General chatter - stressing and ready to cry - really long, sorry

04-18-2012, 01:09 PM
my oldest daughter has asperger's syndrome - she suffered all through school with children bullying and tormenting her until she hit high school in a town where nobody knew her and could reinvent her personality. she quickly became an It Girl but still didn't graduate.

EVERY TERM i had to go into whichever school she was attending (she didn't attend the same school more than 2yrs in a row until she went to high school because of the problems) and tear a strip off at least one teacher. they would discipline her for "disrupting class" - SHE HAS TOURETTE'S, YOU J-----S!!!!! they would tell her off for not paying attention (HELLOOOOOO!!!! ADHD!!!! THE REAL DEAL!!!!) and so on. i asked one teacher on the third visit in to speak with her, "didn't you read her file?????"

the response? "i don't have time for that". it's not hard: it was stapled to the front cover of the folder! all she had to do was open it!

my second daughter, caitlin - every year from grade three on, i would go in and talk to them because i was worried. her reports were 100% NOT my daughter. they said she was lazy, lacked focus, unwilling to participate, did not follow instruction, etc, when my daughter was (and still is) the kindest, most biddable, and hard-working child i've ever encountered. i would specifically ask her NOT to do something because i knew she'd do it and then go above and beyond. ask her to wash the dishes meant the kitchen would be Mr Clean sparkling an hour later (unlike her lazy-arsed sister who needed to be nagged,. threatened, and outright tantrumed into picking her underwear up off the bathroom floor!).

every year, i told them "something is wrong" and every year they told me "nothing is wrong - you read too much. she just has to try harder". they said she was of average intelligence, so shouldn't be having so much trouble.

every morning, i forced that child onto the school bus in spite of tears, headaches, stomach cramps, vomiting, etc. once i made her go in her pajamas because she refused to get dressed (i did drive proper clothes to school so she could change but she flat-out refused to and spent the day in the principal's office as a result).

when she was in grade ten, the school (same one her sister went to) agreed to do a psycho-educational assessment and the result?

"oooooooooh, um.... yeah. about your daughter. [indrawn whistle] well... it seems her reading is post-doctorate level, art is university level, biology is grade 13 (now called OAC), her writing is grade 5, and her math is grade 4. oh... and she's gifted artistically and creatively and her IQ is genius level. sorry."

"really," i said. "so tell me: how is it she has grade 9 AND grade 10 english and math credits?"

the diagnoses was CAPD - central auditory processing disorder - and her program was severely modified. she could only take 3 subjects max per term; she couldn't take two similar subjects (ie, physics and math, or english and french, etc); and she was to be provided with a stimulus-free zone to write all tests and exams or use when she needed to concentrate. it took her an extra 2-1/2yrs but she did graduate high school.

so now i have my youngest daughter, not even finished JK. every morning it's a fight to get her on the bus. every morning she cries her eyes out. in february, i asked for a teacher interview - nobody got back to me. she missed rather a lot of school - but no work was sent home (yes, her school sends homework every week, because naturally i have all the time in the world to do their job for them). the teacher said she missed "a stack THIS THICK" of homework and worksheets. i said why is this the first i'm hearing of it? oh, they don't bother to send anything home with her anymore because she leaves it all over the school - i said it's not hard to pick up the phone and tell me to come and get it - i live a 10min walk away! "we don't have time for that"

REALLY!? 23 children in the class. TWO teachers. TWO supply teachers. that's FOUR staff for 23 children and they can't pick up a phone!??

she is reading - she can read any simple reader book - but she won't do it in class. she comes home crying at least 2 - 3 times a week bec one of the other kids has hurt her or bec the teacher's mad at her. she says she hates school because everybody's always mad at her for doing everything wrong all the time.

