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Learned behaviors, how to change them

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM
  • 14 Replies

So, SD has some learned behaviors that we aren't OK with. They've never been acceptable in our home and she's always done a fairly decent job of following the rules with EOWE, alternating major holidays, and half of summer. She got into trouble here and there, but nothing that wouldn't be typical for a kid. Since June DH has had custody and starting in July BM stopped about 60% of her visitation.

School started in September and SD was doing well, but struggling here and there. SD is 12 and in 5th grade, due to her disorder causing developmental delays she's about 3-4 years behind her age group developmentally, and 2 years behind her age group in school. We got an IEP established (she gets extra time for major projects and testing, and 80 minutes each week of specialized instruction for writing and 80 minutes each week of specialized instruction for math).

Every Friday her teacher sends home a newsletter that the parents are supposed to sign if the kids have missing assignments from that week. SD has brought home some that needed to be signed, and we always made sure she also completed the missing assignments before returning to school Monday. I just found two weeks worth of newsletters showing missing work that SD had hidden. I know part of this is mine and DH's fault for not doubling checking and making sure she showed them to us, but she's also old enough (even with her disabilities) to be honest when she has missing work. We've been super busy with therapy (occupational for SD and DD 5, and physical for SD), specialists for both SD and DD, and the rest of life. So, I'd say 50% of this issue lies on mine and DH's shoulders. Regardless of how busy we were, we should have made sure to see the newsletters.

SD has very poor homework and study habits that were allowed at BM's. Projects were always completed at the last minute and turned in late, homework was rarely finished when it was turned in. This is all information that DH has received directly from previous teachers. BM has also admitted to DH and I that she didn't follow up with SD's homework or projects.

We've been really working on establishing a good homework routine for SD, and her Occupational Therapist has been helping us out with ideas to help get SD on a better routine and re-learn some better habits. So far we haven't been able to make much change in the habits.

Right now, SD is doing her homework at a desk in the living room so that DH and/or I can ensure that she stays on task and gets her work done. The problem is that she isn't always honest about what work needs to be done. BM has stated to DH and I that she just punished SD by yelling at her and sending her to her room. SD said she's scared she's going to get yelled at if she tells the truth. However, in the past when she's brought home newsletters that needed our signatures she hasn't gotten into big trouble or been yelled at. We've talked about why it's important for her to do her assignments and turn them in on time, then she was "grounded" until the assignments were completed that weekend. Once the assignments were done, she was able to enjoy the rest of her weekend. It worked for about a month. And then the first two weeks of November she messed up and didn't complete the assignments.

She also lies a lot. About little things that she'd never get into trouble for. But, I'm not sure that she cognitively understands the lie issue... Her developmental assessments show that she's quite delayed in a lot of areas.

Anyways, if anyone has suggestions, I'd be open to them. The hope here is to help SD gain better habits and not to make her feel as if she's being punished.

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Tigress22304
by Ruby Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:26 PM

does she keep a homework notebook? Growing up my brother had an agenda book-everytime a teacher gave him homework (even if its a worksheet) he wrote it in his agenda book-he would check it before leaving school-brought everything home he needed to  use and checked it off as he finished each assignment.

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Her teacher provides something similar each week. One one side it has a list for homework, the due date, and a place to check it off when it's finished. On the other is a reading log and a place for the reading summary.

She's been doing OK with the regular weekly homework (mostly with her regular homework it's an issue with an incomplete reading log, as she tries to get away with just a few sentences and no details) but due to her many appointments some are scheduled during school hours. It's mostly the in-class work that she's failing to do because she isn't listing it on her homework log.

LittleMama2012
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Get her an agenda. She needs to write her homework in it daily and have each teacher sign that she wrote it. Parent needs to initial it was done. Also check to see if her classroom has a web page. That is how Dh made sure SD was doing all of her homework every day at bm's house. We would check the webpages to see what tests were coming up. We only have her on the weekends during the school year, but we make her read for 20 min everyday and she has to study for any upcoming tests. This brought her reading skills and test grades up.
Constant communication with the teachers. Email them once a week to see how she is doing. This will show her you are in communication and she will learn she can't hide things. Try a reward system for a little while. A week of complete homework and she gets to rent a movie of her choice, for example.

Good luck! Remember her ha its weren't formed over night so it will take a little while to change them.
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Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I try to talk to her teacher every afternoon when I pick her up. We have 3 kiddos in the same school, I talk to all of their teacher's daily. I just Monday discussed with her teacher getting an e-mail each Friday about how the week went and what they will be studying the next week. But, her teacher hasn't mentioned the two papers that needed signed, they were both from before Thanksgiving break though.

I think I'll grab her an agenda/planner tomorrow and start in on that.

