Need opinions on what this paragraph means

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Castle Queen, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    I have been going over, and over, and over difficult child's IEP. Here is the Goal: "Knight needs to learn and practice coping skills to self-regulate his impulsive behavior or feelings of anger or anxiety from a level of demonstrating disrespectful or distracting off-task behavior resulting in 5 detentions and 1 suspension in a two month period to a level of 1 detention or suspension over the course of a three month period."

    I am struggling with what this means. Are they saying that in the past 2 months he's been given 5 detentions and one suspension but in any 3 month period going forward the goal is one or less? Or do they have a year to achieve the goal of going 3 months with only one in a 3 month period.

    My concern is that it's the latter in which I am not on board with their "progress towards meeting this annual goal" which is "observations" To me that isn't measureable! Further muddying the waters is the fact that Knight has already been suspended 10 times this year; I don't know that they can suspend him again without a Manifest Determination, which if that stops them from suspending him, means the goal really isn't a goal because they then CAN'T suspend him anymore.

    Clear as mud? How can we re-word?
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Knight needs to learn and practice coping skills to self-regulate his impulsive behavior or feelings of anger or anxiety
    Current level:
    from a level of demonstrating disrespectful or distracting off-task behavior resulting in 5 detentions and 1 suspension in a two month period

    Goal level:
    to a level of 1 detention or suspension over the course of a three month period."


    in my opinion, they need to also indicate in the goal itself or added objectives of HOW he is going LEARN to do this and how he is going to practice it.
  3. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Maybe this -
    Knight needs to will learn and practice coping skills to self-regulate his impulsive behavior or feelings of anger or anxiety by (add info here about how he is going to do that) from a level of demonstrating disrespectful or distracting off-task behavior resulting in 5 detentions and 1 suspension disciplinary measures in a two month period to a level of 1 detention or suspension disciplinary measure over the course of a three month period (add) as measured by X (x being method to track disciplinary measures).
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not qualified to help as it has been eight years or so since I was in the IEP circle. on the other hand, have you used the Special Education Forum here to garner more info? It was helpful to me. Good luck. DDD
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    They want to reduce the number of suspensions and detentions he gets by having him self-regulate or whatever. My concern is that the part that you quoted doesn't have any recommendations for HOW this will be accomplished. For instance, will he be allowed to leave the class for a set safe space, for how long can he stay in such a space, does an aide go with him, will he get a BIP, what are the incentives for him? If he goes x amount of time without a detention, does he get a reward of some sort (for my difficult child, the reward was, bizarrely, harder math sheets! To a normal child, harder math would be a punishment, lol!).

    I'm not sure how old Knight is but maybe he can have some input. When difficult child was in second grade, if he had a good week, he was allowed to go to chess club at lunch time with the 4th and 5th graders which was a reward he asked for. The club only met once per week so if he didn't earn his behavior points, he had to go two weeks in between. I mention it because your screen names sound chessy to me so maybe Knight might enjoy a round of chess or so. When we switched elementary schools, difficult child would play chess with the school psychologist when he needed a time out from class. He'd usually beat the poor man in less than 10 moves and then go back to class.

    My point is - the goal sounds reasonable but there has to be a viable plan for achieving it. If he gets down to 3 suspensions/detentions, for example, instead of 1, then his interim report will say something like "progressing towards goal" or "making progress" and then the goal will be continued for the next reporting period. If he doesn't make progress towards the goals or gets worse, then the methods of trying to achieve the goals have to be revisited, not necessarily the goals themselves.

    My babyboy had anger issues in elementary school and his goal was to learn how to self-regulate as well. He practiced acting out things that upset him and coming up with different reactions. Example - "Eee-vil," a classmate (name given by babyboy) poked him with a pencil and he punched HER in the face. Fortunately, she was a known bully and other kids reported seeing her hurt him so he didn't get in trouble, but we worked on having him react differently. He could say "STOP it, Eee-vil" or go to the teacher or the aide. At the end of the school year, he went to his teacher and asked that they not be placed together the next year! This role-playing can be done with the school psychiatric or at home with you. The key is to take turns having him be himself and the other person so he can learn another point of view.

    At home, if he likes to read or be read to, try books with characters he can relate to. When my easy child was in elementary and early middle school, we read the books by Henry Winkler (The Fonz! aiii!) about a boy with dyslexia, which H, easy child, babyboy and Henry Winkler all have. easy child was able to see that he wasn't the only kid like himself. For a kid with ADHD, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli is a great book.

