Needing some direction and guidance for meeting friday

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Tiapet, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Ok I've called my meeting for Friday. I'm waiting on word if the district behavior specialist will be there or not, I did request that he be there for this one. The reason being is that at the end of the year last year he participated in a meeting in which we had been trying to show the school how forcing difficult child to do homework was only causing an endless battle that was a complete loss at home (and usually ended in rage and or violence). No work ever got done. Not only that but difficult child knows the material and any classwork that is skill and drill type (repetitive stuff) he will shut down and not do either. The specialist sat at the meeting and said right to them why demand homework from him if he can demonstrate through tests and quizes, etc that he knows the material? Why have all this skill drill too? School wouldn't back down on demanding it no how.

    So additionally we have issues with 2 people. 1 is his math teacher who is issuing the skill and drill work as well as getting on him all the time (though he is not talking back necessarily all the time at a level that has gotten him in trouble at all, or perhaps he's not even doing it or I believe I'd have heard about it like I did once in the beginning of the year). He gets extremely frustrated with it. He also doesn't like to "show" his work and they are demanding he do such (I don't understand this concept either as they are allowed to use calculators and this is a child that hates writing also has great difficulty with it, hence they gave him an alpha board to use for writing). The other teacher doesn't "teach" him but it is his SPED case manager who oversees him at school. He has to check in with him in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

    This is where the problem really is in a big way. The Sped teacher a month into school (may have actually started sooner but on paper we know for fact) wrote him up for "disrespecting" her because she asked him to get out his folder so she could go through it and he said "let's not and say we did"! She said she will not be talked to like that. Well that started the ball rolling on bad terms with her and difficult child and it just got worse through out the year between them. I'm sure she has not been speaking nicely too him (contrary to what she is saying) and it seems at every opportunity she is on him. I get that her job was to help him but we've tried to show her and tell her how to best work with him, where he needs the help but she is doing it in her own way and at times not even complying with it Not even things SHE herself set up to do. As I said, there have been many run ins with her and just recently she wrote him up again. This time for disrespect again and yelling at her. Well it got to yelling because she refused to listen to him and then touched his things, which is a big no no. I know school has a right to go to the kids locker but in this case it wasn't a search for anything bad, she was simply searching for papers that he was clearly telling her weren't in his locker and she refused to listen to him that they weren't even there.

    I guess what I'm searching for is how to best proceed with this meeting. I need to show that his behaviors have escalated through the year do to manifestation of his illness due to the fact that refused to listen to us about his needs (to put it in the simplistic form i can). They refused to acknowledge or comply with the requests we made on what was necessary to best help him make it through the year. Due to that early in the year things started happening and keep escalating, he started shutting down and it all went down hill from there. Not only behaviors but his grades. The progress reports that are part of IEP and come with his report cards. On them it clearly shows he wasn't making progress on the goals yet they didn't seem to care about it, even when I went back to IEP meetings and tried to adjust some things and told them what kind of help he needed.

    Now he's failing, since shortly after school began he hasn't wanted to go to school and now it's gotten to the point that getting him TO school is nearly impossible so absences are going to be a problem if it doesn't stop. Everyone is on me. They are taking issue with everything with him, not just his grades but everything. If they had just listened to me we would not be in this situation with him but they refused. He would not be fighting going to school so badly as he is if it weren't for these 2 teachers, the 1 more so as she is the worst on him. Yes, he has bullying issues but that is even overshadowed compared to what has been going on.

    I have emails from the year. I'm going to take them in. I'm going to take in the progress reports, I'm going to take in the weekly progress reports that finally just started happening recently (and of those, the Sped didn't even start it when she said she would initially for 3 weeks, then went another 3 weeks sending them only to his MH case manager and not me- who NEEDED them to help keep up on the work the whole purpose of them).

    I'm just wondering what I need to build a strong case to get them to see what went wrong as they are trying to throw all of this on my difficult child entirely...his choices, his behavior and that is not the case. They are at fault 80% and then he is at fault for "reactive" behaviors for their lack of doing. I need to do this so they help him and perhaps we can actually get him to pass this year or else he will have to spend summer/next year in a school he hates and it will self perpetuate again for no reason when we know he is capable of A's/B's if they'd only listen. I also need this to be able to build his IEP for the transition to HS. If I can't get them to see this now and accept it, I won't be able to get them to going forward.

    Maybe I didn't explain it well and there is other pieces but this is the main nutshell. I'm really open to questions so please ask whatever you need to know to best help yourself help me get this case presented in the best light friday so they don't walk all over me.

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, others will have far more good info for you, but... I caught one huge red flag.

