OK at school but not at home - IEP tweaks to help?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by rlsnights, Oct 30, 2009.

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  1. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Our difficult child 2 is having big problems at home but doing OK at his traditional middle school. School thinks he's doing great. He hasn't done his daily writing homework assignment for his Special Education language arts class for 5 weeks and he's only getting a C- in Science. BUT he's behaving just fine at school. No fights, no tantrums, he dresses for PE etc.

    They are somewhat disbelieving about the problems outside of school especially that we had to call the cops twice due to bipolar rages.

    My question for folks on the board is whether you ever found yourself in a similar situation to this and there were tweaks or contingencies that you built into your child's IEP that were helpful in reducing their school-related stress and therefore helped reduce the severity of their mood swings outside of school.

    I'm thinking of proposing to the IEP team at my son's meeting next Tuesday that we give him a set number of "mental health days" to use during the semester. When he's feeling really stressed he can choose to stay home that day. He will have to make up his missed work but has 5 days to do get it done.

    I can see big pros and cons to this approach so I'm not sure if we'll do that or not.

    Anyone have any other suggestions?
     
  2. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Sounds like a good strategy. What kind of documentation of difficult child's diagnosis has the school seen? Could your psychiatrist submit a letter describing recent events and recommending these changes to the IEP?

    It is maddening when teachers/administrators don't 'get' it.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    How many academic classes does he have in his schedule? Does he have a resource class?
     
  4. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I see what you are trying to accomplish, but I don't know that a school could - much less would - go for offering "mental health" days. It seems to me they would be much too subject to abuse by your difficult child. Also, they don't seem to do anything to help him get an education, which is the goal of the IEP and the school. No homework done for 5 weeks in one class is an issue, I'm sure, and giving more time off for ??? I thinkk that not only would "mental health" days be unprodictive, they would send a wrong signal.

    Can you find any connection between a given day's school assignments or classwork and his negative mood swings? Can you identify why he doesn't do the writing homework? Any connections between the two? A focus on those might give a clue to steps that would help. Also, does he have enough supervised "study hall" time each day - maybe after the language arts class?

    Finally, what does your difficult child have to say about any of this?
     
  5. helpme

    helpme New Member

    >>>helpful in reducing their school-related stress and therefore helped
    reduce the severity of their mood swings outside of school....

    I can see exactly where you are at. been there done that. We had our child constantly writing
    on his assignments 'how he was feeling that day', 'what was going through his mind'
    and 'how he felt he did on assignments'. For us, this information and constant
    nagging of several teachers usually led us to the problem. After a few examples
    of showing the teachers how their information helped us, everyone caught on.
    Then, teachers were doing it naturally, verbally, (and sometimes through
    difficult child 1's friends) and it helped out #1 IEP goal--> to communicate with teachers.

    For us, it showed us that their were problems in the lunch room (difficult child 1 was
    selling electronic devices). It showed us when to have him 'shadowed' in the
    hallways to find out who he was corrupting, or who was influencing him. In
    high school, teachers also do the same for kids getting into trouble throughout
    the day. A principal just sends a memo asking for a white sheet (personal memo)
    from a child's teachers for the day. We discovered this when our son was stealing
    at school and was being questioned and frisked at the end of his classes for an
    entire day. At the time of middle school, I never expected to discover such
    information. I had only wanted to see if his mood swings from the morning
    led into his first hour class. I only wanted to know if maybe math should be
    first or last.We were very surprised to find that the social aspect of school was
    causing more problems than we knew.

    >>resource class
    another brilliant idea to have someone check his "status" throughout the day.
    We also had one teacher assign difficult child 1 the chore of taking yearbook photos,
    and we were surprised to see difficult child 1 going to 'help' whenever he was 'stressed'.

    >> 'mental health days'
    I know exactly what you mean. But, you aren't really finding the 'trigger'.
    And for me personally, finding the "trigger" for my son, helped the school and
    myself identify the problems difficult child 1 was encountering. I also went about this
    backwards. I had the psychiatrist write a note with the 'illness'. This also reinforced
    with the school district that I was effectively communicating with others about difficult child 1's
    condition. When 'illness' showed a concern, school district began requiring the staff to
    follow the above requested accommodations.

    >>Can you find any connection between a given day's school assignments or
    classwork and his negative mood swings? Can you identify why he doesn't do
    the writing homework? Any connections between the two?

