Help with School Issues...

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Catwmn, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Catwmn

    Catwmn New Member

    I took Aaron out of school last monday. We have lived a horrible nightmare since then. His behavior is so out of control that he is a danger to himself and to his brothers. All of my dreams of homeschooling are dashed in a heartbeat.

    I called the school last week to schedule a staffing to redo his IEP. They weren't happy about it but I knew my rights.

    I am asking them to redo his FIE(Full and individual evaluation). We were going to go and see a neuropsychologist but medicaid does not cover neuropsychologist testing and it is too expensive.

    Things have gotten so bad at home that I spent most of the weekend in tears...this is NOT my child. He is NOTHING like he used to be just a few months ago and I just can't put my finger on what is going on. He is so oppositional, defiant, and downright mean and angry that I wonder sometimes if he is possesed.(kidding but sometimes I really do wonder)

    I have seen such an increase in his seizure activity but we are between doctors right now and I can't get either one of them to help us. I feel like I have nowhere to turn. And I am starting to lose hope...(He has started to have what I think are atonics, myoclonic, MORE absence, and even this weekend he had a TC that lasted 3 minutes)

    I am going to paste the letter here and if someone would look at it and tell me it sounds ok. That would be great. I NEED help from the school and cannot handle him alone for another minute...

    To The ARD Committee:

    Over the past few months we have noticed a lot of changes in Aaron’s behaviors and cognitive functions. As you know, Aaron was diagnosed with Epilepsy over the summer. On September 21st of 2007 Aaron had an MRI at TXXX Children’s Hospital in which it was discovered that Aaron had a small mass in his right frontal lobe of his brain. His EEG which was done on September 25, 2007 showed significant seizure activity in his brain along with the presence of Absence seizures. Since this time we have witnessed Aaron regress considerably. I have listed our concerns below for your consideration.

     We have had to place Aaron back in pull-ups due to his loss of control over his bladder. This child has been potty trained for approximately 4 years and suddenly he is having accidents several times a day at school as well as at home and wetting the bed at night several times a week. We are not sure if this is a medication side effect, or if it is a Neurological problem due to his epilepsy.(We have spoken to his Neurologist about this and she says this is sometimes common with children with Epilepsy especially ones who have absence seizures or it is possible that he is having seizure activity at night that is causing him to wet the bed.)
     His attention span is almost nonexistent. He cannot even complete a simple worksheet or sit at the table for an entire meal.

     His Psychiatric condition has also deteriorated and his Psychiatrist has told us that Aaron has had at least 3 psychotic breaks in the past two months. These have been treated with heavy atypical antipsychotic drugs. (Risperdal and Seroquel at relatively high doses) (with little results as Aaron reports seeing things and hearing things that are not there almost daily) Aaron was diagnosed with Bipolar I, as well as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, and possible ODD in October. (This is alongside his Epilepsy, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)) The Psychiatrist suspects that his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) has worsened recently and he may fit the criteria for full blown Autism at this point. He also stated that he sees traits of Schizophrenia in Aaron but it is too soon to diagnose him with that. We will continue to monitor this.

     Homework has become a serious struggle. By the time Aaron gets home from school he is so off the wall with his behavior that it is nearly impossible to get ANY kind of homework done.

     He seems to be losing reading skills at an alarming rate. We have a set of books that he used to enjoy reading to me and it seems that lately he is having issues just getting through a few pages of the text. I don’t know if this is due to his neurological problem(epilepsy) or if it is something psychological.(Maybe his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is causing regression? This is what the Psychiatrist has told me. Sometimes children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) who also develop Epilepsy regress very quickly)



    Due to the fact that the Neurologist and the Psychiatrist have seen such quick regression, we have been referred to an Epileptologist, and a Neurosurgeon. We have another EEG scheduled for December 21, 2007 at TXXX Children’s hospital. We will then meet with the new Epileptologist to determine if Aaron’s Epilepsy has in fact worsened. Our neurologist is also in the process of scheduling another MRI to take another look at the Mass that was found in Aaron’s right frontal lobe of his brain in September. There are signs to point to the possibility that this mass is either growing or changing and causing new types of seizures that have started as well as other neurological problems.

    We had requested a Neuropsychological evaluation from a TXXX Children’s hospital and were told that his Medicaid would not cover it. The Neurologist suggested that we ask the school for another evaluation in light of Aaron’s regression to determine whether regular education was a good placement for him or not.

    At this time we (Aaron’s parents and also his Psychiatrist) feel that Aaron should not be in the general education setting.

    Since the middle of September Aaron has regressed considerably in his social skills, reading ability, attention span, and impulsiveness. His handwriting has also declined considerably.

    He has also exhibited severe mood swings, aggression, hallucinations, and has lost most of his toileting skills. He has become defiant, oppositional, and has no concept of other people’s feelings or wishes. He has no concept of rules or following them and even after being told several times not to do something will do it anyways and then not understand why he is being punished for it. His gross motor skills have also declined as he has started to run into walls and furniture, and he also trips and falls a lot. ( we have had his vision tested by an Ophthalmologist who says that his vision is fine but he has a condition called Nystagmus which is neurological in nature and can cause blurry vision at times)

    He is unable to (or unwilling) to take care of his personal hygiene such as bathing himself, wiping his face, washing his hands or brushing his teeth without one on one prompting and assistance.

