Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why do I have to go to school?

School has been a difficult area for us since... well, forever. In previous years, we would have mornings or afternoons when she would cry and have a meltdown over how much she didn't want to go to school and how bad her days were.

She is now in the 5th grade. She has now presented me with the "Why do I have to even go to school?"

I'm finding it a difficult question to answer for her. Trying to reason, trying to explain, doesn't really help. So I've resulted to using the "it's a rule" method and telling her it's the law that children must go to school, when I say it, she accepts it, but the question has popped up a couple of times. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how to answer her.

What do you suggest?


Sandra said...

I think there has to be an end in sight. A goal to work toward.

A couple years ago my son was 11 and decided to quit school. He decided that he did not want to go to school or homeschool. He justified it by saying that he could learn what the teachers taught in an hour faster by just reading the book. He said that most of the information he was required to learn he would not use again and he didn't care about, so why bother learning it. He would just learn what he wanted by reading and get a job at Walmart when he was old enough. He was thinking that he watched what workers did at Walmart and felt he could do that job.

I was able to convince him that he needed school by comparing what a person could afford with a minimum wage job compared to a skilled job requiring some post high school education. He decided that he would like to have his own home and toys like iPhones and nice electronics, so he would go to school. Although on hard days, he still wants to give up.

As far as bad days, if your daughter is bullied, you need to act. It is the school's responsibility to provide a safe environment.

Also, talk to the teachers. They are often frustrated and uneducated about Aspergers. Often they want to be good teachers, but the frustration of the child that does not respond to standard methods can lead to disfunctional teacher behavior. I have had two teachers who tried to "fix" my Asperger child with riding them constantly about anything they did that was not NT.

The first caused meltdowns and shutdowns. My son was getting mostly A's in 4th grade, and then the teacher found out he was being bullied. She tried to "fix" him so the other kids would like him better, and would not admit that the bullies were the problem because they were "good kids". He shut down completely within two weeks of that, and she would not change. We changed schools and my son was instantly better.

Then last quarter in 8th grade, my son's bible teacher tried to enlist the whole class to "encourage" my son to do better. He felt that he was being bullied to perform, and that there was no way to succeed. I explained how constantly being told to do better was interpretted by my son as "you are not good enough". He implemented changes, and my son went from failing bible to getting mostly A and B in the class, and liking it. This teacher cared enough to listen and change.

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