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what next? asd kid fights everything about schooling


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#1 gardenmom5

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:05 PM

I need suggestions.

 

dudeling is 12.  he has been formally diagnosed asd, apd, anxiety - along with some odd and maybe add. by the child dev clinic associated with the medical school.

 

I've been taking him to a ND and he's made phenomenal progress.  he is in public school because he gets support there I can't give him at home.  (and he's exhausting) he has an IEP and teams  of at least four teachers/paras/specialists working with him. (and they find him exhausting)   his teachers last year were phenomenal.  this year, things have changed, and he's havinga harder time.  he's also 12 and we're seeing physical signs of puberty - so, hormones.

 

he fights and fights and fights about school. we can't get him to do anything without sitting with him and going through things step by step.  it's exhausting to encourage and cajole just to get him to cooperate.  he works himself into a tizzy thinking things are going to be horrible.  usually, they're not nearly as awful as he thinks it will be.

 

I'm thinking about add rx. . .his ND will refer.  there does seem to be a focus problem that is out of his control.

 

I've wondered about a counselor - I'm seriously afraid of even mentioning that one to my dh.  $$.  we spend a lot on him already.  I've also thought about breaking down and getting him a cat (he's always wanted one.  we have cat allergies.)   If I thought it would make a big improvement - I would live with the allergies and tell dh tough, we're doing this.  but I don't know.  the humane society does have a "30 day trial" as encouragement to get less desirable (re: older) animals adopted.  I'm thinking of that.  I also read something about cat food without any wheat can reduce allergens.

 

any suggestions  please, I want to help this little boy.  he's a sweet kid, but he has his challenges. 



#2 OhElizabeth

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:17 PM

The problem with late diagnosis is maybe they're not set up to do all they would have done, had he been diagnosed at say 4 or 5 or 6. Doesn't mean you can't do it, just means that maybe the ps isn't set up to do it.

 

You can look at ABA. You can see if the ps is doing ABA (probably not). You could put him in a private autism school that does ABA. You can move to an area with an autism school that does ABA.

 

In our area, people would not leave their kids in the ps in that situation. They would pull out, take the state disability scholarship, and go to an autism school. 

 

Oh, the stats for ABA say 3 years. My ds is finally calming down with reflex work. Like calming in ways we never thought possible without meds. So besides nutritional, look at the reflexes. I'm not really an all eggs in one basket kind of person, cuz it's definitely not that. Like I'm not saying wow ABA would cure everything. And me, I'm all for nutrition and supplements and stuff, sure. But the reflex work was ASTONISHING here.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 04 April 2017 - 05:18 PM.


#3 Lecka

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:55 PM

Do you think he might be anxious? I have heard (anecdotally of course lol) if anxiety coming on more in puberty and kids going on medication and doing more anxiety interventions/strategies then.

It sounds like a maybe with getting worked up thinking things will be too hard.

I also wonder about going back to easier work he can do independently, I have heard of that helping.

Have you really asked at school? Is there any one you can ask there? Do you think maybe you have been rushed or there has been some agenda before, and maybe you could schedule a time to talk and just ask for ideas and suggestions.

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

My son with autism is only 8, so I definitely don't have first-hand experience, but my older son is 11 and also starting to have some hormones.

These are things I have heard brought up at parent support group, those are some things I think people would say.

I have an ABA approach with my son, too, I don't know what your options are but I wouldn't knock it.

But I have heard a lot of anecdotes where it turned out to improve with anxiety stuff, and they weren't even sure it was anxiety. I don't know what an ND is but maybe that person would have an opinon?

My son got observed last year with us wondering about anxiety as something to rule out.... and it is ruled out for now.

We ended up changing how often he got re-inforcement to be more frequent and more fun --
so more of ABA.

But I have been told that for my son's profile they often see kids become anxious as they get older and more socially aware, so it is something for me to watch for.

But to date my main experience is with ABA.

Edit--
I am just going to throw this out there, but if your son is one of the oldest kids in elementary school, it might be worth talking to a middle school (autism) teacher. They are used to the hormones and stuff more than an elementary school teacher. I think that is worth asking -- you might be having a transition meeting anyway if he is moving to middle school next year. If he moved up this year, you might ask last year's teachers for any ideas.

Good luck, again!!!!!!!!

Edited by Lecka, 04 April 2017 - 08:07 PM.

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#4 Moved On

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:00 PM

Deleted for privacy.  

 

Edited by Moved On, 18 August 2017 - 06:54 PM.

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#5 Moved On

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:23 PM

Deleted for privacy.  

 

Edited by Moved On, 18 August 2017 - 06:55 PM.


