New here - need guidance!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by quiltmama22boys, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    Hi -- I posted this on the general board and the responders suggested I post here also.
    I been lurking for a while, would like to introduce myself, and need some direction. I know this will be long, please bare with me!

    I’m a stay at home mom of 2 adopted boys; 7 .5 and almost 6. My oldest came to us @ 5 days old, so far is on track academically, is very high energy but not to the diagnosing extreme. My youngest will be 6 in March and he’s our biggest challenge. He came to us as a foster baby @ 10 months; unable to feed himself, roll over, crawl. Sat on the floor like a bean bag chair with a big grin on his face. I immediately knew something wasn’t quite right but didn’t know what. He was participating heavily in family reunification and life was very chaotic. The state totally ignored my pleas for intervention blaming his reunification schedule as messing up his ability to have a consistent learning environment. ?? At that point I was “just the obedient foster parent” so I played the game. Fast forward – after continuing to plead with state svcs, he was finally evaled at about 14 months – global developmental delays. At this point he was crawling, not babbling, no pincher grasp, head banging fiercely, lots of sensory issues were emerging. He finally was cleared for adoption @ 2.5 years old.

    In his short life, he’s gone the gamut of services Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, developmental therapy, speech. Now he’s in kindergarten and he’s made great strides but there are still many, many, issues – Occupational Therapist (OT) is a huge stumbling block. He can just about hold a pencil and is beginning to write, he shuns all fine motor activites, has trouble with self-care and eating, regresses in skill level from time to time. All along we’ve thought “there’s something else” going on. His birth history shows bi-polar, depression, learning disabilities in both parents; good possibility mom drank during pregnancy though he doesn’t look Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). A year ago, we had him evaled and they made a preliminary diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified with Asperger tendencies, learning disorder-not otherwise specified, ODD, sensory integration, visionary scanning, developmental motor coordination. The school does not have this info. as we didn’t want him labeled early on.

    Today, we had an IEP to determine if the school will pick him up for speech, which would move him to Special Education category. He’s currently 504 receiving Occupational Therapist (OT) 2x/wk for 30 min each session. The school therapist tested him and he passed mostly with flying colors (usual for him). Our private speech therapist tested him more on the pragmatic side (this is where the trouble lies) and he shows a great weakness. Because the school’s testing shows he passed, there’s no academic or behavioral issues, and he doesn’t fall into the moderate to severe category, speech was denied. They didn’t even ASK the private therapist to discuss her report, nor was she really given the chance. I submitted my own notes of speech that we hear at home, which is a pragmatic nightmare. When I questioned them about it, the only one to reply was the school speech therapist who said she didn’t hear any pragmatic problems during testing or observations at school. She said she had spoken with-the head of Special Education prior to the meeting and they had gone over the reports with a fine tooth comb. The principal then chimed in and said the same. So in other words, the deck was more tightly stacked than we anticipated before we even walked in there. When we reviewed the school report we figured they’d deny services BUT we figured when the private report was discussed that would perhaps sway them or at least have them listen. Wrong. Then school therapist said she didn’t want to sound flippant or insult me but “you should loosen up and take a breath.” I wanted to throttle her but sat there composed. She went on to say there were a lot of kids that were worse off than my difficult child. How many times have I heard that excuse?

    Our private speech therapist has 1 more pragmatic test she just found and will give him that. The school said if he scored poorly we would discuss again. Clearly, we’re dealing with-2 kids – 1 who holds it together during school, is charming, obedient, is sliding thru with good memory skills. The child who comes home melts down at the door, cries, whines, fights, is a nightmare.

    How do I deal with this? The school makes me feel like an overbearing mother with 2 heads who’s just venting. Don’t they wonder why he’s receiving speech weekly privately? Doesn’t it occur to them they may be missing something even though it doesn’t stand out in school, which I find hard to believe! They advise to sit back and see how he does, “sometimes by 3rd or 4th grade real problems start to arise.” That’s my point! He has enough going on. Why wait until then to help him? I just don’t understand how they can sit there and totally disregard anything my husband and I have to say along with another therapist who’s tests show something different. I don’t get it.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Any guidance or advice?
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Sorry -- such a typical scanerio you have there.

    When is the last time that your school district performed the speech-language evaluation?
  3. quiltmama22boys

    quiltmama22boys New Member

    They just did evaluation him; over the last month or so. That was the reason for this meeting; to re-group and discuss the outcome of testing. When the team met in September, we requested the evaluation as we wanted the school to pick up the speech since we've been paying the private therapist since last summer. They wouldn't accept the private therapist's recommendations and had to do their own evaluation. Thus, the school evaled and the private therapist also did -- using different tests and supposedly focusing on pragmatics.