    Homework at home has become nearly impossible. Aaron cannot sit at the table for even a 4 minute span of time to complete a task. At mealtimes he has no concept of neatness, or eating without getting it all over the floor, table and himself.

    Aaron cannot be left unsupervised AT ALL. We have had to lock up our cabinets, and place all knives and scissors out of reach, (due to a threat he made to his brother that he would stab him). Even with these things placed out of reach he will climb and place himself in danger attempting to get at them. Aaron has an obsession with “digging” through every cabinet and drawer in the house “searching” for things, but when you ask him what he is looking for he doesn’t know.

    He has become extremely destructive. He has gone into his brother’s room many times and just wrecked it. Torn the sheets off the bed, dumped the toybox, and torn up papers and books. He also does this to any other room you leave him alone in for more than a few minutes.(including his own and his parent’s room) He has peeled wallpaper off of entire walls in our home, and attempted to break windows.

    Aaron has missed a lot of days of school due to illness, psychiatric status, doctor’s appointments, and hospital visits for testing. We would like to see something placed in his IEP to excuse absences such as these without having to travel to TXXX Children’s for a doctor’s note.

    Aaron has also reported being taunted and bullied at school by other students when he wets his pants. This has caused Aaron much distress. He even reported another student in a higher grade pulling his pull up down in the bathroom and ripping the sides of it.(This was on Monday, 11/26/07) On that day Aaron came home with his pull up TAPED to him, even though there were other pull ups in his backpack to change into. (Aaron has not been back to school since this incident as he expresses extreme anxiety, and tells me he “hates school and hates being picked on and has no friends”. When we even mention him going back to school he goes into complete meltdown mode and says he is afraid “someone will kill him” in the restroom. When asked who this child was that pulled his pullup down he says he doesn’t know the boy’s name but he is in a higher grade. I have not as of yet reported this incident to his teacher because I have been too busy caring for Aaron at home this past week.

    Aaron’s last Full and Individual Evaluation was completed in November of 2005. We feel that there have been significant changes in his cognitive function, psychological status, and his motor skills and educational abilities since that time. We would like to request another evaluation to determine the best placement for Aaron. At this point we are not sure where that is but we DO know that we feel that a regular classroom is not the best placement for him. We would like suggestions.

    Thank you very much for your assistance in this matter.


    Do you think this will get him another evaluation and new placement?
    Does any one have any suggestions? Have you seen any of this in your own child? I just feel so lost and alone right now and don't know how to take one more second of this child in the condition he is in.

    Thanks so much for listening..
    Cat


     
  2. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    (((Cat))), I am so sorry your having to go through all this and I feel so sorry for your son as well.

    My son will probably not qualify but we are going to try and get him "hospital/homebound" regarding school right now. I am sure you would qualify under the conditions you described. Just a thought but due to his behavior not sure if you would be able to homeschool or not. Have heard from friends that homeschool and I know there day does not last near as long as if they were actually at school, so maybe if you could get him on a schedule it would work.

    Don't have much advise or great wisdom for you and I am sorry, but I did want to send you some ((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))). We can all use those.

    Hang in there and take care.
     
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome! You really are under the gun!

    Bottom line: are you feeling that the deterioration is due to the mass that they found or that it's a further manifestation of the other dxs? If it was the mass, would it be removable? The reason I ask is that the placement could be temporary and the school might not need to know that (if they're resisting having him come back to school).

    I don't know, but I don't think I would give them so much information. I guess that I'd first try sending a letter (certified - it starts the timeclock) stating that due to new diagnosis and physical manifestations you believe that he does not belong in a general education setting and that he needs evaluations to start so that an appropriate placement can be made. Like it or not, they're required to do an evaluation.

    Once you update the social history, then I'd bring up all of the latest and greatest in your son's medical issues.

    Again, I can't help but feel for you! You sound like you've really run the fast mile and sound like an incredible person.

    Beth
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Poor kid.

    First, an FIE is not required to change placement. If you want them to reevaluate, that's fine -- just so you know the re-evaluation is not required.

    Additionally, an evaluation will take some time and it sounds as if changes need to be made immediately.

    As the parent, you are a part of the IEP team. As such, you can call an IEP meeting at any time. I'd do just that, request the placement change -- an evaluation can be done after the change. It can even be a temporary change, say, until the evaluation is completed and recommendations as a result of the re-evaluation can be reviewed by IEP Committee.

    I'd take out, "We had requested a Neuropsychological evaluation from a TXXX Children’s hospital and were told that his Medicaid would not cover it."

    I'd change this to something like, "Homework has become a serious struggle. At this time, we are not going to complicate an already difficult situation by requiring homework be performed when difficult child is just not up to it."


    Evaluations only make recommendations -- IEP committees determine placement.

