What's the best approach for this...and is this really a viable argument?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Brief history - Wee was reduced to partial days 3 years ago in school due to behavior (and the school's lack of ability to provide him appropriate support). Illegally, I might add, but, it is what we are working with now. One of my main goals has been to get him back into full days at school with appropriate support. Last year, school district finally hired a dedicated aid and kept him mostly in the resource room, and once those changes were made, his behaviors all but stopped and he started to stay at school and learn. As each month passed that he met his behavior goals, we have been adding a few minutes to his day. The school refused to add any significant amount of time to his day at one time, for fear of rocking the boat, so I agreed to 15 minutes per increase.

    He qualified for his second increase this year. Actually was to happen on 10/3, but things at home were "off" that day, so I requested the extension begin mid-week last week.

    The school came back to me and said they would be putting him back in the mainstream room, during regular math instruction, without para support (his para and his sped teacher are both busy during that time) for this next extension. I refused to allow it to happen. He is very behind in academics, so he will gain nothing from the instruction. His sped teacher and I both think it is a setup for failure. He needs to get back to a full day with support before we start looking at pulling supports back. He can't make up 3 years of academics on partial days. He also has no business in the mainstream room. Don't get me wrong, I want him there so he feels a part of his class and learns to be in that environment, but he can not be educated there.

    So, we talked about starting the extended day today. However, they don't have a plan. Sped teacher is digging in her heels about sticking him in mainstream (thank goodness). As am I. But apparently, the powers that be are digging in theirs, as well, saying they don't have an aid or a sped teacher for him for that time frame, and he's doing well, so he'll be fine in the mainstream room.

    He has 1:1 support for the entire time he's in the building written into his IEP. Would it be considered a change of placement if they try to pull that support away?

    I am not happy at all that he is not getting his extra time today. I'm just not sure which approach to take to let them know this needs to happen yesterday and I intend to force the issue....
     
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    It is absolutely a change of placement if they pull that aide (placement is *services*, not geographical place) - and, once again, I'm wondering what in the heck these people are thinking? Increase length of time in building, throw him into mainstream math class (after 3 *years* of their *$&%* shortened school day bologna), and pull the aide all at the same time??? Thank goodness sped teacher is backing you up on this - because it's sabotage, clear and simple, in my humble opinion.

    They don't have an aide for that time frame? Too bad - IEP says he needs one - hire one. Period. End of discussion. *Or* you'd be more than happy to give them the opportunity to explain to a hearing officer/civil judge on why they have shown a continued pattern of failing to provide FAPE in LRE. For 3 unbelievable years!

    You know how this will play out. Wee will justifiably and understandably be unable to manage in mainstream math, school district is going to say "Oh, he can't handle extended times in bldg", and once again, he's going to be getting less than half the education he's entitled to.

    It may be time to seriously consider getting DOE/courts involved in this, because I really think school district is going to keep on with- this junk until someone with- the power to force them to comply with- IDEA gets very forcefully involved.
     
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    OY! I wish I knew for sure, but it sounds like it to me. As far as I know "We don't have", "We can't afford" are NOT valid reasons to break the IEP.

    Since you know his shortened day is done illegally, can you try holding that over their heads? Is there any appropriate placement locally for him? Public or private? If this were me, I would have had my advocate in long ago. At least in my experience, and for my son's needs, she only has to show up once to get everyone doing things legally.
     
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Exactly, Sue. They'll set him up to fail and claim he can't handle the length of the day! I know it just like you know it.

    FWIW, I think this plan was truly a stupid new person speaking. The principal, who just started this year, came up with it without any discussion with anyone, and I truly think she doesn't know any better (which is exactly why she should stay out of it.) However, its obvious now that she's also not letting the ones who DO know what Wee needs make an appropriate plan. I'm sending another kinda-nasty-gram to the sped dir, and calling their attorney again.
     
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Keista, I can't do anything about the length of day now. Too much time has passed, so I am just trying to build from where we are.
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We're behind you!
     
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Shari - I know you're working really hard with- the school district, and I understand why, but I really don't think the fact that school district has been shortening his day (illegally) for so long precludes you from forcing it to stop now. I don't think the 2-year time limit would apply in this case since the school district is continuing to deny him education *today*. You might not get 3 years of compensatory education, but... at this rate, you're getting the opposite of compensatory education still. The school district has really botched his education and placed an undue burden on him (and you) in order to ever have a chance of catching up.

    I know you've finessed things with- school district to try to get a decent plan to get him back in school full-time, but I think should the time ever come when you're tired of waiting for them to get their act together, or if they keep pulling this bologna, you should *not* be deterred in drawing a line in the sand and demanding that they provide FAPE today. They gave you zero options to the abbreviated school day 3 years ago, and they continue (in my humble opinion) to give you zero options.

    This was not a one-time violation of IDEA 3 years ago - it is ongoing and therefore, when/if the time comes, you have as valid a case today as you did then.
     
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Shari--

    My best advice at this point?

    Punch 'em!
     
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    They got me, Sue, when they got the shortened day in the IEP. And that was pure oversight on my part. I've talked to DOE and according to them, there's not much I can do about that particular piece. Its a loophole, its crooked as hell, its denying him FAPE and LRE and everything else, but its now legal because its in the IEP that he's on a shortened day and that covers their ass for what they're doing.

