bit confused on what to do about this one......

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i posted on another thread how difficult child is transitioning into middle school etc. i'm trying to find a medication to reduce anxiety and her her sleeping. all my supports, psychdoc, therapist all gone now. just me. yup scarey!

    so, in this middle school they do things quite differently they group them up into color groups. there are no buddies which i was hoping for, someone from an older grade to help them around for the first week or so.

    difficult child's schedule is kinda insane she's bouncing all over the bldg. alone. well, winds up a kid with a 504 gets put on a team with no other kids she knows. granted difficult child has minimal friends, yet a familiar face would of helped maybe just maybe she'd have someone to accompany her to classes or she'd actually talk to someone.

    so, not one kid. i checked her rather small list of friends (2) of them and even kids that she isnt' friends with just kids from her old school. no one. i thought for sure the last review we had at her elementary school when they assured me they'd team her up appropriately they meant it.

    what do i do?? she's already anxiety ridden about it, was hoping her stepbrother would be in her group he's not even. do i send her in, and than head straight to office to talk to someone or do i just keep my fingers crossed on this one and hope she survives.

    either way we are planning for worst so that if things turn out well we will be pleasantly surprised. i'm prepared to fight for home tutors if need be if she cant' hack it.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! I think I'd walk right in with her and go to the office and ask to speak to the Special Education teacher/coordinator. Quite often, IEP's nor 504's are readily available on the 1st day so I'd bring a copy with me. I'd tell them exactly what you said here and let her/him know what was said at the end of the school year at her original school.

    Personally, I think that they'd be very much appreciative if they had the opportunity to meet you and difficult child and allow them to get to know her for who SHE is and what type of support you expect from them. It's up front, out in the open and she'll see Mom in action - always a positive.

    Just finished washing the floors and I'm beat so I'm headed up to bed. If I dream up any more ideas I'll post away!

    By the way - what a joke of a storm. Do you know I single-handedly prevented it? Yup I did! I cleared the deck, battoned down the pool stuff, did some food shopping, checked all prescriptions and made sure all of the laundry was finished. But that's not what did it. Give up? I put batteries in the flashlight! That'll stop ANY storm out there!

    Have a good night!

  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Beth thanks. and yes maybe you did keep the storm away lol.

    ill tell you i'm not the same person i was, her issues lack of sleep constant daily summer all day with-me no friends i don't know where i exist anymore in this life of mine. sounds dramatic but i cry everyday in privacy, i dread waking up. i used to love a new day, it's truly pathetic.

    i'm afraid to do that only because than she'll miss first class and possibly use it as an excuse to manipulate and get out of school. she's very crafity and manipulative and nasty lately. she isn't the same difficult child she was a year ago. shes' vile now. truly. i love her yet she's disrespectful and changed alot. i dread waking up and knowing i have to be with her from a.m. till 3 in the morning when she finally crashes it's terrible. i feel soo guilty.

    i already decided once she goes back if she goes in i gotta get me help i'm at that point again. zero friends in this neighborhood, husband working all the time, his crazy family and ex. it bites bigtime.

    i'm going to think about what you said. it's not a bad idea just soo afraid if they dont' change it she'll use it as a crutch not to proceed with classes
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If she is incapable of functioning in the schedule they have given her, then maybe she needs an IEP instead of a 504.

    I thought my oldest son would implode socially at the jr high/middle school. He ended up doing far better socially than I thought possible. Academically, he needed more support but socially, he found his way around the building, made friends (he had none the year before) and except for having no idea how to relate to doing great.