i finally spoke with the teacher yesterday./ she was visibly stressed talking about saari and the way she looked at her, i have the distinct impression that she doesn't even like my daughter even though her mouth is saying such nice things about how cheerful saari is (i can't see that for myself - we're not allowed to drop in at the classroom unless it's by appt or for a specific function; i'm not even allowed to stand in the parking lot and watch her playing with the other kids to see what is going on - so now i'm stuck with a "he said she said" situation).

and i'm hearing it again: "she doesn't pay attention" "she lacks focus" "she's not even interested" "she doesn't follow the assignment" when that is NOT what i see at home. at home, saari reads. she goes on the computer and can find *anything* she wants on netflix or youtube. she's found kid's sites and games that i didn't even know existed. she plays neopets - found it, asked me to set up her account, and now plays it all by herself.

and here's this teacher telling me she's behind all the other kids?

i've called saari's developmental specialist and the agency that works with kids like her but nobody's gotten back to me.

i'm ready to pull her out of school entirely - they expect her to be at a LEVEL FIVE reading ability before grade one!????

wtf!???? i remember grade one: we learned the frikkin alphabet song!

but if i home-school her, i have to seriously reconsider my job - my boss is okay with her being there the last hour before closing but all day? and i don't know if saari will be able to behave that long. if i get a sitter, i might as well not work bec by the time i take the $10/hr (minimum wage) that sitters want around here, i have nothing left. my other option would be to find enough jobs that i'm working full-time because then it would "only" be $150/wk (if i supply the meals).

and JUST to add insult to injury?

the local health store has stopped carrying my meal replacement shake claiming there is an industry-wide whey shortage but they do have this other stuff they just got in that's twice the price.

and that tree still hasn't come down and whatever-he-is-today is being a jerk - all i want is to tie a rope from the tree to the car, have another rope off at 90degr for me to hold, then use the car to tug the tree past the branches it's tangled in and use my guide rope to make sure it doesn't hit anything on the way down.

but apparently that's just unreasonable.

omg, my day sucks so bad.

put it this way - it's so bad, i don't even WANT to eat.

04-18-2012, 01:28 PM
Wow... thats a lot to deal with and take in...Im sorry that life is dealing you a rough hand right now..I wish i could say something that would help you in your time of need but all i can say is.. "It will get better one way or the other"...just remember to breathe..

04-18-2012, 01:32 PM
breathing i can do.

preferably with my fingers around HIS neck.

or somebody's neck anyway.

and naturally i've heard from everybody and their uncle on facebook how i shouldn't be "indulging her tantrums" and force her to go to school.

you know what?

if it's so much trouble to get her to school and if she's so much trouble to manage in class, clearly it's better for everybody all around if she doesn't go.

04-18-2012, 02:13 PM
We had similar school situations with DS1 (who's my DH's from his first marriage, but he had custody) and his school. ADD, but no one would do the homework tracking required by the administration and the psychologist. No one would ever notify if things weren't getting done, etc, etc, etc. He dropped out after 10th grade and moving to live with his mother (another story, another time) and took him forever to realize that life wasn't going to just hand him a good job with high pay, but now has gotten his GED and is working full time and supporting his family. We blame the school who didn't require him to even complete all the work the other kids did, as he 'had ADD and those kids can't do the work', blah, blah, blah. He passed the graduation requirement test in 8th grade and decided he was done with school and no one (besides us) tried to tell him otherwise or explain the system to him.

We decided to homeschool the other 2 kids (couldn't homeschool DS1 as his mother wouldn't allow it). Yes, it's been hard, as we have to do without a lot of the stuff that others have, since we only have DH's income. We live in an old house, drive old cars, and do all home repair ourselves-no contractors here LOL!

But, the rewards have been incredible! DS2 is now in college and wants to be -get this- a teacher. I think he wants to try to show others how it should be done;) DS3 is a 10th grader and also has slight ADD, but we do things in a flexible schedule and allow him time to work at his pace (no meds) and also allowed both boys to do sports at the school where their church friends go (not our local school system).

I'm so sorry you're having such issues-you'll be in my prayers.

