IEP Stuff (round 2)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HaoZi, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    This is long, forgive me.
    Meeting is tomorrow. Definitely going to do a reconvene on this, as neither her case manager nor her therapist knew about it in time to attend. Let a message for the advocate, too.

    I have this pile of paperwork that I don't really get. The summary from SpEd teacher is that kiddo is "within normal limits". How's that again? She "may benefit" from social activities and learning how to better express her anger. Okay, kid decided to quit scouts, and the anger management classes she took were a total waste of time. Kiddo indicated that she cannot make up her mind about things, has to push herself to do her work, has trouble sleeping, is always tired (really? only when you expect her to do something!), gets nervous when things don't go her way, gets mad easily, feels others do not like the way she does things, feels alone even when she's with people, feeling hurt easily, feels other people are happier than her, feels someone will tell her she does things the wrong way. Describes herself as intelligent, easily frustrated, and very sensitive. Sometimes intentionally doesn't do homework because she gets bored easily. That she gets headaches and stomachaches. She thinks she is doing well in school but doesn't like school. A lot of mentions of marine biology. Said she would not change a thing about herself.
    Okay, if that's "within normal limits" we need to reexamine our society.

    From the SpEd psychologist, the report has the wrong medications. Says doctor at psychiatric hospital diagnosis'd her as bi-polar affective disorder, atypical, and ODD. Says her reg (the one we're going to quit seeing) psychiatrist diagnosis'd her as ADHD, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorder. Claims to be from parental background report. Really? Some of that is news to me.
    Achenbach rating from both parent and teacher show her to be "clinically significant" in internalizing, externalizing, and total problems. (How is that "within normal limits"? Do these people even talk to each other?) Her "testing profile is most similar to that of an Emotionally Disabled student." Whatever that means. Difficulty working in peer groups is noted repeatedly.

    Vineland Adaptive (2nd edition)
    I have no idea what any of it means. Can anyone explain this thing and what the numbers mean?

    Maladaptive behavior index scores are elevated and clinically significant. Again, I have no clue what they mean specifically. I know she has maladaptive behaviors.

    CBCL/6-18 Competence (parent input) shows low to mid normal ranges. I'm clueless.

    CBCL/6-18 Syndrome (parent input) shows low to mid clinical ranges. Still clueless.

    TRF/6-18 Internalizing/Externalizing/Total Problems (teacher input) shows mid level clinical.

    TRF/6-18 Syndrome (teacher input) shows 2 borderline (anxious/depressed and rule-breaking), 2 normal but almost borderline (withdrawn/depressed and attention problems) and 4 clinical (somatic complaints, social problems, thought problems, and aggressive behavior).

    Functional Behavioral Assessment - again shows a lot of problems working with peers and does better working/being alone. This is another stack of incidents and interventions (all of which, I note, were prior to her visit to psychiatric hospital). There is a BIP.

    I am so lost. They still don't see what others with spectrum kids have viewed as red flags, even though some of those behaviors are clearly noted, they seem to attribute to them to other things.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have no idea. It sounds like all over the place they say she is maladaptive but then they say she is within normal limits? Doesnt make sense.

    Reminds me of the first letter social security sent me denying my disability when they said I wasnt disabled because I handled stress well. I literally almost fell over when I read that. My method of handling stress at that point was throwing things or putting holes in my walls. If that was the way normal people handled stress well...this society is really in a bad way!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You might check the other forum to see if there is help there. Just remember that you do not have to sign the IEP as presented. It does not take effect until you do sign. I'm no expert (although I do have experience with IEP's) but I am sure you have every right to have full explanations. Also to see what they propose to add for her effective education. Don't be intimidated. You are a bright woman, a Warrior Mom, and can pleasantly take a stance that you are not prepared to sign the IEP as presented until you have the opportunity to review the issues with your advocate.

