Category Archives: Special Needs

Thinking Outside the Box for School-Resistant Kids
Frustrated Teen

My proposed solution is simple: don’t waste a lot of time and money pushing kids in directions they don’t want to go. Instead find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that. Then get out of the way. ~ Seth Godin

Q. What is the best way to respond to my 12 yo son who refuses to go to school? It started after he had 2 teachers who focused on the things he couldn’t do. We eventually pulled him and put him in private school but that only worked for about a year. We pulled him altogether last year on the advice of his therapist. Virtual school was a nightmare, and we were taking care of my dying father in the house too. It was too much. He really hates school. He is super smart but has dysgraphia, ADHD and anxiety so he really struggles.

A. I imagine there are a lot of kids this pandemic has pushed to the surface who were falling through the cracks pre-Covid. The silver lining of this struggle may be that you have come up against a dead end with traditional school before serious problems arise for your son in high school. This is a tough problem but one that needs solving sooner rather than later.

read more
The Power of Waiting
Waiting to cool
No matter the child, no matter the situation, waiting for emotions to cool and for the situation to pass, can make all the difference in your ability to connect.

The following is a story from the mom of an Aspergers child:

As we drove to school one Monday morning, out of the blue my ten year old son said, “Mum, I want to say sorry for what happened on Thursday.”

My son is an ‘Aspiekid’ – he has traits of Aspergers, meaning he was born with a different kind of ‘wiring’ in the brain than most of us. One result of this is that he sometimes gets very distressed about things that others would consider insignificant or even ‘stupid’ to get upset about. He finds it harder than most people to move past these upsets, and when this happens I call it “getting stuck”.

‘What happened on Thursday’ was that he got “stuck” on a very small additional homework task, became very distressed and was emotionally and mentally unable to complete the task. Instead, after about an hour of distress, unable to calm down any other way, he fell asleep.

When I first began learning Connective Parenting, I used to think it didn’t always work, because Bonnie says that children respond to fairness and logic – while a child in an Aspie meltdown certainly does not. But I was making a mistake – skipping over the second step in the connective process. The first step is to acknowledge my child’s difficulty, the next is to wait – for as long as it takes. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, because there is simply no point trying to move to the next step – working out solutions – until the agitated person (child or adult) can get calm. For my son, that often takes a long time, but no matter how long it is, I simply have to wait.

read more