School was ruined for him because he didn’t fit.

TLDR:
FortBend ISD special education is trash. Get an advocate for any ARD meetings, as they know all the rules and everything the district is supposed to do for you.

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Hi! I’ve been through hell and back with Fort Bend ISD Special Education.

Once you request testing, they have 90 school days to complete it and then 60 to implement findings. It took us from basically early November of my sons first grade year until Spring Break to get him out of a general education class room. During that time, he was illegally suspended three times. I should have sued then.

We were put into the Behavioral Support Services class at a different school. That went w pretty good through 2nd grade. I will say that we had an AMAZING teacher. The rest of the admin and teacher in that school - not so much. The kids in this program don’t fit typical special education. Their outbursts are often violent, so they get labeled as bad kids. They get forgotten for things like bench mark testing. This teacher fought for these things.

Beginning third grade, Fort Bend found it brilliant to move us away from the ONE teacher my son bonded with and moved us to a school that would feed into his middle / high school. The principal told another parent she didn’t want this program on campus. They didn’t set it up correctly. They had a new guy that had never run a BSS class running it.

My son did 10 worksheets from August until Thanksgiving. He was assaulted by the teacher. He was bullied and insulted by the teacher. The teacher took away bathroom privileges. I could continue….
We hired an advocate at this point. I highly recommend you use an advocate any time you meet with the school. The asshole was removed and our second grade teacher was moved over.

The district had a meeting with us and formally apologized. We were given 40 hours of compensatitory services. One of my sons friends is around 400 hours of compensatitory services.

My son is now home. He’s killing it doing online public education through Connection Academy. He will not set foot on a Fort Bend Campus again. I’m looking at GED at 16 or whatever to junior college or tech. School was ruined for him because he didn’t fit.

TLDR:
FortBend ISD special education is trash. Get an advocate for any ARD meetings, as they know all the rules and everything the district is supposed to do for you.

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