Interim IEP // Need advice

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101 Archives' started by Juliennes, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Juliennes

    Juliennes New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    I have been posting my woes over on the primary board and it was suggested that I come here with my current issue...My difficult child is 5 years old and in Kindergarten. He has been having a really rough time...aggressive behavior, hitting, threatening, refusing to participate in classroom activities etc. He has spent quite a bit of time in the guidance councelors office or the principal's office because the teacher can't teach the other children due to difficult child's outbursts.
    The school has started the evaluation process...he has had speech and social and an evaluation by a psychiatrist they have brought in. He still has to have his educational/learning and Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations.
    The psychiatrist submitted her report and feels that difficult child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder and possible Psychotic Disorder and that he is a danger to other children. The school informed me yesterday that he cannot remain in school at this time and cannot come back until he is under the care of a child psychiatrist and deemed able to return. The school said they will provide a teacher to come to my home to teach difficult child several hours per week...
    I have tried reading up on what my rights are, but I am reeling with all of this and am completely overwhelmed...can anyone help me????
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Homebound schooling is a very temporary placement/solution --- usually reserved for students recovering from surgeries, etc.

    They should not require the student to stay home in my opinion. There are alternatives such as a Interim IEP.

    Hope you got that psychiatrist demand in writing -- school will be responsible for fees. ;) Be sure and keep copies of all school communications, use letters of understanding after telephone calls, meetings, etc.

    Unless you just want to keep difficult child at home, handcarry a letter asking for an immediate IEP meeting to set up an interim IEP. Place an "Accepted by __________, date________, time _______, on the letter and have someone in the office sign for it. (Otherwise, difficult child wwould be presented at school at 8:00 a.m. every school morning.)

    Keep in mind that when the eligibility determination is held at the IEP meeting, you can request an Individual Education Evaluation if you do not agree with their findings.
  3. mog

    mog Member

    I wish that I knew then what I know now. my difficult child is almost 12 and boy "if only" when he was 5. When my difficult child was was 5 his teacher told me she thought he was gifted but didn't have the time to work two plans for the classroom. Thats when I got discouraged and felt like every door was closed to my difficult child. I jusr recently found out different.
    Talk to your counselor and the police officer at the school. See if your school has a "pals" program they are suppose to give support to the parnets and other siblings along with providing intervention for the outbursts of your difficult child. Don't take no for an answer the help is there you just need to talk to the right person at the school and ask the right ? Talk to the site specialist, the counselor, the security the social worker. Ask about support groups so that you don't end up with cyfd at your door. Make sure that you let everyone at the school know your plan with difficult child. Even if you thnik they are not helping document all the attempts that you make for future refferece if you need it.

    Don't give up!
    Make sure you make at least ten minutes to yourself to "redesign " you plan.

    Good luck!!
  4. Juliennes

    Juliennes New Member


    I will look into the interim IEP...
    I don't know how I totally feel about difficult child being home right now...he was having such a difficult time in school and seems so much better, emotionally, not going there that I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. they did not give me the "psychiatrist demand" in writing, but it is supposed to be coming in the mail...I guess I will have to see about that.
    The school has been in constant contact with me...they have provided names of psychs and mental health centers, and I discussed with them alternative schools for difficult child and they told me of 5 schools they are looking to see if they can get difficult child into...they seem to be caring and proactive...maybe I am being naive????


    I am not aware of a police prescence at this school, but I will look into this "pals" program.
    What is "cyfd" is that family services or something of the like?

    Thank you both for your suggestions!!
  5. st_helen

    st_helen New Member

    Hi Julie,

    Wow, that is quite a diagnosis for a school to give to your child. I would personally request an IEE.
    that is an Independend Evaluation. And I would choose a psychiatrist for your child and have the school pay for it.

    Try not to panic. I know you will be able to sort it all out.

  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    [qb]I don't know how I totally feel about difficult child being home right now...he was having such a difficult time in school and seems so much better, emotionally, not going there that I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. [/qb]

    Juliennes, if this were later in the school year or a higher grade I might think differently but he is still very young and I think there is some validity to stepping back here, getting a good look at what's going on and then taking another shot when everything is in place. Personally I wouldn't be in a hurry to get him back into that school provided it isn't causing a great strain to the family (ie childcare crisis). If you give him a little time to stabilize and the school brings in the homebound teacher, he will at least hopefully be moving forward in the area of academics while buying you some time to plan for the next steps.

    Last year when my son wasn't doing well I did as the school pushed me to do and that was to push my son back in. In hindsight I wished I hadn't listened to their expertise and had kept him home for half days until he was fully stable and ready to try again. When it comes to these kinds of decisions you just really need to follow your gut. The important thing is that you have making forward progress a priority.

    No, I don't think you are being naive about the school being caring and proactive--it sounds like they have done what they have needed to do. Schools don't usually jump into offers of alternative schools (especially private and/or out of district) since it costs them a great deal. Usually they try numerous things in house first then another school in the district and only go beyond when the parent insist or threatens them with their legal obligations.

    Still whenever a child is in an educational crisis it is wise to keep a paper trail. Keep all written materials plus keep a telephone log of all conversations.
  7. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I think everyone has made insightful comments.

    I am concerned, however, that such a young child would be labelled "dangerous" or possibly psychotic and excluded from school. (This is not addressing the issue of whether you might want to keep him at home which my ne a good choice.) You have an absolute right to have your child in school in an "interim alternative placement" if he actually is a threat to himself or others. However, there aren't to many of the above in existence for 5 year olds. districts throw the problem back on parents. Remember anything they REQUIRE for school attendance, they must pay for. Some people believe if the school RECOMMENDS, they also must pay but that is not as clear. If it's required FOR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, however, there is no question.

