please give me advice in how to talk school into helping my son

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101 Archives' started by sue3, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. sue3

    sue3 New Member

    I have a SST meeting this next Tues. I am very nervous because the school is giving me a hard time. I have already explained the situation in a previous post so I will paste it in then update it at the end.
    My 6 year old has been diagnosed (by 4 DR/ Psy professionals with ODD/ADHD. He has a pretty severe case. He was expelled from 2 preschools and Sunday school. We put him on strattera out of desperation (worried he wouldnot be able to go to school.) He did ok throughout most of kindergarten. By ok I mean he did not get sent home for having a anger spell. He still displayed ADHD characteristics, such as being very impulsive, overly emotional, hyper and not really fitting in with the other kids. He spends his recesses alone. I have had two SSTs and asked what can be done for him. In short the school psychologist said "in our district we do not like to put kids on 504 plans, we would prefer to have frequent SST meeting instead. It is affecting his learning, of course that is hard to prove at K especially because I had him prepared before school started with most k standards. He is falling behind now though.

    His teacher told my husband today that the psychologist told her that the reason they do not want to put him on a 504 plan is because it could affect his future. She said he will have to disclose it on applications and that background checks for many jobs will uncover it and prevent him from doing many types of work. Is this true? I think she is just trying to persuade me away from pursuing a 504 plan. Please give me advice. My next SST is June 13. I have got a book on disabilities and Special Education, but it is so lengthy i forget or jumble the facts. I have read through most of the (big) book and have tabbed about 50 pages that apply.

    6/9/06 JR has continued to have trouble. Two weeks ago his teacher e-mailed me saying JR was so disruptive that my husband or I may be required to come in and sit with him. We both work and are unable to do this, at least on a daily basis. I told her they would need to suspend or expell him and then we would put him in daycare for the last 3 weeks of school. He really is acting out, and I know it must be terribly hard on the teacher to handle him along with the rest of the Kindergarten class. If they would suspend or expell him it would help my case that he needs a 504 or IEP. I think that is exactly why they are not doing it.

    Here is an example of his behavior that happened today, he was swinging around a string with something attached to it, after several warnings she took it away from him. He got angry, and started calling her a mean teacher, kicking chairs, kicking headphones, hitting the table and not calming down. The principal had to come in and see him to settle him (seeing the principal is a frequent occurance for Justin). He also threatened the teacher by shaking his fist at her.

    The psychologist has backed down on the original claim that a 504 would hinder job prospects in the future. Since she has said that a 504 doesn't really do anything for him anyway.

    Please give advice if you have any, I want to know what I should say as to why I think it is important that he at least be on a 504 if he does not qualify for Special Education. Thanks
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Sue

    Did you send a letter to the school district requesting an evaluation under IDEA regs by Certified Mail?
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Dear Sue,

    Since you quoted from your earlier post, I will quote myself since nothing has changed except the school psychologist has changed her tune to something that is correct (for acting out behaviors, a 504 plan isn't worth much.)

  4. sue3

    sue3 New Member

    Thanks for the advice, I will try to get him on an IEP, they were so discouraging in the past I thought the only help I might be able to get would be a 504 plan. However since his behavior continues to escalate I think he might qualify under emotionally disturbed or other health (ADHD) I didn't start the process by certified mail, but since I am meeting with school personnel this Tues at a SST meeting, I could just request it at that time.

    The psychologist already told my husband that the school he is in right now does not have anything in place to help him and he may need to be bused to another school. I guess if that is what needs to be done to help keep him in school it will have to be. Thanks again for giving me advice.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    About the only way to get this type of school district to do their job is to stop talking about it and hold their feet to the fire. They will meet, talk, delay, meet, talk, delay. In the interim, your child keeps loosing out on the education he's entitled to.

    If you want to get the process started, send via Certified Mail to the Special Education Director at your school district. The certified mail kicks in mandated timelines within which the school district MUST evaluate or go to a Hearing Officer and explain why it's not necessary.

    The Parent Report mentioned in the letter can be edited out. However, I strongly recommend that you do a report and submit it in a week or two. The reason for this is because the school district must only evaluate in areas of "suspected disability." You're going to have to help them "suspect." I also suggest that you retitle it "Parent Input."

    With a school district like yours, a 504 plan would be ineffective in my opinion.

