It was UGLY...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Probably should put this in sp ed but so many of you that I talk with probably dont go there often so I am opting for this forum.

    the IEP meeting stunk. UGLY from moment one... everyone had an ugly agenda and the things they said about his doing better in speech, dape and classroom, didn't matter even one little bit.

    the principal acted like Q was a hood. One teacher said he had a day when he went on and on about what if I brought a gun to school and when she talked to him about that he went to a knife etc...

    Seriously, they said they have zero tolerance and have to be concerned about that. I said, he will talk to you about anything if he gets you to talk to him... Sad to say you were really willing to engage him on this topic instead of something else. We actually have specifically said in meetings that when he starts to talk nonsense (remember this like a grade K kid talking about these things) we say, oh Q, I am not going to talk about silly things, what else can we talk about. When I do that, he always says... OK OK OK... and goes to a different topic... works his way out of the perseverations. She essentially shaped the conversation topic, increased it. He has a new word the "c" word and they act like he brought it to the school. He only could have heard it there so WTH?

    Principal was making threats about calling the cops etc... I wanted to threaten to get a gun myself...but of course have never even seen a gun in real life except on a policeman's belt. But the fantasy.... I am sure it went far beyond what Q ever has thought...LOL

    I have pretty much been crying for the last three hours. When I said last Dec that they were pushing him out I was right. they are nto trying, all they are data collecting on is the awful things that he says and does which in and of itself is reinforcing the behaviors and causing them to increase. One teacher even admitted that he begged her not to write something down because it scares him so much. I have said a million times that collecting data in front of him is a trigger. The could give a rip.

    They say, well we just record what he is doing, even if it is ok... I said, you really think he sees it as that??? When the data was originally collected, the way it worked, was he got points and he got to see the points for getting work done etc. Then when he saw the great work he did he got his sticker or prize or a good job comment or whatever. But he saw it and it was not the scary thing it has turned into which is they are writing things down to kick him out of the school.

    My psychiatric said he can't go to an ebd program, and you only have offered that. He flat out said this is not how to work with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) kid. Law advocate was fuming and went off on them multiple times including how they treat me and how negative they are about Q.

    I asked the principal to take a few minutes and get to know Q. I said, you know nothing about him except when he is in crisis. I asked him if he ever thought for a second that if he became Q's friend, that it could HELP the situation instead of his being afraid of you and having constant anxiety out of you.

    They say they had to have admin come down daily .... UMMMM that is because you told the teacher to call admin daily!!!! I was ready to tip the table like they did on the housewives of New Jersey but of course I stayed even keeled and nice. My lawyer said I have to stop acting like a teacher and get mad.

    I would take him out in a second if I thought he had anywhere to go. But I dont. I told them again I am willing to do homebound and therapies and the district can provide transport or pay me to drive him....

    They said he is in that room sometimes ALL day. I specifically have asked that question over and over and the teacher says he is spending time in her room... excuse me??? is it or isn't it happening that way... DOUBLE SPEAK

    It is so awful, they are hurting him and he does need to leave them but to where??? I am going to observe in district and out of district programs, and willing to open enroll him in another district ( there is a new school being built for kids with autism or any other behavior disorder similar to that from teh ground up for kids with sensory issues etc. but it is far away and maybe even out of our county, I can't move out of this county due to our current services/waiver... not supposed to vary by county but the truth is it does, we have lived that too)

    I am overwhelmed. I did my job but inside, I feel sick. Heartbroken and afraid for Q.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    ((Hugs)) I remember leaving so many IEP meetings just terrified for my childs' future.

    I think it is great that you are looking at other options; a school that is experienced in working with kids with Autisma and Tourettes is your best bet. Chances are they won't be any more $$$ for the school district than the ebd school so they may not argue with you since they get what they want (Q out of their building).

    Since Q's 'presenting' issue is the verbal ticks, I would contact your local tourette's assn and ask the parents which schools they recommend.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am going to do that, thanks. I have asked the brain injury association but even though they say they represent all brain injuries even their agenda lately is mostly traumatic external injuries like athletic injuries and returning veterans. Kids with tumors are pretty low on the advocacy list.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    You may not be QUITE ready for this, and you should only do it with the support of your advocate, but...
    This is the kind of story that public pressure might make a difference on.

