Manifestation Evaluation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DownTheRabbitHole, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    I have been contacted by school that difficult child's VP has recommended placement to and alternative or guidance center. I should not be surprised as VP had made her threat known since last week but in any case I'm reeling with anger and frustration. The school has called an ARD for next week and even though to me there can be no doubt of behavior resulting from disability I'm still scared. Previous ARD experience has been on more friendly terms dealing and implementing changes to help difficult child. I feel completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the possiblity of school being able to remove difficult child.

    Any advice on what to expect and how to prepare would be greatly appreciated. Also, even though I can't imagine them saying violation not being from disability, if that were to happen how can I challenge or dispute this. I hope someone has some experience on this type of meeting.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Do you have an advocate? If not get one ASAP. Some places have free ones provided by the State department of education. If you can't find one on your own, ask some other parents of IEP kids.

    I don't know your details, but I had a similar scare with son in middle school. Fortunately, in my situation, it was only the VP making innuendos to me and nothing else materialized - partly because I brought in my advocate - they all snapped into shape!

    Good Luck!
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Unless the situation involved weapons or drugs or serious bodily harm to someone, they can't change his placement. They can try to push YOU into doing it but THEY can't. Can you give us an idea of what the "situation" was and when it happened and how the school immediately responded? The more details the better we will be able to help. Also, you'll need to refresh my memory....your signature says "and other Emotional disorders". I can't remember what that means.

    While you're communicating with us, call your state's Department of Education FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING and ask for numbers for advocates...yes, more than one as you'll have to find one that's available on such short notice. Then start calling RIGHT AWAY. Explain the whole situation to each one and give them the date of the ARD and ask if they can help.

    What exactly has the VP said to you before and in what context?

    MANY of us have fought with uncooperative school administrators and we can give you ideas but without enough information, our advice will be limited. Know that we are here and will help any way we can. BREATHE
  4. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    His behavior has been getting worse these past 3 weeks. About 3 weeks ago he thumped a girl in the mouth, for which he was sent to his BI unit at the school his second day in there he was being annoying and provoked another BI stun dent into punching him. Last week there was another incident were he hit a girl and last Friday he was knocked down by another student and he bite hit and kicked at this kid. He was suspended 1 day for each and after Friday the VP informed me because of his recent behavior he was being moved to a different level were he would be placed in BI unit and not go to class for up to 10 days and then the VP said he could be recommended for removal. He has always had these types of problems and tends to react physically when he feels threatened or is accidentally hit knocked or touched. I've never experienced an instance when what has tigered him has been anything but an accident. Like his face accidentally hitting the other kids face. Or him being accidentally knocked down. In any case his reaction was wrong and he is dealing with the consequences. Despite the recent occurrence, this isn't normally a weekly issue. We more regularly deals with defiance and appropriate behavior in class.
  5. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    His evaluation was from the age of 6 and I believe it was ADHD and ED. He is up for reavualtion which he has already started being tested on. Also not like I'm a Mom defending her child or anything, but there has been a noticible difference in the effectiveness of his medications lately which just happens to coincide with the decline in behavior. We are seeing out Doctor next week.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Have they called a Manifestation meeting? If so, I believe, it has to be related to a specific incident where he displayed violence. Check on the Sp. Ed forum for information. Obviously getting an advocate is great. In my case I was given only a few days notice and the CD family saved my fanny by giving specific guidelines to follow. I did as suggested and difficult child was not kicked out of school. Check that forum out today. Someone else just faced this same trauma within the past couple of weeks. I remember reading about it. Hugs. DDD
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Sweety, you are a mom defending her child, and you have to be! If you won't do it, who will. The medication issue is HUGE!

    There are a few things that bug me about your previous post.
    HELLO! I don't care how annoying he was being. The other student has no right to punch your child!
    This here is normal human behavior. Yes, we learn to control our impulses when we learn to gauge if something was an accident or on purpose. Which brings me to this statement:
    HUH? I"m trying to figure out scenarios for this. How often are such "accidents" happening to your child?

    You stated he thumped a girl in the mouth and hit a girl. OK. If he instigated these, he's at fault, but then he "bit hit and kicked a kid that knocked him down" - NORMAL reaction albeit extreme. Of course it's unacceptable behavior in school, but understandable. Why's this kid knocking him down? Why is your son getting all the blame for this?

