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Jonos mom

School issues! What do you do?

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My ds14, in 9th grade has pandas, mycoplasma pneumoniae, lymes, tourettes and ADHD. Dh and I had a meeting at the school and he is failing horribly. What's amazing is, he does the work sometimes but just doesn't turn it in. He has an iep, but he isn't focused and is doing poorly every way possible. His Tourette's are kicking in badly due to stress. He is on 200mg of doxycycline a day. Not sure this is enough as he weighs 192 lbs. he broke down several times tonight and cried. He feels all the kids are making fun of him. We've been up there and threatened attorneys if the didn't do something about the bullies. My gosh, I can't have the entire class called down to the office. At this point I've cried several times not knowing what the best choice is. I'm ready to pull him out. He was hospitalized 8 days back in 2009 school year because his anxiety level went through the roof. Kids threatening him because he's different! He continued the rest of the year on home bound. Which was a bonified joke.

 

My plan is to call a few places tat do more special Ed classes and work in small er groups. Getting us both in the gym to hopefully make us lose weight and feel better. Have any of you dealt with the school issues to this level? What do you do?

 

I've just about had it this week! I won't give up, but I just don't know how much more I can take without aging a nervous breakdown!

 

Thanks! ;)

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My DS14 is a freshman in high school and he goes through some of the same things as your son, though he doesn't have tics; he has OCD behaviors, instead, that draw some unwanted attention.

 

It is absolutely unacceptable that your son is being bullied; you don't have to have the whole class brought into the principal's office, but by the same token, the school is seriously missing something if this sort of bullying atmosphere is as pervasive as that. I would talk to your son's IEP caseworker about the situation and see what he/she would advise. We had a small (if you can call any of them small) bullying incident earlier this school year, so we went to the caseworker. He in turn, with our agreement, notified the teacher of the class in which the bullying had occurred; the plan was that he would keep an eye and ear out for these bullying boys, particularly during periods in which there was an opportunity for the kids to be mingling or moving about and things could be said under one's breath that the teacher might ordinarily miss. We have not had a repeat of the incident.

 

And, while it's not okay to be bullied, your DS can perhaps learn to handle it more constructively. Within his IEP, is he provided with social work during the school day, either via private and/or group work sessions? Most schools provide their IEP kids with various group sessions for social skills, communication skills, etc. that can help kids deal with being teased or bullied, or side-lined, or whatever. I'm not saying your son is "egging" anybody on, but I know that my DS has that tendency. He's intellectually gifted but a little socially immature, so he has a tendency to treat some kids as though they're "dumb," and that just drives them to go at him even harder. So he's getting some help and some more perspective with stuff like that during social work.

 

As for looking for other settings for your DS, that might be a good option. But assuming you'd like the school district to help pay, or pay entirely, for an alternative educational setting, you'll have to exhaust all the on-site possibilities afforded him via IEP accommodations in his current school. Certainly, if the school can't get the bullying under control, that should constitute reason enough to demand that an alternative environment be provided your DS. But that means you do need to insist that they address it, even if it means marching his whole class down to the principal's office!

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I feel for you. With one of the illnesses alone, it is hard to deal with. My son has PANDAS and is being tested for LYMES and I had to pull him temporarily from school on a temp home study.

I wish you the best and hope the school gets on board. The bullying should not be tolerated!

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Thank you Nancy, I appreciate you responding. We have already been to the meeting with vice principals, case manager, teachers. It took a threat of getting an attorney for them to get on child. This particular child tormented him in class. Then just continued to do it in the halls. He would run up to my son and grab his breasts then scream "titty"! So, I'm sure as you can guess the rest of the kids catch on. For the last 5 days this child hasn't done anything other than be real smart a** to him, but nothing he can pinpoint as bullying. Kids are randomly saying where he can hear, that he looks like a raccoon with tits. The guidance office has told him to come down and tell on the ones who are doing this immediately. I've explained to them that this was such an issue during 7th grade so much that he had such anxiety issues mixed with the pandas he started making suicide threats. That's when he cried and asked me to take him to a hospital. That's where we stayed 8 days and was able to get the diagnosis of pandas.

 

Right now he is having kids just imitate his tics in class. Nothing verbal is being said, just they are copying his motions. I have another meeting this morning with the one vp that I feel is the most compassionate so far. He has a nonverbal autistic son whom is now 18. I guess I've never had to push the iep this far and really weren't aware of my options. I tend to get overwhelmed lately as I tend to go into crying spells when I start thinking about this all. Lol, I'm having one now, yeah! My poor kids, my son feels responsible for my breakdowns, and my dd9 now cries with me. She was just recently got diagnosed with pandas also. My brother has mental issues, my mom has MS, and my husband is a workaholic. Who can blame him from not wanting to deal with some of this sometimes. So I basically have something going on 24/7. Sorry I don't meant to vent, nor I'm looking for any special treatment. I'm just curious as to what other experiences parents had in this situation. I'm going to try and contact parent resources this morning before my meeting. I'm not sure if they are open with it being election day.

