difficult child - Home from school for 16 Days now!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by STRESSEDTOMAX, Oct 22, 2012.



    Hi All -

    I haven't posted on here in months because things were going so well with difficult child. Should have known I'd be back and thank you so much for being here for me. I'm going to try and update in as few words as possible. difficult child was in fifth grade last year and had a horrible year. He was basically either in the office or home. We requested in January I believe for him to go into a self-contained classroom. That request did not come through until the last six weeks of school and it was at a DIFFERENT school. That was so hard for difficult child. We moved him. He had a problem the very first day but after realizing that he wouldn't be able to get away with his actions like he did at the previous school, he had no other discipline problems the entire six weeks there. I don't believe he learned much because he was surrounded by kids who seemed to have greater problems controlling themselves than he did. He di not like being in this type of classroom and I felt that he didn't belong there but did not really know where he belonged. There seemed to be no self-contained classroom for him except the one for behavioral problems.

    The summer was really great with difficult child. Whether it was the fact that we weaned him off the Depakote or that he just matured somewhat or both, I don't know. Whatever it was, we had very few meltdowns and everyone remarked how he was so much better behaved. I was very worried about him starting Middle School at a NEW school once again in a SBS (Special Behavioral Support ) Classroom. Well, I was right to be worried. He came home every day not wanting to go back because he was scared of the kids and their behavior. To make a very long story short because right now I am severely depressed and find it hard to write...He was at school for 6 weeks. Beside being extremely anxious every day and night he has NOTHING in his notebooks besides drawings. I had a meeting with the teacher who admitted that it is a "challenge" to teach a lesson in this environment and that the first twenty minutes of a ninety minute period is used just to get the kids calmed down. On Mon Oct. 1 a kid poked difficult child in the bathroom. We went in to school on Tuesday and spoke to the vice-principal about it. That very afternoon one student tried to choke another student throwing difficult child into a panic. That was the last day I sent him.

    I wrote a letter requesting an IEP meeting. All I got was a meeting with the Vice-Principal and a teacher/Easy Child rep who told me my only two choices were to send him back to that class or exit the Easy Child program entirely. I have an Easy Child parent advbocate who told me NOT to exit the program - He needs support - and that they have to find a more appropriate place for him. I still have heard nothing. I just called The Council for Children's rights so I'm sure they'll be getting involved. He is on the autistic spectrum. He does not belong in that type of class. The teacher's don't even know what he's doing there. Basically, he has not gotten an education for years. I'm pretty beside myself. Having a very time coming out of this depression right now. thanks.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're right that no child on the autism spectrum belongs in an ED classroom. If he needs self-contained even Learning Disability (LD) or cognitive delayed is better than with dangerous children. He may need support, but not in THAT environment. If your school has nothing appropriate to offer him, they have to allow him to go to another district at their expense and bus him at their expense too. My son did that. Talk to your advocate about it. The situation sounds very scary for you and your poor son. Have you reported this to your state department of education? They have power over every school district and if your son isn't learning at all...what is the point in even sending him to school?


    MWM -

    Thanks. They told us all of last year that he could not go into an Learning Disability (LD) classroom because he does well academically. Anything is better than this.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I totally understand not being able to get it out because of the intense feelings. I'm stuck using a phone so post less but also don't post much about school because I write and it is brought too forward in my brain. It's really hard.

    Have you requested these IEP meetings in writing? Kids with autism often fall to pieces in emotional /behavioral programs. Kids on the spectrum need methods that are research based and known to support their learning styles. They are not meeting his mandated right for a free and appropriate education. While common practice, it's completely wrong to fit a child into a program....the educational program is to be made to meet his needs. It's like this :

    1. Identify strengths and weaknesses
    2. Write IEP goals
    3. What does he need (accommodations, staff, teaching methods, related services etc.) to accomplish the goals?
    4. How do we provide the "least restrictive environment" to meet those needs?
    5. If he has behaviors once in the appropriate setting, then do a behavior analysis and develop a positive behavioral plan to address the issues and build appropriate skills.

