Homeschooling AFTER school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by remclick, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. remclick

    remclick Guest

    Just wondering if anyone else feels like they are homeschooling after school?

    I am exhausted trying to reteach what he should have learned at school but didn't. He looks like he is learning it but he isn't and I have tried to tell the school to watch for this. Do I just let him fail in every class so they see it? I don't mind helping but I am frustrated having to go over and over the material and he doesn't want to have to spend all that time after a long day at school. And, even then, he gets many Cs, Ds, and Fs on tests and classwork assignments. He does get As and Bs at times but it is so much work for me. He tested in the superior range on cognitive (IQ) testing, average to above average in educational testing but his classwork performance is below average.

    He has a 504 (since 2nd grade) and has just entered middle school. He is just done at the end of the school day and is angry and sometimes crying when he gets off the bus because he has homework. I just want him to be able to understand the material in school so that we don't have to start over when he gets home.

    Is anyone else experiencing this?
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    The transition to middle school can be a NIGHTMARE. Sounds like he's getting overwhelmed, and when overwhelmed, nothing really sinks in.

    I'd meet with the staff to see if there are additional supports that can be put in place for him. With superior intelligence, if things are OK, then he shouldn't be struggling so much and still getting poor grades. Laziness can cause such grades, but that's not what you're describing, but be warned that the staff may think that's the cause.
    LOL if you're putting in THAT much work, it's not really HIS grade, is it?

    I've never had to reteach. Tutor, yes. Motivate, yes.

  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I experienced a lot of that. difficult child was DONE at the end of the day so it was written into the IEP that "classwork assignments be shorter than non-disabled peers" (usually 1/2 the problems/length). This helped a lot. But then, as things got more difficult and the school refused to give him in-class support, he refused to work in class at all so ALL work was brought home for me to do with him. The school still adamantly refused to provide in-class supports and it got to be so ridiculous that I have pulled him out of that school district.

    Definitely call for an IEP/504 meeting to discuss the issue. They ALL need to know what you are dealing with and THEY need to provide accommodations IN school to help. It is their job to teach, not yours. Put the ball back in their court. Push for whatever changes to the 504 you can or push to have it changed to an IEP to get him more help. You might have to push HARD.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I would guess its time for another round of evaluations.
    I'm seeing burn-out. He really can't do what is asked of him at school right now - and you need to find out why.
    ADHD is co-morbid with all sorts of other dxes... chances are really high that there are more reasons for school problems than just the ADHD and mood disorder ...

    Some examples:
    - handwriting - if it isn't efficient and effective (doesn't need to be pretty), then they fall behind real fast - have to be able to listen and write, think and write...
    - auditory issues - trouble following what the teacher is saying? could be issues filtering out the normal background noise. Causes HUGE issues in school, and it gets worse as they get older
    - working memory issues - more and more work requires "recall" as they get older; if working memory is a problem, they can't consistently pull the info out of their brains...
    - other learning disabilities such as dysgraphia

    There are all sorts of accommodations and interventions for these kinds of things.
    And problems like these, when not detected, definitely contribute to mood disorders.
  5. remclick

    remclick Guest

    He has all of things you mentioned! (Oh it feels good to know there are other people out there living my frustrations!) I talked to his teachers about them already. Called my own meeting with a handout to tell them about him and how the testing showed that his verbal comprehension is poor so no matter how smart he is inside, if the information doesn't get in he is going to do poorly. I have been told that until he is 1.5 years behind he would not qualify for an IEP. Well, he isn't but what does that do for kid's self esteem to see himself fail over and over again? It just seems like teachers don't know what to do with a child that can't "hear" what they are teaching.

    But I can ask for him to be evaluated again. Thank you for replying!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get your own testing done if necessary...

    Occupational Therapist (OT) for motor skills - they can't diagnosis, but can document required accommodations... check out first (its a good site, out of a Canadian university) and if the Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) stuff rings a bell, share some of that with the Occupational Therapist (OT) as well.

    Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) - we had to go for a private evaluation, because the schools didn't even have it on their radar (he doesn't have language issues one-on-one... so can't be a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) problem, right?? NOT). Specifically, try to get a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who is familiar with both Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and with other auditory issues like filtering/focus/discrimination... the ability to manage listening in the presence of background noise (classrooms are far more noisy than the normal listener is aware of!). Key accommodation here is either a soundfield system (teacher uses mic, speaker system for whole class), or even better, a personal fm system (teacher has mic, student has listening device direct into ear). It may take this evaluation plus more... depending on where you are and who has the power to "order" the hardware.

