Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Hate School and What Day Is It?

"When I was a young coach I used to say, "Treat everybody alike." That's bull. Treat everybody fairly."
~ Bear Bryant ~

Yesterday, Aren came bursting through the door declaring, "I hate school".  He then continued in a very whiny voice which at first was difficult to understand, "I had to do math at recess".  And, "it was hard"; "I don't understand".  I asked him why he was made to do the work at recess and he told me because he got it wrong during class time.  My son's upset made me feel very upset, in fact, I felt angry about it.  This is the 2nd time this school term, my son was made to do make up work at recess.  And, today was the 2nd time I requested for the teacher to stop this practice.  This is another example among many where this district disregards the parents input regarding the education of their child.

Aren feels punished and singled out even if he's working in a small group when other kids are having fun at recess while he isn't.  Math is an area of significant weakness for my son.  By making him do the work when he rather run and play will only instill resentment.  The resentment will potentially lead him to being turned off and he will tune out completely from learning it.

My son has PDD-NOS and the disability affects his short term memory.  Last night at dinner, Aren asked "what day is it".  I know that sometimes this is an issue for him so I ask him to tell me "what was yesterday?"  He tried to remember but couldn't.  Aren wanted to know if it was Friday.  My son is allowed to buy ice cream on Fridays which he never forgets.  When it comes to sweets and desserts, Aren is first in line.  So I asked him, "did you have ice cream today?"  Of course, he said no because that is definitely something he would remember.  As much as I tried to get him to recall, it was challenging for him.  We finally told him, it's Wednesday.  This morning, Aren did it again.  He asked, "what is today?"  Although he was told just last night, it was Wednesday, he couldn't tell me that today is Thursday. 

The memory lapses are splintered which is typical to his abilities and disabilities.  There are days when I use deductive reasoning with him, he'll arrive at the answer on his own.  And, then there are other days like yesterday and today, where he struggles to get it right.

"The existence of forgetting has never been proved:  We only know that some things don't come to mind when we want them."  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~


  1. Your recommendations to change the consequences of working through recess might backfire. One method that is effective for all children, even children with learning issues is setting expectations. If your son perceives he will never have consequences, esp the same as others, he is learning to not work (....toward helplessness).

  2. Found this:

  3. TherExtras - thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I've given your comment some thought and want to respond to it.
    I have expectations set for my children. In fact, I raise the bar high and will not let my child's disability hinder his self esteem if I can help it. My children are aware of and receive natural consequences and have clear boundaries in place.
    My 8 year old son is struggling with math. And, he is working below his peers which he is very much aware. It hurts him because he tries very hard and he wants to learn. However, he gets very frustrated. I don't see it as helpful to keep any child who is making an effort to learn but is struggling made to do the work at recess. He is only 8 years old and views the loss of recess time as punishment. To me, this seems counter productive. If he views the loss of recess time as a negative to do work he is struggling with, he could potentially be at risk of losing interest in the subject all together. And, this is the last thing I want to happen for him.
    The expectation I have for my children is for them to do their best and strive toward their personal best.

  4. Aren must have a hard, hard time remembering things that are stressful.

    I know when I've been stressed, it's been hard to remember what day it is.

    And live from Friday to Friday.

  5. Adelaide, I agree that stress effects memory. Stress can make it very difficult to focus especially if there is concern about how well we do. My son is very concerned about how he measures up compared to his peers. He needs more counseling in this area.
    Aren also has processing issues related to working memory. He often wants to know what day it is and if I help him think it through he'll arrive at the correct answer. And, then there are days where it seems to be more of a struggle.


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