Ok, I've read the report

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't see where the sd psychiatric kept "significant in there but I'll go over it again tomorrow to make sure. Anyway, she left something in that she told me she'd take out. Other than that, by only big issue is that she says any threats of violence or harm to self or others should be taken seriously and sd should do threat assessment and if they do this, they should make sure they get all documentation from previous neuropsychologist report, etc. Now, what concerns me with this is that if she turned "difficult child threatened to hurt another child with knife" into "difficult child had serious act of aggression toward another child", then what in the world will the regular sd people do? I looked up what "threat assessment" means for our DOE and it's school personnel determining if a kid is a threat to others. Ok, I can see that to a certain extent, but what they do if THEY determine the kid is, is expel the kid. I'm thinking the assessment should be done by a psychiatrist and the kid should be hospitalized if he/she's a threat. Furthermore, the "assessment" they do is only for them to decide if the kid is going to come to sd and kill people- yes, it refers to Cho- but there's nothing about suicide in there. Now really, do you think the sd people are qualified to deetermine if a kid is going to be a Cho? I can see if they talked with a kid who made a threat, but they should refer it to mental health profs at that point, in my humble opinion. And the sd psychiatric is by no means one to do this.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know our sd takes threats very seriously. I think it would be great if they could get a psychiatrist assessment on a child but not all parents would follow through. In our difficult child's iep it is well defined (due to his bipolar and other dxs) what can cause him to be suspended and what can't. This took us a long time to get into the iep and the principal at difficult child's middle school wanted us to take it out. We said no because it was so hard to get it in there in the first place. I would definitely go to the sd and express your concerns. Hugs.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, WO! I agree with taking threats sserious- whether it's a threat to self or someone else. My concern is that I read the state's Threat Assessment policy, which was written as a result of the Cho incident and other school killings in the country. It says the school administrators should determine if the threat is serious, if so the student is to be suspended or expelled and the sd psychiatric is to determine if the child should be placed in an alternative school. OK, I'm thinking given my son's history, I don't want the sd psychiatric determining this. I think the crisis center (our local mental health dept.) can be called for a TDO determination. I just don't think this sd psychiatric gets difficult child at all and doesn't know very much about evaluation'ing kids with mood disorders.

    I spoke with difficult child's old therapist today and he has agreed to do the IEE. When I was explaining my concerns, he said it sounded like the sd psychiatric was trying to do more of a risk assessment than an IEP evaluation. I agree and think that is what I've seen ever since difficult child started exhibiting problems.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    you may want to review your state's info on manifestation hearings.

    and get an advocate (as I have said elsewhere).

    I don't think the threat assessment process can legally be applied to a child with a disability if there is any question as to whether the problem behavior (threats of violence or suicidal actions that might include violence against others) arise because of the child's disability.

    The school psychiatric is not a trusted source of info on this subject. Maybe the sd attorney's would be but I wouldn't even count on that. Your child needs an advocate.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would look into this point. Just as Sharon, WO, has an IEP that prevents the school from just suspending or expelling her difficult child for certain behaviors becase they are a manisfestation of his disability, I believe the threat assesment policy of the state may have a loop hole or two in it that you can use.

    On the flip side, I'm not sure any parent - whether the parent of a difficult child or a typical kid - would remain confident in a school system that did not take threats against other students seriously. When the sd looks at your son's case, they are not seeing the years you have put in to get him help, all the professionals you have worked with, all the junk you have put up with. What they are focusing in on is a 14 (sorry, I think that's how old your difficult child is) year old that pulled a knife on his mother. In the world of typical kids, this is a threat of the highest order and a situation that most parents would never dream could happen in their home.

    Question for you. Do you believe, in your gut or your heart, that difficult child is at risk for harming himself or others?

  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Threats are taken very seriously around here; we've had 4 calls from the county sheriff's office about wm since school has started. AND wm is in a Special Education school full of kids with mental/emotional health issues.

    Whether we like it or not K, our difficult children at this age have got to internalize what they've learned about threats, anger, etc. Do I (& foster mum) like getting calls like this - not so much. If wm doesn't knock it off he will be suspended. It's the law & it will take a mediator & the like to get wm back in.

    As a parent, I want to know that my son is being held accountable & the other kids are safe. wm will be held accountable as an adult & I expect that process to begin now.

    Keep going over that IEP. Keep in mind that the laws while they shouldn't apply to our difficult children often get overlooked if a gun (even if it's a play gun) or someone threatens to stab another. (I'm talking wm here - not your difficult child).

