IEP update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, May 21, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Well, I was so stressed going into that meeting. Did not go with an open mind, was very angry at recent findings. Only one reg. ed. teacher was present, not my favorite but was surprised when she stuck up for difficult child.
    Psychologist went through the testing, drew a graph for me stating that difficult child scored superior in all area's (130+) except in visual. He has superior auditory processing. Said she noticed he would close his eyes, put his hands over his eyes, put his head down during this portion of the test. Noted several times how extraordinary he was in this area. However, the visual portion where he had to look at a paper, or through a book to find information was very week 70%. She said that brought his scores down, but she feels that is just a number and he is superior in his processing. (difficult child will not read a book. refuses. I wonder if making him read would help in this area)
    She also noted that on the forms she gave to me, teachers and him, all came up with exactly the same. She said she noticed alot of anxiety and frustration. Each day she tested he began the session by saying he wasn't going to do it. She said he was terrified that he would fail. After talking for 5 minutes or so, he was then willing to begin.
    She noted his hand writing seemed painful for him. I have stressed this many times on how he has such difficulty with hand writing. I asked in the beginning of the year if he could have access to a computer. They all said, oh, yea and blew me off. She said this should be in his IEP as an accomadation. Staff started to say they only have limited number of easy child's available and one what the teacher uses. This is when the math teacher piped up and said any child needing a computer for accomadation shall get it. The teacher will have to give it up. So, it was written in his IEP that any free style written assignment would be done by use of computer. Problem: They have Mac's at school, and a flash drive would not be compatable at home, if he does not finish an assignment. It was suggested he email his work to himself.
    Math teacher stated how strong difficult child is in math, however he often refuses to do the work, or starts it and then says he quits and will finish later. ?? why ??
    Psycholigist stated several times his anxiety is hampering his learning. No suggestions given.
    Was told that he depends on the Special Education teacher to calm him down. Prior to April Special Education teacher was not in the classroom with him, he would go find her when he became frustrated or upset. Then it became such a frequent issue that they switched him to be in the classes with spec. ed teacher. I was told he needs to find a way to calm himself and not depend on her to calm him. "after all he will be getting a job soon, and she won't be there". Well..He is 12 and at this point I am trying to get him through classes!
    Psychologist asked what accomadations are in place or have been in place to help him. None. Asked what Special Education modifications are in place. none. Asked what his plan was, and they said, one warning, second warning sent to another room (where spec. ed. teacher was prior to his move) and third warning office. That's it. That was his whole IEP/behavior plan. I also told them that his seating arrangements (desk seperated from rest of class) sets him off before class even begins. They added in IEP that his seating arrangements are to be within the class seating chart unless he is disturbing others around him.
    FBA..was never done. SW said she started it but didn't seem to find the need. I asked shouldn't we find triggers before we develop a plan. Response was triggers are different in each class, each day. Yes..seating arangements.
    Big issues with bringing supplies to class. He brings nothing, then tries to get it from others. HE HAS supplies.
    Loses everything. Once bell rings he just leaves class for the next one. Leaves any papers, books everything and just leaves.
    no suggestions given on how to help with that. He has to re-do many assignments because he gets them back to correct and return, only loses them.
    They suggested some form of relaxation technique for him, but had no suggestions.
    Asked about referral. VP said he was busy and had someone type it up. Asked where his comments were. Asked how that teacher could incorperate other classes and comments made to other teachers in her referral. I lost that battle, VP just saying he would write up all seperate ones. Still don't know how one teacher can write a referral for things said and taken out of context in another class with another teacher. VP will do nothing.
    SW asked me afterwards if difficult child has been threatened by someone due to giving out his name. I told her last year he gave up a name and has been physically threatened, pinned against a wall, over the summer by this other boy. Other than that I am not aware of anything. She didn't give any more information.

    So, any advice on organization, bringing supplies, making him do his work, relaxation techniques appreciated. Any advice on anything appreciated.
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Suggestions:

    1. Classroom aide assist difficult child in gathering belongings to go to next room.

    2. Separate school supplies box kept in each room for difficult child.

    3. Limit the number of rooms difficult child must change to throughout the day.

    4. Assistance at the end of the day to gather everything needed for homework (perhaps teachers could place all assignments including those needing to be redone in a special folder that they then ensure gets into his backpack).

    5. Alpha smart for written work and taking notes in class.

    6. Occupational therapy for fine motor (handwriting) difficulties.

    Also, when is the last time you took him for a complete eye exam including a functional vision anaylsis?? It sounds as if he has vision problems that the school will not treat as it is considered a medical issue.

    Best of Luck,
     
  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    silly question. What is Alpha smart? As far as Occupational Therapist (OT), is that something from school, or outside of school?
    Teacher would not consider helping him. Special Education teacher stood by his locker last week as school was beginning. When he opened his locker she reminded him to take supplies. He shut the locker and said "no". I received a phone call on that one. So she said she is not going to bother any longer. I honestly think by the end of the day he has lost most of his papers. He has no books, all have been lost.
    He saw an opthamologist (sp?) last fall. Said all was well, some slight stigamatism it was up to us if he wanted glasses, said it may and it maynot help. (husband has very bad "coke bottle" glasses. Can not see an inch in front of him without glasses. For some reason I thought difficult child would inherit the same eyesight because they have same color eyes. Did get the glasses, difficult child wore them for a short time, then decided it caused more headaches.
    They had the medication log in the IEP also. He comes down about 4 times a week, usually 2 times a day for Advil for headaches. He has headache medication "midrin" there, but he said it causes him to become tired and doesn't like to take it.
    MRI, MRA done, all is fine.
     
