IEP Meeting a Waste-Vent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SaraT, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Ok, its offical, the school is STUPID!!!

    The whole reason for a new meeting was to figure out new services for difficult child's new diagnosis of Aspergers.

    The school completely ignored that fact and just rewote the same IEP that was already in place. It is usless because it has not helped at all. They want to do their own evaluation and then reconvene. So, why did we have this meeting in the first place?! :rolleyes:

    I am still having to fight about the uniform, (yes it is a public school). difficult child is soooo hard on pants that all are ruined, which makes 10 pair in a year and a half, yet the school won't let her wear jean material. The pant color is supposed to be kakhi, and all I asked was if I could get her brown so I could get jean material. They said no, they want all students to look alike. :grrr: How dumb is that.

    I am feed up and angry and about to write yet another letter to the State Department of Exceptional Learners.(That would make 3 in 2 years.) Yes, this school is THAT bad.
  2. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I am soooooo sorry for the frustration you're feeling, and I very much understand (been there done that now am homeschooling)Are there any other choices for a school for your difficult child as it sounds like you've gone round the mill with this one more than once?! I don't know the laws all that well, but are you required to submit difficult child to more testing since she's been "officially" diagnosed? Is there anyone else to scream at who is over the school's head like the district head of Special Education? We also went through the khaki pant thing - will they allow jean material if it is khaki? There are khaki colored jeans out there (we had to buy lots of them!) Lots of (((hugs)))
  3. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Khaki colored jeans! Where? I haven't been able to find any. Brown was closest I could come. They did say they would allow cream color as well.(Only good point in whole thing lol)
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you post on Special Education 101? They are great on that forum, know a lot.
  5. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    I used general because I was venting. Wasn't sure if it should be in Special Education 101 because I know what I am going to do, just needed to get frustration out of system. lol

    I have to leave and don't have time right now to move it, but if you/moderator feel it should be moved please feel free to do so.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    From the school's point of view - why do a different IEP, she's still the same kid? That would be their thinking. You need to hammer home - the previous IEP wasn't working anyway, PLUS there now is a better understanding of her needs, hence the need to finally GET IT RIGHT, now there are better signposts.

    Regarding her being hard on clothes - I would do two things:

    1) Go ahead and send her in your choice of uniform (make sure she would look a credit to the school) with a note saying that until you can find a practical, affordable alternative, this is what she is wearing and she is NOT to be penalised for her parent's choice, or that would be unfair and discriminatory. And

    2) (especially if (1) isn't well received) - patch the worn holes in her school pants with something serviceable, like vinyl. When they insisted that difficult child 1 had to wear grey flannel trousers, which he could hole out in a couple of hours, I patched them with black vinyl on the knees. When they complained, I told them that the patches were preferable to him wearing 'holey pants' and I refused to buy more than two pairs per term. And he'd worn out both pairs on the first two days, so he'd used up his quota. They were free to buy more uniform for him if they didn't like it... or better still, change the uniform to something more practical and serviceable.

    I eventually moved difficult child 1 to the school the girls were going to - their school uniform was only needed on school excursion days, and it was royal blue on the bottom half (jeans were acceptable) and red t-shirts on the top, screen-printed with the school logo. The school did the screen printing themselves, you could take in your child's t-shirt and they would print the logo on for you. Later, the school brought out their own range of practical uniform items. And if difficult child 1 wore out his jeans, patches were perfectly acceptable too, especially if I patched blue denim with blue denim (had plenty of spare blue denim from all his previous jeans!)

    To patch trousers - it helps to have a sewing machine with a free arm that you can thread the trouser legs onto. I would also use the reverse stitch option on mine, to do the seam on the other side, in reverse, so the patch was sewn on with a continuous thread. A machine-stitched patch always stayed on better. And if your sewing machine can do it, patch with a slightly darker thread shade, using three-step zigzag stitch. Especially if there is a pattern of texture to the fabric, that stitch becomes almost invisible. Plus, it holds really, really well. It's almost like darning, but with a sewing machine.

    We saved so much money that way...

  7. SaraT

    I understand your frustration all too well, and I am so sorry that you are having to endure this experience. I have come to the conclusion that large, inflexible organizations don't relate well to Aspies and their families - and vice-versa.

    It has always helped me to go the the Special Education director directly - both with a phone call and certified mail. Our director is a really nice guy who directed us to a good neuropsychologist (thereby saving the SD a couple of thousand dollars in the process). But I am still thankful for his help and understanding.

    Give it a try. I also copy everyone with my communication - principal, superintendent , etc. This process definitely gets attention.
  8. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    No words of wisdom except {{{HUGS}}}}

    I know Sears and Kmart sell jeans that you can get in a tan color. My son has a few. HTH!
  9. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Oh also try eBay
  10. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    We, too, had to go to the head of the Special Education Department with the school district to get difficult child services he needed. They had services for him that I didn't even know existed. It has made a HUGE difference in his school life and subsequently his emotional security. Make a phone call first and see if they can help. Our school district Lead Psychologist has become instrumental in helping difficult child and ME. Also, with her being with the school district, she can follow him all they way through high school, not just a year or two.
  11. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Special Education supervisior was there, but no help. I think she tries, but is new to the district.

