Anyone on Long Island? Need Help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by daralex, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    We live in Suffolk county. My 14 yr old difficult child just started high school in our town and is drowning miserably to say the least. I am considering sending her to an alternative high school nearly and need t know if anyone has had any experience with this alternative school. I can't afford to make another mistake for her sake. ANY input would be helpful!! Thank you!!!!!!!
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2008
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Good morning,

    We are in Suffolk also. Is she in a public school? Your town's school's are beyond great! Does she have an IEP? Some of the school's in suffolk can be challenging when it comes to special needs children. It's as if "we" the parents have to educate them.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2008
  3. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Hi Jennifer,
    We moved here purposely because of the schools (They are great, no question, but do not accomodate her particular needs). The problem is that their idea of Special Education is what's called an inclusion class. It's about 15 kids a teacher and a Special Education aide. The problem is the pace of the work is the same as a regular classroom and she cannot absorb that much info into her head at once. The only other classroom situation they offer is the self contained class with children that are very drastically below her level.

    The alternative school is supposed to deal with learning difficulties as well as emotional problems. they have psychiatrists on hand all day long and will address her emotional difficulties as well as her Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). I just didn't want to push the new school if it is not what I think it is. She does not yet have an iep (She has a 504) as we are in the middle of having her finally classified as Special Education and I would need to push my point at the next classification meeting in December
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2008
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    my suggestion to you is based solely off my experience in my district which can be very trying to say the least.

    I would see what you can do about asking for a team meeting to be set up with all her teachers. Go over 504 with them, whatever accommodations are needed and fact you are in the process of putting iep in place which by the way they will most likely fight you on.

    It is their job to educate her, and make whatever accommodations are necesssary. Their model of an inclusionary program stinks out here, I know. Yet the way I"m working it is to work one on one with the school at bldg. level for accommodations to be made.

    What ideas do you have as far as accommodations being made to assist her?? I don't think i'd pull her out. Transitions are hard to begin with. I think id' ride it out. There will be problems with the next school also. there is always an issue anywhere.

    also is she medicated right now, or in therapy?
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Also when you say drowning miserably whats' happening in school? Has she made any friends as of yet?? Is she failing? any suspensions yet??

    Just curious.
  6. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I don't even know where to begin. She has no friends (she is very socially awkward), she is failing most of her classes (I think her average in math is a 24!) She is passing her art electives which she loves. She recently came out of the closet so to speak (I'm sure that had something to do with her prior sexual abuse) and the kids are now making fun of her for that (she dresses very boy-ish). there is an after school club for gay and lesbian youth which she attens and a club on Friday nights which is just starting to be a social place for her where she feels accepted.
    She refuses therapy, but I have the name of someone that was highly recomended and will try that after the holidays. She wants medications, I am hesitant. There are no medications for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), but I'm sure something could help her other symptoms.
    I was afraid to pull her out for the exact reason you said - there are always problems at every school. She cannot keep up with the pace of the work, she is frustrated, overwhelmed, being teased, and worn out form trying so hard. I guess I just keep wondering if the alternative school could handle her better as they have people form a psychiatric department there on hand as part of their daily routine.
    She was getting in lots of trouble a few years a go but that seems to have subsided, except when a group of senior boys started calling her a dike and she punched two of them (Boy she has balls!!). She is trying so hard to make good decisions and just keeps getting knocked down. She goes in every day tries her best and fails - not very good for her mental well health.
    She is now in a "resource" room at the end of each day - but all she does is do her homework and refuses help from teachers as she doesn't want to look "dumb" in front of the other kids. I guess i thought if she was in a school with other kids like her she wouldn't be so hung up on getting the help she needs. I just really have no idea what the right thing to do for is at this point. I don't want to make a mistake as I don't think she could bear it.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2008
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i can totally see your frustrations. I think the afterschool program is a great idea. I think also when it comes to therapy just putting them in even if they don't talk right away in time maybe she'd fold. I think that's what I would do quite honestly she's handling alot right now.

    Does she seem to have any anxiety issues at all? Is she sleeping ok at night?

    I am not a medication person, i truly am not. Yet i think when it comes to anxiety issues a low dosage medication is right on until they learn the skills to handle their anxiety.

