How Can I Teach the Teacher?

My youngest daughter is seven, she has SPD. She was diagnosed at 3 1/2 after many different 'theories' as to what was 'wrong' with her.


I have provided her teacher with as much information as I could to help explain her disorder, to assist with strategy and coping. I have provided a 'sit o disc', a weighted scarf, chewies, etc. Her therapist came to a meeting to help set up an IEP (individual education plan) for her so that she may be successful in school… it doesn't seem to matter what I say or do, the materials I provide, NOTHING… it all appears to fall on deaf ears, or ears that hear very little for a very short period of time.

My daughter is in grade two. She has now begun to shows signs of extreme anxiety. At school she has begun scribbling on her desk, on the floor, refusing to go into class, hiding under tables, screaming and crying… and when I get there, all she wants is hugs and she keeps repeating how much she loves me. All I want to do is cry. The teacher once referred to her as becoming 'a spoiled rotten brat'.

Why can't she understand? My daughter has trouble printing because the pencil doesn't 'feel right', she doesn't like to participate in gym because she 'can't hit the ball', she shies away from public speaking and plays because she feels 'shy' in front of so many people and music class is hard because it's 'too noisy'. How many times do I need to explain this to her teacher? How many times do I have to get her out of class just to tell her it's not her fault? How many times do I have to reassure my daughter that she's not 'stupid' or 'slow'? Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is to hear your child tell you that she's not as 'smart and fast' as her classmates? Do you know how it feels to be told by your 7 year old daughter that she's frustrated because the teacher sets a timer for 5 minutes and she must complete her work in that time? Do you know how it feels to be a parent and watch your child deteriorate right before your eyes and tell you how much she hates school… in grade 2!!!!!! I feel so alone.

The SPD Q & A Answers


I am so sorry you have been going through all this! You and your daughter must be trying so very hard to make all of this work… I am sorry they are not being responsive to her needs. I know this doesn’t make it better, but know that you are NOT alone. There are thousands of other parents who have been through similar situations and share your story. I want you to meet and talk to some of them for comfort, support, and additional ideas that may help make this situation better. You can join them at the SID-DSI_AllAboutKids online yahoo support group. There are over 1,000 other parents in there… SO many have gone through the same thing. Ask them for support and ideas, ok?

Meanwhile, I do have a few questions for you.

You say the therapist helped you set up an IEP… my first question… are they following the IEP? If they are not, there are laws against this. If they are, it may need to be updated based on changing needs? If you need more information about the laws surrounding IEP’s and your rights, you can find them at: www.wrightslaw.com.

Second, is your daughter in Sensory Integrative Occupational Therapy? Is it private or through the school system? If it is through the school system it may very well not be enough. Through the school you can do things like set up modifications and accommodations, but you will not be able to thoroughly address the underlying sensory processing issues. That would need to be done privately… several times a week and with a good home sensory diet. SI therapy really does need to happen outside of the school system. It sounds like your daughter may need more therapy at this point to address the underlying processing issues. Can you/are you addressing this privately and at home with a good sensory diet and/or companion programs? Tell us more about what you are/have been doing.

Also, what kinds of things/goals/strategies are in her IEP? What are they doing? What are they not doing? What do you / doe the therapist think would help that is not being done? Does she receive weekly OT at the school? Any other services? What does she struggle with most academically? What accommodations have been made so far? What has been successful/unsuccessful?

Oh, and I LOVE the weighted scarf idea! Did you make it? Scarf’s are cool and that seems like a great way to give her some deep pressure input!


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Nov 03, 2010
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by: Anonymous

LEAVE THAT SCHOOL! Do not allow your daughter to be subjected to substandard teachers and the previous post is correct, if the teacher/school is not following the iep-it is illegal.

Furthermore, make sure there is a behavioral intervention plan for your daughter. If there is one-great but again if the teacher is not following it-it is illegal. I have a friend who has gone through a similar situation. Her son got kicked out (which is illegal) but long story short she found a wonderful school they both are happy with. Things will be hard but they will get better.

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