    Maybe this will be her year to shine?
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    that's a great story to hear. that' s awesmome goood for him and yhou. one can only hope. we'll c. school won't give iep until she academically totally tanks. their difficult out by where i live, bigtime. they havea backwards approach. instead of being proactive they are reactive. so wait till kid hits rock bottom than help it.

    i tried 2 weeks ago to enroll her in cheerleading, we went anxiety overwhelmed her she walked off field because she's soo socially enept and unable to lower that anxiety to make a friend. all summer wouldn't join anything i've been been her buddy ugh!!!! sooo sick of it.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Cheerleading may not be the best activity for a kid who has social anxiety, in my humble opinion. My son is also entering middle school on Tuesday. I am in the county directly to the west of yours. My son has issues as well, though they do not seem as pronounced as your daughter's. I have told my son that he has to choose one activity after school. He has selected Drama Club but the stage crew portion, not the out there in your face acting part (which my daughter did and loved). He is creative and likes to build things like Legos, so he thinks stage crew might be good for him. He is also planning to attend the afterschool sped HW club. If your school has such a program, you might encourage her to participate. I am hoping that getting to do his HW with sped teachers will reduce his anxiety about it and lessen my struggles when I get home from work at 7ish (H works from home but doesn't "do" HW with the kids and never has).

    Anyway, if I were you (and I have been in your position), I would be working towards an IEP before she tanks. Start by sending a letter (certified) to Pupil Personnel (or whoever your SD web site says to send one to) requesting a re-evaluation and a CSE. I would also immediately ask for a team meeting of all of her teachers to be held within the first two weeks of school. We did this with difficult child every year and found that getting to talk to the teachers early on made a huge difference. We let them know that we understood that difficult child is a challenging child and that we would be supportive of their efforts BUT that we would not allow him to be marginalized or punished for his disability. We couldn't always protect him from poor choices but we accomplished a lot. ALL parents are entitled to team meetings with their teachers, not just IEP parents.

    As for the 504 v. IEP issue, I don't get why she has to tank academically to get an IEP. My difficult child is entering 11th grade and has had an IEP since he was 2. Although he has an IQ of 137 (considered a low estimate due to his refusal to fully cooperate), his grades are not what you would expect. Despite that, he is in almost entirely honors and accelerated level courses. His diagnosis is school based anxiety disorder and he has an ED classification. I have never had the school try to declassify him. Of course, I learned my lesson when I declassified oldest boy going into middle school and put him on a 504. He was back on an IEP before the first quarter was over.

    I have seen too many parents given the runaround by SD's. The ones in your county are notorious for their efforts to deny FAPE. My county is a little bit better. Based on what you say about your daughter, it is my opinion that she should have an IEP on an ED classification, like my son. Many parents (myself included at first) fight the ED classification due to perceived stigma. Now I don't care. His classification has allowed me to have him placed in higher level classes, where he is happy getting B's and C's, rather than having him kept in regular level classes where his ODD ness would result in him failing because he would be bored out of his skull. He would be entitled to an aide but we decided it would be more detrimental than helpful to him (that was a full CSE decision - the SD wanted the aide, we did not). He has consultant teacher but last year refused to speak to the poor woman. When his friends asked who she was, he told them she was a cousin of mine who worked at the school (I've never met the lady!).

    I have helped several friends of mine with their kids' issues. I have helped people get their children classified and/or have their placements changed or their classification status changed. It can be done. The key is to research and document. See if your library has a book that helps break down the subscores on the testing. I made a chart of my kids' results and was able to point out that even though his score was very superior overall, there were clear deficits in areas that supported the arguments I was making. I used the same technique to get one friend's son a diagnosis of ADD/Learning Disability (LD) and to get a dyslexia diagnosis for another of my children. Subscribe to the Reed Martin site (they may have the link on the sped forum), It is a bounty of information. If you don't belong to your SD's SEPTA, join and see what advice they can give you.

    It's very hard to go up against the SDs. I am a litigator by profession and there have been times when I have felt intimidated by the SD. Once, I faced down their attorney across the table over difficult child's placement for science in 8th grade. The principal didn't want him in honors and I told the lawyer I'd sue because meeting with him was the exhaustion of my administrative remedies (the superintendent had set up this meeting). They blinked and difficult child wound up with an A+ in the course and a 98 on the Regents. Bottom line is that YOU know your child best. The SD WANTS to intimidate you. Try not to let them.

