ODD problem

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Zzoe
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ODD problem

Post by Zzoe » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:52 pm

I'm hoping someone with experience may be able to give me some advice or insight.

My son is in Year 4 (he's nine, turning ten this year). He has struggled academically for all his schooling, and has been diagnosed with moderate dyslexia. He's a very diligent student, though, and always gets heaps of praise for being kind, attentive, trying his hardest and so on.

He is in a class of 34 this year. I've been to,d by the school's special needs co-ordinator that there are four kids with dyslexia in the class. There is also a boy in the class with severe behaviour problems. He has four different teaching assistants (support staff to help in the classroom), who rotate through the week. Basically, he has someone in the class full time. He is new at the school this year, and I understand that he has very severe ODD. My son shares some of what happens in the class, and it's awful. Today the teacher was threatened with being beaten up, and called a f*#%*ing c*%!t. This happens several times a week. The principal is called to the class, and if the behaviour has been bad enough' the student is sent home.

I'm hoping that someone with real experience of ODD can help me understand this. I'm struggling because I know that a great deal of staff time and energy is going into the situation; not to mention the almost daily disruption to the class. There are other students who really would benefit from some additional attention (the four dyslexic students among them), and yet the teacher seems constantly at breaking point.

According to my son, half the boys in the class think the whole thing is hysterically funny and are starting to imitate some of the behaviours. I'm not coping too well with all this, and am really wondering about going to talk with the principal. I just wonder if the school is dealing with the situation in the best way possible? Surely having a single teacher's aide (rather than four alternating ones) would at least provide a bit more stability?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Would love to know how other schools deal with this type of situation.

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Andypandy
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Andypandy » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:44 am

I agree that just a consistent EA would be better.

I don't know much about ODD.
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Mummy woo!
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:39 am

34 sounds like a very big class - at our local public school Oobiwoo is in a 3/4 composite with 28 kids.

I don't know anything about ODD. But I know a school's approach to discipline can make a huge difference. Our school has a system that gets great results. The principal told me a while back that they have taken on a few kids who have been expelled from neighbouring schools for discipline reasons. They tend to respond really well at our school and don't have any further issues - she described them as just disappearing into the population. I don't know if there is a 'system' they use, but when Oobiwoo was having trouble with bullying last year the deputy principal did some restorative justice conferencing that was excellent. Restorative justice is a conflict resolution method that focusses on restoring the relationship between the parties - perfect for bullying but it is also used in criminal justice - I learned about it at law school.

That doesn't really give you anything actionable to suggest to the school, but maybe you could book some time with the stage leader or principal to discuss your concerns and ask them what they can do. Sounds as though the teacher needs some additional support too - I can't imagine how hard that must be for her and it sounds as though she isn't coping.
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Nedsmum
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Nedsmum » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:13 am

First thought is that it's really hard to know what's actually going on unless you are right there in the classroom. If you feel that it's affecting your child's progress or wellbeing then of course you could speak to the class teacher or a higher level person to raise your concerns. ODD is very challenging, and although 'in theory' it sounds like it might be better to have a consistent support person, it may also be that it's extremely difficult to manage and too much for just one person to work with the child through the whole week... that or it's either testing different staff to see who might be the best 'fit' for that child...or it might just be a case of available staff...

I would filter all of that through the knowledge that you are getting second-hand information via your son and you won't really know how it really is, and that the other child, regardless of how challenging their behaviour is, has a right to be educated and to be supported too... but your role is to be the best advocate that you can be for your own child.

A big class, plus several kids with special needs, plus the teacher's aides etc, could be that the school decided to 'concentrate' the support staff and children into one class... maybe...or maybe it's just a coincidence...
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Zzoe
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Zzoe » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:36 pm

Thanks for all the replies, it's so valuable to have varied perspectives on a thing. I have a standard parent-teacher catch up this afternoon and am thinking I will ask her about the whole situation. At the beginning of the year all the parents of the class were told that we would have some communication about how the school was dealing with this student, but there hasn't been anything said since then, and the frequency and intensity of this behaviour seems to be increasing rapidly.

I understand he has the right to an education, but I'm worried when other kids in the class observe that often, this student ends up having things his way after a refusal to do what is being asked. Regardless of the actual truth of that, it's the way other children are percieving the situation; so perhaps it's just about the teacher taking the time to clearly explain this child's situation to the others.

Thanks again.

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AussieBritLu
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Re: ODD problem

Post by AussieBritLu » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:54 pm

Hope it went well
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Zzoe
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Zzoe » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:00 am

It went well. The teacher mentioned that yes, the behaviour has ramped up recently; but that she was confident this was end-of-term tiredness (I bet she's looking forward to a holiday, too!). I'm glad I raised it... Her explanation made sense. I hope things settle down after the holidays.

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Nedsmum
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Nedsmum » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:09 pm

Good to Hear! Yay for good teachers and school holidays!
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Bailey's Mum
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Re: ODD problem

Post by Bailey's Mum » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:33 pm

I have personal experience with ODD. It's hell on earth. I would totally understand people wanting to move their kids out of the classroom (although my child reserves his ODD for home), but I've learned the hard way that there's always going to be that one kid, wherever you go. Same with bullies, same with all sorts of issues. I'd personally prefer that schools (and parents, but you can't ask for that) educate kids about difference, and how different doesn't mean less. I believe that would go a LONG way to making society a better place.

Happy to chat about ODD by PM if you would like - I'd be happy to share ways we cope, and teach others to cope, with our boy. Mums like you make my world a nicer place. So thanks.
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