04-18-2012, 02:21 PM
wow, I really don't have any words of wisdom, other than there must be something wrong and you are right to keep asking for answers. My little brother was like that his entire first grade year (40 years ago) our whole household was MISERABLE the entire year because we knew it was going to happen and it did. He would promise my mother every night that it would be different the next morning and it was always the same. I cried because he cried. It is one of the only things I remember vividly from childhood. Well it turns out that the teacher was being extremly mean to him (I don't know the specifics) but this was the same teacher I had had 2 years before and I loved her. He never told anyone until 30+ years later. He ended up with a wonderful woman in the 2nd grade and was fine going to school after that, but I'm not sure he ever recovered emotionally / educationally. He ended up repeating 2nd grade and had learning issues the rest of his education. He most likely had some learning disablilty never diagnosed and the teacher took it out on him. I'm not saying the teacher is being mean to your daughter, but you are right in thinking something is not right. I have no idea though how to get to the bottom of it. It will probably take a special person in the "system" to listen to you.

04-18-2012, 02:58 PM
I guess thats the one thing i have is not for everyone..Unfourtunately school is like a square..and there are only so many kids who will fit into a square box..many many kids are different shapes other than square..In other words..the system was built to be one way and people never bothered to notice that there are many different learning styles and ways of education...I hear ya on the frustration, being someone who struggled with school for a long time growing up...My parents chose to take my out of school at the age of 16 and said to my school counsellor and the principal..."she's not ready for school yet". Instead, i got a job and worked and i decided for myself one day that i wanted to go back..and when i did..i crammed two grades into 1 year and i did independent study classes and taught myself basically everything and i got the best grades out of my entire schooling existence..

So if your child will benefit from not being in school right now..then do whats best for them and take them out..If they are suffering from emotional issues to the point where they arent even focussing on there school work because they are too uspet or depressed..its better to take them them deal with there issues and work on another opportunity for them...Dont give into the motto that says "school is for everyone"..its truly not.

04-18-2012, 03:24 PM
i know - i never graduated high school either.

all the times i tried to get my GED, i ended up teaching adult education (literacy, computer literacy, and history) and never got around to doing the work needed for my own GED.

that's why i'm thinking maybe i should just bin this whole public education cookie-cutter crap right from the get-go.

actually, i'm about 75% convinced. call it 85%.

okay, he's in my good books again: he brought in a tree feller and took care of both of them.

he's in my good books bec he admitted that the tree feller said i'd done everything right and my idea with the car would've worked just fine. he was all worried about the tree landing on his car - the tree feller pointed out that the rope is 50ft long and it would've only needed a single strand since it was such a twiggy little thing. and THEN he told me the guy was impressed that i'd done that with an 8lb axe saying he wouldn't even have thought of it.

so i feel a little better.

oh yes: i bought some books today for teaching addition, subtraction, writing, and reading.

now i know why the teacher gets so frustrated:

"okay, saari, here's the question - 3 plus 2. now, how many jewels do we need?"


"exactly - count them out for me, pls"

"one... two... three... four... five... six... " and so on until she's counted out all ten.

"saari, is that how many jewels we need for this question?"


"how many do we need?"


"how many?"


"show me on your fingers" (she does)

"perfect! now count out that many"

and she promptly counts out all ten again. i had to specifically tell her "count out three jewels", which she did - after she put back numbers 4 and 5 but i didn't have to tell her, she remembered in time.

then we go through THE EXACT SAME ROUTINE for the rocks! she needed 2, but she kept counting out the entire lot.

so we have a grouping of 3 jewels and 2 rocks - and she counts all 20 of them.

now, if i just hand her the book? bang, bang, bang, bang - all done, all perfect.

04-18-2012, 09:05 PM
Oh yeah i can see why that would frustrate her teacher, cause you KNOW her teacher probably doesn't try just giving it to her verbally or the worksheet alone. Instead figures it is hopeless and writes it off.