BM has taught her that it's OK to keep secrets, especially from DH and I (BM didn't want SD repeating what was being said and done around SD at BM's house), so we've been slowly working on that. If she tells the truth about something, we try to reward her in some way, even if it's just a LOT of praise for doing the right thing. I try not to be too hard on her because I know it's got to be difficult going from BM's house with no real rules and no real punishments to our house with rules and punishments.

We've been working on picture schedules of her morning and afternoon routines (part of her occupational therapy exercises, but also to help get her to do what needs to be done everyday). We've come a long with with personal hygiene, I'd just really like the lying and homework issue to be the next one that we work though. It's driving me insane. 

Quoting LittleMama2012:

Get her an agenda. She needs to write her homework in it daily and have each teacher sign that she wrote it. Parent needs to initial it was done. Also check to see if her classroom has a web page. That is how Dh made sure SD was doing all of her homework every day at bm's house. We would check the webpages to see what tests were coming up. We only have her on the weekends during the school year, but we make her read for 20 min everyday and she has to study for any upcoming tests. This brought her reading skills and test grades up.
Constant communication with the teachers. Email them once a week to see how she is doing. This will show her you are in communication and she will learn she can't hide things. Try a reward system for a little while. A week of complete homework and she gets to rent a movie of her choice, for example.

Good luck! Remember her ha its weren't formed over night so it will take a little while to change them.


LittleMama2012
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Get her a folder as well that is just for handouts and things that need to be signed. I think once she has a place to write it down and something to keep her organized, the homework issue will work itself out. Just be consistent. That is key with any child. My sister has a developmental delay. She is 19 but at times acts 8, sometimes 15, sometimes 19. It was said she would never go to high school. She graduated taking regular classes, on the principals list, in the top third of her class. She works at a daycare and frequently babysits my ds1 and ds4. She has overcome so much. She went through a period where she didn't do homework, lied, etc.

Consistency, praise, and consequences. One day she just decided she was going to high school and she would do well. And she did. She just enrolled in college for early childhood. Her goal is to go to nc state. They said she wouldn't be able to. She was discouraged. I told her she had accomplished everything she wanted and it may take her a little longer, but she could do it. So she will get a 2 year degree at community college and transfer.

So believe in her, praise her, listen to her dreams, encourage her, punish her when she lies, always be honest and consistent. She will develop good habits and succeed.


Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

I try to talk to her teacher every afternoon when I pick her up. We have 3 kiddos in the same school, I talk to all of their teacher's daily. I just Monday discussed with her teacher getting an e-mail each Friday about how the week went and what they will be studying the next week. But, her teacher hasn't mentioned the two papers that needed signed, they were both from before Thanksgiving break though.

I think I'll grab her an agenda/planner tomorrow and start in on that.

BM has taught her that it's OK to keep secrets, especially from DH and I (BM didn't want SD repeating what was being said and done around SD at BM's house), so we've been slowly working on that. If she tells the truth about something, we try to reward her in some way, even if it's just a LOT of praise for doing the right thing. I try not to be too hard on her because I know it's got to be difficult going from BM's house with no real rules and no real punishments to our house with rules and punishments.

We've been working on picture schedules of her morning and afternoon routines (part of her occupational therapy exercises, but also to help get her to do what needs to be done everyday). We've come a long with with personal hygiene, I'd just really like the lying and homework issue to be the next one that we work though. It's driving me insane. 


Quoting LittleMama2012:

Get her an agenda. She needs to write her homework in it daily and have each teacher sign that she wrote it. Parent needs to initial it was done. Also check to see if her classroom has a web page. That is how Dh made sure SD was doing all of her homework every day at bm's house. We would check the webpages to see what tests were coming up. We only have her on the weekends during the school year, but we make her read for 20 min everyday and she has to study for any upcoming tests. This brought her reading skills and test grades up.

Constant communication with the teachers. Email them once a week to see how she is doing. This will show her you are in communication and she will learn she can't hide things. Try a reward system for a little while. A week of complete homework and she gets to rent a movie of her choice, for example.



Good luck! Remember her ha its weren't formed over night so it will take a little while to change them.



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Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

She's a really great kid, just has some not so hot habits.

There's very little known about her disorder, there's about 70 people worldwide with it, and the only experts we've been able to contact live in England (we're in the NW of the US) and can't really give us much without examinging her. I've  been able to contact other parents who have children with the same disorder, and the prognosis isn't great, none of the people I've been in contact with have had their children reach adult mentality. Most are severely delayed.

