Not sure what to think . . . .

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    As most of you might remember, difficult child started a new school with newly hired SpEd teacher and 1:1 para. I told you how they kept changing things. Things he could do that he could suddenly no longer do without warning or explanation, change his schedule without telling him until he went to class only to be told he wasn't supposed to be in there anymore, etc. Well, last Tuesday I typed up a schedule of what he was expected to do based on the many conversations SpEd and I have had. That way he at least had something to go by and knew what to expect. It was the first day without me being there at all because he said he wanted to try it. I put in his schedule to call me at a set time so he wouldn't want to call me every 5 minutes only to be told no. Well, at the scheduled time, SpEd told him no because he hadn't done the things that came before. Turns out the 1:1 para asked difficult child to play card games (I'm sure to build rapport with him) so they didn't go to any classes or do any work. I had gone over the schedule with para the night before and asked her to have SpEd call me in the morning so I could explain about the phone call. SpEd never called. Later in the morning, as I'm wondering why difficult child hasn't called yet, I got a call from another parent (friend) who told me difficult child was walking home (20 minutes along a busy highway in the country). I headed over there and found difficult child in the office crying and rocking. SpEd insisted on meeting immediately about difficult child leaving school grounds. Their policy is to call the sheriff. He said difficult child wasn't allowed to call because he hadn't done any work that morning. I informed him of conversation with para and that the phone call was for reassurance and support. SpEd said it was a privilege and difficult child hadn't earned it. UGH. The meeting included principal and superintendant and had a very hostile tone. It was only later that difficult child told me why he hadn't gone to class. That evening, the other parent told me difficult child had been in the back of the squad car when she got there 15 minutes before I did. difficult child didn't tell me because he thought I'd get mad at him.

    I sent principal and SpEd an email of the schedule I'd typed up as the principal requested I do. SpEd was instructed by principal to let me know about "changes" to the schedule the SpEd wanted to make. The next day difficult child had an appointment so was out of school. I sent an email letting principal and SpEd what difficult child had told me and that I was going to keep difficult child home Thursday so we could meet with Social Worker to get her input. On Thursday afternoon, I called principal who informed me that SpEd was gone already so I told him that Social Worker would like to meet with all of us. He said he would pass it on to SpEd. No school Friday or Monday. Kept difficult child home today, we did "homeschool", since I had not heard from them yet. As of now (8:30pm), I still have not a word from SpEd or anyone else there. I have no idea if I should send difficult child tomorrow or not since I have no idea what they are planning and I don't want to set difficult child up. difficult child does not do well with unknowns and even I am nervous after the things they have done so far.

    Anyone got any ideas or words of wisom? After what he went through last year at the other school, I am feeling even more protective of him.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    OMW! If I got it right, they just set him up to knock him down!

    Para changes the schedule up and difficult child goes along. HUGE Yay for difficult child!
    difficult child asks to call you but since he didn't do what he was "supposed" to do and instead went with para's changed schedule, he's NOT ALLOWED??????
    difficult child goes into full meltdown and leaves campus (I don't blame him at all - he went along with a changed program which is what he's supposed to be learning to do anyway, and is now in super duper trouble WTF?)

    Please tell me I read this wrong or interpreted it wrong! I am absolutely livid on both yours and difficult child's behalf.

    I would go down there with him, and get these 'communication' issues straightened out immediately, even if it takes ALL day to do it.

    by the way was this the 'good' para or the 'bad' one? WTH happened with Sped? Last week he sounded like he 'got it'. :groan:
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    A whole string of phrases went flying through my thoughts as I read your post... but I'm not going to dump them here.
    There is no way to know what they are really thinking, or why.
    BUT. It is obvious that they have no intention of working with you in any way, shape or form. They intend to force difficult child to comply with their thoughts, ideas and processes - or else.
    And as most of us on this board know, "or else" doesn't work with these kids.

    As a single parent, they probably know they have you over the barrel - you can't just quit work and homeschool or do anything of the sort... so "you will just have to take what we dish out".

    But where to go from here... that's a tougher call.
    Do you have anybody in your corner? therapist, for example?
    Someone who can evaluate the situation and make a professional call on this?
    Because I'm not sure they are going to do ANY of what you are asking for without "outside" support, provided directly to the school.

    Oh, YUCK.

    Second thought... is there an IEP in place yet? to what extent do the recent events contravene the contents of the IEP? Hmmm...
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    A few swear words come to mind.

    Could you put in the IEP that they call you before they call anyone else if he leaves the school grounds. Put in the IEP that difficult child needs a visual (maybe color coded or even picture) schedule that corresponds to what his day is like. (If they want to do a fire drill they had better put it in the schedule.) Making them type up the schedule allows them to put in things you might not know are going to happen. (Like the para building relationship, assemblies, fire drills, ect...) Put in the IEP that they need to e-mail (or deliver somehow) this schedule to you 24 hrs in advance so that you might prepare difficult child the night before for what his schedule will be. Put in the IEP what comfort measures difficult child needs to get through the day and make sure it states in the IEP that these are not to be earned. That difficult child gets them no matter what his behavior and especially if he is headed for meltdown. Use the legal backing of the IEP. You can call an IEP meeting any time you want. It sounds like you need an IEP meeting.

