Manifestation Evaluation Update

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by DownTheRabbitHole, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    I had posted that the school had sent us a notice of the Manifestation evaluation ARD about 3 weeks ago and just wanted to give an update and had a few questions.

    The ARD was 2 weeks ago and I was so upset over the meeting I couldn't bring myself to discuss it. But time has passed and I've calmed down enough to see past the rude reception we received at ARD.

    They set the meeting to discuss a possible change of placement to the most restrictive setting outside of the school. Without getting to into detail this was the worst and most difficult ARD to date. Previosly all ARDs had been supportive and understanding regardless if addressing academic or behavioral concerns. The admin was so rude I get mad just thinkiing about it. I neither expect nor desire sympathy but I don't think common courtesy is asking to much.

    Anyway best not to go to far into that subject at the moment. The end result was that difficult child would stay full-time in a BI Unit and be mainstreamed back into his regular class settings after Spring Break. Also he will be taken out of classes not part of core curriculum like Art. He will go to BI and work on social skills or catch up on work for those periods. I was ok with all this because we were dealing in medication problem which in my opinion contributed to the behavior in the first place, and this would give me time to discuss options with physc. We are going to try something a little different with dosages and medication schedule and hopefully the effectiveness will improve and difficult child can finish out the year successfully.

    When I originally posted my concern over this ARd several people suggested an Advocate but I was not able to find anyone except local attorneys in my area. I found online listings at the state level but nothing locally. Is this typical? Do parents usually have to pay for services?

    I hope that I do not find myself feeling the need for an Advocate but after that ARD I think it's best to be prepared.

    Also he was do for reavaluation and we discussed the report during the ARD as well and the diagnostician(spell?) found some traits of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which has always been the case, but not enough to give full diagnosis. I felt she was very good and went into detail on report and testing including what she found regarding the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) evaluation and we decided to have another outside evaluation. And just as important and certainly much needed and felt was her open and cosiderate attitude. They call this something but I forgot and I don't have my notes with me off hand.

    Anyway another question was regarding this, does anyone have info regrarding ARD requests for outside assessments? Does the district pick and schedule with Doctor or can we take him to someone of our choosing?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It varies... but most often, from what I've seen/heard, the school has a "list" of options, and you get to pick from there... Because they are paying for it, they want some say in "who". If YOU are paying for it... it is probably totally your choice.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ditto Insane on the Independent evaluation. It is "usually" that way but I'm not 100% sure. I took difficult child 1 for an independent evaluation because the school one was a superficial and definitely biased (they had an agenda). Our insurance covered it, not the school. If you put the request to them in writing, sent the "recommended" way, I THINK you should have some I said, don't quote me on that.

    As for the advocate, in our state we have a PACER Center that provides free advocates. We also have what Buddy is using called a Disability Law Center which is also free. PACER advocates are trained parents (mine was AWESOME) where the DLC is actually lawyers. Neither of these are local for me. Our PACER advocate drove an hour to meetings and the nearest Disability Law center would be the one Buddy is using and that is 2 1/2 hours away.

    As for the admin that p***** people off, yea, Buddy and I both have those. It got to the point that their attitude alone was enough to make me fight that much harder against them. ((((HUGS)))) to you all. It is a tough road and yes, you definitely want to get an advocate on board so they are in place when (not if) things go really south.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Its true, luckily I live in the cities but my advocate travels all over the state, even 6 hours away the other day! So, if you can, try the disability law center in your state and call and call again....getting through to her took over a month, since then I have had DAILY contact, sometimes multiple times a day. They also have connections to lawyers who will do pro bono work. They especially like to work on cases where kids are being pushed out of schools into more restrictive settings because parent and child rights are walked all over. Let them know how awful and rude the tone became. That made my advocate on her own file complaints on the SD. She also told the superintendent, director of secondary schools, and director of special education that she would never tolerate a meeting like that again and we would walk out and end the meeting if anyone ever raised voices, pointed fingers, only discussed negative issues and not problem solve it, etc. She was pi$$ed off. I hope you can find someone like that. PACER has sites in other states and will refer. They are paid professional positions, not volunteer, and while most are parents who receive intensive training in the law and how to advocate, they also use interns and have a program to train volunteer parents to advocate in different areas. I am just saying don't let the distance stop you from making the call....they may be the ones who know the connections. Your department of education (again state level) should also be able to give you references. (in fact every district I have lived and worked in has a list of options in the parent rights handouts that come with all of the due process paperwork you *should* get).

    In the end, did the decisions that were made come from a collaboration or did they bully you into that placement? Sorry that his day is going to be full of all challenging things to him. Can the time in the BI room at least in part include activities that are not all homework, make up work related. All kids need some kind of break in their day to do creative or motor activities. I hope they consider his needs in that area. Esp. if Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is even in part some of this... Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids need built into their schedule sensory breaks throughout the day. For some that is to GET sensory input for others it is to get away. They often need help re-organizing and calming their neurological state.

    In terms of an Independent Evaluation....
    Here is a letter written on the Writeslaw website (you can go there and enter IEE and get a bunch more info)
    But having recently needed this I will share this letter. In summary it says that the list provided by a district is simply a list to help you if you dont know where to start. But all they really can require is that you meet guidenlines in terms of type of evaluator, cost, location, etc. If you can find your own that meets the criteria then you can select your own. If you have a situation like I do where they dont have anyone in district, or on their list or maybe even that meets the criteria then they must agree because the mandate is that each child be evaluated in every area of (suspected) disability. For me that means that they have to know about brain injury too. NO one not even the one we agreed to has that knowledge (She admitted that at our meeting so now that I have connected with a brain injury center, and it is a common, well known hospital based program, I am sure I can switch since the other never started).

    Hope this helps. I really do feel for you.... as TeDo said, the emotional part of what they do is the worst. It can wear you down and I get not being able to talk about it for a while. I still barely can discuss some of the meetings. I didn't post anything for over a day even this last meeting and it was not ugly! (a day for me here is long as people will tell you, I really need this place)....

    HUGS and wishing you an army in an advocate. It does make a huge difference (by the way, if you can't find one at least bring in someone who can act official and to take notes constantly. Find out the recording laws from state advocacy agencies and DO IT. their words need to come back to them either through witness or recorded message).