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Trouble at School

Posted by on May. 16, 2017 at 9:27 AM
  • 3 Replies

I received a note from my son's teacher about him being destracted in class lately. I emailed her back and she said - 

I have noticed some regression with his communication and behavior in the classroom. He is no longer expressing his needs, asking for help, or socializing with the other kids in the room. He has been anxious, jumpy, and unfocused and has had different reactions to things happening around him. For example, today I complimented the class and told them what a great job they were doing on their activities. He had an opposite reaction of what I would expect, gasping very loudly as if he thought he had done something wrong. I have tried changing his seat, having a peer help him, and giving him more choice, but it hasn't seemed to help lately, when in the past it had. - This is from the teacher he has in the afternoon. So I emailed the teacher he has in the morning to see how he is doing in her class. This is what she said -

 I have noticed differences in Blake's behavior and academics. At the beginning of the year, he was making some progress in math but it came to a standstill around January. I wanted to believe it was because

we went into "testing mode" and things started to "pick-up" and get more difficult. He wouldn't accept challenges and when it came to assessments, even if he knew how to solve it, he would just impulsively pick an answer.
I addressed these concerns with our SPED team and resource teachers and they offered a solution with paper clips and post-it notes. Once he was taught how to use this tool that would help with his impulsiveness on assessments, he would not use these tools and go back to his old behaviors of just selecting answers.

I spoke with dad about me noticing Blake's been more emotional and sensitive to mild subjects or situations. I asked him about your home therapy and he said he just got a new therapist.

He emailed me a few times to check in and this is when I would give him my observations.

I also have noticed Blake needing more gratification and feedback from not only me but others INCREASINGLY more than he was. I am not an expert on autism so I figured it was just a habit stemming from that.

Since he has been getting more emotional about things, he isn't completing tasks because he is very concerned with what the other students at his table are doing OR
he is worried about not completing in the time everyone else is completing the assignment. In my class, we have many paper pencil task but also
hands- on learning. He does well with me in small group but when he is asked to apply the skill, he starts getting emotional and overwhelmmed that I am going to get mad if he doesn't know how to do something. - His dad and I aren't together anymore so I'm not sure why she is talking to his dad about my son's therapy since he lives with me. 

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? 

I have also noticed him avoiding questions or forgetting what he was going to say to my question. He will start breathing heavy or moan if he is asked just a simple question like "did you turn in your homework?"
by on May. 16, 2017 at 9:27 AM
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by Silver Member on May. 16, 2017 at 12:39 PM

First of all, has his health changed (sleep, sensory, GI/immune, eating, skin pallor, eyes)? What calming and sensory exercises does he do? Does he know his triggers? Does he know when he is overwhelmed and how to deal with it?

ASD kiddos need to learn concepts before facts. So what types of things is he supposed to be learning now? Too much on a page is overwhelming. Teach him to place a paper on the top and bottom of a page so only the current problem or item is showing. How much of his performance is timed? Does his IEP provide provisions for more time, so he is not always rushed?

Your one-on-one work with him probably goes at his speed and you provide the structure that makes up for his executive function weaknesses. Standard class work does not do that. Do you know his sensory and executive function profile as measure by a trained sensory OT or PT?

by on May. 17, 2017 at 4:40 PM

Does he do Sensory at school?If so how often and what kind?The weighted vest works great in our school.

by Member on May. 17, 2017 at 7:06 PM

How old is he?  It does sound like he's getting overwhelmed with things between the others in the classroom, doing work independently, sitting and having to listent to multiple sets of instructions and probably even the lights, taking, space and temperature of the room.  Does he have somewhere quiet and alone that he can go to when he is overwhelmed?  What types of accomodations does he have?  I would talk with the SPED teacher and see what else she thinks might help him and also add some more accomodations into his IEP so that he can make progress again.

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