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School Trouble – Oppositional Defiance Disorder

This article is part 10 of a series. If you have not read part 1, part2, part 3, and part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 , part 8 , and part 9 – I urge you to do so if you are searching for help on this subject. If you’ve read along with me already, I want to welcome you into the next weeks of our journey and Knight’s recovery.

As I mentioned in the previous article, Knight just started a new public school and had been warned about the zero tolerance policies related to defiance and discipline. Unfortunately, in week 22 he began to have issues. He came home complaining about some of his teachers. They were the bad guys because they fussed at him for distracting others in the classroom, talking, or being loud while the teacher attempted to teach the day’s lesson. Here’s how things went.

In week 16, Knight was continuing to make friends and had plans to spend the night over at some friend’s houses. He behaved well in other’s homes we were told.

In week 17, Knight developed interest in a church where his friends were members and begged us to go there. I had not been to this church in many years, but I knew what they believed, so we allowed him to go. He was in teenager heaven 🙂

In week 18, Knight began to share his total excitement with us and tell us how happy he was to live with us and happy about his “new” life. We continued to encourage Knight and reminded him daily (and our other boys) to complete their homework!

In week 19, I had noticed a significant difference in our overall family life and noticing the difference in each boy individually also.

In week 20, Knight was still attending church and visiting with his friends pretty regularly. Most of his behavior issues had disappeared and our only real problem was his occasional back-talk.

Ups and Downs

We experienced a slight set back in week 21 when Knight had a slight blow up. He blamed his behavior on being tired. He found himself grounded for a few days. His behavior changed and his punishment was lifted a day early.

Early in week 22 Knight called me from school and told me he was in trouble. I asked him what was going on. He told me he had been suspended for 4 days out of school. He also mentioned that, “He didn’t do anything” and that it “was not his fault, it was someone else“.  Sound familiar? We were literally about to ride this same coaster again! It seemed as though only a few short weeks had passed since we had begun to work on taking ownership and responsibility for actions with him. He had done great – until this.

This left me puzzled. 😦 He seemed to do better with authority figures that he got to know personally. Life cannot be lived this way though. It would be impossible for Knight to get to know every single authority figure in his life personally.

I spoke with him about the importance of doing as the teachers ask while in their classes. We talked about respect and if he was to receive respect he had to give it first.  He said everyone hated him and that all his teachers were out to get him. Everyone else was causing disturbances in class too according to him. He simply was the loudest and the one called out for it. He neglected to tell us he was the leader of the disturbances though. (This we discovered through speaking with his teachers that “hated him”.)

Knight’s father was very upset that he’d been suspended. I haven’t told you all the details of the suspension, but let’s just say that the things coming out of his mouth were directed toward a female and were totally not tolerable (again – here is that zero tolerance policy). Knight and his father were told that there could not be a next time in this offense category. A next time would take him completely out of all public schools.

Knight went back to school in week 23. Knight was warned again about the zero tolerance policies (both at home and at school). Knight said he understood. Weeks 23 & 24 seemed to be getting back on track, until week 25. Knight came home from school with an in-school suspension slip. He had made noises in class (distractions) and when called down, he back-talked the teacher. He served out his sentence at school and was grounded at home from all electronics. (I took all power cords and chargers instead of the actual devices. He got to slowly watch the batteries drain knowing he could not reconnect or charge anything.)

Week 26 produced more issues. After that first horrendous event that resulted in out of school suspension, the school had agreed to evaluate him for an IEP. Knight was placed through a series of tests. He spoke with a psychologist and so did his father. All of Knight’s teachers were interviewed and all of his previous school records were being reviewed. The 2 previous schools he attended had him in *special* classes for learning disabled children because of his inability to control his anger and outbursts. Knight was not learning challenged or disabled though. That was obvious to this new school, but not his father and mother. Outsiders looking in can see things differently because they are disconnected from emotions surrounding circumstances. Basically, Knight had been given a free ride for many school years and this school was simply not into free rides.

I asked Knight if he remembered me telling him that this school would not treat him any differently than any other student. He said he remembered. I explained to Knight that he had no choice now but to begin accepting responsibilities for his actions and needed to put self-restraint he was learning into practice at school. I don’t think he liked the idea, but knew what I was telling him was true. He spoke of how much he loved the friends he’d made here and how much he wanted to stay. I told him only he was in control of the outcome. He understood he had to change his defiant personality and learn how to be compliant at school just as he had done at home.

It was tough for him. It was in the nature that he had developed over time to be defiant of everyone and everything in every situation. Showing him examples of how he had been able to do it at home allowed him to see how it was possible to do it at school too. I asked him if he was defiant at church. He said he was not. I asked him if he defied his football coach. He said he did not. So, he’d mastered 3 settings and saw that it really was up to him to master the 4th one – school!

Birthday & A New School – ODD

This article is part 9 of a series. If you have not read part 1, part2, part 3, and part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 , and part 8 – I urge you to do so if you are searching for help on this subject. If you’ve read along with me already, I want to welcome you into the next weeks of our journey and Knight’s recovery.

