therapeutic day school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by JJJ, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    therapist is recommending Kanga be placed at a therapeutic day school. She stated that if I cannot get the school to agree at the IEP meeting on Monday that she will take them on and get it done. I wish her the best of luck.

    I am going to look at the new (in their 2nd year) TDS near my house. Please pray it is good and what should I be looking for?????
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    It depends on Kanga's needs. Generally T-day schools lean to structure and consequences or fewer of these and therapy that is directed at "underlying" issues. I would want a very warm and responsive environment for a child with psychotic features. Use of isolating time-out would be inappropriate in my opinion because it can encourage loss of contact with reality.

    Depending upon the child, academics may or may not be different than a "typical" school but class size will always be small. The closest T-day school to my house that I would have wanted for ex-difficult child had he not gone directly to EGBS, has students who are generally at or above grade level. A high percentage have mood disorders. On the other hand, some T-day schools have a high percentage of students with concomitant learning problems so the curriculum may not be parallel to the gen ed class room.

    Be sure to visit more than once if possible--first alone and then with Kanga if you feel positive. I like to go once in the AM when the program is academic and once at a time when there is apt to be less structure (Friday afternoon.) Watch how staff handles children during transition times--it will tell you a lot about how the staff and children feel about each other.

    I hope your school district agrees to this so you don't have to fight.

  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks Martie.

    I stopped by today and got the basics of the program. It is completely therapeutic -- no restraints, no timeout rooms and no behavior point charts. They do not accept violent children and are focused on those with depression, PTSD, etc. We didn't get to see a classroom but Kanga did get to say hi to a class as they went to group therapy. Kanga has severe Learning Disability (LD) so she needs that support as well. They said that each child's curriculum is individualized

    Course they are full (whole school only take 30 kids total). The earliest they'd have a spot for her is June 18th. Kanga has severe Learning Disability (LD) so she needs that support as well. They said that each child's curriculum is individualized.

    I'm still going to observe the communication disorder program that the district was offering. Maybe we can cobble together a therapeutic CD program???? Wish me luck.
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    This is interesting. Are there public therapeutic schools in some districts? In mine there is absolutely nothing, not even in surrounding districts.

    I am interested because I can see at some point having to make the case that my son needs a therapeutic environment--very small classes, some sort of therapy focused on school, etc. I suspect it might get the school district's attention if I could point to some other district somewhere that offers a program of this type.

    Does anyone know of one that is generally regarded as a good model for mood disordered (nonviolent) anxious type of kids?

  5. wincha

    wincha New Member

    We ended up having the school pay for a private therapeutic school it is also a college prep school as no public school could fit my son's needs.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    pepperridge, I believe the TDS's are generally private and the district pays for the student to attend since they aren't able to provide an appropriate setting. They are very expensive so many districts tend not to even mention them and many have to really be pushed to agree to place a child there. Waiting lists aren't uncommon since they usually take students from surrounding districts.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Yes, all those around us are private. We're requesting that Kanga attend the CD program partial day with daily social work/counseling and apply to the TDS for the first available opening.
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I have been researching public TDS for Chris and JJJ and drawing a blank on "model programs." I emaile dLIZZ (former mod) re: this topic but she hasn't gotten back to me.

    If I had been asked about the likelihood of a TDS being public or private, they are overwhelmingly private with school district picking up the cost for PLACEMENTS THAT THEY MAKE. If a school district makes the placement, then all IDEA protections under law apply. If it is "voluntary" parental placement, then virtually no rights exist. There are cases in which parents have received ex post facto reimbursement but it is VERY risky to assume that one will ever recover costs. I didn't.

    However, when school district avoid outplacements that children desperately need, then their parents' placements do not really seem "voluntary" but legally there are so considered.

    If you ave the opp't for a private TDS placement at public expense, I would look at this option VERY carefully because while not all are good, many are much better than what is available in public school. For one thing, these school do not have NCLB on their backs, and that changes the dynamic.