Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An un-delightful decision

No one has threatened to suspend kiddo from the bus lately. They have, however, threatened to suspend him from kindergarten. I did not know you could get suspended from kindergarten. It's the sort of thing you think happens to older kids. Who are not, you know, openly classified as special needs.

He poked another child in the back of the neck with a pencil. I was told the child had to go to the nurse and what a good thing it was that there was no mark. Not to excuse the behavior or anything -- I in fact told kiddo that if he were suspended he would lose TV privileges for the entire length of the suspension, and would also be staying in his room when not at day care or eating meals -- but seriously, it was a pencil. Unless it was sharpened to a fine point, and he has ninja skills I don't know about, I find it unlikely that he'd be able to cause serious injury with a pencil.

I get that the mere fact of the action is bad enough. But I'm also beginning to feel like the word "suspension" is getting tossed around rather freely. He's not a bad kid. He's a kid who can't control himself. Is there just a point at which that distinction stops mattering?

The school, to be fair, is trying. He's getting OT. He has a behavior chart, a fidget toy, a timer and a special calming seat cushion. He meets with the guidance counselor regularly. My therapist says we're getting more accommodations than other families he's worked with. It's just not enough. I officially requested an evaluation for an IEP, which would get him further accommodations, but the evaluation process is 90 days so that's not happening this school year.

I've been mulling it over and over and the conclusion I came to was this: He's not going to do well in a large group, period. He's going to get overstimulated and distracted. He's going to do some random bad thing that comes off as aggressive, and he's not going to know why he did it. Our options right now are 1. homeschool, which is not an option since we both work, or 2. medication.

We saw a pediatric psychiatrist on Saturday. We had a prescription in five minutes.

We don't love this choice. (DH dryly noted on the way home that we now had "a science experiment" in the back seat.) It might not work, for one thing. For another, he still needs to learn proper behavior whether he's medicated or not. So it's not the answer all by itself. Also, there's the whole "parents who medicate their kids are lousy parents who can't control their kids and want their kids to be zombies" thing. But look, he can't keep poking kids in the neck with pencils. That's the bottom line.

So (and boy, I do seem to say this a lot, don't I?) we'll see how this goes.


  1. Have you considered a private school? What about the school we have chosen for Peter? Would you be interested on going on a tour with us? I will call you later.

  2. Hola!
    We have an IEP and we also medicate. While I am not a fan of medication, I came around to it for two reasons. 1. If my daughter were diabetic I wouldn't withhold medication from her. If ADHD needs to lose its stigma, so does medication. 2. I was at my wits end. Turns out medication helps her a lot. It's not without its side effects. But with medication, she's actually able to learn. Her IEP allows her to work in small groups, have testing accommodations, and access to "social group".