Some more news today

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Jahir, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Jahir

    Jahir New Member

    Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and the hugs. Boy do I need them.

    My wife met with school psychologist and they want to start the evaluation right away. She said something interesting: "we need to move on this asap, this place is not good for him. We should find him a better situation within 4 weeks".

    We are to give her the IEP request and she is the one that does the evaluation. Why does that not sit right with me. Now I'm getting paranoid; are the psychiatric and principal colluding to get him out... ugh.

    The school principal shared this link with us: The Lang School
    It's a school in NYC that caters to 2e kids. It costs $50K per year. She doesn't know if the DOE would pay for that. Why even show it to us?

    I found a website for educational advocates yesterday. A lot of lawyers listed... do we need one? There was one listing that is not a lawyer but a passionate advocate.

    DS was having a good day today until he got to art class. He opened his marker and accidentally hit another kid. The kid hit DS back and a fight started. Now DS is suspended.
     
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    I'd hold off an getting a lawyer just yet, but interviewing a few so you know who you like can't hurt. Yes, educational advocates can be just as effective.

    I just briefly looked at that school's 'about us' page and it sounds nice. Is the school he's currently in for gifted students? Maybe the principal thinks you can afford it?
     
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'd say based on school psychiatric's comment, yes, they're looking to put him in another school. And DOE must pay for whatever placement the IEP team determines will provide an appropriate education for him.

    I'd start researching what alternate placements are available in your area. If you have a gifted child with- behavioral issues, you are going to want to make sure that he's not placed in a strictly BD placement or even one that's for strictly ED kids - just my experience, but academics quickly fall by the wayside because staff are too busy trying to deal with- behaviors. Most state DOE web sites have links to private schools with info about special populations served.

    Keep track of suspension time - they cannot suspend him more than 10 school days per year; since they are doing IEP evaluation, they are aware they are potentially dealing with- a student with a disability, so IEP protections have kicked in. ISS counts the same as out of school suspension.

    As far as an atty/advocate at this point... that's a gut call. It *sounds* like school district may be trying to do the right thing. You won't really know until the results of the evaluation are in and they make their placement recommendation.
     
  4. Jahir

    Jahir New Member

    DS is in a gifted school at the moment; one of five city-wide public schools dedicated to gifted and talented students. Part of me is scared because this is a lot of information coming in fast and another part is distrustful of the school administration. We're out numbered and know very little about the system. They can easily play us and we wouldn't be the wiser. I was thinking a lawyer could help us with understand the law so we wouldn't misunderstand or take the school staffs word and statements as fact. The law trumps these administrators, right?

    My wife told me the psychologist recommended moving him to a SpecEd class in our neighborhood. What kind of turn in direction is that... she starts with the idea of finding him a program that fits him in a small setting to just plop him anywhere. The more I think about it, the less I trust the psychologist; I don't think she has DS' best interest at heart.
     
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    If you're in a position to hire an atty, then it sounds like your gut is telling you to do it. I'd do it. You can also check out wrightslaw.com to get some good info on sped law. Also, check in your area to see if there are any sped advocacy groups that do trainings for parents. I took a course on it a gazillion years ago and it was by far the very best thing I ever did for my sped kids. I know you're trying to cram in a ton of information right now, but any time you can devote to learning sped regs will be more than worth it.

    As far as law trumping administrators....yes, in a perfect world. I personally have never lived in a perfect world and ... well, I'm really quite cynical when it comes to most sped/school district administrators. I usually gave them a very short rope - all but one hanged themselves with- it in no time at all. The good guy was *very* very good and bent over backwards for my 2 sped kids. The rest of them... well, it wasn't pretty.

    The suggestion to place him in local sped classroom does not surprise me, which is why I suggested you do your own research on what is available. I used to have a gifted kid with- wicked behavioral issues. We did a step-wise progression through least restrictive placements - ultimately he ended up in local sped co-op where emphasis was on behavior, not academics. Academically he suffered severely - lost about 30 IQ points over the course of 6 years, ended up a drop out, etc. He has gotten his GED and is in college now, doing really well, but.... it's been a very long road for him.

    Your kid is not entitled to the "best" placement for him, but he absolutely is entitled to an "appropriate" placement. If he is in with kids who are functioning on a lower level academically, that is not appropriate.
     
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Oh H E doublehockeysticks NO. You're right, that kind of turn is a bad sign. The principle behind IEP is to give children with disabilities a Free and Appropriate Public Education. Since your child has already been identified as gifted, then it stands to reason that whatever placement is decided, it should be APPROPRIATE for a gifted child. Of course, I am using logic here since I do not know if there are any specific provisions in the laws regarding gifted placement.

    Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy that's the primary website for all IEP information.

    IF the DOE was willing to pay for placement in a school such as The Lang School, it might be the best placement possible. That way, your son would be having ALL his needs met in a suitable and nurturing environment. Schools like that not only enrich the gifted child and address behavior, but also teach the child to channel their own 'eccentricities' in the most positive way possible.

    Anyway speculating before evaluations are made is just that - speculating. It is possible that they might find some 'easily' addressable issues, that with some intervention and minor accommodations, will diminish the "poor behavior" and make him seem almost "normal"

    by the way it is theorized that some very famous, very intelligent ppl have Asperger's syndrome. An Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (Autism Spectrum Disorder). These include Bill Gates and Albert Einstein.
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Check out WRITESLAW, PACER and ARC websites. Each of these (in my humble opinion pacer is the easiest and most parent friendly for basic IEP and assessment procedures for a newbie, writeslaw has tons of info about the laws and rights of your child etc.)

    If this school is a public school they are obligated to provide special education services but of course that doesn't mean they are a good match. To decide that before an evaluation is done and before any interventions have been tried, that is suspicious to me (of course just my opinion, and not that they are evil but just maybe not equipt and not very aware of what a child like yours really needs) and I am afraid of their results being skewed not on purpose, just that they may be looking to support their position. Now standardized tests are harder to skew unless it is teacher rating scales etc. It is important they have you and the teachers fill them out to compare results. I have never had it done any other way either for my son or for any evaluation I have been a part of. In this case I would say you for sure should look for a private evaluation as well. And if you do not agree with the results of the school's evaluation, you have the right for a second evaluation thru a private party at their cost. You may have to choose from those they contract with, but it is a right you have.

    A basic premise of IDEA is that the child is to be educated in the least restrictive environment. You will hear LRE alot. The way that is interpreted by most states and school districts is that the child will be educated with non disabled peers to the maximum extent possible using modifications and supports right in the classroom and school. (for my son LRE is to not be with non disabled peers all of the time but only some of the time, so obviously it is different but you typically start with peers THEN if supports dont work go to more seclusive, first a resource room, then a class, and maybe a separate setting). It is very hard with charter schools and magnet schools, sometimes they just dont have the special needs kids large enough numbers to justify having full time Special Education. staff there, so even if it is a good school...you will have to decide if it is worth being with people who dont seem to eager to have your child or to make a really sincere try at educating him in that setting, as well as not having the staff who would really understand his needs and could help advocate for him in that setting. (IF that is the case there) Many typical schools have smaller gifted and talented class programs and also have Special Education staff so your child could have the benefits of both. It is worth checking out all of the schools and while they may not advertise that they are geared specifically for GT programming, they may still have it. They typically are very careful about recommendations because if they are saying they dont have the resources to educate difficult child in their district, and are saying you should go there they would have to pay...but I doubt that is what they were saying. Probably just a suggestion. The law does not require the best placement, simply a placement that provides adequate educational services...sigh.

    If you have an ARC chapter near you they have free educational advocates. Check your state education dept. website and see if they have a page to refer parents for educational advocates. Ask parents . An educational advocate helps you navigate the legal assessment/IEP process to prevent conflicts or to help when there are conflicts and issues. An ed. consultant is usually someone who works more on just developing the plan and walking you through a non-conflict process (now of course there are individuals who vary just that is broad typical description). Usually a lawyer isn't needed until there really is a conflict that you are not able to resolve using the due process procedures built into the system. There is a free mediation level of solving things that often does very well. Now, if they seem "off" from the beginning, and you have the means, just knowing you have a lawyer may just keep them in line and you might not even actually have to use them. I tend to go into it thinking people are sincere in doing their best, but that doesn't mean they are doing THE best job. So as you go through check in often and see if anyone here has had a similar experience. One thing I think we all would say to do, even if you are new to this process... trust your gut. I only really feel guilty about things going wrong when my gut had told me so and I didn't follow thru.
     
  8. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy

    The holy grail of Special Education.

    I must respectfully suggest that your son's behavior may in fact be perfectly normal - for a child who scores in the 99% as you say your son has done. Even a district gifted program is not going to be meeting his intellectual, emotional and social needs.

    If you have not read widely about parenting a profoundly gifted child or about the special and often unique needs of such children I strongly suggest you do so before you jump to any conclusions about your child's behavior.

    I would absolutely NOT put him into a sped classroom setting until you have carefully considered this question and had him evaluated by someone who has in depth experience with such children. I can guarantee that your school psychologist does NOT have this experience and that you may have to travel out of town to find such expertise, depending on where you live.

    Should you need them, I have listed several links for you that are widely considered good resources for parents of highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted students.

    As the parent of 2 gifted students with Learning Disability (LD)'s and as the sister of 2 exceptionally and 1 profoundly gifted sibling I cannot speak too strongly about the need for you to take this aspect into account when thinking about his behavior on the "normal" spectrum of behavior.
     
  9. tofayel574

    tofayel574 New Member

    Thank you for your some latest news and tips

    regards,
     
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