    Good luck and try to get some specifics for how the goals are to be accomplished in your son's IEP.
  6. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

  7. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    I guess at this point we have waited so long for services I am tempted to just sign and if it's not working request a team meeting. I think the Special Education lady is getting sick of my questions and objections.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Please don't get frustrated. It doesn't matter if she is getting sick of your questions. The goal here is to write a highly individualized education plan. We can get caught up sometimes in the IEP roll and not really focus that this instrument cannot contain generalizations that you find on any IEP help website or Special Education teaching textbook. This document needs to be individualized to meet the goals necessary to insure your child receives, at a very minimum, adequate supports and modifications to assure a quality free education. If there are goals, then there have to be ways spelled out to achieve those goals.

    The goal you have listed is a good one (coming from a parent whose main IEP concerns at the beginning were behavioral) only as long as the school lays down their plan to help your son achieve that goal. Short of that, it's just words like "repeat instructions" or "preferential seating" that some Special Education departments add to make it look loaded and well thought out.

    The goal is to either improve behaviors or provide academic supports or a little of both. Our children are as different as snowflakes and so should there IEPs be.

  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    The social skills classes can be very helpful, if well done. Have they considered a "circle of friends?" It's a group of children who meet together once a week or so with the stated goal of helping one child and an unspoken goal of helping others. For instance, when daughter was in grade 4, they made a circle for an autistic boy in her class. They chose a bully, an introvert and a couple of other kids to be in the circle. daughter cried when she wasn't chosen; the teacher told me daughter could run a group like that and now, guess what, she's in a masters' program for a Special Education degree! The bully became less so, the introvert learned to stand up for herself, etc. All in all, I think social skills classes have a place but you need to find out what they are doing and how.

    As for the other part, I agree that the prompt should be consistent in all classes. It should be a word or phrase chosen with Knight so it has meaning to him and it should be something neutral and not designed to single him out if other kids overhear. Also, if he has to leave class, where does he go and what happens there?

    It sounds like your school is at least trying.
  10. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Is that a wish list or a goal? "self regulate impulsive behavior, feelings of anger or anxiety"? a kid diagnosis with adHd? really hmmmm? "from a level of demonstrating disrespectful or distracting off task behavior to" not get suspended? really... what? to just something that won't make teacher mad and kick him out of class? some teachers looking at them would make them mad!

    No a measurable social skill goals looks like:

    Angel will use coping skills instead of aggression to resolve a conflict 60% of the time.

    Angel will initiate a conversation with peer and make a positive statement 5 times during the marking period.

    Angel will initiate a conversation with staff and make a positive statement 5 times during the marking period.

    Not sure if got the specifics exact I'll pull her old IEP and take a look tomorrow, seems she had like 5 goals that pertained to social skills. Basic problem was she would get frustrated and open whole can of whoop :censored2: on the teachers.

    Anyway whoever wrote that goal seems to have forgotten the IEP is to help remove the obstacles that are interfering with the kids learning not put kid under contract to behave the way the school wants.

    Almost forgot a manifestation determination in Michigan (might vary dif state) they can't suspend a kid with an IEP for more then 10 days without holding a meeting to determine if disability was why kid got suspended if so is there adjustment to IEP needed? does child have a BIP (behavior intervention plan) if not this is when they will schedule a FBA (functional behavior assessment) does student need a change of placement?

    That's 10 days per suspension not school year. Unfortunately I've seen schools use repeat suspensions to force a kid out when they want to, reading that goal I believe this is a district you really want to get an advocate to help you with this.


    Knight needs to learn and practice coping skills to self-regulate his impulsive behavior or feelings of anger or anxiety from a level of demonstrating disrespectful or distracting off-task behavior resulting in 5 detentions and 1 suspension in a two month period to a level of 1 detention or suspension over the course of a three month period."

    Read more:
  11. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    Did Angel exhibit impulsive behavior? I get discouraged because I am not sure any plan can help with this issue. At the time difficult child does "it" (whatever "it" is, from sassing off to the teacher to making a joke during a lecture that makes the entire class laugh but the teacher boil) he isn't thinking about coping skills, consequences, or whatever.

    Also, I thought the 10 days was per school year...and not per incident...can anyone corroborate or refute?

    They did (a cursory) FBA but I didn't originally get a BIP. Now I've got one that basically says difficult child will get a verbal "prompt" (warning) but if not heeded could still result in detention/suspension. The therapist says this is a starting point and we go from there. Still seems so generic to me.
  12. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Impulsive behavior... like being fine reading and when switch to math become aggressive or bolt from class / building? My child had bipolar and Asperger's and the mental health system kept prescribing medications for adHd, along with her bipolar medications the wrong medication combo caused most of her problems at school. Side effects (like tired when they bumped Seroquel up by 500mg) were what they punished her for most. I never understood how dragging her kicking & screaming to solitary confinement & putting her in there for 5 hours was proper punishment for nodding off in first hour?

