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Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    [​IMG] Up all night again- worried about school
    I don’t get it. According to the principal in our meeting today, “we are not on the same wavelength even though we like each other”. She has been pretty accommodating this school year- so maybe it is that I have a communication problem. I know someone here posted before that it sounds like she’s just trying to pacify me- it’s looking more and more that way.

    I went to meet with her today so she could review difficult child’s report from MDE herself and to discuss a couple of other things. She seemed to take everything I said like I expected them to never discipline difficult child. And at one point she asked straight out why I wanted her to review this report. Now I know that if I hadn’t brought it in, I would have been accused at some point of withholding information from the school- I’ve had this happen before.

    The point I had been trying to make with her regarding difficult child is that if he’s become disruptive, dealing with him in certain ways will escalate problems and dealing with him in certain ways will minimize problems. Her response was that if he does something wrong, he’s going to get suspended. I tried to discuss that from holidays until spring break is his “bad” period and for the last two years, this is the time period when he’s unstable and can lose it. I asked if we could discuss ways to be prepared to deal with that. She said we can’t predict everything that might happen, so if it did happen we would meet and get a BIP in place. Well, last year their idea of a BIP was a contract saying nothing more than if difficult child got into trouble again, he would be put out of school. I did not sign it. He got in trouble and was put out of school. I told her I didn’t want to go down that route again. This is when she said she thought we weren’t on the same wavelength.

    Their idea of an IEP meeting is to decide what they are and aren’t willing to do, then bring me and now, difficult child, in to get us to “buy into it”. (Yes, they have actually used that phrase when referring to their ideas on more than one occasion.) I know I’ve caused friction over there, but it is hard for me to view this as me being the cause of the communication problem. They seem to act like they think difficult child shouldn’t be on an IEP and can control all of his problems.

    For instance, when I mentioned recent testing for ADHD and previous neuropsychologist testing (done 2 years ago) and that results on both came back with difficult child all over the board- from high average to impaired, and that I didn’t know what that indicated- cycling?- but obviously, there was something going on. She said well, it could just be typical hormones. She discussed a student who has autism (difficult child had mentioned something troubling about him so I discussed it with her to see if difficult child was telling me the truth and to see if they were aware) – anyway- she said they were all aware that he masturbates in class and that when a teacher sees him, they redirect him. No problem, she says. And that they know his triggers and do their best to prevent them. Ok, then why won’t they make an effort to prevent my difficult child’s triggers and redirect him? Why does he get the “he does something wrong, he’s written up and gets the same punishment as any other student”. I didn’t ask for him not to be punished, I asked for prevention and redirection, which would probably take care of some things, and then some understanding of his issues when assigning punishments and discussing incidents with him.

    She also mentioned, again, that there used to be a boy there with bipolar but he was on a 504 (I think that’s what it’s called) and not an IEP and the only accommodations they made for him was that his mother would keep him out of school if he was manic and they required a letter or call from psychiatrist or therapist that day telling them that the student had full blown mania and it would not be safe for him to come to school. So, I take this as her message to me- that they don’t want to accommodate anything that happens to fall between complete stability and full blown mania. HUH Well my difficult child is on an IEP.

    I feel like giving up on this school district but I don’t see how I can. And I know we’re headed for a rough road right now- difficult child isn’t getting to sleep until 11:30 or 12:00 (trouble sleeping is a sign of things to come with him), and there are a couple of other tell tell signs I see. Am I expecting too much to think the school should be aware and handle things differently? Am I expecting too much to think an IEP meeting should be a real discussion- with no minds made up until after the discussion and that if I tell them he could be entering a bad period, that doesn’t mean crack down harder on him?

    Last year when he started coming to school half asleep, hair uncombed, unmotivated, they came down on him so hard- just for that. Well, I know it’s not good, but it’s not a violation. And then he started becoming disruptive and the whole pattern starts.

    :furious:
    Suggestions?
     
  2. looking4hope

    looking4hope New Member

    Your difficult child needs an IEP, not a 504. The 504 does not have binding legal protections for your child under IDEA like an IEP.

    First, get a written letter to your school principal outlining your difficult child's behavior problems, ADHD diagnosis (and by whom). Then state that because of these problems, your child is not meeting his learning potential. Ask for him to be tested for learning disabilities related to his ADHD, and a complete psychological profile. Remember, that under IDEA, a learning disability is described as the gap between the child's ability to learn and the actual learning taking place. Because of difficult child's behavior, he isn't meeting this potential.

    Once you write this letter, the school district has 30 days to arrange for testing. Schools don't want you to know this because it's expensive, and so is providing services for Learning Disability (LD) kids. But under the law, your child has a right to a free and appropriate education, and sometimes an IEP reminds the school of this fact.

    Once you get an IEP in place, then you can ask for accomodations like the redirections and the trigger awareness. Without an IEP, teachers and administrators are not required to do this, and they can treat your child like anyone else.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but I know all this from personal experience. The school psychiatric won't take your psychiatrist or neuropsychologist's diagnosis -- they want their own. And believe me, they will do their best to prove that your child does not qualify for an IEP. But push ahead with the diagnosis from your docs, and you will prevail. You may also want to speak with your local CHADD chapter or go to their Web site to see if there are some local advocates who can help you (many will do it for free).

    Good luck, and keep on fighting for your son's right to be in school!
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Looking4hope - klmno already has an IEP for her son

    Klmno - you are not asking for too much. I had the same, repetitive discussion with our school district and they continued to escalate Tigger when they could have been a calming force. I had the same push back from the principal ("you don't think he should be punished for injuring a teacher" -- um, that is not what I said, but speaking of punishments, is the aide going to be punished for grabbing Tigger and escalating the situation to the point of physical contact - she wouldn't have gotten hurt if she didn't touch him and he wasn't being a danger to self or others - just noncompliant).

    I made the decision that the damage they were doing to Tigger was too great a price to pay to continue to get them to comply with their legal mandate. I withdrew Tigger and homeschool him now. My goal is to get him caught up to grade level and then enroll him in our church school. I KNOW that legally I could continue to battle them for services.

    Is your DS in 8th grade? Will you be switching to the high school district next year? Could you get the grade school district to give in on some areas and get a better IEP when he heads to high school?
     
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