    ITA. Finding the connection between the assignments/classwork and his
    mood swings, good or bad, is great advice. It's hard I know. One time,
    it was just a teacher he disliked. Another time is was that he hated sitting
    in the library to work on research papers (possibly embarrassed about his writing).
    One year I located some teacher that my son didn't have, but loaned him some
    baseball book, who checked son's status throughout the day. In high school
    I had the darn janitors assisting. During high school suspensions, I had the
    neighbors, the mailman, and the FedEx and UPS man. I even let the water bill
    go to disconnect since I knew the waterman, and I knew he'd call and give me a
    status check. Insane I know. But I had to work and I couldn't let the kid
    keep running around stealing stuff.
    Try to think outside the box....
    I know you can do it...good luck.
     
  6. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    difficult child 2's schedule includes 2 periods out of 6 in RSP classroom. He's there 1st period for math and 4th period (just before lunch) for language arts. We can't increase his RSP time without putting him in 7th grade RSP classes. We don't think that's a good solution.

    “We had our child constantly writing on his assignments 'how he was feeling that day', 'what was going through his mind' and 'how he felt he did on assignments'. For us, this information and constant nagging of several teachers usually led us to the problem. “

    I think difficult child 2 would actively resist writing down this kind of information and would turn it into a huge power struggle. I'll have to give it some thought and talk it over with the IEP team to see if they have any ideas.

    I have some guesses about why the daily writing assignment is such a sticking point for him. Part of it is that it's physically hard for him to write. Since he won't use a computer to write either there's more to it than that.

    He did fine the first couple weeks of school but the more he's struggled outside of school the more unwilling/unable he's been to do the writing. I think he's feeling bad about losing control at home so he has no tolerance for anything that makes him feel bad about himself -especially on a daily basis.
    That's why I think he would fight the suggestion that he write about his feelings and how well he did on an assignment. Just too threatening for him right now.

    "Then, teachers were doing it naturally, verbally, (and sometimes through difficult child 1's friends) and it helped out #1 IEP goal--> to communicate with teachers."

    Now there's a good idea - to make communication with teachers an actual goal instead of assuming it will happen automatically. I can see how he fails to effectively communicate but they don't because he mostly conforms to their expectations. But he needs help communicating not just about academics but about his stress level too.

    "We were very surprised to find that the social aspect of school was causing more problems than we knew."

    I already know that the social aspect of school is a source of stress for him both good and bad. He's actively resisting the RSP's attempts to help him connect with other kids. Instead he is hanging on his twin sister during lunch in hopes of being included in her social group. This is NOT working for him but he is utterly unwilling/unable to do anything different or admit that it’s not working. He won't do after-school clubs and I'm not really pushing him to do this because at least half the time when I pick him up from school he's falling apart and is frantic to go straight home.

    ">>resource class another brilliant idea to have someone check his "status" throughout the day. We also had one teacher assign difficult child 1 the chore of taking yearbook photos, and we were surprised to see difficult child 1 going to 'help' whenever he was 'stressed'."

    I'll have to float that idea at the IEP meeting - see if there's something less obvious than reporting to the RSP classroom. But I doubt he would do it - he doesn't want to do anything to draw attention to himself and he seems to be putting a lot of energy into ignoring how he really feels. So I’m not sure what the chances are of both getting him to pay attention to when he's feeling stressed and then acting on it.

    ">> 'mental health days' I know exactly what you mean. But, you aren't really finding the 'trigger'. And for me personally, finding the "trigger" for my son, helped the school and myself identify the problems difficult child 1 was encountering. I also went about this backwards. I had the psychiatrist write a note with the 'illness'. This also reinforced with the school district that I was effectively communicating with others about difficult child 1's condition. When 'illness' showed a concern, school district began requiring the staff to follow the above requested accommodations."

    Not sure I followed you on the psychiatrist part. His psychiatrist has already written a letter saying that he would benefit from a supportive school placement with a small classroom, etc. Since it was a transfer the school district was only obligated to continue his existing IEP placement and services until we held his transitional IEP. That’s what’s happening tomorrow. His previous IEP had minimal services because we were homeschooling.

    It’s a tough call – I can push them to change his school placement but I see a few problems with that approach –
    1. there’s no guarantee that it will make things better outside of school
    2. he’s not failing in a behavioral sense at school so it seems like it would be sending him the wrong message – that his efforts to hold it together at school don’t matter
    3. since he’s not failing at school the school district has very little reason to go along with a more restrictive placement
    4. having a “regular” school placement seems like it is the best way to send him the message that he is not “different” and vice versa – a special school means he’s different.