In Part 9 we enter into weeks 14 & 15. Knight had a birthday, turned 15 years old,  and started a new school. He enjoyed his birthday and was super happy to get more clothes. [I’ve never known a boy to love clothes & shoes as much as he does. Hahahahaha!  🙂 ] He received gifts from his mother, aunts, grandmother, father and the boys & I. He picked his cake at the store and we had a little party for him. He liked it as far as I could tell.

Starting a new school was nerve-racking, yet exciting for Knight. He had been granted an opportunity to re-invent himself. Unfortunately, old habits are hard to break. Even though his home life behavior was improving, he soon fell into the same ole’ troublesome issues at his new school. I warned him again that their was a zero tolerance policy bad or defiant behaviors at the school we enrolled him in. He did well. He chose his classes wisely, made up some missed credits, and immediately began making friends. He also wanted to play football. I took him for his physical and he passed with flying colors.

He was the first one up each mornings. He would get dressed & then make himself breakfast. Then he would wake up his brothers. As his brothers were getting ready for school, Knight would be finishing his cereal and putting his bowl in the sink.

He was the first one in the car to go to school and he was the first out of the car when we arrived. He was excited. He was flourishing! I was so proud of him 🙂

I’ve been republished :)

Here are a couple of great blogs to check out. They have added links to my blog on their sites 🙂

Friend to Yourself

Strategic Learning Today

 

Another Year Here – A LONG Post!

Another year here?

With every passing day we grow, learn, live, and forgive 🙂

Sequoya Park

Sequoyah Park

Forgive? Yes, forgive. I find myself forgiving much lately. Forgiving words, actions, glances, thoughts, erratic driving, others jumping in front of us, and even the random stranger using my Kroger gas points before I make it to the gas station! I couldn’t finish this post on April 26th because I wasn’t mentally up to it. Another year here means what? When I’m ready to decide, I’ll edit this post and write more 🙂 Bye for now.

3 June 2012

I’m ready now. Reviewing one’s life can be traumatic, stressful, or fun. For me it was embarrassing that I could not remember the details I wanted to remember. I think my problem was that I needed to break it down into segments of life and I was trying to look at my whole life. I think my memory has improved dramatically after hitting my head last year and developing PCS. I have recovered much of who I am and the parts I can’t remember, I will ask my family to fill in for me. This is a recap synopsis of blessings, trials and triumphs that many continue over time. I really haven’t decided. I will ask one thing dear reader, please do not feel sorry for me. Rejoice with me in the blessings that God has bestowed to, for, and on my life and how he has allowed my life to touch others!  And…remember for me (since I’m not good with memories, that I am a very happy person). Family, please jump in there and correct my memory if it has gone haywire!!  Thank you 🙂 I am now 36 yrs old.

When I came into this world, My mother’s name was Janey and my father was Johnny. They were very young, had many issues of their own and A LOT of kids already. I and my oldest brother Jackie were given away. Jackie had a different father than I did. We didn’t go to an orphanage though. We were given to two loving people that could not have children of their own, Jim and Edna Hensley. I have heard arguments about how old I was at that time, but my adopted parents tell me I was 2 1/2 months old and my natural parents say I was 3 months old. My new mother was 42yrs old and my biological mother wasn’t 20yrs old yet. My new mom was nervous about having a sick baby and evidently I was a very sick baby. My new Aunt’s name was Evlou, she was my new mom’s sister. She had raised 4 young men already and was working on her 5th boy, whom was a year and half older than I (Ben). Mom looked to her as the baby raising expert and took me to spend my first night with my new family with my Aunt Evlou. She fell in love with me (a baby girl). After a short while, it was determined that I was too sick to keep at home and off I went to the hospital. I have seen old black and white pictures of me in an old iron rail crib at the Children’s hospital from that time, but of course I remember none of this. Doctor’s determined that I was “starved” because I vomited all formula for such a long time, my body was malnourished. This was no one person’s fault. Babies, kids, and adults get sick, it’s just how life goes. Anyway, I had a feeding tube in the top of my head and stayed in the hospital for a while, had a special formula, and got to go back to my new home.

Skipping ahead, when I was a toddler, I guess I was pretty happy and mouthy. My mom and dad didn’t baby talk me, so I learned to speak properly. Mom told me that people all over would tell her I was cute because I spoke like an adult and they would talk to me to hear me talk back. Evidently once I got started, I din’t want to stop talking though. Seems like I do remember them pleading with me, “Chrissy, just shhhhh, please stop talking.” Mom dressed me well in beautiful frilly dresses, shiny shoes, tights, and ruffly panties. My hair was naturally curly and hung down my back like an accessory.  My new parents were musicians, song writers, and singers locally, in Nashville, and rubbed elbows with many well known names. They were active participants in the community and very active in churches. Dad felt a draw to minister (as his father did) and mom was beautiful, talented, and had a no-nonsense business head on her shoulders. My brother they took in was given to musician friends of theirs to raise (because that couple couldn’t have children either). I was raised with a brother named Scott (which was the first child they adopted). My cousin Tessa was also given to them to raise. They promptly called another musician family that could not have children either and they gave her to that family to adopt. Because of my malnourished issues early one, EVERYONE in the family encouraged me to eat…eat!  So, I made them happy. I ate until it hurt. I became an over-eater. I grew, I got taller, I got FAT.

