If its not one, its the other...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I got wind from county case manager yesterday that one of the advocates was not happy with me, and I probably needed to call her soon.

    So, I did.

    I last spoke to them after the last incident with Wee at school. At that time, they told me that one of them (the quieter one, I'll call her Adv A) would be out of the office all last week. The other (the one who is looking for a fight with the district's attorney to even the score from previous cases - I'll call her Adv B) could not work on the case til Oct 1 because of funding issues. So I was flying solo last week.

    Our plan, as of that conversation, was not to send Wee back to school because of the threat of juvenile involvement. They said, unless the school puts in writing they won't arrest him, he can't go. I agreed. We all thought it would be a cold day in hades before we got that in writing. Then I talked to the super of school, and its in writing. So I had to decide, on my own, if I was sending Wee or keeping him home. He wanted to go so badly, they had this Mr Para/Teacher guy, and I had in writing that they wouldn't arrest him, so I sent him.

    Adv B had written a letter for me to send to school, disagreeing with the IEP, stating that Wee woudn't be back, and asking for homebound services until they could get appropriate support for him, in light of the threat of arrest. Obviously, the dynamics of the situation had changed after I talked to the super, so I couldn't send that letter. I re-wrote it, left it mostly the same wording, took out what wasn't relevent, and added a few more things missing from the IEP (like what time he leaves school - they had the time wrong), and sent it. Since I didn't come to the office all last week, I didn't have access to a scanner or fax to get that info to the advocates, but I also was told they couldn't touch it til this week, anyway... On Friday, I left them voice mails and emails to conference call me when they could so I could update them both at the same time.

    So, since county case mgr said they were not happy with me, I just called Adv B yesterday afternoon. Adv A leaves the office at 1pm, so I knew I couldnt' get them both. Gave her the update, she said we wait on the FBA, and then make a plan from there... made no indication of being upset. I forgot to ask how long I should wait for a response from my letter regarding the IEP disagreement/changes. So I called Adv A this morning to ask. (Adv B has a medical test today and would not be available). Adv A absolutely read me the riot act and refused to answer my question until she could talk to Adv B.

    Lo and behold, an hour later, they conference me in on a call. Once I explained what had taken place and why I did what I did, forwarded them all of my documentation, and the fact that Adv A was out, and Adv B couldn't work on the case, anyway, Adv A backed off. We agreed I will write a letter asking for the FBA results ASAP, stating that I have not gotten any response from the letter regarding the IEP, and requesting we go ahead and schedule a meeting to go over the FBA results for 2 weeks after the FBA, since it tends to take us a week to get everyone's schedule in sync and we don't have time to waste on this.

    I feel like I must be the hardest person in the world to deal with. When I'm not fighting with the dang school, now I'm fighting with the dang advocates. I haven't even told them I'm looking for an attorney... I've never had so many relationships in conflict in my life, ever. Makes me think it must be me...

    Adv A was downright mad at me for not sending that letter that Adv B spent all that time writing, even tho sending it wouldn't have been right, either, cause a lot of what it said wasn't relevent since Wee was going back to school...its so frustrating.

    The good news is that the sped teacher called me last night. Wee's only issue yesterday was a minor issue on the playground...some boys teased him and it made him mad, tho he did not act out. Principal apparently came into the room after recess and saw him. She came back in before he was to go to his "reward" recess. SpEd teacher said she told principal that Wee earned the reward recess and would be going. Didn't even give her an option to say he couldn't go.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It makes you wonder whether you have B*TCH tattoed on your forehead or something the way all these people are treating you - doesn't it? Yikes!!!! (in reality, of course, it's probably just that they are not used to dealing with a person who can think for themselves).

    I hope they come around soon and don't hold grudges...things are hard enough.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, Daisy, it pretty much does feel that way.

    Both advocates have said I do a good job advocating for Wee (yeah, right...if I did a good job, we wouldn't be in this mess...) But Adv B gave me the ok to change the letter if there was something in it I didn't agree with before sending it. Obviously, they had no idea I'd be changing it in the manner I did, but neither did I... who knew. I changed it to fir the situation as it had changed and sent it.

    Just very frustrating.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It *is* frustrating.

