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Back to school angst


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#1 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:54 PM

DS3 is repeating foundation (FYOS in Victoria). This is mostly because he wasn’t speaking, signing or communicating much last year, was very immature, misbehaved, had school refusal issues from term three onwards and was incredibly uncooperative to everyone around him. He also has oral dyspraxia and is some where on the autism spectrum.

I was sewing his name on one of his school jumpers today, and he told me not to bother, because he was going to get a job instead. I was really hoping he’d be less antipathetic towards school this year, but no. None of my arguments (you need to read and write to invoice your customers, no one will hire you without at least year ten, you can’t drive the car to get to work, there are child labour laws in this country) are holding any water with him.

Any suggestions? Because I’m down to “I’m your mum and I say you have to go.”

#2 Heather11

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

Quote

Because I’m down to “I’m your mum and I say you have to go.”

Well really the government says he has to go.  He is breaking the law if he doesn't go.  Will that work?

Can he express why he doesn't want to go?

#3 blimkybill

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:14 PM

My mantra for these situations with young children is "oppositional behaviour is usually an expression of severe anxiety"
So consider it more as his fear/anxiety around school. And put in place some supports around whatever the sources of that fear are. (fear of not being able to do the work? Of how kids treat him? Or teachers? Fear of being seen as different? Generalised anxiety related to ASD?) Do you have a psychologist to work with? he needs that kind of support. (Not that he needs to personally talk with a psychologist, but a psychologist can give advice to both you and his school.) Or if you don't have a psychologist, then an OT.
I presume he gets NDIS funding?

#4 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:17 PM

View PostHeather11, on 25 January 2020 - 09:10 PM, said:



Well really the government says he has to go.  He is breaking the law if he doesn't go.  Will that work?

Can he express why he doesn't want to go?

He doesn’t want to go because his dog and his tools are at work, and school only has people and sitting down for hours. Also work pays and he can drive the bulldozer, and if I keep making him go to school, he’ll just bulldoze it.

Apparently the government are d***heads and he’s going to bulldoze Scott Morrison, too.

#5 Mmmcheese

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:17 PM

Tell him when he becomes a gazillionaire, then he can stop and help him brainstorm a plan. Given the stories about your family, he might just do it and that's a win all round. Sorry, I don't have a serious suggestion, but just wanted to say how sorry I am that be feels this way. It's disappointing that school loses the enthusiasm of children so young.

#6 blimkybill

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:25 PM

I just wanted to add that the key to turning this issue around will not be tough talk or ultimatums; it will be relationships. He has to build relationships with school staff who understand him and who he can learn to trust.
His tough talk is bravado. He is scared and/or feels incompetent/incapable/overwhelmed.

#7 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:28 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 25 January 2020 - 09:14 PM, said:

My mantra for these situations with young children is "oppositional behaviour is usually an expression of severe anxiety"
So consider it more as his fear/anxiety around school. And put in place some supports around whatever the sources of that fear are. (fear of not being able to do the work? Of how kids treat him? Or teachers? Fear of being seen as different? Generalised anxiety related to ASD?) Do you have a psychologist to work with? he needs that kind of support. (Not that he needs to personally talk with a psychologist, but a psychologist can give advice to both you and his school.) Or if you don't have a psychologist, then an OT.
I presume he gets NDIS funding?

He has NDIS funding, and will have a POD book and aide time this year, as well as a teacher who uses auslan. He has a fair bit of anxiety about dealing with kids his own age, and is much better around adults, older kids and animals. There’s a bit of fear about not being able to communicate and not being able to do the work, as well as being singled out for signing rather than speaking.

He’s also had an excellent summer holiday working the bees, putting up fences, building a shed, looking after the sheep and chickens, playing with his dogs and swimming in the pool, and doesn’t want it to end.

#8 MsLaurie

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:38 PM

If the teacher is able to sign, can you talk to him about how he and the teacher can work together to get those new baby preppies up to speed with signing, because they won’t know and he’ll be able to teach them? Come up with s plan about what signs he wants the other kids to learn first.

#9 Paddlepop

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

I'm quite happy to pull the 'because I'm your mother and I said so' card when needed.

Is he doing a gradual return to school eg 4 days per week, or mornings only, or something like that? That would give him time to form a positive relationship with the new teacher, and hopefully make him feel more comfortable at school, while still getting to do some of the fun work activities with your or DH if possible.