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Many schools have them for kids who need them. You should ask that it be written into his IEP that he be provided an alphasmart to use at school and home.

    Another accommodation for the IEP could be a second set of books to be kept at home. That way he wouldn't have to figure out at the end of the school day what he needs for homework.

    Occupational Therapist (OT) can be provided at school if deemed by the IEP team that the disability causes educational impact. Or you could do it privately.

    You really need to have your difficult child evaluated by a neurologist for his headaches. Too much Advil can cause rebound headaches. An effective prophylactic medication taken every day could prevent the headaches from even starting. My difficult child 1 is doing very well with Propranolol (a blood pressure medication that also treats migraines). Your difficult child can't be functioning all that well in school if he's getting headaches practically every day.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    He has been seeing a pediatric neurologist from Childrens Hospital. MRI and MRA's have been done. Everything fine. He put him on Topomax for a preventative treatment, as well as Midrin when headaches occur. He doesn't like to take midrin, says it causes him to be sleepy.
     
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We tried Depakote for difficult child 1, and it didn't work. We tried Topamax and Neurontin for difficult child 2, and they didn't work. You need to go back to the neurologist and get your difficult child on a better preventive migraine medication. He doesn't need to suffer the way he is. My kids are virtually headache-free on their current medication regimes.
     
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    An alpha smart is a small laptop type computer that a student uses at his desk & the work transfers to the teachers computer.

    kt uses an alpha smart at school. It's done wonders - we've given up on getting legible printing yet alone cursive out of her. She's in 7th grade & needs to get her work down on "paper" if you will. An alpha smart has helped.
     
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Kjs,

    Overall, it sounds like the meeting went pretty well! You have a few loose ends to tie up, but I'm glad to hear you got your point across to them. Good for you, you should be proud. I know how anxious you were about this.

    I was told about having Occupational Therapist (OT) done for my child that IF the child has issues that are taking place IN SCHOOL that would benefit form Occupational Therapist (OT), the school would provide Occupational Therapist (OT). If you are talking about handwriting, to me, that is a school issue. They HAVE to provide it. Don't let them tell you otherwise.

    I have also heard great things about the alphasmart. And, wouldn't that alleviate the need for a pencil? For that matter, is it possible that difficult child doesn't like to bring his supplies just because he does not enjoy the process of writing? Just thinking out loud.

    Continued prayers and hugs your way.
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm late and tired, so I'm drafting this in a hurry. I apologise if I suggest something someone else has already mentioned.

    Kjs, you said, "Problem: They have Mac's at school, and a flash drive would not be compatable at home, if he does not finish an assignment. It was suggested he email his work to himself."

    You can get the work on a Mac to be compatible with a easy child at home - it's really easy. Macs no longer format drives differently. All he has to do is to "save as" the document into either text only, Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) or the easy child program of your choice. There will be a very broad range of options offered to him when he chooses "save as" from the File menu. And when you plug it in at home, it should be easy to read. difficult child 3 is bilingual with computers; I suspect your difficult child is also.

    Alternatively, use an Alphasmart. In Australia, our public education system will buy an Alphasmart for each student who needs use of a computer. The Alphasmart remains property of the education department, but lives at the school and if the child changes schools, so does the Alphasmart. difficult child 3 now has his at home, we take it with us on holiday when he has to do a report for school, but this is because he is still enrolled in the state system (correspondence). We like the Alphasmart so much that if Dept of Ed decide they want theirs back, we'd buy one ourselves.
    And the Alphasmart is universally compatible. It saves as text only, difficult child 3 does the formatting on the main computer before printing.

    As for saying he has to learn to do without his Special Education teacher - not at this age, not when he is so anxious. The psychologist was repeatedly making it clear that he is a very bright child whose anxiety is interfering with his learning, and the school's response is to try to wean him off his Special Education teacher? They've got rocks in their heads!

    He is NOT going to be ready for the workforce using the same timetable as other kids his age. With difficult children like ours, you throw out the calendar. We just help them the best we can and KNOW it will take them longer, but they will get there. But not if they take away his support too soon.

    The warnings are NOT the way to handle a kid with anxiety - the behaviour problems are almost always the result of stress and anxiety; to issue a warning only pushes the anxiety up even further; it will escalate it. As a result, the further warnings will probably trigger a meltdown, it is absolutely the wrong way to handle this.

    He needs help with personal organisation (difficult child 1 STILL needs help with that, at 23, although he's much better).

    You lost the battle over the behaviour report because VP was determined the truth would not come out. Besides, you had too much important stuff to deal with. I think the report issue goes way beyond (and outside) IEP issues, you need to write letters about it (to keep a paper trail) and keep nagging, in writing, for an explanation and some justice in future.

    Organisation - he needs Special Education support. He also needs to learn how to keep and use a diary (which also requires Special Education involvement with practice, support and revision). He can't do it on his own - he simply hasn't the capability. If the Special Education teacher refuses to work with him, ask for funding for an aide for him who HAS to help him. His refusal is a poor excuse to refuse to help. Treat him like a genius five year old.

    About the visual score being low - it's artificially lowering his overall score. Whenever there is a big discrepancy, it's generally a clear indication of learning disability, it's NOT a guide to overall ability. His best scores indicate what he should be capable of, if he had no learning problems.

    Eye colour is no link to eye disorders (apart from albinism). I would keep close tabs on his eyes - at this age, eyes can change a lot, and fairly quickly. I remember needing a new glasses prescription at least every year.

    I do agree, this was about the best IEP you could have had. Do try to get a written copy of minutes and make sure you copy what you wrote here into your own notes, so you have something to refer back to at a later stage.

    Good luck with your Warrior Armour!

    Marg
     
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