New with age limit question.

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by japartain1958, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    Hi everyone and thanks in advance for any help you have to offer.

    My difficult child is SMI. He is in 4th grade and 11 years old. We live in a rural area and our school is one building k-12. They have three areas k-5, 6-8 and 9-12. They have always had a Special Education class in the k-5, but this year they made one Special Education class for the whole school. Joseph is now at the high school end of the school with all grades. I am wondering if there are age limits for Special Education classes. I do know that they are children up to 12th grade in this class room. I am really not liking this situation.
    Thank you for your help. Julia
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I don't know if there are techinically any age limits. If they combined to save on staff or cost, my question would be what are they doing for Joseph in this class. Is he in there all day? Does he work on appropriate level work? I wouldn't worry so much about the age of the kids but would put more effort into finding out what exactly they will be doing with him in that environment.

    Welcome to the board. One suggestion...If that is your son's real name, you might want to change it to something else on here to protect his identity. Many of us use difficult child (Gift From God) or make up another "nickname" on this site. You never know who's lurking.

    You said he's classified SMI at school. Can you tell us what his specific diagnoses are? That might also give us a clue on how to advise you.
  3. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    Hi TeDo. Thank you for the welcome and information.

    My difficult child has spastic quad cp, dystonia, complex partial epilepsy and scoliosis. He is confined to a wheelchair. Very dependent for everything. Improving slowly after having a Baclofen pump placed in June of 2010.

    This all started with a very bad (I think) IEP for me at the beginning of the year. New teacher never had to deal with before. No notice of change. Did not inform me the speech therapist would not be there and this is the year we are trying to find some form of communication for Joseph to use. I though everyone should be there. Teacher, Occupational Therapist (OT),pt and speech. His aid was there, but she was the first one to speak ( the teacher said she had something important she wanted to talk about). She informed me that my difficult child must have something medically wrong with him because sometime he smells like he pooped, but he did not poop (he is in a diaper). The Occupational Therapist (OT) ask if she had ever had gas. Funny, but not funny. I could not even think straight after that. My son was so upset that they were talking about his bathroom habits he started crying and had a melt down. This is also the first time they insisted my difficult child be at the meeting too. He is to young to understand all this. I am asking for another meeting before the end of the year. I just need help with information on how to proceed. Should I get him an advocate.

    As far as school goes he is in the Special Education class room all day except for specials. Gym, music and library he is with his regular 4th grade class.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    OMG! What a hideous person! One thing to discuss that with you, quite another to do it in front of your child!

    Your son is definitely too young to be at the meetings and he is not required to be there. I would insist harder that he NOT be present. If his input is needed on certain issues, have a separate meeting with him.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh good grief. My heart breaks for your guy. I have worked with many many kids like yours and for any teacher to treat him like he is not even a person with feelings while in that meeting.... I mean would she talk like that if any typical kid that age was sitting there? I would say if you can get an advocate then YES do it.

    First, every team member providing services, a mainstream teacher, admin/district rep MUST all be at the meeting since the new IDEA 2004 was signed unless you sign off that you are allowing them not to attend. So, if he has s/l on his IEP then the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) should have been there.

    Second, another member of the team that is mandated if you request (and I assume this is going to be needed for you) is an assisted technology person.

    Third, every child is to be taught in the least restrictive environment. Your child has a right to be educated with peers to the extent that is possible. If that means eating lunch at the same time or being on the playground then that should happen. (even if he needs assistance to eat or be outside).

    If he is at the other end of the school can he still join in the gen ed. with kids his age for music, art, etc??? (of course with an aide). He has that right if he is cognitively aware of peers and it is a goal you have for him. For some kids it may mean bringing mainstream kids into the sp. ed. room and there are always kids who love to do things like that.

    I know it is harder when districts have limited resources but they still have the same laws to follow. I will be interested to hear what you find out and how things go along.

    I LOVE that the Occupational Therapist (OT) asked if the ding a ling teacher had ever had gas! That is classic.

    OH yeah, keista reminded me... I STILL dont have Q go to IEP meetings. WAY to stressful for him. If he could actually advocate for himself etc...then that would be great and we will work on his doing that in part, but it is just too much for them to attend those meetings when young.

    (I have to say I have seen some cool ways to do it though.... like the kid making a power point and presenting it then leaving etc... it is nice for the team to see the bigger picture and realize the potential and desires of the child).
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Our state has limits on what grades can be together but I think that is a state-by-state decision. You might want to call your state Special Education office and ask.
  7. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    O.K. I have been reading all day and finally think I found a answer to the age limit. Do you think this is what I am looking for? Sorry it is a little long!