    Meanwhile... can the advocate and your psychiatrist get together and support the need for an externally-hired (i.e. you "hiring") but school-paid-for full-time aide for Q, who actually understands how Q works, what he needs, and who will support him across the full day? Someone who can report back to YOU on what the teachers are really doing and saying, and who can head problems off "at the pass" so to speak? Someone who does NOT report to school admin?
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish I had an answer to suggest. Back in the day my first difficult child was expelled from elementary due to ADHD issues (it was legal at that time) and the only option was a school where every disabled child was sent. Kinda out of sight our of mind. I remember the fear, the disappointment, the hopelessness that I felt. I literally spent money I didn't have to go away for two days of crying in a motel.

    Unlike me you are informed, dedicated, intelligent and do have laws on your side. I am 100% sure that your strength will result in an improved educational experience for your child. He is a very lucky boy to have such an outstanding advocate. You may also cry for two days but you will remount the horse and fight each battle with honor and valor. I know it. Sending hugs DDD
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I really don't have any brilliant advise to share. just my support.
    If you have not done so, maybe start looking at vocational programs and how to finance it?
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have called dvr and the therapy place he goes to does vocational but he is too young. they will take him his jr year not now. Originally they told me his age was accepted, but really it is by grade. He is only in eighth grade.

    The legal advocate just called and she said that the principal said what he said to intimidate me and he was basically saying, if you dont take your son out of MY school then I will make your life a living hell. That is right, that is what it boiled down to. He totally ignored anything anyone in the school has ever told me, they contradicted their own meeting notes, they contradicted their own promises, and they acted like jerks, every single one of them, the nurse, the dape teacher, the cip teacher, the psycho was obviously under a gag order he smirked thru the whole thing, the speech therapist said, he is doing great...BUT... oh my ... it was awful, I am traumatized.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Really sorry, Buddy. It's horrible to feel rejected and misunderstood like this, Q and by extension you... What damage limitations can you do with Q, to make sure he experiences this in as not-negative fashion as possible? Maybe there isn't much right not. I'm just sorry. Hugs.
  9. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Oh Buddy. I am so sorry the meeting went so horribly. I was hoping it would be better. That principal is an a55. I would be a mess too if I saw someone writing down and collecting data off of everything I said and did. That is ridiculous. There is no reason that they cannot compile it all after is is either gone for the day, or in another room. My BFF is an EA for a preschooler. She has multiple issues and diagnosis's. They are in the data compiling phase to see if this little girl qualifies for a one on one aide. My bff writes up all of her data after the little girl leaves for the day. She would NEVER do that in front of her. I am so sad for both you and Q. If I were closer I would give you a hug. But this will have to do. (((HUGS))). I hope tomorrow is a better day.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Wasn't there a superintendent or some such that understood the problem with the school psychiatric(o)? Maybe that person needs an update on the REST of the team? And maybe... has some ideas about alternatives?
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We went through similar crud with difficult child 1 in mainstream. We tried everything. I was a novice at the time, I didn't know what my rights were. But I did have support from the autism association here who came in (at my expense) to do an inservice for all difficult child 1's teachers to explain to them how his Asperger's diagnosis impacted their work with him. Of course the inservice was held in the lunch break and attendance was optional, we were mostly only speaking to the converted. But two teachers who were there were very antagonistic and frankly, I found their presence useful because they saidf stuff others must have been thinking, and by getting it out into the open, gave us a chance to respond.
    One teacher, the acting principal (she was the deputy) said, "Why are we putting these accommodations in place? He will soon finish school and have to cope in the real world. He won't cope if we don't expect him to be more organised."
    The autism outreach worker responded with, "We know he won't cope. He is going to need supports in place beyond school, for some years. We are on top of that. What we are talking about now is the support he needs here and now."

    Next came the biggie, the one issue we keep getting from teachers, from family, from friends.
    "He should be able to cope, AT HIS AGE."

