Trying to be assertive here....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I just got very brave. I received an email from the sp ed coordinator saying that "we" can tour that sp. ed. district in this one program for kids with fetal alcohol syndrome. UMMM, Quin doesn't have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). If he shares some similar behaviors, well ok but the program says it focus on their learning style etc.. and Q actually has strengths where their weaknesses are. He generalizes and remembers things once he learns them easily. So, I called the advocate who knows the director of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program and he said, we can see the entire range of programs and can stay there all day (does this seem a little different from when I wanted to stay the day at the SUN program in our district and was told I could stay an hour, uggg).

    So then I asked her, why in heck, for a tour, do I need the sp. ed. coordinator there? Can I ask that she not come? She said heck yeah... so I wrote an email in reply saying when I could go and that I would prefer to go with only my home psychiatric and advocate since it is just a tour. I said I realize that if we request placement then we all need to come to the table, but I would feel more comfortable going alone.

    What do I have to lose? They hate me anyway so??? It is so hard to be open with my questions, what I dont like about our district and what I want to know if they do differently, I want THEM to be able to say whatever they want to say without having to worry about being politically correct. If they say no??? What will I do then? Guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
     
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I thinK this is wonderful! I hope they don't horn in on your visit!
     
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If they say "no"... do you take the "1 hr" tour with them, and then get a full tour without?
    At least you have this in an email - (print, and forward to advocate... for future use).

    Why on earth would they be wanting you to see the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program? I'm guessing, it's because THEY think this is what Q needs. And if this is what he needs, then the things they are currently doing really would work well enough anyway... so you don't have to go to this independent school district. <loader bucket full of odourus agricultural output...>

    You will get that visit - on YOUR terms - even if it means two or three visits.
     
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Good for you. And why the heck does the sp. ed. director need to be there? If the answer is no-my next question is where is this in the policies?
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    <LIKE> <LIKE>
    Good question, exhausted!
     
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    GOOD FOR YOU!!! If they say no, you stay all day if you want and let them leave when they have to. Remind them that you are not on THEIR schedule. Let the program know you'd like a FULL tour with or without SpEd there. What is anyone, especially SpEd going to do, physically drag you out? LOL Now that is something I'd like to see!!! LOL Paints a pretty picture doesn't it??
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    WHY DOES SHE NEED TO BE THERE ANYWAY??? In virtually the same words, that was my very FIRST question.... I only can imagine it is to control what I say or to point out the obvious things that Q does that they perceive he should not be a part of. They are so so so stuck on the current behaviors and not at all thinking of who he is overall and what might be needed to help him work through any of it.

    I mean really??? they want him part of hte Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program???? THe description of that program does not even discuss any community of voc. training. barely even discusses academics. It is a program where my law advocate said she helped place a child who has so many behaviors and MOST of them are sexually inappropriate (grabbing women in privates, saying vile things WAY beyond the little grunt dances that Quinton does since the kid in teh hospital told him "this is what sex sounds like".... by the way taht has morphed into a hip wiggle like dancing ...it looks and sounds like he is dancing and singing to some song that you dont know the words to, it is a little humerous). CAN YOU IMAGINE??? how in heck would I ever get rid of that kind of behavior??? He would be so stuck in it. I was told he can't stay in school a fully day ANY day of the year. OH HELL NO... no way Q would be in that program and here is the difference between our dist and theirs. THERE is a choice...he doesn't have to be around him...it is a big school. It would not be in his face. they wouldn't have to teach Q that he could never leave a room unless they peaked out in the halls, yelled down taht everything was all clear so he never ran into any situations that might trigger him....uggg....I was shocked they said they were going to do that. So do they think we have to do that his whole life. HOw about teaching him to ignore an issue if it is int he halls. He has had that goal before when there were kids who tried to get him to come with them to run away on the playground or to do other silly things....or to stay out of other kids' problem situations. And he did well when they worked on that stuff. I still have the sheets from those times.

    I think the reasons they want me to see this Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program is to make me think...oh no way I want him in this district. AND also I think they only really know about this program since they met this director and had a kid long ago who was in the program. Finally, I think they see Quinton only in terms of aggression. NO matter that for 6 years those who directly worked with him (remember the director has seen Quinton ONCE and the coordinator a handful of times....never have seen him do anything inappropriate at all....they know NOTHING except what admin has complained about and what the IEP says should be goals... he is not even a person to them, I really believe that... the director was amazed when the current home bound teacher said he reads at a fifth grade level and is curious and asks questions about everything... he really wants to know. she said specifically that whoever works with him has to know that he is not doing anything to personally or intentionally hurt them because she just doesn't see that at all. She said when he is given things to do, he does ALL of them. THEN, he is too busy to do other things, he is engaged. She said when he blurts she just distracts him. The director seemed to think this was unusual and not really the point.

    I think if they come to the tour, they will only want to see that, will say over and over, well you know, he does hit sometimes. (my law advocate says they have NO CLUE what the kids do at this program... she said Q does not even come one tenth close to how violent and verbally obscene they are)

    So glad advocate knows the director of that program and by the way he is a cpi trainer and one of the experts she showed the restraint report and pics to and he was disgusted... He also has said about that kid who does the sexually inappropriate stuff....that regardless of what one independent person suggests, restraint of that kid only escalates him and they should use every single other option to not have to touch him or restrain him!