    I tell you what, until that horrible meeting on Friday I was feeling like having people on "my team" was only causing me a headache and not helping at all. Just more meetings, more trying to get 3 people to "get it", and I was really becoming frustrated and really tired of repeating myself.

    And I think that's the problem: people have to be around our kids for some time before they can really get it. In the meantime, you have things you have to move on and you can't wait around for everyone to get on the same page at the same time. So you make decisions and the other people on your team are saying, "Why did you do that?"

    But after Friday? I'm so glad I have the people involved that I do.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I hope I'd feel the same.

    Tho if someone weren't tempering Adv B, we'd probably already have a supreme court case filed...Or be on 60 Minutes.

    All you have to do is mention that attorney's name and she's off on a tirade. She knows how he works, she knows his games, she's dealt with him, we haven't, she knows how to beat him at his own game (ya do? Cause seems to me this is a bone in your craw cause you lost to him)...etc etc etc. The rest of us (county case manager, Adv A, exMIL, me) think the school is probably not giving their attorney the same info they are giving me. They have made statements, some in email, that we just can't see him giving them the ok to do, unless he got a different version of the stories than we have... particularly with regard to restraint being an IEP team decision...they have restrained Wee, and it hasn't been a part of an IEP team discussion since the beginning of last year when I told them he was not to be put in the closet and they weren't to lay a hand on him. And reporting him to juvie for spitting... And doling out an OSS when the handbook clearly states the consequence for that behavior would be an ISS...I don't think he knows those things.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Shari, this sounds to me like a misunderstanding that you have now resolved.

    You were the person on the spot, you had the permission to make what changes were needed and frankly had to be made, given the super's involvement which caused major change.

    Adv A didn't have the full story when she was mad at you; given how things had happened, it would have seemed to her initially that you had thrown their help and advice back in their faces, after Av B put in a lot of work on a letter that you never sent. But once she knew the story, she relaxed. This is how these things happen. They weren't there when you needed them to be, but due to their previous help, plus due to you not being incompetent either in these matters, you did well. And looking over it, I get the feeling that they agree.

    If you're still concerned, write the advocates a follow-up letter (or email) basically saying, "I respect the input from both of you, it has been invaluable in getting Wee the help we have managed, so far. It still is not right, but we are at the moment better off than before. Things are still shaky, but we have to give the school just a little more rope so they can't say we did not give them every chance to do things properly. As always I value your input and miss it when you are unavailable."

    You know the drill. They probably just need reminding. And in this sort of advocacy, sometimes feathers get ruffled and it's no big deal, especially if they can be soothed down again quickly.
    I can imagine Adv B was thinking, "OK, now we have them on toast, we're ready for DP at last," then the super had a brilliant compromise and, frankly, it would not look good to have ignored such options. When you've tried them (and now superB principal has destroyed it so soon) it becomes more and more apparent that when you do go to DP (and I do believe this is inevitable, thanks to superB principal) you will have clearly been doing your utmost to work with the school, right down the line.

    I share the advocates' frustration, but I do get why you chose the super's option. I would have too.

    But that principal! It sounds to me like she went down there expressly to forbid Wee going to special recess. What a cow! Sorry, bovines are lovely creatures, nothing like this woman... words fail me. But it does seem clear to me, her main agenda is to 'punish' Wee. And you. Certainly, allowing no privileges or favours. Nasty person! There, that's better.

  7. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Um, excuse me...WEE is YOUR child and if they waste time writing a letter that does not apply because they are out of the loop how are you the issue? You had an immediate need to handle the situation so their help seems a dollar short and a day late. They are not your attorney, they are advocates. I would think advocates are supposed to support your decisions/difficult child's rights, not leave you hanging and then get mad because you can't read their minds.

    Me thinks you got in the way of their school grudge agenda and offended them with being able to think for yourself.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Whether is was getting in the way of school grudge agenda or not, keeping them sweet is easy to do and pays off huge dividends. And they've already backed right off, so they understand now.

