School Question/Advice

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Wonderful Family, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. I had this on the main section; but it was suggested that I post this question here.

    We are starting to think about possibly sending difficult child back to the public schools next year (currently in private school).

    In light of all the problems we had in 6th grade; I'm very concerned about what they will actually do for us. Things were so bad before, that we ended up just pulling difficult child and putting him into a private school.

    I am in the process of setting up a meeting with the school district to get difficult child tested and discuss options. difficult child will mostly likely not qualify for the alternative school (which is supposed to be pretty good for behavior/therapeutics) and will refuse the assistance again through his IEP.

    No decisions made; but with the economy combined with difficult child's behavior; it's something we have to start thinking about; we both know that there is a good chance one of us may be out-of-work in the next few months. He may stay in the private school; but I don't want to get stuck next August trying to figure this out.

    We bailed the last time because difficult child was just in such a bad spot and couldn't get any help. The difference between now and before is that we at least have one hospitalization and formal BiPolar (BP) diagnosis now (before we had ADHD/ODD and intermittent explosive disorder - which they had a great time laughing at).

    I'm already in contact and have had an inital response at the supervisory level of the school district vs. going through the school itself.

    Previously - they always focused on the contracts and similar - which had no impact at all, inconsistent, and wouldn't respond to my multiple requests for help. The principal once told me that an email I sent detailing my actions to date was too lengthy for him to read. difficult child couldn't do the homework because he had no clue what happened in class that day; it seems keeping himself together was his primary task. He's slightly better today in these types of social situations today (ok for the most part at private school - difficult child is not so considered about covering up there). But how do you explain this and have people accept it? difficult child is unlikely to have a major blow-out in public schools; he'll just sit there and not do the work.

    Any thoughts on how best to work with the school district? Any suggestions about what type of placement/services I would expect for my son given his diagnosis in general?
  2. jal

    jal Member

    Hi Wonderful Family,

    I can give you my account of working with the school district. We were lucky as our school district did not fight us and they work very well with us. This unfortunately is not always the case.

    The first thing you should do is send a written request for a PPT meeting via certified mail to the Director of Pupil Services for your school district. Even if you have been in phone contact with them, sending in the form registered mail establishes a time line that they must legally adhere to. Sometimes the form can be found on the school's website. You can explain that your son has some diagnosis's and that you would like him to be tested and that you believe he will need supports put into place for him to succeed.

    The IEP is typically done because the child either has issues that deter him from getting an education or deter those around him from getting their education.

    A little of our history: My difficult child is much younger than yours (6), but before he started school we contacted the school district who did a very informal evaluation and told us he did not qualify for services. We met right before kindergarden started and they told us they would see how the first month goes and then we would decide if he needed an IEP. I told them we would be writing before months end (we did). difficult child received a para, behavior plan and movement breaks for sensory issues. difficult child had been diagnosis'd with BiPolar (BP)/ADHD.

    school district also gave us a para to assist difficult child during summer daycare which didn't last long as difficult child was hospitalized for several weeks.

    difficult child started 1st grade with-a para and a behavior plan etc. in place. Didn't last a few days. school district decided they did not have the supports in place to help him We transferred out of district to a therapeutic school. difficult child is thriving there. He really likes it and he is learning. He recently was diagnosis'd with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - Aspergers (BiPolar (BP) dropped). He is in a small class and he prefers it. The large class and commotion just confuses him and spins him out of control.

    I am not sure what types of services your difficult child will need. What are you looking for? Is the main issue that he doesn't retain the lesson and therefore is unable to complete the work? In that case you may want to have a communication log that goes back and forth daily between you and the teacher. Being in the IEP means they have to do it, they can't lax on the daily communication. If you can tell me what type of assistance you think he needs, maybe I can be a little more helpful.

    Whatever you do don't let them strong arm you into a 504. It is a consulation prize. It doesn't give you a legal foothold and they are not bound to adhere to it.