    I will try sears(only place I didn't look. :hammer: duh.)

    School just doesn't get skin sensitivities and that difficult child doesn't want to look like everyone else, on top of being hard on her cloths.

    I have been all the way to superintendent on this, but noone is any help. This school likes to send its hard cases to a special services coop that our district is part of. I asked that director and he said difficult child didn't need their service because her academics are too high.

    I will wait for the new evaluation to be done, then when we reconvene I will put my foot down. Needless to say this one isn't getting signed. :wink:
  12. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    As one frustrated mom to another...when IEP's became some what of a joke to the schools my son attended, I found a good advocate group. They offer free services to families. One of the biggest things they helped me with was coming to my IEP meetings. We would sit down about 10 minutes before it started, I would go over with her (the advocate) the real points i wanted addressed and she would NOT let me sign any paper work until these were strictly addressed and we had come to an agreement.
    The meetings lasted a while, yes...but it was worth it in the end to get what difficult child needed.
    Good luck!
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had never thought of clothes as an issue relating to special needs' children in an educational setting. I always learn something from this board.

    I can understand your concern but I can also see the school's point of view. If you daughter is allowed to wear something other than the school uniform, the other students (and parents) will ask why she is allowed to when they aren't. That would be hard for the school to answer since they can't bring up your child's special needs without violating privacy issues.

    It puts them between a rock and a hard place.

    That being said, here in Atlanta, public schools are not allowed to require school uniforms. Some schools have adopted a "voluntary" school uniform but it can not be legally enforced. I would think that would be true everywhere but I'm not sure about that.

    I would also worry that your daughter will be a target for the other students if she dresses differently. Personally, I would work with the school to see if you can find something close that would work.

    I did a quick google search and found this pair of girl's jeans in the Penney's catalog:

    Sand colored jeans

    I don't know what size your daughter wears but I found a pair of khaki jeans at Penney's that I wear all of the time. They are dressy enough that I can wear them to school and yet are comfortable and sturdy.

    I hope that the clothes issue can be turned into a win-win situation for everyone.

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I hope you're right, Kathy, about uniforms not legally enforceable. That's the story here officially, but frankly in practice, they would find ways to penalise the child (including detention) which really was illegal.

    I agree about the need to do the utmost to fit in - I endorse that. it can be done, but sometimes allowances need to be made. And CAN be made, if a school will only stop the automatic inflexibility (ODD?) and try to work towards a compromise. It can be done, I've seen it done. But I've also experienced the inflexible (dare I say stupid?) staff members who stick to the rules and are totally unreasonable about it.

    difficult children can often be VERY hard on clothes. difficult child 3 would chew his clothes, mouthing his shirts until they were soggy and had teethmarks through the fabric. His school pullovers were frayed at the cuffs, hem and collar from him chewing at them. I've seen a teething puppy do similar damage in the same time-frame. I couldn't afford to keep replacing his clothes with new; luckily the school was supportive and let me access the 'school pool" of second-hand discarded clothes. I also learned to mend at the first hint of a hole, because difficult child 3 and difficult child 1 both would 'worry' at a small hole until it quickly became huge (I vaguely recall a Michael Jackson video where he was getting around in a t-shirt in various stages of being ripped down the front - it reminded me of my boys).

    difficult child 1 especially put the knees out of his grey flannel trousers, generally on his first day. The teacher would report that he came back into class after morning break, with the knee out on one side. difficult child 3 wasn't quite so bad - it would take him a week or more to put the knee out, but patching didn't work so well with him because he would 'work' at the patches and wear away the fabric above the patch.

