Our IEP meeting that was not ugly


New Member
Still feeling bad about what Buddy and Q went through but in our neck of the woods we had an IEP meeting that was an 8 on a scale of 1-10. I had posted before that David was suspended for 5 days for hitting his teacher. I notified the Dir of the ESE Dept on down to the teacher that I would not be sending him for the 3 days after that because his IEP meeting was not until Mon aft and I did not want any more issues until we all met. I had them give me his work for the suspension time and the extra days to do at home with him.
And then I prepared: Put his birth records since he was transferred via helicopter ay birth for problems, all of the copies from specialists reports, psychiatric reports..all in order in a binder. Then went onto to school psychological testing, ST, Occupational Therapist (OT), and grade by grade his report cards and examples of his work in those grades as well as the referrals he has gotten and his IEPs for each year. Each had it's own marked divider. Was able to pull out his FCAT scores from 3rd grade immediately. Another binder had copies of the school's policies and procedures for SPED kids and the state's as well as Wright's Law and FAPE as well as the reports from the staffings we have had at the Children's Advocacy Center. One binder is 5" thick and the other 3" thick and both are totally full.
I knew it would be a full house because the email I had sent to the principal,(ass)t principal, teacher, guidance counselor and the parent advocate had traveled much further. I also requested that the woman from church that has volunteered to tutor David be allowed in on the meeting. She is a retired teacher with 20 years experience and has her masters in education and also in reading. She has been through this process on her own with a daughter with a closed head injury and fought for her rights as a student while she herself was a teacher.
I also typed up a two page letter and made copies for each. I started it with "as David's parent I know him best". I told them that this brilliant child may be ahead of other children his age in his knowledge of maps and geography but that they seem to forget that although he is 10 he is developmentally at age 6 or 7 and that it concerned me that he was not getting an education because they were focusing on his behavior issues only.
I am on the Parent Advisory Council for the ESE dept and at one time took care of the father in law of the Director. She remembers me and she loves how I advocate for my boys. She was at the meeting along with the behavioral specialist (who has done nothing this year), the Occupational Therapist (OT) specialist (who dropped David last year), principal, staffing specialist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (never has been to an IEP for David) as well as the teacher, social skills teacher, principal, the parent advocate, the tutor and myself.
When they saw the books and read the letters I handed out they knew I was prepared. Reg teacher sat there with her arms crossed and her body language was saying it all. She did say that if David hit her again then she would file charges. I told her I understood that but since his IEP at the beginning of the year the box marked Positive Behavior Intervention had been marked NOT NEEDED I wanted to work out how to stop this hitting. Towards the end of the meeting I flat out asked her if she was willing to have David in her class again. Shocked her and all the others with that question but as I said...her body language spoke volumes. She said she was but things had to be put in place for her and the other students to be protected. Went on to say how in her 9 years of teaching that she has worked with students like David.
Then the tutor started talking about her conversations with David about school. She mentioned her career as a teacher and her degrees. She had been trying to get the reg ed teacher and the SS teacher to contact her ever since David had been suspended to find out what she could help with but even though I had signed permission and given it to the school and copies to the teachers neither had returned her calls.
Mrs L, the Director of the ESE read the things I passed to her, FCAT scores, prior work he had done. all the work he had done at home with me and started questioning them all. At the end of 3rd grade David was still on a 2nd grade reading level although he can read and does read at home. Now he being expected to do 4th grade work without extra help. I did ask for a Para and she is looking into who they have that is not already with a student.
Mrs L let the behavioral specialist know that she needs to get on the ball NOW. She told Occupational Therapist (OT) to get back into place with David to work on his handwriting and to get him a scribe board. She advised that since these incidents with David happen in the morning and not when he is with the SS teacher in the aft that the SS teacher is to meet David at the bus, have breakfast with him and discuss any concerns David may have about school that day. For the time being if David refuses to do classwork with his reg teacher he is to go to SS teacher's class and be helped one on one.
I did concede on one thing and had to think hard about it. If things esculate and the teachers cannot de-esculate a meltdown I gave permission for them to put him in a calming room...isolation area where he can be viewed through a window for 5 minutes until he calms down. Some friends I told about this were very unhappy about it but as I told them....it would only take one time and David would realize that instead of them calling Mommy to come get him out of school (which he wants) he would have to stay and go in there, the meltdowns would lessen. He gets what he wants when they call me to come get him.
I would much rather have that then the other consequence......if he hits the teacher again and she presses charges this 10 yr old would not go to juvie but would be Baker Acted, Since I am well aware of where the CSU is since Daniel has been there twice I know that it would traumatize David. Besides the fact that he is not a psychaitric patient, he has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviors, he is very small in stature. The kids I have seen in that place are generally pre teens or teens up to 18 with foul mouths and horrid behaviors.
Mrs L will be monitoring what is going on with David every week for the next month. If things have not improved there are two alternative placements that he can go to. Both are classes with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) students, small classes but she wants to avoid it if at all possible because David is so high functioning and the students in the alternative placements are not and he may learn unwanted behaviors from them.
At one point David wound up in the meeting as he was in the lobby area with the receptionist and started wanting Mommy. He would not look at his teacher or even say HI....said he hated her. Occupational Therapist (OT) guy got on the floor with him with his Ipad and started showing him how to find earth on it. Mrs L was taking pics of the two of them with her cell phone and smiling.