    The school once they got into punishment mode repeatedly suspended her leading to transfer to a day treatment school that wasn't about treatment it was about punishment. Stabilizing Angel in a punishment setting was like trying to nail jello to a tree, it took 5 years to get her out of that setting and back into public school. 5 years and the only thing she learned was when they put you in solitary confinement cell smash your head on the wall because if split your head on their watch they will get into trouble. She missed critical years of social skills and education while being punished usually for medication side effects.

    Which brings up those other 2 social skill goals I couldn't remember last night were:

    Angel will utilize strategies to stay awake and upright in her chair 60% of the time

    Angel will focus on the task rather than her environment 60% of the time

    Those 5 social work goals weren't just to correct her issues, mostly it was so the district could demonstrate student needed social skills class & get authorization (staff & funding) to provide the ART (anger redirection training) booklet.

    The BIP they gave you sounds similar to the one Angel had, I use to refer to it as a cookie cutter wish list; it wasn't anything designed around my child or her needs just a one size fits all type of thing.

    will list other services/ accommodations - if any might help your child (for you to suggest)

    organization - use of planner on consistent basis, teacher needed to check that information in planner was correct every class every day.

    Adjusted workload / including but not limiting to assignments partially completed will be graded on the completed part and not penalize for missing work Example Math 10 problems completed of 100 with 8 correct would be 80% or a B (side note: teacher would highlight a sampling to make sure the skill was understood, couldn't just do the easy ones)

    Directions repeated and checked for understanding (she had to repeat back the direction, teacher was to determine if understood)

    Testing study sheet when applicable, teachers notes

    Testing in small group or class, extended time

    water bottle in class and unlimited bathroom (Lithium & GI issues)

    Grooming kit at school to use during prep time before 1st class

    Any extreme or curious behavioral changes call Mrs. XXXXX (me) at XXX_XXX_XXXX as soon as possible. That school had me sign a contract that I would drop everything and run when they called, I preferred being there because their way of managing Angel was abuse.

    I know a lot of these accommodations most districts won't go for but I (mom) had rep for being advocate from H### and I had enough of their seclusion paperwork to pretty much crucify them for violating the state seclusion & restraint mandates. It's to the point if could get a psychiatrist to put in writing they did emotional harm shoving her into cell (often for 5-6 hours) she would be sitting on a million dollar lawsuit. Unfortunately her psychiatrist's are paid by the same county as this school is.

    Anyway if any of those goals or accommodations would help your child suggest them, if there is a need they should provide it. If a problem is listed in the kids IEP they can't suspend for it except in violent/weapons situations, most manifestation determinations I've been to if school was implementing the IEP properly the kid wouldn't have been suspended.

    Take what you can use and dump the rest.

  13. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I just got my sons' progress reports.

    Babyboy is 14, in 9th grade and was diagnosed with dyslexia in 7th grade. Prior to that, he had misdiagnosed visual issues which caused him headaches and he had anger issues, commonly referred to as "self-regulation" issues. Here is his progress report:

    "Social/Emotional/Behavioral Goals -
    When Babyboy expresses a negative emotion at school (e.g., frustration, anger, anxiety, sadness, impulsivity), he will identify and appropriately use a coping skill (e.g., perspective taking, assertive communication, deep breathing, problem solving, planned positive activities) to maintain acceptable school behavior.

    Criteria - 90% success over 10 weeks. Method: structured interview Schedule: by end of each marking period.

    He is progressing satisfactorily and is expected to achieve the goal."

    I can see that he is making progress by the fact that none of his teachers are calling or e-mailing to complain about his behavior and that he has not been suspended or had detention this year. On his recent report card, several teachers stated that "he is a pleasure to have in class."

    I like the fact that the methods are included in the report. He is almost 15 so perspective taking can be embarked on with him since he is old enough to grasp the fact, for instance, that when he refused to complete a math test and got an 8 on it, it ultimately resulted in a quarter grade of F. He was able to participate in an inschool tutoring program which will hopefully raise next quarter's grade and he has promised to attempt to complete all future tests (note to Common Core enthusiasts, this is what happens when you completely change the way you teach math to a bright but not math gifted child).

    I have to contact the teacher about his other goal, which is that he will learn 5 new learning strategies (how to remember material) and demonstrate these strategies when completing classwork, projects or tests. I want the methods to be outlined so that I can 1) talk to him about them, 2) implement them at home and 3) judge if they are working.

    I think that some of the methods listed in my son's IEP can be used in your child's situation.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First, PLEASE do not stop asking questions and pushing to have things make sense. Then don't stop pushing them to actually follow the IEP, BIP and anything else that you child needs.

