Help, school b.s. is about to start again! IEP meeting friday

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Ok, I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I'm not...
    Just received V's test results before IEP meeting in a couple days.
    Here are the tests done: Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence III, the Bender Gestalt (visual-motor functioning), ABAS II and BASC and Conners rating scales (Conners listed as being used, but no trace in report...).
    Now, according to test, V as normal intelligence (Full scale 105, verbal is 100 and performance is 108). I'm not surprised there.
    Then, according to tests, his achievement is perfectly normal in the average range. ???What???
    listening comprehension: 99
    early reading skills: 95
    math problem solving:97
    alphabet writing flency: 94
    numerical operations:107
    oral expression:105
    spelling:102
    His composite score: oral language is 102 and written expression is 99.
    I gave you all the standart score (100 being the mean) and spared you the percentile.
    How can it be "normal" when his report gives him a 2 (behind, 3 being at grade level)??? His teacher is concerned and I'm concerned!!
    I'm guessing the one on one and quite environment of the testing room probably helped him A LOT. At TEACCH (we go weekly), he also does fairly well, but once again, it is one on one and with an pshycho-educational lady who know how to present things to him.

    The other shock: the discrepancy between the ABAS that the teacher and I filled out. On my forms, V scores in 1st or 2nd percentile on every item. On the teacher's: between 80th and 90th percentile!!!
    The BASC shows him At risk for internalizing problems and Behavioral symptoms index. The one I filled out: at risk for externalizing and Behavioral symptom index and clinically significant in adaptive skills (1st percentile).
    How can we have such difference?? I mean, it is HUGE.
    A lady that I don't know filled out the BASC as being V's teacher... or is a typo?? I'm clearly confused.
    I'm assuming we filled out the same forms, right? Or is there a home and school version?

    Then, it conclude with a few accomodations to address behavioral concerns relating to attention/hyperactivity/impulsivity. WTF???? V has NO behavioral issues at school whatsoever! Sure he fidgets, get overstimulated at times which does not help his focus. Or can't hear the teacher when tere is any noise around him despite the use of FM system (we see audiologist next week, V has no ear infections. Pedi already ruled it out ).
    I have this feeling: heading to the IEP meeting and will hear a bunch of b.s which won't lead anywhere.
    Those test results don't make any sense to me.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Testing done in a quiet environment with a kid who has Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is ALWAYS going to give skewed results. As in... his "real world" performance doesn't match the testing results. And that's just for ONE diagnosis.

    No advice... been there done that. Took us 10 years to get a breakthrough... not until school had pushed difficult child into psychosis.
     
  3. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I'm with IC on this one. We had the same problem with difficult child 1's testing and the school literally pushed him into DEEP depression as they were doing everything the could to get him out of their school (almost literally what the principal said). Their testing showed it was all behavioral and no matter what independent testing was done, they refused to see anything but behavior.

    If you are right and this is what they do, take a letter with you requesting an IEE (Independent Education Evaluation). Don't sign anything and follow the appeal process that is supposed to be included in the info they give you. I do pray you are wrong but it doesn't sound like you are from what you shared.

    Buddy has my spare Warrior Mom armor (lol) if you find you need it.
     
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Some of these kids act VERY different at home than they do at school. If nothing else, what you have proves how much he needs the one on one and how much it helps him. Do you have an advocate? Sign NOTHING Friday. Remember these magic words if you don't like what you hear and especially if you don't have an advocate yet and need time to get one: "I'd like to stop for a continuance. I will let you know when is a good time for me."
     
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I learned about the "continuance" from your previous post Haozi! ;) I tend to store this kind of info in my mind for later use. It seems like it might be sooner rather than later.
    I don't have an advocate, although the Autism Society knows our file (had contacted them a few months back) and I just wrote our local advocate an e-mail and ask if she could call me before Friday.
    I don't think the school is trying to push V out of their school or anything like that. He is actually very well liked by whoever gets to work or talk with him.
    But I believe the whole process is flawed if the school chooses not to include the report cards as evidence that his work environment is simply not appropriate for him.
    I agree that the whole thing seem to prove that. But will the school see it this way?? Specially since they have to offer the "the least restrictive environment" . I don't think a mainstream class of 22 kids is what should be recommended even though he is well liked and does not disturb others. Afterall, the whole point of school is to learn.
    Yes, I might need this spare armor. lol (trying to laugh, but really nervous).
    V functions at school BECAUSE he has accomodations. Takes the accomodations away and he would collapse... I actually did not think that his functioning would be this low when I answred the questions on the forms. I will actually go over them with husband and see if he would have answered differently. I don't know...
    I really need to get my ducks in a row and be ready for plan B (continuance, advocate and independent evaluation. an attorney as well? maybe?). I have high expectations for my kids education. Mediocre program just won't do, specially when I know V can do great given the right environment and teaching methods.
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Document the accommodations he already is getting, and take that with you.
    Take copies of the report cards, and any other teacher communication that supports what you see.

