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Old 11-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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mommabritt
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Location: Currently MO; but wherever the Marines send us. SoCal at heart.
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Help with 7yo school issue?

I need some advice on how to deal with a serious situation with my 7yo DS. Today in his backpack was an official referral from the principal that he cheated on his spelling test. The note says he was caught cheating by having written his words down on his test paper before the test began. His test was attached, he wrote three words, and not in order. Numbers 1, 3, and 17. It says he was informed and told if it happens again there will more serious repercussions. I have to sign and return. I did not receive a phone call from anyone about this. Just a crying DS and the note.

Background: DS is clinically diagnosed mild ASD, PDD nos and ODD. He doesn't have an IEP in place as the school said he doesn't qualify for one. Until recently, the last month or so, his behavior at school has been pleasant and mostly positive. Lately he has had trouble concentrating, disturbing others (not deliberately) by making noises with his mouth while he works, not following directions when asked, forgetting his work and planner to be signed. We heard none of this until his P/T conference a few weeks ago where I asked the teacher to please be in touch with me should his behaviors increase or should there be more trouble. I spoke with her yesterday about something unrelated and quickly checked on him and she said he'd been great. I do know that she has a young teen DS on the spectrum and she does have very strong opinions about how to deal with it. At times I have felt she projects her own parenting opinions onto us as if it is the 'right' way or our ds will be screwed up and fail as an adult (because she has a child who is older so she has btdt kwim?). I can add this is her first year teaching at his school, though she is a somewhat seasoned teacher.

So here's the thing... I am incredibly annoyed that I was not called either by her or the principal. He is 7, not 17. I feel I should have been called and informed of his action, that they were having a meeting in the principals office were he was being written up formally, should I like to attend (and teacher knows I am a sahm).

I know the seriousness of his actions and I am very disappointed. I am very surprised he would do this. The word list was not hard, he knows all but two by heart. When asked why he chose to cheat he said 'I just wanted to get an A'. I asked him where he copied the words from and he said they were on the big board. He says she handed out the paper, the class numbered the paper, and then she took the list down. That he wrote the words down with the numbers. I do NOT want to play down the fact that he broke the rules and made a wrong choice. He knows he did. A referral is serious and I am sure part of his permanent educational record now. That makes me sad. Dh and I discussed consequences and we feel he needs to write a letter to his teacher apologizing for cheating, explaining why he did it and that it won't happen again. We also told him that since he felt he didn't know the words and that he needed to cheat, he will write all 17 of them 7 times each (since he is 7...) this weekend. This is practically torturous for him. The connection of consequence to action is especially important here IMO, to help prevent this from happening again.

Does this sound reasonable to you? Would you contact the school in this situation? Please no flames (not sure where they'd come from but this is DS after all ), it is late and my brain is tired.

Thanks for any help.
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