    Good luck.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks for the responses. Let me clarify since I was quickly relaying stuff in the initial post. The report insinuates that a risk assessment should be done on my son in the future- it does not say right now although this sd psychiatric would probably like that, it is not justified. The reason it isn't justified is because she is flipped out over verbal threats difficult child made in 5th grade- 2005/2006 school year- that were never followed thru with but she learned about them because the elementary school principal put notes in difficult child's file about one and the other was mentioned in difficult child's neuropsychologist report from spring 2006. This time period was when difficult child first starting showing erratic behavior and he went to psychiatric hospital in Feb 2006 and Mar 2006. Then, since he was fine for a while but set a brush fire in spring 2007 and pulled a knife on me this past winter. Still, he has not had aggressive incidences with other kids other than a couple of pushing matches at school in 6th and 7th grade with- no weapon, threat of bodily harm, etc. Remember when he pulled the knife on me, I was in a vunerable position and he could have killed me but actually did not physically harm me- when I told him "no", he moved the knife. He HAS cut himself on numerous occasions. A threat assessment is to be done when/if a student makes a threat toward someone at school- it has to be current and difficult child has made not threats to anyone at school, or bomb threats, or anything like that ever but certainly not recently. Now, they can do a risk assessment, which would be to determine if they think he at-risk for that. she didn't suggest that but difficult child's therapist said he thinks that is the way she approached her whole report, so in her mind, she has done a risk assessment and found difficult child is a high-risk for this when he is released. She was supposed to be doing a triennial review, not a risk asssessment. So first issue is, we need a REAL report for the IEP, second issue, if they want to do a risk assessment then they need someone who can keep facts straight, consider timelines, and be objective. If they determine difficult child is a risk, then he needs to be in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) not home because he would be just as much of a risk to me and others in the community as he would be at school. HELLO that's why he is incarcerated- they are not supposed to release him until they feel he is no longer a risk.

    So, in my heart of hearts, I believe that difficult child is, at times, a threat to himself foremost. I feel he possibly could be a threat to me again. I don't think it's completely impossible that he could ever do something like that at school, but I think it is unlikely and certainly not justified to treat him like it's almost inevitable. I believe treating him like that might almost drive him to it.

    I do think threats should be taken seriously. The Threat Assesssment at school is for threat of violence towards others only- not suicide though. What concerns me most is that this sd psychiatric has written things in a way where if a threat assessment is done (which starts out by a principal determining if a student was serious about the threat or just mouthing off), the sd says ALL difficult child's threats should be taken as serious. I guess I'm looking at it like difficult child is coming out of Department of Juvenile Justice where he's had to let other kids know he won't take BS from them. If someone is giving him a hard time at the next school and he says "don't mess with me- I won't take it- I will hurt you back" or something to that effect, and they do a threat assessment on difficult child, the principal is going to be sitting there thinking "I have a report from a sd psychiatric at Department of Juvenile Justice that says I need to consider this serious instead of just mouthing off".

    I like the idea of getting something in the IEP. Fortunately, the IEP team has already over-ridden a couple of suggestions from the sd psychiatric, which tells me that the actual sschool personnel don't necessarily see difficult child in the same light as her either. I am hoping that since difficult child will get a good report from his last home school and this school, both behaviorally and in general attitude and effort, that if there is an IEE that doesn't support the sd psychiatric's report and the IEP is not following the recommendations and the IEP is working, then maybe the next school won't put that much weight on it.

    There could be a benefit in the Threat Assessment though- if things are handled carefully in wording in the IEP and next report- if difficult child should ever get to a threatening manner again to me even, I'm wondering if this could lead to the school placing him in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- instead of the typical alternative school where there isn't much education or effective methods. I'm going to mention this to difficult child's therapist since he'll be doing the IEE. He told me we would meet privately before he does his evaluation.

    But, if difficult child ever did really threaten to do bodily injury to another kid- especially someone at school and I or anyone thought he meant it, I would want an evaluation for psychiatric hospital admittance immediately. It just seems absurd to me that 1) it would be school personnel determining if he's really a serious threat, 2) all they do if he is, is suspend or expel him then wait for a sd psychiatric to get involved to determine what placement he gets when he comes back to school. For one thing, if he's really a threat, kicking him out of school doesn't make anyone safer it just covers the sd's rear. So, I would want him in a psychiatric hospital, then placement in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) by the sd if he's ever really a threat the public. But I don't think the verbal threats he made several years ago and the incident with me justify that right now. I'm also going to mention to the sd people that the mental health profs involved (past and future) have always known about concerning incedences, including thoise threats when they happened, and if they had thought difficult child was a serious threat, they would have had to report it.