    What, exactly, are they giving him for interventions and accommodations in EVERY single subject for his writing problems?
    An alpha board is useless for math.
    The amount of effort it takes a kid with dysgraphia (which is what this will be... trust me) is so totally massive, that they are destroying him. been there done that.

    We... told the school that difficult child was not allowed under any circumstances to use pen/pencil and paper, or any variation thereof. Either they came up with technology that worked for every single subject, or they gave him a full-time scribe (not an aide... a scribe... someone who does all the writing, not a baby-sitter or behavior interventionalist or any other garbage). It took two years to sort it out.

    And that's just ONE issue?

    Any chance of finding a good advocate to bring in on this?
  3. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Interesting IC. He had Occupational Therapist (OT) testing years ago in school as part of a battery of tests as well as testing outside of the school system (other kinds of tests but was through psychiatrist) and they couldn't identify anything other then "an unusual way he held his pencil that it was unreproducible, meaning they could not show us literally how he did it but that he made his hand fatigued very quickly. The only thing they offered us was to have him use pencil grippers. Yeah, no that NEVER helped him at all and so anytime he had to write for any length of time forget it. If he THOUGHT he had to he just out right refused to write it period. The other issue is that when we moved back in 2006 from one state that stressed math and reading down to another state which didn't really focus on them but VERY much intensively on WRITING he was suddenly at a HUGE deficit since he was behind every other child by 4 years of intensive information trained into their heads from school on the mechanics of how to write (like paragraphs, etc). He could never catch up and always failed at it. I fought that school for help but at the time I was also fighting them to get a 504 and eventually an IEP for 2 years. Still, in the end no help. Fast forward to now, 6 years later, he's had NO help with writing at all and I told the school it's a weakness. They tell me he can write just fine and showed me writing pieces (examples) of his that he's done. Yes when one on one put to heavy task he ends up having to do it but they did not realize the heavy burden it places on him to think about it. So anytime he is put to task to write an essay or any project/task that requires writing, he will shut down and most likely not do it. Vocabulary, that too is an issue not only in language arts but other subjects that specifically have an assignment that requires vocabulary work he struggles with. If you ask him to spell out words he mostly can do it fine but don't ask him to put it to paper. He fails at it.

    They just see him as this smart kid who is trying to avoid "doing his work" when I know he really is NOT trying to do so but does have struggles but I literally am also struggling to put the pieces together on why on certain things other then "how" it's being taught to him and "how" the teachers are handling him when they speak to him. It' not easy reaching him, very few can but if he puts up that wall and it may look a lot like ODD you can ramp him up and since he's been through this for years, now he's acting out (which he can't afford). He's not being nice about it. He's tired of "not being listened to or heard". He's NOT dumb!

    I'm wondering if I should just not ask them to do a full evaluation on him all over again because his last one was so many years ago but I just don't trust them doing so and to find the "truth". Know what I mean?? And of course we have a timing issue now since end of school year is so close! I need him to get through this year as keeping him back would be an absolute mistake. he knows the material and his state scores prove it, he's higher the most over all in the state!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Go here:
    And look up their resources on smart kids who can't write.

    CanChild is out of a major Canadian research university.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Next - is he Aspie or spectrum-ish? or even ADHD?
    Because... half of kids with ADHD have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (see that CanChild site), and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) symptoms are part of Aspie and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) definitions. Fine motor skills can be affected without gross skills... i.e. kid can be fantastic at sports and can't write.
  6. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    I'm going to "assume", because there are no details in your sig or this thread, that your difficult child has a diagnosis of ADHD.
    In which case, you might want to consider three things.

    Testing for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), especially the ones that are "sound" processing not "language" processing - there's something like 5 diferent APDs, and many areas still only test for the original/classic Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) where the child has problems processing verbal language. Among the others are "auditory figure ground" and "auditory distinction", either of which makes it difficult to follow a teacher's verbal instruction in a classroom setting. The student spends a disordinate amount of time trying to "hear", and has little mental energy left over to "listen". There are interventions and accommodations and technology that can help - no medications.

    Maybe time for an Occupational Therapist (OT) re-evaluation, with a different Occupational Therapist (OT)... ideally, someone who is used to working with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie kids because they are more attuned to these kinds of neuro-motor developmental issues. It's not the only possibility for writing difficulties - for example, there are multiple "causes" of dysgraphia, not all known at this time. Occupational Therapist (OT)-based therapy should make some difference, but not fast enough for an impact on school work in the short run.

    And then... if you dare... Take the following items to your meeting on Friday, and hand them to the math teacher:
    - oversized pencil, not properly sharpened
    - thinnest paper you can find
    - a flimsy plastic binder, to set the paper on for writing - nothing to attach it
    - instructions: You are to hold the pencil in the opposite hand from your normal writing hand, the paper and binder in the other. While standing on one foot, you are to take detailed notes for this meeting. You are not allowed to set your other foot on the ground, drop the pencil/paper/binder, or make any other scene or disturbance.

