Tigger & School

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We have our official IEP meeting next week but I spoke with the teacher today and she said that the school's plan was to have the first half of the meeting where we set goals and related services and then suspend the meeting so I would have a chance to hear their arguments both for and against two different placement options and then be able to go and see them both.

    The top two options for next year are the ED and Learning Disability (LD) self-contained rooms. Both classrooms have good staff and supportive admins (per several parents and current teacher).

    1. ED Self-Contained
    Pros: able to handle behavior issues
    Cons: academically at 5th-8th grade level (Tigger is at 2nd-3rd)
    about 30 minutes away by car, so 45-60 by bus??
    possible bullies in room
    Kids: most kids with mental illness or other emotional issues

    2. Learning Disability (LD) Self-Contained
    Pros: local school with neighborhood kids
    Tigger's choice
    Cons: academically at K-1st grade level
    Kids: most kids with higher functioning Down Syndrome

    Tigger's behavior issues have become only a small part of his school experience but he could still have meltdowns and needs staff that can follow a BIP. While both rooms have kids with BIPs, the ED room has every kid with a BIP.

    The whole 'mainstreaming push' has really eliminated the options for kids like Tigger as kids at his academic level are expected to be mainstreamed for half the day and in sped classrooms just for reading and math.

    I'm leaning toward the Learning Disability (LD) room because
    1. Tigger wants to stay at the local school.
    2. Hopefully less aggressive/bullying classmates
    3. More focus on academics rather than behaviors

    Just brainstorming here...maybe place Tigger in the Learning Disability (LD) room and then have him go to the 'higher' sped room for math?

    I am going to go and observe both classrooms and interview both teachers and social workers before I have to express a preference. I get the impression that the school will go with my preference as they aren't 100% wedded to keeping him on the ED track, but I think that would be their default if I told them to choose.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Refresh my memory. Does Tigger currently have 1:1 support in the mainstream classes? If not, is that an option? In your honest opinion, do you agree that he can't handle mainstream classes with certain supports? The reason I'm asking is because after my difficult child began going to a Resource Room for 2 classes, he has decided he likes the atmosphere and NO pressure there so much that now he wants to be in there all day. He is sabotaging his success in the regular classes to achieve that goal, trying to prove that he NEEDS to be there. My difficult child is smart and does well until he's faced with something that is a little challenging. He melts down, we talk about it and I help him with the work and then he is fine. In my case, pulling him out has not been all I was hoping it would be.

    Good luck.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Tigger CANNOT be mainstreamed. He is in the self-contained ED room for 4th-6th graders and will be in 7th grade next year. He goes to PE/Fine Arts and Lunch/Recess with the mainstream kids with an aide for 2-3 kids. in my humble opinion putting a kid who is reading at the 2nd grade level into a mainstream classroom is cruel. I fought long and hard to get him out of the mainstream classes (course Tigger helped by having total meltdowns that resulted in them having to clear the room so the social worker could get to him).

    Eeyore sounds more like your son. Eeyore academically very close to average but we have been unable to get him out of the resourse room because emotionally he cannot handle the stress. He has been bugging his teachers all year to keep giving him harder work. He thrives in the resource room and is on 1st honors with no modifications during his 4 mainstream classes. He will be in resource for most of his high school classes next year (our high school is awesome, they redid our resource level classes about 3 years ago and they now all use the same textbook as the reg ed classes and the NCAA now considers them the same class). He just NEEDS half of his day in a lower stress environment where he doesn't have to be as worried about kids thinking his Aspie-ness is "weird"
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i think your plan sounds great and makes total sense. i think i'd do exact same! i wish you luck i hope that classroom is everything you want it to be when you go sit in.
  5. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    my concern for #1 would depend on the child and how naive they are and how susceptible they might be to "learning new tricks" and how much they struggle with social stuff. strongly consider what the mix of this class is--depending on your district it can mean the last stop before jail or just a catch all for the kids that dont fit in a better room. Two pretty different things--and most likely no one will come out and tell you. you'll probably have to go with your instinct on that one.