    Good luck. I hope that I have inspired you to continue your good fight and to not let them talk you down. difficult child does NOT have to tank before she gets help. My main argument was that even thinking of allowing a child with anxiety and self-esteem issues to tank before helping them was obviously going to make the problem worse.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member


    thank you so much for taking the time to write all of that and share your experiences, that in itself is huge alot of the time. I have a horrible migraine today she pulled another 3 am.. night i'm wearing down bigtime.

    iv'e done all that you suggested already and haven't gotten granted an iep. i have fought long and hard with school officials,, principals head of the school, Special Education, coordinators, pyschologists everyone. no iep yet.

    i'll problem have to walk in with-her on tuesday or send her to homeroom adn go to office and fight again for a class change. she's in a group with no one she knows. problem is she's soo nasty and vile that i am beginning to not like my own child. god forgive me. i love her yet i do not like her very much at all lately. shes' clingy and nasty and irritable and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) beyond compare, mouths off to me and i'm just feeling very done.

    she is now refusing to take medications as well. i told her father if things do not turn around you take her and see what you can do becaues i'm getting to my done point very quickly.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    What reasons are they giving you for denying her an IEP? What have they put in writing about their reasons? I can't believe they are denying an IEP to a child like yours. I have FOUR kids with IEPs and combined they do not have the issues your one little girl does. This is making me so angry for you and for your daughter. The schools sometimes act like our children deliberately choose to be this way. I once told the school psychologist "Yeah, difficult child LOVES that other kids are afraid of him and nobody wants to play with him, he really gets a charge out of it..." Right.

    Have you looked into filing an appeal or a complaint with OCR? Have you exhausted your administrative remedies? I know if's difficult to sue but many SDs will back down because the costs of providing FAPE to an individual child with a unique situation are often less than litigating the action and taking the chance of setting an unfavorable precedent.

    Does her dad live in a more sped friendly SD? Could you get services for her there?

    Maybe the best thing to do is to send her to her homeroom on Tuesday and then immediately go in and talk to the guidance counselor/psychiatric, etc. and let them know. Maybe difficult child will make a friend in her new class, maybe the teacher is a good one for her, maybe her anxiety will calm down when she realizes that the other kids are nervous, too.

    Good luck.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i'm battling with-her right now actually to get ready for bed. i'm giving her luvox tonight. i dont' know if she'll fly manic more than she is. yet i want to try this medication. if she does than i'll wipe out ssri's off our menu of possible medications, and move forward. last time she took it was 5 years ago and she was let's say out of control, ripping food out of cabinets. i'm hoping tonight it works. it's great to combat the anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), than i'll deal with-the mood swings and anger.

    anyway i'm sorry off topic. they only said she isnt' eligible for an iep because she doesn't "need" services, she is doing fine academically. when she tanks than they'll give her one. i said what about the constant nurse visits, or visits to guidance counselor's office, or fact the kid couldnt' walk thru the door with-the other kids due to her heightened anxiety and paranoia levels......... they didnt' care. they seperated it and said that is emotional and not academic.

    so i've heard the middle school is alot better. i am actually going to do what you just said send her to homeroom and go battle with-the office to get her put on a diff. team. she's just very anxiety ridden now due to that also, not knowing if she continues on with-her regular schedule or what after homeroom. the seed is planted now that she is in a group alone and i am handling it via the school.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's a major fallacy that some schools get stuck on (check your regulations, I don't think they are right to think this way) that students who are otherwise bright and achieving, do not therefore need an IEP despite what other issues they may have.

    My response to that is - the whole point is to help that child be the best they can be; anything that puts an obstacle in the way (other than general lack of ability which requires a different response) needs to be dealt with. If, for example, you have a very bright deaf child who lipreads and who therefore is doing quite well because he/she is able to understand the teacher when the teacher is facing the class (and the child therefore is achieving above average) that does NOT mean you don't put in accommodations for that child to deal with the times when the teacher is talking while facing the blackboard, and that student cannot follow what the teacher is saying.