The only advice I can offer is look into independent testing. If you have something you can take into the school it may speed up their cooperation. or at the very least you will know what the issue is and can decide how to best handle it.

My dad had all sorts of learning disorders so my mom got me independently tested in kindergarten then too the results to the school, who then insisted on using THEIR testers *rolls eyes* but the tests still came back as extremely gifted with multiple learning disorders. Thank god she refused to take their "let's wait and see" approach when she first asked them to test me or who knows how much worse my school years would have been.

As it was she was in there arguing with teachers minimum twice a year and I heard that "didn't you READ her file?!?!" convo more times then I can count.


04-18-2012, 09:29 PM
For the counting work--are you using a counting mat for her? You could try laminating a plain piece of paper or using a dry erase board. Use a dry erase marker and mark 5 squares on the paper/board if you want her to count out 5 objects. Have her place one object at a time on a square and count each number as she does it. Young children usually need some kind of visual reminder when learning 1 to 1 correspondence while counting.
This website had some neat ideas too:
I hope these tips didn't offend you--I wasn't trying to step on toes.
I'm sorry it is so rough right now. I'm a special education pre-k teacher and it's sad when parents have to be as vigilant as you are being about their kids' educations because the teachers don't help out as much as they should. I try to be available to regular education teachers in my school in case they have questions about special friends in their classrooms.
I hope it gets better!

04-18-2012, 09:46 PM
oh, you are SO gonna be my new best friend! thank you!

her problem isn't counting - she can count like the dickens. the problem is knowing when to stop counting.

it's really looking like auditory processing disorder but they can't test for it until she's at least 7yrs old. =P

04-18-2012, 09:48 PM
I'm sorry you're going though such a rough time, I just don't get teachers in public schools, it's like they're trained for everything EXCEPT working with children. My best friend is a child psychologist, so she constantly has to deal with teachers not being dedicated enough, or being uncooperative. Even when she gives them specific instructions, written black on white, on how to deal with a child, they still ignore it.
Obviously there are some great teachers out there, but too few.

04-18-2012, 09:59 PM
oh, you are SO gonna be my new best friend! thank you!

her problem isn't counting - she can count like the dickens. the problem is knowing when to stop counting.

it's really looking like auditory processing disorder but they can't test for it until she's at least 7yrs old. =P

Some of my students (I teach regular and special needs friends) can rote count for days, but 1:1 counting throws them for a loop. Playing simple board games with a die is good practice. they have to move the game piece only the number of times shown on the die--it forces them to count one space/object at a time.
It makes me sad that you guys deal with teachers like that. I don't want to sound sappy, but I give my students' parents my personal phone number so they can reach me any time. I tell the parents that they are their child's number one advocate and to stand up for themselves in ARD meetings.
You're welcome to pm me if you have questions:)

04-18-2012, 11:09 PM
oh, thank you so much!

yeah - now that you mention it, games involving die have always been a problem - she just keeps counting and counting and counting.

my second daughter has CAPD and ADD (she's also gifted artistically and creatively and has genius-level IQ) and i know when it came to counting, she'd start counting... counting... falter.... stop... go back... then look at me and say "what number is it supposed to be?"

i'm wondering if saari might not have the same problem - forgetting within the timespan of a gnat's fart what she's supposed to be doing.

she's been positively diagnosed ADHD - dr said on a scale of 1-10, she's about a 7-1/2 and we've been fighting about rispardal for 2 years now (i don't give a s--t what anybody says, 3yrs old is too frikkin young for powerful meds).

i went over the link you posted and i realized that she has a "thing" for bowls full of smooth, hard objects. she has a 2lb package of fake craft gem (big plastic things); she has bags of marbles; bags of polished rocks; etc. another thing she loves to do is "dig for treasure": it's a ball of compacted silica sand with gemstones and little found things like coins and shells within it and she has to soak it, then carefully scrape away the sand to find all the objects. after she's done all that, she spends *ages* just digging and smooshing her hands through the wet sand. give her jello and it's only a matter of time and lax supervision before she's buried her fingers in the bowl.