    As for triggers – well I’m pretty sure it’s the whole package that’s the problem. He says he doesn’t have time at school to think or feel anything. I think he’s overwhelmed with anxiety - he’s worried about fitting in, avoiding negative attention from teachers, finding kids to socialize with who accept him, getting where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there, getting to school on time – all of it. His only strategy for managing this overwhelming anxiety is to ignore it as much as possible.

    Changing the school placement is the only solution to this problem that I can see. That’s if it meant he was in a smaller classroom/school, where the student:teacher ratio was low enough that the teachers could help him process his emotional responses to the demands of school, where the pace was slower and there was more flexibility overall given his level of absences to make up work during the school day. Getting that when he’s doing OK during the school day seems more than impossible.

    “>Can you find any connection between a given day's school assignments or classwork and his negative mood swings? ITA. Finding the connection between the assignments/classwork and his mood swings, good or bad, is great advice”
    He’s not swinging on a daily basis so much as over the course of a week or longer.

    After his last swing dropped into depression a week ago we had a couple “normal” days and then he started into hypomania. He’s been cruising there ever since.

    He’s home sick with the flu – got sick late Saturday night and was clearly very sick by Sunday morning. He was very difficult at urgent care on Sunday. We had to wait a long time to be seen and he was up every 10 -15 minutes demanding that we leave, pacing, crying, insisting that he wasn’t sick and we didn’t need to be there. In between he sat slumped or leaned against me half-asleep.

    Today he was feeling a little better and if you didn’t know he was sick – you wouldn’t have known he was sick. Despite having a fever, swollen glands in his neck that make it hurt when he turns his head, a very runny nose, killer cough and a headache he’s been going at hyperspeed all day. He hasn’t laid down for one minute since he got up at 7 am. He’s been in mission mode since Saturday. He’s frantic if he thinks he’s not going to have something “fun” to do and breaks down into sobs or starts to rage.

    And that’s the other thing – maybe school placement is irrelevant. Maybe he’s just having a severe bipolar episode that would have happened whether he was going to school or not. :(
     
  7. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Dang it. My post didn't post.
    How is your little one?
    How did the meeting go??
     
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Thanks for asking - I'm sure your post was brilliant :) That's why it went out in a blaze of glory.:star:

    The meeting went the way I expected it to go - unfortunately.:(

    No one can believe that this angelic child they see all day is having mixed rages at home so bad they require police intervention. He's practically perfect at school and shows NO signs of distress, anxiety or anything else at school according to them. His grades are good (including the C- in Science and the D in RSP Language Arts?) the only problem is his attendance and he isn't turning in his LA homework.

    The PS (program specialist -district Special Education staff) insisted on a goal saying he would have 95% attendance by next fall. Uh-huh. We've got 8 days plus 2 half days absence already in the first 9 weeks of this year, most due to physical health issues but some absences due to mental illness.

    The PS was not happy to hear we had doctor's notes for every single absence. (I learned that lesson in 5th grade when the school threatened me with truancy court.) She tried to grill me about the details but the school nurse (LOVE this woman) butts in and tells her the absences are all health-related and that's good enough. Then the RSP says how I am so good about letting them know in advance and keeping in touch when he's out. So PS shuts up! Woo Hoo - the only win in the whole meeting.

    Anyway, the bottom line was that they said he just needed to go to after school tutoring and then he wouldn't be anxious about staying caught up and he wouldn't blow up over doing his homework at home.

    After recovering from a speechless moment I am, like - So you think he's raging to the point of violence because he doesn't want to do his homework? It doesn't have anything to do with being manic because he can't handle the stress of school? Your solution is MORE SCHOOL?!

    They honestly thought that he should come for after school tutoring 3 days a week with the RSP so he could finish his homework and his makeup work. That would fix everything.

    What do you say to people like that?

    It's sad really - the only tool in their belt is a hammer. What if the problem isn't a nail? What if it's a leaky pipe? Doesn't matter. Hit it with the hammer harder and longer - that will do the trick.

    When I said the psychiatrist and therapist had both told me IN WRITING that he was so unstable at home because he was holding it together at school the PS said that unless they had done school observations they had NO basis for their opinions. Right - advanced degrees, years of caring for mentally ill kids and teens - you have what - a BA and used to teach 1st grade? THEY don't know what they're talking about. YOU'RE more qualified than they are? OMG.

