Dreading the meeting-need good thoughts please

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I received a phone call from difficult child's SpEd teacher this morning. He said we needed to meet with him and the principal about difficult child's behavior the last day of school before Chrsitmas break. The kids head back to school tomorrow. This is the first I have heard of any difficulties that occurred on December 22nd. I am upset that I was not notified that day but I am even more upset that they are waiting 2 weeks to dole out discipline for it. Given the thought processes of the principal, I am anticipating another suspension. That seems to be his ONLY response to difficult child's behavior issues. This would be #5 for this school year. I have spoken to difficult child's therapist and she will be at the meeting also. I told her my thoughts that this will solve nothing and teach him nothing after such a long period of time. I showed difficult child the email I finally received with the details of what happened that day and he adamantly denies doing any of it "because that kind of stuff could get me expelled. I'm not that stupid!". He totally does not even remember the event. I am really dreading this meeting. Keep your fingers crossed that they listen to me and realize that waiting this long to deal with it will accomplish nothing.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that they waited this long to even let you know it happened. in my opinion that is just wrong. How many total days has difficult child been suspended? If he has an IEP and/or gets sp ed services, he CANNOT be suspended for things that he does as a result of his disability AND he CANNOT be suspended for more than 10 days per school year. NOT rolling calendar year, per SCHOOL YEAR. So a LOT depends on how many days he has been suspended, on what his disability/disorder is and on how those things contributed to what he did.

    Knowing what he did might let some of the wiser heads here help you prepare for the meeting with arguments to show that his actions (and not remembering them now) are due to his problems. Also the Sp Ed forum can help with this by helping you find the exact info from the laws regulating this stuff. on the other hand, if this suspension will get him to 10 days for this year you may want to just take it and then have him be un-suspendable for the rest of the year. Just a thought. Often the principals want to "forget" the ten day rule and we have to remind them of it. Or that has happened in my school district.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Glad the todc will be at the meeting for support! I hope it's not as you fear... and I hope they explain WHY you weren't contacted that same day. If it's serious enough to warrant a meeting with you, then it's serious enough for them to notify you PROMPTLY and not blindside you weeks after the fact.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    They just keep ticking me off! The first thing said when I got into the room (eveyone else was already there) was "I am really questioning if we are able to meet difficult child's needs at this school. Have you given any more thought to having him attend a therapeutic school?" My answer was no because there are still things they can do at this school that they aren't willing to do. The teachers don't like it that difficult child refuses to do seat work in class but does it at home instead. I clarified that the only thing I do differently is work 1:1 with him and explain things in different ways until he understands what he is supposed to do. The said the teachers can't do that with 25 other kids in the room. Um, duh, why do you think I keep suggesting a 1:1 para for him?? The SpEd teacher admitted he had sent me a text at the end of that day saying that things ended on a bad note but never followed through because he, and everyone else, just wanted to get out of there and start their Christmas vacation. The principal got the info at the end of that day but was in a hurry to get home to pack for his Christmas trip to Sweden. He did agree that a suspension issued after 2 weeks would not be appropriate. In lieu of that, difficult child has to write letters of apology to 2 teachers or the principal will suspend him. difficult child vehemently denies anything happening with one of the teachers. He is refusing to write a letter of apology for something he seriously doesn't remember ever doing. He doesn't seem to understand that if he doesn't, he will be suspended. I am even more convinced that difficult child is on the spectrum with this line of thinking. He is willing to deal with a suspension rather than write an apology for something he has totally forgotten he did 2 weeks ago. The school is using his UNOFFICIAL diagnosis of ODD for all difficult child's behaviors and refusing to even consider that something else is going on, like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), unless/until they have it in writing from a psychiatrist. The interesting part of that is that the ODD diagnosis was never given by a psychiatrist. difficult child has currently been suspended 4 times. They are very aware of the 10 day limit. His IEP states that before a suspension can be issued, a meeting needs to be held with the SpEd teacher, principal, and me to determine appropriate action. The problem is that the principal has already made up his mind before I get there and the SpEd teacher won't go against him so the meeting is moot. The therapist was not much help today in that she also thinks he may be better served in a therapeutic school. With the bond my difficult child has with his twin, that would be a disastrous move so it will be my LAST resort.

