K- Meeting to talk about difficult child 1???

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by totoro, May 14, 2007.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Ok so we have been on the fence as far as were to put difficult child 1 this next year for Kindergarten... huge headache! Anyway we have heard good things about our district public school K-Teacher. The Special Education is supossed to be lacking in the whole district... they have never really even had a child like ours in the K- class.

    So difficult child 1 right now is in a Waldorf private school. Which is fine if you are easy child... What made our decision for us was a field trip.. we watched difficult child 1 loose control at a farm and no-one noticed, no-one helped her. She has no friends at this school, they dont help with any of her issues and they don't push any academics. It is a calming environment, that helps her for the most part, but the staff doesn't actually "see" her struggle ever.

    So I called the public school. They want to have a meeting this week Wednesday with tha principal and the Special Education person? and whoever else they can get into help and sit in. They were very excited to meet with me and talk.
    My thoughts/questions are- difficult child 1 has been in a school setting since 2 1/2, but never a structured one, she is above average IQ, She is one of those BiPolar (BP) kids that tries SO hard to keep it together at school, she just struggles with the anxiety and social issues.

    So I was thinking if we just discuss her issues and see what they think, put her in school, (her days will be shorter in public school also) and wait and see if any issues arise and then address the possiblities of and IEP, 504 etc at that point???

    Part of my thinking with this also is, the K teacher specialized in early developmental education, and we will be moving within a year.
    I would like to see how she does in a "real" school first before demanding a bunch of stuff...??? I have no idea how she is going to do.
    Does this plan make sense? Is it crazy? On Wednesday what should I ask/tell?
    I thought I would bring her evaluations. her diagnosis's any really important questions?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I would not release private evaluations until you see where the school district stands on this.

    If I were you, I would write a description of her strengths and the areas of concern you have for next fall.

    IF the school district is concerned enough to want an evaluation, then you can decide if you want to let them evaluate --(if you don't, there will be no accommodation.) If, on the other hand, they want to "wait and see," whether or not that is a good idea depends to me on the likelihood of your child succeeding without supports. Getting off to a bad start in KDG is not a good thing to have happen to any child.

    Finlly, IF you are moving within the state, the receiving school district is obligated to use your old school district's IEP. If you go out of state, this is not true. I would let the child's needs dictate--not your plans to move.

    Martie
     
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks Martie-
    I am just really confused as to what she actually needs at this point? Our school district is horrible and we are doing Occupational Therapist (OT) and Hippotherapy outside of school.

    I had just read that some Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP) kids do the wait and see approach until we see that she is starting to struggle. I just know a lot of the outside people they would bring in for her, and they are not very good!

    We would be moving out of state.

    If I go to this meeting and feel like we need more (like an IEP) then I would send the certified letter, right?

    I just want to help her... I know after the first time it will feel easier I have so much anxiety putting her in public school, she is so fragile right now.
     
  4. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I met with the school prior to the start of the school year to inform them of difficult child strengths and needs. I also arranged a 1:1 visit to the classroom and to meet the teacher prior to the start of the year.

    I played the "wait and see" game--and amazingly all has gone fine !!! (difficult child was in a therapeutic preschool). I never thought my little one would make it through the first month of school. Somehow some kids do really well in the structure of the preschool-Having a good teacher can be HUGE !! I'm glad you like the K teacher
     
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I had an experience that made me extremely glad that we had supports in place. We went to our first meeting with a stack of private evaluations. The school district did one more which was recommended by private speech clinic but had to be done after a certain date. school district qualified him and we wrote the IEP based primarily on private evaluation results and recommendations.

    They gave him speech and the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) was very sharp about knowing exactly what he needed to keep him progressing both in speech basics and in social skills training. K went off without a hitch and except for speech we reduced accomodations accordingly. Problems started day 1 in first grade when acute anxiety was triggered. I mean problems of the really serious kind as in school refusal, etc, etc. Because he was already qualified and had an IEP it was a simple matter to meet and up the level of services. (It wasn't simple to pull him from the low point but that's another story...)

    From what you have described here and on the Easy Child board, I would think an IEP with the following would be appropriate:

    -Social skills goals, which could be either/or in a speech by Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or classroom by teacher

    -Occupational Therapist (OT) or at least Occupational Therapist (OT) consult--I know she has had ongoing therapy but it would be helpful for a school Occupational Therapist (OT) to keep tabs on her. My difficult child's has done things like take him to visit the cafeteria the first time, observed him in the classroom and gym, suggested minor accomodations that could be done subtly because he doesn't like to be singled out (such as putting foam under his chair to pick when he's anxious), take him on extra classroom sensory breaks at the beginning of the year when his anxiety was high. Overall Occupational Therapist (OT) was a very small amount of time of his direct services but what he did have has been very important

    -Accomodations to address anxiety and situations like the field trip

    You don't have to have a lot in an IEP for it to be an IEP. But having it in place will give a huge level of protection if more is needed.
     
  6. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Hi-
    I think my response was more generic than specific to your case with your difficult child. I was speaking more about my experience...The public school had already denied preschool serivices to my difficult child so I did not go in and give them new evaluations. I did give the school a big heads up and discussed strategies. I did contact the teacher prior to school to tell diagnosis and medications. I did hire a play therapist/advocate that I thought would be helpful to me at the school level in case difficult child needed support. I did schedule an informal meeting at the school for the end of September. I just didn't request a formal IEP screening meeting.

    I just know that excellent teachers can make a huge difference. I also know that many kids really thrive in the structured setting of school. I do know also that many kids fall apart in the structure. I also felt that my difficult child was benefited from the medications. We had added/started a mood stablizer 12 weeks before Kindergarten.

    Did difficult child stay in the same preschool/day care for more than one year? I often think if they the private setting will throw these kids out if they can't be successful. So if she survived that is good !!!
     
  7. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Just to add to what every one else has said

    If you think there is a danger that she will fall apart, tantrum or whatever, then it is useful to have the school devise a plan--that is non punitive, is there someone in the school that could come and take her out of the classroom etc type of accommodation so that they think about that ahead of time.

    The other thing to think about re an IEP is whether or not she will need an aide to direct her behavior. Perhaps you would not want that right away (some children don't like being singled out) and could see how it is going.

    i would also arrange some way to communicate daily with the K teacher. Hopefully she is not the type to meet you gleefully at the door each day to tell you all the things your little angel has done wrong that day. But it is useful to get a fix on her day--a communication sheet or something, particularly if she will be riding the bus. This will be great input for psychiatrist visits etc.

    Having a good teacher who can redirect and be sensitive to levels of anxiety or whatever is really key I would think. Could you take your daughter to observe for an hour or so this spring to ease her transition next year?
     
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Overall, I agree with SRL. Having even a minimal IEP in place means the child is QUALIFIED and you can act quickly (by calling an IEP meeting)if things start to fall apart. If the child is not already qualified, then the whole process can drag--well into January in some cases, even for problems that were apparent early in the year.

    Martie
     
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