    honestly, i wouldnt be so concerned with the academic makeup of any of the 3 options (inc. mainstream)...as any of them can be modified to meet tiggers needs...i'd be more concerned with the UNacademic nuances of the classes. i'd also be asking the question you already asked--if you go with the Learning Disability (LD) room, is there competent staff to implement his BIP appropriately...i can't imagine they wouldnt be able to handle it, but its a worthwhile question.

    looking at all the options before you decide is a great idea.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'd definitely be leaning toward the Learning Disability (LD) setting. First and foremost because of the academic level. Putting Tigger into a room where he is going to always be "behind" doesn't sound like a postive environment to begin with...and then adding bullies who are likely to tease him for being behind? Ugh! No.

    on the other hand - I believe teachers are usually able to give kids more challenging work if they have already mastered the lesson at hand. So the academic level in the Learning Disability (LD) room is likely to be more positive for Tigger as he feels he can master the material and move ahead. (Con - if he is the type to "act out" when he is bored? Will the teachers be able to keep him engaged and interested?)

    I really like the idea of being able to observe the classes and meet the teachers before placement. I think that will give you a lot of answers...
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks all. I spoke with Tigger and just asked him if he liked last year better where he was the one doing the hardest work or if he likes this year better where the other kids do the harder work. He immediately answered, I liked being the smartest. Guess I know which one he'd pick :)

    He doesn't act our when bored but he definitely acts out when he feels 'stupid' or 'frustrated'.

    One of the other good things about our area is that at 6th grade there are seperate options for ED and BD. There is a seperate BD building with 5 or 6 classrooms (Kanga was there briefly.) While there is no hard and fast rules for who goes where, from what I have seen the BD building is more for kids without remorse when they act out, kids that aren't really safe at a mainstream school.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks for clarifying things for me. My "oldtimers" seems to be getting worse lately. I like Tigger's answer when you asked him. If he can get a sense of self-esteem like that, I think that is where he needs to be. As long as they are willing to continue to challenge him in very small steps so he can keep that spirit, GO FOR IT!
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Wish me luck -- the meeting is in the morning!

    I have seen and agreed to all of the draft goals. I was very impressed with the social work goals (which surprised me as I haven't been too impressed with the new social worker). The teacher checked the box that says goals to be worked on during ESY so hopefully that means he'll get the summer school I asked for (there are 2 different summer school programs, one is social skills only and the other is academic, I want the academic one!).
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Good Luck! Let us know how it goes.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    The IEP went well. The teacher cried :) she was so proud of how much Tigger has accomplished this year.

    On the good side...
    1. The goals are great.
    2. Academic summer school was approved and current teacher will be sending all of the work for him to do so it remains consistent.
    3. All services remain the same.

    I need to wait until late March to go visit the possible jr high classrooms. One of the supervisors whispered to me that they are considering opening a new classroom that would be ideal for Tigger so they want to stall a while to see if they get approval for the new class. It would be in the school that I really want.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    For all of it. Honestly it's great that Tigger has gotten so far... And I'm crossing body parts that they DO the new classroom...
  13. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    That sounds wonderful for Tigger. Since he's not a behavioral issue for the most part, the Learning Disability (LD) class is where he stands a chance of learning.

    As for his reading, have they ever tried Orton-Gillingham or Wilson methods with him? My dyslexic easy child learned so fast that he actually reads above grade level (he's in 9th now). The methods when explained to me were so amazingly simple. In fact, my school district now incorporates some of them into all reading at the beginning primary level. They are also suited, in my opinion, to a child who has trouble sitting still because the required tapping lets them move their fingers and/or feet without getting yelled at.

    How will the new classroom be structured?
  14. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    This sounds wonderful!!! I am so happy for both of you. :bigsmile: I'm with Step, all body parts crossed here too.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I believe they are looking at making a 2nd Learning Disability (LD) room with higher functioning kids like him.

    He currently does SRA Corrective Reading and Lexia. He'll be starting Read Naturally soon. He has done Wilson in the past. He can read individual words through the end of 3rd grade level. His big problem is fluency and some isolated sounds -- the same sounds he can't pronounce well when he speaks.

    Tigger is VERY bummed that his classroom for next year wasn't decided at the meeting. He really wants the home school. Having to wait another couple months is depressing him :(