#6 Moved On

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 11:34 PM

Has he been tested for LDs? How is he keeping up academically? That might be something else worth looking into.
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#7 Lecka

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:03 AM

I am going to add this -- TEACCH.

At my son's old school they didn't do a lot of this for his age, but would do probably 30 minutes a day of independent work to teach independent work skills.

So there would be a box with something to do, with my son's name, and he would be supposed to be independent from getting the box, to going to the table, to doing what was in the box, to putting what was in the box away.

So -- that was supposed to build independent work skills. They said with having an aide my son was at a high risk of just not building independent work skills unless they specifically made it part of his day.

So he would have something easy or review in his box.

I don't think this is a magical solution, but if there is anything he does independently, maybe build on that. Or -- honestly I think for my son building independent work skills and taking the time to do this, it did come at the expense of other learning and covering material. But the school wanted hik to do it anyway.

Then with that there is stuff like -- following a visual schedule (or list for a reader).

My older son has handwriting difficulties and we had behavior like this related to handwriting. (He does not have ASD.). There are supports that can be googled with "task initiation" and "task initiation" is an "executive function." He had executive functioning goals and supports on his IEP.

This was stuff like -- having help to get started and then he worked independently (to get through the "getting started" part), not working to fatigue, mini-goals, having less on a page.

He also did this and my younger son has done it: crossing off part of a page. For my older son it was to answer orally or just do his best work on the rest (and he might only do the hardest part and skip easier things).

For my younger son, with his ABA therapist she has said "if you start fast I can cross off the bottom of the page." So he could get a reinforcer directly related to "wanting to do less" for "getting started quickly and showing on-task behavior." But he is an easy kid in a lot of ways and I think this is the kind of thing teachers know to try. This is not the kind of thing that solves every problem -- but has worked great for my son. Other problems have been solved by things like letting him earn more time on the trampoline more frequently.
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#8 Lecka

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:06 AM

Www.handwriting-solutions.com This is a website about handwriting supports/accommodations.

If he is resistant to handwriting specifically or fatigues with handwriting, it might help.

#9 Plink

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:13 AM

We found ourselves in a very similar situation. Anxiety meds helped a lot.

Our ASD child needs her dog. It isn't really an option to go without that emotional support. That said, we have severe allergies too, and I wouldn't sacrifice the health of the rest of the family for one child. Our solution was to get a toy poodle. The dog is as hypo-allergenic as possible, smaller than most cats, and happier to be dragged along on outings and participate in obedience trials (something my ASD child excells at and a place where she meets new friends).
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#10 Lecka

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:01 AM

We have a great, wonderful dog.

I am just going to mention issues we have had.

Being able to tell the dog wants to be left alone. We had to work on that.

Then, I was surprised how much we had to work on things like -- if the dog wants to sit a certain way, and doesn't want to sit the other way, don't keep trying to make her sit the other way.

I would consider -- and I don't know about cats -- but one of my kids wanting to pick up and hold the cat and not wanting to let the cat show how it wanted to be held. Or wanting to pet the cat but the cat is ready to stop being petted.

We didn't get a dog until I thought my kids would treat a dog nicely, these were more minor things but I didn't realize they would have to be things I worked on.

Our dog is good for my son, very good, but more in a fun way and a way where he has shown some responsibility with letting the dog out and feeding and brushing the dog, and he likes to talk and play with the dog. The dog gets him outside and keeps him company outside, which is really good sometimes (when he needs a break and some running around,
he is eager to do it with the dog).

In our situation it is not really emotional support. And, the child where I thought maybe it would be emotional support is the one who understands less that he can't just make the dog do things whether the dog wants to or not. But it has been a good learning experience! But it turns out this is the child who does less with the dog.

Edit: thinking about it more, my son who doesn't do as well with the dog, he has a hard time reading the dog's body language. It makes it hard in some ways for the sitting/petting type stuff. For playing it is fine.

My son who does have autism is a bit better with the body language I think, but also more interested in spending a lot of time playing and giving snacks, so the dog seems to like him more, too.

Edited by Lecka, 05 April 2017 - 08:09 AM.


#11 kbutton

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:08 PM

I think I would consider meds for the attention and the anxiety. I am not sure which I'd start with given that in our house, the ADHD meds actually decreased the anxiety. A lot of the anxiety was from feeling a lack of control over daily life and tasks, and the meds gave him great concentration to do what he wanted to do.

 

We have a family counselor, but in regard to ASD, she's as much an idea generator/listener as anything else. Our son is not big on just talking about how he feels. He does talk to her from time to time, but it's more for us.

