No help from the school where do I go now

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by robinm1922, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time


    I posted a month or so ago about my difficult child. To catch you all up she is 15 and was diagnosed with major depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in April. Went on 50mg of Zoloft did great for about 6 months then went into a slow relapse. Started to notice more and more naps, snappier moods thought most of it was adjusting to the new school year. Progress reports were ok not great but not horrible. Then came report cards along with really nasty behavior, not going to detention because she "didn't feel like it" and not doing any school work at all. Every single grade dropped, I had made several mistakes. 1st not researching her illness until she was really bad again, not letting the teachers know what was going on with her and finally thinking that her medications were going to be the "fix all".
    When report cards came home and several teachers told me (after me letting them know what was wrong with her) what she was doing in class or should I say not doing her Zoloft was increased. Two weeks on the increase and not much change.
    She was changed over to Celexa 20mg, that was two weeks ago and she is responding very well to the new medications.

    In between the increase of Zoloft and the change to Celexa I met with the schools guidance counselor and the school psychologist. We talked about her grades and their concern over the HSA (high school assessments that she has to pass this year) the out come of the meeting was they were both going to talk to her to see where she "was" and then go to an after school club that is designed to help students pass the HSA's.

    She is in club, which I love since it has broken her come home and nap habit but that is all that has been done. Her progress report came home yesterday all E's except two classes. What do I do from here?
    I know most of her E's were while she was in a major depression so how do I react to that?
    Everything I thought I knew as a parent has been turned up side down. It seems when I push it shuts her down, my thoughts right now are to let her figure this out herself. She is intelligent so I know she can do it brains wise, it is the "short wiring" I am not sure about. At some point she is going to have to realize that she needs to be accountable for her work ethic, no work no reward. Is that too much to expect from her for now?

    What do I do? If I do nothing except support then she runs the risk of failing the 10th grade, I guess that wouldn't be the end of the world.
    Do I go back to the school and ask they get more involved?
    Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression enough for an IEP?

    I contacted the head person for our school board that deals with IEP's asking if my difficult child would be a candidate for an IEP and was told that each case is unique and that I need to start at the school level.
    She made it a point to use the "Special Education" words several times like it was something to scare me off.

    I am trying so hard to balance so many things, my husband (her step dad) doesn't understand what she is going though. He doesn't get the fact somethings she can't control, that is something I am just figuring out too.
    I would take this on myself any day this has been the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I have been through a lot of bad stuff but nothing compares to the stress and helplessness I feel right now.

    I am going to a parent support group tomorrow night, hopefully I can get some answers there as well.

    I guess I am going to need to meet with the psychologist and counselor again and see what to do from here.
    My difficult child told me she is trying much harder now, do I wait and see what she is able to pull out?

    Awwww what to do what to do??? :faint:
    Crystal ball anyone?
    Thanks for letting me vent, I don't feel so alone here!
    Have a wonderful holiday!
  2. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome back!!!

    My first thought is to become a thorn in their side. Drive them nuts!!! Go to the school and sit in the office until you get what you want. I do believe she would qualify for an IEP. Even if she doesn't there are ways to get her services without one. My son does not have an IEP, he is not in Special Education, however he receives speech therapy weekly. I forget what they call it, but it's like unofficial services. If you really can't get anywhere with the school itself and the BOE keeps shutting you down call your local Student Advocacy Board. They are lawyers who advocate for childrens educational needs, they work on a sliding fee scale. I have had to use them before and believe me they are not playing!!!! They will fight for you.

    Good luck. :)
  3. jal

    jal Member

    If you want to get extra services for your daughter the first thing you need to do is send a registered letter to your Director of Pupil Services requesting that your daughter be evaluated. Usually you can find the form on your school's website. That's where it all begins. They have a mandatory time frame to respond to you and get the ball rolling. There is a possibility with-her diagnosis that your daughter may be able to qualify under OHI (other health impairment). It doesn't mean that your daughter has to take special education classes, but that she can qualify for additional supports and or services. Sometimes these entail extra time for completing tests, special accomodations for test taking, etc. They key though to getting an IEP is that the illness must be interferring with her ability to get an education or it must be interrfering with the education of those around her.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sorry you are going thru this- my suggestions incllude 1) send a letter certified mail ASAP requesting that they start the iep process (don't let them discourage you), 2) get an advocate, 3) have complete neuropsychological testing doe on your difficult child if you can afford the cost that insurance won't cover- the school can do part of this but it won't be as thorough and they might lean too heavily on what teachers say, which is probably just from a standpoint of "bad behavior", 4) Get any letter you can from therapist and/or psychiatrist stating difficult child's diagnosis, symptoms, how it and any medications she's on can effect behavior and/or ability to do school work

    Specific questions can get answered if you post on the Special Education forum. Good luck!!
  5. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time

    What is neuropsychological testing? I am not sure what it is but do know her psychiatrist hasn't mentioned it. Her psychiatrist is leaving the practice so my difficult child is getting a new psychiatrist, which means she will be evaluated all over again. I am happy about that because it will serve as a second opinion.

    I will contact the school psychologist and get him to start the IEP process. I don't think she is a full candidate but she maybe for extra time on tests or other choices.

    I will check with her new psychiatrist and see what he thinks about more testing.
    Thanks for the info!
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If you request the IEP in writing, they are required by law to address it within a certain timeframe.

    neuropsychologist testing is done by a phd level psychologist (not a psychiatrist) or a neuropsychologist. Your psychiatrist might be able to recommend a good one. Or, check with a nearby children's hospital.