What about a mixture of home schooling and going to school? Is that a possibility if his school resistance persists?

Auslan has a recognised national curriculum these days. It's able to be taught as a LOTE subject at school. Perhaps the school could consider introducing it as a LOTE subject for his year level. If he's surrounded by others who are able to sign to some degree he might feel more comfortable and less isolated.

The ABC has a show and series of DVDs called Sally and Possum. They communicate in Auslan. There's an English voiceover for those who don't understand Auslan. It's aimed at children. Sally is a profoundly deaf teacher in Queensland and Possum's actor is from a deaf family (I think). Maybe the class could watch some of the episodes in class as a way of helping to bridge the gap between spoken English and Auslan, and to introduce some signing.

#10 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

View PostMsLaurie, on 25 January 2020 - 09:38 PM, said:

If the teacher is able to sign, can you talk to him about how he and the teacher can work together to get those new baby preppies up to speed with signing, because they won’t know and he’ll be able to teach them? Come up with s plan about what signs he wants the other kids to learn first.

I like that idea! I’ll give it a go.

#11 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:54 PM

View PostPaddlepop, on 25 January 2020 - 09:43 PM, said:

I'm quite happy to pull the 'because I'm your mother and I said so' card when needed.

Is he doing a gradual return to school eg 4 days per week, or mornings only, or something like that? That would give him time to form a positive relationship with the new teacher, and hopefully make him feel more comfortable at school, while still getting to do some of the fun work activities with your or DH if possible.

What about a mixture of home schooling and going to school? Is that a possibility if his school resistance persists?

Auslan has a recognised national curriculum these days. It's able to be taught as a LOTE subject at school. Perhaps the school could consider introducing it as a LOTE subject for his year level. If he's surrounded by others who are able to sign to some degree he might feel more comfortable and less isolated.

The ABC has a show and series of DVDs called Sally and Possum. They communicate in Auslan. There's an English voiceover for those who don't understand Auslan. It's aimed at children. Sally is a profoundly deaf teacher in Queensland and Possum's actor is from a deaf family (I think). Maybe the class could watch some of the episodes in class as a way of helping to bridge the gap between spoken English and Auslan, and to introduce some signing.

Foundation do four days a week for February, so I’m hoping that will ease him in. Homeschooling was an exercise in frustration last year. He learned a lot about harvesting and processing honey, preserving fruit, selling stuff, wrangling quickbooks and looking after livestock, but not much actual school work of the assessable variety.

I’d forgotten about Sally and Possum. i’ll Have to mention it to his teacher.

#12 Paddlepop

Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:56 PM

Just keep the art teacher far far away from him.

Have the schoolyard bullies that liked to steal his ball moved on to high school yet, or left the school?

#13 Ozquoll

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:03 PM

View Postkadoodle, on 25 January 2020 - 09:54 PM, said:


Homeschooling was an exercise in frustration last year. He learned a lot about harvesting and processing honey, preserving fruit, selling stuff, wrangling quickbooks and looking after livestock, but not much actual school work of the assessable variety.

Being a non-conformist type, I'd have to say that all that stuff he learned is more useful than most of the stuff kids learn at school. If he knows how to produce things, sell them, and keep accounts in order, he's well on his way to being a useful and independent adult.

#14 kadoodle

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:05 PM

View PostPaddlepop, on 25 January 2020 - 09:56 PM, said:

Just keep the art teacher far far away from him.

Have the schoolyard bullies that liked to steal his ball moved on to high school yet, or left the school?

There’s a new art teacher (yay!), who’s a young man. Apparently boy teachers are a big novelty and the kids are all excited about having one. The kids who picked on him last year are going into grade three, so will be in a different playground.

#15 kimasa

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:09 PM

View Postkadoodle, on 25 January 2020 - 09:17 PM, said:


Apparently the government are d***heads and he’s going to bulldoze Scott Morrison, too.

I laughed out loud and woke up DH. I like this kid.

#16 Jingleflea

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:11 PM

When DD was anxious about going to preschool mum told me that I should tell her we all have jobs to do.
Daddy's is to go to work and earn the money, mine was to run the house and look after DD etc and DD's job was to go to preschool and learn her numbers and letters and to play with other children etc.

It seemed to help DD by giving her some agency in knowing we all have stuff we need to do, even if we don't like it.
I also did tell her it's the law...

