I am angry.
I am angry at how much I was reaching out to address the problems.
I am angry at how little was helped.
I am angry that the other day she said, "He was in the cafeteria and I was trying to get his attention and he was chewing on a plastic bag from his lunch, just chewing and chewing on it."
It's April. I've been describing SPD to her all year long - WHAT it is, WHY it happens, WHAT triggers it.
But you also don't want to be this:
So, instead of contacting the principal, we really tried to A.) Figure out what was causing the behavior. B.) Help him find coping strategies to control his own behavior when being bombarded with sensory overload C.) Not be those parents
But he kept coming home - every day - with a "2" on his chart. Never earning a treasure box toy. Having "bad" behavior pointed out nearly every day. I am not kidding you - nearly every single day. Mostly "making noises," "being silly," or "being distracting." The time she told me he had chewed the end of a pencil so much - and rather than be concerned about WHY he did it, she simply mentioned it was "very dangerous - look how sharp the end of that is now."
And now we have a little boy who is clearly hurting. I feel like I've neglected him all year by NOT being "those parents."
Anyway. I had forgotten about October 7.
I was very disappointed with Alex for the note in his folder today. I would like to better understand what's been going on with him - has this been every day? (He received "3's" the other days, but the note mentioned he "has been" having difficulty listening.)
Could you please elaborate a bit on time of day, and perhaps the type of assignments?
I am so sorry that he was disrespectful in your classroom. This is very out of character for him in a school setting. I am really concerned about this sudden change in behavior and want to make sure we address it right away.
My reply to her reply:
My reply to her reply:
Thank you for that information. I would like to schedule a conference to discuss his behavior at your convenience. I appreciate your willingness to meet. It's really important to me that he start out on the right foot and build good learning skills at the beginning. I am a teacher as well (although staying home for now).
He does have mild sensory processing disorder, but last year was a good year for him. I've noticed his sensory-seeking behaviors creeping up again, and have been addressing them at home with activities and strategies. Meeting with you would definitely help me better understand what's happening and if I need to seek out occupational therapy again.
If he was screaming at other times, he did not mention it to me - but I did stress to him to not scream inside of a classroom, not ever.Story Time: He mentioned he has problems concentrating during stories. He said he feels "silly sitting up in the chair." I know why he was moved to sit in a chair, but perhaps that can be revisited and he could hold a bean bag or small weighted pillow instead? I really am puzzled by this. Alex has been read to, multiple times per day, since he was born. We even read chapter books without pictures some times. He can read several Bob books on his own. After my background check has been approved - perhaps I could observe him, if this behavior doesn't improve?I also asked Alex to please ask for permission to use the restroom *before* story time - as sometimes his behavior becomes animated when he needs to use the bathroom.Last - he mentioned having problems in science. He had no explanation for why - other than "the teacher said a lot of kids were having problems today." Science is one of his favorite subjects, he loves experiments, discussing clouds and weather, astronomy, etc.. Again - I mentioned setting a good example, a positive example and not being silly simply because other people were being silly or because he "thought he could get away with it."I really want Alex to be successful in school. I don't want for him to start off his school career developing bad habits in behavior. If there is more I can do at home to help with this, please let me know.
I spoke with Alex about his "2" yesterday - as you can imagine he was very disappointed with himself because he will miss out on the treasure chest and he will also not be allowed a special gift at home this weekend. As a parent, I am disappointed because I want my child to make the right choices. I wanted to let you know what he and I discussed.Screaming: He said he screamed "shush" at the end of school because it was very loud in the classroom. I told him it's unacceptable to do this, that it is the teacher's job - not his - to quiet a classroom, if it in fact needs to be quieted. Alex does get bothered by very loud sounds sometimes, so I advised him to cover his ears with his hands if the noise gets very loud. If this is a problem (for him to cover his ears), please let me know.
Thank you for the note explaining Alex's behaviors. We will continue to monitor and reinforce at home. Is he still sitting in the chair - I was curious if he could try sitting on the floor again but holding the busy object? He's expressed he doesn't like sitting in the chair and "feels silly." I understand (as he does) if he moves around too much he will not be able to sit on the floor, but could this be revisited?
It's frustrating and frankly heartbreaking as a mother to see him struggling this much. It is very upsetting to see his education "career" starting out like this.
Thank you for keeping me informed about his classroom behavior.
My reply to her reply:
My reply to her reply:
Thank you so much for your reply and the feedback regarding Alex. I understand about the chair/pillow situation and the potential for distracting other children. Thank you for letting me know about the chewing - this sensory-seeking behavior happened often when he was three. I found that offering him crunchy snacks and foods with meals helps (I'll be sure to pack snacks and lunches that assist with this). Can you please tell me what the necklace is,exactly? Would it be possible for him to bring in his own chew-necklace so that I can wash it each night? I understand if this would be a distraction.I am thinking that Alex is a bit overwhelmed, sensory-wise. I have decided to call our occupational therapist so that we can learn new coping strategies for Alex. I suspect a lot of this is from the schedule that kindergarten has - there isn't a lot of time for free movement throughout the day (rolling, running, etc.) and unfortunately that can send some sensory kids into a bad spot (as described to me by his occupational therapist - why it's important for them to learn coping strategies when this happens). I don't want him to be a distraction to others, and of course want him to figure all of this out so he can focus on learning and developing friendships.
Thank you very much for the note and homework information for Alex. I appreciate you taking the time at the last minute to share this information.Regarding his behavior in lunch today and the last few days - he isn't being very forthcoming with me about what happened in lunch (rare, because he usually tells me what happens). I know he hasn't been feeling well lately, and unfortunately in sensory kids, when they have even minor sinus or allergy issues - their behavior suffers as a result. This isn't an excuse and we are trying incredibly hard at home with Alex for his behavior to be consistently positive at school.
I am curious if we require another conference with you to address Alex's behavior, which was consistently poor this week according to your chart. Looking at many of the behaviors, I am seeing quite a bit of sensory seeking (falling out of chair, making noises, poking self in stomach, being loud while coming in from recess) and these behaviors - as we have discussed - often happen when sensory children are not able to move around enough, are over-stimulated (a lot of noise) or under-stimulated (being bored and sitting in one place for extended periods of time), or don't feel well (he has also had a minor sinus infection again).We are taking Alex to occupational therapy with our own money and time. I feed him gluten-free foods and his diet in general is specifically to help his sensory problems. We have high expectations of BOTH of our children's behavior at home and are as consistent as possible with expectations and consequences. I feel like he is being labeled a bad child. Or maybe he is a bad child at school, I don't know. I am extremely frustrated and 100% heartbroken that kindergarten is like this for him and that he is struggling so much.
And I realize that he has to figure out how to control his sensory problems at school. If he's bored academically, it's not an excuse to be silly or distract anyone. But he's also five, and I feel like we should work together on helping him figure this out - and to me, sending him home everyday feeling like he is a bad kid just isn't working. It's just making him feel bad, and he still can't seem to fix the problems - even though we are working very hard at home.