need advise on how to deal with school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jda413, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. jda413

    jda413 New Member

    our school district is giving us a hard time with the fact we took our son off his medication per his doctor. they are saying they disagree with our decision blaming his behaviors on the fact that hes off medications even tho i have explained these are all repeat behaviors even on medications. they say they are not staffed to deal with his outbursts. he was sent home from school friday pretty much because they didnt want to deal with him anymore. what do i do?
  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    The school district disagrees with your decision to follow your son's doctor's advice? Too bad for them. They are not qualified to make such a decision, and really shouldn't get into medical issues ... period. Similarly, that they aren't staffed to deal with his outbursts means either they get staffed or find a place that is appropriately staffed and still would constitute a "Least Restrictive Environment". This assumes your son has an IEP. If not, then he should have one as his disability (uncontrolled outbursts ... due to ???; other?) affects his ability to learn. If he does not have an IEP, request in writing that he be evaluated for one.

    I suggest you get an advocate - or education attorney - to help you now. If you don't know how to find one, let me know your state and I'll advise where to contact. In 3 (possibly more) states, there are trained free advocates available. In many states, you might at least get "live" discussion and advice, possibly with referral to a good local local resource.
  3. jda413

    jda413 New Member

    i live in rochester ny
    he does have an iep and is in an 8-1-2 class program
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    They need to figure out how to deal with him.

    FAPE does not mean they send him home at noon. It means they hire more staff or get more training or send him somewhere that knows how to deal.

    I fought this myself. I finally got some people who will deal this year...
  5. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    He's in an 8 1 2 and they can't figure it out?! They've got issues. Request, in writing, that they start an FBA to determine an appropriate BIP.

    What is on his IEP? Goals? Services?
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    First off - they're not doctors. They are completely unqualified to make this determination.

    Secondly, IDEA pretty much prohibits them from requiring your child to be medicated.

    IDEA Amendments of 2004
    sec 612(a)(25) Prohibition on mandatory medication.--
    (A) In general.--The State educational agency shall prohibit State and local educational agency
    personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for a substance covered by the Controlled
    Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation under
    subsection (a) or (c) of section 614, or receiving services under this title.
    (B) Rule of construction.--Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to create a Federal prohibition
    against teachers and other school personnel consulting or sharing classroom-based observations with parents or
    guardians regarding a student's academic and functional performance, or behavior in the classroom or school, or
    regarding the need for evaluation for special education or related services under paragraph (3).

    Also, OSEP has specifically addressed the medication issue.

    "The U.S. Department of Education recognizes that stimulant medication,
    prescribed under the supervision of a physician, maybe one method of effective
    treatment of the characteristics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    This is fully consistent with the recommendations of a November 1998 National
    Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement on diagnosis and
    treatment of ADHD. It is important to reinforce that the decision to prescribe
    any medication is the responsibility of medical, not educational professionals,
    after consultation with the family and agreement on the most appropriate
    treatment plan.The use of stimulant medication and other proven diagnostic and
    treatment practices were the topic of technical assistance products developed
    several years ago by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. These
    materials, designed for school personnel, have been widely distributed and are
    currently available from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted
    Education, 1-800- 328-0272."

    The link to the whole letter is here.

    Since your doctor made this decision, you're covered. However, just to cover yourself, I'd strongly recommend getting a letter from the doctor stating that he has discontinued the medications - send a copy to school district and ask that it be placed in your child's permanent educational file. You never know when an school district is going to start pulling nasty tricks.

    I tried to look thru NY State Special Education law but ... was having a hard time with- finding what I needed. I did find a law in IL that specifically prohibits disciplining a child because a parent won't medicate.

    "b) Each school board must adopt and implement a policy
    that prohibits any disciplinary action that is based totally
    or in part on the refusal of a student's parent or guardian
    to administer or consent to the administration of
    psychotropic or psychostimulant medication to the student.
    The policy must require that, at least once every 2
    years, the in-service training of certified school personnel
    and administrators include training on current best practices
    regarding the identification and treatment of attention
    deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity
    disorder, the application of non-aversive behavioral
    interventions in the school environment, and the use of
    psychotropic or psychostimulant medication for school-age

    Generally speaking, IL is about as backwards as they come, so if we have a law like this I would hope that NY would as well. I am just failing miserably tonight at my researching! ;)

    It sounds like your school district may be disciplining him because he's not on medications - regardless, they *are* failing to provide FAPE if they're calling you frequently to pick him up because they cannot deal. Sounds like it's time for another IEP mtg. If current placement cannot handle him, school district needs to find a more appropriate one. If he is not in school at school district request, he's not learning and school is violating IDEA.

    Please keep details of all your communication with- the school. If you have a phone conversation, document and send it as a "letter of understanding" to the school district (certified letter, always). It sounds like it's time to get this well documented. I'd start off with- a letter confirming your understanding of the conversation with- whomever about the fact that they disagree with- your *physician's* decision to take him off medications (like they have any standing whatsoever) as well as the fact that they are not "staffed to deal with- his outbursts". That second part is huge. It's a staffing issue so it's their problem and they need to fix it.

    Probably time to look for a Special Education advocate, unfortunately.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You've been given some great advice. I'm sorry that I don't remember the particulars of your case like how old your son is and what medications he was taken off and for what diagnosis.

    Bottom line, your son is guaranteed FAPE under the law. The school must find a way. If they can't do it physically in that location, they must find an alternative school and flip the bill.

    Please follow the other posters' advice and investigate the law in your state. It's definately is time to start looking for an advocate. I fear your son's school does not have his best interest at heart and will avoid providing services unless they are faced with a parent armed with knowledge of the law.

    It's time to become a warrior parent!

  8. dadside

    dadside New Member

    In New York, the "Parent Training & Information Center" is based in Rochester! Each state has a PTIC, but they vary in the extent of services available through them. It appears that NY offers what you need - and presumably without charge. I'll be sending a PM with the address and telephone, but for others interested, they can find the listing for their state through the Wrightslaw web site - "yellow pages" section.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Something else I thought of but forgot to mention. Keep track of how much school he is missing. For a child with an IEP, 10 days is the limit - after that, it constitutes a "change in placement" and the school district must hold an IEP meeting to review things. So if he missed a half day here, a half day there, it's going to add up quickly.