Now Reading: Today's IEP Meeting — We've got the problem child :(

Today's IEP Meeting — We've got the problem child :(

Mon 7:13pm — We had the king’s IEP meeting today. 
After 10+ years of living on Autism Avenue these meetings still take a lot out of wifey and me. 
It’s never easy to hear that your kid is the problem child in a classroom full of kids on the non verbal / low end of the spectrum, but that’s exactly what we heard today…
 His majesty has truly been a terror at school these past 3-4 months with lots of PBs (problem behaviors) including hitting, spitting, flicking his saliva at folks, and pulling off his pants. 
Basically on the days when he doesn’t have seizures and naps he’s the worst behaved. 
The school is trying to break thru the behaviors as best they can but they’re not having much success. 
This might not be the right school for him anymore and he’s kinda aging out of the school anyway, but we don’t seem to have a lot of other options. 
We’ll look at other schools and programs this month and throughout the summer, but we kinda already know what’s out there and none of them are truly a good fit for Kyle. 
I know he might not be able to help some (most?) of the PBs but he’s really make things hard on himself. 
All I can say without a doubt is that…AUTISM SUCKS!!!

Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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19 People Replies to “Today's IEP Meeting — We've got the problem child :(”

  1. Thank you for saying autism sucks!

    Parent of an 8 year old non verbal girl who is the only girl in her class at a public day school ( and the only one who apparently poops in the school pool so yeah that sucks).
    Autism is not magical and great- good luck finding a solution. Maybe private transport? Family or friend with no life?

  2. Anonymous

    Dear Autism Daddy. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I'm just wondering. Is there anyway you can view your son while he is at school? Perhaps if they put a camera in the room and view from another area, or tape it for you and give you a copy? OR can you just sit in the corner for a few days and observe (I did this for a week and realized within a few days exactly what was happening) As his Dad, you may see something that is setting him off… that they are unaware that they are doing. Us parents are good at that! OR have you checked out if your child meds are making him aggressive. My son was on KEPRA for a limited amount of time due to seizures, and he got aggressive… and until that time, had never been aggressive in his life. Another possible cause? and if this is happening in all environments? could he be in pain? It is my belief that behavior is communication… what is he communicating in this environment? I certainly do hope you find out what is going on so that your son can be happy in school… ps. I did have a friend that went the legal route, it did take some time but the school district was forced to provide a program for her son that worked for him … however that year was hell for her. I wouldn't recommend it.

  3. Anonymous

    I see a lot of constructive and useful suggestions in these comments so I'll only say I'm really sorry you had such a discouraging meeting. We've all had bleak moments like this and we're all with you and your wife. Take care, all the best to you and your boy. You will find ways to support him, you will.

  4. My 16 yr old daughter is the same way. I am convinced that her behavior problems are being caused by seizures and the seizure meds. School made things worse for her. We homeschool now. Things aren't perfect, but at least she doesn't have people working against her any more. Behavior charts also made thing worse. The only thing she understood was that red X's were bad. That's it. If she got a red X she got violent. She has no comprehension of cause and effect. Therefore she is not motivated by rewards. Plus anticipating earning a reward will never stop behavior caused by something that is beyond her control.

  5. I literally hated IEP meetings so much that after finding out that we have THREE kids with autism I decided to homeschool – I just couldn't fathom how I would keep up with all those meetings and explaining the differences in all of my kids to huge groups of teachers. A lot of people wonder how I can manage schooling special needs kids ,but really…it's so much less emotional for me then having to worry about them at school and sit through those long meetings for our family it's worth it for us.
    I also have a hard time with my boys getting older – it brings up a lot of fears but also we have a lot of "see, I knew he could do it" days that kind of balance us out.