    Oh please, the worry over this little thing, I just need to let it go for tonight.

    Tomorrow I will see her in person. Tomorrow is the day we are going to talk to the district SUN2 program and going to see if they can provide the continuum of services that I am asking for. I actually printed out the descriptions of the other district programs to use as wording for what I want, LOL

    I PRAY there is some place for him in this alt. district. I really do.
     
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Compared to what I shared before of some of the other programs, here is the description of this Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program

    Target Population: The target population includes students with a medical diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), who need more intensive services than are provided by other programs.

    Student PROFILE: Students have significant behavioral challenges related to their diagnosis of FASD including: difficulty generalizing
    information (A STRENGTH FOR Q), sensory overload (HE IS SENSORY SEEKING USUALLY), tactile defensiveness (Q seeks to touch, WANTS TOUCH AND NEEDS IT IN TERMS OF DEEP PRESSURE), impulse control (YES, HE HAS THIS AS DO THE DESCRIPTIONS OF KIDS IN THE OTHER PROGRAMS, slow cognitive pace (WELL IF THAT MEANS HAS DELAYS...THAT IS TRUE, IF IT MEANS HE NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT IN tiny STEPS TAKING A WEEK TO DO WHAT OTHERS DO IN A DAY...NOPE. HE LEARNS QUICKLY WHEN IT IS PRESENTED AT HIS LEVEL), deficits in executive function (CLEARLY YES FOR Q, BUT ALSO COVERED IN OHTERS OF THEIR PROGRAMS), and a marked dismaturity compared to same age peers (AGAIN, TRUE FOR Q BUT TRUE FOR MOST COGNTIVELY DELAYED AND/OR Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) KIDS). The students have a need for a setting which includes a rich staff to student ratio(THEIR WHOLE DISTRICT IS DESIGNED THIS WAY). Customized classroom space is available at <a certain site> (OK AGAIN, THEY SAY THEIR ENTIRE NEW BUILDING IS DESIGNED THAT WAY AND IT IS MENTIONED IN SEVERAL OTHERS OF THEIR PROGRAMS)

    Program Mission: seeks to provide a supportive environment that stabilizes behavior in order that students successfully master
    academic, social/emotional, and life-skill goals through individualized interventions, which may lead to reintegration
    and successful life experiences.
    (SOUNDS NICE, BUT SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE VERY ISOLATED AND ONLY ALLOWED TO DO THINGS ONCE THEY CAN PROVE THEMSELVES.... AGAIN, DESPITE WHAT THE ADMIN SAYS ABOUT Q HE HAS NEVER ONCE HAD AN ISSUE ON A FIELD TRIP OR EVEN DURING AN ASSEMBLY OR ANYTHING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN SPECIAL EVENTS. HE DOES WELL IN INTEGRATED THINGS 90% OF THE TIME... I JUST THINK IT IS SO WRONG TO NOT ALLOW ANY OF IT FOR HIM AND RESTRICT HIM SO MUCH, HE IS ALREADY MISERABLE WITH HOW THINGS WERE AND IT ONLY MADE HIM MORE ANXIOUS AND MORE LIKELY TO HAVE BEHAVIORS... I MEAN WHAT ELSE WAS HE TO DO??)


    Compared to the other descriptions I shared, this one has for the program components ONE paragraph. Basically says they focus on individualized academics. One of the program locations is in a general building they use. the other is in a locked facility where the kids go through metal detectors and have their stuff searched and there are guards all around the building.

    I think our sp ed director/coordinator are OUT OF THEIR EVER LOVING MINDS
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In real-life terms? I totally agree with you. As in, how can any logical person who knows Q or has even read his file, think that this is a fit? It isn't.

    In edu-babble-CYA terms? If they can get you to place him THERE, you will have vindicated THEM and cleared them of any and all wrong-doing. I can see why they WANT you to do this. They are not out of their minds. They are just totally 100% uninterested in what is good for Q. And you already know that.

    So... no. You do NOT wish to tour the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) program, because it is precisely the type of program that will destroy Q. You and your advocate will hold out on this... and will NOT tour until it is on YOUR terms. And on top of that you know that there ARE programs that are as close as you can get to "designed for Q". Under the same admin.

    What do they think YOU are? Stupid? Slow? Clueless?
    They're in for a rude awakening.
     
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member




    And I think you are right. It makes me so sad. It also makes me think, though I would like NOT to think this way....that this tiny program in our district, they are going to think of him this way too and history has shown that if the focus is on behavior rather than everything else he loves, needs etc... that the behavior increases. When the focus is on how to get him to be in a class longer, to get more work done, to learn the material in a way that suits his learning style, etc.... ALL behavior, even the blurts, interruptions of others teaching etc... have gone WAY WAY Down. We know what works, now lets do it.

    when I was first told that it seemed like the staff had a directive to not do the right thing, I thought that was paranoid thinking. THEN he actually said in a meeting, I am telling my staff to.... all those things he said, just ugly and not part of his bip and IEP and the coordinator said she told him that we have a process.....but now having heard her say that so much, yet not follow the process fully....only to the degree that covers her from what the school admin was doing that even she knew was wrong, well....I think she too contributed to this. So, if it can happen at this big school, it can happen in this little one so easily.

