Making a few steps forward in the school situation.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Despite being Christmas break, I am making some headway.

    I have talked to the SpEd director for our district. She said it will take her "a couple days" to get the evaluation put together. I hope she meant that literally. I did not go into detail as to what was going on, but let her know that he has no place to go come Jan 5.

    A friend of a friend has a 5yo son in the district just north of us who is autistic and has been hugely successful with the IEP process. She is supposed to be calling me and has stated that she will invite me to her son's next meeting, which is coming up very soon.

    I've got the in-home requested again, and am working up letters for the docs. I am sure i can get at least one to attend. The woman who acted as difficult child's 1:1 at Montessori school is on my list to contact, as well.

    I haven't been keeping my medication file as neat as I should; that's gonna bite me. I will probably have to take a couple of days off to get that cleaned up again; will be a lot of busy work and running, but shouldn't be that hard.

    My ex-mother in law used to be a teacher and counselor in our district and has been brainstorming away over there. She is meeting tomorrow with a former SpEd teacher who now works at one of the mental "institutions" nearby with youngsters to ask for suggestions and guidance.

    I'm scared to death and having trouble thinking "outside the box" for what difficult child needs. All I can seem to see is that he needs a 1:1, but I need a backup plan if they refuse.

    But all in all, its forward movement, and considering its the holidays, I'm encouraged by that.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Shari, you're doing GREAT. Now call your State Dept. of Education and get an advocate so she can plan your son's IEP with you and go with. It will make all the difference in the world to have an Advocate with you. They are FREE to all parents in all states.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree, it's really difficult when you get asked, "What do you want us to have in place for difficult child?" and you just can't think.

    We've just been there for difficult child 3; in the last couple of weeks before Christmas, we had a couple of IEP meetings for difficult child 3, to work out what modifications to make for him. They can only modify his schoolwork, because he already works from home. And I don't really know what sort of modifications they CAN make, so I've had to rely on advice from the Special Education teacher in this. It's been a work in progress, but as some adjustments are made, other ideas become more obvious.

    It does sound like a lot of good things are starting to come together.

    A suggestion for future reference - we found we kept losing or misplacing original reports from specialists, so husband scanned them and they're in the computer as PDF files. They're too big to email to anyone, but when we need to, we simply print more copies. Previously we'd take them to get them photocopied and often they would not get back into the files when they should have. This way, the originals stay in the files and the copies get printed as needed. I can get notice of a meeting and head straight in to the printer and get it going while I go get dressed, have breakfast, get the car out... when I get back to grab my mobile phone, I just grab the sheaf of papers from the printer and head out.

    It makes us seem much more efficient than we often are!

    The other really important thing that helped us a lot - a Communication book which I used to type on the computer and print out to paste in the book. This way, it also doubled as a diary - also really important. When we went to IEP meetings or to see the specialist, the Communication Book came too. And those books now stand as a really useful record of interactions between school and home, as relevant to difficult child 3. Highly revealing.

    When we were transferring difficult child 3 from the local school to the highway school, I took the Communication Book mainly to show them what I wanted in terms of ongoing communication. The principal and class teacher (also deputy principal) were leafing through the book. One of them saw something that interested him and surreptitiously passed it over for the other. I wasn't meant to see it, nor their reaction, but the raised eyebrows and pursed lips told me volumes - I checked the section of the book later, and they were reacting to the response from the class teacher at the local school which I had considered inappropriate; it had been a report of an incident which I had felt had been handled badly by the school. They didn't say anything to me, except to reassure me that they would keep a close eye on difficult child 3 and do their best to help him feel safe. That also spoke volumes to me, on what they had seen in past entries in the Communication Book.

    A very useful thing.

    You're doing brilliantly, Shari. All your effort will be worth it.

  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Shari, you are making good progress. It's natural for you to be fearful if difficult child does not get what you believe he needs in school. You are fighting the good fight and are a true warrior mom! We are behind you!

    The biggest factor in my difficult child getting a 1:1 was the argument that a 1:1 met the Least Restrictive Enviornment requirement in the law. Keeping him in the classroom with "supports" (which is what the law says) was what he needed since it was apparent with testing that this was a kid who "got it" academically but needed help "getting it" behaviorally". The 1:1 was shown to improve the quallity of the classroom for all students by not forcing the teacher to deal with difficult child issues which took time away from learning for the other students, and also allowed the teacher to have the 1:1 step in if difficult child got "out of hand". He could be removed by the 1:1 rather than the classroom being "cleared". Those were the arguments that got difficult child his 1:1.

    Good luck.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Shari, I've got a lot of catching up to do on this subject. I finally got a chance to read the other thread. Arg. What a bad situation. That teacher makes my head spin. She truly doesn't get it.
    I am so sorry for the 2-yr-old. I hope she's got a big family and is used to that sort of thing!
    I'm glad you're making progress. It will make a world of difference when you get that IEP and 1:1 in place. You're doing a great job.
    Neat that your former mother in law can help out. :)
    I've got my fingers crossed for you all.
    (And some part of me wants to take the final results, say, in 6 mo's, and wave it in the "bad" teacher's face. I'm so bad that way! )
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm just glad to hear you are making forward progress and agree that it would be great if could get an advocate I'll be looking forward to hearing positive updates.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Shari I'm sorry i missed your other post, and I have to go read it, i read part of it. Its just never ending with this situation. I just wanted to jump in and say you are doing a great job and i'm really sorry that you all have to go thru this. I was hopeful it wouldn't come to all of this.

    Yet you sound driven and focused and all over it, good for you.

  8. Hey, there. Wanted to let you know you have my good thoughts and prayers (for whatever they are worth). My difficult child was asked to leave more than one place; I pulled him out of a Montessori school before they could kick him out. He's in public school now and that's working out better for him. It's my opinion that despite what private schools advertise, they really do want to deal only with "normal" children. Many of the teachers are poorly paid (despite what you're paying the school!) and under-qualified. I liked LittleDudesMom's argument for the 1:1. Our school still considers my difficult child "within normal limits" although how this is reconciled with his suspensions is not clear to me. At any rate, my difficult child has done a lot better in public school than in any of the private schools I tried, so here are my hopes for you. Good luck.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Fingers crossed for you!! Even if it seems like it makes no difference, I still think that when it comes to kids, everyone is better off if you let them know in writing that there was a problem with "XXX". Otherwise, they can too easily sweep it under the rug. I hope this all works out- I know you are doing everything you can...
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Shari, have you done a parent report? It may help you focus on what has been done in the past as well as the results.
    If we had special needs backgrounds we would know what the system has to offer. We wouldn't need IEP's.
    We as parents know about behaviors and weaknesses and what isn't working for your child and ask them what they have to offer. Ask them what they have done for kids who have similar behaviors. Ask them for their recommendations.