Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Ohio, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Ohio

    Ohio New Member

    I requested an MFE for my difficult child. I wanted to determine whether or not he has a disability. The school refused to provide my son with an MFE, because they do not suspect a disability. Now, the school treats me like a social pariah. I have the distinct feeling that I am not welcome in the school, because I am referred to the principal for a meeting when I enter the building. The teacher refuses to face me, or communicate, and has even acted rudely towards me. I am not even going to go there, but I have a feeling the principal has advised her not to speak with me. I told the prinicpal that if the teacher will not communicate with us, then I want my difficult child to be assigned another teacher. I asked her what the process of class reassignment is, and she will not address my questions. She keeps talking about setting up a meeting. I don't understand why she can't just tell me what the process is, or send me an e-mail. My husband, and I, are both working professionals and do not have the time to meet with her all of the time. Get this, I was in a meeting with the principal, and she wanted to set up another meeting to address my concerns. I don't mind meeting with the woman, if something would be resolved; however, she just keeps trying to manipulate us, evade our questions, and so forth.

    by the way, to the school, it doesn't matter if he has an official diagnosis. If they think he is OK, then he doesn't need testing. The school board has the same philosophy, and a due process hearing is a waste of time. In the meantime, I am no longer able to participate in my difficult child's educational experiences, because I am unwanted in the school. Any advice?
  2. Mickey2255

    Mickey2255 New Member


    I can't offer any good advice but I can offer sympathy. I'm a pariah at school too. The principal won't even look at me or acknowledge my presence. I ask for her to attend IEP meetings because nobody that attends can ever make a decision saying she has to do it but she won't come.

    I have never said a single word to ANYONE at that school about the horrible way they have educated my son but I'm pretty sure the reverse isn't true. I am on the PTA and the past few meeting people literally got up and moved from the table I sat down at. My evil twin thinks this is hilarious and makes me get up and move next to them again! Then they are really embarrassed.

    It's hard to send your kids to a school where you know you are so unwanted but right now, it's our best option until we can sell our house.

    So get ready to fight your battle and whatever you do - don't back down! Kill them with kindness and be ready to laugh when they play these games. It keeps you from crying.

  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Rachel:

    They're required to open and IEP for him to do an educational evaluation. IEP in most states is and Individual Education Plan, is that what you mean by an MFE?

    Send a letter to the school assessment team CERTIFIED requesting that your son be evaluated.

    In the meantime, if you haven't already done so (your signature says you "suspect AS" that's why I though that you might not have had one yet) get a neuropsychologist. (usually done at a Childrens hospital or University hospital.) which will give you more thorough testing.

    The school will only do testing that will let them know if he needs any services to help him in his academic studies, they won't give you a medical diagnosis.

    Not sure if this helps!

  4. Ohio

    Ohio New Member

    I know that you guys are going to roll your eyes at me when I say this, but I don't think it's a good idea to press the Multi-Factored Evaluation at this time. I do have the right to request a due process hearing; however, I don't think that it will accomplish anything. My difficult child's speech delays are not significant enough for the school to intervene; furthermore, I was told by the Board of Education that even if our child does have a disability, they will not assess him unless the school feels that he has significant behavioral or learning issues in school. I really don't have a leg to stand on, and proceeding forward will just upset the individuals who work with my child everyday. Now the minute that he has issues in school, then I am going to pursue the MFE full force. What I cannot tolerate is being shut out of my son's educational experiences.

    Here is some more background on what happened. During the meeting, I did not say much of anything until the end. I was just giving generic, carefully worded political answers. I knew once I became :censored2: off, and got into mama bear mode, that I might say something that I would regret. Yet, I did lose it at the end. The school counselor was smiling and laughing at me, and I demanded to know what she thought was funny. Well, so the counselor left, and in entered the principal. She talked with me for about 40 minutes, wanted to schedule another meeting about my child, and had the school counselor call me back. The counselor apologized, and I let it go.