    Just when I think I've heard every fabrication a school district can throw out, I get proved wrong. "She said he will have to disclose it on applications and that background checks for many jobs will uncover it and prevent him from doing many types of work."-- pure bunk. The saddest part is she knew it when she gave you that misinformation.
  6. sue3

    sue3 New Member

    Thanks for the advice, I requested the IDEA regs testing in a e-mail to the school psychologist, I got ideas from the sample letters in how to word things such as multidiscplinary evaluation that would include a functional behavioral assessment. Tomorrow I will write another letter to the head of Special Education for the district and send it certified mail. Thanks again Sue
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    This is not about the educational aspect of your post. I know that you say your son has been diagnosed by four professionals, but honestly, his behavior sounds as if it could be more than ADHD. It sounds over the top for just ADHD. I'm wondering if a board-certfied child psychiatrist and/or a neuropsychologist has ever evaluated your son. I certainly understand your interest in obtaining an IEP, but an accurate diagnosis and the proper interventions may help him succeed in school even more.
  8. sue3

    sue3 New Member

    Thanks for posting the concern that it may be more then ADHD. The diagnosis is ODD/ ADHD. The ODD(oppositional defiant disorder) is what we are dealing with currently. I have inquired about bipolar, and his psychologist seems certain that it is not that. Another psychologist mentioned possible obsessive cumpulsive disorder.

    We have taken him to a neurologist, psychiatrist (I don't believe he is a child psychiatrist, I had a hard time finding one who had openings and would see a 5 yr old child. Two different psychologist he has seen weekly (one for 1.5yrs, the other for 6 months for weekly PCIT sessions PCIT= parent child interaction therapy, also called mirror therapy (psychologist behind one way mirror directing us how to interact (focusing on praise).

    I will look into finding a board certified child psychiatrist tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion. Sue
  9. Sharon1974

    Sharon1974 New Member

    I would look into finding a neuropsychologist or a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. I don't know much about your child, but you may be dealing with more than ADHD / ODD. If you can get an accurate diagnosis, this may assist you in retaining services at the school.
  10. Sharon1974

    Sharon1974 New Member

    Oh, also - I wouldn't waste my time "talking" to the school. Put everything in a letter and mail it certified mail. When you go into your meeting - don't back down.
  11. sue3

    sue3 New Member

    Thank you all for the good advice. I got my request and parent report out yesterday (certified mail) to the head of Special Education for the district along with the Cc district superintendent. I also e-mailed a copy of both to the school psychologist who I had the SST meeting with today. My husband and mother (former teacher) came with me. My husband showed the table that he was recording the meeting. I think it went well. His regular ed teacher told me after the meeting that she thinks he will get it. Unfortunately it is all on hold now until school starts in August. The psychologist who ran the meeting said that once school starts she will have either 30 or 60 days to get it done. She said laws changed in 2004 and she thinks they will have 60 days but she is going to check with her supervisor.

    Thanks again, Sue
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The ball is rolling! Good for you!

    Keep us updated.
  13. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    See my post on your other thread about time-lines in the summer. The school personnel are not following the law. They do not get a "pass" until August unless their adminsitrative offices are closed.

    IDEA 2004 says "60 days" unless the state regs are shorter.

    You need to check your state regs to see what exact amount of time they have.

    I don't know any subtle way to say this, but you need to start reading the law carefully. Your SD is not compliant, and they have shown they will misinform you. That suggests to me that you should be sure of the answer so you are not dependent on the SD to protect your difficult child's rights.

    Here is a good place to start:

  14. Janna

    Janna New Member

    That's interesting, Martie. I have had two different SD's here in PA tell me it is 60 school days. My son, Dylan, had an evaluation (they really pushed it through, however) and they told me this, and SO's son just finished up an evaluation requested in the middle of February.

    That's not accurate? Eek
  15. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    [ QUOTE ]
    That's not accurate?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    No -- it's 60 days.


    IDEA 2004, "Adds a 60-day timeline to complete initial evaluation (unless the state has an established timeline). An initial evaluation shall consist of procedures to determine whether a child is a child with a disability (as defined in Section 602(3)) within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation, or, if the state establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within such timeframe; and to determine the educational needs of such child.

    The relevant timeframe above shall not apply to a local education agency (LEA) if:

    • A child enrolls in a school served by the LEA after the relevant timeframe has begun and prior to a determination by the child's previous LEA as to whether the child is a child with a disability, but only if the subsequent LEA is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation, and the parent and subsequent LEA agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed; or
    • The parent of a child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation. [614(a)(1)(C)]" (emphasis added)

    State Education Agencies may create rules and regulations that meet or exceed the Federal regs. However, they may not lessen or circumvent the Federal regs. Example: A SEA may set up the evaluation period to be completed within 30 days, but it could not set the timeline for 90 days.