    Thank you for letting me vent. I am so sorry this is so long. I just can't seem to get anyone here to even consider there might be something else going on than Willful Disobedience that needs a "heavier hand".
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What is the IEP based on?...a neuropsycholocial evaluation paid for by the school? I'm not sure what grade your difficult child is in but it sure sounds like Asperger's may be playing an important role. Is he in regular classes now? Does he have a resource class where he can get more individualized help? I'm sorry you are having to face this battle. Some of us have been there done that to varying degrees and I'm sadly convinced that IF "disappearing spooky dust" was available in the educational system...our kids would be sprinkled on a regular basis. Keep your chin up and seek support. by the way, are the meetings IEP meetings or Manifestation
    hearings? They are a tricky bunch in education. Sending hugs. DDD
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    You state his "official" diagnosis as ODD. Who made that diagnosis? Was this the result of school testing? How old is your son again? Your sig indicates multiple disabilities...

    With a therapist as supportive as going to a meeting scheduled at the last minute, I would assume she has referred you to a good psychiatrist for comprehensive testing?

    I cannot remember the specifics, but your son has a Special Education teacher. Is he is resource all day or part day? Are there 25 kids in the resource room? I believe I mentioned this to you before the holidays, but using the guarantee of LRE (least restrict environment with needed supports), a 1:1 meets that criteria way before a therapeutic school comes into the picture.

    I would suggest an appointment with the appropriate doctor or team of docs for a complete and thorough evaluation for difficult child. Officially advise the school of the upcoming evaluations and indicate that a change of placement at this time would is not acceptable and any further disciplinary actions need to go through you first.

  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks for the questions and support. I will answer them the best I can.

    DDD - the IEP is based on a comprehensive evaluation the school did. difficult child is in 7th grade. I am conmvinced difficult child is somewhere on the spectrum but it has never been diagnosed. That is my hope when we see the new psychiatrist next week. I see it so clearly but the school refuses to consider it unless a psychiatrist puts it in writing for them. He is in regular classes without supports except for 2 classes. He is in a resource room for those. The meetings are simply for a TEAM to decide on disciplinary actions for behavior on a case by case basis. It was something I insisted on because of the principal's predisposition to suspend difficult child for everything. So far, that is not working out as I'd intended. I am just holding on until the appointment next week and waiting every day for the phone to ring for another "problem".

    LDM - difficult child has never had an OFFICIAL diagnosis of ODD. It was merely mentioned as a possibility in an evaluation done by the school. The diagnoses with question marks listed in my sig are UNOFFICIAL things that have been mentioned by various professionals, and I use that term loosely in this case. That is why we are seeing a psychiatrist for the first time in 6 years now that there is one available within a 60 mile radius of my home. The therapist did not recommend this psychiatrist, she wasn't even aware that there was a new one in the area. I believe there are no more than 4 other kids in the resource room for the one class and I know there is only 1 other student in the other. I am making appointments with many different "specialists" to get a comprehensive evaluation. There is no neuropsychologist within 200 miles of my home so this is the best I can do. I have notified the school of the upcoming evaluations but they are convinced I am "on a fishing expedition because I refuse to deal with difficult child the way they think I should". I am hoping the evaluations show what I have been trying to tell them for the last 2 years. I would love to prove them totally wrong.

    Thanks again for the suggestions. I will keep you posted as things progress.
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    The school has much more of an obligation than they are putting forward. If behavior interferes with his day, they should conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment and from that create a Behavior Intervention Plan. You should also request (in writing or via email) an IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation)-if you disagree with their evaluation of your child. With an IEE, the district has two choices upon receiving your request: 1. File for a Due Process Hearing to defend their evaluation. 2. Pay for an outside evaluator to come in and assess your child at no cost to you. You have rights. Make them do the work they are supposed to be doing for your child!
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    They did an FBA but he was "uncooperative because of his ODD" which is not even an official diagnosis. We do have a BIP but everything in there is with the tone of dealing with ODD with an intolerance for "not towing the line". It is very frustrating that they are so focused on an UNOFFICIAL diagnosis made loosely in one sentence in a 12 page evaluation that everything difficult child does is defiance. An example is when they were testing his memory. The number patterns and word patterns start out easy and get harder. difficult child's response when he can't do something is to just NOT do ANYTHING. Their report said difficult child refused to cooperate after a certain point so they are not confident in the scores he received. That is the type of thing I am dealing with. That is also why I am doing the work to find "qualified" people to do the assessments. Then I will have a leg to stand on when they continue to deny services and I push the issue through whatever legal means necessary. I don't trust them to find "qualified" people so I am finding my own.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A way for difficult child to write his apology letter - have him write the truth as he sees it. But part of that truth is acknowledgement of the teacher's honest belief that difficult child did something to the teacher. So what difficult child can say, honestly, is, "I am sorry you feel I did X to you. I do not remember doing X to you; if I did and I don't remember, I am sorry. I do not want to disrespect you because I value the effort you put in to teach me. Perhaps we can talk about this to help me understand better."