 

This book is CBT-based (cognitive behavioral therapy), and CBT is the gold standard for anxiety. I think it has to be tailored to the child though, and ASD kids have their own sort of logic, so I don't know if it would work or not. It's worth looking at, and it's to be used with parent and child together. http://www.prufrock....d-ed-P2849.aspx

 

Tony Attwood has a book on depression and anxiety that might be good insight, and it might be something to work through. This is also CBT based and talks about the challenges unique to dealing with this for ASD individuals. http://www.tonyattwo...ating-the-blues

 

I think ABA can be rewarding for kids and another tool. It relies less on the child having some insight into themselves or being able to identify emotions, etc. I mean, I bet there are some great scripts a person could use from CBT if you figure out what your son is stressing about, but some kids require a crystal ball. With ABA, the stress is on interpreting needs through behavior, and I think it's more concrete that way. Then, ABA builds skills based on those needs/behaviors. 

 

It's not an either/or necessarily, but they are definitely different approaches.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:



#12 Moved On

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 05:49 PM

Anxiety has many forms. I would not assume depression.

If anxiety is affecting the child in many areas of life, a professional would be best equipped to do CBT. That is something to discuss with a psychologist. Unfortunately, there are not too many parent friendly CBT resources out for autism, and self-help books at this age might not be very useful.

I have used resources that are not autism specific and I use components of the process for areas I feel my kids need it. CBT incorporates many different *cognitive* techniques as you can see from this quote:

"CBT uses a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques, but it isn’t defined by its use of these strategies. We do lots of problem solving and we borrow from many psychotherapeutic modalities, including dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, Gestalt therapy, compassion focused therapy, mindfulness, solution focused therapy, motivational interviewing, positive psychology, interpersonal psychotherapy, and when it comes to personality disorders, psychodynamic psychotherapy."

Found here:
https://www.beckinst...nitive-therapy/

If the anxiety and behaviors are only in the school setting, I would check for LDs. Undiagnosed LDs can also be anxiety-inducing.

#13 Moved On

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:16 PM

nm


Edited by Moved On, 18 August 2017 - 06:56 PM.


#14 Moved On

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:37 PM

nm


Edited by Moved On, 18 August 2017 - 06:57 PM.


#15 Storygirl

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:23 PM

We have a great, wonderful dog.

I am just going to mention issues we have had.

Being able to tell the dog wants to be left alone. We had to work on that.

Then, I was surprised how much we had to work on things like -- if the dog wants to sit a certain way, and doesn't want to sit the other way, don't keep trying to make her sit the other way.

I would consider -- and I don't know about cats -- but one of my kids wanting to pick up and hold the cat and not wanting to let the cat show how it wanted to be held. Or wanting to pet the cat but the cat is ready to stop being petted.

We didn't get a dog until I thought my kids would treat a dog nicely, these were more minor things but I didn't realize they would have to be things I worked on.

Our dog is good for my son, very good, but more in a fun way and a way where he has shown some responsibility with letting the dog out and feeding and brushing the dog, and he likes to talk and play with the dog. The dog gets him outside and keeps him company outside, which is really good sometimes (when he needs a break and some running around,
he is eager to do it with the dog).

In our situation it is not really emotional support. And, the child where I thought maybe it would be emotional support is the one who understands less that he can't just make the dog do things whether the dog wants to or not. But it has been a good learning experience! But it turns out this is the child who does less with the dog.

Edit: thinking about it more, my son who doesn't do as well with the dog, he has a hard time reading the dog's body language. It makes it hard in some ways for the sitting/petting type stuff. For playing it is fine.

My son who does have autism is a bit better with the body language I think, but also more interested in spending a lot of time playing and giving snacks, so the dog seems to like him more, too.

 

We have a cat, and DS definitely has trouble reading her body language and treating her in ways that she likes, instead of just doing what he wants with her. Lecka's thoughts correspond with what I would say. Also, not all cats like to be held, and some cats choose which people will be their people and kind of ignore other members of the household. So there isn't a guarantee that a cat would be a therapeutic pet. Some cats would be great at it, but others would not. Being able to return it to the shelter if it doesn't work out is a good perk, but that could be really distressing for your child.

 

DS really objects to doing his homework on many days. His ADHD meds make a big difference in his ability to cooperate; unfortunately, they wear off at the end of the school day. Our pediatrician has given him an additional dose for evening use when he needs to concentrate, but we try not to use it often, because it affects his appetite, and if we wait until after dinner, it doesn't wear off before bedtime. So it's a balancing act. It's possible that ADHD meds could help your son's compliance at school, and with better compliance there, he may end up with less work to finish at home at night.

 

It may be worth exploring the option with his doctor.