    All State Education Agencies sign agreements with-the Feds to enforce IDEA. If they don't, the SEA and school districts do not get any federal education money.

    What sometimes happens in cases like you cited is that parent talks to sd about the evaluation, sd drags feet getting paperwork to parent, parent may take some time to get paperwork back to the school district. The timeline starts the day the sd receives parent consent to evaluate. That's why you'll see us recommending to parents that they request the evaluation in writing and via certified mail. The letter is parent consent; the CM is proof of request and consent and it starts the clock ticking.

  16. Irish_Coffee

    Irish_Coffee New Member

    Now I have a question regarding the letter requestion evaluation. My family and I just moved here and my 6 year old was only her school for 2 weeks before summer vacation began. They noticed a couple problems, but really were not around her enough to "suspect" anything. At her other school, the teacher noticed a couple things, but during our discussions mentioned that she had more difficult students, and almost gave me the idea that she really was not too concerned about my daughter. In a way I understood this because it was only kindergarten. I think that as the years and grades go on, we will see Tatum with more and more issues, because we see them all the time at home. So, basically, what I want to know is, can I still request Tatum be evaluated, and if so, do they still have to complete the evaluation based on what we see at home?
  17. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Kristina

    A parent can request an evaluation any time they think their child is having academic or behavioral problems in school.

    The regs state that “the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified. The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.”

    There are informal means that can sometimes be used. For instance, the school nurse may screen for vision, teachers may give opinions about social and emotional appearances, etc. But professionals are required for general intelligence testing, a speech-language therapist may be required to assess communicative status, an occupational therapist is required to assess motor abilities, a medical doctor would be required for medical diagnostics, a psychologist or psychiatrist would be required for formal social and emotional testing, diagnosing disorders such as ADHD, et al, an audiologist required for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) assessment, etc.

    Additionally, parent input must be considered. This is where the parent report comes in handy. It’s a written document that can’t be dismissed by the evaluators if sent via Certified Mail. Rename the Parent Report “Parent Input” however.

    So, to answer your question, parent input alone should not determine the findings of an evaluations. Further, by law a school district may not use one sole means for evaluation purposes.

    You are wise to jump on this early. Early intervention is key and there are still too many educators that think a child will “grow out” of atypical behaviors. Also, class room teachers are not typically trained in depth regarding various disorders that may accompany ADHD.

    When a child has ADHD, there are many “suspects” that should come to the minds of the powers that be in the special education department, but doesn’t.
  18. Tera

    Tera New Member


    I just posted some very helpful advice and websites I've found.

    I understand that your child has behavioral issues that need to be dealt with, but unfortunately your school is letting you down when they are mandated by law to help you via an aide in class, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've cried upon the calls from the school, there once wasn't a week that went by when I wasn't fatigued and sad for my son. Our children are mandated to attend school, and do you know if he needs a special school or therapy, the school will have to pay for it. I know it's a pain, but push for it sooner while he's still so young, things will improve with consistent strategies in place and monitoring. They should have an aid in the class to help the teacher. Have him focus on doing one thing a day, like keeping his feet on the ground when he's sitting, and every hour he's successful in that, have the teacher give him a reward or tickets to earn a bigger reward.

    Have you seen a psychiatrist who specializes in CHILDREN, not just a general psychotherapist or psychologist or psychiatrist for that matter--must be a specialist for children.

    Have you ever heard of bio/neurofeedback? I have heard from friends who knew people with absolutely uncontrollable, aggressive children that are now doing sooo much better.

    Basically, certain pathways have been created in the brain, as well as a lack of brain activity in certain areas responsible for behavioral control, social ques, etc. This "brain training" improves the brains functionality to regain the ability that it once lacked. Insurance might not cover it unless your child has threatened to kill himself or has harmed someone else. Although we don't want to think our kids may have done or feel these ways, if he's even said it in a depressive state, then tell your insurance that, and it might be covered!!

    I feel for you,

  19. Tera

    Tera New Member

    OH yes, one more thing....

    get the book "Parenting Children with ADHD" --Vincent Monastra
    it's sooo validating, and give applicable tools and advice on how to deal with schools and what to do as well as so much more...

    (wonder what happened to my other post with all this info?..oh well)

  20. Tera

    Tera New Member

    just had another thought....
    I heard that you can apply for social security for disability benefits for your child with ADHD. Therapy gets very expensive and so does medicine, so you might check it out. I know we've spent upwards of $7000.00 to date. We also ditched the therapists that were "in network" with the insurance as we felt they were bad. We went private, and our insurance still covers 50% at least--we have been much happier.