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IEP suggestions for preschooler OCD/TS

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I am preparing to go to an IEP for my 4 yr old son who has ASD (dxd july 2009) as well as OCD and TS (dxd little over 1 yr now). I'm desperate for any suggestions for services to request, strategies and accommodations specific to OCD/TS. He has been at the school for 1.5 years and the staff is clueless as to how to deal with his OCD and causing more stress on him. As a result of their ignorance as well as mine, he is suffering quite a bit in the school setting. I think what is being mistaken for ASD behaviors are part of his OCD behaviors and regardless of which the interventions being used are exaserbating his problems in class. ANY advice suggestions links etc. you can share would be truly appreciated!


Thanks! Amy

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I think what is being mistaken for ASD behaviors are part of his OCD behaviors and regardless of which the interventions being used are exaserbating his problems in class.



Hi amy. did you see the post from arial in the past week or so? if she doesn't answer, she may be a good person to PM for suggestions for a younger child.


you didn't so much specify behaviors, so i'll just give you some of my thoughts. first, i am a huge fan of the book The Explosvie Child by ross Greene. I read it a couple of years ago when it practically jumped off the shelf at me after a terrible day with ds. we have used the techniques in more of a crisis mgmt style for unreasonable outbursts and overreactions with ds. that one is written with the parent as the audience. he also has one written for school as the audience that uses the same theories. i don't know that that will help so much in the short term for the meeting, but maybe for long term. i'm rereading it now looking for more suggestions on problem solving.


Also, what to do when your brain gets stuck is a really good workbook. not just for your son, but for the staff to read to understand OCD with a child's perspective. it's a workbook and a quick read for an adult who's not working it.


i'm quite sure that if we hadn't discovered a pandas link with ds 3yrs ago, not only would we have tried to treat him behaviorally, but he'd likely have an asperger or 'asperger-like' diagnosis. even in extreme exacerbation, he misses one major criteria but that's where most of his behaviors line up, so the likely label. i think there's much overlap in behaviors.


ds is now 7 and we're just at a point where he's healthy enough and mature enough to work through problems. previously, it was more crisis mgmt when things came up. so, my suggestions may not be too helpful for you with a younger child, but maybe you could adapt it to something that could help.


my ds usually just goes from 'yikes, somethings wrong' to intense avoidance, which can result in complete shutdown or troublesome fighting or from ';something's wrong' to intense need for the one solution he's come up with to solve the problem. throw in a physiological anxiety override and he's a disaster.


Explosive child discusses that kids can go from 'realizing a problem' to 'their solution' without ever being able to correctly state their concern and state a goal. What they do as a tantrum or refusal, such as not going to school, is a solution, not a concern. Backing up and understanding their concern is key to arriving at a solution.


we have finallly found a good psych to work with who suggested having in ds's 504 a provision for a problem-solving model to be used with him. we've worked out a beautiful graphic with baseball as the analogy for the 6 steps of basic problem solving. we're still working with it at home but will soon implement it in school also. right now, his responsiblity is to simply 'step up to the plate' and say he needs help with a problem. the adults help work through the 6 steps. it's good for helping him realize the weight of the world is not on his shoulders alone to fix whatever is wrong.


as an example, the other day he was unable to go into class after many days of great progress. i knew he was anxious about the upcoming spelling test. through this, we discovered he was concerned he'd get a yellow card b/c he was worried he'd overreact and yell and scream if he missed the bonus words he missed on the pretest. i stayed in the hallway and he took the test as a 'pretest' from the hall, his teacher loudly saying the words near the door. after, she looked it over with him. due to working this type of problem-solving model, we could clearly see a child in angst over getting a perfect grade that he so much wanted, also so very concerned about his reaction if he was upset and the consequences imposed on him. so clear to see and feel his pain. this gave us many clues about his reactions in school. after, he went into class and on with the day with no trouble.


he knew there was a problem, his solution = avoid the classroom, at all costs. without a step by step model, he would likely have refused going into the classroom, repeatedly slammed his locker, run away, fought anyone who tried to help -- on and on in a downward spiral. difficult to empathize with and easy to hit the problem head on with more troublesome consequences, into a terrible spiral.


so, i'd suggest if they could try working with those behaviors you see as ocd in a problem solving model. they may have something they use or you could develop something -- you can google 'problem solving model' to get ideas. it may at least provide opportunities to see it's something other than 'just' behaviors that their interventions aren't helping.

good luck!

Edited by smartyjones

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We went through several challenges when we put our son's initial IEP together last year when he turned 3. It seemed the staff didn't know what to do with him since he's classic PANDAS, so when he's not sick, or on strong enough abx, his problems are minimal, however, BAM they can come back anytime anywhere.


Our biggest struggle was to develop goals that were "academic" in nature, since all of our issues are behavioral. I wasn't thrilled with last year's IEP, but they placed him in an EELP (Early Exceptrional Learning Program?)classroom and he responded to his teachers WONDERFULLY.


This year, the teacher who had worked with him all last year (and this year), came in with prewritten goals so that helped. I'm at the office, and it's in my files at home, I'd be happy to share some of the details with you, just PM me if you'd like.


Basically, it focused on "self support" goals - being able to handle change, using appropriate emotional responses, and it gave examples of stragegies and desired responses.


Are you working with any therapists? They may be able to help. Our therapist gave some of the CBT/ERP techniques she'd been working with us on as intervention possibilities. And last year, we had a sepcial ed advocate join us in the meeting. She was the director of our son's day care, as well as a PhD in special ed. She was a great advocate for us because she knew the system very well, and since she was also familiar with my son's history it helped bridge the gap between the crazy parents and buraucratic school personnel. If you don't have someone like that you can turn to, I would ask your doctor, they may know of advocates in your area that you can bring in. Just a thought.

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