    The only person who seems to think my son is becoming the next Cho is this sd psychiatric. Personally, I think the state people have given sd psychiatric's and maybe some other sd personnel (principals for instance) enough training to become paranoid but not enough to be objective. Really, who turns "difficult child threatened to hurt another boy with a knife" into "difficult child had a serious act of aggression toward another child"? Obviously, she made an assumption, assumed the worst, and documented it as truth. Who would want that person determining if your kid is really a threat or what placement they should be in? And because this is a psycho-educational report, it will be in difficult child's file forever now.

    Now that I think about it, kids released from Department of Juvenile Justice have to meet with the sd personnel, PO, and some sd team of people to get accpeted back in a sd and the sd dettermines placement. The current school personnel already told me that difficult child won't have any problem getting accepted/placed in mainstream school because she said they are all advocating for it and because difficult child was not considered a behavior problem at his last home school and did not get into Department of Juvenile Justice due to an incident at school and was not suspended or expelled when he entered Department of Juvenile Justice.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    sd psychiatric = cya
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A couple observations on your post.

    First, the sd does not bear responsibility for what difficult child does at home. I don't feel you can expect them to do a risk assessment, come to the conclusion that he is a threat to others in school, and have that automatically mean removal from the home. They are assessing his threat to himself and others in the school enviornment not at home with you. Your comment that if he becomes threatening at school he could be a huge threat to you at home will fall on deaf ears, in my opinion, with the folks you are dealing with at the sd - they are not going to care. They are going to care that they protect themsevles from law suits should your son become violent at school by showing they have crossed their "t"s and dotted their "i"s with the threat assessment and ultimate outcome of the assessment.

    As far as difficult child becoming threatening to you and the school placing him in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) rather than an alternative school, I think that's going to be a real issue. Their wording sounds like they can choose an alternative school (basicaly to get him out of whatever school setting he ends up in after release from Department of Juvenile Justice). If the sd has a "behavior issues alternative school", I would imagine that would be the initial placement. The sd would always take the lower cost - alternative school trumps Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement in terms of money. Unless difficult child's therapist can make a really good argument as to why a future incident of violence equals only Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and not the alternative school option at the IEE meeting, I'm not sure you will get that. I'm not saying it's not needed, I just am not sure they will go for it. Try...

    Since the current school personnel seem to have a positive and objective view of difficult child's potential (and nonpotential for violence) how can they play a part in this? Can they have input into his placement?

    Since that report is now final and in difficult child's permanent school record, it appears your only alternative is going to be for therapist to make recommendations upon the basis that he has been dealing with son, knows your son, knows what has and hasn't worked, and they respect him as an individual and independent professional. The rest of it is mute, as frustrating as it is for you as his mother.

    This is a complicated situation because the sd is looking at your son based on his history, i.e., threatening to hurt another student with a knife, threatening his mother with a knife, and his placement in Department of Juvenile Justice. They are looking at the incidents and current placement from the standpoint of what is looks like on a piece of paper, not looking at a troubled teen in need of assistance. I don't personally feel they are assessing his need for a quality education in order to give a chance to succeed. They are looking to cover their you-know-whats.

  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm on the same page with you, Sharon. The reality is that if difficult child did ever threaten someone at school, he would be expelled AND go back to Department of Juvenile Justice, not alternative school. If the school was so afraid of him that they didn't want him in mainstream, then he would go to alternative. This is what makes no sense- yes, it's a money thing but not logical to me. the way the current sd personnel (people in the current school, not the sd psychiatric) play a part is that they are the ones who put the transfer package together and make a recommendaation. This will be his behavior case manager at school who is on the iep team, but she works more with the guidance counselor and teachers, all of whom will have input and want difficult child in mainstream and have recommended him for advanced classes. The sd psychiatric's report, regardless of how she's approaching it, was for IEP purposes so it might not even be looked at by the people at the next sd who are determining if difficult child is allowed to go to mainstream or not. The behavior people (like PO, sd people in charge of disciplinary removals/placements) usually couldn't care less about what the IEP says, right? So I'm thinking these people have the meeting with me and difficult child in attendance, see the sd's transfer package and recommendation to have difficult child in mainstream, he enrolls in regular school, then Special Education people at that school read the sd psychiatric's report in preparation for an IEP meeting. If they wanted to chhange placement at that point, they would only be able to do it thru the IEP, unless they started the scrutinizing to look for anything they can to try to get difficult child in alternative school.

