Cautious Optimism

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ichigo, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. ichigo

    ichigo New Member

    Hello, everyone! You have all been such a source of help, hope, inspiration for me since I found you last month. This is truly a "soft place to land."

    I find myself at a crossroads today . . . difficult child has been out of school since just prior to Thanksgiving last year, following a frightening couple of days - panic attacks, cutting, disorganized thought. She was admitted to p-hospital until just before Christmas; d/c with medical directive to school for home tutoring until placed in a day treatment program.

    Expecting the absolute worst from our school district, I approached the situation armed to the teeth - statements from p-doctor, therapist, caseworker, substance abuse counselor, attending p-doctor from p-hospital. school district pushed for placment at local alternative school, not day treatment. On goes the armor, out comes the sword, warrior mom on the warpath. school district's CSE chair was more than patient with me. She listened to every one of my concerns - at the time I thought merely out of politeness. But, no, she called me back and spoke at great length, addressing every one of my concerns. We went over every available program, and decided on an abbreviated schoolday to transition her back into the classroom, with an eye toward her attending class full time at the alternative school within the next month.

    Everything was in place prior to the CSE meeting this past Tuesday. She will begin her abbreviated school days starting next Monday. Today is her final day of home-tutoring. We got her report card yesterday, too. From 40's in all her core subjects, she is up to 70's and 80's thanks to the home tutoring and the exxeptional efforts of her teachers at the High School.

    Moreover, her behavior and mood at home over the last 3 weeks has done nothing but improve. She is more stable than she has been in years. She is pleasant to be around, fulfills her responsibilities with a minimum of reminding and is expressing positive feelings about the direction she is heading.

    Everything looks fabulous . . . doesn't it? So why am I so suspicious??

    It seems too good to be true. After years of banging our heads against the wall, am I just too jaded to know honest-to-goodness improvement when it is staring me in the face??

    Upshot is this - *how* do I re-address the IEP we agreed upon Tuesday if this begins to fail miserably? I'm not talking about difficult child having a "bad day" at school; I mean if she honestly cannot keep on task and begins to fall behind again, with that perceived "failure" ratcheting up her anxiety, causing acting out, avoidant behavior, and taking it all out on herself again . . . if she is once again at great risk of self-harm.

    I pulled her out of HS *then* got the documentation to back it up. Can I do the same here? Or am I legally bound to continue with the IEP until I get it re-addressed/revised?

    I really am optimistic this time - this is the longest period of stability we have seen around here. I am just still nursing the blisters from the last time we got burned.

    Thanks to you all. You have let me realize that I am not the only one . . .
  2. ichigo

    ichigo New Member

    Please help?
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    IEPs have to be followed. If you feel like it's inadequate, you can request at any time (always certified letter) to reconvene IEP team to review/revise her IEP. They are required to reply in X number of days (I'm thinking 5?) and then give you 10 days prior written notice of the mtg, so you're looking at 15 calendar days from request, roughly. You could always put in your letter that you will waive the 10 PWN requirement if that will get the IEP mtg together faster.

    If she becomes unstable again (and fingers crossed that she won't), you need to do what you need to do. I guess I'm a bit leery of pulling her too often but... you certainly have a far better grasp of what she can handle and when it gets to be too much.

    It sounds like the school has done a decent job working with you - good job, Mom!
  4. ichigo

    ichigo New Member

    Thank you slsh - I was starting to feel moderately invisible!

    Certified letter - gotcha. They really have been very, very responsive. Honestly I was shocked.

    Her first day of "3 to 5" was today - @ school with- tutor (vs @ home with- tutor) today from 3p to 5p. One of her "friends" is in tutoring with her. Funny, I have never heard her mention this girl before, especially since she lives around the corner.

    I'm probably just paranoid.

    Thanks again!
  5. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I'm sorry you flet invisible. Sheila and I have both been out of town. Thanks SLSH for responding.

    If you perceive an IEP to be inadequate, call an IEP meeting. The other suggestion I have is putting STRONG monitoring decives in ALL IEPS (sometimes called "data driven IEPs"). Then if there is a problem, you can ask to see the data that shows the IEP IS working (or not). It is the type of information you were referencing when you said difficult child went from 40s to 80s...that's data.

    Keep very good records and document everything and if the school district wants to serve (and it sounds as if they do), then with good records and a good IEP, you should be OK.

    I'm glad you can see progress. I know the feeling, my comfort or belief level lagged ex-difficult child's improvement by about a year for a while after EGBS.