    One of the key evaluation factors here is the spread between "potential" and "performance". If his test scores are good and his report cards are significantly different... then obviously, he needs "something" to enable him to close that gap.
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The armor was fed ex'd.

    I think it's clear the auditory processing is a huge factor.

    These tests at his age.....same old story, they don't have to perform very much to look good

    But, actual school performance should be included in the report as part of history and record review.....then listed somewhere under current level of performance.

    The discrepancy between home and school makes sense because of the accommodations and the fm system, the grade level, the routines........

    Ask to see criteria for an iep under Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Go thru step by step.....

    Hugs....don't panic yet.
     
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    And if they give you any hassle about him not having a formal diagnosis for the Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)... well, (<duh>), those tests can't really be done until about age 7, due to the complexity, the necessary communications skills, and the length of concentration. Doesn't exempt them from giving him the obviously needed accommodations NOW.
     
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Well, V does have an Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) diagnosis already. But the testing were not as complete as with older kids. The school district keeps on claiming that Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is not recognized in NC... back to the issues I was having a few months back. If V had an actual hearing loss, it would be so much easier!
    I have found the nc school definition of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). V has all the elements as long as they are ok with the fact that the achievement test are average but the class work is below grade level...
    I wonder if I can argue as this discrepancy being proof of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) creating an impairement in his learning and class performance. With no environmental stimuli and minimum social interaction (one on one with tester in quiet room) V does fine. Throw social and sensory stimulation, he does not perform. The tester did note that V was fidgety and playing with the testing material but he was also puting good effort and wanting to please and do the work.
    His Occupational Therapist (OT) will do her best to be with me tomorrow. She also wants to talk to one of her friend who works with hearing impaired kiddos. Occupational Therapist (OT) wonders if she might have idea for V...
    The teacher does not seem to see all of his social deficits, but she is not the one having lengthy conversations about why people act the way they do, why his friends don't let him know when they change the game, etc... After one of our conversation, the next day V asked me: "so if I want to keep friends, I have to keep adding new stuff to the games?". It made me smile, it show he is really thinking about it and really trying yo learn. I just replied that yes it was a good idea because this way the game does not get boring. Hi Occupational Therapist (OT) also had a good comment about V's behavior: he will blend in the group and have fun (run around, laugh...) but if you stop him and ask him what he is doing, V will reply with a blank face and shrugging his shoulders "I don't know".
    If you have any last minute tips, go ahead! The armored arrived on time and is polished ;)
     
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That would be my approach... the discrepancy between potential and performance demonstrates that accommodations are necessary. They may fight back based on the discrepancy not being "wide enough"... but how on earth can you be two grade levels behind when you're not even in grade 2 yet??? (here, "two grade levels behind" is the point at which the need for "something" is recognized).
     
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Don't go to the "independent" tester. Use a private one. If he has been to a neuropsychologist take that testing. The independent tester for the school is still paid by the school and if they disagree with the school to often will get fired.

    Also, the iep team can over ride the testing results. Example, difficult child 1 has very bad handwriting and sensory issues. The Occupational Therapist (OT) testing didn't show this. His handwriting looked like it was from a different kid. During the mtg I pulled out a homework page and showed what his handwriting does look like and the classroom teacher confirmed it. The iep team decided to do Occupational Therapist (OT) services even though the testing said he didn't need them. This would take a reasonable school though.

    Maybe you could do the independent tester but insist the test be given in the same kind of environment as a classroom? I don't know if they would do that.

    It is ok that your report and the teachers were different. That happens all the time.

    Good luck tomorrow!
     
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Good luck for today (which has started already in my part of the world :) ) Ktllc! I am quite sure you will do a sterling job of representing V as he really is and of fighting for his true needs.
    Wish us luck too, as I am on way to Toulouse for J's neuro-psychological exam... Even the dog is coming!
     
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Good luck and remember not to sign anything. I'm glad I didn't, because the draft I got a look at finally *whistles* Mama not too happy. My advocate wasn't able to make it but will meet with me Monday to go over the IEP draft.