    We're getting this now from people (a few people, those I haven't had the chance to slap down, or those I can't slap down like mother in law and sis-in-law). "difficult child 3 is now 18, legally he's an adult. You have to cut the apron strings sometime."

    And that is the crux of it. Even when people seem to understand, they fall back onto habits.

    As for your son's school - they are thinking in terms of his age and applying to him the same standards and behaviour requirements they apply to other students. It is one of the hardest habits (in educators) to break, we found.

    We went the Distance Education route. We looked for alternative education pathways. I can't advise you on what is available, what alernatives you have, but I can tell you this - if you keep bashing your head against the brick wall of the school's stupidiy and obstinacy, you will get bruised. Your son is likely to get a criminal record simply because that principal WILL call the cops. You could pre-empt this by talking to the cops yourself about your concerns, let them get to know your son and his problems, and your fears that if they get called in, it could rapidly escalate a kid who is mentally five years old due to acquired brain injury.

    Your son is 15, from your profile. Other groups (not just schools) will also be intolerant of him talking about guns and knives. I do get it that the school made this a lot worse, but the thing is, that conversation happened. It can happen again. It could happen with a stranger he talks to while in the mall. difficult child 3 would sit on the bench outside the supermarket waiting for me, and tell our entire family history (from his point of view) to total strangers. You need to put some alternative plans on the table NOW. Continuing to try to make it work at this school will not work, and will only stress you and damage your son.

    In other words, it is time to walk away.

    BUT - you had a legal representative there. You have detailed notes of the meeting. Remove your son, home-bound for now, URGENTLY, because their attitude and handling of him is directly in conflict with medical recommendations (despite you regularly keeping the school in the loop - they're choosing to ignore medical advice) and THEN go over their heads so far, that the principal gets athlete's scalp. Kick some righteous donkey (no offence intended to Star). But get your son out of the firing line first. His needs do not include that school. Probably not ANY mainstream school.

    Last message from me on this - don't get suckered in to the myth, "He needs to be in mainstream in order to learn appropriate social interaction." It's BS, pure and simple. Autistics do not learn social skills just by being around other kids. In fact, a kid with problems often learns BAD social skills, because of how other kids treat them (such as teaching them bad words etc). difficult child 3 has done a lot better socially, since leaving mainstream. We had a lot of bad social habits to un-teach him. And both boys did a lot better academically, when we put them in Distance Ed.

    There are other options, including adult education in a few years' time. Meanwhile he can always wipe down tables at McDonalds... we have disability employment agencies here, do you have them there?

    Good luck on this. You need to back away with your child, put him somewhere safe, then go back in kicking hard.

  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I ditto this sentiment completely. Write letters of complaint to the Superintendent and EVERY member of the school board and even the state Dept. of Ed. Kick some super-inflated patootie!!! Then have the lawyer go get 'em.

    Never thought of that but have you checked to see if he's eligible for Voc Rehab services through doctors? Worth checking in to. If he's old enough, his waiver should have no bearing on these services.

    I agree that you need to get him out of there under homebound for now until something else can be planned. That will give you some time to breathe and plan carefully....on the school's dime. So what if you have to check out programs out of district or even out of county....the school foots the bill.

    Take some time for yourself tonight. Spoil yourself and take a "brain break". You need to!!!!
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Buddy this is true -- I suffered through it with so many schools with Matt, I can't even count. Both private and public schools. And once his behavior reached a certain point they did everything in their power to get rid of them, and it worked.

    I don't know what it is about being in those meetings like that, and having them say all those awful, awful things to us about our kids - but I was a complete basket case each and every time it happened. Like you said, I would just sob and sob when I got through with the meeting.

    I guess it boils down to being mentally tortured. They we are, all alone, no spouse to carry part of the burden -- and we are ridiculed, threatened, and made bare in front of a group of people about the thing we love the MOST in the world. Our own child, someone who is part of us. I cannot even explain it very well -- it is that painful and horrible -- and that unique of a situation that so many people in this world never go through.

