Is there some way I can legally ask for more time?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by almondjoy, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. almondjoy

    almondjoy New Member

    My 16yr old difficult child is failing a couple of classes. He has already missed quite a bit of school this year (he had bronchitis, then my aunt died so he missed a day for that, and recently he has missed a couple of days due to his depression)

    He is failing one of his classes because he didn't do his make-up work. This past Wednesday, that teacher called and informed us. He said that my son had until Friday to make the work up or he would fail for the 6 weeks.

    Thursday, we ended up taking difficult child to the ER out of town trying to get him in to see a psychiatrist faster. So that only left Friday. Friday, difficult child went to school early to make up some work in yet another class and was supposed to stay late for the class he is in danger of failing. Well, that didn't work out. He swears he "forgot"...not buying it! He didn't forget, he just didn't want to do it. The problem now is, he will fail this class for the 6weeks. I hate that because I think that if he felt better right now, he WOULD have gone and done the work. It's just that the depression really has a hold of him right now.
    So, my question is, is there some way that I can legally get more time for him to complete the work that is neccessary in order for him to pass that class? I hate to start the school year off this way! Last year he failed biology and is having to repeat it this year. I don't want that to happen again! He is a smart kid...used to be in the advanced classes and part of the gifted and talented program. But he just won't apply himself...I'm really not sure that he can apply himself as bad as he feels recently!
    I would love any advice you can give me!
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    What does his IEP say about extended time or other accommodations?

    Has sd personnel been following the IEP?
  3. almondjoy

    almondjoy New Member

    He doesn't have an IEP. Not a 504 either. I'm not sure if they would help much because last year, he wasn't even turning in the work they did together in class!
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Regarding the late assignments, I'd ask for a meeting with the teacher and school counselor, explain the family death and recent illness issues and see if you can get something worked out.

    Based on what you've written above and in the General Forum, I suspect that your son's academic problem is not due to he "won't," but rather presently he "can't." Whether it's due to depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and/or bipolar, etc., the problem(s) appear to have surpassed his coping skills.

    It's highly probable that difficult child will continue to flounder without intervention. And it's sometimes more difficult to get required intervention in school when a student has a track record of being an A student in gifted classes, e.g., the student is academically gifted therefore the problems are attributed to willfulness.

    Even though difficult child is being evaluated privately, you still need to refer him for a Full and Initial Evaluation via IDEA/IEP regs in my opinion. It should be done by letter and via Certified Mail (very important to send it via CM -- it kicks in mandated timelines within which the school district must perform the evaluation(s)). is a sample letter if you need it. Edit out the Parent Report info, and submit it in a week or two if you wish. Retitle it "Parent Input."

    Why the "Parent Input?" The school district only has to evaluate in areas of "suspected disability," and the school district must consider "parent input." It's a good tool to help them "suspect." It's also a good way to present information in an organized, unemotional format. You'll find more info on this topic on the FAQ/Forum Help forum.

    I'd get the letter in the mail Monday.
  5. almondjoy

    almondjoy New Member

    Thanks! I agree, it is "can't", not "won't". Thanks for helping me out. I really had no idea where to start! This forum is GREAT! So many caring moms here! I wish I had found this place a looooong time ago!
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You're welcome!

    If you are not familiar with the school district evaluation process, there's a Getting Started thread in the Special Education Archives.