Middle school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by zachieandameliasmom, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. zachieandameliasmom

    zachieandameliasmom New Member

    My difficult child will be entering middle school next year. How scary is that?? LOL The public school in our district is really big. difficult child has no desire to go there. He thinks it's a bad school. He's heard all kinds of horror stories about it. So, he already has a negative outlook on it. Well, we decided to explore a smaller private Christian school. Had an appointment with-the principal yesterday. I brought in difficult child's IEP. The principal seemed speechless after he read over it. He just kept reading and reading and wouldn't look up. I could just feel his judgements towards my child during that time. It was very uncomfortable. He said he's seen behaviors such as were described, but not all from one child. He wanted to know what we do to punish him at home. Actually asked if we have spanked him.(Um yes and it doesn't do any good. If anything it escalates things) I told him he really doesn't give us a lot of trouble at home. Most problems are at school. He was at a loss I think. Anyway, I asked if he would accept difficult child to his school. He said he would consider it, but not to get our hopes up. Gee thanks. I told him that I feel that difficult child would do better in a smaller environment and one that would be more challenging. A lot of his misbehavior is because he's not academically challenged. He made copies of a couple of pages of the IEP. Then said he'd like us to write a letter giving another side of our difficult child. ???? He said he'd pass it on to the person that did new student screening and go from there. So, why didn't he just say no we don't want your problem child at our school??? Let's just cut the **** and be honest.

    UGHHH It's so frustrating. You want to bad to do the best for your child and are constantly hit with-road blocks. I'm so tired of this battle. I feel beat down.

    How do I tell my child that he can't go to that school because of his behavior. How will that make him feel? His self esteem is already low.

    Other question is do we even bother writing the letter? Part of me says yes write it and see what happens. Other part says why even bother.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    I'm sorry that you had to go through that situation. Sometimes I think conservative Christians (I consider myself part of this group) can be judgemental and not seriously consider that mental health ailments exist. The over diagnosis of ADHD and other mental health issues doesn't help this mindset. Having said that...I would go ahead and write the letter. I don't think he was blowing you off...It sounds like they want to hear a personal side of difficult child...I often ask parents in a private setting to do something like this because it helps to personalize the student for me and they are not a diagnosis or goals on paper. Just my 2 cents. =)
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    As a mom of a difficult child that has recently been through the middle school trauma (for parent), it is scary. lol

    The sad fact is that private schools do not have to comply with-IDEA.

    If we didn't have IDEA, in many cases kids with-disabilities couldn't go to public schools either.

    I'm so sorry. Protecting our kids self-esteem is very difficult.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My son went to a private school for middle school and ended up being asked to leave during 9th grade (because he was not engaged and completely shutdown -- he's an internalizer rather than an externalizer). As Sheila said, private schools do not have to abide by Special Education, and there are no protections for your child.

    Is there any way you could convene an IEP meeting to explore whether your difficult child's needs, as detailed in his IEP, can be met in the large public middle school? Perhaps there are smaller programs within the public school system that would better meet this needs. My own son is now placed in a small self-contained program housed in a large public high school for socially and emotionally fragile high schoolers.

    In your shoes, I would not tell your son he was not accepted to the private school because of his behavior (if that indeed happens). I would tell him that you, as his parents, decided the private school would not be able to meet his needs.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    by the way, I think what the principal was asking for are difficult child's good points.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience of feeling the judgement of someone you were hoping would help.

    The HARDEST part of having a difficult child for me is other people and their ignorance. I'm not saying I don't understand it and I realize unless you walk a mile in these shoes you can't possibly know what it's like. But just when I think I can deal with everything else, I'll get a look that says "that's wierd" or "if this was my child I wouldn't be letting x y or z go on like that". I don't mind it for me, hey I can accept it. But for a sensitive difficult child about to navigate middle school it's terrifying. KJS got me thinking that if we encounter bullying in middle school I will seriously look into e-school for those couple of years.

    Hugs of understanding.

    Lasted edited by : Feb 8, 2009
  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    As a parent of a boy with adhd, and family members with other diagnosis who I have witnessed go through public schools and private as well I want to applaud you first of all for your care to get your child the appropriate education first of all.

    As well as the obvious treatment that you have sought.

