I Have No Idea What I Should Do or


New Member
what I should be asking for. I'm hoping someone in here can help me with Dylan :frown:

4th grade, emotional support classroom. Because of the very small need for this type of class in the district, they have two grades in ONE classroom. So, Dylan's E.S. teacher is not only teaching him and the few kids for fourth grade, but also has the responsibility of teaching the 5th grade kids in the same room. There is an aide, but that's it. 9 kids in the classroom.

Dylan is struggling severely in math. He is probably (my guess) at a 1st grade level. I asked him to count in 10's last night, doing money, and he didn't "get it". He still forgets every time to borrow when he's doing subtraction, even though I've told him 3 years straight "if the number on top is smaller, you borrow". Three years. He still doesn't get it. He's finally getting telling time, about 3 years late. He doesn't get problem solving at all. For example, Sally has 8 pencils. Lisa has 15 pencils. How many more pencils does Lisa have than Sally? His answer would be 23.

I have expressed serious concern to the teacher of this room over many occasions. I have many concerns. The biggest is, obviously, that Dylan is not even CLOSE to grade level, and what can we do to get him there? The teacher always tells me she is "just too busy". It took me 2 months to get grade appropriate work for him to bring home, just so we could work on it here together, at leisure. He does well when it's him and I, 1:1, but in school, he's not getting that.

With that being said, last week led to a big meltdown with him. He was disruptive in the classroom, brought out to the principal's office to work, left in a quiet room, alone. He missed the entire day cirriculum. The meltdown was because he was to work on multiplication that he just didn't know. And the teacher couldn't help, she was busy with the 5th graders.

I called the head of the I.E.P. team and requested a meeting for next Tuesday. I asked about his thoughts on a 1:1 for Dylan, an aide, a para, something, and he said the school district does not provide that. I asked about Autism interventions, and he asked what I'm looking for specifically. Well, I don't know? If the school district doesn't have 1:1, does that mean I'm just stuck? I definately think Dylan needs much more one on one help, or I dont see him making any progress.

He was ordered to have a full Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation too by the neuropsychologist. The head of the I.E.P. team said he didn't visibly see any reason for this (??). He said we could do an "informal" Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, but even that hasn't happened yet. I just want the stinkin' evaluation. I may take him elsewhere, privately, to have this done.

Any thoughts on this situation and what I could do here to help Dylan survive? I have seen in difficult child 2 that Emotional Support does virtually nothing to help you catch up academically. I am very concerned over Dylan's future, because E.S. in the middle/high school levels is concerning. I would prefer to catch him up, or at least try, to avoid him having to be there. I know it's 2 years away, but I know my son, he's smart. He's reading at a 6th grade level. His spelling is immaculate. I just think if he got more 1:1 we could get him caught up with this math. I also think there is a possibility of a L.D., although the neuropsychologist said no, and the I.Q. testing from the S.D. last year said no. So confusing.

Any thoughts? Thank you,



Well-Known Member
This is going to sound weird, but could he do a "pull-out" from the ES classroom for some 1:1 time with a teacher/tutor to work on his math skills?


Active Member
The school district can't "not do 1:1". If the IEP team determines that he needs a 1:1, the school district must hire one.


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our dist housed grades 6,7 and 8 together and grades 9,10,11 and 12 together.
When we got to due process we also found out our Special Education tecacher for the ed bd classroom was not credentialed. we also found out they did very very little schoolwork, mostly they had Frii afternoon parties (?to work on social skills?) and wed afternoon music days where they got to bring in CDs to listen to. it was 7 boys and my dtr. One teacher one aide. and then later my dtrs 1-1 aide,
we also found out not just my dtr but the whole class would conspire approx once a month, the class was on a point and level system and once a month the kids would deliberately raise a ruckus so they would all drop in levels where expectations were lower, cuz they LIKED their ed bd class due to reduced day and no mainstream classes, no gym, and they stayed in their class for lunch, IF they were in a lower level. SO monthly they sabotaged, to the point the entire class would get dropped levels.
During conferences and IEPs academics were seldom discussed at all, all focus was on the points and levels. and no homework ever ever came home.
In our dist the ed bd classroom was simply a warehouse to toss kisds they did not want to deal with. there was my BiPolar (BP) dtr, 2 mr kids, one deaf kid, and 3 boys who had cycled thru juvie and alternate placement and now were back at our school for 45 days till they would cycle them back around thru the various alternate schools in our area.


