Dealing with school, stupid stupid stupid school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Farmwife, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    6 months ago psychiatrist gave scrip for school help, something with a 5...the thing just before you hit an iep. I forgot because it was that long ago. psychiatrist left it vague. I guess her understanding was that the school would iron out the details of how to assist him. psychiatrist is awesome so I was satisfied.

    Took it to the school. They gave me a blank stare and said they needed more information from psychiatrist. What were they supposed to do? Wanted line by line instructions from doctor. Also said they would offer a tutor for math, which they did. Also said would have Special Education. teacher do testing too. That didn't happen.

    I mentioned it to psychiatrist and she seemed surprised that the school was so clueless. I'm sketchy on the rest, it was 6 stressful months ago. I think I was waiting for a preliminary iep meeting due to just having done neuropsychologist testing.

    They tabled everything in lieu of results. Said without diagnosis being clear (even though I had verbal preliminary results) they had no idea what to do to help difficult child. My thought was that failing in school and having the original request for accomadations should have sufficed. It is clear difficult child has memory/auditory issues.

    neuropsychologist results were supposed to take 6 weeks so at the time it seemed a reasonable solution. They lost a staff member and we are *supposed* to get the results in a couple weeks, 4 1/2 months later. Grrrrreat! :mad: What myself and the iep "team" thought would help us make a fresh start this semester has dragged beyond the half way progress report.

    My bad, I should have been more proactive. I'm burnt. So many appointments, behaviors and on and on and on. Maintaining all the details isn't so easy.

    Amazingly enough our own efforts at home and difficult child getting motivated earned him 1 A 3 B's and 1 C only one missing assignment (last semester it was in the dozens all d's and f's. He has NEVER EVER done this well, not even since kindergarden. Since that seemed to be going well I didn't sweat the iep issue. Then it happened...

    A teacher gave him a zero on an assignment he actually completed. He was supposed to describe cookies using the 5 senses in an effort to sell them to somebody. During class teacher told him oatmeal cookies and sugar cookies. Okay, fine...

    difficult child has an auditory and memory problem. The homework sheet has no mention of the cookies to be used in the instructions at the top of the sheet. It just says "the cookies". You know, the place a kid who forgot what to do reads prior to completling his work? I don't doubt difficult child was talking or not paying attention in class, he is a teen and a difficult child afterall. I don't doubt that he could have put in a better effort but he DID do the assignment.

    He got a zero out of 10 for using chocolate chip cookies in his assignment. A flippin zero. Now I don't really care what this teacher thinks of my difficult child or if she likes him. He made a mistake. Even if she wants to assume it was a careless mistake he still did the rest of the work. He tried, he turned it in on time. It seems to me that she could have given him at least 2 freakin' points for putting his name on it and turning it in on time with writing on it. The zero vs. even just one single solitary measly point seems insutling and intentionally harsh.

    difficult child had a B in her class a week ago. That zero brought him to a b- at progress report time. The next week he failed a test and is down to a C. He had not failed any tests in this class so far. I'm guessing the failed test has a lot to do with the assignment being a zero, him showing it to me and then wadding it up and throwing it in my office trash with disgust. I am certain he will fail this class this semester now, 100% certain. Although it will hurt him in the long run I have to admit that I understand where he is coming from. I would be mad to.

    After doing so well he asked me when his neuropsychologist results would be in. This breaks my heart because he was so proud he could do it all on his own. Now, once again he feels like a failure and thinks he needs an iep to make it. He didn't need an iep, all he needed was some understanding teachers who could encourage him rather than kick him when he is doing his best.

    I'm mad. Mostly here to vent before I have the wrong tone in my voice when I call the school. I'm not happy. I know I should have been more assertive in our needs. I also feel like the school had the gosh darned prescription for some freakin' help 6 months ago. I thought they were obligated to help not put more burden of proof as to what he needs on me. They are the educators afterall. Shouldn't they be able to figure out how to help?

    I can assure you that their teacher just helped difficult child give up the first time he ever really put himself out there.

    I would scream bloody murder if I didn't want to burst into tears.

    I need sane advice. I don't want to be a doormat but I don't want to make enemies either.
     
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    FW--

    First ((((hugs))))....and peace.

    Second, I am no expert in negotiating with schools...

    However, the plan you were referring to is the 504 Plan. The school can offer accomodations under 504 without having to have a formal written agreement.

    When my difficult child had a 504 Plan--the psychiatrist had given me a document to bring to school specifying exactly what accomodations she recommended. In my daughter's case it was preferential seating, written instructions to accompany verbal instructions, and testing was to take place in an area free from noise and other distractions.

    Did your psychiatrist's "vague" scrip contain any recommendations at all? If not, I guess I can understand the school saying "What is it that you are looking for us to provide?".

    Also--That teacher sounds like she has it in for your son. Can you appeal that grade? or meet with the principal and share your concern that he is being unjustly penalized?

    --DaisyFace
     
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Boy do I know what you're talking about! I've got 3 difficult children with a variety of issues and it seems one gets messed up right after another gets it together.