    Middle schools are much more frightening first of all as all the students are in puberty. The one my son went to had this reputation that curls hair for parents. However during his middle school experiance also was this award winner conselor who had reoriented the services from her can do approach to behavior supports. For example a friendship club that met during lunch hour and where she lead the group in the explorations of what all is involved in friendships.

    Another wonderful vp took my son on "as his" for the entirity of his time at the middle school. This ment that when things came up he was in the tutalage of one caring adult for whatever came up. And this was a truly priceless experiance all the way around.

    Academicly I have found myself wishing that I had thought of going out to get another point of view from a non-doe source specializing in education services, education therapy who was specializing in the edcuation and behavior supports for adhd as the info about those, though detailed by many sources was just not accomplished with the appropriate enthusiasm that my son did need. Accepting that the teachers were not able to accommplish what was possible for him for all the reasons that they would bring up. Our kids need help and support and when those are not implimented for any reason it is our childs free appropriate education that is trimmed in the balance.

    Many times the meathod or technique that I brought to the iep, even the Special Education district head or the Occupational Therapist (OT) brought to the 504/or iep meeting was met with the "no can do" attitude. My clearest illustration surrounding the use of a corral for doing assignments and tests to aid in distractablilty. the first time that was proposed in grade 4 the teacher said that if she let him do that she would have to let all the students do that and NO. She had a corral in her classroom. For her purposes it was strictly for punishment type

    In middle school there were corrals in plenty in the library. And although my son impressed the librarian by his daily use of the library in the corral reading and doing his homework during lunches and recess the school policy disallowed what was in his IEP due to a policy that a teacher as well as the librarian had to supervise uses of the library during class times.

    In retrospect what I feel would have been better is to have explored the ed supports outside the school and then sought the inclusion of those services under his iep to pay for them. Find the expert who has the skill and technique to offer your son what he needs in the reg ed setting and let that person communicate in the iep meeting with the other teachers ect who may or may not choose to, or have the personality or elan to do this.
    Whatever the school may wet blanket that he needs get it for him anyway.
    Change the way the schools adress these things in the trail you blaze with your kid and his success.
    The relationships that are established in the public schools from elementary to high school are important for kids as well. I had fantastic moments over these years where kids who my son had known from elementary to high school would reflect the changes they see from their point of view. The maturation developemental challenges are amoung these kids and those relationships are important.

    Also having had the Special Education and friendship club where kids with far more limiting aflections it is heartwarming to see the gentle kindness and comeradeie he brings to others he has known through school when our paths cross in life.

    If you want your son in that private school and to have the Christian based education and the iep provisions are not what they want to address I would write the letter that has his attributes in it and take the next step to see how they would approach his needs.

    As for the risk of bullies...the schools my son attended do not tolerate bullies but being a bully is not something that you can just put a sign up and it won't happen. Learning how to handle and how to get help is one of the things that are taught in schools. The bully my son contended in middle school required calls to the conselor. As a parent I asked that she intervien and she did. Victum victumizer, bully bullied are patterns that can be dealt with and learned from in a good way. not tolerating behavior but learning the lessons in that and moving on.
    I like the book titled HELP MY SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD for my purposes primarily for using language around my childs condition, behavior and goal setting.

    I think in general for any younge person who has learning challenge the self esttem issues that are internalized are the tough challenge. Showing up and doing the school time is an important way to learn some lessons I am not sure are possible in other environments. Ultimately all children become adults who are going to interact with a variety of people.

    Whatever avenue you do choose I feel confident you are using your best judgement.
  8. NoMoreTrust

    NoMoreTrust New Member

    We just started private school. Could not stand the idea of public middle school. I hated it as a student, and wife hated it as a teacher. It was private school or home school for us, as school district is not giving any services (that's an entire story on its own).

    HS may be an option (as the other kids have matured).

    One thing we learned on other kids with ADHD at the private school. A few are going back to public school for middle school. They feel with the "rapid fire" school day of movement every hour or so with something new, they will do well.

    As for the school, we picked one catering to LDs, so they have a process similiar to an iep, based on testing/reports. Also low ratios (max 10 kids in a class). It costs more (due to the lower ratio), but it is what is needed. Also helps toward the "iep" being done. A regular private school will probably not be much better that public, plus you have no rights in terms of IDEA. It will probably be worse from your perspectice, although the environment may be gentler. A regular, college prep or christian type private school is not really set-up to cater to your needs.