    As someone who also would love at times the chance to rub certain education officials noses in their own mess, I have too often had to back off because, no matter how badly I wanted it, they had pulled another rabbit out of the hat and given us a direction to go which saved their noses. I have also been an unofficial advocate for other parents and I do get frustrated when they allow their child to suffer in a bad system, instead of taking the action they're entitled to. All for fear of what the school could do to their child, forgetting that if ANYBODY does anything to their child, it is serious grounds for a lot of heavy action. But as you pointed out, Farmwife, this is Shari's child, and when it's your child, you get to make the call. The advocates know this, too, but by now they also know you, Shari. When they left things, a letter had been drafted and it really looked like there was no more room to move other than to send the letter.
    Then the super pulled a rabbit out of the hat (in the form of super-teacher). Of course you backed off. Sending that letter was no longer appropriate. It sounds like the advocates agree with this, now they know. And you did try to let them know, but hey, people have other things in their lives too. But it was so out of left field, they had trouble initially believing it. It's a lot easier to believe a timorous and gullible parent has once more been bought off by a corrupt schooling system.

    If you had not called the super but merely sent the letter, you would probably now be where you were a week ago. Maybe not even that far. Think it through - knowing the people involved, as well as the procedures which should be followed, what would be the train of events? The principal could have just tossed the letter in the bin (foolish; but it would be possible). Or eventually she MAY have sent it on to the super. In between, you can be sure she would have found a way to once more trigger Wee, to make all this a non-issue because the kid is CLEARLY uncontrollable! You know how people like this work - master manipulators. And by the time the super knew about your letter, too much damage could have been done. That's one more reason for keeping Wee at home when that letter gets sent - to avoid the principal taking advantage of that little time window she has, and doing untold damage (like someone wielding a crowbar in a china shop - bulls are actually remarkably careful in china shops, according to Mythbusters).

    So you did the right thing. Their distress over it was of course some level of disappointment that the letter got gazumped by circumstances. But they have quickly settled down to "What do we do next?"

    Don't let it get to you, Shari. If you were in business and you were all fellow board members working towards, say, acquisition of another company, you would be going through the same conflicts and resolutions at every crisis. But the team has to pull together overall. Individual team members will at times disagree - otherwise how would you ever manage to take all variations and possibilities into account?
    This is just how it happens. Roll with it, it's OK. But for me, part of rolling with it is to keep the others assured that I am still wanting them on the team and I am still supportive of their input. If you want them bound to you with ties of loyalty, that is what it takes. It's a sweetener. And it works a lot better than superB principal's bullying methods.

  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    And not for nothing, this is Wee's home district, and even if things get filed with dept of ed (more like when DP is filed) we're still gonna have to play the game unless we're gonna move or pull him out when that happens. Stinks, but...here we are.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll move if I have to, but I don't want to...for a variety of reasons.

    You are correct, they both backed off and all was well again, they advised me in a next step, liked my notion to go ahead and schedule the meeting to review the FBA results since the attorney gave us a timeframe for it, etc.

    I was shocked that it was Adv B who calmed Adv A down...I figured Adv B would just feed off Adv A.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just goes to show - maybe they're not so single-minded and one-eyed as you thought.

    Hmm. File it away for future reference.

    Actually Shari, it all tells me that things are on an even keel and they're very committed to helping you with Wee. If they didn't care, they wouldn't have got upset. So really, it's all good.

    It is reminding me of the problems I had a couple of months ago with difficult child 3's English teacher, accusing me of writing difficult child 3's assessment tasks for him. Although she has backed right off and is working with me (working hard, too) on helping difficult child 3, and she clearly does not seem to believe this any more, I know she will never apologise for it. And I don't want any apology from anyone that has been forced from them. All I want, is for people to work with difficult child 3 as he needs it, and not to get sidetracked by stuff that isn't true. The English department in general now accept that difficult child 3 CAN work at that level, but not consistently. It means they know now, they can push him harder. And that is what I want.
    Interestingly, all this year this teacher wanted me to stay out of her lessons with difficult child 3. But in the last couple of months, I've been within earshot and even been able to step in and "translate" for difficult child 3, when he was missing the point.

    So sometimes a crisis and blow-up not only clears the air, it can lead towards getting everything on the right track for sure, when maybe before you only thought it was.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I felt the same way about moving and stayed to fight it out instead so I can't fault you for that. But knowing what I know now- how things started with my son, what contributed to them escalating and the school district's unwillingness to address it appropriately or even consider the facts objectely, and knowing how things have turned out.... I sooooo wish I would have just moved a long time ago.