albert thomas children's picture
albert thomas c...

MR children should they have the same Discipline as other children

 My son is 12 yrs going on 13yrs old He's MR with a mental age at 5 hight about a 4-5yr old and weights about 36lbs. He kicked a teacher today which is total out of charcter for him the teacher called me told me it was unacceptable which I understand I asked why he said the asst teacher told him to throw his candy away he said no adn kicked her. My deal is how did it lead up to her being kick and that's not like him to kick someone just for that I told the teacher something eles must of happen. He said that stuff like this children get suspended. My question how do you suspend a student that dosen't really understand at that moment what he did wrong.



Aaron F.'s picture
Aaron F.

In your childs mind, he didnt do anything wrong, like you said. I suspect that the assistant teacher is eather lying or is not telling the full story. As you have said he's never done this sort of thing before. As for dicipline: yes MR children should be diciplined the same as other children. They are the same physically and thus that must be taken into the equation. Now, you must take into the equation as well what that sort of dicipline might do to him mentally: will he know why he's being diciplined, will it to him within his mind be overdramatic and possibly scar him for the rest of his life, and so on and so forth. My recommendation is look into the situation further, do nothing right now, and if he truly did do it for no reason; explain to him why what he did was wrong, not that it was wrong, but why it was and then take according action. Although you might want to look up your states laws on child discipline as it is different in every state (i.e. in texas you can only spank your child on the buttocks anything else is child abuse). You dont need CPS or some other organization throwing you in jail and him in another home because of ignorance to the law. In which in the laws eyes ignorance is no excuse. Good luck, and hopefully the problem will be solved for furture sistuations.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

My son is 5, and he has some learning difficulties. We had an issue w/ him at school last yr. At that time, he attended both a public pre-k class and a private spec ed school. The nurse at the public school reported that he hit another student in the nose. The teacher never told us anything. Then we later learned that the school psychologist went to observe my son in the classrm. When I spoke to her, she stated that she too observed my son hit another student.
During this same time, I was receiving notes from my son's teacher at the private school. She reported that she noticed changes in my son, in which he wld touch other students, not to be malicious, but to just touch them.
Of course being the concerned parent, I brought this to the public school teacher's attention. Knowing my son, I too believed it was totally out of his character to hit another classmate. In no way was I trying to defend him, but I only wanted to understand what truly happened.
In the end, after hearing both sides of the story, the public school decided that my son had been hit first, and therefore he was defending himself. The private school, however believes that my son has some sensory issues, and therefore he tries to seek input by touching, not hitting.
My biggest problem w/ this whole thing is w/ the public school. Why didn't the teacher tell me about this right away? I just happened to get this info from the school nurse after I called her regarding a totally different issue. Also, if it wasn't for the private school teacher, I wldn't have known anything about the sensory issues my son was having.
My son, by no means is an angel. He fights w/ his brother at home, and doesn't always admit to hitting him. However, w/ other kids he's pretty quiet and reserved. Knowing this, I requested to observe my son in his classrm. The public school said no b/c of security reasons. Then we tried to have a private psychologist, who had been working w/ him, observe our son at school. This, we were told, is allowed since the dr is a professional. However, the school kept putting it off, wanting to correct the problem themselves. They had a behaviorist observe our son. According to him, our son is fine. Still, we have issues w/ sensory overload, as well as other problems.
The best thing that came out of all this was that we were able to convince the public school to increase my son's OT sessions.
My son is now in full-time kindergarten at the private school. He's doing much better, as he gets much more individualized attention. He enjoys school and his friends. The teachers are great, as they understand our son and his needs. We feel comfortable w/ the school and the services they provide. Now I ask you? Who wld you trust in this situation? Speak up, and get all the facts that you can. Being a strong advocate for your child is one of the best things you can do as a parent. I'm learning that as I go. I wish you the best through this journey.

ziggy's picture
ziggy

My guess is there is more to the story than what the staff are telling you if kicking is not the norm for your child. It could have been as simple as the tone in the staff's voice, perhaps repeated demands on your son to throw out his candy (its his candy - why not ask him if it could be wrapped up and put in his back pack to take home?) Give him choices rather than expecting him to throw something away that is important to him. I think this is just common sense in any teaching position - allowing our children to make choices - would you like to throw out the candy or take it home? Its so easy.

School systems are like computers - push this button you get this, push that button you get that. Push the kick button, this happens. The only way your son will understand, if he is capable of eventually understanding, is by having a chat/s with him about it and explaining that this is what happens if we kick. He may never understand. Allow him to get his anger out and he may not understand right now today. But as you leave it open for his input and discussion with you in the future without inferring that he is bad, perhaps there is a chance to broaden his understanding. Sometimes children with mental disabilities understand simple realities much better than we can imagine. If he can learn "I can be in school if I don't kick" he will go further than if he is protected from taking the consequence. Provided the consequence isn't administered with judgment and harsh words.

The things we attempt to teach our children while they are young (or at a young mental level) they do catch on with repetitive teaching over many years. Mentally challenged people do keep developing mentally right till their later adult years.

I've been where you are with my son (with special needs) getting suspended. We both learned that the school is just a system with protocols. Nothing personal. They hired me to be his educational assistant at home when school didn't work for us, he chose to go back to school when he thought he could handle it.....he grew up ok.