    Taking it to the press I think would do absolutely nothing. In fact they would probably take the school's side and decide that Q is the next Columbine threat.

    Once the Columbine episode happened, everything in the world for our special needs children changed. Their whole "Zero Tolerance" bologna regulates the school's entire mindset, and they use it as BS excuses for every single thing they don't like about our special needs kids.

    In the third grade, the year of Columbine Matt hated his teacher. The feeling was quite mutual - she did NOT like him at all. She antagonized him and provoked him into being even worse than he was already being. One day he screamed and told her he wanted to kill her. That was that. They kicked him out of public school. I spent 3 weeks fighting for his rights to get him back in - which I succeeded in doing -- but only on the condition that he was completely isolated from the other kids for the rest of the school year.

    In the 6th grade Matt told a girl to F off -- and she went to the principals office and said she was being sexually harassed. Then her mom came to school to say that since this girl was a sexual abuse victim, and Matt was "sexually harassing her" that Matt should be removed from all her classes. HUH???? But that is indeed what happened.

    I could go on and on and the 9th grade I pulled him out of formal schooling and had to homeschool him. I did find that the local community college offered HS classes for homeschoolers, and that actually worked out pretty well for awhile. And I think you know the rest of my story.

    I am just so so sorry -- my thoughts and prayers are with you. You WILL feel better tomorrow - I can promise you that. It is just that you were in a mental car wreck - and you are in shock right now. Once that goes away, you will regain your strength.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Marguerite and Te-Do make valuable points. I don't know what "should" be done and you are on the ground, Buddy... but, in a way, should the school be able to "win"? Not that winning or losing matters - the child's needs are what matter - but if it means a great deal to Q to be able to stay at the school and he is due to leave soon anyway... Should Buddy cave in to what the principal wants her to do and remove him?
    Just throwing this out as a suggestion. I have no fixed opinion on the matter - other than hoping that Q will and can find a resting place that is positive and nurturing.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thanks everyone....
    IC- that would be wonderful, except the school wont let non school employees work on their school grounds. We have this problem with people who use ABA therapists and then want them in the schools....If the school wont hire them then no way. I did bring up again that their data said that he did well with the behavioral team aide.. well they said they had her come and observe the other aides and she told them that they did nothing wrong, she would have done the same. They totally did not get (and our psychiatric pointed out) that a different person is a different person. He has a history for three years of these two aides being frustrated with him, he knows they dont like working with him. They never smile and they do NOT (they admitted this) have ideas to use when novel things come along like she does. But it is convenient to ignore their own data etc. I did say, why can't we hire an aide like we did for the summer who knows his program. Someone new to Q but who is a true behavioral aide??? I got the bobble head nods..... Law advocate and psychologist (ours) said that really, we can do this new fba, get ideas in place, etc... and the fact is that ever since the medication reaction and he told off the principal, they have had an agenda to get rid of him. I didn't want to sound paranoid but they both said it. They also said that the fact that the meetings have totally changed in format...they used to problem solve and talk about what he was doing well... now, they say like a courtesy sentence about something he did in class ONE day and then they all of the... each and every one had notebooks with pages of every single word that he says and every single action. I was there last Tues and listened to a bunch of kids talking about kicking eachother's A55es and ditching the b*****ing sub because they would never know etc etc... but they dont have an aide sitting by them and Q has no kids to do that kind of stupid talk with. Gets really frustrating.

    Marg, thanks for the thoughtful response. To help paint the picture, Q has NEVER been mainstreamed beyond a token class like art or music or shop or computer and it was only to be with typical peers because he actually DOES imitate them. Now, certainly he does not learn how to regulate ongoing interactions and he does not develop improved skills but his behavior on every assessment and any data collected shows a markedly improved ability to sit, attend, ask a question once in a while and do work. He certainly can't keep up academically so this is not an option for most classes. So, he gets his peer time at lunch, in the halls, at parties, etc. He gets to then be with our neighborhood kids instead of always being left out. It resulted in his actually having kids come to our door and ask to play with him since last summer. He asks for it and tells me he is lonely because he never gets to see any kids anymore. The kids in his Special Education class are the ones saying the inappropriate words, humming, flapping hands, over-reacting to his rule infractions, in short, being their typical autistic selves.... but it makes Q NUTS. so, he asks for ear plugs and the auditory trainer has helped filter them out some. His scores on the work he is doing is actually good (for him) since the auditory trainer was started.