    Its not supposed to be well all the kids with behaviors go here. We'll try to work on his goals over there.

    A free appropriate education is mandated (fape ) and you are saying they are depriving him of that. Big big issue!

    Anyone can call an iep meeting and the team is required to be there unless you sign them out. But put in writing that you want an IEP meeting (not a team meeting) so.you have documentation if you need to go through due process procedures.

    I'm just so sad for you. I can relate in many ways. So glad you have an advocate. Hope its a good one!


    Thanks Buddy -

    I did give them a request for an IEP meeting the last week in September and I'm keeping all email correspondance about all this. Hopefully something will happen somewhere soon.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so sorry. The others are right. He does not belong in an ED classroom no matter what. If they can't (won't is more appropriate here) put him in an Learning Disability (LD) or other room because he's "doing too well academically" then ask them how that can be possible when he's not even going to school. Legally, Buddy is 100% right. I hope the advocates you have now can help get the school to "see the error of their ways" without having to resort to LEGAL consequences to you or them. I worry about you being charged with educational neglect. I hope you are able to cover your backside so that doesn't happen.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you AND difficult child. I really feel for him. I hope you are able to keep enough strength up to fight for him. Have you thought about online school? Would that even be an option? I know it's done wonders for both of my kids and relieved a LOT of stress and anxiety for difficult child 1. Keep us posted.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We went through something similar, although in difficult child 3's case it was mainstream placement that was wrong but we couldn't get him anywhere else. When difficult child 3 began to display symptoms of various physical illnesses, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fevers etc, his class teacher (who was a martinet but I do think she really cared about her students) insisted vehemently that we had to find out what was wrong with him and any doctor saying it was just anxiety - tell them to talk to her, she said. She'd set them straight.

    So we searched for nonexistent answers and meanwhile difficult child 3 stayed home from school while ever he was vomiting or throwing a fever. He wanted to be at school but felt too sick. I didn't want to 'reward' illness and especially did not want a conditioned response to build up of rewarding illness with a holiday from school, so we used the home time to get schoolwork done. I couldn't get enough work form the school so I got my own. And in the process, I discovered that difficult child 3 learns a different way; that just about everything he had done in all his schooling, had not sunk in and he knew only what he had studied at home; and that my life was a lot easier and manageable, than when he was sent to school and I sat on tenterhooks waiting for the phone call to come get him, to interrupt my day.

    We were not officially home-schooling him in this time. I simply bought some computer software (educational stuff) and books, to give him more work when he ran out of school-issued work. I sent the work he did back to the school, we never saw it again. No feedback.

    And despite all these problems, so obviously serious issues interfering with his education, the officials would not provide alternative placement.

    What I did do - ANY official beginning to get nasty about difficult child 3's absences from school, got short shrift from me. "You fix the problems, he will go back to school. But this placement is not working. His education is not being neglected, but only because I'm working with him. I shouldn't have to do your job for you. If you try anything, I'll make sure to tell the court system that."

    As I said on another thread - it is the people on this site who gave me the backbone to do and say what was needed back then.

  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I wish you luck. My kiddo is no longer in public school for that very reason. I had an advocate but it made things much worse for my son. It was all good and fine to have her tell me to hang in there it will get better, but at what cost to my son. He wound up in a psyc. hospital rocking and shaking. He had to go back this year until I could find a better situation. I hate that he had to go through any of this mess. He is a different kid and home life is so much better.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That's so sad. The advocate should be working to give them advice and lay down the appropriate path not just avoid conflict by saying hang in there.....ugg.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Argh! I am so sorry!
    What a mess.
    I am glad you are keeping all the letters and emails. Document your phonecalls too.

    I am glad that Marg weighed in. Lots of experience there.
    I think you did the right thing by taking him out. I agree with-the others, he should not go back there. Hold tight.