The School Is Doing What?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, May 8, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    This year has been a joke. I have asked since the beginning of the school year that easy child be given reading assistance. They poo pooed me from the start, telling me that it's not necessary. Then it became that he didn't qualify, even though he was receiving additional help in the classroom and here at home and he was making no progress. Then, at the end of February, after he failed a test, he was finally put into small group reading assistance and he has flourished! Still not at thereading level where he should be, but better than he was.

    I asked for academic testing, which was a waste of time. They told me that "he is just an average kid," that "there is nothing special about him," and that "he will never be any better than a C student." They didn't do any auditory processing testing because, in their opinion, there was nothing that indicated that it was needed. The CSE meeting was supposed to be this morning, but it was moved to Thursday, but I can't understand what the point is. They already told me that they aren't going to do anything for him. He says that he "can't" do the work because "he's choosing not to" and that I have to have a heavier hand in dealing with him and his school work.

    Then, this afternoon I was going through his folder and I find two letters. One saying that his small group reading teacher has left to go on maternity leave (I didn't even know she was expecting). The other one said that he is being placed into "double dose Fundations". Fundations is a phonics program that the second gradersuse. They take Fundations tests periodically. A grade of 16 - 20 is passing. 15 and under is failing. Two failing tests in a row and they ger put into this "double dose Fundations", which his teacher told me is not what he really needs and that reading support is where he should be.

    So what are they doing? Removing him from reading support and putting him in Fundations! Grrrrrr!!!! I fight for half the school year to get him into reading and after just over two months they are removing him from it? Seriously, I just want to scream!

    I already sent an e-mail to the teacher, but I'm not expecting much.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I completely understand what you're going through. difficult child 1 had a "full" evaluation at school. They found no issues except his refusing to work. Their answer was to pull him out of some mainstream classes and put him in an EBD room instead. That didn't help him AT ALL. I fought for 6 months to get him support and they were kept saying the same things you're hearing. I asked the reading coordinator to do a thorough assessment of his reading skills and she found LOTS of issues but the team just kept saying "but that's not what OUR testing showed". HUH?? After fighting for so long and difficult child 1 ending up being punished all the time for his struggles (that they refused to acknowledge even existed), I watched him get so depressed he shut down completely, even at home. I finally decided THEY weren't going to change their mindset so I pulled him out. I now have a VERY happy child again that doesn't mind learning academics with the RIGHT help. You might need to decide if it's worth it for your son in the long run. If you want to continue fighting, get a good advocate. Ours was awesome and even she said she's never seen anything like what they were doing to difficult child 1 and she's dealt with our school many times.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you both!!
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Bunny that is really frustrating. It all sounds so chaotic and reactionary. Where is the plan? Where is the follow through? And who suffers? your child. I am so sorry they did that to him. A whole year of struggling. uggg.

    HUGS, let us know if they respond... I will be curious to see what they say.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Buddy, unfortunately, there is no plan and no follow through. In their eyes, he's just "lazy".

    I hired a tutor for him and I specifically told her that he needs work in reading and math facts. She comes once a week. Right now she is helping him get his homework done and when that's finished she does some reading with him, but over the summer she will have more flexability since there will be no homework to get through.

    Oh, and my son, who will never be anything better than a C student? Came home with a 96 on his last spelling test and a 95 on a science test. But he's never going to be better than a C student, right?
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We got nowhere until we paid for private testing (yes, even in Canada, "some" things can be paid for privately... especially Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)).
    Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) said "advanced audiological testing recommended for APDs".
    Fam doctor said... that's enough for getting a referral directly...
    PhD audiologist said... she has NO idea why she gets so few referals, because this should be a bigger issue.
    One diagnosis = Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).

    Oh. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) = health problem with prescribed "fixes".
    I never ever saw school jump so high in all my life.
    Loaner FM system in 2 weeks, permanent in 3 months, plus accommodations that work.

    But... could I get school to screen for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)?
    Nope. No Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) resources past third grade.

    It is so doggone frustrating.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    When I met with them to go over the test results I specifically asked why auditory processing testing was not done and they looked at me like I had two heads and was from Mars. According to the speech teacher who did that part of the testing, because of how he scored on the speech portion of the tests there were no indications that Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) was an issue, so they just didn't do it. But I asked for complete academic testing. If Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing was not done, is the testing considered complete?