    You are 100% correct that people who dont know him see him as a 15 yr old especially because he does not sound like a child who is delayed at first. You have to really hear him talk about novel things, not just short answers to figure it out. He is great at using non specifics.... do you think that thing that was there could be this one too???

    I have been looking for alternative schools since he was in second grade. Every time I find something that works, it changes, leaves or just doesn't work out. This district was great for us for 4.5 years. It has been since the middle of last years with these EA's who got it in their heads that he is saying and doing things IN their EXPERT opinions, on purpose... but any time they said what they said, no one educated them until I came in with the articles, dr explanations and the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) doctor we pay to come to each and every meeting.

    I can't take him out on homebound without a doctor order. Our district resists homebound as much as possible. If I do home schooling, I will have to fight to get services for him again if I can't handle it (and I can tell you I can't... we would kill each other, though I can be a part of it and take him places and supervise therapies etc... I can do that)

    IF I just take him out and do nothing, then they will press charges for child neglect.

    when he talked of the guns etc... he was playing the what if game because the way he has conversations with people is to ask questions. SO he says, what if Osama bin Laden was here, coudl I beat him? what if I had a gun, could I shoot him? I wish I could get Boo D. (dead hockey player) to come and beat people up for me, do you think he could come back and get people for me? If the kids wont play with me and I had a knife would they be scared and have to play with me?

    My response when he gets on a roll like that (and it can be about any topic not just violence he does this with what businesses in the city are open or closed and if they are in other towns and how far can you walk there and on and on etc.) Is Q I dont want to talk nonsense... can we talk about something else and he is fine with that. This went on and on because they were probing and answering.. OH Q you dont want to say that (she told us all how she responded, even though we all said as part of his bip we would engage him, not ignore but not continue it)... anyway... the fact is, it was no threats.

    Thinking of his future and if people would misunderstand that... he is not ever with any other kids without an Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) staff or me or a relative. He has in his county plan that for that very reason, that he can be seen as provoking etc. he could easily talk himself into getting beat up, or someone could misunderstand him etc...
    It is well documented that he needs constant line of sight and ear shot supervision.

    Quin has been in Special Education social skills training for his whole life. Private groups and public school. He constantly got kicked out of the school social skills groups for kids with autism because they were beyond his skill levels... It makes me crazy when people use canned social skill programs instead of designing programs to teh IEP goals (which I have designed and done with social workers and Occupational Therapist (OT)'s my whole career and I would be embarassed to tell a parent that I had kicked a kid out of a group that he is in because he doesn't have the skills we are working on... HUH??? yeah makes a lot of sense)

    Recently HIS dream has been to be with the neighborhood kids and they ahve been kind. I told them all he has autism and they have gone out of their way (we are talking no less than 12 kids) and he did amazing all summer... and early into the fall. He swam and played with them every single day. We had glitches and they were patient and we worked on the skills because he wanted it. He never made such progress in special education. It turned around when he started horse back riding therapy. He learned some kind of something that helped this along...

    It all seems ruined now.... he is not allowed to be with Special Education or reg ed kids at all. but when he goes down the hall his neighborhood friends do call out to him and they have still seen him here (but they are not out much as it is cold)

    So, I 100% agree, and have said for a long time... he needs to not be in that setting as things keep going this way but we have yet to find an alternative. I said I am willing to go see their program that they only a few months ago said we would never need to go see because it is not appropriate for him. Seems they have and ONE kid who has been able to leave it eventually and isn't that great??? Also seems that it might be appropriate now, or they are going to sell it that way just to make the principal happy. This is the school where the kid tore down things off the wall when the DAPE teacher went to observe and she thought how they handled him was great. I said that is great for Q...IF he was the one who tore things down... but he doesn't do that stuff... if he sees it he WILL.

    so I feel so stuck. I have worked in Special Education in this state for many years. I know most of the charter programs etc. There is a brand new school, being built from teh ground up for kids like Q but it is not in our district. Our district would not pay to send him unless he fails somewhere here first.... and our private team said they will fight against that... for him to have to change twice, not ok. I am unwilling for him to learn new behaviors to show he can't stay there and then risk he wont be able to go anywhere else because of the new and worsened behaviors he has developed. It is not my theory.. it has happened several times in his life already.

