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How do I work with a school system that is not willing to work with my son.

My son is awesome as all our children are. But each child is different and I have learned and am contining to learn Alex's differences. One that repeatedly gets brought to my attention is his inability to "conform" with the other children. Example: He loves music but hates music class and often will not particiapte. His preschool has been excellent in working with him but has repeatedly warned me that this will not fly in public schools (He starts kindergarden in 3 weeks). Yes I have spoken to the new school's pricinipal but he refuses to address it until my son is there. Alex is very bright, very loving, sometimes very silly or immature. Why is it such a problem if he doesn't want to be a carbon copy of everyone else and how do I communicate this with his future teachers?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:34 PM on Aug. 16, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (10)
  • Tell the teacher when you meet with her for the before school meeting. Keep in contact with her, I think most have e-mail now. Allow the school to see what you are talking about a few weeks. Then ask to speak to the teacher again, if you are not called in before. Then after they have a had a chance to see what is going on, see what solutions they can come up with if they could work well. Let them try them, if the succeed then great, if not offer again your wisdom as a his mother. THis way you are working with the school and not dictating to them. It could be that he has an awesome teacher and there will be no problem. You never know.

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 8:41 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • *cringe & shudder* my 4 1/2 yr old boy is same. we're going to attempt homeschooling so i dont have to deal with that... i am not strong enough to deal with a crappy school system

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:45 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • They can't really assess the situation until he is there so it is right that the school cannot plan to have a special treatment plan in place if they do not know your child. After a few months (or weeks) they will let you know if there is an issue. It is good that your child is his own little man. But he does need rules and to be respectful of those rules. Take it one step at a time, don't freak out, and handle the situation as it comes up. So far there is no situation because he hasn't started public school yet. I have seen many creative, march-to-your-own-beat-kids who do very well in public school settings. If you want them to give him a chance give them a chance too.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:03 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • I could give you a long list of "try this" and "try that" and wish you luck ---- but I've seen this so many times it gives me a headache.

    The truth is -- they won't work with him. They will expect him to "conform", and when he doesn't he'll be labeled a problem child. He'll stay in trouble & will probably be referred to a Dr for ADD or something along those lines.

    Every child is unique. Every child learns best in a different way. Maybe he will grow out of this stage & "conform" -- maybe not. Maybe this is just who he is. The question you have to ask yourself is "Do I even WANT him to conform??" Think about it, mama.

    My advice would be - if you want him in public school, go ahead and let him start.... but also go ahead & start looking into alternatives.



    Answer by Laura1229 at 9:42 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • Is it his "inability" to conform, or an "unwillingness" to conform? While they may not expect, or even want him, to conform, they will expect him (and rightly so) to follow rules. If he is unable to do this, maybe he needs another year of maturity before he starts school?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:53 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • One thing you said stood out to me.. You said he loves music but hates music class. That makes me wonder why he hates it. Is it because of the noise perhaps? The structure of the class itself when he just wants the music when you mentioned him to be "non-conforming". If any of that sounds like a "maybe", look into "sensory processing disorders" and see if that gives you any help. If not, look into Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS as well.
    Good luck with whatever it is with your ds. You sound like a wonderful mother. My ds has HFA and I too get frustrated with the "carbon copy" people.

    Answer by Melindakc at 11:16 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • The truth is -- they won't work with him. They will expect him to "conform", and when he doesn't he'll be labeled a problem child. He'll stay in trouble & will probably be referred to a Dr for ADD or something along those lines.

    My son is 8, He has those EXACT same troubles. He has been to several doctors who have may different opinions on what's wrong with him. No one can seem to tell. My son is the exact way about music, he loves it, but hates music class. Does your son have a hard time with transitions, going from one activities to the next without a problem? MIne does. He also has several nervous tics and has a hard time with social ques and controlling his temper. He usually doesn't hit or anything, it's the whining and crying he does when he's upset.
    They 1st said it was ADHD, then he may have a beginning case of Bipolar, then it was believed Aspergers, but the therapist is revoking that. We don't know, maybe OCD

    Answer by mumma28 at 11:33 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • I had the same problem with the school system when my son started school. He was labeled, put out of class, criticized, and made to feel bad. (He is a kinisthetic learner as opposed to a visual or auditory learner)

    I ended up pulling him out and homeschooling him. We are on year three of homeschooling.

    Answer by Arianna at 1:25 AM on Aug. 17, 2009

  • I work as a preschool special education teacher and have for the past 20 years. Firstly, does your son have an IEP(Individualized Education Program)? Did he receive any specially designed instruction while in preschool? If so, then I would plan on having a conference with the teacher before school began or during the first week or two to discuss his behavior. When in preschool, did he have a written behavior plan that addressed the non-compliance issues. Any information you can share with the teacher before he starts will be helpful to her. A list of objects or items that your son is motivated by would be helpful. The teacher will probably want to set up a reward system for him and will need to know what items he REALLY likes. When you talk with the teacher, present yourself as someone willing to be a team player with her. Ask her what you can do as his parent to help him along . Let me know if you need anything.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 3:09 AM on Aug. 17, 2009

  • One thing I have done over the years, I have kept everything, relating to my ds's schooling. All of his K, 1st and both times for 2nd grade (we opted to hold him back for 2nd grade again last year) schoolwork, agenda's, meeting notes, IEP's, his daily journals, projects, test scores, anything that came home from his school, I kept. Anything I sent to his school, I kept a copy of, and if it came back with a reply, I kept. I have each grade labeled and stored in a plastic container for future reference. In fact I just had to pull from each one a few weeks ago to show for a meeting with a new school district, along with his latest Psychoeducational Eval we had done in June. They were not only impressed with what I had, but happy to have the information to see a "blueprint" of my ds before ever meeting him. It was easier to write up a new IEP for him and decide what level class he needed to be in and what school.

    Answer by Melindakc at 11:23 AM on Aug. 17, 2009

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