    Do to them what they do to us. Send a note (or e-mail) TELLING, not asking, them what time and date the IEP meeting is. Decide upon the time according to social workers schedule. Make it as soon as social worker can have a free time. You might make the consolatory gesture by saying you'd agree to what ever room in the school they'd like to have the IEP meeting in. Say that SpEd's not returning your calls or e-mails has you worried. Even if sp ed calls you 7 am tomorrow I think you'd still need an IEP meeting.
    Of course they aren't going to do anything while difficult child is being kept home. While he is home they don't have a problem with him. You are going to have to get pushy. If you send difficult child to school before or after the IEP meeting is up to you but difficult child would be happier if every one was on the same page - your page. you are asking for accommodations that are not hard for them to do. If they won't do the accommodations maybe putting them in a legal document will get their attention.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If they don't do them after they are in the IEP there are legal things you can do and these people need to know you will hold them to it. Get pushy (in the nicest most profession way possible.)
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Keista, this was the good para and the SpEd did a total 180 on me that day.

    The rest of you, that is why the Social Worker wants to meet with them with me, basically an IEP meeting. After the hostile tone I endured on Tuesday, I won't meet with them without her there. The current IEP (from the old school) is the one they are supposed to be following until we meet to make changes to fit the new school "routine". They have not followed the IEP at all which was fine with me. It seemed they were trying to allow him to get used to the new setting and routine while trying to get to know him. At the "meeting" the SpEd repeated several times "the law of the IEP says 187 minutes of resource room time". My question to them in my email was, what about the rest of the IEP that they aren't following. My feeling is that they don't get to pick and choose which parts of the IEP they are suddenly concerned about when their way backfires. Yes, I was livid. The other parent got the call from her son who is difficult child's friend but in a different grade. I don't know if the school was ever going to call me or not.

    We do have a possible back-up plan that is not ideal but might become necessary. The other parent attended college to be a SpEd teacher but quit with 1 year left to raise her kids. She has said she would be willing to help me homeschool difficult child. She is a stay at home mom and has homeschooled her kids before so is free to do that but I don't want to impose (her husband might not like the idea) unless all other avenues (this school is the only one there is) have failed. Her daughter is having a tough time at this school so her dad made a deal with her to give it a serious try for three weeks and if she still can't handle it, she can be homeschooled again.

    I really want difficult child to go to school but I'm second guessing myself about it given what is going on. I am just so torn.
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Your friend sounds like me. I love homeschooling my kids. Its my favorite part of the day. Taking another kid on wouldn't be an imposition to me. I'd like it. Maybe your friend is the same way?
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This might be the bigger issue. Having difficult child in school will make the long-run easier... IF it can be done right. Homeschooling will make the short-run easier... but, then what? I'd be pouring everything I've got into making school work.

    The smaller issue is using someone else's services. The whole "imposition" thing depends in part on how well you get along with the other child, and how well the kids get along. You might be able to trade some "field trip" services with the parent doing the teaching... take both kids once per week for "something" - to the zoo, for example. This provides the teacher with "prep time" (as well as a break!), and keeps you involved. Essentially, you become a team - but she does most of the classroom work.

    But as far as going the home-school route?
    If I did that here, we'd be locked in until graduation. Its too hard to keep them up where they need to be, and almost impossible to get services once they've been home-schooled.
    I've only seen homeschooling work with "neurotypical" kids who fell behind due to medical issues (a kidney transplant kid who lost a year of school and wanted to homeschool so she could do 2 years at once and catch up with peers before highschool - this was done with the full support of the school system, but there were NO supports etc. necessary when she came back)... OR kids who were close to the end of their schooling and weren't going to finish if they stayed in the system. I don't know anyone who has had a difficult child, and homeschooled, AND transitioned back to regular school. But that's just my limited knowledge.
  9. Morningglory

    Morningglory New Member

    I do hope you are able to get home schooling going for difficult child. I'm on my second week of home schooling my difficult child and I can't tell you what a difference it makes, not just with the lack of stress not knowing how he will be toward people in a school all day, but a structured schedule for difficult child and I both. Not saying your stress level will go down, but the schedule you have at home for him daily and a schedule you could have for him home schooling would almost not have to change other than a few hours of learning time. {{{hugs}}} I hope you can speak to that other parent friend of yours. I know you said it's not ideal, but you may find it actually is.
  10. Morningglory