    A bright child can still need help. Simply achieving above average is not acceptable, if the child would otherwise (without the disability) be able to achieve top marks. Accommodations are needed because she is not able to function properly. If she is able to achieve at all, that is to her credit.

    We got the same garbage at times with difficult child 3 and he clearly was not coping. What happened was the time came when he hit the academic brick wall because the cumulative lack of support meant cumulative lack of education; he had bee able to slide through on what he learnt at home, with me tutoring. When we finally pulled him out of mainstream, we found out the hard way that there were huge gaps in his basic knowledge that should not have been there. difficult child 3 is a bright kid, and he was achieving well in enough areas, to slide by in the areas where he knew nothing. Then the assessment process became a bit more specific, and the holes in the system became obvious. Then they still tried to blame the child - "He did well last year; he's just not paying attention this year." It was in fact, long-term deficit in the school's ability to support a bright special needs child.

  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I checked most of the laws and docs pertaining to this school district. it's odd out here it isn't like nyc schools, they each do their own thing here in long island, each school that is. apparentley as long as she is academically ok no iep yet.

    i sat though thinking ok what accomodations would i even want for difficult child if i did get a iep... i already got teacher assisting with-pack up or reminding as well as copy of notes prepared for difficult child each day. i'm quite sure though these teachers all ten of them have not been briefed of her 504. team mtg def. as soon as i can set one up. no one's been available to talk to till first day of school.

    yet difficult child would be embarrassed with-an aid following her or shadowing her. i know her that anxiety would shine thru. i also added in unlimited to an extent bathroom breaks and nurse visits to defuse when anxiety is out of control.

    i truly need a good medication combo i think. this anxiety of hers, irritability etc is only getting worse left untreated. we have also tried several diff approaches with-therapy and although does help her to vent also makes her feel more "diagnosis'd" if that makes sense. she is very oh im a problem what's wrong with-me syndrome. not willing to accept who she is. hard nut to swallow for her.

    i'm thinking of incorporating meditation classes and yoga into the mix now. financially its hard though with-o me working right now and the store in transition of being sold partially. yet a more wholistic approach and also life things to teach her so she can utilize those as an adult i think i need to bring in now also. someday she'll have to handle herself alone. she relies on me way way too much.

    what accommodation can you think of if any besides what i have which are basics?? it's soo odd they truly don't seem to have a place for kids like her out here it's either regular ed or Special Education with-chidlren with physical handicaps. i truly moved into the wrong area 3 and a half years ago.
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Has she ever been classified? If so, what was it? My difficult child started out with OHI, based on the 4 ear surgeries he had before K, and was switched to ED in 3rd grade. As I said before, he has school based anxiety disorder and a disorder of written expression (which the 5 he got on the AP European History test belies; however, he can not write about anything that requires insight into himself or sharing of himself or his feelings). He is in almost all honors and accelerated classes and is definitely not tanking academically, even though he is not doing as well as a child with his IQ and test scores should be. I spent an hour on the phone with his guidance counselor working around his schedule (he's a junior this year) so that he got the teachers he and I wanted for him. This was tough because there are only 2 sections in some classes because of the honors level. My philosophy is that the I in IEP means he gets a schedule that suits him to the extent possible.

    I completely disagree that the law here on the Island means that she has to tank before she gets help. Help is not just academic assistance - help is those services which allow the child to access the academic program so that s/he can achieve at the highest possible level for them. If a child is capable of doing A or B work and they are producing merely passing work, they are not benefitting from the education being provided. An IEP doesn't guarantee straight A's, just a fair playing field. One of the hardest concepts for SDs to get is that FAIR is not always EQUAL. My dyslexic son (not difficult child) needs certain accommodations that non-dyslexic kids of the same IQ don't need. Giving those to him does not give him an unfair advantage, it merely levels the playing field. difficult child needs other things, like teachers who understand his quirkiness and will not penalize him for being himself. He doesn't need copies of class notes, like other boy does, or preferential seating, like my youngest, who has vision issues, does, but he does need something more inchoate.

