what is appropriate?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Liahona, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    My difficult child 1 needs a one on one aide to learn in school. He had an aide last year and they still just barely were getting him to work. This year he doesn't have an aide.

    He is a very smart kid. He isn't a huge behavior problem until you push him to work. (He can get violent in social situations but that is a once or twice a year event, and normally at the end of the school year.) Because he was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (where they got him to work) and he is very smart he is actually ahead of the others. At the rate he is going he isn't going to stay ahead.

    The principal is great in this school. Its the school district I'm fighting.

    The school is supposed to provide free appropriate public education. What does appropriate mean? Do I have to wait until difficult child 1 is behind everyone before pointing out the education they are providing isn't appropriate?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm Canadian - your sig doesn't say, but I'm guessing US. So my comments may not apply so much, but just in case...

    We've found that schools won't give you much unless:
    1) its a standard learning disability that is supported by their testing and for which they have a standardized approach (for example, dyslexia)
    2) its a major, visible disability - where if they don't throw resources at it, everyone is down their throat (severely disabled, for example)
    3) you have well-documented accommodations recommended by appropriate health professionals - psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, etc.

    What do you have for documented recommendations?
    For example, when he left Residential Treatment Center (RTC), were there recommendations for how to handle him in school?
    If you've got "documentation" to back your request for an aide, for example, its harder for them to argue against.
    Success when trying a particular approach is NOT enough to continue that approach.

    Meanwhile... just my opinion - if the diagnosis is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... he should be in line for major accommodations. But Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) isn't a nice, neatly defined diagnosis - there's a whole range of needs in there. What steps have been taken to define the edges of his limitations? For example, Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), etc.? He may have other specific issues - whether within the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) label or not - that are causing the behaviors. You may need to dig further to find these - and to get documented recommendations for accommodations.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion the schools should accommodate the kids so they can function at their intelligence level. If they have a high IQ they should be getting A's and B's. Average IQ, then C's and B's - maybe occasional D. The standard for need, and I don't know the exact phrasing is "working below their abilities". I have to remind my schools that it's below my kids' abilities, not their peers' because my kids are highly intelligent.

    Do you know what worked to make him work at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? That would be the first thing I'd try and find out. One on one aide is nice, but try to get a different one. The last one didn't seem to "reach" him so what's the point? Finding out what specifically is keeping him from doing his work is key. With my son it always seems to be something different. Sometimes it's just the subject matter - can't do much about that. Sometimes it's an overly decorated classroom. Sometimes it's a noisy classroom, other times, it's group work, writing vs typing, perseveration on a completely different topic (his sisters are bugging him, but he's at school)

    But no, I don't think he should be behind everyone before he gets the help he needs. He shouldn't even be "behind himself" before he gets help. He should be getting the help to keep him on track, equal to his intellectual abilities.
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    He isn't on medications right now so he doesn't see a psychiatrist. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) said they can tell the school district what they did that worked but can't make recommendations because the school district will be able to get the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to have to pay for the recommendations they suggest. Stupid? yes, but that is what is happening here. The therapist that sees him suggests the one on one aide and has gone to the school district to talk to them about it. He was told it would violate Least Restrictive Behavior Intervention. I was not there to point out that it wouldn't be because he can not learn with out one and a severe behavior classroom placement isn't acceptable because he would be learn different severe behaviors (wwe'd be making the problem worse.)

    What worked in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was an incredibly small class, lots of adults per kid (8 kids and 12 adults), lots of positive reinforcement (at least every 15 min, mostly more often than 15 min), accommodations like letting him run up and down the hall when he got fidgety, having a wiggle seat (seat that keeps the kid slightly off balance so they are have to wiggle to stay in there seat, having a weighted vest, letting him do 90% of his school work on a computer and just interacting with the class when it was group time (the whole curriculum was on the computer).

    When he got out of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Feb. We tested for speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), and any hearing problems. (The principal is great here and really wants to give his teachers enough support.) The testing came back that he didn't have any problems in those areas. The teacher and I pointed out that the testing wasn't congruent with what was going on in the classroom. The school district agreed (after we produced writing samples) to an device that he can type on to take notes and do his work in class so that he will keep up with the class better.

    He was tested by a neuropsychologist. I'm going to have to go digging in his file to see exactly what she said. I'll get back to you with that. I do remember she didn't make many recommendations about school and she didn't say he needs a one on one aide. He was in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for this neuropsychologist appointment and I don't think she thought that far into the future about her recommendations.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    The school can easily accommodate the stuff I bolded. I had to fight to get my son assisted technology (laptop). His Occupational Therapist (OT) writing samples were BEAUTIFUL! Problem was that they were just short sentences and he had all the time in the world to complete them. That doesn't translate well into note taking and essay tests. Fortunately the teacher he had that year was more than willing to help. We took samples of his essays from school and essays from home (he did his homework on computer at home) to the next IEP meeting. The team agreed he needed a laptop since the computer work was A+ and the handwritten work was barely a D. And to be clear, we're talking quality of work, not the legibility of it.

    So, if they are balking at assisted technology, give it to him at home, and then you can PROVE that his work improves with such an accommodation.
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If they would have him do his academic work on the computer it would negate the need for a one on one aide. This school district doesn't have the curriculum on the computer. I wish they did. It'd make everyone's lives easier that have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    difficult child 1 does have behavior charts where he earns smiling faces every few min. which he turns in for computer time. They tried the weighted vest and wiggle seat and difficult child 1 didn't seem to care if he had it or not.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    All well and good, but did he function better with them without them or the same? there have been a few things in the past (at this point I have no recollection what they were) that son really didn't care about, but the staff and I noticed that he did function better with them so they stayed. I do think a wiggle seat was one of them. Once it was gone (the following year) he did notice it missing and wanted it back. HE finally realized he worked better with it.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You say they dont have the work on the computer but really, is there any reason he cant just type up his answers on one?

    Gosh Im glad my kids are done with school.
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    They will let him type his answers on a computer. Its the learning that he is having a problem with. Using a computer to get the information in his head in the first place would be ideal. The second best option is a one on one aide to help him stay focused. (We've tried every medication we can to get him to focus and nothing works. We've been told this by 2 psychiatrists.) The aide would also be teaching organizational skills, social skills, managing sensory issues, ect...

    I'm just wondering what the schools (or courts) consider appropriate education because I know he is going to go backwards this year with out an aide.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Again - I'm Canadian, so take this with a grain of salt...

    1) aides cost LOTS of money = hard to get unless you have all sorts of "paper" that says its the only thing that works
    2) schools are not required to teach your child in the manner they learn best - they have to provide "reasonable" accommodations, which in practice means they will do what they "can" to enable your child to learn the same way as the rest of the students. The only exception to that is... the extreme special needs classrooms - and you're right, those are not appropriate for every kid.

    Here? The school would be subtilly forcing you to homeschool. That way, YOU control the content and the delivery and provide the "aide" service... it becomes YOUR problem and (to some extent **) YOUR expense.
    ** many SDs will provide access to on-line courses "free" to home-schooled kids in their district - but you may not be able to access the on-line courses from within the school itself. (don't ask me to explain why - because I really haven't figured that out)
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I've been doing some research on Wrightslaw and he would have to be going backwards in his education before the school district would really have to do something. Which he just might do this school year. I have a meeting on Monday to go over his IEP with the new teacher. I don't see how she is going to implement the goals while teaching the rest of the class without an aide.