Our IEP Meeting was today (no real question, just processing the day)

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by hersheyb79, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. hersheyb79

    hersheyb79 New Member

    So DS's IEP meeting was today. His diagnosis (DBD-not otherwise specified) doesn't allow for him to automatically be classified as physically disabled. He tested above grade level academically, so he has no learning disability, so he's been identified as SIED (significant identifiable emotional disibility). They are going to track his behaviors and see if they improve, but if they don't he will be sent to a new school with a SIED classroom where he will get an individual para and the school has a psychologist and Special Education teacher on staff full time.

    I am very torn. Most of what we have done was to avoid the SIED label, and I really don't want to have to deal with 2 schools (I won't move daughter from her current school). On the other hand, our school is not a good fit for him...mostly because our school psychologist and Special Education teacher split their time between 2 schools, so they aren't always there, and he doesn't get one on one instruction which is what he needs. It's also an early access school, meaning he is in school with a bunch of 4yos (DS is 6yo & 65lbs, he's about a foot taller than most of the kids in his class).

    I don't really want him in a classroom with a bunch of other kids just like him, but that might be what has to happen.

    It's not a done deal. They will track the data and decide after Christmas. One good thing is that they said that if it is decided that he should be moved the district is required to provide transportation to and from his school. They said a bus will pick him up at our door and drop him off. That would be a huge thing for us, since right now husband has to leave work to go pick him up from school because he is in half day kindergarten and thus no transportation home.

    So, that was my day. I am exhausted. It would be tough to move him, get a whole new staff used to him, but it is almost a relief...knowing that it's at least a group of people who are prepared for the behaviors.
     
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Did you know that schools HAVE to provide accommodations for him to be able to stay at his current school with his PEERS (not kids 2 years younger if he's academically above grade level) BEFORE they can consider a move to a "special" (more restrictive) school? Those accommodations can include a 1:1 para to help HIM and anything else that will help him like Occupational Therapist (OT), speech, etc. The sped teacher doesn't have to be in direct contact with him all day every day but they need to supervise someone who is. Just my 2 cents anyway.
     
  3. hersheyb79

    hersheyb79 New Member

    Yes, but it just doesn't feel worth it to fight for it. The two accommodations *I* requested (vs what we came up with as a group) they can't even seem to manage. The classroom para is supposed to meet us at the door to the school at 8am to give him a soft start to his day. Every morning it is more like 8:05, 8:10, so he gets frustrated and upset because we have to stand around for 10-15 minutes. So he was melting down when she came to get him because he'd been waiting so long. I said "don't bother calling me if he melts down, I have a meeting" and I left. I was so mad. The whole point to them doing these things is to make his day better, but they screw it up and then call me to fix it. The other thing is he is supposed to have headphones that he can put on to block out noise when things get too chaotic...I requested them at the beginning of the year, they still aren't there. I said something yesterday and it was "oh, that's not a problem, they'll be here tomorrow." Well guess what...when I asked about it this morning they acted like they had no clue what I was talking about.

    He isn't capable of functioning in the environment he's in right now. He's miserable, I'm miserable. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. At least if he was at the other school they would have some CLUE how to deal with this stuff. The school now doesn't really seem to have a clue.
     
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't get your hopes up too high, though... sometimes these special schools really know what they are doing... IF your kid happens to fit their narrow range of specialty... and otherwise, they have no more clue - and even more attitude - than where you are.

    Its SO hard to get a proper fit in a school environment.
     
  5. jal

    jal Member

    "Don't get your hopes up too high, though... sometimes these special schools really know what they are doing... IF your kid happens to fit their narrow range of specialty... and otherwise, they have no more clue - and even more attitude - than where you are"

    I have to disagree with that statement to some extent with regards to my experience. I was once where you are now. It crushed husband and I to move our difficult child to a different school. Our school couldn't handle him at the time and we had the IEP, para etc all in place. difficult child has done very well at his placement. Currently, he has been there for 3 years and has been mainstreaming there and continues to have additional classes mainstreamed. We are targeting this year for moving him back into district.

    Our difficult child is complex and very smart, but had such a hard time emotionally at school. This placement has been the best for him. It has helped him grow and learn how to handle his emotions appropriately. I have never been met with anything but a supportive and caring attitude for our son and ourselves. Everyone involved has had our families best interests at heart. Again, this has been our experience and I do know that it is not always the norm.

    Yes, the school district will have to transport him to and from school. I have had my son go home, to my parents, to my work, wherever I need him to be whenever with no issue.

    It is a heart breaking decision, but also be advised if you do go this route, go to the schools and check out the programs they are offering and see what feels right to you. Talk to the teachers, the aides, the psychologist on staff. Go with your gut. You have the right to refuse the placement.
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I back this 100% - you have to do your own research, don't let the current school attempt to force a particular direction. YOU have to agree that a particular placement is in the child's best interest. Go there yourself. Observe in the classrooms, in the lunch room, talk to parents if possible...

    I wasn't implying that a change of placement was wrong - rather, I've seen too many where the change of placement was called for but the actual placement was worse than not being moved...

    When these special classes/schools are good, they tend to be REALLY good.
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    True the special placements can be wonderful, and some considerations are:
    1. Is there a mainstream opportunity, even if it is lunch or passing kids in the hall? Or at least a reverse mainsream opportunity where kids can come in and be peers in a social time, games, swimming, lunch parties, whatever
    2. Is your child easily influenced by kids who have behaviors that you do not want to see.... if so, even with great supervision, there are bathroom moments, lunch discussions, waiting for the bus moments, etc... just know your child and what you think the risks are.

    3. Would the relief of having really specialized and understanding folks be worth any of the other "risks"? My friend has her son now in a very specialized school. One side for multiply HC kids ...physical impairments, illnesses, etc. The other for kids with behavioral issues... emotional, neurological etc. Her son is really both. They were worried the behavior program would not be able to handle things. This kid who has had what many of our stories share PLUS... is a shining star there. He shows compassion to kids in wheelchairs, he is one of their "smart" kids (YKWIM? he is below avg. iq and has always been the "low" kid in class) etc. They just love him and he has never had that before.

    It really is very very individualized. And sometimes you just dont know until you try. One thing I agreed to a long time ago.... to go to a setting for a summer program to see how the fit was. SUmmer is obviously different from typical school year, but the staff were the same and the attitudes were too. They were great, but the behaviors methods were no different for them and there were no peers which is important in my son's case, so I said no. I was grateful for the preview. If changing now, that probably is not a choice. but if there is some kind of visit or something they could do with him???? (that can be a mixed bag too, so depends on your kiddo of course)
     
  8. beandawgs

    beandawgs New Member

    This past April I was right where you are now, and posted about it here. I was heartbroken to think about moving my son to a self-contained ED class at another school, away from his brother and away from mainstream kids. The decision was painful and sad. We did end up moving him to the class and I think he is benefitting from it. Its actually at a more affluent school with mainstream kids and special classes. The staff in the class know how to deal with him better and his behavior is improving. He had a huge improvement when he started, and has had some setbacks, but all in all we're on the upswing. I can say that there are still moments of sadness when I eat lunch at school with my other son and my difficult child isn't there. I miss seeing him with his peers and doing "normal" things. In the program he's in , they have to "earn" privileges like eating in the cafeteria, sitting with the mainstream kids, etc. He hasn't earned them yet. His meltdowns are better and behavior at home is better. I still worry about his future , but my guy is still very young yet at 7, so I hope things will improve.

    I would suggest spending a good amount of time talking to the staff at the new school and go by what your gut tells you about them. The staff will make all the difference. Good luck to you :)
     
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