  6. I'm so sorry. I totally relate. I hate watching my boy get older. God bless

  7. Anonymous

    I repeatedly gave my son's teachers the benefit of the doubt when they described his behaviour at school. The bad behaviour must be because of the autism I thought. What they would tell me would always contradict his verison of the story. Until one day the teacher verbally abused my son in front of me. From that day on I never believed what his teachers told me. We changed schools in January and apart from a brief rough patch in April it is like I have a different son. We don't have the PB's or the running away we had at the old school. The new teacher can read his body language when he is upset or going into sensory overload she adjusts her teaching method accordingly.

    AD, through your posts we have seen that Kyle's taste in movies has changed in recent months. He has been watching more age appropriate movies. Perhaps Kyle functions at a higher level than you think and he is truly bored at school. Perhaps the program isn't stimulating him any longer. As exhausting as the process of looking for a new school is, perhaps this will benefit Kyle. Good luck as your continue on this new branch of the autism journey.

    Hugs from Australia.

  8. Anonymous

    I am so sorry to hear about Kyle`s struggles. As a parent of a very aggressive child, I know how terrible this feels. I completely agree with having a functional behavioral analysis done, but I am wondering if it is not the hormones kicking in, as he is now a teenager. Just a thought…
    Another possibility would be a growth spurt with a need for medications dose adjustments? Hugs to you. I know how badly this sucks.

  9. Remember FERPA, hire a lawyer and research what's out there. hugs

  10. Anonymous

    Come to New Jersey….such wonderful programs, specialists, schools (pubic and private), therapists out here. And we haven't paid a dime for any of it. Except in taxes. Lots and lots of taxes.

    I know….probably didn't help to hear: Just move somewhere where the services are better. IF there is a way you can prove that the school system cannot give The King what he needs, the district should pay for him to go to private school for kids with autism…right?

  11. Anonymous

    Just send him to Manhattan and put him in the Rebecca School!

  12. It's been awhile since I've been able to check out your blog. I'm very sorry to read you all are having such hard times. I absolutely agree with the comment above. Autism can suck, but this happens to typical kids too. You and your wife sound like amazing parents. Your little guy is lucky to have you. 🙂 I've been dealing with a lot of school issues with my 7 year old. He's been even sent home a few times… So frustrating! Autism families need to stick together. Sending you all positive thoughts!! I hope things get better soon. *hugs*

  13. Anonymous

    He's trying to tell them he hates the room. I realize I don't know him or anything, and our boys are different. But my son was insanely bad, the worst kid in the room. Changed teachers, changed classmates, changed attitude. I know at least one of the aides in the room was a huge stress inducer, not sure which kids were, but we just swapped them all out. He was a completely different kid.

    Autism DOES suck, but this happens to the typical kids too. Personalities don't mesh with everyone, and one teacher can royally screw up a kid. Best of luck! Hope things work out and you find what he needs.

  14. Anonymous

    Pulled ours out of public school. Connections Academy, and they work with us from the bottom to the top. We are wayyyyyy poorer than before, but the stress of public school has ceased. Finding out the majority of stress/anxiety/behaviors was just that. It took about 3 months but his life is much more pleasant and he is way more comfortable in his own body. Not even on meds anymore. I realize the King is on the low end of the spectrum, but the stressers sound so similar. <3 to you all

  15. I think he needs a behavioral assessment by a non district behavior analyst. He's not acting out for nothing. There is some basis for what is going on, and the school staff isn't picking up on it.

    I hope someone figures it out soon. Hugz for all of you. <3

    1. I agree too, when my ASD son's schedule changes even by a minute, he bedwets until he gets used to the new schedule. There might be more going on there.

    2. Crystal

      I agree, something is being missed. Our children are so sensitive to change, they tend to act out more. I hope they were able to pin point when the change started. Prayers and Hugz.

  16. Anonymous

    I have a friend who works at Devereux – apparently all the 12 year olds in residence want to be naked. It is a pretty uncomfortable problem for sure.

  17. I know you once said that getting a lawyer to fight for A better school would cost you lots of money there are lawyers that don't charge you Any money they just take A cut off at the end if you want any info you can contact me through Gmail.