    I get that you know you have a high tempered kid with a short fuse. That doesn't mean that he's to blame for EVERYTHING, nor should he take the blame for it all. If he's accommodated to a point where such issues become non issues, will he have such issues? I know sounds like a bad riddle, but really think about it.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with Keista...this is off to me in many ways...

    It sounds like these continual social issues have some degree of his not perceiving things correctly. The impulse control is obvious but it sounds so much more...maybe it is because of the nature of posts here... hard to describe it all. I can't remember how long ago he was diagnosis but have you considered a new evaluation through a neuropsychologist? Things for most of us change and evolve over time, as the child matures and the true nature of, and the impact from underlying issues happens.

    If they are doing a manifestation determination it is supposed to be because they are looking at a behavior or pattern of behaviors that have added up to 10 dismissals from school in the year.... so they need to document that it is a pattern related to his disability. OK sounds like they are already saying it is and they want him in a different place... So the decision from that is yes or no and if it is a manifestation then the team is to look at what is going on... they are to do a Functional Behavior Assessment, discover the triggers, antecedents (including the medication issue by the way), what the specific problem behaviors are, what happens after and the point is to figure out what is driving the behaviors... lack of skills? (need to learn more social skills including non verbal communication which sounds like he has an issue with), a need for, attention, help, peace, a break..whatever... , a need to escape things that are too hard or too easy and he is bored......they must look at slow triggers and fast triggers. They need to consider the environment and how they can modify things, support him in transitions when all these behaviors seem to be happening. Until they do that, to put him in a more restrictive placement just because they don't want to do the hard work is not fair UNLESS you feel he is suffering there and would do better in a setting like that. There are many steps in between that if they have not tried... they need to do to show they tried to keep him in the LRE Least Restrictive Environment.

    THAT is a totally different issue. A unilateral change of placement (meaning the administration wants the change and the IEP team has not done any part in going through all the options, figuring out if the IEP goals need to be modified and writing a PBIP that is improved and addresses the problems happening....) can only happen if he committed Serious bodily injury (did anyone have to go get stitches or a cast? any blood?? even a bite is not necessarily serious bodily harm especially given in self defense...serious bodily harm is actually specifically defined by the federal IDEA 2004 so they can't just use their opinion) or his bringing a weapon or his having drugs/doing drugs in school.

    So, absolutely have an advocate, and at the very least a witness. YOU have say in where he goes and if residential or whatever this is is not a good fit in your opinion then say NO. You are part of the team. I am going through this too... it is awful but doable!

    So, while this is not a complete list a couple of things I would do are: Call an advocate and ask them what to specifically do right away and follow their directions. Really tell them this is an emergency because some advocacy agencies will not show up unless there is something serious and THIS IS SERIOUS....It does not sound like the are following "due process" which they can get in a lot of trouble for.

    Then.... put in writing a request for a functional behavior assessment. If it is close to his three year re-evaluation or if there are any areas you are worried about (autism, sensory integration, learning disability, ability, motor, whatever you think) add that too. Then say you want to revise the IEP to reflect current behavioral concerns, to write goals to address the skills he needs to do better and that you want the Positive Behavior Plan updated to help teach him to use more adaptive behaviors and to have support in navigating the social setting he is in. (you can include frequent breaks, a special pass he can use when he is feeling triggered to leave a class for three minutes to do deep breathing or wall push ups etc.... but this has to be TRAINED so not just put in without a method to teach) He may simply need an aide to be with him which is less expensive than sending him to a more intensive and restrictive school.

    So, two separate issues. Your son does not sound like he has the skills to do better and like he needs specific teaching/training to learn .... not necessarily more punishment and consequences for not handling situations better. Not saying it is ok to hurt people but to be effective in the disciplinary approaches.... if these suspensions and getting rid of kids would work, then he likely would be fixed by now, right?

    My best to you...

    Look on writeslaw website.... there is a ton of information on unilateral change of placement and manifestation determinations.
  9. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    Thanks for all the info. To be honest this is the first time Ive ever heard of the manifestation evaluation. With what happened last week he has only been suspended a total of 3 times this year so for 3 days only but he has been removed or sent to the BI class also I'm not sure exactly how many times but for full days not many.

