My Kindergartener got SUSPENDED for 3 days!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Jules71, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    5 y.o. difficult child in Kindergarten got suspended for biting, pulling hair, and swinging his coat at his teacher yesterday!

    We met with a private psychologist this morning and his opinion is definitely ODD (he meets 7.5 of the 8 criteria). Het met with just husband and I this time. Next week with difficult child.

    I am appalled that my request to have him evaluated by the school district was received on 9/4 - and nothing has happened about it yet!

    I don't know what to do!!!
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Am I crazy for thinking something should be done to help him? What do they expect me to do, pull him out of school? This is why I asked for the evaluation. So what if he keeps getting suspended?
  3. starcloaked

    starcloaked New Member

    Oh Jules.

    I feel your pain. Like I said, we're really living parallel lives.

    They can suspend him, but I think not more than 10 days total. It's a slightly different situation, because he's not yet identified officially as special needs, but I think that the fact that you initiated the evaluation process may give you the same protections. There's a decision-tree they need to go through before that point--they need to decide whether he's disabled, and that's where I'm not sure how your request for evaluation affects things--then if so they need to determine if they're providing FAPE (appropriate being the critical thing), then they need to do an FBA and develop a behavior plan. I've been trying to get my district to do this one thing for a month now, and they haven't, but saying those words "have you done an FBA?" has made people take a very different tact with me.

    Find out how long they *actually* have for that evaluation, and start writing people letters. Make sure they know you're documenting everything.

    Hang in there. I know how awful this feels. I've been riding the same roller coaster for a month now and it's horrible. My only other advice is to get on a waiting list for a neuropsychologist evaluation NOW. You can ask the school for one, but a private one is worth its weight in gold.

    Strength to you...

  4. --Eleanor--

    --Eleanor-- New Member

    You may want to visit the Wrightslaw website and look at some of the articles about the process the school needs to go through to comply with IDEA. They definitely can't just ignore your request and deal with the problem by suspending without evaluating. If the school seems to be ignoring your evaluation request, you might also try suggesting that the district should reimburse you for a private evaluation. (We ended up getting the district to pay for a private evaluation last year, but it took a lot of fighting...)
  5. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    My oldest difficult child was suspended from Kindergarten on his first day. I am sorry for what you're dealing with. I don't have any answers, I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I'm amazed at what our difficult children do some days, then some days I'm not surprised at all.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    In my district I suspect they would provide a homebound teacher and short list him on their assessments.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    If you sent a letter to the school district via certified mail, your child falls under IDEA/IEP Protections for children not yet eligible for Special Education:

    Statute: TITLE I / B / 615 / k / 5
    (5) Protections for children not yet eligible for special education and related services.--

    (A) In general.--A child who has not been determined to be eligible for special education and related services under this part and who has engaged in behavior that violates a code of student conduct, may assert any of the protections provided for in this part if the local educational agency had knowledge (as determined in accordance with this paragraph) that the child was a child with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.

    (B) Basis of knowledge.--A local educational agency shall be deemed to have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability if, before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred--

    (i) the parent of the child has expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the appropriate educational agency, or a teacher of the child, that the child is in need of special education and related services;

    (ii) the parent of the child has requested an evaluation of the child pursuant to section 614(a)(1)(B); or

    (iii) the teacher of the child, or other personnel of the local educational agency, has expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the child, directly to the director of special education of such agency or to other supervisory personnel of the agency.

    HOWEVER, even children with IEPs can be suspended for up to 10 days per school year unless their BIP says otherwise.

    The school district has 60 days to complete their evaluation. You might want to send a follow-up letter asking when the evaluation will be completed -- via Certified Mail, of course.

    Don't mean to be a downer, but an ODD diagnosis after one visit to a psychologist should be taken with a grain of salt, in my humble opinion. These type diagnosis are suppose to made made only after other disorders have been ruled out. As I understand it, the reason for this is because many disorders have the same symptoms. Most of the difficult children you'll see diagnosed on this site could have been diagnosed with ODD and some were. It's the underlying problems causing the ODD behavior a parent needs to get to in order to create an overall, appropriate multimodal treatment plan.

    Every child's treatment plan will look different depending on the needs of the child. And it doesn't happen overnight.

    You're doing good! Keep on going forward.
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    by the way, send that letter to the District's Special Education Director. I'd include a copy of the original evaluation request, also.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Knowing how communication sometimes doesn't work between principals and Special Education administrators, it wouldn't hurt to put a phone call into the director of Special Education in your district to discuss this latest situation and to find out the current status of the assessment. It's possible there may be an alternative to out of school suspension during this assessment period since it's very unlikely that an un-diagnosed, untreated difficult child is going to function well at school or to gain anything from this sort of punishment.

    I'd assure the director that you are a very concerned parent and that you've already had your first appointment for private assesment.
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I sent the evaluation request and parent input report certified mail to the director of spec svcs and got confirmation they received it on 9/4. 9/5 was school day #1. 10/11 will be day 25 in which they are supposed to complete a review. By day 35 (10/25) they are supposed to complete the evaluation (at least that is what it said in the copy of a letter I got - given to me in person by the school psychiatric). The only thing that has happened since then is I sent a copy to the teacher after the first week of problems and she then made copies for the others in the school. We have a SST (Student Success Team) meeting tomorrow with teacher, parents, principal, school psychiatric, etc.

    They are trying to get me to withdrawal my request for evaluation to try interventions first (because they are running out of time). I am not going to do that. My understanding is they have to try interventions first but I am not going to give them more time. I thought my son was protected because I sent all this information in. I did not think they could suspend him. I guess I was wrong. Maybe I did not think they would because I have been clear about my concerns from the beginning and he obviously needs help.