    During that meeting, my difficult child's teacher ended up crying. Do not ask me why, because I have no clue. I felt badly for her, so I sent her the following e-mail:

    I am sorry that things did not turn out so well this morning. I hope that you are feeling better. If I offended you, I didn't mean to. I think that you are doing all that you can, as a teacher. The bottom line is that I wanted an MEF to help determine whether or not difficult child has a disability. I want to make sure that difficult child is protected, if he were to misbehave or fell behind in school. I really don't think that the schools' tests, or what limited observations can be done, can truly determine whether or not he has a disability. This has no reflection on you as a teacher, and I have let the principal know that I hold you in high regard. At any rate, regardless of the outcome, you have our support. Please let me know if you need anything.

    After I sent this e-mail, I was greeted with the following response:

    Thank you for the email. I apologize for getting so emotional. That was unprofessional of me. I really do need you to know that I absolutely 100% have difficult child's best interest at heart. I understand your frustrations and hope that however it turns out it is the best thing for difficult child and your family. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you while we sort this all out and please don't hesitate to call or email me with ANY concerns or questions or suggestions.

    At this point, I thought everything would be alright. I was so very wrong. The following week I brought in a confidential report for the teacher, principal, and Special Education person. I wanted to hand deliver the teacher's report as an act of goodwill, and wish her hello. Well, that did not happen. I went to see the teacher, she knew that I wanted to see her, and she ran past me without even acknowleging me. I was confused, and asked another teacher if she knew that she was going in the wrong direction. The teacher told me that my son's difficult child would meet me in the office. So, I walked all the way across the building to meet my son's teacher. Guess what happened next? While the teacher hid in the principal's room, the principal requests to have another meeting with me. The only problem is that I do not want to have a meeting, I just want to deliver a paper. From that point on, it was made clear that I was to deal with the principal, not the teacher.

    Because my issues weren't being addressed, the teacher is not communicating with me, and I feel unwelcome in the school: I contacted the school's superintendent's office. He had a chat with the principal, and wants her to meet with me ASAP. We will be having a phone meeting tomorrow, and god knows what that will solve; although, I truly helps that it does lay some issues to rest. However, I am going to make sure that they are not just patronizing me. I am going to request to volunteer in the classroom, and I am going to request time to observe the classroom. If the teacher truly has no problems communicating with me, as the principal claims, then they should not have any problems allowing me to participate in the same school activities that all of the other parents do. If they do have a problem with that, or continue to blow me off, then I know it's time to form an official complaint; although, I am tempted to stick my difficult child into private school at this point.

    by the way, Heather: OMG, I could never imagine a school doing such a horrible thing to a child. If something like that ever happened with my child, then I would give the school justifiable reasons to fear me. I hope that you daughter is OK.
  5. Ohio

    Ohio New Member

    ntvs-I sent a certified letter requesting that he be evaluated, because we suspect a disability, which may be affecting his school performance/experience. We named specific disabilities and delays, then briefly listed how these delays/disabilities may be adversely affect his educational performance. The school sent us back a certified letter saying no way. Plus, I received a nifty packet called "Whose Idea Is It...". I am not looking for a medical diagnosis from the school. He has some already, and it has not done us a lick of good. I guess I really don't know what I want, which is half the problem. I just want things to be back to normal. All sarcasm aside, I am afraid I am not half as incredible and strong as you women are.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Before you say no to going to due process, I would observe him in class. Or, if you think he will act differently with you there (as I know mine would) arrange for a trusted friend or professional to observe. I would just want to make sure that I'm getting correct information on how he participates in class.

    As far as the speech and language, we used that it keeps difficult child from participating in class - which is educational impact - to get it into the IEP. It did keep her from participating in class to the point that 3 of her 4 5th grade teachers didn't realize that she had any speech problems. And I'm telling you, you cannot miss it.

    As far as how you are being treated by the school staff, I would see what the superintendent does and then go from there. You have a right AND a responsibility to be actively involved in your child's education. They cannot deny you that.

    As far as difficult child's incident, she was in the 3rd grade and we had a lot of problems with the school that year. They offered a before school gym class for 3rd and 4th graders and I signed up difficult child to get her more involved socially. Apparently, she and another kid collided - hard - smacked heads and then difficult child hit the floor. The other kid was crying, but difficult child said she was ok and blended into the background. She will do almost anything to not be noticed which is why behavior issues at school have never been an issue.

