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Reply #14: We have one of those, a sociopath who's changed with meds. [View All]

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 08:35 AM
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14. We have one of those, a sociopath who's changed with meds.
He threatened me and meant it, was flat-out scary to many of the students and staff, would masturbate in class, refuse to do any work, and lie and manipulate everyone. He was evil, and we all kept begging the principal to kick him out permanently. Only the school secretary believed in him and knew there was a good kid in there. She finally convinced the counselor to fight the parents to get him on meds. His mom, after beating the crap out of him in the school parking lot in front of our secretary and principal, finally gave in and got him to the doctor and got him on meds.

He's an entirely different kid. I'm the one who's (still) grading the writing pre-assessments, and he ended up doing two, one before meds and one after, because of the writing class he's in this quarter. I'm still dumbfounded: his handwriting is so different you'd swear it's a different person (different letter formations, spacing, angles, etc.), his writing style is entirely different and actually is clear and makes sense, and the voice in his writing is entirely different, too. If I hadn't seen him write both and had his name on the papers, I would have sworn they were from two different kids.

He's respectful and nice now. The other students love working with him in class. He's voluntarily apologized to everyone for his behavior before, and he's actually stopping other kids from acting out. The lying is still there, but he's nowhere near the sociopathic manipulator he was. He's actually a joy to have in class now. It's the darndest thing.

We're all still in shock. We've seen kids change with medication, change in drastic and amazing ways. We've even done collections amongst the staff to help students pay for their meds until Medicaid kicks in. This one, though, has taken our breath away, and we wonder why it took until he was 17 and almost done with high school for him to get the help he needed until we remember how we gave up on him but our secretary never did.

Yes, sociopaths are in our classrooms, as are bipolar or borderline kids, kids with Oppositional Defiance Disorder and worse. Many of them end up in my school, the good alternative high school in town, and we're better set up for them, but it's not like it's easy working with students with such massive strikes against them before they even walk into the classroom. Not all students who need meds are on them, and not all parents listen to our advice. You're right: it's laughable that we'd say those students can learn at the same rate the other students can or the rate some person sitting on some state committee says they can.

They can change, though, with help, perseverance, love, and medication. They really can.
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