    Why? Because that is about what math class is like for your difficult child, I'm guessing.
  7. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    IC I couldn't locate that information on the site, though I did look. He probably is somewhere on the spectrum since they had given him a "partial autism" diagnosis which I'm told is a lazy diagnosis for aspergers. He is high functioning. I can see traits and have for years but only recently got them to start listening. I've never had anything formal or anyone formal observe or test for that specifically. I've been trying though.

    Soap, I don't know about any Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) with him. I haven't noticed anything like that but that doesn't mean there isn't. A general hearing test showed nothing. Each time. I know my oldest (who he is most like) DOES have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) since she was little. I do agree it's time for a new Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. Things can and do change and a different person might see things differently as well.

    As of this moment I've chosen to reschedule the meeting and not do it Friday. I learned that he will get word where he will go to HS (assuming he can pass) next year by April 1 (which is after next week's spring break). It's hard enough to get everyone together for 1 IEP meeting let alone 2 and we would have had to do that to do his transition IEP. I hadn't even gotten confirmation from them until today whether they would definitely have ALL core teachers there AND the behavior specialist. Additional I'm able to get an advocate but in no way could they be there by Friday since I had just made contact with the place today. I only "made" contact today so I still have wait for their call back which wasn't going to be until tomorrow.

    In the meantime, I need to pull together the agenda (as I was asked by SPED teacher) of what my concerns were for this meeting. I have to think about what all I want to address. At this moment I also now have to ward off another issue that just happened so can't post more.
  8. TiredSoul

    TiredSoul Warrior Mom since 2007

    Interesting info. Is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) mainly a "Canadian" thing? Who in the US diagnosis's Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)? Sounds a lot like my ADHD child.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is internationally recognized... although, people around this board tell me it's not so well recognized in the US.
    Given that 50% of kids with ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)... it could very well be your child.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Do you have an advocate? A good one? Because one thing my daughter's IEP has is a provision for homework that is 50% that of her peers and she also has a "resource room" class where homework is done with help so even less comes home. So much less fighting over homework at home. Like yours, she can (but often won't) do the work. Sadly I've had to direct a few of her teachers to the fact that she HAS an IEP (*headdesk*) so one thing I'll make sure of at the next meeting is to be certain all teachers are properly notified that she has one and I expect them to read it.
  11. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    So I officially have an advocate now. A very good thing! I now have to pull together where I want to go with this meeting but it seems like she is going to help me. I learned in this state they do NOT have to have all the teachers there at the meeting at all. A couple of them only. :( She also let me know that they will not volunteer to do any testing, especially not Occupational Therapist (OT), so I will have to request it which I was going to do anyway. We're going to decide exactly what testing we are going to ask for as I said, his last testing (which I don't even think was thorough) was back in 2007. He's long overdue. What I REALLY need is some testing for spectrum and get a more firm/formal diagnosis on that. I don't know how or if I'm going to be able to do this.

    The latest deal that's gone with him at school was that he was talking in his band class and the district has a discipline policy whereby all the kids names are listed in a database that the teachers access. When they do something wrong they put a check mark by their name and it assigns the level of discipline. Based on how many checkmarks they have, that's the level of consequence they will end up with. In this case, the other kid involved it was his first time so he got a warning. difficult child got had 2 other infractions (doesn't matter what they are) so this made it his third so he got "wind isolation/in classroom isolation". What that means is that each class he gets placed away from all other classmates. A wing is the actual grade he's in. This was simply for talking and the problem with this is A) he has severe ADHD so even medicated it's very hard for him to control this, harder still when the other child (no matter who it is) says or does something that my difficult child finds funny. In this case said child made "sex noises" (what ever that means?) so my difficult child replied with "that's what she said" comment and laughed/giggled. He is very immature in that respect over inappropriate things. Even his worker said that highschoolers act immaturely when it comes to the conversation of sex. They don't know how to handle the subject maturely at most times.