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School age: My new parents loved my brother Scott and I tremendously. They told us everyday that we were loved, had lots of hugs, and also told us that we were chosen, adopted, and not a mistake. I think I grew up thinking that I was truly special because I heard this so many times. It was nice to think we were special…chosen.   My mom and dad (which is what they will be referred to throughout this article) were great with us when we were little. They taught us a healthy fear of avoiding “wrong” and loved us dearly. They also took other people’s children in to raise from time to time. Our family size would vary dependent upon other people’s life situations. We traded/exchanged/borrowed new brothers and sisters pretty regularly as they came in and out of our home. We were not rich, but my brother and I thought we were.  We didn’t want  for anything, we were happy with what we had. We went through a 15 year gaming spree. Pong, Atari, Nintendo, Super NES, Sega, Sega Genesis, Commador 64, a pole table, UNO, ROOK, SkipBo, & the Playstation 1. We played as a family, we played solo, we danced and sang daily, we weight lifted, and we always had bikes to ride, we did everything together.  We even argued together. Mom and dad were not the Cleavers (which we watched everyday) and they certainly were not from Mayberry. They had disagreements, arguments, had rough times financially, and we struggled like any other family does. If my recovered memory serves me correctly, as money became very tight, the arguments increased significantly. I think my Middle School years (6th-8th grade) were the worst for mental anguish. The constant bickering took a toll on my mental health and I constantly thought about suicide. My spiritual convictions about taking ones own life prevented me from completing the task though. I saw dad attempt to hurt himself and I watched mom cry for days and days. I had very little self confidence. Mom resorted to verbal abuse. She would attack anyone and everyone that dared to tick her off.  If there had been an Olympic sport for ripping someone to shreds with a tongue lashing – she would have walked way with the Gold medal every time! I was a very heavy (over weight) child, wearing women’s plus sizes by 5th grade. I was so tired of hearing people say, “but…you have such a pretty face”.  I thought no one would ever love me as chunky as I was and just knew I’d always be rather round! Mom’s constant reminders of my figure were bad enough, but when I factored my friends words into the mix – I thought I was doomed forever. I fell in with a crowd of teenagers that thought hurting themselves was cool. I tried some of their methods and determined that my mental anguish was enough, I didn’t understand the physical harm to oneself. So, I was pretty miserable. I stayed depressed, wanted to withdraw from life, but something kept pulling me up out of it – every time.  Dad’s music store that he owned we out of business, we almost lost our home, food became scarce, and we all prayed to survive from day to day.

My Brother Scott, Mom,and I

My brother Scott, Mom,and I

Something changed in December of 1990 though. Dad finally followed his heart and began studying his bible more. He had felt a strong pull on his heart to start a non-denominational church. Through the years, I had church traveled with daddy. We had “visited” almost every church in east Tennessee and he had evangelized for many years. Everywhere we went in public, there was someone that would invite daddy to come preach at their church – so he and I would go. Mom was wrestling with her own version of salvation, so she and my brother would stay home most of the time.  I loved being exposed to so many variations of Christianity. From backwoods daddy-called-and-momma-taught churches to the big commercialized denominational organizations – I found God’s love in every church and in every person. It was harder to find in some people than others 🙂 But it was there!  So, fast forward to 1991, dad was pastoring, mom was growing spiritually, my brother and I were being typical preachers’ kids, and life was getting better. I wasn’t as depressed as often. We had food!

Graduation 1994

Graduation 1994

In 1993, I began my own spiritual studies, completely independent from the church. I wanted to study outside of Christianity so I had a better understanding of why people believe what they believe. I studied Buddhism, Wica, Hinduism and the Ajna chakra, and many other types of faith. I developed an understanding of why people believe, what they believed, and always came back to Christianity in the end. There’s just nothing like my Jesus! I graduated in 1994 and got married the day after. I was 18, young, stupid, yet – knew everything! That lastest only a short while. I met Nick in 1995 and immediately fell in love ❤ It was as if Edgar Cayce had told us many moons before we would meet. I had been waiting for him & he had been waiting for me! We married, had 2 beautiful boys, and stayed together for 14 yrs…until he passed away.

I’ve gotta run…I’ll write more later!!

WINDSTREWN

words. music. randomness. life.

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LORIEB (Lor-eee-bee)

My passions include health and wellness, current events, gardening, food allergies, parenting, sports, relationships, and more...

Arch't. Michael M. de Leon

ARCHITECT / AUTHOR / ARTIST

Tidbits Journal

Sharing my personal reflections on God's Living Word

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