I'd also tell her she could go into it thinking she'd have a bad day, in which case she probably would, or she could go in with a more positive mindset and try to have a good day. She was probably a bit young at 4, but it didn't hurt any!

#17 Jingleflea

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:13 PM

I love male teachers!
They seem to be really good with boys too and there's not enough of them in the primary years.  
I was happy when DD had one last year and I hope she gets him again this year.

#18 ipsee

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:18 PM

It might help to build him up a bit about how he will be so useful to the teacher because he understands about school and all the little new kids will need his example of how to sit at a desk/open his lunch box/ etc. You could mention how nervous some of them will be becuase they haven't ever seen the school.

You could also try talking about how the holidays has been so wonderful to relax and recharge, but we all have to get back to a routine now that school is starting again.

#19 Mollyksy

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:32 PM

I do the 'it's the law' thing too. Luckily DS has a clear concept of the law and rules (mostly as they apply to others, not him!). I've got my fingers crossed DS gets as good a teacher as last year. His anxiety manifests as a refusal to participate, lots of tears, or loud shrieking and running away. All that can and has been confused for naughtiness. Even by people who should know better (grandfather looking at you).

This kid has so much going on in his head. He loves cars and vehicles of all kinds but the other week was teary at bedtime as he didnt want to get his licence as what if he couldn't drive very well and hit someone and killed them. He is six. I hate that his head is dealing with stuff like that on top of being six.

Good luck OP. Hopefully the changes will mean smoother sailing. I did lol at his Scott Morrison comment! True dat kid!

Edited by Mollyksy, 25 January 2020 - 10:33 PM.


#20 Ellie bean

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:38 PM

My kids love sally and possum!
I do “it’s the law” too.
I really hope it’s a better year for him, he sounds like such an awesome kid

#21 steppy

Posted 25 January 2020 - 10:55 PM

View Postkadoodle, on 25 January 2020 - 08:54 PM, said:


Any suggestions? Because I’m down to “I’m your mum and I say you have to go.”

If that's the reason he has to go, then I think it stands. School just sucks.

#22 frazzle

Posted 26 January 2020 - 06:25 AM

Any chance he can meet his new teacher before school starts? He might feel he has an ally especially if she signs to him. There is also a book called why do I have to? which was really useful to my son who was very similar. Especially the reading - he learned that once he knew his letters he could learn words then sentences THEN be able to read the books he wanted to. I found that if we explained further than “well everyone starts with letters ...” he could see a much more important correlation. And your son sounds like a VERY smart young man!

#23 José

Posted 26 January 2020 - 06:33 AM

It sounds like school was pretty awful for him last year. No wonder he doesn't want to go back.
You know this year will be different, and there are more supports. He won't know that until he experiences it.
I don't mind the pps idea of its a kids job to go to school.
Is there anything he does like about school that you could focus on? Even if it's the canteen or lunch break.
At this point, because he has already learnt from experience that school isn't for him, you might not be able to change his mind about it until he has new experiences that teach him school can be ok. So I might just say something like ' you re telling me you don't want to go to school, however you need to. And school is working hard to make sure you have a better time this year.
The end. I wouldn't engage in arguing or attempting to persuade beyond this.

#24 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 26 January 2020 - 07:09 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 25 January 2020 - 09:28 PM, said:

He’s also had an excellent summer holiday working the bees, putting up fences, building a shed, looking after the sheep and chickens, playing with his dogs and swimming in the pool, and doesn’t want it to end.

Fair enough too!

#25 kadoodle

Posted 26 January 2020 - 07:15 AM

View Postfrazzle, on 26 January 2020 - 06:25 AM, said:

Any chance he can meet his new teacher before school starts? He might feel he has an ally especially if she signs to him. There is also a book called why do I have to? which was really useful to my son who was very similar. Especially the reading - he learned that once he knew his letters he could learn words then sentences THEN be able to read the books he wanted to. I found that if we explained further than “well everyone starts with letters ...” he could see a much more important correlation. And your son sounds like a VERY smart young man!

I’ll have a look for that book, thanks for suggesting it.

He’s met his teacher (she had his older sister last year), and she’s explained that they can sign, or that he can use his POD book or the graphics board to let her know if he needs anything. She’s also given him a “red card” to hand to her if he needs to go outside for air. He remains dubious.




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