    It's the same premise as dealing with difficult child's "don't let them see you sweat". DDD
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would bring an Advoate. Just warning you as they are setting your child up as a normal child who is not needy of services per your Dept. of Public Instruction. The reasons for the school districts having to implement services are VERY specific and some astonishing disabilities are NOT covered all the time. You need somebody in your corner who knows state law. ADHD is not covered in our state unless it seriously affects education, for example. All states are different. Don't go alone...I don't want you to make the same mistake we made.
    I agree...don't sign anything until you are in complete agreement. Once you agree, you can NOT take it back, even if they say you can.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If the summary found your daughter is "within normal limits," my suspicion is the IEP team doesn't want to give her an IEP. I agree you need an advocate.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That summary was only from the SpEd teacher. All the maladaptive stuff is from the psychologist, me, and kiddo's regular teacher. They already know we plan to reconvene later, but say we can go over stuff and maybe get some more supports in place for her before the reconvene. Haven't heard from the advocate, I'm told she works part time. Kiddo's therapist and case manager were not invited, and I want at least one of them there. Another of the SpEd teachers (a different one) that tested her showed me her results today and went over them with me. She only test academics and gave me some advice on how to present concerns that I'm seeing from their results, like of course kiddo was cooperative for testing, you took away from the other kids (that she doesn't want to be around) and gave her a non-timed test (because the pressure of time limits seems to be a stressor for her).
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hmm, maybe she should take ALL tests alone or at least away from other kids and they should all be untimed.

    As for the results, find out if your advocate can help you understand them. Is there a university with a psychology and an education dept? If so, look for someone who teaches or practices psychometry (how to give and interpret psychological tests) and ask them to help you understand. Also google the names of the tests and see what you can find. If nothing else, try to find the name of the company that created the test and call them with questions. You should be able to find the CEO in one of the business databases like Hoover's Online.

    YOU are a member of the IEP team, so invite whomever you want. Get the therapist and case mgr to come with you, also the advocate. If the advocate doesn't have time to help because she is part time, ask about another one. Or have 2 of them.

    Also ask on the sp ed forum about these tests because someone there may know about them.

    The sp ed teacher's report sounds like she is getting pressure to not give IEPs no matter what, or pressure not to give your difficult child one, or she just doesn't want to deal with another kid on an IEP. Given the behavior that keeps getting your daughter sent home from school, and the reports of the other people, the sp ed teacher's report seems as though she is either the least perceptive person in the state or she is smoking something (used as a figure of speech - NOT saying she is using drugs).

    I'm sorry they seem determined to make this difficult. Why not look up the dept of civil rights at the state govt offices and ask if this kind of thing is something they might help on. It sure seems like they want to deny your daughter her civil rights - esp to FAPE in LRE - because the A means appropriate and having a sp ed teacher say she is "normal" in behavior is just NOT going to lead to an appropriate individualized education. It just isn't.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Civil Rights does not get involved in IEPs. IDEA is enforced by the Dept. of Public Education.

    On the other hand, if you have a 504, then you can call in the Civil Rights Dept. that deals with education in your own state. There are different offices for each state. If you feel your child is discrimminated against for a disability that is labeled as such in your state, you can use this dept. If it's a fight over IDEA, then you want the Dept. of Public Education. Both have their own methods of how to file a complain...and when.

    Look into "Other Health Imparied" for your daughter if you want an IEP, then, as I earlier suggested, find an Advocate and don't go in alone. Good luck!
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My thought exactly. She can literally talk herself through the math problems when she doesn't feel pressured or in a group. Disruptive to class, maybe, but it's what she was observed doing when calm. It was suggested I mention this at the mtg. I plan to. I hope they work with it. I'd love to see them try the same test under pressure, like a time limit.

    The test the SpEd teacher gave her that shows her "within normal limits" are self-rated tests. Again, a situation where she was away from peers and in a calm setting. I have a two page report. I do plan to ask how a child that proclaims "she wants to kill herself" in tense situations could in any way be considered "normal" at her age, even if she uses that phrase to express her frustration. Especially when the behavioral report and interventions report is over 20 pages and only comprises 2 months time.

    The basis for the potential IEP right now is listed as Other Health Impaired and Emotional Disability.
  10. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    My guess perhaps is that may admit that she has emotional or social issues but claim that they do not affect her learning and therefore will not give her an IEP. I guess you need to be clear on what interventions you want her to have (and if you are in a "normal" underfunded school system) there is probably little if anything in the way of any kind of clinical services anyone or none that you would want her to have. Is there a program or another school in your district that you want her to get into? It seems to me you are likely to spend a lot of time arguing about whether she qualifies for an IEP --months even--and in the meantime they won't provide the accommodations she needs. Sometimes schools are willing to provide a lot of accommodations without even the IEP and you would like to get those in place for her as soon as possible.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Regarding testing, my difficult child was given unlimited time and a separate location for test taking. For him that made a huge difference in the results. DDD
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I don't see the school itself refusing the IEP - they suggested it and approached me with the paperwork, had a list of doctors that could do assessments if I could ever get them to take her and do it. I'd be sorely surprised if the school itself fights it. Could well be the SpEd teacher just doesn't think she could handle her on top of the other kids. They've put some supports into place for her already. They do want to keep her mainstreamed because academically she's ahead of the curve, in some cases way above district average. I do wonder if the new rules for how standardized testing and the changing to not allowing % of SpEd kids to auto-exempt from results will influence this in any way, because her scores alone could vastly improve the SpEd average which will drag down every school.

