Falling through the cracks

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by MontieDearest, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. MontieDearest

    MontieDearest New Member

    Hi, I'm new here but feel ancient as far as Special Education goes. My youngest was identified with delays at age 2, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive & receptive speech. Early Childhood Intervention of NC took action and started in home interventions with him, assuring me that they would be in place until he started preschool, at which time the school district would take over. The school district Exceptional Children's Program for this county is thus far a joke. Over the years they have continually eliminated (or annexed if you will) my son from any and every support he had at his disposal. He was under a formal IEP until 3rd grade, where they decided that he no longer qualified for an IEP due to his initial diagnosis, nor would they consider any other issues, as the 504 program would suit him better. Cautiously agreeing to this, I insisted that he receive adaptive services such as modified testing, frequent breaks, calling out of test questions, etc. During his first standardized testing session he failed by 2 points. At a retest he passed by 2 points (this was all 3rd grade end of grade testing...required by the state of NC to pass the grade). Midyear 4th grade, the 504 team decided that since he was medicated and the medications seemed effective in assisting him in keeping his grades to C or better, he no longer qualified for the 504 program either. Gone were the modifications. His 4th grade end of grade testing failed miserably. It was at my request that he be waivered to 5th grade, because it was due to no fault of his that he didn't pass, and I had no intentions of letting the school penalize him for their foulup.
    In August just prior to the start of 5th grade (this school year) I had an independent psychiatric evaluation done for him. The results indicated he was on the Autism Spectrum, highly functioning. Due to these results, I called for another IEP meeting. At this meeting, I was informed that the only grades he had a deficeit in were his conduct grades. I asked the teacher if he was a behavioral child? No....Okay, then how does he have D's in conduct? Oh, well he doesn't turn in his homework. Okay, so you are putting his homework grades (academic performance) under conduct? Would that not indicate a PROBLEM SOMEWHERE? Don't you think if you put his HOMEWORK grades under his ACADEMIC scores (as they most assuredly will in middle school NEXT YEAR) his grades would then more accurately reflect his performance? No, apparently I'm missing something somewhere. I am not the educator, not the educated one so I shouldn't even bother with this. I'm slightly frustrated and more than a little disgusted. Is this possible? Is the school system in the RIGHT for scoring an academic assignment under a conduct grade? Help!!!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Simple answer, no. Furthermore, just because a kid's grades are ok doesn't mean he will not qualify for an IEP. This is the litmus test of a good Special Education team.

    Define "deficeit" as it pertains to his grades. Does the school consider a deficit a C, a D, an F? A grade of C for a student who normally pulls straight A's is a deficit. A grade of C for a kid who struggles and does his best is not a deficit.

    Let's address another issue..homework. Does your son do his homework and just fail to turn it in (a famous difficult child trick) or not do it at all?

    I do agree that putting homework grades under conduct is dumb. Perhaps they do it that way because there are consequences for conduct, i.e., missing recess, etc. And certainly this does not give an accurate picture of where he stands academically. However, what is happening with homework needs to be addressed as well.

    Welcome to the site.

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    AND, grades are not the only criteria to be used to consider eligibility.

    Proof is in the pudding here -- he needs accommodations at the least to be successful in school.

    I have a link somewhere about grades used in this manner. I'm trying to put my computer back together and will have to find it, so give me a few days. Also, it's highly likely there's a thread on this topic in the Sp Ed 101 Archives.

    You're going to need to request the school district to do a full and initial evaluation. They've obviously given the report no merit; they need to do a full evaluation. Put the request in writing and send it via Certified Mail.

    There are sample letters in the archives if you need one.
  4. agee

    agee Guest

    Hey there -
    I live in NC too and I have found our local school district to also be ridiculous in terms of helping my child. I actually work for our school district but I am quitting - for a bunch of reasons but the main one is that I have completely lost faith in their ability to be upright and honest.
    I am not as far along as you are in the process, but so far have had to fight for every single thing along the way. Currently I'm being told that difficult child's diagnoses mean nothing since he's on grade level for 2 out of the 3 standards for 1st grade (although his teacher has indicated he won't be on grade level for reading at the 3rd 9 weeks unless something drastic happens - and when I asked the teachers in my bldg. what reading level he was supposed to be on for this last 9 weeks they told me a level 2-3 ahead of where difficult child is). Meanwhile I've kept every single paper they've sent home for the year and he's completed maybe 3 of them. That's not a problem?
    They act as if I am being a jerk when I'm trying to be proactive.
    On Monday I am calling the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center in Davidson county (google it). Apparently they will help with advocacy in dealing with exceptional services in the state of NC.
    I am documenting, documenting, documenting.
    They WILL help my child...or they will pay for someone else who will.
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