my story so far...

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by tiredofthis, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. tiredofthis

    tiredofthis New Member

    well, first of all it's nice to meet everyone.

    My problem is I've been fighting with the school district for a long time now (approx 8 years).

    My son was un-diagnosed at the time when this all started... He has Asperger's Syndrome and developped ODD and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) (probably from their refusal to deal with him in any way shape or form).

    This all started when he got bullied on the bus on his way to school and on his way home...
    kids got away with it, I wasn't told because no one cared and he was too little to speak up for himself...
    Next thing you know, he hits a kid and he's in trouble, then all the inquiries begin and I hear from another kid that he's being bullied, etc...
    but by now the damage is done and the school, although ignoring the actual bullies, labeled my son a trouble maker...

    so at this point, he's still bullied because they won't do anything about it and he learns to hit other ppl even though we try to get them to deal with the bullying but they won't...
    we get our diagnosis because someone recommended we have our son evaluated because of his now uncontrolled behavior (I never had any behavior problems with him until they messed him up, by the way. He's a very good, very kind child who listened to me for the most part).

    Then they put him in summer school with a woman who was 1 year away from retiring, supposedly well versed in how to deal with special needs kids... and that 1st week he comes home with finger shaped bruises on his wrist... we dealt with that, although on hind sight I should have had her thrown in jail for child abuse... she kept telling a different story about what happened... my son kept telling us the same thing and he had no concept of lies at the time.

    That next school year was a nightmare... they suspended him pretty much every other week for a whole year and requested we pick him up from school very often until they had enough of his behavior and his councillor said he needed an IEP. And so that process began because by now he was down to violent behavior and he would destroy the school property if left in the office alone... which apparently he was... which is ridiculous...
    but they just didn't acknowledge his Asperger's and basically said we were bad parents and he was a kid with an attitude problem.
    (really? I had no problems with my son's behavior at all until they dealt with him all wrong and then he became out of control! If I asked him to do something, he did it. If we were in social situations, yes he would bore the other kids with his constant chatter about things they didn't care about but he never hit anyone back then!)
    The only reason he got an IEP at all was because he was out of control, not because he had a diagnosis. (I still say he wouldn't have been this out of control if they had listened to him and dealt with the bullying instead of being so concerned with how much cash the state was dishing out and their name being on the 'best schools list'... they lost sight of what should really matter: the kids)
    For a while it wasn't as much of a battle with the school district as it was a struggle to get my son back to as close to his old self as we could... but the IEP had to reflect his needs... this period, I call "teaching my kid not to retaliate when being bullied".. and that's exactly what they did teach him...
    sadly I didn't realize that it meant more than just getting his temper back under control...
    it's been years to deal with the damage they caused him in the first place...

    and we're back to square one...

    my son is still labeled trouble maker, but he learned not to hit back/fight back/ stand up for himself...
    what he learned was to tell an adult and ask for help...
    and he DOES and for 1 year they listened...
    but then he changed schools again... and they stopped listening...
    he's in middle school now... and although laste year it was the best year he's had in a long time, he's being bullied all over again...

    but when he asks for help, nothing... nada... he's not getting it...
    so he was bullied for the whole year on the bus and they did nothing while I argued with them to do something about it...
    and then he got so upset he knocked the other kid's glasses off... didn't break them, didn't hurt the kid even... and he's the one in trouble for lashing out...
    then a kid he thought was his friend wrote obscenities on his school backpack 2 days before the end of the year exams... they never suspended him, he wasn't kept away from my son, they did... yep.. NOTHING...

    this year he steps into the classroom ready for a great year. I wasn't there and gave her the benefit of the doubt that he misunderstood the situation, but the aide in his class started questioning him for no reason and he felt she was picking on him.
    I went to the school to address the issue because, even if it's perceived as picking on him but isn't, it's how he feels and it's detrimental to his well-being at school. So I asked she be kept away from him. I was told they would look into the issue and although they told us it was basically ridiculous to make this request, they did keep her away from him so far (really? tell me there wasn't something going on if they felt the need to comply? I chose to let that go though, because as long as she's kept away from him, then the issue is resolved.)

    We brought an advocate in the mix because they weren't going along with his IEP either this year. He's supposed to be mainstreamed but he WASN'T until the meeting with the advocate present, they've given him a rotten deal with the robotics program he wanted to be a part of more than anything. Although we got SOME answers at the meeting and are STARTING to

    and now for this week's issue... he's bullied on the bus by a big boned 8th grader... my son is small for his age (12), has upper body strength issues due to his Asperger's, and thin (in the healthy range for his size) due to a high speed metabolism (he can eat like a pig and still be stick thin). This kid took his backpack, rummaged through it, put my son's gym shorts on my son's head and stole his t-shirt. Correct me if I'm wrong, but theft and assault are a problem. The bus driver claims she saw NOTHING, the assistant principal spoke to the kids this morning and she JUST called me as I'm typing this and I STILL had to INSIST they do something. I'm now having to call the board of ed to DEMAND an aide on his bus for his safety, they don't sound like they really care that his shirt was STOLEN and by the sound of it they don't plan on doing much about the incident other than look around the school and bus for the shirt. I guess she just realized I'm not about to take their sorry excuses as an answer because she started with the "oh, ok" babbling and stopped with the "well, we're doing what we can" and "the driver saw nothing"... shtick...
    it did sound rehearsed on her part... until I used words like "assault" and "theft"... I'm being very gracious because I'm very very angry right now but I'm still being polite... but I think she's getting the point now. She was a whole lot more cooperative after I used those words.. like the situation wasn't real before I did.

    did I mention I'm sick and tired of this? Excuses, half truths, none-answers and my son being blamed while they turn a blind eye to the bullies. It's all good for the junk pile. I'm done with that kind of answers. I'm pushing back.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Is homeschooling an option? How much of this do you have documented? Are you going to get a lawyer next?