SD starts middle school next year and there's no way she'll be able to take general ed classes. The biggest problem was that BM never had any supportive services in place (SD did 3 years of Kindergarten in a montessori school with no supportive services, and then went to 1st-4th grade in a private school with no supportive services). SD needed supportive services all along, and we've kinda of missed our window of opportunity to really give her the help she needed. I don't know if we'll be able to overcome everything that BM neglected :( 

Quoting LittleMama2012:

Get her a folder as well that is just for handouts and things that need to be signed. I think once she has a place to write it down and something to keep her organized, the homework issue will work itself out. Just be consistent. That is key with any child. My sister has a developmental delay. She is 19 but at times acts 8, sometimes 15, sometimes 19. It was said she would never go to high school. She graduated taking regular classes, on the principals list, in the top third of her class. She works at a daycare and frequently babysits my ds1 and ds4. She has overcome so much. She went through a period where she didn't do homework, lied, etc.

Consistency, praise, and consequences. One day she just decided she was going to high school and she would do well. And she did. She just enrolled in college for early childhood. Her goal is to go to nc state. They said she wouldn't be able to. She was discouraged. I told her she had accomplished everything she wanted and it may take her a little longer, but she could do it. So she will get a 2 year degree at community college and transfer.

So believe in her, praise her, listen to her dreams, encourage her, punish her when she lies, always be honest and consistent. She will develop good habits and succeed.


Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

I try to talk to her teacher every afternoon when I pick her up. We have 3 kiddos in the same school, I talk to all of their teacher's daily. I just Monday discussed with her teacher getting an e-mail each Friday about how the week went and what they will be studying the next week. But, her teacher hasn't mentioned the two papers that needed signed, they were both from before Thanksgiving break though.

I think I'll grab her an agenda/planner tomorrow and start in on that.

BM has taught her that it's OK to keep secrets, especially from DH and I (BM didn't want SD repeating what was being said and done around SD at BM's house), so we've been slowly working on that. If she tells the truth about something, we try to reward her in some way, even if it's just a LOT of praise for doing the right thing. I try not to be too hard on her because I know it's got to be difficult going from BM's house with no real rules and no real punishments to our house with rules and punishments.

We've been working on picture schedules of her morning and afternoon routines (part of her occupational therapy exercises, but also to help get her to do what needs to be done everyday). We've come a long with with personal hygiene, I'd just really like the lying and homework issue to be the next one that we work though. It's driving me insane. 




LittleMama2012
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM
1 mom liked this
Maybe you will overcome and maybe you won't, but at least you are trying. She is lucky to have you both in her life. I would just continue what you are doing. She will learn better habits over time. I would work with her over holidays and summers. As long as you always are there and never give up, love her for her and always encourage her, she will reach her full potential. Whatever that may be.


Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

She's a really great kid, just has some not so hot habits.

There's very little known about her disorder, there's about 70 people worldwide with it, and the only experts we've been able to contact live in England (we're in the NW of the US) and can't really give us much without examinging her. I've  been able to contact other parents who have children with the same disorder, and the prognosis isn't great, none of the people I've been in contact with have had their children reach adult mentality. Most are severely delayed.

SD starts middle school next year and there's no way she'll be able to take general ed classes. The biggest problem was that BM never had any supportive services in place (SD did 3 years of Kindergarten in a montessori school with no supportive services, and then went to 1st-4th grade in a private school with no supportive services). SD needed supportive services all along, and we've kinda of missed our window of opportunity to really give her the help she needed. I don't know if we'll be able to overcome everything that BM neglected :( 


Quoting LittleMama2012:

Get her a folder as well that is just for handouts and things that need to be signed. I think once she has a place to write it down and something to keep her organized, the homework issue will work itself out. Just be consistent. That is key with any child. My sister has a developmental delay. She is 19 but at times acts 8, sometimes 15, sometimes 19. It was said she would never go to high school. She graduated taking regular classes, on the principals list, in the top third of her class. She works at a daycare and frequently babysits my ds1 and ds4. She has overcome so much. She went through a period where she didn't do homework, lied, etc.



Consistency, praise, and consequences. One day she just decided she was going to high school and she would do well. And she did. She just enrolled in college for early childhood. Her goal is to go to nc state. They said she wouldn't be able to. She was discouraged. I told her she had accomplished everything she wanted and it may take her a little longer, but she could do it. So she will get a 2 year degree at community college and transfer.



So believe in her, praise her, listen to her dreams, encourage her, punish her when she lies, always be honest and consistent. She will develop good habits and succeed.





Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

I try to talk to her teacher every afternoon when I pick her up. We have 3 kiddos in the same school, I talk to all of their teacher's daily. I just Monday discussed with her teacher getting an e-mail each Friday about how the week went and what they will be studying the next week. But, her teacher hasn't mentioned the two papers that needed signed, they were both from before Thanksgiving break though.

I think I'll grab her an agenda/planner tomorrow and start in on that.