    I feel like it is so unreal because I have never worked in a setting where we were told to all do X or document Y etc. NEVER. So it seems so foreign to think in terms of people being so evil.
     
  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Buddy - sending you strength.

    Couple of thoughts. First one sounds paranoid but... I don't think I am. It is not unheard of for a district to make school so utterly unpalatable for kids/parents that in the end, dropping out seems like the best option. Went thru it with- Boo and no 1:1 nurse for a full quarter, ergo no school for a full quarter. School wins if they frustrate you to point of leaving. I wonder if by so obsessively gate-keeping what programs you see, school district is perhaps trying to box you in.

    Second thought - You need to find your own continuum of services since school district is dragging their feet so badly (how long has Q been out of school now?) *and* since, thus far, it doesn't sound like they've found a program you like. Advocate probably knows, or check the state dept of ed - somewhere there is a listing of private schools. Perhaps there's one in there that will more appropriately fit Q's needs.

    When my difficult child was essentially expelled (don't ask, long story, but staff was *really* good at triggering him, ;) ) from the sped therapeutic school at age 13, we did home-bound for a short period of time. In the meantime, my school district gave me free reign to look at other options (I suspect because they only had him for 6 more mos and then he'd be HS school district's problem, LOL). Not once did anyone from school district arrange or attend those school tours with- me, or even direct me to a particular school, which was fine by me because by that time we'd been doing the difficult child thing for over 6 years and I knew what I was doing. He ended up in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #3 shortly thereafter so it became moot.

    Now when he left the same sped therapeutic school at age 8, school district did direct me to the next placement (hardcore BD), but again, I toured on my own.

    Nowhere is it written that a parent cannot find an appropriate placement. You don't want to unilaterally place him because you could very well end up footing the bill, but I think it would be a *really* good idea for you to see what else is out there. Next meeting, you could walk in and say, "Well I've looked at Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and SUN and the issues I see are XYZ. I also looked at Program ABC, LMN, STU. They offer 123 and 789, and I believe are a far more appropriate placement for Q."

    Deep breaths. Many good wishes for today's visit.
     
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Once again I admire your tenacity and am so glad you have some support. Seems like this endurance contest is not going to be over soon and I'm sure it must be emotionally exhausting to stay in full alert mode for such an extended period. You're doing a fine job of advocating with appropriate temperament.
    We're all on your side. DDD
     
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Way To Go Buddy:warriorsmiley::D!! Being too nice, just makes you a doormat. You're so right - You have absolutely nothing to lose but everything to gain!! Love that your advocate and psychiatrist will go with you!! SFR
     
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    This is exactly what we did when fighting for an appropriate placement for difficult child 2. We found three programs we liked on paper, husband and I visited them, asked zillions of questions, and talked about each one together. We thought all three might be appropriate for difficult child 2. We brought him to two of these (third required permission from sped director), had him evaluated by staff to make sure he was a good "fit," then sent his neuropsychologist and (? mind is a bit foggy) to tour them as well. difficult child 2's doctors wrote reports as well as the staff at each school.

    While we weren't able to get the school to foot the bill for either program, the visits were still worthwhile. The reports generated helped us get additional services for difficult child 2 that we wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

    As always, thinking of you and Q... SFR

    P.S. I think the second provider's official title was Educational Consultant with a few other letters after her name, lol... Still thinking...
     
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I've been saying this all along. It is exactly what we went through and our principal came as close to admitting that goal as possible without saying the exact words...but oh, so close.

    I whole-heartedly agree. If this school costs 100,000 a year, the advocate is right. They are scared. Go for the BEST fit for Q. See places on your own. They can't exactly stop you but now that you're FINALLY angry enough to push back, time to gather the *ammo*. Get information about every school/program out there, realistic or not. Tour the ones that sound good. Look at them
    ALL. Basically, the school is STILL trying to control things. They gave up that right the minute they assaulted Q. You and he are the victims and they are the perpetrators. They know you have a legal leg to stand on. Why else would they be willing to dish out 100,000 a year? Make them spend that money in a place that is right for Q. THEIR choices are not your only choices. So far, you're still kind of playing by their rules so to speak. Look at what's out there. Find the BEST for Q.
     
  16. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    You can look for the "best" for Q, but when presenting options and concerns to school district, make sure you use "appropriate" and "inappropriate" rather than "best". IDEA guarantees FAPE - not FBPE (free and best). I had a sped dir that just jumped all over me when I made the mistake of saying "best", LOL.
     
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    wow, somehow I missed the last several posts on this thread and I just wanted to thank you all again. I have called the dept of ed but for public, hadn't thought about private... I did send in an app for one private autism school that is close. IT is lottery though because they are mostly full. So, not holding my breath. I am considering every single thing all of you post so thank you very very much!
     
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