New to this site...frustrated with High School

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by christee, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. christee

    christee New Member

    Hello....I posted this in the wrong place yesterday, so I am reposting:

    Hello. I am new to this forum...I have a 14 year old freshman with a list of labels including (mostly) Conduct Disorder. His Special Education teachers do not know what to do about his outbursts and thusly have reffered him to go to JDC (Juvenile Detention Center) Day school. In my opinion it is to just get him out of their school. At his Manifest Determination hearing they ruled that his 13 suspensions (so far) this year were NOT due to his disability BECAUSE they could not by LAW use Conduct Disorder in their ruling. He is classified as Emotionally Distrubed, ADHD, and depression. He has an intolerance for control or controlling behaviours. He "requires" the control. When he does not have said control he has an explosion. Which has led to 13 out of school suspensions. He has another IEP meeting this coming Tuesday...where I would like to have a NEW resource room teacher implimented (there is another at his school). I was told that would not happen several times and I am having a hard time fighting this alone. He just left a court hearing that states he has only until spring break to get it together or he would be removed from the school plus other consequences. AHHHHH neeed help. I feel useless at these IEP meetings and I feel like anything I say doesnt matter. The school confessed that they have never had any experience with "these types of childre" therefore are not properly trained to handle it. You would then think this would ignite change but instead he is being ostracized!!!

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  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Not sure of the road you've been down, so I apologize if you've already done these things.....

    1. Get an Advocate. I called legal aid, the Disability division. They have an educational advocate. (All states are different ) they travel the entire state and do phone conferences if not.
    There are other sources, NAMI, and your state dept of ed can give you a list of advocates.

    2. Get a private neuropsychology evaluation to assess everything ....ability, adaptive behavior, language, emotional issues, etc. They have added training that typical psychs don't have and can give ideas as to whether enough is being done for him.

    3. When was his last school functional behavior analysis? If they've done one, and if their POSITIVE behavior plan isn't working, they're missing something.
    Put in WRITING a request for an INDEPENDENT educational evaluation: a functional behavior assessment. Schools often do not have staff that truly know how to do this properly and if they have been unsuccessful at developing a program for him, you have a right to ask for this at their expense. They can't tell you who to pick but can state parameters for what type of professional and fair market cost. They may present a list of options they have used. You can use that or search.

    4. Are there alternative emotional and behavioral settings, including residential schools that your district has or contracts with that could be a better match for him? This school may be limited in skill and doing harm by not being able to think differently even if the law says they should.

    You have huge say in a change of placement. Ask for alternatives. Is he in a typical school with Special Education support? Maybe he needs a level higher where the whole school is designed to support and care about kids with emotional and behavioral needs. Go visit these places. Sometimes districts contract with other schools and districts, or there are charter schools that can be options.

    5. Always have educational advocates with you at manifestation determination hearings. So I'm repeating, smile, get an advocate. A neuropsychologist can help you with evidence that his behavior is connected to his disability.

    It's overwhelming when the district/school is giving up on your kid. Have you seen the school they propose? Is it a place with good staff? Or is it a place where your son will just have more chance to get with other kids with problems?

    Does your son have drug/alcohol use issues? Would a treatment center be appropriate?

    Well, I'll stop. Welcome, and sending you a suit of armor for the warrior job you're facing. It's really hard. been there done that.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    by the way, around here, many feel that ODD and conduct disorder are descriptions of behaviors (yes they officially are diagnoses) because they don't tell you why things are as they are.

    ADHD often is a symptom of other issues that you need to test for OR it also often has other conditions that go with it. He could have subtle motor or auditory processing problems that could be at work here. So other evaluations you could try (but for sure get the neuropsychologist one done).....Auditory processing with a specialized audiologist who is trained in this area. (( this is beyond a hearing test, it checks to see how his brain sorts out sounds and how the brain understands them. For example, in a noisy classroom some kids can't sort out the important voices from background noise. This can make a child seem defiant or like he's not paying attention.

    A speech language pathologist can help see if he is processing language appropriately.

    An occupational therapist can help to see if he has subtle motor or sensory issues which can cause him to move more or less than others, to try to escape difficult tasks, to get away from sensory stimuli (noises, touches, etc. that bug him) or to seek it out if it doesn't register enough (makes kids look hyper).

    Ask specifically for therapists who have experiences with kids with these problems to evaluate him.

    Sorry for the flood of ideas. Desperate times......

    It really does pay off to collect this data. He is so young and could easily fall through the cracks being listed as a conduct disordered child. Sad to say.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I am sooo sorry you are having to deal with this. I and my son were in a VERY (eerily so) similar situation. It was true that my son was "forced" out of our school because the principal just did not want him there anymore. We had an IEP meeting (I had a locally well-known advocate with me) pretty much every month. They did not believe the neuropsychologist's lengthy evaluation and diagnoses. They did not believe their reading specialist that found reading comprehension issues. They absolutely refused to believe that he wasn't 100% defiant and beligerent. At the beginning of the "ordeal" my son carried the ADHD and ODD diagnoses. The neuropsychologist testing revealed he was on the autism spectrum so the ODD was changed (it was dropped). The school refused to accept that.

    After having even more OSS's than yours and even more unexcused absences (longer story), I watched my son go into an even deeper depression, curled up in the fetal position and sleeping constantly. I gave up the fight with the school and pulled him out. I put him in a school of MY choosing and now he is thriving.

    I am with Buddy. You need to get a very comprehensive evaluation by a neuropsychologist as well as comprehensive Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations, outside the school. We did that and it was amazing the things I was missing because of my interpretations, assumptions, and personal experience (and yes, some internet searches of various behaviors). The neuropsychologist and Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations literally changed our lives.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you AND your son.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For lots of us... getting the right evaluations was the first battle.
    If you don't know ALL of the pieces, then interventions, accommodations and medications tend to not be effective, or not effective enough.
    Even the dxes that don't come from a neuropsychologist evaluation. Sensory, motor skills, auditory processing...