    Although, I have to say that something funny struck me this afternoon. I was talking to easy child's tutor and she was telling me that he got through his homework pretty well today, and his spelling homework was sentances. This assignment has been a huge issue all year. He can think of great sentances, but actually getting them on paper is where he seems to fall down a little. I was telling this to the the tutor and difficult child happened to be in the room. He said to me that he sometimes has that problem as well. He has these great thoughts, but when it comes to actually putting them on paper he can't do it. He loses his train of thought. He can't think of how the sentances should be structured. I have always thought that it was just because English was his weak subject. Maybe there is something to it?
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK. I don't have time this week to do the research for you, but... I know where the speech teacher is coming from on this... but the speech teacher is still not correct. Here's why...

    Way back (not THAT long ago), Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) and Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) were interchangeable terms, still are. But. The original, classical Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) type of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) was a "verbal language processing disorder". In which case, if you didn't have speech problems, you probably didn't have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) either. Not necessarily 100% accurate, but in practice, it caught a lot of the kids with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

    BUT. There are way more kinds of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) than just the original.

    So - maybe. Just pulling at straws here. But maybe you could do the research and find out what all the other APDs are (there's 5 or so), along with how they are tested etc., and take THAT back to the table?

    Auditory figure ground is one of those - which is where all the sounds blend together, and its hard to distinguish the "important" sounds (like teacher's voice) from the background noise. These kids usually don't have speech problems. They work extremely well in testing environments (one-on-one, quiet) and fall apart in the classroom. Often (some research says frequently or usually) display classical ADHD signs in the classroom - not paying attention, fooling around, missing parts of instructions, incomplete work, etc. Unless the speech teacher is specifically aware of these kinds of APDs, there's no way they would have tested for it.

    There are specific screening tests that SLPs can do, that cover all the bases... I just don't know what those are off the top of my head.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    According to the teacher, none of that is going on. easy child sits in the classroom and he's very quiet. There is no fooling around and she tells me that he gets his work done.

    I had a long talk with my sister this morning, who happens to be the chairperson of the special education at the middle where she teaches. She is going to be conferenced into the CSE meeting tomorrow. After explaining everything to as best as I could, she feels that they have ruled out a learning disability, but that we have uncovered a weakness. If he has a weakness then a 504 plan can be put into place to help accomodate him. If copying things is an issue for him then maybe he needs hard copy notes. If writing is an issue maybe he can use a word processor.

    I know that the district is going to do eveything that they can to get out of helping him, but if I walk in with people on my side who have more of a clue than I do I stand a better chance.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You are absolutely right. Glad you have a knowledgeable advocate and I pray that there aren't any "technical difficulties" with the conference call. Pretzeling and praying all goes well.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are getting your team lined up - and that's probably the best approach at this point. He definitely needs "something"!
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    In all fairness, I'm beginning to think that whatever the problem is, it's something that the teacher is unaware of. While talking to my sister this morning I asked easy child if he has trouble copying off of the board. He said yes. I asked him what the trouble was and he said that he just had a hard time doing it because it was alot and that he doesn't always get it all written down because the teachers erase it before he finishes. I asked if he ever told the teachers that he didn't get to copy it all and he said no because he didn't want the teacher to get mad at him. He's a teacher pleaser, just like difficult child. Just something else to bring up at the meeting.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Stupid question time... has his vision been checked lately?
    I had that "really slow copying" problem for a couple of years... and then they discovered my eyes had gone downhill fast. When they screened vision at school (about grade 2), I was normal - so didn't get any re-screens.

    There can also be issues with motor skills (no, school doesn't "see" these... because the kid "can" write, it's expected the kid "will" write... ).

    There can also be problems with working memory - so, instead of reading 3 or 4 sentences from the board, and writing those, they have to read a sentence or less at a time - and then find where they were copying from on the board again and again...
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    It sounds a lot like the issues my son has. Unfortunately, I can't help you identify them specifically because for son, they were IEP'd under his Asperger's so we didn't need a separate diagnosis, but it was under the Occupational Therapist (OT) umbrella.

