Starting IEP for difficult child

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Charmedpea, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    Today i went up to school to get her registered for highschool. I called ahead and told them my concerns and I would like her to be tested.

    The guidance counclor said just because she has a mood disorder doesnt mean she is Learning Disability (LD).

    I told her well if her getting suspended for 80 days go back for 10 days and get suspended again is affecting her education then her disorder is affecting her ablity to learn.

    Well i'm looking at this application I have to fill out. and I am having problems with it. Because its asking alot of questions about spelling, reading, math. etc. Do I think she is below grade level that is kinda hard to say. she is smart. I believe if she were to actually hand in assignments, not get kick out of class and do the work she can pass with an easy B.

    Teachers never give her a chance. If something is going on she gets in the middle of it. Even if she doesnt open her mouth but is in the area where the noise is coming from she gets blamed. So from her point of view what is the point.

    Now i'm not saying she didnt do this to her self. She did and she knows this well at least I think she does. & to turn it around has been something she hasnt been able to accomplish.

    But for the last two years her grades have been maybe 1-A, 1-B and the rest FFFFFFFF. She is definate to any adult, doesnt matter who you are. police, dr, mom.

    she said to my mom the other day, everyone is dieing around me. What is she going to do if she goes. My mom assured her she is not planning on going anywhere for a long time.

    We have had 11 deaths in the last 2yrs. I would say 1 overdose fatel 12rys. 5 others kids she knew including
    4-month old. The rest was relatives.

    Sorry got off topic.

    do they put kids in IEP classes if their issue is mood disorders? if that gets under control I dont have any doubt she wouldnt thrive in school.

    How the heck do you change a teenagers way of thinking, The ones that dont have mood disorders think they know everything anyways, then you throw the mood disorder in their and your in a world of trouble.
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Is she below grade level? I would answer "yes" because I would assume it is asking where she is NOW not where she could be?

    Has she ever been to grief counseling? That is a lot of people dying for such a young kid - even as a pre-teen, she was starting to "break away", become an independent person in her own right. Having so many people around her die, she is not sure that she wants to give up her dependence, her safety net with mom. However, her body is growing up and telling her she wants to be independent. Then, even a young child who is living in parent's safety dies - so what is life about? She has seen in real life that life does end. I think she has a battle going on that most kids don't have. Most kids only know the death of an elderly relative or maybe a sick younger person (cancer for example) or just one accident victim and can learn that death is not at their footsteps 24/7 or even for years.

    I don't think the deaths are off the subject. They may well be playing a large role here.

    Hope I explained my thoughts well enough.
     
  3. momtoagreatkid

    momtoagreatkid New Member

    "I told her well if her getting suspended for 80 days go back for 10 days and get suspended again is affecting her education then her disorder is affecting her ablity to learn."

    Your daughter was suspended for eighty days? For six months at one stretch? Did she not attend any type of alternative placement during this time? Did the school offer homebound schooling? If she wasn't put in an alternative placement or given homebound services, how did your daughter receive an education during this six months?
     
  4. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    Sorry I didnt put in their she was home school by means of digital academy. Threw the computer. Which was fine when she did her work. Her grades were the same FFFF..

    then only thing it helped was the fights she wasnt in school to get into any.

    charmed
     
  5. momtoagreatkid

    momtoagreatkid New Member

    "Sorry I didnt put in their she was home school by means of digital academy. Threw the computer. Which was fine when she did her work. Her grades were the same FFFF.. "

    In your previous post, you said you felt like she could do the work and would probably pass, if she completed and handed in assignments. Does this mean that she didn't do the assignments with the digital academy? If not, did she try to do the assignments?

    My feeling, reading your posts, is that your daughter may not be as able, as you think she is. This has nothing to do with intelligence. A child can be very smart and be Learning Disability (LD) (my son's IQ is in the 90th percentile, and he is Learning Disability (LD)). The problem you are going to have with an Learning Disability (LD) placement in Special Education is that your daughter has a long history of not attending school regularly. In order for a child to be classified as Learning Disability (LD), there needs to be proof that a child's low academic scores (different than IQ scores) are not a result of poor attendance. If a child continually misses school, or, in your daughter's case does not do the school work because she's choosing not to (not completing the digital academy's work), than the child will get behind academically. That's not because the child can't do the work because of a learning disability. That is a result of the child's getting further and further from grade level because of choosing not to do the work required to stay on grade level.