    I think I may have found the information regarding age range is Special Education class rooms.
    R 340.1733 Program and service
    Rule 33.
    An intermediate school district, local school
    district, public school academy, and any other
    agency shall adhere to all of the following
    general requirements for all programs and
    services for students with disabilities:
    (a) Special education classrooms or areas
    where related services are provided shall
    have at least the same average number of
    square feet per student, light, ventilation,
    and heat conditions as provided for general
    education students in the school district.
    (b) Programs for students with severe
    cognitive impairment and severe multiple
    impairments which have students under 16
    years of age shall not exceed a 6-year age
    span at any 1 time.
    (c) All other special education programs
    which have students under 16 years of age
    and which are operated in separate facilities
    shall not exceed a 4-year age span at any 1
    (d) The age span for students who are
    assigned to special education programs,
    except for programs for students with severe
    cognitive impairment and severe multiple
    impairments, operated in elementary
    buildings attended by children who are
    nondisabled, shall not exceed, at any 1
    time, a 6-year age span or the age span
    of the students who are nondisabled in the
    building, whichever is less.
    (e) The age span for students who are
    assigned to special education programs,
    except for programs for students with
    severe cognitive impairment and severe
    multiple impairments, operated in secondary
    buildings attended by students who are
    nondisabled, shall not exceed, at any 1
    time, the age span of the students who
    are nondisabled in the building, except in
    high school buildings where students up to
    26 years of age may be served. The term
    “nondisabled” shall not include persons
    participating in adult education programs.
    (f) Programs for students with severe
    cognitive impairment, severe multiple
    impairments, and moderate cognitive
    impairment shall comply with subdivisions
    (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this rule unless a
    program is operated in accordance with an
    approved intermediate school district plan
    where, due to the low incidence of eligible
    students, expanded age ranges may be
    necessary for programmatic feasibility and
    meeting the needs of students.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think this is your catch-22:

    (d) The age span for students who are
    assigned to special education programs,

    except for programs for students with severe
    cognitive impairment and severe multiple
    impairments, operated in elementary
    buildings attended by children who are
    nondisabled, shall not exceed, at any 1
    time, a 6-year age span or the age span
    of the students who are nondisabled in the
    building, whichever is less.

    Didn't you say it was a K-12 school, all in one building?
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Are you going to call them on it ??? good job!!! Hopefully they just think parents wont notice and they didn't think ahead and get some kind of waiver or anything. I would call the state department of education now and see what to do next...
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It might be. This addresses separate elementary, middle and high school programs. I'm not sure if this applies to schools where everything is in the same building. You really need to call your state Department of Education and see what they say. Some schools have certain exemptions/modifications because of structure or other issues. The state DOE will be able to tell you specifically.
  11. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    O.K. Thank you. I will look up the number and call tomorrow. I will also look into what all they are doing with him and if it is a good environment for him. Thank you.
  12. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    I am going to see if this is right or not. I will have them make a change if this is not right. I was scared this day would come. All the sudden changes. Just was so nice for so long. I don't mean this to sound bad, but I have always worried that when my difficult child started to grow up they would treat him different then when he was so little. You know what I mean? That they are so cute when they are little and then they are bigger with more problems. He will always be cute to me and a real gift from God, but I am his mother. People are funny like that.
  13. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    This is what they told me. Deviations are just written into a county's Plan for Delivery of Service. So while this may be the state rule, if ISD has said in their Plan something different, then that local rule is what is in effect. Geez that's convoluted and not sure I explained my point even. I will have to find out were to get a copy of the counties Plan of Delivery of services.... CRAZY!

  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    It is so true. Having worked in the system from birth through grade 12 I can tell you I was much closer to families in the early years... and as a mom who has been through it from ecse on.... yeah, there is far more care, concern, etc...when they are cute and little. Since not working (taking care of my difficult child) I have been volunteering and reading in the spmi room and I get so sad at how much time they are just lying around and no one is running goals with them. They are often treated more as a hospital care facility instead of an education setting. I started grabbing communication buttons and taking kids for walks in the building and giving them opportunities to use their social skills. It is heart breaking. (have to say there are always heros and there were a couple of aides who could practically read the minds of some of the kids. SO respectful and careful with their privacy and warned them before touching etc... just some beautiful souls too...I am just saying, overall it was hard to be around---NOT the kids, but the adults who were not working directly with the kids who sometimes sat in front of the same movie for MONTHS)
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Maybe I am not reading it right but: except for programs for students with severe cognitive impairment and severe multiple impairments, Also, it said which ever is LESS. You are right... then to say that it doesn't even matter... Seems crazy. Well one way to get at it is in the IEP...working on LRE and making sure he has a chance to be with same age/grade peers.
  16. japartain1958

    japartain1958 New Member

    Do not want to sound dumb, but what is LRE? Thank you.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    not dumb at all! LRE is Least Restrictive Environment. It is always by definition (not that I agree but it could work in YOUR favor) assumed that they should first be in a setting with same age/grade peers in the gen. education setting with reasonable adaptations and accommodations. I know a girl with RETTs syndrome where they put a sensory pool in the room and she got to go in for a couple of hours a day and sit in there, let other kids hang out with her on and off, they played her favorite music etc... and she LOVED it. The kids get so much out of that.

    So, LRE is mandated as part of IDEA.