 

Thanks :)

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I feel for you. With one of the illnesses alone, it is hard to deal with. My son has PANDAS and is being tested for LYMES and I had to pull him temporarily from school on a temp home study.

I wish you the best and hope the school gets on board. The bullying should not be tolerated!

 

Can I ask if the school is taking care of that, or did you have to pay on your own? Did the doctors have to write something up for the home study? Thanks for replying. :)

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Jonos mom --

 

I'm so sorry for the burden you're carrying . . . I can certainly understand why you feel overwhelmed.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the school is missing the point to some degree; your DS telling on this kid or these kids is not going to solve the issue. In fact, it is more likely to exacerbate it. What needs to occur is better monitoring of the situation . . . more present teachers or administrative staff in the hallways, etc. to curb this ridiculous behavior on the kids' parts. Frankly, that sounds like very immature behavior coming from high school kids and it makes me wonder if the one boy in particular isn't dealing with some mental challenges of his own?

 

At the least, though, your son deserves some social work and/or school psychologist sessions during which he can vent his pain and frustration and be given some tools for dealing with incidences such as these. Unfortunately, kids like yours and mine are likely to encounter this sort of treatment off and on throughout their academic lives and possibly beyond. I feel as though it's important to convey to our kids that, in the end, you may not be able to change someone else's unacceptable behavior, but you CAN change how you respond to it. Therapy -- in school and outside it (private) -- may help your son build the self-esteem he needs to weather the storms of rude, unkind, immature statements and behavior.

 

But, in the end, if they cannot put the measures and/or people in place to make this learning environment a positive one for your son, they're going to have to help you find an alternative, and they're going to have to help fund it. It sounds as though you may have a bit of a fight on your hands, but there are advocates out there trained to assist in cases such as this. Try that VP and see if he is willing to step up/man up and help get this situation under control. If he's not, then you're well within your rights to strap on some battle armour and fight for what's right on behalf of your son.

 

Hang in there!

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I will be praying for your situation. It is so hard for us to watch our children suffer and then to have kid's or should I say Young Adults make fun of them! So frustrating! My DS15 has been on homebound since last Dec - it's been almost a year due to the ocd and adhd type symptoms from the PANDAS. He only has a couple of classes and is struggling to keep up with that - so hard to watch since he had excelled so well in school prior to this. He has a 504 currently. Honestly I have no idea when we will get him back into a classroom situation. It is really hard to know what to do with school. Hang in there and keep looking up! Again I will pray for your son and family.

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Thanks again Nancy! Jono has been seeing a therapist for years. We been through quite a few. He has improved in quite a few things, one being able to control anger. That's when he used to threaten suicide attempts ten times a day. Just scares me that he might be keeping it in instead of saying it. When he starts talking its usually a snowball!

 

I was hoping the county was available to let me know what my options were before going in today for my meeting. Lol. I guess I'll just have to just tell him my plans on who I plan on contacting and to be prepared, and would you rather nip this in the bud now or later?

 

As far as the other child, I am sure he has issues. Usually the ones who choose to pick on my kids are usually getting some mistreating of their own. I know it's hard but I explain to the vp that it's still unacceptable. What really pisses me off with some of these kids is, they ask why he does what he does . He tells them about Tourette's and they say, "you suck, you can control it if you want"! They tell him they wish someone would hit him, so they could see him get hurt. They have even told him they wish he would die. I want to remove him out of here so bad, but financially it would hurt us badly. But we will do what we have to do. But.. I lao wonder if we would still be dealing with the same thing over and over just somewhere else. We dealt with it during middle school, and that was a different group of kids. One kid in 7th grade told him that if he caught him in the bathroom, he would slit his throat and take out his heart. Of course this has turned my child into defense mode at school, and he calls them all curse words. So they just feed off that more. I really don't see how this will help him at all. But he needs to have some social interaction, but in good circumstances. Ugh!

 

I appreciate all the info, it's "rekindling my fire within"! ;-)

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I will be praying for your situation. It is so hard for us to watch our children suffer and then to have kid's or should I say Young Adults make fun of them! So frustrating! My DS15 has been on homebound since last Dec - it's been almost a year due to the ocd and adhd type symptoms from the PANDAS. He only has a couple of classes and is struggling to keep up with that - so hard to watch since he had excelled so well in school prior to this. He has a 504 currently. Honestly I have no idea when we will get him back into a classroom situation. It is really hard to know what to do with school. Hang in there and keep looking up! Again I will pray for your son and family.

