Getting difficult child to School

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by idohope, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. idohope

    idohope Member


    Our difficult child had tantrums in school in K and first grade. She is now entering 6th. Tantrums continue at home and elsewhere but not at school. At the start of 2nd grade she was evaluated for an IEP and it was determined that since her tantrums ceased at school it was not warranted.

    A major issue now is getting her to school. Last year we had multiple morning a week where there is a major meltdown at home in the morning and she misses the bus. We then wind up driving her to school. She is often crying and needs to collect herself in the parking lot. (She gets very panicky about going in if someone can detect she had been crying). The principal is somewhat aware of the situation. She called my cell once as I sat in the parking lot and checks in with difficult child during the day when difficult child is dropped off instead of coming by bus and has given difficult child little rewards for going on to have a good day. difficult child does fine once we get her to school. difficult child is also in a looping class and so will have the same teacher as last year, which I am hoping will help with her school anxiety issues.

    So I feel the school is willing to work with us. But they dont really know how much of struggle it really is get her to school and a year from now she will be going to a new school and I dont know if I need to have something formal in place. Last year we did get her to go to school each time but it really got bad with yelling on all sides, trying to physically carry her to a car....just horrible mornings. We are working with therapist on new strategies.

    So is school refusal an issue for the school or only the parents?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I haven't had to deal with this particular issue, however I'm reminded of our district's Child Welfare and Attendance office and wonder if there's a similar resource in your area. I would think that if you contact them and explain in excruciating detail what life is like at home when it's time to get difficult child to school, they should be able to help. If nothing else, she should have a 504 plan that accommodates her in allowing for tardies or absences without penalty, so at you least don't have to get physical with her. Hopefully her therapist will develop a solid plan for helping cope better.

    FWIW, my difficult child 1's anxiety was MUCH improved with the right medications and CBT. Don't know what you've tried so far, but wanted to share what worked for us.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    This is an age-old battle.

    One of the requirements for a student to be eligible for an IEP is that the problem must adversely impact the school environment (not just grades). Until it does so, an IEP is unlikely to be forthcoming.

    I hope the psychiatrist can help her with-this. In the meantime, make the school as involved as possible in getting her out of the vehicle. Not to the point of making her esculate, but so that the principal, a teacher, counselor, etc., is observing. Keep a journal of incidents: date,time, trigger, description of behavior.

    Ask the principal and school counselor for strategies. Do it in writing and keep a copy, or do a follow-up letter if in a face-to-face or telephone conversation. (These may come in handy in proving educational need.)

    I believe there's a thread on "educational need" in the Sp Ed Archives.

    It's been a long time since the school district evaluated your daughter. You can parent refer for another evaluation at any time. There are sample letters in the Sp Ed Archives also.

    My son has a lot of problems. The very worst one to handle is his anxiety related to school.

    Welcome aboard!