    Yes Storm has some additional accommodations that I agree with, but they changed her homework 50% accommodation to "shortened assignments by 1/2 when deemed appropriate." Ummmm....nope, that doesn't fly with me. Too vague. Who decides when it's appropriate? Teacher? Me? Storm? Someone else? Sent that puppy back for a re-write already. They glossed that over in the meeting notes as "Mom's concern about changes" instead of specifically stating that I asked about her homework accommodations. So now I'm asking for even more and for them to be more specific - excerpt from my email about that particular part of the draft is below (which to me is the most critical part that needs changing that I noticed, most of the rest is errors, like who diagnosis'd what, spelling of her medications, etc).

    Technically, we don't have to re-do her IEP, we can go forward with what she has, it only has to be re-done every 3 years. But they'd like it re-done, and done before the end of the school, and preferably by May 1st. Me, I'm more than willing to drag this out well into July if I have to, it's no skin off my nose to do so. Her therapist, case worker, and advocate work year round, too, so they're around if needed, too.

    I did warn them at the beginning (and maybe they thought I was kidding) when we were introducing ourselves at the meeting. "Hi, I'm her Mom, and I'll be your biggest pain today." They laughed a little at the time. But I don't walk into an IEP meeting expecting to be liked, I walk in with the intention of getting the best I can for my child. Is she doing better now than she was at the beginning of the year? Yes, she is. But she won't do better if you yank those accommodations out from under her while adding a goal of turning in 90% of her work.

    "
    Homework accommodations (50% that of peers, same as last IEP) is not listed. This is also missing from the notes unless it's what is meant by "Mom's questions regarding changes were addressed." Please correct and specify.

    "shortened assignments by 1/2 when deemed appropriate" is too vague - teachers are not autism experts and do not know what is too much stress/anxiety/frustration for an autistic student and each student has their own strengths/weaknesses and good/bad days. This will lead to outbursts not only at school but also at home, and I, for one, will not fight her much on this. She's gotten to the point where she is simply too big, too strong, and I have been hit/punched/scratched/bitten, had things thrown at me, etc. far too much over too many things. I carry enough scars now, physical, emotional, and mental, and putting my safety on the line for homework is foolhardy. If she can prove she knows the work by doing 5-10 math problems perfectly, there is no point in trying to make her do twice or three times the number.

    Please keep daily homework assignments to half (like last year) and projects to be modified to be best played to her strengths and where those of us who can help her shore up her weaknesses can help her with those, but not overwhelm her with giant projects. Her executive functioning skills are lacking, and she does need help in those areas."
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The testing results between our school and private testing with Sonic was definitely there. At school they said he had "outgrown" his difficulties, which wasn't true. We could clearly see that in his daily life. Also, the teachers also marked him as doing better than we knew he was doing. I sometimes think some teachers like to discredit what parents say. You know your son better than they do. I'd go with private testing. The school has a financial interest in providing V with as few services as possible. I like to go to professionals who have no dog in the fight, so to speak...
     
  15. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Well, I survived this IEP meeting which lasted over 3.5 hours!! It probably would have lasted less if the psychologist was not dead set on saying V *might*probaly*possibly* be ADD... She went on and on about it despite the fact that his Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), sensory and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) explains his inatention and fidgetedness (is this a word??).
    V's Occupational Therapist (OT) even interveined at one point about it and then we finally both gave up since the team agreed to provide services.
    The teacher was really weird today. I have no clue what happened to her but she even said she did not recommend testing (yes she did!!!) and she said that she felt like we were trying to make V sound worse than he is. She kept on saying that he is doing great, the psychologist pointed out that she had checked issues such as "social interaction dificulties" "personnal space issues" but then she could not give any examples of it... saying that V had none of this issues, or at least no more than other kids. GRRR! She was so uncooperative, I don't understand why she flipped on us like that. Why would her speech change from "V definetely need services" to "all is well".
    The psychologist was quite puzzled by it but decided to proceed with IEP since we have enough documented issues and V receive enough private services to colaborate the fact that V does have issues, whatever you want to name those issues. So yes she was a bit stuck on ADHD, but she ended up being a good ally.
    Then we drafted the IEP. I feel it is a bit too vague. The benchmark are:
    1. Will follow spoken directions of games with- 80% accuracy; will ask for understanding when he does not understand rules with- 100% accuracy; will learn personal space between himself and others
    2. will decode 3 and 4 letter words with 80% accuracy, will recal sight words with- 80% acuracy (K and !st garde program), will say the words correctly after decoding independently with- 80% accuracy.
    2. will identify numbers 1-100 with- 80% accuracy, will write numbers 1-80 with- 80% accuracy, will add and substract one digit numbers with 80% accuracy.
    All those goals will be measured by: class work, observation, teacher reports and report cards.
    Ther is also: assignment will be modified as needed. They refused to use the TEACCH method because teacher said he does not need it, he does just fin ethe way it is in class... gr!. He will have a picture schedule available in his class (thinking about moving into 1st grade here. they can't take that away)
    No accomodation allowed for reading assessment (they say the new computer system they use just don't allow it. They are looking into changing the program so it won't be timed for some students), as much time as needed for math assessment.
    And that is pretty much it...
    Oh, and they ordered a reevaluation for: Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, speech, conner's scales and Vandguard. Why wasn't it done right away... who knows. They said it might carry over to the summer. That's ok, the school year is almost over anyways.
    So yes, mixed feeling about the whole thing. It appear I got what V needs: an IEP. But it seems like a poor IEP. Not sure I can really change it at this point since teacher is not willing to cooperate much and the achievement test puts V as average. The psychologist did say that we could not ignore the fact that V receive so much help outside of school. Typical kids do not need that to succeed in life and school.
     