    Listen: beating yourself up over "not being proactive" isn't gonna get you anywhere. What you need to do is:

    1. call the neuropsychologist and tell them that you need at least preliminary results asap as your son is in jeopardy of being kicked out of school. Ok, ok, I know that's really really stretching it, but honestly, them losing a staff member isn't your problem - your little guy is. Tell them that you need a diagnosis emailed/faxed to you asap.

    2. send a simple letter to the school telling them that you need to have your son tested for learning disabilities. Send it certified - this starts the clock running and you have proof of the start date. They DO NOT NEED a diagnosis to set up an IEP (I think the "5" thing that you mentioned in your post is a 504). In the meantime, when you get the diagnosis in writing (remember because you cried to the neuropsychologist!) you can send it in).

    3. Contact the teacher and explain how the "0" really demotivated him. Discuss directly that you are in the process of finding out exactly what his issues/disabilities are and that you would appreciate her assistance in keeping him engaged. You need to make sure that she understands what a major impact she has on him. You know - kiss up a little bit. You know how she's really done so much for him and that if you can team up you KNOW that difficult child can maintain the up-until-now high achievements that have gone on.

    Always remember: it's easier to stroke an ego than to pay for the steak to clear up the black eye!

    4. Keep a file of all of your requests, etc. so that you can easily refer back to it.

    5. Be good to yourself - none of us are perfect, things slide and we feel burnt out - if something slips through the cracks, do your best to recover and move on!

    Welcome to the crowd - we've all been there - that's why we're here!

    Beth
     
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I would strongly recommend you send via certified letter (samples are in sped 101 archives) to school district requesting that they perform a multidisciplinary evaluation on your son to determine if he qualifies for Special Education services. This is at no cost to you and is testing done by their qualified staff. It should cover all areas - LDs, Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, psychological testing, etc. Once you send the certified letter, it kicks in a time line. They have X number of days to get it done (check state regs... I *think* it's 30 days but definitely don't quote me on that - it's been a long time since I've requested testing). In IL, we actually hold a "domain" meeting prior to evaluation to determine what areas are going to be tested. Since this is your initial request for testing, all areas should be covered.

    The problem with- waiting for the neuropsychologist report is that SDs are required to "consider" outside evaluations. They are not required to follow recommendations from outside evaluations and I've seen quite a few schools completely ignore outside evaluations. Additionally, the school district does *not* need a medical diagnosis to provide services. They need to classify (not diagnose) a child based on their own testing. The school district in fact cannot diagnose a child because they are not medical doctors - their responsibility is to educate the child and if there is a disability (learning, emotional, physical, or otherwise) that interferes with a child's ability to receive a "free and appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment", it's the school district's responsibility to address the educational implications of that disability.

    A prescription from a doctor for a 504 is not enough to get a 504 in place. The school district must do the testing.

    I believe if you check in the sped 101 archives, there are several threads to help you get started.

    I'd strongly recommend you start educating yourself on IDEA as well as your state Special Education regs (some states throw in goodies, but all must at the very least follow IDEA). Wrightslaw.com is a good place to start. I've also used the OSEP web site (Office of Special Education programs - the feds) as well as my state Special Education web site and statutes.

    Document *everything*. If you have a phone conversation with Fred and he states that difficult child will get math tutoring, document in a letter of understanding to school district that you talked with Fred on 02/10/2010 at 3:30 pm and Fred said blah blah blah. Send certified to school district. Keep copies of those return receipts with- copies of your letters. Document, document, document.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  5. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    The others have given you great advice. The best thing you can do for you and your DS is to educate yourself as to your rights.

    As for a 504 plan, my DS was diagnosis with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) (auditory processing disorder) and he has a 504 plan in place. I have a draft copy from which the school wrote the 504 plan... it you want a copy I will be happy to post it or email the word document.
     
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You've gotten some great advice, with which I concur.

    Other than that, all I can say is, boy, does that sound familiar, and AARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!


    A teacher gave him a zero on an assignment he actually completed. He was supposed to describe cookies using the 5 senses in an effort to sell them to somebody. During class teacher told him oatmeal cookies and sugar cookies. Okay, fine...

    difficult child has an auditory and memory problem. The homework sheet has no mention of the cookies to be used in the instructions at the top of the sheet. It just says "the cookies". You know, the place a kid who forgot what to do reads prior to completling his work? I don't doubt difficult child was talking or not paying attention in class, he is a teen and a difficult child afterall. I don't doubt that he could have put in a better effort but he DID do the assignment.

    He got a zero out of 10 for using chocolate chip cookies in his assignment. A flippin zero. Now I don't really care what this teacher thinks of my difficult child or if she likes him. He made a mistake. Even if she wants to assume it was a careless mistake he still did the rest of the work. He tried, he turned it in on time. It seems to me that she could have given him at least 2 freakin' points for putting his name on it and turning it in on time with writing on it. The zero vs. even just one single solitary measly point seems insutling and intentionally harsh.
     
  7. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member


    I would appreciate anything you would like to PM or post or telegraph or smoke signal !!

    Thank you for such a kind offer.
     