    Now, if he stops making progress academically (and with all of this mainstream time, I expect that to happen, quite frankly) then we can use that avenue, as well. After all, he IS of high-everage intelligence, so they would need to scramble to find an excuse why he's not being educated. The downfall of the IEP - progress is all they need.
     
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    Hahahahahaha, Daisy! Funny!
     
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get an attorney to punch 'em.

    As in... for every loophole, there is a way around it.
     
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I've had good luck so far just using their own against them....
     
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    And sounds like they could end up paying for lots of missed school...can you say private special needs school, very very expensive one?????

    added 4 minutes later:
    oh I just caught up on the rest of your posts....darn! Well, I do agree with those that are saying there still must be a way to fight it...it just seems so terrible. Did you say you also called your disability law center? I just followed everyones advice, they said they will call me back in 2 weeks, but when I added that I already got another call today they said they will probably call this week. smile.
     
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'd probably just hire their sped teacher privately.
     
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    It could be fought, but it would be a very expensive battle, because we can't use the smoking gun (the initially shortened day). We would have to prove that he could have maintained in school for full days for this entire time with appropriate support that the school refused to give. And while I know he could, and you know he could, and Sue knows he could, and Insane knows he could, and....we would likely be proving this to people who DON'T deal with difficult child's. Laymen, as they say. And we all know what our kids look like to the layman's eye...

    I have a close contact at DOE. Unfortunately, today is the dumbest holiday in the history of holidays and DOE is closed, otherwise, I'd have that contact give the sped dir a call and remind her that this case is on their radar and Wee actually qualified for the extension a week ago... In the meantime, I have sent a simple email to the sped dir just stating that since this is the day it was to have started, I trust there will be a plan in place directly or we will be meeting directly to discuss options. If that doesn't garner a response, I'll call their attorney again and tell him. That generally gets a fire under their tails.

    Perhaps I should remind them that the maintenance man can handle Wee quite well, and I'm sure he has 15 minutes to come spend some time with Wee...
     
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In fact... might not be a bad idea, either. It gives the school an "out" for the moment (while you force them to work it through) and still gets Wee his next in real life increment without being in a mainstream without support...

    ---
    Separate thought - We needed therapist and psychiatrist to both show up at a meeting, in order to force aid to be present for 100% of academic classes... the school "didn't have the resources"... psychiatrist and therapist said "this student doesn't have any options... resources or else". They jumped. (not quite fast enough for my liking, but they did jump)
     
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    They won't do it, but this guy did walk in on Wee's one and only bump this year and he just stepped in and took over and Wee was back in class in less than 10 minutes...(I have to admit that I find humor in the fact that the diesel mechanic gets it and can deal with it...and honestly think that's why they won't use him)

    I've used the doctor route before, also. The district wanted to talk to his doctor, so I set up a meeting for them all with his developmental pediatrician. They sat around the table for 2 hours and said "but HOW do we stop him when he's having a tantrum? What do we do?" And his doctor sat there for 2 hours and said "You don't. You stop before he gets ****** off to begin with." They didn't get it then, either.

    The principal that actually shortened his day way back when? I sat there in a meeting with that man and told him they needed to be proactive with Wee, head him off at the pass, prevent him from getting to the point of having a tantrum. The principal's reply? "I am being proactive. I told Wee if he doesn't behave, he can't come back to school."

    Really???

    And that's when I realized that particular character in the cast was a complete waste of time and space.
     
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I don't get why they won't use the maintenance man... they DO here - and we're NOT progressive AT ALL.
    The theory here is... if all parties agree, and it works, and it doesn't cost any more money - then do it.

    I know one school where one of the janitorial staff has multiple learning disabilities... and they have worked his job description so he spends an average of 30 mins a day working with kids from the resource room... the kids LOVE him (he is NOT a teacher... and he really DOES understand what its like to not be heard...), and the results are amazing.
     
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I agree, Insane. Here, I honestly think its a pride thing...what does it say about their "highly trained staff" when most of them can't do it, but the diesel mechanic can?

    Ironically, though, this guy's boss is also the person who is supposed to handle the district's responses to behavior problems now. Tho boss-man may be canned, too, because he's also supposed to handle the bus drivers, and one of those just crashed a bus and got arrested for driving without a license for the past who-knows-how-many months/years...
     
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Dump the blanketty-blank training in the garbage can... not literally - but really, there is no possible way to train somebody for every possible situation. There will ALWAYS be unusual situations where unusual solutions are called for.

    I know stories of a Janitor that did math tutoring, for the kids that the teachers couldn't find a way to teach math... and was successful 90% of the time. The school recognized that he had a gift for reaching the unusual student - because he had been one too. The point isn't that this mechanic is in any way a teacher - doesn't replace teacher skills at all. What it does do... is gives a kid in an unusual situation, an unusual opportunity to grow and learn to cope... which will in the long run make teaching possible.

    Fiddlesticks - it could be the gardener, the window washer... or even the principal (NOT in this case... but I've known one or two who could and did).

    But I know what you mean... there is just no way to get this stuff through their stuffed-up overeducated under-utilized brain-cases. (had some of those too)
     
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