    I also got the chance to talk with his psychiatrist about getting that letter to get him on homebound for the last 30 days. Still a no go but at least I now know she was not fully understanding why I wanted the letter. The MH worker had previously spoken to her about it but her thought was that the school was going to seek an alternative placement for him not that it was a potential trauncy issue due to them NOT following the IEP and doing what they should have been nor that there were teacher issues happening that were triggering his issues. So, she said she'd speak more with the MH worker but in the end she said if it came down to a trauncy hearing with a judge (meaning if he ends up refusing school and uses up all his days and I have to go to court because of it) she would make sure that it wasn't about trauncy but that they understood it was about the school not doing what they should of in regards to his IEP! Great! That's NOT going to work as no judge is going to take her word over their own and further more, the things necessary aren't in the IEP and THAT is the problem even more that we had been fighting all year for to get taken care of! I told MH worker I was not comfortable with her thoughts at all. I can only hope that I can somehow maintain him by the skin of my teeth until the end of the school year and/or that when we sit down at this new meeting we get a new IEP in place to help cover it time.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Among other things, perhaps ask for a functional behavioral analysis (I think that's the term...someone else can correct if necessary) - to work toward a proper behavior intervention plan. Obviously, even school is flagging behaviour as an issue, so that "should" be a reasonable request.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I missed this! Can't wait for your update. Re-evaluations are due every three years by law but once in, they may not be comprehensive without a push and you are legally to be included in planning the assessment. If he's truly had no re-evaluation since 2007 that puts them out of compliance and your Advocate better have somethng to say. If it's that you need additional testing then yes, you need to initiate it. Occupational Therapist (OT) is a related service in the schools so it is offered only if needed to accomplish the IEP goals. (Speech Lang is going more this way but legally can be either, a related service or a separate Disability area with it's own goals)

    So for example, though q is low enough scoring on all fine motor tests, sensory integration tests, etc....he wouldn't get any attention from Occupational Therapist (OT) unless they had a writing goal ( for example ) that he could only accomplish with Occupational Therapist (OT) support. He gets Occupational Therapist (OT) support for his emotional and behavioral goals because he needs Occupational Therapist (OT) strategies to help achieve the goals. Also Occupational Therapist (OT) tools are listed in his accommodations.

    The point thing? *SCREAM*
    since he's on an IEP they have to follow the laws regarding time out. Look at writeslaw. Separation for extended time and anything that is humiliating is not allowed.

    I'd create a bip that is positive in nature to help cue verbal control. You may have to add an fba in your request for assessment to get this done.

    Then general ed must follow THAT plan.

    Sounds like a stupid system anyway, I'm sorry for you.
  14. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    In starting my prep for this I needed to get out his current IEP. I also went over the progress reports that came with his report cards (I can only find 2 at the moment) and some older IEP's BUT....I found a FBA plan we did LAST year after an evaluation that I requested. *slaps head* I don't know what's going on with me. Just so much really so it's no wonder I've slipped up as chaos has been running rampant with crisis in this house. I remember clearly how mad I was with the plan as it didn't do a whole lot, was in accurate and i didn't think that it was done right to begin with as it didn't identify triggers I CLEARLY knew to be!

    Irregardless, the have NOT been following that plan at all from last year (didn't even incorporate it into this year's IEP!) but there were some strategies in working with him in it that they clearly have not been doing. Furthermore, in the "notes" of the IEP from this year it is clearly written how he was having an issue with the sped case manager and math teacher but more the case manager, back when we met in December. I really found a lot of things.

    No, he hasn't had any kind of testing other then the woodrew mini battery thing in 2011. I saw something written on him having had Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation but I KNOW he did not. I think they were referring to the one done in 2007 perhaps as it's in written notes and some of it's hard to read.

    And NO, NOTHING is positive in it at all. They had goals and how sped case manager was to help him organize and such and how she was going to give a reward as incentive...yeah...I think that may have happened the first month of school a time or 2 but nothing since!

    I can also see how they jumped from a 6 grade IEP of writing sentence mechanics and what they expected WITH 200 minutes of assitance a week, to 7th grade expectations WITH assistance (at another school district). Get to this district and they "have" to do their own....they threw out the BRAND new written IEP we did RIGHT BEFORE THE MOVE that would have well covered him for 7th grade! When they gave him his new one in the new state, yeah, lost everything and basically he had nothing. 8th grade, even less!

    It's like they truly threw him to the wolves and that was that. I feel bad and very guilty because I haven't been quite on my game as I usually would be but I tried to fight them, I wasn't comfortable/familiar with this state and how they work, their laws (which apparently are different in some ways) and I had NO ONE to back me up at meetings and I couldn't find any resources at the time. NOW I have them.......
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We did the best we could with what we knew/had at the time... and when we knew/had better... we did better.
    So... go get 'em, Warrior Mom.

    It isn't too late.
    WE got totally thrown under the bus for years and years and years... and got things turned around in HS (not ideal, but... he IS still in school... and I don't have to drag him there)
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You can only do so much. It's on them to say, hey ...this kid's struggling, we, the professionals need to contact the parents and see what we can do to improve things for this student. You don't just get mad at a kid for their disability.

    Glad you're getting your stuff. Sounds like he needs a complete reassessment. Sometimes they take more ownership when they "discover " the issues in their own assessment. I hope that will be true for you.