Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Alternative School full of ADHD kids

Posted by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 7:15 AM
  • 7 Replies
  • 191 Total Views
Yesterday I was a substitute teacher at an alternative middle school. Not surprisingly, 30-40% of the kids seemed to have ADHD. The rest would copy their bad behaviors. One of the things that got a kid sent to the "Focus Room" was repetitive noise. This is not mentioned in a regular school. But you know that some kids with ADHD cannot stop tapping. Then the regular kids do it. So at any moment someone was making repetitive noise. There was a lot of talking and hitting. There were also at least 2 kids out of their seats at any time. This is apparently what they do even with their regular teacher. They would get 2 warnings for a specific behavior before being sent out and we averaged 2 kids getting sent to the Focus Room in any 45 minute period. This is in a class of 10! They have an amazing ratio of 5 kids to 1 adult. There is a paraprofessional in the class. There is also a guidance counselor and a social worker for each group of 45 kids. I have subbed in a 1st grade class in the district that had 27 kids with 1 teacher and no other adult in the room. We are pouring resources into this school. None of the kids seemed to be mentally deficient. They just all make lousy choices so they failed at regular school and got sent to the alternative school for a year to improve their academics. Even with constant communication with the parents and constant positive reinforcement and feedback, only about half of them did anything and even that was limited. The expectations were lower than in a regular 8th grade class and they still wouldn't meet them. It was very frustrating and basically unbelievable. Half of the 45 minute lesson was to watch "Apollo 13" and they wouldn't even pay attention to a movie! The thing that I didn't understand was that all of them seemed to have fancy cell phones. I don't care how much money I have, if my child failed at school badly enough academically and in behavior to be sent there, he would have nothing and be earning back minor priveleges. One of my friends is doing that with her non-ADHD 8th grade son and it finally got through to him. Something that makes me sad is that so many of these kids are on the track to dropping out of high school and winding up in crime. Most of them blame the teachers anytime they get in trouble. Cusswords were flying like crazy. Looking down the road, I can't see about 80% of them doing well in jobs because they don't care, are lazy and have bad attitudes. A few of them did understand that they were being given a second chance. Thanks for reading. I had to share my crazy day with someone!
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 7:15 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-7):
MomOfOneCoolKid
by Bronze Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Thanks for posting this Verrine.

Although that makes me so so sad :(

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Bronze Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Even with that great ratio, i guess they just need one-on-one... i think any kid needs the right environment/motivation to succeed.... and it our job as the adults (school, parents, school district) to see to it that they do succeed...

 

Unless the child has something like schizophrenia or very severe emotional disabilities, there has to be a way to help them suceed and be motivated within a school environment...

Verrine
by Bronze Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM
My SD said that also. The main thing with success is that the person has to WANT it. Parents and teachers who care can only provide tools. The child has to decide to use the tools. Most of these kids simply didn't care. Unless the parent specifically requests it, the child only gets one year in the special school. One girl who was doing what she was supposed to said that her mother had worked out an agreement where she'd stay there for all of middle school because in her other school she hadn't been doing anything. I didn't mention the school is only 6 years old! All the regular kids are in schools that were built before the Vietnam War.
21lisa72
by Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Sounds lousy, I dont think they would learn from all the negative behavior around them.  They need positive stimui! 

lazyd
by Bronze Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM
1 mom liked this

This is exactly the school i will be sending my son to when he enter the 7th grade.  Sorry ladies!  He will be in the 6th grade next year (if he makes it that far - he would quit school now if he could) - i wish i could send him in the 6th grade, but it is a 7th to 12th grade school.  My daughter doesnt have any "mental" issues but goes there now, cuz she cant handle all the "girl drama" of a regular middle school (cuz adhd is mostly (not all) boys and so are other "mental" issues), my daughter is one of only a few girls in her current school, which suits her just fine.  She is NOT lazy and is a straight A student.  Now my son on the other is adhd/odd/severe anxiety and needs the one on one help or he throws raging fits and cusses up a storm.  My son is also NOT lazy but a very talented boy in some areas of life, and not soo much in other areas (like math).  My son learns better by walking around - that does not mean he is not listening.  My son can be watching tv, playing games on his tablet - all at the same time - and even if you are not talking to him directly - he can still recite the whole conversation!!  He learns by auditory senses.  But if his auditory senses get overwhelmed with too much noise - than he needs to go to a "quiet" area and relax.  If you dont have a child with these "mental" issues and you are not a regular teacher who will meet with the parents than you cant really understand who these children are or what their home life is like.  My kids are NOT "failures" at ANYTHING!  I go to ALL parent conferences and am in constant contact with my son's teachers and my daughter advisor and homework is a BIG priority.  

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Bronze Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM



Quoting Verrine:

My SD said that also. The main thing with success is that the person has to WANT it. Parents and teachers who care can only provide tools. The child has to decide to use the tools. Most of these kids simply didn't care. Unless the parent specifically requests it, the child only gets one year in the special school. One girl who was doing what she was supposed to said that her mother had worked out an agreement where she'd stay there for all of middle school because in her other school she hadn't been doing anything. I didn't mention the school is only 6 years old! All the regular kids are in schools that were built before the Vietnam War.


ALL children want to succeed.

Verrine
by Bronze Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I am not saying that these children are failures or lazy in any other area. I agree that all children want to be successful, but not all children see the point of trying in school. My DH would have dropped out of high school but his father wouldn't let him and my DH is very intelligent. He is a self-taught computer programmer who just hates school.

There were 2 boys in the front row who wouldn't even open their books (all their books are brand new, meanwhile the reading book my son brought home last year had all its pages were falling out). I asked one why he was in school if he didn't want to do anything. He said that otherwise his parents would be sent to jail. So, at least he cares about that. These were not bad kids. They did not seem emotionally disturbed and certainly weren't stupid. They just didn't care about school. No teacher or parent can make them care.

My friend's son who is failing is a Boy Scout. He is smart and respectful and well-mannered. He would be a good employee. He is a good brother. He just doesn't care about school. His mother has finally punished him enough that he cares about avoiding that, though.  

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)