    Yes, my boys looked a bit different. It simply couldn't be helped. I did my best to make them as similar as possible and I really don't think they copped too much from other kids for being different; it was more the school staff, and even then only in the beginning. The teachers there soon realised I was doing my best against overwhelming odds. In a lot of ways I feel a number of those teachers at that school did wrong by my kids, but in this, they were great.
    The next primary school - great, overall. Wonderful. It can be done.
    Then high school - no longer an issue for difficult child 3. But the others - a headache. easy child's school no worries, they were supportive re uniform and she wasn't hard on clothes. She had classmates with problems, the school didn't hassle them but worked to find a solution.
    The middle two - problems at their high school, especially in later years when the really good principal had left.
    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was small, we couldn't actually buy the standard uniform and had to have it specially made. It was still too big. But no allowances were made.
    Shoes had to be completely black, but they didn't tell us this in time, we bought difficult child 1's shoes before we knew. They had white vinyl flashes on the inside (Nike). The school wanted us to buy different shoes. difficult child 1 was difficult to find shoes for, we'd bought the only ones we had found anyway, so I refused. I offered to paint the vinyl black; somehow not acceptable. But I did it anyway and scrutinised those shoes to make sure the black stayed on - it did. The school simply assumed I had done as asked. Idiots.
    Then easy child 2/difficult child 2 reached senior high school. Still tiny. School uniform colours - black, white, green, red. Actually, very attractive. Black trousers or tartan skirt in winter. She felt the cold badly - so we bought black trousers. But we couldn't find anything to fit, so in a high fashion shop we invested in a pair of black lycra stretch pants. On easy child 2/difficult child 2, they didn't need to stretch, but they were the only ones long enough, which didn't fall off her hips. The school never even noticed for the first few years, then someone noticed that the seams were place differently and told her she was out of uniform. Detention.
    I sent in a note explaining that easy child 2/difficult child 2 simply was impossible to find the right fit for, and to not punish her for simply being the wrong shape.
    I was told that she would need a fresh note for each day she was going to be out of uniform.
    Mind you, she was still wearing black trousers of such a similar cut that most teachers didn't even know.
    Winter - we lived a long way from the school, the 'island' requires an early start by boat, before sunrise. It's cold on the water. The total school uniform items were not enough to keep her warm, so I added a black scarf, black gloves and a black maxi-coat which had been part of easy child's uniform for HER school a year earlier (easy child had now finished school).
    easy child 2/difficult child 2 looked good. She also looked thoroughly in uniform, since everything was in school colours.
    Yep - we got an out of uniform detention note.
    I saw red (and not the one on the school uniform). I rang up the school AND sent in a note saying, "When YOU (the staff member enforcing this rule) travel to school leaving by boat before sunrise, happen to be undersized and susceptible to the cold, wearing only permitted school uniform items and STILL feel you are being reasonable - instead of arriving by heated car getting to school five minutes before the bell - THEN I will support your stand. Until then, my daughter will be wearing her black coat, her back scarf and her black gloves according to the dictates of the weather, as this is a serious health issue. We have endeavoured to stay within the bounds of school uniform but you simply do not have enough items suitable to the weather to make this possible."
    That school now has, as part of its winter uniform, the same black maxi-coat style. And scarf & gloves of any one of the school colours. Idiots.
    One day easy child 2/difficult child 2 was walking to class AFTER a uniform inspection when a teacher called her over - her trousers had just drawn attention. She was in her final six months of her entire schooling, I was not wanting to order a pair of trousers to be made that she would probably never wear again; would probably only get a few weeks' wear out of them, assuming they actually arrived when ordered, before the end of winter term. But the teacher insisted - she had to present herself to the office for an out of uniform note even though she had just passed a uniform inspection.
    In the office the inspecting teacher scratcher her head. In what way was this child out of uniform? Aha! Her shoes were non-regulation. Instead of wearing black sneakers, she was wearing black court shoes. That was it! And despite the fact that senior girls were permitted black court shoes, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was reprimanded for being out of uniform - the black trousers had again passed inspection, even with close examination. Detention again - until I got to the school and challenged it.

    In Australia, most of our schools have uniforms. Increasingly they are practical, but it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Entire companies' businesses are based on selling school uniform items. I suspect they import fabrics used only for these jobs, and no other. When everyone else is wearing stretch-knit fabric which breathes, school uniforms are still being made of pure cotton plaid with no room for movement and absolutely no warmth in winter. We get the ridiculous sight of a girl in school uniform (technically) wearing her school dress (cotton, short-sleeved) with school tracksuit trousers underneath the skirt and a tracksuit jumper on the top. This plaid little skirt is then sticking out in between like a frill - but because it's all school uniform, it passes muster. It looks ridiculous, but it's a desperate attempt by a parent to keep her small girl as warm as possible, in the absence of sufficient sensible clothing, or any heating in the classrooms.

    After all these experiences, my attitude to school uniforms is very unfavourable. If only all schools would be equally reasonable about these things, perhaps I would feel differently. Schools which were reasonable - I can still look at photos of my kids in uniform there and feel pride. Where they were unreasonable - I feel resentful, even when I can intellectually recognise that the uniform looked good. The experience associated with that uniform is what has been so very unpleasant. And so very unnecessary.

  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry your IEP meeting was so aggravating. Our schools do NOT like outside testing. Please, when you get the new testing results, have an advocate who can help.

    I haven't been in a school that required uniforms since 6th grade (MINE, not the kids). What do these places with mandatory public school uniforms do when a family has no $$ for uniforms?

    I do know that my mom would take our new pants (ANY kind) and patch the knees before we wore them. She did this for jeans, uniforms, dressy pants, whatever. Not being inclined or talented toward this, I am not sure what she did. I do know that sometimes she did several layers of patch.

    Sorry the school isn't more helpful. Be sure to listen to the folks over on the Special Education Forum.