    When the school finally called me at 1:00, the witch (and I'm being so nice here....everyone in this school district knows this woman and all refer to her in the same way) she complained that difficult child had been in the office 5 times that day complaining of her ears hurting. So, I called the doctor then left work to get difficult child and took difficult child straight to the doctor. <u>Noone</u> told me about the incident earlier that morning. When difficult child got in the car, she told me about it and said she had been seeing double and her ears were ringing and hurting. Turns out she had a concussion.

    We got back to the school right as it let out and I marched straight back to the classroom where her teachers (plural, she had 2 teachers all day and a class of 22 students) complained that she hadn't completed any of her classwork.

    I tell you what, everyone in that school knew my name that day. I felt bad for the gym teacher because she didn't know of difficult child's issues and really thought when difficult child said she was ok that she was. She called me at home that night and was in tears. However, difficult child's regular teachers and the office staff should have known better. But then, this was the year I was told by the guidance counselor that I was the one with the problem, not difficult child.

    Then there was the time when for some reason they decided that difficult child rode a bus and were forcing her to get on a bus. difficult child NEVER rode the bus; she was a walker, always had been a walker, and I took her to school and picked her up (at 13 she still can't find her way to the school by herself). So, I'm waiting in the line of cars to pick her up and no difficult child. All the cars are gone and I walk into the building as the principal is walking out telling me they were trying to call me. Well, DUH, I'm not home, I'm in the parking lot! I ask where my child is and they said they were putting her on the bus. I spun around and I yelled, "WHY WOULD YOU PUT HER ON A BUS?!!" You could hear the SNAP as everyone's head turned in my direction. difficult child was hysterical, sobbing, terrified that I wasn't going to be able to find her.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm pretty sure Martie and Sheila can clarify that. IDEA 2004 makes it so that the child does not have to fail before receiving help.
  8. weatheringthestorm

    weatheringthestorm New Member

    A school district has to evaluate your child, determine if they have any disabilities, whether or not they interfere with their school performance, and present their decision and reasoning to you EVEN IF THEY FEEL NOTHING IS WRONG. If you've requested it in writing they have to do it. They simply don't get the choice. It's my experience that many people in a district will try to put you off and won't be completely upfront with you. However, once they know you've done your hw and are an informed parent that won't bow to everything they say they usually change their tune. Throwing in the lawyer threat usually works. Once parents start throwing that word around in the district I work for they get everything they want. The American Civil Liberites Union may be able to help you. Lawyers that specialize in this can be pricey, but may be well worth it. Even if you just pay for them to show up for one meeting it may make all the difference. Having a diagnosis makes a world of difference as well.

    Right now most states (I don't know about yours) are using the RTI model where they have to document that other interventions haven't worked for your child. So, you may need to put up with them trying several things to help your child before they decide he qualifies for secial ed. If those interventions work that's great. Even if your child doesn't qualify for sp. ed. having a diagnosis and knowing what interventions work can get you a 504 plan that REQUIRES them to use those interventions. That way your not dependant on a teachers kindness or whatever.

    I work in the district that my children attend, in Special Education and I STILL had to fight to get more into his IEP than just speech. And I had several teachers on my side saying something is up with him. It took a while and a lot of effort and follow up on my part but it was worth it. He's getting the help he needs. Now that he's in jr high (the school I'm at) I get everything I want. But, I know from dealing with the high school for my difficult child that there will likely be a fight again.

    Cost is a big issue for many schools. Sp Ed kids are expensive! I also think that a bigger issue is because of NCLB schools are trying to keep kids out of sp ed. Once the schools Special Education numbers reach a certain point they have to count those kids scores. Needless to say those kids drag their scores down. This adds to the potential of the school not meeting it's progress goal. These scores can more easily be absorbed by the "regular" kids and won't drag things down as far. Let's face it, if most Special Education kids could read and do math at grade level they wouldn't be in Special Education.

    Best of luck and keep at it. You have to be the advocate for your kid and the squeeky wheel gets the oil.
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    If you weren't 1/2 as strong & incredible, you wouldn't be driving them crazy at the school!


    Martie & Sheila know the rules regarding and IEP and the IDEA.

    Hold on tight, we're here to back you!!!

  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Ohio,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I have an arm out of commission.

    Is your child having any behavioral or academic problems at school?