IST meeting (Instructional Support Team)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Gaia, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Gaia

    Gaia New Member

    It is strange how I was not sure what to expect, and yet I feel like it was not what I expected.
    It was Rob and me, Mrs. Z (E's teacher), J (school counselor), Dr. P (school psychologist), and the assistant principal (I forget her name, she is filling in for the asst principal that is on maternity leave). I think Mrs. Z was hoping for some suggestions on what to do for Eric. Dr. P pretty much confirmed that we are doing the best we can. Unfortunately, Eric has an extreme case of anxiety and it will take a long time to see any improvement. *sigh* Dr. P also said that an IEP and a 405 plan will not help Eric. If he cannot even do work when I am in the room with the teacher and only 1 other child, a smaller classroom will not be the answer. I feel like the only thing I got out of this meeting is that they are supportive, they want to help him, and we are all on the same page. But no one knows quite what to do.

    I spoke with M (Eric's social worker) after the meeting. I will be meeting with her alone next Tuesday to discuss a strategy in his treatment. We will write it down and share it with the school. I like that idea. She told me that she thinks I am doing a great job with Eric so far. Too bad I don't feel like I am. She also said that the next IST meeting I go to, she will come. I like that idea too.

    So no tears today, and I am at work. I see another glass of wine in my future tonight.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Gaia, I'd urge you to repost your situation along with the outcome of this meeting over on the Special Education board. There's a lot a school can do for a child with anxiety so I'm not at all comfortable with their not knowing what to do with him. I doubt that just time will resolve this problem.

    If they aren't able to educate him with their district buildings, then one option is to send him to a therapeutic day school (at their cost) which is staffed with people who *do* know what they are doing.

    Also, one thing which you may stir into your pot to think about is that some children with anxiety that is so severe it's bringing functioning to a halt will benefit from trialing medication. Have you discussed that possibility with the social worker at all? No one wants to medicate their child but if this turns out to be a long term issue he clearly will need some interventions, which may include medications, to function. Some kids do very well with medications, others not so well, but sometimes it's worth trying just in case yours is one of them.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Please take this post and copy it onto the Special Education forum. They are not being honest with you. They have a duty to do what your child needs to learn. If they cannot provide this, they have to pay for him to go somewhere that can help him. There are ways to set things into place.

    I can say that one of my daughter's friends has had years of selective mutism. This started before we moved here and still exist, iwth a few notable times she has spoken.

    She communicated very well. She is very bright. Jess and she hit it off in 1st grade. I had both girls with me on many field trips, with others and without. I actually spent 2 field trips with just the 2 girls before I realized she did not speak or make any noises.

    I do not know what causes the mutism. or how to help other than simply not to pressure.

    Have you considered seeing a developmental pediatrician? I found ours was extremely knowledgeable on many issues, not jsut autism. He helped us more with my difficult child's anxiety than any other doctor ever has.


  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Susie is right--they aren't being honest with you and are skirting their responsibilities: if the SD doesn't know what to do with him then according to federal special education law the school district should be paying a *qualified* consultant to come in and develop one. If that means they bring in or send him for an assessment by someone from out of town with expertise in selective mutism and/or anxiety, then so be it. When my son's anxiety was very debilitating, the district arranged and paid for an Autism consultant to come in and observe him at home and school. She wrote up a report with observations and recommendations and presented it at an IEP meeting. SD also offered to bring in someone with a mental health background. I'm not saying it's not a good idea to involve your own specialists but the SD claiming they don't know what to do is totally acceptable. Legally they are responsible to educate your son and if that's not happening, they are responsible to find a information, a setting, staff, and/or staff training, etc. to make that happen.

    in my opinion, determining that a smaller setting won't help because of one trial with mom and teacher not working is a bunch of hooey. There are many arrangements of smaller groups--for instance one that my district offered us was to have a homebound instructor meet with my son here at home or at another setting (school but not in the classroom, another district building, off site, etc) so as to take him out of the location where anxiety was making him so nonfunctional.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Great, I just saw your post on Special Education.

    I was so intent on getting that aspect squared away that I breezed over your last comments about how you are feeling. It's very important that you take care of yourself emotionally during this. When a child hits this low spot where you feel totally helpless, it goes against everything we are as mothers. "We're the mom, we're supposed to make it better" is how our mindset works, and suddenly we find ourselves in a situation where we not only can't fix it, we may not even be able to budge the child one iota towards forward progress. To me, this is one of the toughest parts of dealing with a child who has special needs. Every one hits some brick walls in life, but when it's our kids who hit the walls, it hits us incredibly hard. Do everything you can--in the home, with the district, with outside professionals, research--but take care of yourself because it's critical that you remain emotionally well in order to take care of your little guy.
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi again

    I responded to your thread in the Sp Ed Forum.

    by the way, I completely agree with SRL's and susiestar's comments.