    Her district has 2 elementary schools, one middle, and one high school. There is one other public elementary school near us (not in district) and listening to parents of kids with ADHD-based IEPs, the school kiddo is presently in is the best for that as well as overall for public schools in our area. I'm eyeballing the alt high school for her, but that's years off (no alternative school until then). The HS she's slated for she already has met one of the gifted language arts teachers for and likes her - she's the sister of one of kiddo's favorite cops.
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    From what I know they should want her in Special Education because she will bring up the average. The issue has been that schools want to exempt too many, hence they limit the number that they exempt from standardized tests. They don't require a school to exempt a specified percentage. That really should work to your favor.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She might throw their whole curve, too, lol.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    That is why they do so many tests. Heck at 9 years old Tigger was formally evaluated for Autism. While most of his scores were in the 3-5 year old range. He had one score equivalent to a 22 year old.

    The Vineland tests how well a person with a disability is actually functioning. It is good for targeting areas that need intervention and then used to measure progress after the interventions are tried (usually an annual retest).
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Okay, here's where we stand:

    The "within normal limits" thing was based on how she is on a GOOD day. She did talk to kiddo about her bad days, so in some ways that was a goal thing to see how well she could function if all her days were good days.

    Everyone is somewhat confuddled with my kid, because she is inherently unpredictable as to what sets her off any given day. As soon as you figure out something that should (in theory) work for her, you are guaranteed to have mixed results (no kidding, I run into that all the time, not news).

    Her thing with the math is a bit self-inflicted. Her whole thing where if she can't grasp it right at the beginning and get it correct from the get-go, she doesn't want to. She *is* allowed to talk herself through the tests in class, and many of the kids do, so that wasn't the issue. Now she is also having problems with independent study because of the same "gotta get it right away" thinking on her part, not just peer group issues. All I had to go on at the time was kiddo's perception of it, which seems to be even more out of whack and mecurial than even I knew. Which goes back to it being unpredictable as to what will help her on a given day.

    Due to the complicated issues coupled with time constrainted on some of the members, the meeting would have been reconvened later anyway. What we did today was go through the test results and what they mean, etc etc etc. A draft IEP will done and her therapist and case manager consulted on it as well and a few more info releases were signed. So she qualifies under emotional disability, and I think the goals will be similar to what is in her current BIP, i.e. coping skills, learning to deal better with peers, self-calming before she hits meltdown point, etc etc etc. The IEP will free up more resources for more supports, that kind of thing.

    As far as further testing that I've inquired about, they suggest I take all the test results to the new psychiatrist and whoever she refers kiddo to for more testing. They're seeing a lot more Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) traits than I see. While I'm not denying she has them, I never considered them too off the wall either. She's pretty disorganized, but I see some degree of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) + total chaos in me, too. Learned or bred in, I don't know. Maybe I don't know what I'm looking for, or maybe it's just more in evidence at school. Or maybe I don't see it as such because I just consider it "normal".

    Reconvene is Feb 1st, and this time therapist and case manager will be invited by SpEd. I mentioned I had not heard back from the advocate yet, but everyone there assured me she will call, that she's very fair, and I will like her, that she's great at helping parents walk through the IEP process.

    So I don't really see anything I can complain about. I did mention that even if she is not an Aspie, that she does respond to techniques that work with Aspies, so we'll see what the draft IEP looks like when I get it. I certainly can't say the school hasn't tried a wide variety of ways to help her, the FUBA for just two months time is 20+ pages long of incidents in good detail and what interventions have been tried. Everyone agrees she's very bright (her teacher says one of the brightest she's ever taught), and that on her good days she's great and wonderful. It's finding ways to help have more good days that work consistently for kiddo that gets confusing, because just like at home, something that works for a while doesn't always work or stops working.

    Thank you all so much for what you could explain, additional areas to ask about and suggest, and all your support. Will update when I have the draft.