    Has she had an evaluation recently? Do you see any signs of depression in her besides the failing school and no friends I mean? Like overeating, or not eating sleeping alot of not at all? irritable alot of the time?

    those are things i saw in my difficult child.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Also I have made a ton of mistakes with my difficult child along the way of getting her diagnosis's and understanding what is best for her.

    Yet without the mistakes there would be no accomplishments. :)

    Your functioning out of your love for her and that's the most important thing. so be easy on you.
  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I am in Nassau. My oldest son attended a BOCES Alternative HS in this county and it was wonderful for him. He is slightly Aspie and has some ADD. Unfortunately, it didn't really help him with transition to college - we just found out 2 days ago that he hasn't attended one session of his English 101 at Nassau Community, so college is a no go despite his high IQ.

    I don't know that alternative school, but I suggest that you visit it with and without your daughter. Talk to the staff and the other kids. When H and I visited the school my son went to, he almost flipped out seeing the outfits, etc. that the other kids wore. By the time we left, H was ready to adopt the long haired boy wearing thigh high lace up boots, an open vest with no shirt and masses of chains topped off by a spiked dog collar because he was SO polite and bright. After a one hour visit at the school, my son had more friends than he had made in 7 years in district. You will know right away if the school is right for you. My son is straight but the school and the kids were beyond tolerant, sexual orientation was a non-issue.

    As for the available programs, I have the same situation in my district. My middle schooler is bussed to Queens every day to attend a private school at district expense because the only options we have are a self-contained (same problem with it that you have) and an inclusion which takes SIX kids per grade (average grade size is about 350). My son is dyslexic, high IQ and can't work fast enough for a regular class in writing, etc.

    Yours is a good school district - we actually looked at it, but it's too far out as I work in the city, but most districts don't get that kids can be bright and have Learning Disability (LD)'s too. Most don't get Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) at all.

    Last word of advice, get a full IEP as it will protect you more than a 504. Also, my son's BOCES school did not take kids without IEPs, check on the alternative school's rules.

    Good luck.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2008
  10. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Thanks for the support! No, she doesn't seem to be depressed and has no sleeping issues, she wants the medications because she thinks it will make her focus better and "fix" what's wrong with her.

    Svenghandi - it was GREAT to hear that you had success with the BOCES program. I know your in the next county - but I would have to have hope that the BOCES is run similarly. What you described as your son's experience is exactly what I'm seeking for my difficult child. It also helps to hear that no one gets the Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) thing - I was starting to feel like I'm crazy.

    I just don't want to screw this up again! - thanks!!!

  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I just want to remind everyone that we don't name or recommend doctors, treatment facilities or schools publicly. If you have further information for Dara, please PM her. Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Smallworld -

    I think your comment was directed at me. BOCES is neither a doctor nor a treatment facility. It is an acronym for "Board of Cooperative Educational Services." In NYS, there are several BOCES, which are consortiums of school districts. In my county, there are 30+ districts which participate and I am not in the same county as the other writers. BOCES run a number of different programs for kids who can't be handled in regular schools and by pooling the resources of multiple districts, it is possible to provide a better, broader range of services than any individual district can do. BOCES also pool assets to keep costs down on bus services, fuel and other expenses. The poster's son could not attend the school my son did because she lives in Suffolk and I live in Nassau. I am sorry if you thought that I was recommending a specific program. Honestly, if I had wanted to I would have PM'ed her because the program my son went to is so small that naming it might result in him being identified.

    Thanks for your concern.

  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sven, thanks for your explanation. However, our concern was that the information provided by the original poster would lead to revealing the identity of her minor daughter and put her in harm's way. As you can see, I omitted identifying information from several posts, not just yours.
  14. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    OH! You're right. I did notice that she listed her school district, but it's a pretty big one. I generally never mention mine by name. There are 50+ districts in my county, it would hard to find us by that alone.

    I hope that the poster is able to get her daughter into a situation as good as we did for my child.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi again

    The program you speak of varies from area to area. From my understanding there will be an open house being held after the holidays which will allow you to do a walk through speak to the doctors and see what you think.

    I'm glad she is showing no signs of depression. Yet transitioning once again may be difficult. She's fairly new in the school, is there anyway you can try to ride out the rest of the year with her or next semester and let the afterschool program also do it's job.

    It takes time for kids to adjust i've learned on my own, sometimes more than we think. Therapy also is a good idea. What about group therapy as opposed to one on one??