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Actually, your son is protected by Section 504 since the day you informed them that he has a diagnosed special need. However, without a 504 plan the teachers wouldn't know what to do to accomodate your son.

    I would forget about trying to get a 504 and follow the steps for an IEP. An IEP has weight and is enforceable. Sue (slsh) gave great directions for going about starting the process -- that certified letter is THE KEY to unlock the path.
     
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The 504 could actually work to difficult child's favor in the interium. My difficult child qualified for a 504 and we wrote one up quickly while waiting the long time it took for his initial testing with the school and the equally long process of writing his IEP.

    I agree that this one teacher's brain is filled with cookies!

    If you go to www.wrightslaw.com or https://web.archive.org/web/20080828014805/http://www.ldonline.com/ you will find some wonderful examples of 504's and also some specifics depending on your son's diagnosis.

    Sharon
     
  10. rebelg

    rebelg New Member

    Hi there, new here! couldn't figure out how to post a new thread so this seemed like a good spot to start :D At my wits end with my son, suspended from school yet Again yesterday, can't even begin to count how many times this has been now! have tried everything I feel like no one I know can relate so I decided to join this site. Does anyone else feel this IMMENCE PRESSURE from the school to make your child behave and you just can't figure out to get them to do it? uggg feels so helpless and stressful....
     
  11. agee

    agee Guest

    Kind of ironic I came to this board tonight to see if I could find anything out about IEPs and stupid stupid stupid reluctant schools.
    I hate my son's school. Pretty much. They treat me as if I'm a complete moron, and I assure you I am not that.
    I also think that sometimes being proactive kicks you in the mouth - we've been working with psychiatrists since difficult child has been 4, have taken him to therapy, am trying a bajillion different medications, try to parent therapeutically, kept him out of k until he was 6 blah de blah de blah. Because of all we've done he is not failing. So they don't see him as a problem. because he's not behind enough. Woo hoo! I have an almost 8 year old 1st grader who reads like he's in kindergarten. Let's wait until he's 9 before we do anything.
    Jerks.
    Meanwhile at the school I work at all the teachers do is bi+ch because parents won't do anything to get their kid evaluated.
    Just venting - I don't have any better advice than that given here.
    A
     
  12. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I appreciate everyones advice.

    I spoke to the guidance counselor, she is young and confused but does try. She relayed a msg to teacher who called me and was nice. of course like usual there was a bit more to the story. She GAVE the kids a real cookie to describe then eat. Another teacher did the same assignment but with chocolate chips. Said several kids from each class had the others cookie described. hhhmmmm, amazing how well difficult child can lie about not cheating to me. Soooo convincing. HA!

    Waiting for spec. ed teacher to call back for testing maybe and i'll have her give a generic notice to teachers so they at least know what they are dealing with. According to teacher difficult child is well behaved. I could just kill him for dumping all his drama at home.:mad:

    psychiatrist appointment in a couple weeks, first time we won't need a medication change so that in itself is a freakin' miracle.


    This being a small town school I am reluctant to get too pushy or send a certified letter. People here operate differently than when I was in the city. (where I would have started with a certified letter day one) People here do not respond to pushiness, legal right to or not. I could cry foul until I'm blue in the face. Doing so will only harm difficult child, give us a squeaky wheel reputation and I promise we will never live it down. We ARE truly that small of a commuity where people are known by name or by whom they are related to. If I get too uppity difficult child and I will still get looks two decades from now when we goes to the grocery store.

    So far they are nice, polite and seemingly wanting to help even if they are a bit confused.

    Alls well that ends well I guess.
     
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Ah-Ha!!!

    So the zero was for cheating...

    Figures.

    I hate it when we are ready to go to bat for these kids, and it turns out that we have been taken in by a lie.

    Sending ((((hugs)))) over these frustrating events.

    --DaisyFace
     
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This all sounds frustrating. From both ends. I hope they will understand in your small town that you and your son are NOT the same person and that you are doing all you can. I also hope that they will do the IEP evaluation with-o the certified letter.

    Many smaller school districts will make it seem like a letter sent certified is not needed, that you will be aproblem if you push for your rights. It is a way they save money. Our school even tried it with me. I was there every day to drop off and pick up thank you and they still delayed his evaluation by over a month by pretending that I needed to sign a form to allow them to test him. I handed the principal a copy of info from wrightslaw and said it was bs. Esp that it took over a month to get it to me when I asked him about it twice a week. And that they sent the form home with my son in his backpack when NOTHING was handed to him because it got lost between his hand and his backpack. Even the regular weekly folder did not go to him but to me. So that was stuff they wanted ME to feel bad about and give them extra time.

    I told them they has 15 days left to finish the evaluation and we would meet the week it was done. Period. An IEP/504 or whatever, it WOULD be done then. They managed to do it in that time. I think some testing had already been done by the sp ed person with-o telling the principal because SHE knew the law and that I knew the law.

    I just hope they don't delay and delay and delay with your son. Often it is to save money because the testing and supports are not cheap. But that is NOT your problem. They shouldn't even bring that up to you.
     
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