    Morningglory New Member

    I am and have Home schooled my difficult child more than once. The transition from home school back to the "system" is not as bad as you made it sound. I don't know what program of home schooling you are talking about but how we are doing it is my kid isn't even completely out of the system. My difficult child is able to attend classes at a public school like Orchestra or woodworking, or maybe he needs extra assistance in math or even in high school and wants to take chemistry. all I need to do is call the school and see if they have a spot open in that class and have the school write him in as a student for that time period. as far as home school goes, His school is like any other school, he must be logged in by an agreed upon time lets say 9:00a. and he has to sit and complete all his work and have it turned in by 3pm. PE hours need to be recorded ( 40 hrs per semester ) Joining the YMCA for socialization and sign up for things to learn team building skills. I don't mind teaching my difficult child. I like the idea of not being worried that My boss at work is eventually going to fire me because I'm leaving work early to come get my kid out of school every other day. ( yes this is why I'm a stay at home mom now) I guess it just comes down to, If the school that Tedo's difficult child is attending can not seem to keep difficult child from having meltdowns because they can't seem to work with Tedo on a schedule and make this a priority then the "system" is not a good system and Todo may very well have to put his Plan B into play.

    Just a note to everyone, Homeschooling may not be right for your situation, but for many others like myself it has been a life saver not just for my difficult child but for me as well. and He is on track with his schooling, the curriculum I'm teaching has to be accepted by the school board.
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks Morningglory. At the school here, homeschooled kids are allowed to join extracurricular activities only. They are not allowed to join classes. That is the part I am having trouble with. They have wood shop and band that I know difficult child does not want to give up and I really don't want to take that away from him.

    He is staying home again today. I will get ahold of our social worker to let her know the school is basically ignoring my requests for a meeting and have not communicated with me in a week now. difficult child is scared to go without knowing what's going to happen and I am just as scared to send him. This hoovers. UGH
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know what the social worker's training is, or what her role is other than to do things at school. Is she also doing therapy with difficult child or just acting as an advocate at the school? If she is NOT an advocate as her primary job, you NEED to go to your state board of ed website and check there for an advocate, or google your state name with educational advocate. Often an advocate will be enough to make the school straighten up and fly right. IF that doesn't help, get an attorney. Also go to the sp ed forum part of the board and post over there about this.

    in my opinion there will NEVER be a time that a school is going to tell my kid he/she cannot call me. PERIOD. It is one of the big red flags for child abuse. I pulled my daughter out of our middle school because they wouldn't let her call me after several incidents, including sexual assault/molestation by several boys while she was changing classes. She was actually told not to tell me because the school couldn't stop it so it would just upset me. Yup. they told my 6th gr child to not tell me she was sexually assaulted by other kids because it would UPSET ME. Telling a child to not tell a parent sometihing is also a huge warning sign for abuse - no matter how old the child is - UNLESS it is about something they are making as a gift like an art project. We started homeschooling Jess that year for a variety of reasons. Mostly she was close to two years ahead by the end of the first year, so she actually would ahve skipped a year to go back to the appropriate place educationally.

    You also can check out online schools - now most states offer them for free through the school system. Not sure what all grades are offered in your state, but mine does most years including some elementary years.

    They can't pick and choose the parts of the IEP. Just not okay. The schedule was good and only the sp ed teacher messed it up. I would be in contact with the superintendent of schools TODAY about the school not contacting you and not following the prior IEP or meeting to set up a new one.

    The school MUST contact the sheriff if a child leaves the property with-o authorization. You are NEVER going to get them to change that one. And really, if he decided to walk home and took off, then got into a stranger's car or got hit by a car or attacked by a dog, you would WANT the authorities looking for him ASAP to try to prevent that -- esp because kids hwo are abducted are generally killed in the first few hours. Even if he IS a teen and has freedoms to go on long walks from home, the school CANNOT allow him to leave with-o authorization (signed out by an adult that you say is okay) or they are responsible for any trouble or danger that he gets into. And thirteen just isn't old enough to have the street smarts to keep himself safe. So I would NOT be upset about the call to the sheriff for this. I would be glad that they took all measures to find him once he left/they knew he left.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Susie, the social worker I'm talking about is our county children's mental health social worker. She has no affiliation with the school what so ever. She is in our corner. I did CC all emails to the super. Nothing from her either. I did finally get an email from the SpEd this morning. He said he's been out sick and there is a meeting scheduled for 1:00 tomorrow to "review the current IEP and talk about program needs" for difficult child. I am extremely nervous. I called our social worker but had to leave a message (haven't heard from her yet) and I called our PACER advocate but had to leave a message (haven't heard from her yet either). I refuse to go into a meeting with all of them alone again. The last one felt hostile enough. I wasn't upset that they called the sheriff as I totally understand why. What bothers me is that they never called to tell me difficult child was walking home much less that he was "picked up". That information came from another parent. The fact that they didn't think it was important enough to tell me scares me. The para "had a visual on him the whole time" so why didn't anyone even try to stop him? The logic of these people scares me. UGH I am dreading tomorrow.