    I pointed out the clues they were overlooking -

    1) that he has missed 2 full days and 2 half days in the past 3 weeks due to mental illness Response: no response

    2) that he's not eating before or during school because he's so anxious Response: You need to send him to school with something he likes to eat. My reply: He won't eat - it doesn't matter what he has with him or can buy. School nurse backed me up on that one - thank goodness I got her involved in that problem the first week of school.

    3) that he has NO friends after 9 weeks of school. Response: Principal agreed that wasn't typical

    4) that he can't stand the thought of having his schedule changed Response: lots of kids are like that. My reply: Really? other 14 year old boys start crying when you tell them you might have to change their schedule?

    5) that he refuses to do any kind of after school activity - no clubs, no tutoring, no organized sports Response: well going to a club where you don't know anyone could be hard. My reply: He won't stay after school because he's either upset or exhausted every day when I pick him up and bursts into tears or starts ranting at the suggestion that he stay after school.

    6) that he stopped doing his Language Arts homework and all makeup work after the first two weeks of school when he became unstable. Response: well lots of kids were having trouble with that in LA - ah, says the PS so that's the norm in the class! - so the RSP changed the system and they have to turn it in every day now. My reply: Since you changed the system is he turning in his homework? No - not once. Did he turn his homework in during the first two weeks of school? Yes. This is the point, I say. He can do his homework when he's stable but not when he's unstable. There's your proof.

    I asked about options for other placements now and if he should lose it at school and get violent. They tried to tell me that legally they could not change his current placement since he wasn't having problems at school. When I reminded them that IDEA allowed the IEP team to make any decision they saw fit regarding placement etc. as long as they justified it their song switched to "there are no appropriate placements" served with a side of "lets scare her out of this line of questioning".

    Those school district people sat there with straight faces and told me in our entire school district of 50,000+ students and 70 schools there is NO option besides general ed with RSP support for a kid who is medically and emotionally fragile with close to grade level academic functioning. And they have NEVER had another kid with similar issues.

    They must think I am stupid or blind, deaf and dumb - or both!

    When pressed they said the only options they could think of were an SED classroom with psychotic, violent and conduct disordered kids or a Special Day class with kids who are mentally retarded.

    After that I gave in to the ugly reality that I was not going to get my son any help at this meeting and let them move on to goals.

    I agreed to the goals since I had worked on them with the RSP well in advance and his actual goals were OK.

    We agreed to call for home instruction if he missed 5 days in a row of school and was expected to continue to be absent (school district normally doesn't provide home instruction until 20 days of absence!).

    I pointed out that, if we didn't make any changes in his placement and the psychiatrist was correct about school making his mood swings worse, then it seemed reasonable to assume that he would be absent more due to hospitalization and/or days when he was too unstable to come to school. Just wanted that on the record.

    What I would like is to be able to give every person at that table (maybe not the PS - she really ticks me off) a copy of Kay Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind.

    Maybe then they would have a clue. Maybe reading the autobiographical work of a famous researcher with a PhD and tenure at John Hopkins who is bipolar 1 and has managed to pass as "normal" since she was a teen despite full blown classic bipolar, maybe then they would understand that it is absolutely possible to pass at school and still be seriously mentally ill.

    If you've got this far - thanks for "listening". It was a frustrating and exhausting day. I am worried and scared about what will happen next because I have no faith that this is all just going to go away somehow.

    At least I have the backing of his psychiatrist and therapist who are both very well respected in their fields and widely known in the community. Without that I would probably still be feeling like I am a horrible parent and it's all my fault somehow. Neither of which is even remotely true.
     
  9. helpme

    helpme New Member

    I dont have much time tonight, but I will go back through this thread
    and post a few other ideas for you to toss around...but for now..

    The meeting went the way I expected it to go - unfortunately.
    >I know the feeling of that one :)

    No one can believe that this angelic child they see all day
    ...anyone can see the problems, they just aren't wanting to deal with them

    The PS (program specialist -district Special Education staff) insisted on a goal ..
    Ew, ...I'll skip even stating what I think of the PS...

    The PS was not happy to hear we had doctor's notes for every single absence.
    >If the nurse was helpful, how helpful do you think the doctor's could be?
    Oh, I'd start considering a conference call with the doctor's during the meeting.
    Yup, they will do it (but your sweet butt it wouldn't be easy though).
    And I've seen video conferencing from the jail to the judge as well as the
    school, at the same time.