    I agree it is time for a change. What that change is, I guess we will have to see over the next couple of weeks.
  16. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    As Buddy and some others here know, I battled the same mentality she is dealing with in administration. I was bound and determined that this j*** a** principal was not going to play god with MY son in MY school district. I (and my parents and siblings) went to school here and live here and pay taxes here to pay for him to have a job here. I was ready to go all the way to the top.....until.....I saw what it did to my son. In Buddy's case, Q just has no clue what's happening so won't be affected as deeply as my difficult child 1 was. However, Buddy is being affected the way my difficult child 1 was and sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits. A person can only handle so much and when you are up against someone that has the same determination to fight for THEIR desires but the POWER to do it as well, a person really needs to think of "when is the price too high?"

    I see your point Malika but I also know the flip side first hand and don't want Buddy to end up where my difficult child 1 went emotionally. It will only hurt Q if that were to happen.
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I really see your point TeDo... I was just thinking of what Buddy says about Q's desire to stay at that school - quote from tonight

    This is his deal, he wants a year book, he has never finished a whole school anywhere from start to end and this was his big goal and we are four months from that. he wants people to sign his book when he graduates from his middle school. He falls down, picks himself up. Asks why he cant be with friends and then when he gets upset they wonder why. It is just awful.

    I kind of think... being able to finish things is very important sometimes. But yes, yes, this is a horrible situation and like I said I really don't have prescriptions to give about it.
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think I posted while you guys were posting, sorry wasn't trying to ignore anyone... yes, I called dvr and private voc rehab... he is too young... needs to be in grade 11 and he is in grade 8.

    I am not holding on to this school to prove a point to the principal or anything. I would grab my kid and head for the hills if Q would not flip out. But this is an EXTREMELY routine bound kid. He FLIPS when things change. I would then be stuck with him switching once to come home, then we would have to figure out what to do (he would see the kids going and coming home from school on their buses) and then if I got him into one thing just to have him in something (home school, home bound, whatever) and had to change that to what would work better etc... For HIM, it would be very very difficult. I left a district when he finished his first 3rd grade year because after fighting with the district and his switching classes/schools every single year, even our ARC advocate said, you could fight this and win but at what cost? So I sold my house and moved here after much research. That paid off until budget cuts, and Q getting on this principal's radar.

    They actually did say zero tolerance and both the lawyer and I said no, the revised IDEA specifically says you absolutely can consider a disability and not go by zero tolerance policies.

    I just read about zero tolerance on some online article again... I can't find it though... once again the research shows that there are MORE suspensions, more kids quitting school, violence is increasing and the policy is not working.

    You know what.. ? the two teachers that are having a better time with Q... they are the two that are hugging him again. (ignoring the sp ed coordinator). HE needs the touch and he even wants to sit on their laps...they obviously don't allow that but point is they do let him sit next to them and he can put his head on their shoulder and they dont flip out. when people say no touch at all...then he starts to poke, pat etc...

    Sad that the humanity in education is so taken away. He is a kid who really needs that reassurance. (they do side hugs)

    hope I didn't miss any questions, I will try to check more closely.. I fear I am rambling anyway... sorry.

    I feel sad for him, what can I say.. it is not how he wants it and not through any form of his refusing to cooperate kind of issue. He is just being Q and now it is not ok.
  19. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I was told to check with doctors about difficult child 1 and they told me he had to be, 15 or 16 or 17, I can't for the life of me remember which. They didn't say a thing about grade. Hmmmmm.....I will have to check into that again.
  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanting to add in my hugs and to say I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of this.