    Have they done any testing for sensory issues? Are there any sensory breaks or sensory things that he can have/do to help him achieve these goals? Their goals of not getting suspended are great, but exactly HOW is he to do this? Is this a goal that HE buys into? My difficult child had a LOT of friends with similar IEP goals who thought it was a flat out riot because being suspended meant that they got to sleep late, do what they wanted while mom and dad worked, eat what they wanted when they wanted, and roam around town freely for a day or three. Gee, sounds like fun, what sane difficult child would NOT want that? What were their parents to do when the kid kept getting suspended over and over? Jobs don't give you unlimited days off, and by the suspension point, you have likely already taken every sick, personal, and other day off work that you have just to deal wtih the IEP and calls to the office/teacher conference.

    There MUST be SPECIFIC things that make this INDIVIDUAL, not some boilerplate where all that changes is the number of suspensions and why he got them. They have to help him use specific coping tools to achieve the goals in the IEP.

    Don't let school tell you that all IEP's are a bit vague and hard to understand, but they mean what you want them to mean. Make them write it out clearly and specifically. ALL PARTS of it. Don't stop asking questions, learning about the process and how to make it help your child.

    What do YOU think would help him not act out/get suspended? I have been busy with some things lately and not over here much, so I am sorry not to know more specifics right now (also have the cold from Hades, ick, promise I won't share!), but what would help him? How do you think you can get those added to the IEP? How can you communicate with the school to help them understand that he needs tools and not just suspensions?

    Don't let school get away with what seems like a lazy IEP to me. "Student will have fewer suspensions because he will control himself better", which is sort of what their goal sounds like to me, is lazy. It doesn't discuss the teachers, therapists or SCHOOL doing anything, only your child magically doing something he has been unable to do prior to this. Sure sounds like a road map for failure to me. Make them do better. They CAN.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They need to focus not on the problems and their wish list for the problems to stop (and we DON'T want this just as badly?) but to be solution-focussed.

    The reason they are needed, the reason there are problems, is because this kid CAN'T self-regulate. You could offer him a wad of banknotes and wave them in front of him, telling him that if he can show self-control for one hour, he can have all that money. And he won't be able to do it. Motivation is not what is needed here. Some management strategies, coping strategies and some intervention strategies are what is needed. Close supervision, support and an escape valve for when someone else identifies he's reached his limit - THAT is what is needed.

    So the SpEd drew up this draft IEP? Where the purgatory did she get her degree? A cereal packet? As I said already, this is not an IEP or a management strategy, it is a wish list.

    Go back to her, don't bother asking for clarification. Instead, ask her to be solution focussed.

    The goal is for Knight to reduce the incidence rate of problems. Whether these problems incur disciplinary action or not is secondary. Chances are, the kid could well be getting punished for stuff that is beyond his control - and then what is the purpose of and value in punishment?
    An example I use from difficult child 3 (and you can quote me on this, because although it happened in Australia, most of our schools here are also punishment-focussed to the detriment of special needs kids).
    difficult child 3 was 11 years old and his class were being sent to the auditorium where they were to watch a film. difficult child 3 was already anxious because he didn't like to watch films especially where he couldn't see subtitles, and also his class teacher was in a meeting. The substitute teacher was bent on getting obedience at all costs - "You will go to the auditorium with your class."
    difficult child 3 said, "I have my communication book which my class teacher said I must put on his desk. I will do that now and then go to the auditorium."
    Substitute teacher: "You will do what I say and go to the auditorium NOW."
    difficult child 3: "I must obey my class teacher."
    Substitute teacher: "You must obey me."

    Outcome of this - they got to the auditorium by which time difficult child 3 was distraught in full-on panic mode at the internal conflict set up by mutually exclusive instructions from different people. In the auditorium, difficult child 3 began throwing chairs. The rest of the school had to wait outside while someone sent for the class teacher and the principal, both of whom were needed to talk difficult child 3 down.
    Now, at many schools this would have incurred detention or suspension. In difficult child 3's case, because the cause was identified as conflicting instructions escalated by a substitute teacher who did not follow the draft IEP and let difficult child 3 deviate a little in order to reduce the conflict, difficult child 3 was not punished. I was told about it, it was written in the communication book. But the "bad behaviour" was not something difficult child 3 had any control over. He was in a panic and that needed to be resolved in a different way to the usual "problem kid who needs to not indulge his passion for aggression and vandalism".

    So the IEP needs to take into account:

    behaviour we want to change

    reasons behaviour is difficult to change

    what we can do to assist the child recognise the problem behaviours and, with support, begin to make positive changes

    what we will do to try to monitor the child and help head off problems before they escalate

    how we will assess success in improvement of problem behaviours (this includes defining the problem behaviours as well as a method of quantifying them).

    The statement that is the DRAFT version of the IEP (whatever the SpEd wants to call it, it is in no way an IEP I would recognise as valid) doesn't come close to actually putting in place anything which vcan help make this happen.

    They have to earn their bikkies. This isn't it.

    Go for it.