    BUT I'll confirm for you that yes there is a problem. If the whole class is done copying and he is not. If he struggles writing out sentences (can he come up with great sentences if he doesn't have to write them, right?). The problem comes in when the words need to be translated onto paper. In son's case, he was working so hard forming the letters that he was forgetting what letter/word he needed to form next. It was just too much all at once. Once he started using a keyboard/easy child, things got better. Once things were 100X better at home than in school because he was still handwriting in school, I was able to push for a laptop in school. Keybaord doesn't work for everyone. That's where oral accommodations come in. Extended response tests or assignments are done orally - he doesn't have to write it out. Use of talk to text software. anything else anyone can think of.

    Although it would be nice to have a test or diagnosis to prove this, all you really need is a general Occupational Therapist (OT) diagnosis and proof that he's got the info in his head, he just can't get it out in a timely manner via conventional methods. At the elementary level it seems like no big deal, but when he moves to middle school and HS, if he can't keep up with note taking, he's screwed.

    Just an aside - son learned keyboarding the "wrong" way. When he was required to take keyboarding classes, it was a nightmare because he had his way already down pat. His last teacher backed off and told me to back off because he does 60wpm his way which is more than sufficient for office work.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Brain is going slow, but... word finally came to me.
    Any chance that one of the issues is dysgraphia? It's one of the "classical" LDs... and presents in two forms - he may have both (our difficult child does):
    1) difficulty with the physical aspects of writing
    2) difficulty with the translation from visual, auditory or thought, to written
  15. Bunny - I know how frustrating the schools can be. I've been lied to by teachers, Special Education teachers and even the principal. Infuriating. I found the best way to get results was to contact the school board and very nicely and curiously start asking questions.

    In my experience the school board contacts the school to find out why the heck this parent is calling 5/6/7 different people and asking questions about all kinds of things. IE. How do I get my child tested, what are the rules around pulling my child out of specific subjects, how do I get an IEP for my child? If the teacher has said my child needs this help then why is he being pulled out of it and being put into something that doesn't work for him?

    One of the most powerful statements is "The school is not meeting my child's individual needs." How can we meet my child's individual needs? Specific needs, special needs etc.. You get the picture. You have to learn the lingo. It is the school systems mandate that no child gets left behind and each child's specific needs be met.

    Another thing I did was speak to the ministry of education for our province or in your case state - they should have a liaison that deals with your school district - they will be able to tell you what to ask, who to speak to, what your child is entitled to, how long things should take. Etc. And if you mention to the teacher, principal, Special Education teacher that you happened to be speaking to them and discovered this wonderful information (said like you believe they don't already know what they are supposed to be doing) and isn't this great that this can be done for my child and he can begin to excel and succeed?

    If you do your homework they have a tendency not to mess with you. I pretty much wrote daughter's IEP and gave it to the Special Education teacher. Everything I wanted was on it including exempting her from french so she could spend the period working on other homework and/or math skills which is her most difficult area. I am still fighting to get them to implement it - which is the law but her teacher is so lazy it's ridiculous.

    Good luck to you! I hope I was able to help.
  16. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Yes, this is what my sister said. What are easy child's needs and how do we go about seeing to it that those needs are met.

    The reading teacher called me this afternoon and I had a nice conversation with her. She told me that easy child's reading has impoved greatly, to the point where is actually reading above his grade level, so they felt that since he did not do well on the last three Fundations tests that it would be in his best interest to move him into Fundations help. After speaking to her I feel better about this.

    ICD, his vision has been checked, and it's not a stupid question.

    Kiesta, the accomodations that you are talking about are things that I am looking for. I'm not asking that the whole classroom be turned upside down to help easy child, but if simple things can be done that would make learning and doing his work easier then I don't see why it can't be done.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    What you need to do is start using whatever accommodation you are looking for, at home for his homework. Once you can show the improvement in his work at home, then start asking if it can be used in the classroom as well.

    If you haven't already, ask your tutor if she has any ideas of how to get accommodations put in place for easy child's specific issues. She may be a wonderful resource, AND she may be a valuable asset in your fight with the school.