….And I thought it was only ADHD, What a surprise I was in for.

Could you imagine being a 4K Teacher of 25 4 & 5 year olds?

Besides being a Nanny this is the most rewarding and challenging job I’ve ever had. And I love every minute of it.

I love to see the children blossom & grow each day. It is truly amazing how much they can learn at such a young age.

I love all the hugs they give and the smile on their faces when they figure out something new.

The most challenging part of my job is a 5 year old boy in my classroom “ Tucker” ( not his real name ).

Tucker has been kicked out of 2 daycare centers before the age of 4. That is the sad part because he has never been in a place long enough for anyone to diagnose or evaluate him. Tucker was always labeled the naughty kid who cannot control himself.

This also means that he has no consistency in his life, 2 daycares before the age of 4, new 4k school, Mom & Dad are divorced so he is back and forth between houses.

At this point I am working with the Mom, the Principal and the Guidance Counselor to get him an IEP ( Individualized Educational Plan )

If anyone knows anything about the Public School Districts this takes forever, WHY? I don’t know, now I understand why some kids fall through the cracks and do not get the help they need early enough.

It is now 5.6 months into the school year and We now do not believe that Mom actually took him to Behavioral Health, because I know from experience that even to get in for an appointment there, the Teachers, Counselor & Principal need to fill out a lengthy form about the child( NO Exceptions), and no one has received one to fill out. Also Mom said that the Behavioral Health referred him to Rawhide Boys Ranch, I also know that he is way too young for that.

The School Guidance Counselor believes he has: ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. You add all these together and you have one explosive kid…There are some days when I am afraid to turn my back to him.

Tucker brought his “Dream Journal” ( A note book where he writes and draws all his dreams and thoughts)to school a few times He went through journal with me and told me about all the pictures, Unbelievable the things he has night mares about. All his pictures have very sharp teeth, most of the pictures, the people, monsters or animals have BLOOD for tears, and HIS own head cut off!! Ok so where does this all come from? Certainly not from a healthy 5 year old in a safe environment. So as we were talking and discussing the journal pictures he tells me he plays SONIC.EXE ( No not the kids cartoon Sonic ) and he also watched the Zombie Apocalypse!( Google both for more info)

I might be an over protective Mother, but I would not ever let my 14 year old daughter watch or play either of these anytime soon!

I recorded Tucker as he was telling me about his dream journal. I called CPS ( Child Protective Service ) Not sure what lies ahead with that!

I guess this is proof what scary movies and adult games can do to a kids mind and emotions. What ever happen to Barney and Sesame Street?!

We have watched for signs that he is starting to get wound up, agitated, but he is just like a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any second without warning. We have made reward charts, sticker charts, positive reinforcement behavior, going on walks to cool down, going to the cool down room going to the physical therapy room. We let him use a T-stool for him to sit on ( It is supposed to keep his mind & body thinking about balancing) but it just a game for him and falls off on purpose. We charted by the half hour his behavior, gave him a child size rocking chair to sit on to no avail. We’ve tried having him sit away from the rest of the class, because he cannot handle being too close to anyone.

When we go out for recess he has good and not so good moments also, it usually ends up with him throwing ice chunks at someone’s face and violent outbursts. He has cut a girl’s beautiful long curly blond hair, punches, hits, kicks, spits, cough in someone’s face, spit in a teacher’s face. We’ve let him be the line leader , we’ve let him be the caboose. Yesterday we were singing “ There Were 3 in a Bed Roll over Roll Over….and Tucker starts singing” Three Men in a bed & a needle on your head, Now your dead.””” Over and over, he would not stop. We finally took him out for a walk.

The lunch room is way too stimulating for him, he is just out of control, can’t sit still, can’t leave other kids food alone, but we have no other choice to bring him to lunch with all the kids, I try to sit next to him, but the rest of the class needs help too, they are only in 4K. We do not have extra hands available at lunch or other times. I am afraid to take a day off, afraid that he will cut someone’s hair again or worse. I will be going on vacation for a week, leaving in 2 days, I know I will be a nervous wreck, I’m sure the sub will not make it the whole week, last time I had a sub she did not come back from her lunch break!