    Sorry- I'm really in a hurry right now but others here can give you a little more info on this. Tell the school psychiatric that you are looking into this.
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    A lot of psychiatrist's do not think Nuero-psychiatric evaluation's are necessary at times. Some do some don't.
    I got mine through a referral from our pediatrician. You can also call a Children's Hospital and find one through there. Or some are independent.
    They are really worth it. They are not really giving a diagnosis but a kind of direction to which way your child is heading or leaning. They will give your scores for learning issues and and things like that.
    They give their thoughts on what they think is going on and what they think you should do and where you should go for help.
    Then you go back to your psychiatrist and they go over the result and give you the diagnosis.

    At least that is how ours worked. He had a list of possible diagnosis's written down and what he thought K would and should be diagnosis'd with and why, but he wanted the psychiatrist to officially go over it and make a decision as well.
  8. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    One thing I would recommend - bring all psychiatrist diagnosis's and recommendations. Ask the psychiatrist if they think difficult child could benefit from extra acedemic services (long test taking times etc). I had a psychiatrist do a quick letter addressing her concerns and recommendations.

    And I would certainly look into hiring an advocate to help you thru the process. I found many around here were more than happy to give advice over the phone on whether services would help or not.
  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Robin1922: Ask for the forms for the IEP in the office, they have them, you fill them out.
    Independant Education PLan ie Special Education is a service the school HAS TO
    provide balanced on what THE STUDENT needs to learn the fact she is challenged with her current diagnosis, which clearly IS interfering with her learning is the "in" and the testing that they then will have to proform will show if there is some specific area that is impacted more than others. It may also give the diagnosing specialist the information pieces that ultimately will
    demonstrate where in her physiology (her brain function) she is showing the
    deficits blocking her right now. And thereby the "special tools" educators CAN
    impliment just for her because she needs them.

    Slacker teachers and principles do what I call "teaching to fail" watching another student who they see daily and do know she is having a depressive illness wether you mention it or not, they 'do know' she is recieving E or F
    or D or C and this carefully...are doing nothing.

    Get the forms from the office, fill them out, call the Special Education dept at the district or state level and ask that person all your questions. Mention that your child has had a treated health concern and that the school is not accomidating her need for support to stay au par. up to standard, she is failing and she is
    able to learn. And as for what the school and professional educational services can offer to complete her reasonable education goal, let alone academic excellance which in general IS THE POINT of public education.

    I have had the idea that the schools policies or programs are not in place to provide IEP services that my learner needs. The service is responsive to
    Indivigual students, not institution policy. It is a FEDERAL law, not a local
    board whim. The person who was speaking to you may not agree or like the
    FEDERAL law, the person may have political veiws or some other personal opinion, and the fact is THE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR is incombent upon the
    obligation TO TEACH and not the inclination to "admire failure" in the classrooms, and the schools and the district.

    The higher up they here at the school that this matter is being looked at the nicer they are, the fasters the calls are responded to , the more immediate the meetings are scheduled and gee, sometimes all the teachers even FIND TIME to show up,prepared and ready to get to work.

    It is your daughters education at stake. You have skin in this game. And you can invite anyone you like to come with you, an ecucation specialist attorney, the local disability rights advocate, someone you know who is on the ball and has been through this with their own family member. Invite her treating CAN do this. It will be ok. And the teachers will have another oppertunity to streach their skill sets, which is what gives their chosen profession as a proformance art life.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to send some understanding hugs your way. We are dealing with almost the exact same things with my easy child (who really is more of a difficult child these days).
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I suggest you call the Dept. of Public Education and get a free-of-charge Parent Advocate. Trust me, you will get farther much faster if you have an Advocate working with you and going to IEP meetings with you. Schools don't tell you about Advocates because the don't like us to know about them, but every state has them and you need to ask for the one in your area. Never go to an IEP meeting without one. The SD will hem and haw and do as little as possible and try to sell you on how your child doesn't qualify for an IEP. Don't let them do this to you. An Advocate is trained in all the education laws of the state and will speak for you and get your child the services. We have done it both ways. Now we only do Advocates and things move fast.
    As for neuropsychologists, they do 6-10 hours of intensive evaluation testing and will probably tell you more about your child's learning and why and behavior and why than any other professional. They are very worth it. I recommend a private neuropsychologist who has nothing to do with school. I wouldn't count of a psychiatrist to give you a referral. They may or they may say "not necessary." It's part ego. I would just set up the appointment. If psychiatrist won't refer you, call your pediatrician. Our neuropsychologist tested my son for ten hours, and finally figured him out. He was worth ten of the psychiatrists we'd dragged him to as they never really tested him at all. They just took guesses and pulled out prescription pads. I felt like the poor kid was a guina pig and, at the same time, I knew that the psychiatrist was somehow wrong, but he refused to consider it. You can find NeuroPsychs at University and Children's hospitals.
    Good luck, and call the Dept. of Public Ed :) Get an Advocate! You deserve one and so does your child.
  12. lillians

    lillians lillians

    i always also have an advocate,, anyone from childrens services that yu trust,, they understand the language that we miss,, are also not emotionally charged and so hear whats actually said not what we think we hear,,i had the public health nurse at one point,, those teachers all know that there are underlying problems,, but really do often choose to say poor parenting luck to you,, and bug em if yu must
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you get an Advocate, in my opinion go through the Dept. of Public Education because they will NOT put up with your parenting being on display. They know the LAWS, and will make sure the school district doesn't break those laws. Since public financing comes from The Dept. of Public Education no school district wants to screw with an Advocate from there because they can decide to investigate the school district and penalize them financially. I've thought of becoming an advocate myself. I feel like I'm already half You need to go through a lot of training first though. And pay isn't good--it's