    Does your daughter respond well to counseling? Maybe a 1:1 at school or a circle of friends. My SD does the circle and they often work well for all kids involved. In my daughter's 4th grade class, there was one for an autistic boy. She sobbed when she wasn't chosen but the kids who were picked all had needs of their own. 9 years later, many of these keep in touch with the boy. One kid, who was a bully, came away from the experience very changed. He's become a real nice young man. Maybe pairing her with a buddy - even in grade 6 there are kids who are empathetic and nurturing and might be willing to be a buddy to your child, would help. If the school could find a buddy who shared an interest with difficult child and they could go to a club together, that might help.

    Another thing is that she may not be able to function at school until her medication situation is stabilized. When difficult child was at his worst, in grade 6, we thought about a BOCES school with a DTP aspect to it. We visited the place. The program had built in family and individual psychiatric and counseling and would work on medication issues., including prescribing. Ultimately, we decided against it because difficult child doesn't need medications and because the academics were not at a high enough level for him. However, I know a number of kids who've gone there. Some have come back to district after being stabilized and others are continuing through BOCES for HS. My dyslexic son's best friend is going there this year for grade 9 (it's a 6-9 school). Maybe your county has a similar BOCES program?

    I used to think that alternative schools were wrong and it was warehousing, etc. My oldest son would not have survived mainstream HS. After one year, he was suicidal and depressed. We moved him to a BOCES school for Aspie kids and he got a HS diploma and did a little bit of college. He's now working two jobs and waiting to get called for a civil service position with the state. I credit the alternative HS with saving him. He's a work in progress but still...

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

    As for middle school, I specifically asked for him to be with 2 good friends. Unfortunately, all 3 were put into team Heck Hole and I wound up having difficult child moved out on threat of having one of his teachers arrested.
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member

    wow, sounds like you have been down the road several times over again! Kuddos to you sooo isnt' easy. what i did the past several years (or tried :) ) was remove myself from it emotionally when handling mtgs. or reviews or any school mtg. i worked in mental health crisis team for a while it was way 2 much for me with difficult child yet it taught me alot. i used to sit with-parents and advocate for them at those meetings and i slowly learned how to detach and get my goal obtained. gotta switch back into that mode again!! bigtime!

    I def. get your point yet with difficult child she did amazing on last years standardized tests, it was shocking. we thought for sure she'd tank she was up all night night before yet she got high 3's. her main issue is as i said the anxiety paranoia etc. so it stops her from making friends, and also from remembering books, transitioning classes, or being in an open ended situation. like recess was only good on certain days other days she'd walk the recess yard lost and confused adn end up at nurses. each day was diff id' have to say dependant upon her mood at that particular moment, sleep, etc. even with-medications there are still a ton of issues with-difficult child. yet ea. night we do a little therapy session she'd vent, ask questions, cry whatever she needed to do and i'd listen mostly than at the end i began instead of giving her the answer's putting it back on her so she would gain the independence and know within her lies the answers also lower dependency on me.

    anyhow, i was thinking of boces as well. yet the boces i checked out i did so with- a client at a mtg. and that wasn't the right place for her. she isnt' explosive in school. only at home. she holds it together all day long than will either get in truck and cry or punch and kick seats. there are those good days though, and when we get them it's like floating on water literally.

    if you know of any law that i don't please pm me i'd love to know about it. i know for right now my 504 should cover it, and me demanding class changes.

    oh, as far as therapy yes i have it on the 504 that she was to get 1;1 therapy once a week. she attended weekly therapy and support group at the old school it was like an anxiety group, socialization skills etc. yet even that embarrassed her. she hates to be different. she knows her diagnosis now we told her several mos. ago because she point blank asked ok what's up with-me? :)

    ok, enough writing for now :)