    I understand the privacy issues that have emerged on the board but not knowing if you are in a rural or urban area makes it diffiuclt to suggest options. If you are in an urban area, the "interim alternative placement" should be in a children's psychiatric unit in my opinion as a partial day program--not residential. The reason I believe this is that young children are hard to evaluate and by being observed for several hours a day by highly trained staff, you will have a much better idea whether there is something seriously wrong with your difficult child --or the school is overreacting and engaging in VERY negative labeling. If you live in a rural area, then the above is not a very viable option. If it is an option, the SD would have to pay (we are talking big bucks here) --so don't let them utilize your insurance if you have it.

    This is a very distressing thing to do/say about such a young child. I hope you can get some support and work through this step by step. Remember to stay off the phone, get everything in writing and either send all letters by certified mail or get it receipted as Alisha described above.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Martie, for purposes of clarification for Juliennes--a day treatment program in a hospital setting would include: observation, evaluation, working towards finding appropriate medications, as well as some behavioral and academic components?
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    Thank you for reminding me that not everyone knows what specific interim placement options would offer.

    You are correct: the services you describe are what I believe would be available in a partial day hsopital program as an interim placement. In addition, the question of psychosis needs to be addressed in my opinion by QUALIFIED staff. Schools are not qualified to make this diagnosis on a 5 year old.

    My reasoning is that distortion of reality/distorted thinking regarding cause and effect is the primary indicator of psychosis. Whose normal 5 year doesn't distort reality??? (That is what Halloween is about after all--"being" something you are not) So detecting distortions outside the norm in children this young is difficult to say the least.

    I can give you a "trigger" example: at 9 my difficult child said to me following the cancellation due to rain of a long anticipated treat, "you (meaning me) MADE IT RAIN so I wouldn't get to go." He was very angry at me but since he would not retract the statement days later (it wasn't just "something that popped out" because he was angry) his therapist ( a Ph.D. level psychologist) wanted a psychiatric evaluation because he was way too old and way too smart to actually believe his mother could control the weather to ruin his plans. The reason I am using this example is because if a 5 year old had made the same statement, no one would have been concerned about distortion of reality--everyone would have "known" that this is one way for a 5 year old to say he is very angry at the cancellation of an event.

    difficult child was not generally psychotic but a thorough psychiatirc evaluation did reveal some "distortions in thinking" that were monitored for some time for increasing developmental inappropriateness. I am happy to report that at 17, my ex-difficult child doesn't distort reality any more than any other adolescent--in other words, he didn't deviate developmentally any further in the direction of psychosis and has since return to "within normal limits."

    This illustration is intended to show how developmentally sensitive these diagnosis are--and that there are ways to determine what is going on--but not by school personnel. The Tx of psychosis is scary, the non-Tx of a psychotic 5 year old is worse. Treating a non-psychotic 5 year old as psychotic would have terrible consequences.

    The above also illustrates why we keep telling people they have to get the very best diagnosis they can before deciding what to do. In this specific case, the SD running its mouth in what I sincerely hope is loose talk, means that this child SHOULD now be thoroughly evaluated at their expense. After they suggest a diagnosis this serious, they can't just say "well--never mind," especially since the consequences are removal from school. in my opinion the best place to do this for a 5 year old, is an interim day placement in children's psychiatric unit instead of "school" for a few weeks.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Thanks for spelling that out, Martie. I knew J, is new to the world of GFGdom and is feeling really overwhelmed. I think you're right that it would be a really good route to go in getting to the bottom of this quickly. Since the school doesn't have an appropriate setting for him this would satisfy the school requirements.

    It was a psychiatrist who gave the diagnosis, although it was one that was brought in by the school to do the evaluation. However, that was the only evaluation that has been done so far-the others are supposed to follow shortly. Here's her introductory post--the little guy seems like he isn't handling the structured setting, stimulation, and being around other children so he really needs to be evaluated for Autism and BiPolar (BP).

    We have another parent on PZ right now whose son's symptoms point to AS and the psychologist downplayed that, gave a diagnosis of CD, and told her these are the kinds of kids who wind up incarcerated.

    Must be the full moon. :rolleyes:
  11. Juliennes

    Juliennes New Member

    Thank you so much for your responses, they have really made me feel better!
    difficult child has been home with me since Wedenesday and it is like he is a different child...he seems like he is almost relieved, he is so calm. The past 2 days he has been the most relaxed, pleasant and agreeable child ever. Whatever it may be that is going on with him, obviously the structured school setting with the 17 other children in his class is more than he can bear at this point. I know my child, and I will totally buy the ODD, he can be extremely defiant. BUT I do not believe he is psychotic. I know that I am his mother so I am a little biased there, but from what it seems this psychiatrist is going on interms of delusions, I know that difficult child has an incredible imagination and can go on about it...but even with me, if I play along with it, after a point he will tell me "it's only pretend mom". Granted I am not a medical professional and we have to get to the bottom of this, I just feel it is something else other than a psychotic disorder.
    We saw difficult child's therapist last night and she gave us the name of a highly recommended child psychiatrist who I have a call into. The therapist said she can't say for sure of course, but she does not really believe he is psychotic either. Once I can get that ball rolling I am going to work on finding the best schooling placement for him.
    Thank you again as this been soooo overwhelming. I never though in a million years that I would be going through this....