It would be helpful to have some idea what the issues that led to Special Education. qualification are. Otherwise, I recommend http://www.wrightslaw.com as a source of overview information.
You have a right to have your point of view considered at the meeting. However, you have to establish what you think would help difficult child. I cannot offer any suggestions without more information.
Thanks for the link. Here is the quick nutshell version of my difficult child's life thus far...
At 2, we knew something was different/wrong. He's been in daycare since he was an infant, and routinely got sent home for violent/aggressive/ODD behavior. Got kicked out of 2 daycares. Tried behavioral route with therapist to no avail. Tried medications at age 5 - Trileptal, didn't work. Had him evaluated right before Kindergarten, through SD. Scored very high on Weschler (sp?), told he might be gifted. Entire year of K no problems. Teacher loved him, learned to read very quickly. Last summer, started going downhill again, kicked out of summer camp. Started 1st grade at new school, first 3 months no problems, but since November, progressively getting worse. School avoidance for several weeks, then started with ODD behavior in classroom. Not listening, not following instructions, running away from teachers, being defiant, rude, etc. Teacher is a moron. School adjustment counselor makes decision to call father to come pick him up because teacher can't handle him in class. Now we have meeting next week with teacher, school counselor, and principal (I assume, but not sure). I need to know what to say, what to request, what is difference between IEP and FBA, and MultiDis evaluation. Currently pursuing neuropsychologist evaluation. At wits end.
I've read over a lot of the posts on here, you are a very knowledgeable group, and I am so thankful to have this resource. I just need to know what to expect at this first meeting. Thanks for any advice you may have.
I'm glad you found us. The IEP is the END of the process. You do not need to wait for the meeting. SEND A CERTIFIED LETTER REQUESTING A FULL AND COMPLETE EVALUATION OF ALL difficult child'S AREAS OF SUSPECTED DISABILITY on Monday morning.
Take a copy with you to the meeting. This starts a 60 day time line in which the SD has to complete a very detailed (and legally specific) evaluation. THEN there will be a meeting to discuss whether or not difficult child is eligible for Special Education. The criteria are two pronged:
He has a disability (he does--not really disputable)
The disability is negatively affecting his ability to make progress in the general education curriculum.
DO NOT let them equate grades or state testing with "no problems." There can be many behavioral problems that impact education when a child has the potential to do well with the gen ed curriculum. been there done that as a parent.
Also, do not let ANYONE call difficult child "socially maladjusted" because it is an automatic disqualifier from sp ed. services. If someone says that, politely but firmly correct them. He is either BD or ED under IDEA. This system is different from the DSM medical diagnosis's such as ADD, ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), BiPolar (BP), etc.
Also, do not let them blame you but try not to be defensive (hard I know, since they probably WILL blame you.) You have tried for years to help difficult child. He has a long history (compared to his age) of behavior disorders. The school is responsible for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) if he is declared eligible for Special Education. One of the requirement for Special Education that is NOT in force is that the child have a perfect parent.
So the SD might think the meeting is to put you on notice that you have a "problem child." What the meeting really will be is a discussion of what to evaluate because the SD can refuse your request ONLY if they go to Due Process Hearing. They probably will not do this because their chance of losing is high.
Finally, don't go alone to the meeting. Take someone with you to take notes. Then whatever happens, write a "memo of conversation" the next day to memorialize the meeting and send it to the SD by CERTIFIED MAIL. When parents do this, SDs start thinking early on how their behavior will look to a DP hearing officer--even though you hope that it does not come to that.