New Member
Ugh...sorry to hear things are so difficult at school.

My difficult child (2nd grade) is the exact opposite: He's doing math at 4th grade level and reading at early 1st grade. We are EXTREMELY fortunate that his ED class is very academic; he's gone from not reading at all at the end of August to reading at early 1st grade level now. But, as I said, we are lucky to have a great ED head teacher and 3 paras in the room (with 6-7 kids).

My one suggestion would be to find out if there is an LRC (learning resources) program at your school for non-ED kids that your difficult child could go to for some period of the day to work on math. For instance, my other son is struggling in math but gets pulled out of his mainstream class for 45 minutes a day to work on bringing his skills (along with his writing skills, which are sub-level) up to grade. It is not 1:1, but more like 3:1, and I see his work improving already.

If you can't get support at school, perhaps you could find a different way of teaching math skills at home. If your difficult child is struggling with the "traditional" methods of learning math facts and functions, I might recommend the "Everyday Math" curriculum. My daughter has a hard time with standard methodologies in multiplication and division, and that has helped her learn other ways of doing the problems. For instance, recently she was totally blocked on doing multiple digit multiplication with the dropping down of zeroes and all ... so, I (and her teacher ...gmta) taught her to do lattice multiplication. It clicked! She went in and passed her multiplication benchmark test with no problem.

Good luck!


If you don't know where difficult child is mathematically, write a letter asking for an evaluation. As always, send it certified mail. It's very hard, if not impossible, to design an appropriate IEP if you and other members of the committee do not know where he is academically.

Include the Occupational Therapist (OT) request by a licensed Occupational Therapist in the re-evaluation letter. Evaluating via "informal" means is worthless.

"We don't do," "we don't have," "it's not funded," "we can't" etc., are not allowable excuses for not providing your child FAPE. There's more detail on this on another recent thread. The verbiage was written for dyslexia, but it is applicable across the board.


New Member
I was thinking along your lines originally, TM. Mainstream with pull out for math help. Although, Dylan's behaviors are still (on occasion) a little unstable. So, I don't believe he'd be accepted into a mainstream classroom. However, I don't see WHY they can't take him OUT of the E.S. class to put him into something specifically for math with 1:1 or 2:1 or even 3:1 help. The teacher isn't much.

Sheila, is it as JJJ stated, that if they don't have one, they must hire one? Can you please point me into the direction with a link or something as to where I can print this information to take it with me?

What's FAPE? :hammer:

We have the IEP, however, it's almost nothing. Basically states Dylan is BiPolar (BP) and his behaviors are disrupting his learning. That may have been how he was a year and a half ago, however, NOW, his behaviors are not holding him back. His surrounding is :tears: There are NO interventions written into the IEP. All it basically states is he can take longer to take state tests, and that he can have limited homework (and boy, do they play THAT card to the maximum, even though I DONT WANT IT THAT WAY!).

Thank you guys!



FAPE is entrenched in both IDEA/IEP and Section 504.

Various info on FAPE:

FAPE = Free Appropriate Public Education

Any child covered under IDEA (has an IEP) is automatically covered under the Section 504 laws but the converse is not true. See http://concordspedpac.org/Section504.html

The short version is:

Regulations: Part 300 / A / 300.17
Sec. 300.17 Free appropriate public education.
Free appropriate public education or FAPE means special education and related services that--
(a) Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
(b) Meet the standards of the SEA, including the requirements of this part;
(c) Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
(d) Are provided in conformity with an individualized education program (IEP) that meets the requirements of Sec. Sec. 300.320 through 300.324.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401(9))

"If the service or device is necessary for FAPE, expense or inconvenience does not matter. Note that OCR has seriously chastised schools where the decision about what services or devices to provide to eligible students is made on the basis of cost and convenience rather that on the basis of proper FAPE considerations." https://web.archive.org/web/20050201024121/http://www.504idea.org/Intersection_Dyslexia.pdf

See http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/edlite-FAPE504.html
“Recipients operating federally funded programs must provide necessary services free of charge to students with disabilities and their parents or guardians. Provision of a free education is the provision of educational and related services without cost to the person with a disability or his/her parents or guardians, except for fees equally imposed on nondisabled persons or their parents or guardians.”