even just to get her to eat a meal, she's okay for the first 5min or so but then that's it - she's up, she's down, she's under the table, she's running out onto the deck, comes back, takes a bite, she's gone again. this was a problem at day care and it's still happening at school. at home, i have to feed her and keep talking to her to keep her focussed on her food. it's not like i'm forcing her to eat because she'll flat-out say "i'm not hungry any more" - up to the point, a threat to eat it myself will bring her running in a panic.

and of course there's the jumping and spinning - she can do both for literally hours and not get sick or dizzy.

but the dr has definitely ruled out any form of ASD so i have no idea and i'm feeling very confused and fed up with them all.

oh yeah - and colours! her favourite colours are (exactly like this): "pink and purple and light green and gold and silver and shiny red and peacock blue".

we went to visit a relative when saari was 3 and we asked her what colour auntie had painted her kitchen - saari's reponse was "apple green and watermelon orange" (precisely correct).

04-19-2012, 05:34 AM
Wow, it seems like you have had your hands full with your 3 gorgeous daughtors. I just wanted to say that I am a Teacher. This year I have a student with asperger's and it is very difficult to keep the tesing and bullying from the other kids in check. He is by far my favorite student and I tolerate his behaviors usually with a smile and laugh and encourage the other kids to as well.

Good luck with your littlest, and If I were you I would get her to a specialist ASAP and get a proper diagnosis and an IEP (individual education plan) set in place quickly!

Good luck.

04-19-2012, 09:26 AM
i wanted that done before she started kindergarten but was told she's too young.

so now she's not even finished JK and the only thing i know for a fact she's learned from school is how much she hates it.

i have a group i belong to online - a lot of the mothers have exceptional children and are home-schooling them so i guess we'll have to give that a try. my two older ones went through **** and were emotionally scarred - i'm not doing it to my youngest.

04-19-2012, 11:45 AM
That's really difficult, I'm sorry to hear it.. I don't have any advice to be honest but yes it's very true that school isn't for everyone. I didn't finish either. I left early due to health problems but I was also bullied and just generally had a hard time. I was fine with the work itself but being there was just too much. Unfortunately there were no alternatives here at the time so I was at home alone a lot but I read quite a bit and ended up doing different things over the years.

04-19-2012, 11:57 AM
I'm a childless teen, so I don't know much about parenting. But from my experience, I think that home-schooling might be the right setting for your children. Gifted children, children with special needs, or children with anxiety (like myself) will prosper more around people who understand them. In my personal experience, I was unable to complete high school because of my anxiety. I dropped out in grade 10, went back for the 2nd semester, dropped out again, went back, dropped out again, etc. It wasn't until I was accepted into a 'Transition' school that I was able to start earning credits. I started in September with just 11 credits, and now I'm sitting with 27, and plan to have my HS diploma by the end of June. It felt like a miracle to finally be given the right tools and environment to be successful! I hope you can find what works best for your precious little girls. Good luck!

04-19-2012, 11:58 AM
Not sure but I think you live in Canada?
Here in the states you can ask for an intervention representative. Google and contact a state/provincial learning disabled group. You can track down the resources that way.
I know this as I was the school district assigned tutor for a boy who had an intervention specialist who came to the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings along with his psychiatrist, his therapist and the family's lawyer.

04-19-2012, 02:33 PM
yeah - she has a developmental specialist and also an organization that's supposed to be helping but they haven't called me back in three days.

it's okay - her father and i talked and we're going to have to harden up our schedules (such as telling his boss he can't call him monday morning with that week's work schedule - he needs to know what TWO days he's getting off during the week so i can coordinate with my job).

we figure we can't make more of a mess than the school can - just a matter of getting the materials now and i work at a bookshop! lol