Tucker has been kicked off the bus, way too stimulating for him, he’d run around the bus, stand up, yell scream, hit, punch kick, pull kids hair, take stuff away like hats & gloves and throw them. The bus driver put him in a harness, but only took him 30 seconds to get out.

We tried to get him on the special needs bus, but I was told he needs an IEP otherwise it is a liability. The IEP specialists are so back logged that the wait is 6~8 months out. Well that brings us to late summer…So then it all starts over @ square one!

At centers and free choice he gets 10 minutes he then chooses from a chart that he made up where he goes next. The other students get 20 minutes. At times this helps, but only for a little while.

In the morning our class meets in the gym then when everyone arrives we all walk to the classroom together. When he rode the bus he would just be out of control and violent, but he defiantly calmer now that he is brought to school. When we walk to the room if I give him something to carry it will keep his hands busy and that seems to help, I also bring a deck of cards or a card game to the gym, it is nice because the whole class joins in. We will all take 2 running laps around the gym before we walk down, to the classroom also all the kids enjoy that, including Tucker.

Some days I’m at my wits end and cry on the way home…glad I have a 40 minute drive too cool off.

I am open for questions or suggestions…I could use some ideas that anyone has.

Also we have used some sensory techniques with soothing grooming tools, if he wants to be touched it helps, otherwise it can throw him into a tirade.

I know this all sounds so negative. But, he does have his positive qualities too, he is extremely smart and he can be kind and loving but only in 2 second spurts. Tucker is an excellent drawer and he is very verbal, unbelievable the amount of knowledge he has.

There have been a lot of parent complaints at the beginning of the year, but that has smoothed out, as Tucker seems to be getting a little bit better for longer stretches of time.

This only hits the tip of the ice berg….there is so much more!

Thanx for reading!



Jaxx said...

Oops in the 17th section / paragraph it says stuck a pin ON your head instead of IN your head.
3 men in a bed & a needle IN your head Now you are dead

Marilyn Keim said...

I've had some of those same issues with a few of kids I babysit with. So sad to see what so many of these violent or otherwise not appropriate for them video games and movies do for them, and very unfortunate that someone somewhere allows it. I don't like to always label and diagnose all sorts of things when a kid has issues, (not saying you do), it just puts a label on them and blames problems on whatever "disorder" or such. Often it's just a matter of not having the love and firm loving discipline they need. And seems it's often the kids that come from broken homes, unstable environments and such. Breaks my heart to see it.

Lacy said...

I have an un-diagnosed kid like that in my K class too. His art is very telling, so are the stories he has about them. He's seen Jaws. Some days though he is a sweet hug-able, lovable child, other days I am being physically assaulted...

Jaxx said...

Is the school district helping you in any way? Can you write up an IEP for him at least it will be in his record. Can't believe the movies parents let kids watch! One of my kids last year watched the Freddie movie Night mare on elm street and the one with Jason. No wonder why kids are the way they are now days!

Lacy said...

I work at a very small school, and yes child is being assessed and all that Jaz. I humbly think having a child watch a violent movie should be considered child endangerment. I'm just an aid in the class, so writing an IEP is not up for me, this child needs more then that.

Anonymous said...

....there's no such thing as 'just write up an IEP' - it's a complex form that requires evaluations, diagnoses, recommendations and actual plan for that child's education that lawfully has to be followed. It can take weeks to write up an IEP, and weeks after that to implement it, and it has to be an actual Learning Behavior Specialist to write it up (Special Education teacher).
If there's a concern then the child should be evaluated. I know that there's a lot of wait time to get to see a developmental specialist but there's plenty other things parents should be doing in the mean time.

Jaxx said...

I understand that there is more to an IEP than just writing it up. The teachers in this school district and another school district that I worked for writes up the IEP... Yes the SPED department is involved, as well as the principal and guidance councilor. and the two most frustrating parts of the whole process is 1) the length of time because the backlog half of kids who need to have intervention do not get it. 2) lack of parenting and parent involvement.
Anonymous, I know I did not go into detail of what an IEP was because my post was so long I neglected to point out how it is done. I believe all states have some sort of IEP system, but how it is done and who is in charge to actually do it and who over sees it depends on what state you live in and the what developmental, social or emotional issues the student is experiencing. But, thank you for going into detail and explaining what and who all is involved in an IEP.