PDD NOS at School- what works?

H - posted on 11/08/2015 ( no moms have responded yet )

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DS is in 4th grade and has been struggling at school (and home/socially) since (birth) PreK. I am at wits end. He has a 504 plan which basically includes a BIP (behavior improvement plan); none of it is being followed. He has had BIPs in the past but responds as a child of trauma, that is to say not enough cognitive function in the prefrontal cortex to make it effective- traditionally the deficit could be met with building relationships/trust but clearly this will not happen at school where an adversarial atmosphere has developed. In any case, unsure what the prognosis is regarding PDD-NOS (which is now just Autism) and correcting the deficits in development and how likely it is versus children with high ACE scores or ADD/ADHD (symptoms of which can mimic one another). DS behavioral issues, those that land him in ISS (in-school suspension), are work refusal (I can't do it, its too hard, no I won't do it, head down on desk etc) or more recently due to his pencil obsession, pencil sharpening and breaking the leads to the point it annoys the teacher to death and becomes disruptive to the class. He was denied an IEP due to "too high test scores"- seems to be on course as far as traditional curriculum. His grades are all over the map, As-Fs and back again and everything in between. His scores within the subjects are all over as well, generally he can ace subjects where the goal is rote memorization- spelling, social science/history, science (so far more involved with facts than process), multiplication facts (failing division), reading fluency (fails comprehension). Vocabulary and english/grammar tend to be more of a struggle as well. Aversion to eye contact/looking up complicates following along with processes. Sensory processing disorder and anxiety can complicate the processes at school (and certainly at home)- for example he tends to have behavioral issues daily after lunch, which is of course a highly-stimulating environment- he says the food makes him feel SUPER energized and excited like he just has to move? Fine motor skills are at a serious deficit, writing is laborious for him, pencil grip is completely wrong and tendons in his fingers and hands are underdeveloped. He is doing SO MUCH better socially now and will play with other kids just fine, he will even interact with adults now *sometimes* usually when directly engaged.

The school psychologist has been unable to meet him in the course of the past two and a half years because she is too busy. The school counselor does not have time to work with him in individual sessions or and said he seemed resistant to working with her on the BIP so she isn't. I went to family court and filed a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) petition to try and get him assistance at school by means of a TDT (Transitional Day Therapy) worker- they are assigned in the school already but only allowed to medicaid students. Months later it was granted and he now has this help at school, but it seems to be very limited, social interaction at breakfast and lunch- not real help in the class when he's refusing to work. Occupational therapist- I guess there is none or he doesn't qualify? There is extended day help available to students with academic struggles, but DS was excluded again despite his failing grades and test scores- presumably because they do not want to deal with him. Administration feels all of this is a disciplinary issue that needs to be handled at home, preferably by physical punishment. I am concerned with this aspect as well (the treatment he receives behind closed doors) because of the way the principal has gotten into my face/space to intimidate me and gotten sarcastic and mocking with me, even mimicking my son when I asked what had happened after being called from work (again) to pick him up from school (she outright refused to tell me on another occasion).

Outside of school he sees an in-home intensive therapist 4 hours a week, has sports 2x a week, we travel to the "big city" for occupational therapy once a week, and he has math tutoring. Basically his appointments and activities are my entire life outside of school during the week and poor younger DS is along for the ride. He sees a child psychiatrist quarterly takes Zoloft for anxiety.

Sorry this was so long, hard to sum it up. What have you found helps? 504 or IEP?

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