    Anyway, the bottom line was that they said he just needed to go to after
    school tutoring and then he wouldn't be anxious about staying caught up
    and he wouldn't blow up over doing his homework at home.
    >Out schools have a 10 minutes times grade level homework time amount.
    The homework time amount should include the tutoring. So a sixth
    grader should do no more than 1 hour of studying and or homework
    per day. If the child comes home with anymore homework or studying
    then the school should be notified. For us, we marked how long everything
    took to complete, as well as study amounts for a very long time. Then of
    course the "social activities per day" since the school district felt difficult child was running
    around spending too much time doing athletics for their school instead
    of doing his homework. That one really ****** me off, and I told
    the coach that difficult child could not start practice till all homework was done.
    That lasted one day, before difficult child got help during the day. So,
    maybe state that your personal life has goals set for difficult child to be more
    active, and that the tutoring time may interfere with your own goals for
    difficult child. Yea, believe it or not, I had a few of our "personal goals"/
    verified by psychiatrist or other agency (one was speech and language
    services at the nearby university) documented into the IEP, just
    because it prevented the school district from "limiting" our options.
    I'm hoping you understand what I'm trying to say here. Just
    like they are limiting their options, limit theirs. Eh? After
    school tutoring might also interfere with church, your work schedule,
    your relatives who are vi sitting for the next month, etcetera. I only
    say these things if you are not wanting after school tutoring and
    feel it should be done within school.

    Also, does your school have intermural sports/activities?
    Where kids just play for fun? Sometimes other kids with
    IEP's for motor skills have these sort of options. Maybe
    he can make friends or just have some fun? Maybe, go play
    with the kids for a bit, and then the teacher will help you with
    your after school homework, because she suddenly got "busy".?


    What do you say to people like that?...
    >I'd say I will do a two week trial run and if it heights response at
    home or causes additional conflicts (noted in IEP) we will re-review
    that goal or accommodation in two weeks. I had 5 IEP meetings
    in one week when difficult child was playing football in 7th grade.
    It was OIC, you are going to let him miss all this school and
    be physically exhausted and not make accommodations NATURALLY
    for him. Maybe he shoulder play football for you then. OH NO,
    we can work with him different. I knew you could :)


    >More, I think for your situation I definitely would find an advocate,
    and at least work through the arguments/goals beforehand.
    If they say this, then I say this. If they want this, then I want that.
    Those advocates do a spiffy job, but are very difficult to come by.


    I pointed out the clues they were overlooking -

    1) that he has missed 2 full days and 2 half days in the past 3 weeks due to
    mental illness Response: no response
    >Doctor on conference call, immediately, either planned or contacted
    during the meeting. Even a dang nurse from the doctor's office will
    create a different "aura" in any meeting.


    2) that he's not eating before or during school because he's so anxious
    >omg, I'd forgotten about that one. totally. I think "staff" to assist us there.
    I think we made lunchtime a "checkpoint" of his status. My difficult child was
    not allowed to leave the damn lunchroom until he ate. Back then,
    our school district also didn't allow snack times, and was just starting to permitting
    water bottles at certain times. difficult child had a checkpoint that included
    granola bars. I don't care if you think he's fine. Check him and
    document it. And so help me if the lunchroom lady who lives
    down the street from me tells me any different, we are gonna duke it out.

    3) that he has NO friends after 9 weeks of school. Response: Principal
    agreed that wasn't typical
    >psychiatrist should tell them to do something about it, or you
    will have to do something socially with him after school and he will
    miss tutoring.

    4) that he can't stand the thought of having his schedule changed Response:
    lots of kids are like that. My reply: Really? other 14 year old boys start crying when you tell them you might have to change their

    schedule?
    >I'd also state that school issues might require the need of a psychologist,
    social worker, psychiatrist, etc. Maybe then they could attend the meetings also?

    5) that he refuses to do any kind of after school activity - no clubs, no tutoring,
    no organized sports Response: well going to a club where you don't know
    anyone could be hard. My reply: He won't stay after school because he's either
    upset or exhausted every day when I pick him up and bursts into tears or starts
    ranting at the suggestion that he stay after school.

    >Gr.. I dont think I'd sign for the IEP until they add in a goal for social
    interactions. I'd also state it would BOOST his attendance. You want
    attendance, well I want the kid have social interactions.