 

Thanks for he prayers. I appreciate it! We have lots of people that are praying for us as we are very involved in our church. Can I ask you how you went about getting your son placed on home bound? Did the doctor suggest it? I would really like know how that works. My son was home bound after being in the hospital. But it was all taken care of and I didn't have to do anything. I can honestly say it was a mess though. He didn't learn anything as the teacher was horrified to say anything to him fearing he would make him upset. So ds was constantly up doing things around the house while the teacher would patiently wait. It was a literal waste of all of our time. :-(

 

Thanks again, I appreciate everything everyone has to offer! :)

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We ended up doing a free public school at home of which a certain percentage is done on the computer. It is thru K12.com. They have a paid program and a free program for certain states. They send you the books/science lab equipment/art supplies everthing. You are the 'coach' and have to input hours spent on subjects every day. We often work on weekend to get caught up for days when son is not feeling well enough to do school work. We go on the exact same schedule as his local jr. high so there is no arguments about subjects and when they are done. They are very flexible and son's 504 was transferred to them as well.

 

Tried his local jr. high this year but he just kept getting sicker and sicker so we switched back to this school. The public schools are just underfunded and overwhelmed they really could not do much for us. We have a new anti-bullying law in our state (WA) so schools are very pro-active, as much as they can be.

 

PM me if you want any add'l info. Best wishes.

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Thank you, I have heard of that but didn't have the info yet. I met with vice principal and asked what my options were. He said he can talk to the class. Gee, wouldn't that be sorta obvious? Or I can have changed over to a self contained class. Then he will be with other kids with iep's and no more than 10 in a class. I don't know what to do! My husband doesn't want him to move to the other class. The vp said he would labeled and be teased. I'm like, he already has a label and is being teased. He just said it would probably get worse. Oh great!

 

So I sitting here having a self pity party while doing laundry. I just can't make everyone happy. My son doesn't know what he wants to do.

 

Has anyone have their child in one of those classes? I'm not really sure he will listen to me if I do the homeschool thing. Not sure my nerves can take it. They are close to shot now. :blink:

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Jonos Mom -

 

We went homebound because DS anxiety levels from OCD went through the roof last dec - major contamination issues. Just couldn't get him out of the house and to school - he refused. We just went to the principal and school guidance counselor and let them know our situation and they let us know our options. We explained the medical condition to them and they were very supportive. We just needed to get a doctors note to get him set up. We set up a 504 plan last spring with the possibility that he would not be back in the fall - thankfully we did because he has yet to make it back. By the grace of God we were provided with a wonderfully flexible tutor from our school district. The major downfall with this is that the longer he is away from school the harder it gets for him to go back. We recently went to Aug XR 2000 mg and are hoping it will make a difference and we are waiting to see if insurance will cover IVIG. If you have a chance google Ben Glenn "the chalkguy" - he is a christian speaker involved with FCA. He had ADD and other learning disabilities and speaks of the obstacles he faced and overcame during his school years. Your son might get some encouragement from the CD if you order it - he is very funny as well. Just thought i would pass that on. Hoping your situation gets better soon - hugs and prayers. Angie

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Jonos mom-

 

I just read this thread for the first time. This situation is horrific, unimaginable. Most schools nowadays have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. You are in an impossible situation. You really need to find someone who can see the big picture to help you, and to guide the school. You should not have to invent this stuff- and a school (who probably has to deal with this type of situation very frequently) needs to be better at responding.

 

My only advice would be to find a really qualified and strong willed therapist. One who is very familiar with tourettes, and who can treat your son, but also help you advocate for your son at school. I would contact Dr Storch and University of South Florida. They specialize in ocd, but I think in Tourettes also. He would be your best first step for a direction.

 

Also- there was recently a show on PBS of an amazing high school boy with Tourettes. You NEED to see this show, and see if you can get him in contact with your son. He presents to schools- so maybe if he can be in your area.... He is truly an inspiration. The show was something like The New Normal- living with Tourettes' syndrome. I will try to find a link....

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Here is a link- I hope it works. It was Different is the new Normal. See if you can get a copy of the show- amazing and inspiring.

 

 

http://www.thirteen.org/insidethirteen/2011/09/13/different-is-the-new-normal-a-qa-with-ariel-and-robin-small/

 

I agree with dcmom; that show was AWESOME and that high school kid is truly inspirational! His name is Ariel Small, and he lives in Highland Park, Illinois. I imagine you could contact him through Facebook or via the Tourettes Syndrome Association (TSA), for which he is a Youth Ambassador.

 

Good luck!

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