Before we left David walked over to his teacher on his own and told her he was sorry he hit her and hugged her. Out of a possible 100 he came home with a 95 on his behavior sheet yesterday. Mom is happy, David is happy but any problems and Mrs L wants me to contact her directly. She also wants me to let her kow when Daniel is ready to come home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) so that she can personally get him on the right track for middle school. Right now I feel blessed that I have the tutor, the director and the parent advocate on my side. And David is definately a gift from God.

If anyone wonders why I use their names it does get a bit confusing at times. We all have D's starting our names. There are 3 months of every year where Daniel and David are the same age since they are only 9 months and 9 days apart in age. But they are both my gifts from God. Diane


I'm glad that it went well. I hope that all of the plans they are putting in place help him.


Well-Known Member
Oh, my! What a lot of excellent work you did! GREAT prep work.
BRAVO, Warrior Mom!
And I love it when admin and teachers et al are actually at the same table and can address accountability ("That phone call was never returned ... ")
And a hug for difficult child, too. :)


New Member
Diane that is just beautiful.

In regard to the time out room.... if he responds that way and it is done ONCE that is of course your choice and it could work for sure. Q was in a school where I had to sign a paper because every kid in the school's parents had to sign it. It was not even part of his individual plan. They started using it for power battles and unlicensed people started making the decision to put him there for long periods of time. I would just suggest checking with the state dept of ed for teh statutes for time limits. If a procedure like that is used here three times a month or more there must be a mandatory IEP meeting because the IEP is not addressing the lack of skills and trigger problems that are leading to the behaviors.

AND there is an alternative... if they can develop that room to be a sensory integration room....he can go there to calm down. He can go there at the beginning of any signs of anxiety which is important because kids hate the sensory rooms eventually if they are only used when they are in trouble.

In his plan, before you sign off make sure there are time limits and that you get a complete written report of what happened including the setting, the adults and how many peers were involved, what THEY said and what he said...they usually just write the awful things the kids do and of course that does not help us identify triggers and patterns.

Trust your gut, but watch how they interpret this. These kinds of rooms in our state are legally only to be used if there is risk of serious bodily harm or major property damage. I dont know the mandates in your state and you are so prepared that I am sure you know better than I but just sharing our experience with this because the district got in a lot of trouble for making us all sign that paper instead of it being individualized. Not to mention the reasons they used it.

No worries about Q's situation, ENJOY your success, I have had many and started on this board on a four year HIGH with how things were going. Continue your record keeping and relationships, I am sure that is why I am still allowed in the building. Another mom with a child like Q last year was escorted out of the building and shut out of everything... they DID press charges against her Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child because they took a toy that they gave her away by grabbing it and when she ran after it she bit the hand that wouldn't give it back. She had a PBIP and clearly it did NOT say to grab a toy that made some noises that bothered others away. Really provoked her. this mom had terrible relationships and screammed and left minutes long rants on phone message machines etc. I had done pca work with her daughter since I wasn't working in the schools and she would go off on me suddenly too but I understood her. (I think she was bipolar and I really did care for her and understood her worries about her daughter) This is why I have been more on guard at this school because even though things were good, I knew they had this side to them.

You totally rocked this one out and it is how it SHOULD be. There is always give and take. No one likes to be hit and it makes me crazy that they think we dont understand that or want to help. But we want them to help in appropriate ways. Not to just warehouse and punish. You are AWESOME and an example of how we can all do this. YEAH for both your boys for having you on their sides. !!!!!!


Good job MM!! You did a great job putting them in their place. As for the isolation room, I HOPE you are right. My fear, as shown by my SD and others', is that once you give permission, it will be over-used and for little things not reserved for big things. As for the regular ed teacher pressing charges. Let her. YOU have the proof that this whole team of educators "decided" a behavior plan wasn't needed. THAT would work in your favor IF the situation would ever arise. You tried....they said no. Then THEY have to find a way to deal with it. He's only 10. Let her try.


New Member
I signed off on it already but it states that no more then 5 minutes in calm room and that I have to be notified whenever they feel it is necessary for him to go there...BEFORE he goes.
I actually have gotten a call from the school today from the SS teacher. While David was out the rest of the class took a semester test that counts for alot of his grade. He did not want to read it and the teacher could not read it to him but could help him choose the right answer. He needed to see that David had read it so it was not a guessing game with the answers. He put David on the phone with me. I reminded David that today was the day we go to Walmart to pick out the toy he has been wanting soooo bad but I had told him two days of good reports have to come home first so I guess no Walmart. He started crying and said "I will read it right now!!"
Weird thing is I forgot.....red face here...to give him his medications this morning and did call the school after this call from them to let them know. No other calls at this point and only 1 hr 15 mins left of the day. He cannot swallow his medications so I have to chop them up and put in applesauce each morning. We we having alot of fun time before the bus came and I had a brain fart.


New Member
I love that they have to call you first, so smart. Um, the medications... been there done that, as I have admitted before, not recently from me...but we have had medication errors and when he was little I did actually forget. Those brain farts get me often.