    6) that he stopped doing his Language Arts homework and all makeup work
    > Oh yea, I like the goal of all Language Arts homework will be completed
    in the tutoring. Oh yea, by the way, if my doctor says tutoring after school
    is too stressful because he he stressed about x,y, and not having
    social interactions, or if I see one missing LA assignment for over one
    week, we will have seriously problems to evaluate.


    >They must think I am stupid or blind, deaf and dumb - or both!
    I learned a really good trick from an advocate once. It was can you
    put that in writing for me...(um, I'd like to complain the the state
    board of education, or to by govt officials), also have your state
    board of ed handbooks or someone on call. I used them quite often,
    for such as the state of IL states that a child must be present
    1/2 of their school day to compete or practice or stay after for
    activities. Oh yea? Well is your resource time before school
    included or not? Oh yea? Well he is so stressed now that
    he is only here for a half a day to begin with and you won't
    let him play sports. Well the state board of ed disagrees with you.
    Her name is XYZ, I spoke to her at XXX, on XXX. She welcomes
    us calling her at any time with any questions, including IHSA
    (il high school athletic code) and how SE and IEP services
    intertwine. IHSA also applies for middle school here.

    When pressed they said the only options they could think of were
    an SED classroom with psychotic, violent and conduct disordered kids or a Special Day class with kids who are mentally retarded.
    >Yup. been there done that one too. They gave us no choice and placed him
    in SED classroom. I was hotter than a firecracker. He wouldn't
    go to school until we worked it out. He played football
    every single day and then they suddenly found a way to have
    100% Special Education minutes in LRE (least restrictive environment).

    We agreed to call for home instruction if he missed 5 days in a row of school
    and was expected to continue to be absent (school district normally doesn't
    provide home instruction until 20 days of absence!).
    >I love that.

    I pointed out that, if we didn't make any changes in his
    placement and the psychiatrist was correct about school making his mood
    swings worse, then it seemed reasonable to assume that he would
    be absent more due to hospitalization and/or days when he was
    too unstable to come to school. Just wanted that on the record.
    >I love to add in time frames to the goals though. It saves you
    from calling more IEP meetings. They should sent you an IEP
    goal sheet (they only do them here routinely every quarter),
    but we had them whenever a goal time frame came up, that we
    added the words, "to be documented to parent via xxx (whatever
    name they had for that sheet). Loved it. A lot.

    What I would like is to be able to give every person at that table
    (maybe not the PS - she really ticks me off) a copy of Kay Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind.
    >I'll be looking for this the next time I take easy child 3 to the mall.


    Without that I would probably still be feeling like I am a horrible parent
    >completely impossible
    and it's all my fault somehow. Neither of which is even remotely true.
    Nope. You will get them to see the problem one way or another.
    Something has to change for your lil very soon. I mean really.
    Here, easy child 3 was moved in Nov last year and I went in and told the
    teacher she was having trouble making friends. The next day
    easy child 3 told me she had a lot of friends because everyone liked her,
    but she didn't know that yet. Sheez, and easy child 3 doesn't have an IEP.

    Oh it makes me sooo mad. I just wish teachers had the knowledge
    and the power to teach all children, all different ways. I mean
    really, as parents its not like we sit down and have meetings with
    ourselves saying, okay, by the time Johny is 6 he will help with
    the chores more. Lets document/graph how he does with the chores
    every week. Nope, we do this stuff naturally. We read or talk to
    other parents or professionals to know what is age appropriate
    or the "norm". We work on things such as chores for a little bit.
    Here is a chore chart. Here is a reward system. Here is a
    punishment system. Whatever it takes. And we keep trying
    and trying to make or find some way to teach/parent. And if it
    doesn't work we try something else.

    It ain't that hard.

    My IEP goals for your difficult child would definitely include
    To communicate with his teacher
    To communicate with school professionals through checkpoints/times
    To communicate with other children
    To be socially active with other children
    To make new friends
    To become involved in some activity.

    Every additional meeting I had that was not an annual meeting,
    I always made it my goal to get one more IEP goal added.
    On average I think I probably did it fifty percent of the time.
    I celebrated it too.

    I'm sending you my bestest of best mommy fairy dust to hope you
    continue to stand up for your child, and you see the counter
    arguments you need to help your son. Like I said, you aren't
    asking for anything different with the "friendships" that I did for
    a non-Learning Disability (LD) child. You aren't asking anything different than what a
    parent who moves to a new school district asked for. You aren't asking
    anything different than what a returning to school after
    homeschooling parent does. IEP/Learning Disability (LD) or not.

    hugs..you are doing a great job...
     
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