I'm super exhausted but wanted to post an update and get any feedback so I can decide how to proceed. After talking to someone from PEATC this morning about HOW to convey things to this iep team, here's the basics of what happened: 1) They had someone there I wasn't expecting. I knew the Special Education director of middle schools (not the overall Special Education director) was going to be there, but they had the lady in charge of Special Education "placement" there. They had mentioned her name regarding an iep last year and it made me nervous because I thought they were still going to try to get difficult child out of their school over behavioral issues, even though he'd greatly improved. Today, I wasn't sure what to think because I figured they couldn't very well take a position that he was no problem in school thus didn't need their intervention and at the same time take the position that they needed a placement director there. 2) I tried to make points using techniques advised by PEATC- compare it to physical health problems and so forth. I told them I understood that the sd was willing to provide difficult child with an education and that difficult child wanted to be at school and that this was not the issue. The issue was that he cannot access his education and they CANNOT provide that education if he can't get to school or if he isn't stable enough to be taught (making the pint that even homebound wouldn't solve the problem). I said to look at it like it was a kid who needed a wheelchair to access school and for school to be able to educate him- yet, the parents can't get him a wheelchair and private insurance won't pay for it. No one is expecting the school to go out and get and pay for the wheelchair- BUT- there are resources that the school can reach out to in situations like that and all they have to do is pick up the phone and call and those resources will make sure that kid gets a wheelchair so he can get to school and the school can teach him. So, WHY can't they pick up the phone and call a fapt so that my son can get the additional services he needs in order to access the education that they are willing to provide them? 3) Then Ms. H., who was apparently the highest on the totem pole there, asked some question and I "mentioned" (per PEATC suggestion) that just because the sd has no current problem with my son and he isn't misbehaving at school does not mean that he isn't in need of help in order to "get the education that he has a right to". I said to look at it as if he had leukemia and had NEVER mis-behaved in school- if he needed a particular assistance in his family to access and get an education, would the school be required to make sure the kid got it? 4) Sooooo, it was explained to me that this sd's policy requires that they go to a Multi-Discilplanry Team (MDT) first and that they would determine what the kid needed to get an education and that the parent does NOT attend those meetings. Then, whatever they decide would be recommended to the FAPT (which iss what I'm trying to get in front of) to see if they can get funding approved for their recommendation. Ms. H., who was basicly the one in charge, seemed to have extensive knowledge. Either she's a warrior mom herself, or she was snowing me to cover sd- I'm not sure yet and am not sure how much I want to bank on either option. She looked at me directly a couple of times and said "based on my personal family experience, I'm sorry for what you've had to go through". So, it could be either way the way I see it. But that's where we are- she said Ms. funding coordinator hadprobably really been trying to help me. She (Ms. H.)told principal it would help if she attended MDT meeting. But, she reiterated that parents don't go to that meeting- it's a sd meeting that involves other agency resources where they decide what that family should have as a recommendation, then they take that recommendation to fapt to get funding. Everyone agreed that I needed to try to get PO out of picture- I had planned to go directly to courthouse after this iep meeting to file a request for an emergency hearing to get a fapt and to get difficult child released from probation so I could obtain more services for him (it's standing in the way of a couple of things). But, I'm not sure that's wise now- it would look dumb maybe to request a hearing to just get difficult child realeased from probation and I don't know that I can jsutify askling for an emergency hearing now. Then- the other typical IEP stuff- we scheduled another meeting for next Thurs- but the middle school sped ed person and this "higher up placement" person won't come to that. The principal and I were kind of trying to reinforce that we can handle regular iep stuff without higher ups. I was trying to show that I didn't think difficult child needed another placement for school purposes and principal was trying to show that the school was accommodating difficult child's needs- when he was there. So, I didn't account for this- I'm not comfortable going ahead and filing for an emergency hearing from judge, I don't think, because maybe sd can/will open a door. I'm still weighing that hough- I might do it. But, I'm not comfortable with sitting here for a month waiting to see IF sd has opened that door. And that "door" needs to be more than what someone at school says difficult child needs. The point was (based on funding coordinator's input) to get me the fapt team and have "an informal brainstorming session" so I could determmine what really would help or what wouldn't, based on what was available. I definnitely am not comfortable with sd having that kind of meeting without the parent being invited. What happens if they decide "X" is needed and parent says it's not so parent refuses it? Then, when difficult child and parent already have to answer to legal system, won't the only thing being looked at be that parent refused recommended help? It wouldn't be the first time that I have been the one to ask for help, and the only "help" that's been suggested is not real help, so I bucked it, then I had to answer for it- like I was an unfit and incompetent parent. I'm so SERIOUSLY not comforatble with an "MDT" team/ sd meeting about what my son needs to get an education and me having no part or say-so in that meeting. Any way around that at this point? Who are they to decide what is in my son's best ineterst? These are supposed to be sd and mental health and god knows who else and a parent won't be there....??? Anyone ever heard of this when there's a caring, concerned, informed parent involved?