    Having said the above, you need to know that this DOES NOT exclude your child from an IEP. Your child could qualify under Emotional/Behavioral Disturbance for her mood disorder or Other Health Impaired for a medical diagnosis she may have been given, if she has a comorbid medical condition, like ADHD. The fact that her behavior is impairing her ability to access the curriculum is reason for an IEP, and from what you have written, I would say she sounds like she desperately needs an IEP. She is not successful in the regular education environment, and she is not successful in the home school environment. It sounds to me like she needs alternative placement--placed in a small class of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. The problem with this placement, though, is that these classes vary greatly from district-to-district. In my son's district, the alternative school is excellent, and the EBD classrooms are excellent. Parents, such as yourself, fight like mad to get their kids in these placements because they are so good. Unfortunately, this is not true in other districts. I strongly advise that you research the alternative placements in your daughter's school to see if the placements are safe and well staffed.
     
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Momtoagreatkid, you are making the assumption that kids with mood disorders choose not to do schoolwork or homework. That is simply not the case. Many kids with mood disorders deal with fluctuating moods, anxiety, depression and mania, which makes it difficult for them to concentrate and attend to work for any length of time.

    My son, who has an IQ in the gifted range, achievement tests at or above grade level and no LDs whatsoever, suffers from a bipolar mood disorder. In 9th grade, he failed most of his classes because his mood issues spun out of control and we were not able to quickly find the right combo of medications. This summer we are going through the IEP process with lots of documentation -- private neuropsychologist testing, forms filled out by his teachers, a letter from his psychiatrist for the last 2.5 years, an in-school observation by an educational consultant and a discharge summary from the day treatment program he attended for 6 weeks. The message in this documentation is very clear, that my son's mood issues are affecting his ability to access the curriculum and he needs special education services and accommodations to be able to do that. Because our home high school does not have a program for ED students, we are seeking placement at another high school in our county school district that serves emotionally and socially fragile students.

    Charmed, this is all my long way of saying that you need to get your documentation together and then research options in your school district to see what might meet your daughter's needs. You might also seek the advice of an educational advocate or Special Education attorney to make sure your daughter's needs are met.

    Good luck.
     
  7. momtoagreatkid

    momtoagreatkid New Member

    "Momtoagreatkid, you are making the assumption that kids with mood disorders choose not to do schoolwork or homework. That is simply not the case. Many kids with mood disorders deal with fluctuating moods, anxiety, depression and mania, which makes it difficult for them to concentrate and attend to work for any length of time."

    I completely agree, which is why I told the mother, "Having said the above, you need to know that this DOES NOT exclude your child from an IEP. Your child could qualify under Emotional/Behavioral Disturbance for her mood disorder or Other Health Impaired for a medical diagnosis she may have been given, if she has a comorbid medical condition, like ADHD. The fact that her behavior is impairing her ability to access the curriculum is reason for an IEP, and from what you have written, I would say she sounds like she desperately needs an IEP."

    The reason why I used the words "choosing to" on this post is this seemed to be what the mother was saying, when she said, "Now i'm not saying she didnt do this to her self. She did and she knows this well at least I think she does," and when she said, "But for the last two years her grades have been maybe 1-A, 1-B and the rest FFFFFFFF. She is definate to any adult, doesnt matter who you are. police, dr, mom."

    I get the feeling from the mother's comments that she sees her daughter as very capable, who is behind in her classwork for two reasons--the mood disorder and defiance. Of course, the defiance most certainly can be part of the mood disorder, but it seemed to me the mother was making a distinction. I don't know. Maybe, I was wrong. It's difficult sometimes to understand what someone is trying to say on the internet. I apologize, then, if my using the words "choosing to" was offensive. I didn't mean it that way, at all.
     
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Don't verbally ask for the testing. Put the request in a letter and send it via Certified Mail. There are sample letters in the Sp Ed Archives if you need one.

    As reflected previously, your daughter doesn't have to have an Learning Disability (LD) to qualify for an IEP. Students with mood disorders can be categorized under the OHI or ED categories.

    There's a Getting Started thread in the Archives also. It an overview of your's and your child's educational rights as it pertains to disabilities. I believe it lists all the qualifying categories.

    Smallwood's suggestion that you obtain the services of an advocate is valid in my opinion.
     
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I am really late on this one, but I read the thread. no where did I see that social and emotional growth is also part of "education." It is actually good that yur difficult child has F's because this is really strong evidence of "negative educational impact." She needs that and a listed disability to "qualify." I would say she is EBD but there are those who favor OHI because bipolar has a biologic base.

    Intentionality is not part of disability. If that were the case, then all disabled kids would not be served, i.e., the argument would be : if a blind child were only more "motivated" to see, or use what he or she has, then there would be no problem. We don't suggest deaf children should try harder to hear.

    "Our" kids have real disorders; they are not brats, undisciplined, or willful. They are ill, and most kids on this board should qualify for Special Education. I have been there done that with a student with above average intelligence and above average to below average grades who was Special Education qualified as SED from 6th grade on. He never set foot in a special class because Special Education is a service not a place. NOW that his emotional problems are under control, he is able to show he is both bright and free of learning disabilities. When he was depressed, however, he could not perform.