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    You didn't sign anything today did you? By all means, get an advocate and request a re-write or more specifics. I did, and (you see my post above) and came home on my break this morning to find an email with a new IEP draft in my email that I am MUCH happier with.
     
  17. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    no, I did not sign anything although they gently insisted. I said I had to consult with V's therapist, TEACCH and husband first.
    I forgot to mention the "cherry on the cake" of this long and odd meeting: V was brought to the room because he had pooped his pants at lunch time!! I had to run to Sweet Pea's daycare to wash him up and get some clean clothes (daycare is right next to the school). V did not see the teacher (she was at the meeting and the assistant was running the class) and his friend said that he would tell on him if V moved (yeah... nice friend) so V ended up pooping his pants! Kteacher was surprised that I wanted V to go back to class after he was cleaned up. She kept on saying he had to be feeling sick. I said he was fine (no sweats, no fever, no pain,etc...). But I guess as the mother of a difficult child, I'm used to odd moments like those! Nope, a typical kid does not poop his pants and I suppose she was trying to find some excuse to this odd occurance. Let's hope it will not become a new habit for V.
     
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Was he picking up on your nervousness, do you think??

    Very curious meeting, as you say, and curious turnaround of the teacher. At least you have an IEP with the possibility, I hope, to improve it in future in the light of experience. Feels disappointing to you, I understand, but if things start being more difficult for V at school, you have grist for you mill, I would imagine.
     
  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    If you don't have an advocate, get one before you sign anything, and talk over all your concerns with the advocate and what YOU want in the IEP for V. Yes, the school will try to rush you. Blah on them.
     
  20. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I have contacted an advocacy group and see if they can help. Would also like to have someone that can guide us in the future. I know there will be more of this meetings.
    As far as being nervous through me, I don't think so. V was not even aware of the meeting and did not know I was at the school. But his routine was changed (Teacher not in class like usual) and the assistant was not the usual one. When not sure what to do, it still not easy for him to ask for help. I think any other kid would have walked to the closest grown up and ask permission to go to the bathroom, or just walk to the bathroom if that urgent. He is almost 6, not 4. But it comes with his social delay... so I don't blame him or anything. Bad accident do happen, no one would blame a toddler for it. But it is simply hard for some people to see his challenges as they really are.
    I also got some insight into why his adaptive behavior was so high with his K-teacher. We went through a few questions of the questionnaire, trying to understand. I'll give you one example: : "read and pick from the menu at restaurants" I answered "not able to". He can't read yet, so answering no did not seem odd to me. the teacher's questionaire "read and pick from the school menu", she answered "yes, always". Occupational Therapist (OT) and I looked at her a bit puzzled. So we ask how he could do that?? The school menu is a black and white sheet with the whole month worth of menu on one single sheet. Not exactly user friendly for a kindergardner (although Partner could read it last year when he was in K). Teacher then replies, oh I made a picture menu so the kids can choose easily. WTH?? Even Occupational Therapist (OT) blurted "But you did not answer the question that was on the questionnaire!". It was not asked if he could read an adapted menu! In this case, V functions just great at home with all accomodations in place, his older brother compensating for him and me pointing at everything he needs to do.
    It is VERY frustrating to realize that his teacher really has no clue that V's needs are significant.
    At one point, it was mentioned that by the end of 1st grade he should master substracting and adding single diget numbers which corresponds to first grade curriculum. I just said that I knew that since Partner is doing it in first grade. K teachers rolls her eyes that Partner is not doing more (Partner will be tested for AIG soon, so yes he can do more obviously but that's an other topic). "she goes: oh I go beyond the program with my kids, we count to 100". That kind of upset me, because I thought she was going beyond only for the kids who can. But V still cannot count to 20... In K, he is only required to count to 20. How about focusing on 20 until he masters it! Of course he gets confused with numbers if he does not have a strong fundation. Let's learn how to walk before we learn how to run.
     
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