    My question about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is more for planning for difficult child's release. If I respond to them by saying "ok, difficult child is in Department of Juvenile Justice now, if you all (BSU and SD people) think difficult child is not ready to live in the community yet, then Department of Juvenile Justice can figure out where he goes. IOW, being a dept of corrections school, they have to report to the Department of Juvenile Justice people if they think difficult child is still a threat. So I'm wondering if I should confront this issue now and tell the sd psychiatric if she wants to have the sd do a risk assessment, go for it. If the Department of Juvenile Justice school determines difficult child is a risk at school, I'm not sure Department of Juvenile Justice can justify sending him straight home because difficult child's offense was pulling a knife on me- if the sd is afraid of him, then Department of Juvenile Justice best be doing an assessment to see if he's still a threat to me. Again- I don't think a verbal threat several years ago that no action was taken on is the same as pulling a knife out on someone. How can Department of Juvenile Justice take a position that "he pulled a knife on his mom but we think he's ready to go home to her now, but now he's a risk at school"? No, the sd won't pay for Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- it's up to Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Juvenile Justice incarceration facilities are considered Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s- which means difficult child would not be released or the BSU people would convince the sd psychiatric that difficult child is not a threat. Normally a risk assessment includes sd and police- in Department of Juvenile Justice the agreement would have to be between sd psychiatric and BSU.

    I don't think the Department of Juvenile Justice people are going to distinguish who difficult child is threat to but if they did, they would be looking at who difficult child committed an offense against in the first place. For instance, if a teen sexually assaulted a sibling and was sent to Department of Juvenile Justice and went to school while there, if the school psychiatric was writing that she's afraid the kid will sexually assault a kid at school, Department of Juvenile Justice cannot justify releasing the kid and sending him back home where the victimized sibling lives- I would think if the parent pushes it especially, that the Department of Juvenile Justice school and bsu (behavioral staff of Department of Juvenile Justice) would have to come to an agreement- either the kid is no longer a risk or he still is. Now, the next sd doesn't have to agree with that, but they are more likely to accept it if there has been an assessment and agreement before the kid is released.

    maybe I should talk to difficult child's case manager at Department of Juvenile Justice about this.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  11. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    In CA u have 45 days 2 object n writing 2 reports going into perm file. Also can have ltr placed n file giving ur objections. Ltr bcms part of perm file
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK, I'll write a letter to go into the file with the report. The only problem with that is that other people in the sd will not believe the parent's words over the sd psychiatric's, even if they bother to read the letter from the parent. Still, it is better to dispute it than to not address it at all.

    I just called the BSU person at the Department of Juvenile Justice school. She confirmed that difficult child is doing great and they will be recommending him for mainstream, assuming he keeps going the way he's going. She said they can make sure that something gets included in the school transfre records letting the new sd know that difficult child has been evaluation'd and determined to not be a threat prior to release (or he wouldn't be released). But, she told me not to worry about the report- it's under HIPAA laws and is only "open" to IEP team members or people doing eligibility determinations so she said most people will not have access to it- including the team that determines if difficult child is accepted into next mainstream school. And, she said "remember- that is only one person's opinion anyway- we don't feel that way". She told me she's going to go read it again and see if it comes across to her that difficult child had previous behavior issues only or if it suggesting that he should be deemed a threat at the next school. She said that they should be able to see and take into consideration that difficult child's issues at school were in the past and he's not exhibited those same kinds of issues for a couple of years now.

    I would be handling this differently if the therapist or others were saying they thought difficult child was a threat, but I swear, the sd psychiatric is the only one suggesting this. If anything, I have been more concerned that people aren't worried that difficult child will pull a knife on me again.

    She said as far as the IEP at the next sd, I can tell them I don't want to take a completely different approach with it because it has been working well (taking a positive support approach instead of a behavior monitoring approach) and she said their reports will support the fact that the IEP has been having positive effects with him. She says he enjoys his classes, is friendly, tries hard, and walks around smiling. She said most people at school, including teachers who aren't on the IEEP team, will not even know that difficult child has been in Department of Juvenile Justice, much less what the sd psychiatric's report says.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009