    Good luck.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    When is the last time the school district evaluated your child?
  4. Two+ years; I have a meeting scheduled for next Wednesday to discuss. Their primary concern was I really interested in moving him back to Public Schools or just wanted him tested. My answer was moving back to Public Schools if we can; but that we can't repeat what happened before either.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The school district wherein the child resides is charged with "Child Find." It's part of IDEA/IEP.

    Our school district is "difficult." It took me a long time to learn that talking just doesn't get it.

    I understand that the school district is not really interested in evaluating a child that may or may not become a student within the district. But technically, it doesn't matter.

    I'd hand-carry a request for an evaluation under IDEA regs to the meeting. Under IDEA regs, " In evaluating each child with a disability under §§300.531-300.536, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified. The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities."

    The catch here is that they have to evaluate in all "suspected areas" of disability. Parents sometimes have to help them "suspect."

    How does one do that? One way is a "Parent Report."

    You don't have time to prepare a full blown parent report, but you can do a short one.

    If you need a sample letter, you'll find one at . There are others in the archives. Have someone from the school district sign your copy of the report as:

    Accepted by:


    Let us know how it goes.
  6. Thanks to everyone for the advice. We have a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning. I was looking for the parent report late last week, so I really appreciate the links to the report/letters; I will prepare at least a summary version to take with us to the meeting. I'm having husband come and I'll let him do most of the talking. Professionals always seem to prefer the opinion of Dad the most. I don't care so long as it helps difficult child.

    I'm 100% confident that the school district will give us the IEP and some supports at school; but is that enough? difficult child won't accept public supports of any kind in front of his friends; so then what do we do is the question for the administration.

    On the upside, the lady we will be meeting with has gone back to the grade school already to see what they remembered (apparently quite a bit and he only went there one year!) and easy child's tutor (that used to be difficult child's) is trained in behaviorial Special Education and says I can use her as a reference.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The school district report or a private evaluation should have a 'recommendation' section.

    As the parent, you may submit recommendations for supports and services also.

    I've found that most educators are sensitive to kids with-IEPs. They know that our kids want to be like others and they don't want to be singled out. The way many classes are structured these days, "services" are provided right in the classroom and it's not even noticed.

    Bring your difficult child's sensitivities up at the IEP meeting, but "difficult child won't accept public supports of any kind in front of his friends" is pretty typical.

    What is needed or what is enough? That's for you and the school district committee members to decide. Within the last couple of days I posted a geocities link to Parent Record of Proposals. It's a handy tool for parent committee members.
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I have a link for some potential supports for bipolar kids. I'll try to find it and post it.

    But difficult child has other stuff going on. Supports in those areas will need to be addressed also.

    What's going on academically?
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  10. Academically he does pretty good at private school; they have him in the high school class due to difficulties getting along with kids in the middle school class and the fact that he can pretty much keep up with HS; with some modifications. His biggest weakness is in math. What works in the private school is pretty much one-on-one teaching.

    Number of learning issues - the biggest seems to be his ability to concentrate ebbs and flows significantly every day; yet we can't touch the stims. He can tackle something one day - and will have to completely relearn it the next.
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I know your pain....

    Even with-medications, ADHDers about the only thing consistent is the inconsistency. It causes a lot of misunderstandings because, "He did it yesterday so he can do it." Not true.

    I doubt you'd get 1:1 math instruction.

    I'd want a full evaluation. You need to find out what's causing the problem in math and other academic areas. To me, without knowing exactly what is going on, there's no way to know how to design an appropriate IEP.
  12. What are the questions to ask for a full evaluation? This is what they did, I think, a couple of years ago. Things fell apart in middle school.

    At psychiatrist appointment this afternoon, he mentioned the possibility of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) again; hopefully this will give me some good leverage for the meeting on Thursday too; said in the right way.
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  14. amberparekh

    amberparekh New Member

    please help me - i have a question-
    my son's private school is willing to implement the IEP given to us by the public school we r zoned for. does anyone know how they can go about implementing it? are there any guidelines?
    i posed this question to the facilitator at the IEP meeting but she was unhelpful-
    the private school is willing to make accommodations for my son, but they don't have any know how of what the accommodations should be.
    i wil greatly appreciate any advice-