    Martie
     
  10. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    when I asked the school about Iep testing. They game me a form to fill out and told me to give them as much information as I can. Name of dr. where she has been treated. They told me they will have the testing done with in 3 months of the start of school.

    Yesturday she has been diagnosised with ADHD & she is also ODD. They are starting her concerta (ritalin). She is still in the PHP program ran by the hospital. Partical Hospitalization program. For 10 days so they can monitor her on the medications and hopefully we can find one that will help her settle down.
     
  11. reallytrying

    reallytrying New Member

    " The guidance counclor said just because she has a mood disorder doesnt mean she is Learning Disability (LD). "

    There is an eligibility that you could ask about--but it's not Learning Disability (LD). If her mood disorder is affecting her even being in the building, she could qualify for "Emotionally Disturbed". It sounds terrible, but I did have a student this past year with bipolar disorder, anxiety and ODD tendencies, as well as ADHD-I. After two years of missing nearly 50% of the school year, several trips to truancy court, and failing a grade, the school finally referred this student and he did qualify. It got to the point of Chronic School Refusal, which included: not making in the front door of the building (even physically assaulting the parents in the entry of the school), refusing to do classwork (because it was "stupid" and meaningless--lot's of "why" should I have to do this), getting suspended for defiance with all adults at school, running away, and tearing up the place when not allowed to call mom (feeling like dying, wanting to end it all because everyone else would be happier, etc.). So, when this kid was finally referred, 2 SpEd. teachers spent the entire day with him--in a self-contained environment--developed a relationship with him (and it was hard with the defiance and all), and got a handle on the attendance issues. Eventually, he was in school every day, but we got him placed in a behavior structured classroom where the teachers were trained in handling defiant behavior--last report from his mom was that things were so much better--higher self-esteem, better grades (actually doing some work!). It was an emotional day for us two teachers, because we had gotten emotionally invested in his progress!

    There is a website for parents that you can subscribe to and they can address your particular issue--Wrights Law not sure about the exact address. They are a parent advocate organization.

    Also, I had some battles with our guidance counselor this year about referrals as well--I don't believe the guidance counselor is qualified to make that call? (maybe that's my defiance-ha!)

    If you have plans in the works for testing, that's a step in the right direction. It does cost money to give SpEd. services, and time, and effort--hopefully your SpEd. team will put the right amount of energy into it. And it is a team effort! :D
     
  12. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    I spoke with the partial hospitalization program she is in. and asked them to put a referal also recommendation to have an IEP done, on top of my own I requested.

    the dr. we saw this past week said daughter is still in the PHP program that she believes she is ADHD not Adjusment disorder with depressional mood. which was the other diagnosis she was given by the childrens hospital. Now they only had her for a couple of days. The PHP has had her for a week and has a week to go. and started her on Concerta, it seems to be working and she (dr) has talked about maybe increasing her medications.

    So here is my question would ADHD quilify her for Learning Disability (LD) program?
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    #1 -- The school district has 60 days from the date they receive your written request and consent to complete the evaluation unless your State regulations regarding special education state differently. Summer days count IF your school district's administration office is open during the summer.

    #2 -- There is not a diagnosis or combination of dxs that qualifies a student for an IEP. If there is no educational impact, no IEP. In that your child is having academic problems however this shouldn't be a problem.

    #3 -- ADHD is not a learning disability, so ADHD alone will not qualify a student for an IEP. There are 13 qualifying categories for IEP eligibility. ADHD can qualify a student for an IEP under OHI (Other Health Impaired) because of the impact it can have, e.g., poor grades because of inability to finish work, finish work and not turn it in, AND/OR general behavior, etc.

    An Learning Disability (LD) is separate from ADHD although a lot of people, including professionals, confuse the two. https://web.archive.org/web/2006123...ng.org/pdfs/2200_7-barktran.pdf?date=11-14-00 is a talk by Barkley which is reduced to writing. It will help you understand the difference between ADHD and Learning Disability (LD) if you need it.
     
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 2 got his IEP last school year through the OHI designation like Sheila mentioned. It was determined that his ADHD and mood disorder were affecting his social skills which in turn affected his interaction with other students and was very disruptive to his ability to learn (numerous visits to the principal's office, a 2-day suspension, a couple of in-school suspensions, and towards the end of last year, I kept him out a week because his medications were making him unstable (I simple said he was ill those days -- which he WAS, mentally), AND he has a movement disorder which interferes with his ability to complete assignments and testing. So the services he is getting are focusing primarily on the social skills aspect and he is also being evaluated for Occupational Therapist (OT).
     
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