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pandas, ODD, teachers, school


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Hi,

my 5 1/2 year old son has Pandas, tourette's, and is having an exacerbation that is occurring now which includes oppositional defiance disorder. he does not have an IEP (spec ed). he is starting kindergarten at a new school. what should i tell his teacher? I really want her to not punish or argue with him. if he is being defiant it is because he has brain inflammation and he is not really in control of his emotions. plus she will not easily win over his defiance...i'm afraid he'll end up with the principal and in big trouble. any thoughts as to how to tell her to deal with his defiance? the only thing that helps him is time and ibuprofen. but I can't give him ibuprofen every day for weeks on end while his antibodies are decreasing....help!

'Basilbeth'

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Have you gone through a period of the ODD before, and did all signs of defiance disappear entirely once his immune system got balanced out again? How long did it take?

 

With those outside the household, especially, many of us find that giving teachers and other caregivers tools to help them handle the behaviors is most helpful, especially if the alternative is to allow the behavior to continue, even if it might be disruptive to the rest of the class. I'm sure the teacher won't want to argue with your DS, either, but she'll want to teach her class, and she'll have no choice but to deal with anything by any kid that gets in the way of that. Doubtful that your DS will be the only one, given the age! :P

 

If you're not already familiar with it, I would suggest you try some of the techniques in Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child" and perhaps even offer the school/teacher a copy. When our DS was a little younger (though not as young as yours, admittedly) and in exacerbation, he would "argue the ears off a rabbit" at times, and we found Dr. Greene's techniques to be very helpful. I know a few other families here have used the book to great success, as well.

 

Good luck!

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Beth-

 

My suggestion would be to find the best psych in your area (hopefully one with pandas experience). They can give you ideas, and write letters for your school outlining accommodations and suggestions.

 

Certainly, a teacher cannot let your son "get away" with ODD-tye behavior in class, regardless of the cause, but the psych can offer constructive ways to avert and/or deal with issues.

 

We found that the school did not even bat an eye, when looking at a letter from a "professional". We also found our individual teachers to be fabulous, however my kids had ocd, not defiance, which will be much harder to deal with. Interestingly, we had our share of ODD at home, it did not manifest in school AT ALL- so maybe you will be lucky?

 

We found out too, through intense therapy, that we had really started accommodating our kids (which included walking on eggshells) during pandas flare ups, and how that was a mistake. On a practical level, when things are at their worst, a certain amount of accommodating at home is essential- but we learned (the hard way) that we must be very clear with expectations, non- negotiables, and when we were accommodating be open about the fact that this was not going to continue. We have learned to be very aware and verbal about what "age - appropriate expectations" were, and if they weren't meeting them, how we would work toward them. This ball got rolling much easier with a gifted psych.

 

Good luck! I hope you get one of those teachers that were sent straight from heaven!

 

I

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We have done long term ibuprofen on the advice of our pediatrician and with the support of our specialists. Our doc told us as long as you don't exceed the recommended daily dosage there should be little concerned for side effects of long term use. We give them 1 does every morning automatically, and then will give them another 1 mid to late afternoon if needed. It has helped us immensely with school.

 

As far as what to tell the teachers, we have provided an informational packet with much of the information coming from pandas resource network and other threads on this forum. We have spent very little time talking about the medical aspect other than a brief explanation - and focused more on the behavioral symptoms they may encounter

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