    Sheila, What exactly does that statute mean for me? They did have prior knowledge.

    The private psychiatric's opinion so far was ODD just based on what we told him. We plan to dig deeper. He also said maybe some ADHD, and agreed that he has some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type tendancies. We were told from the Children's hospital we could not get a neuropsychologist evaluation until after the school district does their evaluation and only if we have concerns after that.

    I am so exhausted. I don't know how you all do it. Any advice is certainly appreciated! Thanks for being here!
  11. starcloaked

    starcloaked New Member

    I agree with the ODD issue (to be repetitive) and it's actually really important because ODD is code for "bad kid" and the other diagnoses are actually descriptive of what is going on with his brain that is causing him to act this way. I remember feeling relieved to have the ODD label (at least it was something!) but for negotiating with the school district, it's important to be able to show them that he's not just a "bad kid," but that there are things getting in the way of the good kid he wants to be that are preventing him from getting there, and that they need to intervene with educational or therapeutic services (that can help him, because he has a problem) in order to provide him with an education. If he's just a "bad kid" how can they help him? And it's amazing that they can label a five-year-old a bad kid, but I've got the cutest little guy in town sleeping soundly upstairs who can prove to you that schools are entirely capable of doing exactly that. Sigh.

    But my point here was to suggest that you call your pediatrician and ask her to refer you for a neuropsychologist (you might have to do a psychiatrist aka p-doctor first). The children's hospital wants to know who's paying for it, and an insurance-based referral from a pediatrician will help with that. Like I said, even with good private insurance in a state with a mental health mandate, I had to sign a ream of papers saying I would pay as much as $4,000 if my insurance denied the claim, but to date I have only paid a $15 co-pay. Even so, those waiting lists are ridiculously long (sometimes a year or more), so if there's any way your doctor can get you on the waiting list, it's worth doing. Same goes for the p-doctor.

    Okay, I'm going to stop yammering now and start knitting. The school district is trying to mess around again now that we've agreed to the substantially separate classroom (oops--you don't need a 1:1 aide anymore!), but then I'm ready with a lawyer... In other words, I need to do something soothing! :wink:

  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The citation means that your child has the same protections regarding discipline that a child has that has already been through the evaluation process, been deemed eligible for an IEP, and has an IEP.

    It means your child can be suspended for up to 10 days. At that time, other factors kick in like Manifestation Hearings. The only exception to this pertains to very serious behavior problems like drugs on campus, student taking a weapon to school, or serious bodily injury issues.

    "A school is permitted to remove a child with a disability to an alternative educational setting for
    not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a
    manifestation of the child’s disability, in cases where a child:
    • Carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school
    function under jurisdiction of a state educational agency (SEA) or LEA;
    • Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled
    substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the
    jurisdiction of an SEA or LEA; or
    • Has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school
    premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or LEA.

    Except for these caveats, your child can not just be put in an Alternative School for behavioral problems kids, suspended for the remainder of the year, etc.
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Oftentimes one phone call from a doctor can accomplish what you can't. Try having your pediatrician call the neuropsychologist and press them to evaluate ASAP without waiting for anything from the school district. Or ask for alternatives such as a different neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician.

    I wouldn't budge one inch on the school district evaluations and by the way, it's hogwash that they must try interventions first before evaluating.
  14. brandyf

    brandyf New Member

    wow...i finally found someone going through the same thing our family is. my son was suspended for 1 day last week adn he is in first grade. ODD was diagnosed before kindergarten. we are going back to see a child psychologist this thursday and told my principal about it this morning. he will be getting a behavioural plan sent to teh school ASAP. i cant stand his teacher. she is a setting him off. thanks for all the information. p.s. a friend of mine, who is a school teacher, just not at our school mentioned to me something called MPACT. and that teh schools are scared to death of them. she said that would put a fire under their you know what.???any comments?
  15. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi brandyf and welcome

    You definately are not alone.

    You might want to read about multidisciplinary evaluations on the FAQ/Board help forum. A child with an ODD diagnosis, not always, but often means there's something else going on besides or instead of ODD. Many of our kids would have met the criteria for ODD, but that wasn't what was going on.

    A behavior plan sent to a school may or may not be helpful. I'd like to believe that if a behavior plan was sent to a school by a child psychologist, it would trigger "Child Find" to the school district. But I don't recommend leaving it to chance.

    I was intrigued by MPACT, so I did a little research. "MPACT assists parents to effectively advocate for their children's educational rights and services." They must be an effective group. lol

    Why don't you start a new thread and tell us about your child and what led to the ODD evaluation. We'd be in a better position to help educational-wise.
  16. PollyParent

    PollyParent New Member

    Interventions can begin before the designation for Special Education placement is complete. Or at least that's the case in California.

    IDEA 2004 talks about the RTI model (Response to Interventions), and it is my understanding that interventions can begin as soon as District personnel have a reasonable awareness that the child will qualify for Special Education designation.

    SO, under no circumstances allow them to convince you to pull the request for evaluation.

    If you go to, you can research RTI vs Discrepancy. On the main page for RTI information you'll find a number of articles about RTI and how it's implemented. This quote stands out:

    To ensure adequate instruction for students with Learning Disability (LD), identification must focus on assessments that are directly related to instruction. Services for struggling students must focus on intervention, not eligibility. Special education needs to focus on results and outcomes, not eligibility and process. Identification models that include RTI will lead to better achievement and behavior outcomes for students with Learning Disability (LD) and those at risk for Learning Disability (LD).
  17. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks for the info. They already refused to evaluate. See my other post titled "School psychiatric wants me to withdraw MDE".