An appropriate education may be defined in different ways. An appropriate education could consist of education in regular classes, education in regular classes with the use of supplementary services, or special education and related services in separate classrooms for all or portions of the school day. Special education may include specially designed instruction in classrooms, at home, or in private or public institutions, and may be accompanied by such related services as speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, and psychological counseling and medical diagnostic services necessary to the child's education….

Part B of IDEA requires participating states to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is made available to eligible children with disabilities in mandatory age ranges residing in the state. To be eligible, a child must be evaluated as having one or more of the disabilities listed in IDEA and determined to be in need of special education and related services. ….
The requirements for FAPE under IDEA are more detailed than those under Section 504. In specific instances detailed in the Section 504 regulation (for example, with respect to reevaluation procedures and the provision of an appropriate education), meeting the requirements of IDEA is one means of meeting the requirements of the Section 504 regulation."

Rest assured that the Sp Ed Department of your school district is aware of this.


According to Pete Wright, who carries a lot of weight with me, you can not fight a SD without a good indedependent educational evaluation (IEE). You shouldn't be "guessing" about his math level. If the teacher does not have this information, how does she know what to do in math with him? Also, a good IEE can suggest strategies that may help him learn better.

No offense intended Janna, but if you do not know what FAPE stands for, there is a 99.9% probablity your SD is going to (continue to) scr*w your kid out of what he deserves.

Parent self-education and/or finding an in-person advocate is/are the only cure for the disability that many SDs have--it's called "Don't ask, Don't get" and your asking must be forceful, legally correct, and SENT BY CERTIFIED MAIL.



Well-Known Member

It's a lot to navigate and understand, but knowing what rights your son has is critical to optimizing his education.

He should be fully evaluated by the school (including iq tests, ability vs performance, emotional, etc.) with all tests available. I believe other posters have suggested a formal letter requesting a full evaluation, sent certified. You will have to sign off on all tests, make sure you know what the purpose of each test is so that you can request the ones that are applicable.

It is an extreme disservice to your son, and the others in the room, for a teacher to have her hands so full that the needs of the children are not being met. That is not FAPE that is failure.

There are tons and tons of math modifications that can be added to his IEP, the least of which is a calculator or multipication table for all math problem solving (whether it be classwork, homework or state mandated testing). Using manipulatives to solve math problems is another. For example, "Sally has nine pencils and Susie has 14, how mamy more does Susie have than Sally?" He can make the two piles with counters and then visually see what they are asking. There are also "plain english" versions of state mandated tests. Individual testing, where a prompter reads his test to him, could be beneficial for a number of reasons. Making sure the enviornment is stressfree where he does not feel he is competing time-wise with classmates, making sure he understands what is being asked, to name just a few. Go and look at his IEP and find out what goals were set for math. Are they being met? Are you getting IEP goal updates for each 9-week period?

Janna, I would begin with the full evaluation before anything else. From there, you go on. This testing could take several months and in the meantime, Dylan could get further behind. However, there has to be a basis for getting what you want.

How long ago did Dylan have the testing that made him eligible for his current IEP? If you don't feel the school testing is appropriate to get what you believe he needs, speak to his therapist and find out about independent evaluations. I'm sure the therapist can make some recommendations.

It's tough to watch our children suffer, but even more so when they are suffering needlessly becuase others are not doing what they are supposed to do. I think this is the case with Dylan. Some of his behavior issues must most definately be linked to his frustration with the level of work required and lack of help for said work.



trying to survive....
Hey Janna-
I thought you recently had a complete nueropsych evaluation. I know you were not thrilled with the final results, however adaemic testing is usually done as part of this evaluation. How did he score on the academic portion of the standardized tests given at his school?


New Member
Hello there,
My son has the same problems in school that Dylan has. He has been in E.D. class for 3 years now. I finally took him to a neurologist and he did some tests on my son and found out he has Sensory Processing Disorder. My son's problems are caused by a virus that causes inflammation in the nerve endings in the brain and it causes learning delays, speech delays,ect.. The doctor put my son on medications to control the virus and reduce the inflammation. He says that by summer my son's behavior problems will be a bad memory. I also bought some books about Sensory Processing Disorder and many of the behavior problems my son has is not from O.D.D. or A.D.H.D. but from "sensory overload". They also recommend Occupational Therapist (OT) to help them learn to adapt to everyday things.