BM has taught her that it's OK to keep secrets, especially from DH and I (BM didn't want SD repeating what was being said and done around SD at BM's house), so we've been slowly working on that. If she tells the truth about something, we try to reward her in some way, even if it's just a LOT of praise for doing the right thing. I try not to be too hard on her because I know it's got to be difficult going from BM's house with no real rules and no real punishments to our house with rules and punishments.

We've been working on picture schedules of her morning and afternoon routines (part of her occupational therapy exercises, but also to help get her to do what needs to be done everyday). We've come a long with with personal hygiene, I'd just really like the lying and homework issue to be the next one that we work though. It's driving me insane. 






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sassy711
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Time will help your SD overcome her "bad" habits.  That and your constant and positive reinforcement.  Maybe buy a large calendar just for her and put it in a visable area of the kitchen, or living room.  As you and DH check her work and if she doesn't lie give her a gold star on the calendar.  If she lies, but does her school work then maybe a silver star.  Then post a reward list next to the calendar.  3 silver stars equal 1 gold star.  5 red stars  equal 1 gold star.  10 gold stars "earns" a movie.  15 gold stars earns ___.  The point is that you are combining school work and lying into a point system and in time she will equate not lying with a reward.  She will also equate completion of school work with a reward.  If you stress the positive behavior she will get it.

Hats off to you for being such a good role model and undertaking this challenging situation.  HIGH FIVE!

lnr187
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

 have a meeting with the teacher. if teacher won't cooperate, then have a meeting with the principal. you can request that a DATED newsletter be sent home every week, even if it says "all assignments are completed" this way you know that every single week there is a paper, so you dont have to wonder if one is hidden. or opt for email communication of the assignments in addition to the newsletter. (then you can test if she's lying). she'll eventually learn that  she can't get away with this stuff, and it would save her time in the long run to just do it right away, than to put it off and hear the same lecture over and over again. basically annoy the crap out of her till she gets the point lol. you just keep reminding her of her responsibilities as a student.
as far as the lying... i don't think there's any other way to change the lying habit other than punishment. take away her favorite thing. for my ss5 it is tv/movies. if we catch him in a lie, big or small, he loses tv for a whole week. it has been working.

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM

It is a dated newsletter, which is why I feel DH and I are just as responsible for not double checking each Friday. The teacher is usually really great, this mess up was on SD not being honest, and us not double checking :(

The problem with punishments is that there's nothing she really LOVES that we can take away. She's used to just sitting and doing nothing. BM's way of punishing her was a lot of yelling (both SD and BM have told us this) and to just send SD to her room alone. It's hard because we don't exactly know SD's cognitive level and how much she really understands. I think a reward chart would work better than punishments.

What we're doing right now (starting this last Monday) is that everyday I, or DH when he's home, go through her backpack with her everyday as soon as she gets home. We gather all the papers and go through them together. Then she has to sit in the living room, but in a location where she can't see the TV (our almost 6 year old plays wii fit after school, she has ADHD, SPD, ODD, and mood disorder-NOS, and possible Autism, and she needs an outlet after school and this is what works). I set a timer for her reading (25 minutes everyday) after she reads I have her get up and go to the bathroom, then I set the timer for another 25 minutes for her to write her reading summary, and do her math and spelling. Usually it takes her longer than the 25 minutes, but we're working on time management as well (also part of her occupational therapy). But, every 25 minutes she has to get up and do something else (go to the bathroom or do her therapy stretches/exercises). That's what we do until she's done.

But, in the mix of all of that, my DS almost 10 has homework and it needs to be looked over, DD almost 6 has to do wii fit and then needs to be monitored closely, and there's DD 4, LOL. So, afternoons/evenings are busy around here. Every Monday after school middle DD has therapy, every other Wednesday SD and DD have therapy, every Friday SD has therapy, and then we have other appointments in that mix as well. So, our routine is never the exact same depending on what's going on that day. And then there's dinner.

Quoting lnr187:

 have a meeting with the teacher. if teacher won't cooperate, then have a meeting with the principal. you can request that a DATED newsletter be sent home every week, even if it says "all assignments are completed" this way you know that every single week there is a paper, so you dont have to wonder if one is hidden. or opt for email communication of the assignments in addition to the newsletter. (then you can test if she's lying). she'll eventually learn that  she can't get away with this stuff, and it would save her time in the long run to just do it right away, than to put it off and hear the same lecture over and over again. basically annoy the crap out of her till she gets the point lol. you just keep reminding her of her responsibilities as a student.
as far as the lying... i don't think there's any other way to change the lying habit other than punishment. take away her favorite thing. for my ss5 it is tv/movies. if we catch him in a lie, big or small, he loses tv for a whole week. it has been working.


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