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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 11:46 am
Hi everyone,
Wondering if any fellow imamothers might be able to offer up any suggestions or resources. I have a son who is BH in 7th grade, in a mainstreamed school.  He does not have any behavioral issues so each year I would re-evaluate whether he was in the right placement or not - it's a school that is slightly more modern hashkafically however they have an exceptional organization of services and his regular classes, coupled with daily SETTS (resource room) and the gamut of in-school therapies, enabled him to achieve averagely and remain with mainstream peers (which I felt was important because he did not have any behavioral issues and I wanted him to get the positive peer examples, etc.).
However, unfortunately it has become painfully obvious that this school placement is not appropriate at this time. He is feeling his differences and they are not only coming out academically but he is unhappy socially/emotionally as well. He feels negatively about himself and is overall just extremely unhappy. He is on medication (diagnoses with ADHD and learning disability many years ago) and goes to therapy however I believe we have gotten to the point that we need to re-consider his academic setting.

The issue is - where?! He socializes with mainstream kids in the neighborhood and I would hate for him to be in a setting where he picks up negative behaviors since that isn't his particular issue. His issue is academics. And he now realizes, in this mainstream school, that he is different than his peers. 

Does anyone know of any resources to find out about schools in the tristate area that could serve a child like him? We could do Brooklyn, 5-towns/long island or Manhattan at this point.... but would consider farther if there are no other appropriate settings.
I am at such a loss- I so desperately want to get him on the right track before he starts to end up with negative behaviors. He has started to do things that indicate something needs to be changed - for ex he saved up his money to buy  a phone for himself because he said all of the cool kids had phones and he just wanted to fit in. I know, it's not something that is so crazy, just shows how desperate he is becoming (plenty of kids do not have phone and he goes to school a few minutes from our house so he does not need a phone now). He just cannot figure out how to fit in. He is SO unengaged in school, never has any idea what the homework is or what is expected of him. I feel like he needs something that gives him purpose, a system geared for kids like him. Until not he was able to be spoon fed by some incredible teachers/rebbeim who understood he just needed more. Now, with a class of 25 12 year old boys - it seems unrealistic to expect that of a general ed teacher/rebbi.

Sorry for the long post, I suppose I am starting to feel a bit desperate. Any and all advice or direction would be GREATLY appreciated!!
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:36 pm
A few questions:

1) Is this your oldest kid?

2) Does he have someone good to study with for his Bar Mitzvah?

3) Is this year different because he is in middle school?

4) Do you know exactly what services the school is providing, and what more you might need?

5) Did he go to camp this summer? If so, how did he function socially there?

6) What does his therapist have to say?
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miami85




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:43 pm
Is the issue the curriculum or the social chevra?
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 1:58 pm
imasinger wrote:
A few questions:

1) Is this your oldest kid?

2) Does he have someone good to study with for his Bar Mitzvah?

3) Is this year different because he is in middle school?

4) Do you know exactly what services the school is providing, and what more you might need?

5) Did he go to camp this summer? If so, how did he function socially there?

6) What does his therapist have to say?


Thank you for responding!

Yes, this is my oldest. His bar mitzvah is IYH after Pesach and I didn't want to put the added pressure of studying his leining (and he's not that interested) on him, on top of school which he is ALWAYS overwhelmed by. Someone mentioned learning from a recorded tape so maybe he would do maftir or something like that from a recording. I haven't figured that out just yet.

He currently has a modified curriculum - so he is taken out of social studies, ivrit and navi (it's a more modern school so they have 1/2 day of english and 1/2 day limudei kodesh) for SETTS (resource room), limudei kodesh resource room and speech therapy / OT (which he still qualifies for through the department of education). I feel like he might need a school with smaller classes, where he can get more individualized attention and start to learn skills to help him function long-term. Being taken out of half of his classes, to be taught all of the material a second time, and then still not knowing what is expected of him - is just not working.

We went to a bungalow colony this summer and he did great (he had a bad experience in sleep-away camp and won't go back) - they gave him things to do around camp, things to build and get involved with, and he thrived with that. He felt like a million bucks when they kept thanking him for helping to set things up, etc.

He just started with a new therapist so I am going to bring it up at the next session. He had mostly been dealing with my son and getting to know him until now.
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 2:03 pm
miami85 wrote:
Is the issue the curriculum or the social chevra?


Thank you for responding!

It's definitely the curriculum - he just cannot follow along in the class. However, I think that there is starting to become a problem with the chevra in relation to this as well. Meaning, until now, he was almost oblivious to his obliviousness, if that makes any sense. He's a social kid, loves to play sports and has a heart of gold - so BH, always had a chevra in school and on the block. And he would just go along in school, teachers saying what a respectful and motivated kid he is, 'that just needs that extra help'.

But I see this change in him now - feeling so inadequate socially. And I assume by definition the academics are becoming more challenging in 7th grade - so it seems like the setting is just not right for him anymore.
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 3:01 pm
I wish I had an answer or something wise to say. I don't.

I am in the same desperation with my daughter who is in 4th grade and I see the handwriting on the wall. I see it coming... the beginnings of not fitting in because of the academic difficulties..

Its so hard. Lots of hugs to you.
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 3:14 pm
Ichud in brooklyn (maybe in chaim Berlin?) Small special ed class with mainstreaming into regular classes when possible while giving support.

P'tach - I think they're in YU HS, not sure about the middle, but definitely inquire
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miami85




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 3:22 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you for responding!

It's definitely the curriculum - he just cannot follow along in the class. However, I think that there is starting to become a problem with the chevra in relation to this as well. Meaning, until now, he was almost oblivious to his obliviousness, if that makes any sense. He's a social kid, loves to play sports and has a heart of gold - so BH, always had a chevra in school and on the block. And he would just go along in school, teachers saying what a respectful and motivated kid he is, 'that just needs that extra help'.

But I see this change in him now - feeling so inadequate socially. And I assume by definition the academics are becoming more challenging in 7th grade - so it seems like the setting is just not right for him anymore.


Two schools that come to mind but I admit I'm not in NY anymore so don't have my finger on the pulse anymore, but 1) Ivdu, I know that they are more self-contained, but I know that they work hard with families to get funding/scholarships, I don't know precisely where it stands hashkafically. 2) Gesher in the Five Towns--I don't know if they go up to middle school yet, last I heard they were mid-elementary, but while they are a "mainstream" yeshiva they have small classes to cater to indiviualized needs. The kid I knew who went there were younger, but the parents spoke VERY highly of the program.
I know that when it comes to the higher-functioning but not-quite-there mainstream kids its very tricky to find the right fit. I do know that many schools have SETTS within the yeshiva. 7th grade is a hard year to switch b/c its so close to high school. But maybe Queens/Long island yeshiva might be a little more "open minded" but still fairly yeshivish?
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amother




Honeydew


Post  Fri, Sep 13 2019, 4:25 pm
First I must say that you sound like such an amazing mother, who is trying to do everything in her power to help her son. You might want to look into the CAHAL program in Far Rockaway/FT. They are in most if the mainstream yeshivas, and provide special classes and support for children who need extra help, while being part of mainstream school. You might want to talk to Achiezeror or Ohel for advice. Yeshiva of South Shore is known for being a place that tries hard to accommodate out of the box kids. You are smart not to want to pressure your son for his bar mitzvah. It would be counterproductive. If he wants to, let him do the Haftorah. If not, an Aliya would be sufficient. Keep a positive attitude. Our thoughts are with you.
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