    By-the-way, welcome to the board.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I, too, have a son who gets bullied. He's doing better at ignoring them, but it's mostly verbal so far.

    He has gotten in trouble a couple of times for standing up for himself. (We had to explain that punching other kids is only used to GET OUT of a situation where they are beating on him. I'm not sure it got through.)

    Most (all, perhaps, but I don't know) of our buses have aides on them, now, due to the fact that they mix schools and there have been issues in the past. But even the aides seem to be blind.

    I'm not surprised the driver didn't see anything - truly, he (she) is supposed to be driving safely. Looking at the kids isn't terribly safe. But... They need an aide. That's all there is to it.

    We had a small incident a week or so ago where they were playing kickball in gym, and Jett hit another boy in the genital area. Kid cussed him out. OK, so far. Jett apologized, said he didn't mean it, and the other kid started threatening him and his family. Jett went to the teacher - who was a sub - and he "didn't know what to do". That did NOT go over well with me. I emailed the principal for more info. Jett has been known to prevaricate... As it turns out, the sub reported that there were no issues - then when asked, said oh, that was just typical boy. (Kid in question got suspended & put in juvie the next day for a false bomb threat.) Jett has an IEP because he has issues (and most are bully-magnets). DUH. We are requesting a meeting and I want more than core and sped teachers there.

    Sadly, there's not a lot to be done if the school won't work with you (aside from homeschooling). How old is your son?
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh this makes me so ill. I am just so sorry and wish we could all just grab you both up and hold him.
    My son takes a Special Education bus for this very reason. It is a related service and now he even rides a bus alone. He loves the bus but the social challenges are too much. He has an aide and driver who are trained specifically to his needs. I dont like that my son was bullied off the bus (and this was another sp. ed bus and the driver who bullied him) but in the end my son is much happier and doesn't enter school and leave school with additional issues.

    Our busses all have video cameras. Do you know if yours do?

    What is your sons IEP like, are you happy with what i on there? Sounds like they need to support him so much more. He needs support in the non academic times, halls, busses, lunchroom changing for gym whatever.... that can be put in his IEP.

    With all the political buzz around bullying it is hard to imagine any school not taking a zero tolerance policy on bullying. Ellen DeGeneres just came to the Cities to PACER which leads a national ani-bullying campaign. You can go to their web site for more It is a parent advocacy group for special education.

    my love and support to you. I have many friends and students who have been not diagnosis or misdiagnosed until a later age... and that is why I think many of us on this board push so hard for people to get appropriate diagnosis early, your son is an ambassador for why it is critical. Makes me crazy that school professionals wouldn't have suggested to you that there is something going on and just mistakenly labeled him as a behavior problem. Kids who do well at home and struggle socially at school should trigger a red flag right away for a neuro, developmental or psychiatric problem. As you found, even with diagnosis and your support it is still a struggle....he was already labeled a trouble maker. So sad. Glad he has you in his corner. Is this school and even this district worth it to you? I had to make the decision to sell my home and move for my son to be in a better district. I know there are many factors but sometimes, it is just too long of a fight even if you can win it.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    Your story is terrible - but sadly, not unusual in this day and age.

    If the bus ride is the primary problem area....any chance you could start driving him to and from school?

    When my son had an IEP that was not being followed and my son felt he was being "picked on" by a particular teacher....I went and spent a few days in the classroom. I wasn't volunteering - I didn't even say a word. I simply sat next to my son's desk for the entire afternoon and observed.

    And I discovered that the teacher *had* been singling him out for some harsh treatment. For one, his desk was all alone in kind of a corner. For two, the teacher had a number of his things on her desk. Even though her policy was to withhold any trouble-making toys from the kids and then return them at the end of the day - my son's things (a light-up pen and some trading cards) were sitting conspicuously on her desk...and had been for weeks.

    My time in her classroom was enough to get her to return his items, move his desk to join the rest of the children and get her to be a little more compliant with the requirements of the IEP.

    You may need to start becoming a little more visible to the teachers, aides, bus-drivers, etc...

    Good luck!
  6. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    You know you should start filing assault and theft charges with the local PD if the school won't do anything about it. That'll light a fire under their collective arses.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome and ((((HUGS))))

    You are fighting a good fight against bullying. Keep on fighting. And I would definitely keep using words such as theft and assault. Suggest that if the school doesn't do anything, then next time you'll call the police and have the bullies charged yourself? AND call the local news about it? (they don't like that kind of bad press)

    You can look up national stories of bullies going out of control to the point that their victims commit suicide, as well as the stories, just like your son's, where when victims get tired of the BS and they lash out, and of course THEN the schools listen. Print them out. I'm sure you can fill a binder with them. Deliver to principal. Of course you are fighting for your son, but chances are, he's not the only victim, and if no other kids are coming forward, then they are afraid of becoming victims.

    So sorry you both have to deal with this. I just hate how bullies always seem to manage to fly under the radar.
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member


    I think you are going to have to fight this on many different fronts at the same time.

    Others on this thread have addressed some options with the transportation issue and the whole bullying issue...

    You haven't told us much about your son yet, more details would be useful.

    Who diagnosed the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and when?
    Any other dxes to go with it?
    Sometimes the "add-on dxes" get more attention.
    For example... has he been tested for auditory issues? anything from hearing, to language processing problems, to difficulties listening in the presence of background noise... Hearing problems tend to get more attention than Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) does, partly because some hearing-impaired kids are otherwise VERY normal... worth screening for both.

    If you can find some reason for him being different that is NOT directly related to the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), you might get somebody's attention...
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    by the way A teacher friend of mine just posted this on FaceBook. Might be able to do this with the principal.