IEP or not?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child has had an IEP, been in Special Education for a few years. Brought up by school. More of "do this or else" type of thing.

    difficult child has improved so much this year. More the last few weeks than the last few years. The High School decision must be made in a week or so. Again he just turned 13, I am afraid going to the district high school of 3000+ he will get lost in the cracks.

    He wants a specialty school. It is hard work. AP classes. A pre engineering high school. Special Education program director said we will sit down in the spring and decide whether we will continue with transition or go off IEP completely out of sp ed.

    What he DOES use is the opportunity to use the computer for writing assignments. He also does use the "cool off" pass. He hasn't had an outburst or raised his voice in a long time. (lol...long time is different time frame when talking of difficult child's) He can recognize the onset of anxiety and anger. this is very good. He knows how to handle himself appropriately.

    He had asked himself if he could not be in spec. ed any longer. Even though he is with general education kids, honors classes he still has the special accomodations at times.

    i mentioned to him what the program director said. He is now worried about High school and the opportunity to use the computer. Also can a specialty "choice" high school refuse you if you have an IEP? they only accept so many kids. Based on grades, academic as well as behavior levels. That scares me. will he be rejected because of past issues? We want a fresh start. How do you get that if you have to go over all the previous issues? How do you not go over that information when trying to get him into this school?

    I am feeling lost. Open houses, applications begin next week.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't try to hide the past from the school. If they don't like kids with issues, then in my humble opinion it's not a good match for your son. He had and still has issues that may arise again if he becomes unstable, and he'll feel so much worse if they make him leave the school or give him a hard time. But that's me...there are definitely some benefits. I'd sit down and write the pros and cons and check both columns. And you can't assume a difficult child will do well emotionally although he certainly sounds like he's on the right track. But difficult child's are so unpredictable. Good luck with your decision.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    His records will be available to the school regardless, so I'd go for the accommodations. As MWM said, his issues haven't gone away and high school, at least in the beginning is pretty stressful. That cool off pass may save him the first few months. It can always be removed after the first semester.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    you can't "hide" what is in the official record. When he makes the application, transcripts will follow. If your son has an IEP, that will probably go along with the grades. If his "present level of performance" lists some of his behavior issues, or he has behavior as well as academic goals, they will know.

    If the "specialty" school denies him either because of his issues or because they do not have the ability to follow and IEP, it probably is not the right school for your son. I think you have to know in your gut that even though your son has made positive strides here in the near past, he still has issues that are better addressed with an IEP - even just the computer use is important for his success.

    I think, as his parent, you should go and visit this school and then sit down and speak with the admissions director or the principal. Ask them how they handle Learning Disability (LD) needs. Give them the example of your son using a computer for writing assignments and ask them if they give those type of accomodations at their school. You don't have to mention any behavior issues, just academic accoms/mods.

    I wouldn't consider any school for my son unless I went there and checked it out first. The worst thing that could happen is that he goes there and just cannot get by because they don't deal with any Special Education issues. It is definately worth looking into and not just taking the word of your existing principal.

    Good luck and I'm glad difficult child has made such progress.

  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    From the information I have obtained from the school district the behavioral file is not transferable. It will not transfer with the student. The file is kept no longer than one year at the physical school. After that the file must be destroyed.

    This is information directly from the district. I have also verified with some of the people I speak with.

    So, his behavior file will not go with him. His academic file will. He will have a fresh start. (behavioral wise).

    That is where I don't know how far to dip into. There have been some very dark times. And yes, I know he is doing ok right now, but by the time I get home from work it could be a complete turn around. It has been much longer periods of good. very long periods of no outbursts by him.
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    The school does have special education teachers on staff, as well as counselors. difficult child was at the open house. Parent's open house is next week. 300 kids through 4 grades...his 8th grade class has more than that.

    He would take his elective classes at the local distric High School. So, he would take the bus to the specialty school for 1/2 day and back to the district high school for French and what ever other elective. He is in his 3rd year of French and I don't want him to leave it out a year, too hard to catch up then.

    This School says that once a student decides and is accepted to the school they MUST stay the entire school year. They can transfer back to the district school the following year.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I would request a copy of difficult child's school records to see what is in them. I requested a copy of difficult child's records about two years ago and was suprised by the contents.

    Every email or note I had sent to school was in there, all referrals (including any behavior issues that were addressed), interim reports, reports cards, child study meeting notes, IEP, etc.

    Check over on the Special Education board for the exact way to make the request, but I believe there is a turn around time the school has to be held to. I would make the request because you need to know the detail. If, for example, were all the times difficult child was asked to leave the classroom noted by the teacher and placed in his file and if so, what were his/her comments? How were his suspensions written up? Were there additional notes on the school form in his file vs the form that was sent home... stuff like that.

    I cannot imagine a school keeping a child who cannot or will not function in their enviornment. I like the numbers of that school though, I think most of our difficult children function better in a smaller setting.

    I would attend the open house and then return for another visit a couple weeks later. The school, teachers and administrators are at their best at an open house. Go in for an imprompto tour after the open house to discuss more specific questions you have regarding the program and get a feel for the enviornment. Go around 11 so you can see how the lunchroom functions and what it's like when classes change. As to see the Special Education in progress. It gives you a better opportunity to see what his day will be like and address questions specific to the needs of your son. You don't have to get into any detail other than supports that are in place for academics.

    That's just my suggestion. It's what I did when choosing a middle school for my difficult child. I attended the open house which was just general information. Then I returned later and spoke directly with teh principal regarding difficult child and the needs he would probably have. I made my decision on which of two out of zone schools based on which one would meet the majority of his needs and which one I felt he could have more success in.

  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have requested several times to see difficult child's behavior folder. Not the same as academic. I was shocked last year to find referrals in there that were different from one's I received in the mail. And MANY I never knew about. I was shocked to see no statements from difficult child in the folder. I had it written into the IEP that difficult child must write his statement of events ON the referral where it says STUDENT STATEMENT. So often there is a big difference from what is said to what difficult child says. Other times he just writes, Yeah, that is what happened.
    After the first time I saw that folder I make regular visits to see it.

    I think I will request to see academic, behavior and Special Education folders.

    The middle schools MUST have application in by January 25. It is also on a first come first serve basis. so, time is running short for private tours. I plan on attending the first open house on 1/2, calling or making a private appointment. that same time.
    Just so very worried about what to say, how much to get into, how deep do I go?
    I am going to ask for a recommendation from the Program Director, who works for the district not for the Middle School. She is wonderful.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Is there a problem or limit on applying at the schools, but deciding not to attend at a later date? If not, I'd go ahead an apply to several - you can always decide not to have him go.

    I would definately hesitate to not have the IEP follow him. I, personally, see nothing stigmatizing in an IEP, but maybe it's different in your area.