    I'd make the following changes: We request an ARD meeting be scheduled immediately to discuss a change in placement, because we do not feel that a regular classroom is the best placement for Aaron at this time.

    We also request a FIE which includes recommendations for the ARD Committee's review due to the changes in Aaron’s behaviors and cognitive functions cited above.

    Very important to send this via certified mail.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  5. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I've found the lead psychologist at the school district to be wonderful. She's extremely helpful. Perhaps a call to the person in that position would help.
     
  6. mom23gsfg

    mom23gsfg New Member

    oh my lord it sounds like you just described my son!except for the wetting pants.mount rogers placed him in a mental facility and they are saying he is borderline mr ,odd,and a mood disorder (but the doctor wont say which one)
    his regular doctor had him as adhd and he was supposed to be tested for terrette's syndrom but the doctor down there will not listen!
    at the school he was going to kids constantly picked on him because of a limp in his leg where he has perthe's disease(a ddeteration of the hip bone due to fluid and when it grows back it not round as it should be)and when he defends himself he is the only one to get into trouble
    he has come home with a big bruise on his upper arm(when he was 12) and the principle refused to punish the 17 yr old girl because it was 2 days after the incident because i had been unable to get in touch with her because it happened on a friday
    he has come home with bumps in his head where 2 big boys took turns hitting him in the head with a football and he defended himself (these boys where alot taller and bigger than him)and he was still the one to get into trouble
    i dont know if anyone else has had these isues but that school if youre not goody goody then youre in for it and youre always to blame!
    now we finally got him into another school where alot of country kids go to school and we have had no problems there also the iep teacher there does not send home homework for "her kids"she said she figured out that if she loaded these kids with homework they wouldnt do anything for her during the day(i thank god every day she is there!)and now he is doing better at school

    they will not let me sign him out because he was involunarily put in there.i beleive he could be better treated by his own doctor .he will turn 15 on the 28th this month .they have put him on trileptal and now where he got sick to his stomache and dizzy and couldnt sleep where they raised the dosage
    however the doctor said she cannot lower the dosage that because he had to have so much of it in his system and she refuses to listen to me
    after being on this i noticed a real change in him he was loving and not so hateful and fidgety
    also he wasnt eating (he refuses to eat their food and i dont much blame him)the only food he is eating is when i get to take him something once a day during visiting hrs.also they let these kids sleep the day away and then wonder why they cant sleep at night
    i dont think it takes any geniuse to figre that one out!
    and i dont know about you but when i take my medications i get sick and dizzy if i dont eat with it but thios doctor doesnt believe that is the problem
    i think some of these teachers should go out of teaching if they dont want to teach the difficult children along with the rest!hope everything works out 4 u
     
  7. CSE Member

    CSE Member New Member

    Cat -

    I agree with the points that Sheila brought up, but have a few other suggestions to add.

    Since he has medical issues, his education should be put on hold. If the growth is at cause, it can be treated.

    With that in mind, I'd rewrite your letter Make it into a cover letter that mentions the problems and your demands.

    People see themselves as 'busy' and many have reading comprehension issues, so a long letter is too much for them to handle.

    Then provide separate pages or sections with the specifics of what you see as wrong and the solution you want to see applied.
    It can be done in outline form, with Problem; Impact; Cause; Remedy

    The incident with the 'pull-ups' should be a separate complaint. You should definitely treat that as sexual harassment, not just bullying. What would you do if your daughter's pants were pulled down in the bathroom?

    Aaron has also reported being taunted and bullied at school by other students when he wets his pants. This has caused Aaron much distress. He even reported another student in a higher grade pulling his pull up down in the bathroom and ripping the sides of it.(This was on Monday, 11/26/07) On that day Aaron came home with his pull up TAPED to him, even though there were other pull ups in his backpack to change into. (Aaron has not been back to school since this incident as he expresses extreme anxiety, and tells me he “hates school and hates being picked on and has no friends”. When we even mention him going back to school he goes into complete meltdown mode and says he is afraid “someone will kill him” in the restroom. When asked who this child was that pulled his pullup down he says he doesn’t know the boy’s name but he is in a higher grade.

    <<< I have not as of yet reported this incident to his teacher because I have been trying to decide whether to notify the police and press formal charges and had his other issues to contend with.

    NOT - too busy caring for Aaron at home this past week. It sounds like you don't think it that important.

    He should have had an aide to protect and help him.

    Deal with his medical problems first and then see where his education goes.

    Good luck

    Rick
     
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    You have a very complicated situation and everyone has given very good suggestions.

    Here is one more:

    EVERYONE should drop the use of the word "BEST" of anything. We all want what is "best" for our children, but special education students are not entitled to "the best." They are only entitled to what is "appropriate."

    You can save yourself a headache, a lot of argument and in some cases, time, if you use the word "appropriate" instead of BEST.

    I know the above upsets parents, but it has been the law since 1982, and only four states exceed the federal "appropriate" requirement, including Michigan and TN...and two others that have escaped my slightly over-stressed brain.

    Keep on fighting for your kid....he's got a great advocate in you.

    Martie
     
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