    Would difficult child be OK with phrasing it this way? I agree, he should not be made to write a lie, and I accept that writing a letter of apology for something he may not have actually done, is very unhealthy. But difficult child may need to accept that he may have done something which had repercussions he did not realise, and which could have been honestly interpreted by a teacher as a deliberate affront, where none was intended.

    Tell difficult child - if you accidentally step on a teacher's toes, you apologise even though it was an accident. it is human nature. We jostle, we do our own thing but it almost always infringes on someone else's space. So when we clash, even though we don't mean to, we apologise. "Sorry, I didn't see you there." it's not an admission of deliberate intent; it's an acknowledgement that no hurt was intended.

    I agree - this insistence on right and wrong is very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    Good luck with the new evaluation. The school should not use ODD as anything official. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is as valid as ODD as a label in this case.

  11. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    If they say the behavior, triggers and functions of those behaviors are lumped into ODD, then they have NOT conducted an appropriate FBA!! An independent evaluator can conduct an FBA through observations and interviews. When you request an IEE the school district should send you a list of potential providers or you can seek out your own and come to an agreement with the district to use your evaluator. Get your requests in now before any more time passes. You have rights and it sounds like the district needs help if they can't even conduct a useful FBA!
  12. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    The best I could get out of him because of his ABSOLUTE insistence that he didn't do what she said he did was "I am sorry I did X to you. I don't remember doing that. What I do remember is Y." No amount of discussing was able to change that. The situation was apparently, I'm piecing things together here, difficult child was impolitely mimicking another student (he doesn't like being near her because "she smells") in the classroom. An Occupational Therapist (OT) was there observing that student and saw what was happening. She "positioned herself" between difficult child and the student (in very close quarters as they were working at a small table). difficult child took a piece of paper and held it up between himself and the Occupational Therapist (OT) "because she was too close and she had bad breath". She took the paper away and he picked it back up and did it again. The Occupational Therapist (OT)'s statment says that difficult child "rubbed the paper in her face 3 times". He adamantly denies doing that. He even stated to me "I would never do that because it could get me expelled!" before he broke down in tears.

    The insistence on right and wrong are the least of the symptoms I have been noticing, especially as reported by school. I can't wait for this new evaluation. Because of the STRONG sense of smell he has is also making me seek an independent Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation.

    Whatamess, for all their assessments, they use "professional" that are on their staff. They have them all right there, on their payroll. That is why I am having my own evaluations done by professionals that I choose.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You need to write up what they have and haven't done as far as evaluations (a timeline would really help), and what "accommodations" they are giving (put in quotes because they sure don't sound like accommodations to me!). Then post it on the Sp Ed forum. They will give you SPECIFIC ideas and instructions as to how to word requests and to have htem delivered so that your son's LEGAL RIGHTS are put into play and they stop mucking about. It will let you know what you can do, what (and how) to make school do what THEY must do for him, and the instructions may see "overkill" but are important to follow. Like having letters sent certified mail instead of dropping them off yourself. It puts legal timelines that are enforceable into place.

    Mostly, your son has a RIGHT to a FAPE in the LRE. NO WAY is a therapeutic school the LRE. It just isn't. I iwll say that a therapeutic school can be a gift from god in many ways. I would NEVER have agreed to a Special Education placement for Wiz until I saw the one he was in for fifth grade. It was Wiz and 2 other kids for over half the year. With an excellent teacher and TWO full time aides. They had maybe 4 other kids who came in for thirty minutes two or three days a week, TOTAL. The adults worked with Wiz on the advanced (college level in many subjects) levels he was on, and on the remedial (below kindergarten for one boy) levels they were on. It was the best, most wonderful setting a child could have. I was always sad that Jess and thank you never had the privilege of that atmosphere, but the next year the lead teacher left our district and no one has that awsome setting anymore. Heck, the teacher they got to replace her took the same kids that had to be restrained three times all year and was egging them on so they were doing less work and being restrained three times a DAY soem weeks!