    Other normal accommodations for auditory processing problems include:
    - outline of what is being covered, at the very beginning of class so they can follow along
    - all instructions (due dates, assignment details) in writing - either on the board or on paper - to supplement any verbal instructions
    - note-taking service - either by an EA, or by duplicate-note set-up with a top-notch student
    - any other adjustments normally given to hard of hearing students

    He doesn't have to be more than 1.5 years behind... he just needs some dxes to support the fact that he needs more support...!
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    I don't know the exact laws on this, BUT if I'm not mistaken, he does not have to be behind 1.5 years in EVERYTHING. Even if it's just his verbal comprehension, he should qualify.

    Here's a link to Nemours with a comprehensive outline.

    Many schools are notorious for trying to get parents to NOT go for an IEP. The way around it is to put your request for IEP evaluations in writing, cc to anyone you think is relevant and have these letters delivered by registered mail. Then they MUST go through the evaluation process.

    My son got one despite being highly intelligent and generally doing well. He was behind in language and motor skills (as well as social skills) and that's what got him the IEP. The fact that he's got Asperger's and does will due to the accommodations, is what has kept him on an IEP even after he "caught up"
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    My son has had an IEP since 3rd grade for his struggles caused by his ADHD and he has NEVER been behind grade level. I would check into that more. His diagnosis alone should qualify him for an IEP under "Other Health Impairments". I would find an advocate in your area. You need someone that knows what they're doing to be on YOUR side.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Unfortunately it is super frustrating even for the sp. ed. people having to deal with criteria and cut offs. They will lose funding if they bi-pass it too often BUT there are ways. Typically it is 1.5 school district (statistic term for standard deviations-i did awful in stats classes!) below the average scores for students of that grade or age. And, yes, they can qualify in different areas like Learning Disabilities, Speech Language, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), etc... Now, here is the thing....if someone on the team is really on page with you and thinks he needs services, sometimes they can pick the specific tests that they know the kiddo will probably bomb out on a little more surely. (in s/l for example instead of a general expressive/receptive test, they can pick specifically a test focusing on "grammar" use when speaking, or a language processing test. One test we sometimes use is Test of Problem Solving which is not a test to see if a child can solve problems, but how they use language to show how they can solve problems. There are many options especially in s/l and psychiatric testing) Depending on the disability area a hypothetical example of how a student could qualify would be that they need to be 1.5 school district below the mean on TWO standardized measures plus observations by staff and parents support that it is affecting school progress. School progress can include social development in the school setting which is vital for school success. Some districts are really locked into what tools they use. I totally admit that I have picked assessment protocols that are known to catch more kids when doing s/l evaluations with a child where the parent and staff feel they truly need to qualify and they are kind of on the edge of qualifying. It doesn't always work and I am not saying to fake anything, they are legally acceptable tests...just saying that sometimes you can take the time to pick tests that might hit their weaknesses a little harder. There are no tests that would make a really average kid not look okay, of course. There are also team over-rides where they can see that the disability is affecting academic performance and it is critical to get services. Obviously this is very rare but it is done at times. Some kids wont test or can't test, etc. Everything has to be well docummented so that they dont lose funding when they are audited.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to school vs. private testing and service provision. One disadvantage is the HUGE frustration that a child who is even in the 10th%ile and struggling in school is not allowed to be seen when you know you can help. Then again, school doesn't have to fight insurance companies to continue to provide services after ten sessions or a few months, once enrolled. I always get BOTH for my son when I can. I recommend that to anyone if it is doable, even if I am working with them directly. There are enough goals to go around and our kids deserve everything we can get them as long as we coordinate and dont contradict each other. the different perspectives can be very good (one team working on the basic underlying issues and another providing day to day support to help navigate the educational setting, etc.)
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Schools will tell you LOTS of things that "cannot be done". Many of them not only CAN be done, but are LEGALLY required to be done. If the school is denying something that you feel your child needs to suceed, check on for the most up to date legal info.

    That being said, I would suggest setting a time limit for homework (30 minutes-ish). Let your son know that the two of you will spend 30 minutes working on homework and then he can done. Staple a letter of explanation to any undne homework.

    "difficult child worked diligently on his homework last night. He was unable to complete this work as he did not grasp the material presented in class. Please reteach so that he understands. Thank you, Mrs. Remclick"

    Just printed out a bunch and eventually the teachers may get the point. Yes, they may give him zeros and his grades may all become Ds and Fs. So what. It is vital that the teachers understand where his educational weaknesses are. Unless you plan on reteaching him everything through high school.....
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If he isn't learning and he can learn then they aren't providing FAPE. I've gotten services for difficult child 1 by pointing out that the test the Occupational Therapist (OT) did wasn't what was happening in the classroom. I had the backing of the teacher who provided classwork samples for me. The schools therapist explained that copying off a paper in front of him and writing something from his mind are two different things. As a team we decided to he needed services even though the testing score was high. Getting testing done through the private medical professionals can give the school more information. And might make it easier to get an IEP for your son. It would also make it easier to explain to them what is wrong. Then it isn't "Just the parents" word.

    I think JJJ's idea is a good one. I'd ask the teachers how much time they feel he should be spending on homework and add that to the note. difficult child worked diligently on homework for X mins.

    Oh and a standard deviation measures how close to average you are. So if a test score is 85 with average being 100 and a school district of 15 than the test score is 1 school district. If the cut off is 1.5 school district then the test score would have be 77.5 before they would qualify.
  12. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Does FAPE apply to kids without an IEP? JJJ? Did I just steer someone wrong here?
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is from:
    where there is more information. Yup, a way to get into Special Education. especially specific learning disabilities is to look at the discrepancy between ability (IQ) and achievement (actual school/academic progress)
  14. seriously

    seriously New Member

    FAPE applies to every child in this country. The presumption is that every one is to be provided a Free and Appropriate Public Education. It is the standard against which a given child's education is supposed to be measured.

    While the school district may insist that they can "only" consider a disability if it can be measured on a standardized test that shows 1.5 grade levels delay or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean - they are wrong and/or lying to you.

    There are a few states that have specifically legislated some rules about determining specific areas of disability - usually speech and language it seems. But federal law trumps state law when it comes to the provision of FAPE which means that those state laws can be legally challenged if they prevent a child from preceiving FAPE.

    IDEA has always said that an IEP team has the power to decide a child is

    1) a child with a disability and
    2) NOT receiving FAPE

    and therefore qualifies for an IEP regardless of any testing or common practice or grades. The law requires that the IEP team documents how the team decided the child was disabled in the IEP but that's it. The IEP team is not legally bound to any rules of any kind - if the team can agree on the disability and if they can provide a written justification for their decision then they can determine a child disabled and create an IEP.

    But you will never hear any school official tell you this because it would be chaos if there were absolutely no guidelines to follow when deciding which children to assess. Unfortunately, many school districts see these as "rules" and you must force their hand by requesting assessment in writing and insisting they either assess or issue "prior written notice" - which is simply a letter telling you why they believe your child is not a child with a disability and should not be assessed.

    As Insane has suggested, many kids "age into" their disabilities at key points in the academic process. At 4th grade, 7th grade and 9th grade the academic demands take a giant step forward. Kids who could get by up until then even if not doing well - suddenly they are floundering because they cannot keep up with the greater cognitive, social or physical demands (or all three).

    It certainly sounds like more is going on that ADHD. As Insane said, many kids have language processing problems that really interfere with their ability to process language but you don't notice anything obviously wrong when you talk to them or when they are asked to do easy tasks not under pressure.

    I suggest you get an audiological hearing test done (one where they use the sound proof booth) to make sure your son's physical ability to hear is good - this is always the first thing that should be done when there seems to be a language processing issue. it is not Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) testing but rather just ruling out hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss in one ear can lead to academic problems so it is important to do this and not rely on the school's very primitive hearing tests or the screening ones done by pediatricians.

    If he is struggling that much and his teachers know it, the school should have called for a 504 meeting to review the 504 and consider whether he needs additional supports and/or Special Education. At the minimum you need to call for a 504 meeting to be held in the next couple of weeks.

    Don't wait for that though. If I were you I would write to the school and document your concerns, the degree to which you are helping your child at home and request that he be assessed for Special Education. if you request assessment now in early October you may get an IEP in place by March. If they call and tell you "oh no he has a 504" just say no, I'd like him assessed for Special Education. Do not argue with them and do not agree. Just be clear and firm.

    It's important to document the amount of help he is getting at home because this is a factor that the IEP team is supposed to consider when deciding if he is a child with a disability for the purposes of an IEP. The fact that he is still struggling despite hours of help from you is strong evidence that he is not getting FAPE with his current placement. "Placement" is not a physical place. It is the combination of services, supports and modifications that are described in an IEP and that the school is legally required to provide in order to ensure that a disabled child is getting FAPE.

    I suggest you spend your free time reading up on 504's and IEP's on
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So true. Here is another definition...legally as a term it is defined under ADA for special education law.

    The individual terms in FAPE are also defined in a parent friendly way on this site so feel free to copy it and bring it to the table if ever needed.

    Not to mention No Child Left Behind, which applies to all students in public schools does impact special needs situations, lots of info on Wrights Law and other advocacy sites about this.

    And it is also absloutely true too that if a child needs services there can be a team over-ride of criteria. As said, it requires them to document the reasons why standardized testing did not reveal the need etc. but all that can be done and I have personally been in on a decision like that when I worked in sp. ed. For sure can be done.