    In the beginning one whole period was in the BI class and it was part of his IEP then the school called and ARD and concerns were raised that it was not a good environment for him and he would go instead to the office for that period and use the BI as needed for extra support. So I'm not sure his days in the BI can count aginst him towards the 10. day thing. When VP called regarding incident and suspension said he would be moved from level one (mainstreamed in regular classes to Level 2 (all day BI for up to 10 days) and that there was a Level 3 (special teacher and para brought in on site). When I got to the school is when she told me he could be recommended for an off campus alternative guidance center. I was caught off guard and was taken back by the VP's attitude. I wasn't rude but I did question what she was talking about and she said it would have to be determined and she couldn't say what outcome would be. I asked how or who determines and she said school pschy would determine if incident was part of his disability. By this time I was really getting upset and said that if had to be evaluated I was confident because I know his behavior is a result of his disability. I hindsight I should I just kept my mouth shut but I was just reacting to her comments.

    By way he is actually in the process of a reavaluation by the school.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That off campus "center" is considered a Level 4 facility/program. They CAN'T jump from a Level 1 to a Level 4 and they haven't even started the Level 2 yet. GET AN ADVOCATE. Our school tried doing that jump and my advocate shot them down in a hurry. Buddy is right. They need to do a manifestation hearing. It IS a result of his disability. Since that's the case, they need to do an FBA and develop an APPROPRIATE behavior plan based on that and they have to make changes to the IEP to help also. YOU have final say with each of those steps. YOU need to request IN WRITING (keep a copy signed & dated by them that they received it) for an FBA to be done.

    They have to try everything they can before they can MAKE you place him in a Level 4. They actually aren't supposed to change his placement at all without IEP team approval of which you are the key.

    Glad you are seeing the psychiatrist. You said he was diagnosed at age 6 and is in the process now of being re-evaluated. Who's doing the new evaluation? We're talking about psychiatric evaluation, not school evaluations for the IEP. You really need to find a neuropsychologist to do a THOROUGH evaluation. With his misreading accidents and reacting physically he's just like my difficult child 1. We are still working on that but it has gotten better now that we know EXACTLY what is going on. When something happens, his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) causes him to misunderstand and his anxiety reaches fight or flight caliber and he is not a "chicken" so he fights. We are REALLY working hard on the understanding situations. Sounds like your son has some of the same stuff going on. The school needs to TEACH him the skills he doesn't have....reading situations and dealing with anxiety appropriately.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH HECK NO....

    THE IEP TEAM decides if the behaviors are a manifestation of his disability. Also must decide if it is because his IEP is inadequate or not being fully followed. The IEP TEAM decides on change of placement. Administration will say they have to follow zero tolerance and school district policy and all kinds of BS but there should be a case manager and special education director or coordinator for his IEP... LOOK at the names on it... call the Special Education director and tell them right now that administration is not following "due process" and they are threatening to deny him "least restrictive environment" without doing any functional behavioral assessment and revising the IEP/BIP

    The manifestation thing... not so much an evaluation as a review.... It is just the full IEP group looking at the behaviors and incidents, combined with all evaluation/assessment info, anecdotal information, medical information, etc.... and saying.... is this something that can be caused by his disability? (DUH YES but if they try to say no then you appeal)

    You need to start a journal.... please write date/time/who and what the communication was.... every time they tell you something like this make sure they tell you. Sounds like they are doing the typical bully thing, not giving you full information so you will not even realize you have options.

    OK if they are in the middle of a three year re-evaluation, then you need to make sure the assessment form you signed includes an "FBA" or "functional behavior assessment" not just a review of behaviors etc... that is too subjective.

    If it is not there then put in writing tomorrow and send it registered mail to get a receipt.... ask for the addition of a functional behavioral assessment leading to revisions in his IEP and BIP....

    The mandate says that when there is a pattern of behaviors that are interfering with his or other's success in school, there needs to be a functional behavior assessment. Even if no other evaluations are being done at the time and it can happen over and over as needed. School teams miss this all the time, try to randomly deal with behaviors and just consequence things etc.... The mandate is clear... must happen.

  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Buddy is absolutely 100% correct. She has given you GREAT information. I guess I missed the part about the school psychiatric making the determination. UH UH...BIG no no. If admin says that again, tell her that's ILLEGAL according to IDEA. You really should look through threads about manifestation determinations on the SpEd101 forum here and at Wright's Law website. Special Education law is what they DO. You'll be amazed at what legalese you'll learn when you fight the school system.