    Anyway, therapeutic school may or may not be a good setting. It may be something to consider depending on the placement and the child. Lots depends on if the school will ever stop blaming difficult child for his disabilities and start doing what they need to. Working within the laws to make them work for your difficult child is the way to start from here. The ladies who run the sp ed forum are excellent and will be a lot of help!
  14. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    TeDo, will they let your evaluators in to school to conduct an FBA? You have to have data from observations in order to create an effective plan. I do agree that getting your child evaluated and diagnosed is a critical step in all of this, but if you want him to be able to stay RIGHT NOW, then staff need a plan RIGHT NOW for preventing and dealing with behaviors.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would let him write his own letter as you have described it, and perhaps hand-deliver it so you can explain - he will not apologise for something he does not believe he did. Perceptions can vary, and this is a "he said, she said" situation which, frankly, they need to let go. He is prepared to apologise for the rudeness his actions were seen as in others. He will not apologise for rubbing the paper in someone's face if, as far as he can recall, he just held the paper up. If the paper touched the Occupational Therapist (OT), what of it? It sounds like people were too much in his space anyway, and they should accept that they contributed to the situation.

    He needs to learn tact, of course. Don't they all? You can think things like that, but not say them aloud. And perhaps if he can say, "I'm sorry I said aloud that she smells," that might also be OK. The problem seems to be (as you've noted) that he is very oversensitive to smells and they do not seem to be supporting him in learning to cope.

    The sooner your private evaluations come back, the better.

  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You were posting the events with the Occupational Therapist (OT) as I was posting, so I just saw them. Marg is right on the apology - the Occupational Therapist (OT) should have known MUCH better than to do what she did. Has she ever evaluated your difficult child? He clearly needs an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, and school's will be biased.

    Schools ALWAYS want to use the pro's they have on staff or retainer. Many will influence those pro's to minimize things or ignore things even if they are obvious because if they are seen/noticed/diagnosis'd then the school must act on that - and that costs $$$. So you need to always have a private evaluation rather than the school's evaluation even if you must drive a couple of hours to get it. We drive at least 90 mins to most any specialist other than a pediatrician simply because of where we live. Though when we lived in a big city it often took close to that if it was anywhere near rush hour or lunchtime, lol.

    One evaluation that we had done was with a woman wo also contracted with a school district, though not ours and she took private clients with our insurance. She flat out told us that if she was paid by the school she would have diagnosis'd thank you with just some mild hand problems even though it was CLEAR he had fairly severe sensory integration disorder. The school tried to not even evaluation him, then to only treat his hand problems - which they agreed were NOT mild but were severe (his hands ache for hours if he has to write even a full page either printing or in cursive. He never did color because it was painful and he largely refused to use scissors until about 2nd grade if he could get away with it). With our private evaluation, the Occupational Therapist (OT) agreed with the full diagnosis - and told us that if we hadn't done that she would not have had any choice but to ignore the other issues because the school would NOT accept an evaluation from her with those diagnosis's and recommendations!

    It is that way all over, and is probably worse now with the economy the way it is. They still have to accommodate him though, so get the private evaluations scheduled as soon as you can.
  17. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Things are moving along with the private evaluations. psychiatrist on Tuesday, Occupational Therapist (OT) on the 24th, and an evaluation by the Regional Autism Consultant has been requested and in the works. The Autism Consultant (as explained to me by my PACER advocate) apparently is contracted through a regional agency that supervises, trains, and evaluates services given by schools. She is not on their payroll so will be completely impartial. She will have all difficult child's teachers and me fill out checklists then do some 1:1 evaluations with difficult child. Then she will compare her findings with the services he is receiving and make recommendations for changes which I will fight tooth and nail for. More "****" happened at school today that has me fuming again. difficult child is ready to blow if they don't quit trying to make him make changes that he doesn't see a need for, understand, or know how to do. I am proud of him for not having a meltdown today as hard as they were pushing.:bravo:

    Thank you all for bearing with me. I am feeling so helpless right now. I would pull difficult child out of school until the evaluations are done and the IEP changed but I can just see them "getting back at me" and filing educational neglect charges on me. I am so tired of their bs. If they would just listen to me!! AAARRRGGGHHH:919Mad::grrr::crying: