Pushing difficult child 2 out of self contained classroom

Ok so here's what's going on. difficult child 2 is in 6th grade now, in middle school. Next year he will be in JR high from 7th till 9th. He's been in self contained classroom since 4th grade. The first quarter this year he had a brand new sped teacher...fresh out of school herself. First class she's taught. He did ok with her at first, but they ended up clashing very badly and he was getting violent with her when she pushed him too hard. She ended up suddenly quitting...they had a sub in there for a week and then pulled a retired Sped teacher from the office and put her in there despite her not wanting the position really. She's had 24 years of teaching sped class. So she comes in in the middle of second quarter and changes Everything. As usual, at first he was great with her, loved her. Found out she lives 2 blocks away from us.

Now the previous teacher that she took over for was doing daily behavior charts and having them fill out their daily planner. She never sent him home homework because he simply will Not do it and it's a fight i'm not willing to fight. He had time in class to do it. On the behavior charts he generally didnt do very well towards the end of her teaching...60% maybe altogether, passing was 80%

Now this new teacher comes in. Same behavior charts, 95-100% scores. She sends homework home every night, he still won't do it no matter how long i sit him there. The read and respond is what really kills him, he'll read fine but the respond is another story. She's pushed him out of the self contained classroom except for spelling and writing which he has an extremely hard time with.

Now, he's on an IEP for bipolar disorder and writing problems. He's very behaviorally challenged, he needs constant eyes on supervision or he stops working, steals trivial stuff, messes with things, destroys stuff out of boredom or curiosity, lies and denies all of it even when caught red-handed. She wont let him use an alpha-smart because he hunts and pecks at the keys and takes too long, holding the rest of the class up. she insists he writes manually, and let me tell you, i've seen toddlers that can write as well as he does. It's basically illegible. He can have someone scribe a sentence for him sometimes in the Sped class, but not in the regular classes.

So, He hasnt been doing well in classes because they all make him write. He's failing english because of the read and responds. He's not doing his science journal. He won't fill out word problems in math. He says it's too much work, she says hes lazy.

So far she's had her teenage son bring his homework to him when he left it at school, called me several times insisting i make him do his homework, even came to my house explaining that 'we can't let him fail, i refuse to allow it. he's too smart to get away with this.' She sends long notes home on how bad he was in school and didnt do this or that... and on and on

Now, they've decided to do his 3 year evaluation early instead of waiting till next year when he's already moved to the new school. She wants to get an IEP ready for the new school for him.

This woman just runs rough-shod over me. Treats me rather like a bratty child myself, not doing what i'm supposed to do. I'm apparently the first parent she's ever had who refused to accept responsibility for the homework etc. and she's flabbergasted. Her words.

One other note to make, difficult child 2 just before his teacher quit was admitted to the child psychiatric ward due to being out of control. Lying stealing violent at home and with the teacher and aide, several things. He's on different medications now, abilify and zoloft along with trazadone for sleep since he's up at all hours of the night getting into stuff. He's slow moving and overweight, eats everything in sight if allowed (got sick at church once when he and another kid had a eating contest).

So i suppose my question is, how do i handle this teacher and how do i try to set his IEP up? She says the state of illinois is trying to get all kids out of sped and into regular classes. He is supposed to have the writing accomodations, but honestly she's treating him like he's just as capable as the best kids in the school and just being lazy. I dont expect she's going to be very cooperative.

She set up an IEP meeting for next Tuesday. She says the original notice was sent home with difficult child 2...lovely. Apparently the school psychiatric will be off for the next month.


Shooting from the Hip
Tell the school - IN WRITING - that the IEP meeting MUST be scheduled for a time when the school psychiatric can be there.

And immediately - find the Dept of Education for Illinois, and request an advocate. Beg. Don't get angry, just make it clear you need help and NOW.

And if you need a lawyer... Get one.

If she is not following the IEP, you can file a complaint with the school board/board of education. Be sure you have documentation to prove your point.

What about out-of-school psychiatric reports, etc.?

Hugs... That's pretty much all I know at this point...
The school psychiatric will be there this tuesday, that's why they're doing it Now.

As for the not following the IEP, I have no documentation :( just what she and he said to me.


As for the not following the IEP, I have no documentation :( just what she and he said to me.
Keep detailed notes of everything that is said by both. That is documentation. Use quotes as much as possible. Note dates and times. Also keep any and all notes she sends home. Those are also considered documentation. Definitely get an advocate to go with you to this meeting. Someone needs to put her in her place and since you are not getting anywhere, do what you have to to get "back-up". This woman is going to do more harm than good.

Also, they can't "make" you agree to do the re-evaluation sooner than is scheduled. If the IEP as it is written is what you want, the JR high will have to follow it. It is up to you if they do a re-evaluation. They can't do one without your written consent. If you don't want to do it, then don't sign anything.

Good luck and keep us posted.


member since 1999
Actually, I believe anyone can request a reevaluation - SD *or* parents - at any given time. TeDo is correct in that you don't have to give consent but I think there are serious ramifications if you don't consent. I think the most recent changes to IDEA say that if parent doesn't agree, it absolves SD of providing sped services (used to be they would take parents to due process to force evaluation). Have you had the domain mtg yet (where they decide which areas to evaluate)? My biggest concern would be that they're going to try to find him ineligible for sped services, esp for the bipolar. You probably want to make sure they not only do an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for the writing, but also an assistive technology evaluation, as well as psychological evaluation. Since he's been hospitalized recently, you might also want to consider getting copies of whatever evaluations the hospital did so you can review them and share with- SD if you think it's appropriate (I *never* gave permission for SD to communicate directly with- hospitals/psychiatrists/tdocs - if they wanted that info, it had to come thru me first).

Is use of the alpha-smart in IEP? Is no homework in IEP? Is scribe in his IEP?

What's the infamous quote about placement? Something about it not being a physical place, but the programming. That's how they're going to try to get around the self-contained setting. Since he's doing so poorly academically now, I think you have some proof (at the SD's hands, which always helps) that current "placement" out of self-contained is not appropriate. Is he receiving all supports and services in the mainstream classroom that he received in the self-contained? And are those supports documented in prior IEP? If he's not getting the same supports, they have changed placement without an IEP mtg. If he is getting the same supports, they have not changed placement. (I know - they really have, but not in the eyes of IDEA - it's utterly maddening!)

As far as teacher's assessment that he's lazy, I'd ask for the objective testing that backs that finding.

It's beyond inappropriate that a notice of an IEP mtg is sent home with a student. I would most *definitely* bring that up at the IEP mtg and make sure it gets documented in the mtg notes. You are entitled to 10 days' prior written notice of an IEP mtg. I would also get it documented in the IEP mtg notes that teacher advised you of IL's attempt to place all students in reg. ed. Not saying that that is true (though it would not surprise me in the slightest), but that is just such a grossly inappropriate statement in regards to a student who currently is supposed to be receiving sped services. IDEA trumps whatever cost-cutting tactics this state is attempting.

Finally - I would very very *very* strongly advise you to see if you can find an advocate to attend IEP mtg with- you. If you have to reschedule, do it. If they balk, tough. At the very least, you didn't get your 10 day's notice of the mtg and you are absolutely entitled to that by law. Again, my concern, based on teacher's statements, her pushing your son into mainstream, and the upcoming transition to junior high, is that they are going to try to find him ineligible for sped services - you really need to have an advocate on your side for this mtg, in my humble opinion.

As TeDo said, you need to document, document, document. I would try to avoid phone conversations if you can. Much better to get it in writing.

And just a personal note - I would absolutely flip my bacon if my kid's teacher sent her *son* over with- to my home with- homework, to say nothing of her showing up on my doorstep herself. Are you *kidding* me? If she's got that much time to spare, she can provide after school assistance with the homework, *at* the school. That is seriously crossing a line in my book.


Roll With It
She is LYING to you. There is NO WAY she has taught sp ed for that long and you are the ONLY parent who has refused to battle homework. period. NO POSSIBLE WAY that can be true. EVERY sp ed teacher I have known, since I was a child and my dad worked with the sp ed teachers to have the deaf kids in his shop classes, has has a MAJORITY of parents who refused or were not CAPABLE to help/force a kid to do homework. I was the FIRST parent in over 10 years that would work on a project at home that the sp ed teacher had EVER had when wiz was in fifth grade. She had been in a great school with LOTS of great parents and I was still the FIRST to actually get homework done.

She is trying to guilt and railroad you to cut his services by convincing you he is just lazy. where is her PROOF of that? Her opinion is just that - OPINION. Everyone has one and she is most likely WRONG. It is an OLD attitude toward sp ed students and teaching in general. Try to read Lost at School, at least to skim it, before the meeting. Also look in that mirror and remind yourself that YOU - his MOM - are the EXPERT on your child. NOT THIS WITCH. Don't let her bully you, don't go to the meeting alone. Take an advocate, his therapist, a letter from his psychiatrist with his diagnosis's, and a lawyer if you need one.

Read over the archives here and www.wrightslaw.com to see what you can find there. If they want to reevaluate him, fine. Figure out what you need to have a second opinion of their evaluations, insist on a neuropsychologist evaluation (FULL), Occupational Therapist (OT), assistive tech, and FBA.

Also work on a Parent Report. Even if you don't give them copies it will help you have your info in order and fresh in your mind. When you go into the meeting take whatever books you have, like The Bipolar Child and a recent edition of Wrightslaw, in with you. Put postits sticking out on areas that might be helpful. Even if you don't open the books it will look like you are ready for anything they throw at you. It is odd but it really intimidated the head of sp ed services for our district and she actually asked me to leave them out of the meeting. I declined, and looked up a couple of points where they were going to violate my child's rights by forcing mainstreaming when he just wasn't ready or able to handle it for a full day. MANY jr highs and middle schools don't want to have sp ed students in their classes all day ever. So they do what they can to make every child give up that right. I won, and Wiz was able to spend whatever time he needed in the sp ed room and take all his tests there. The tests were not his problem - he got done early and then got bored because he wasn't allowed to read a book when he was done. He was unable to sit quietly for 5 mins (even medicated) with-o talking, so the 30 mins he usually had after he was done wtih the test usually ended up with major trouble. So he took all tests in the sp ed room and then could read a book or go on the computer or whatever.

Also they need to teach him to use the assistive tech, not take it away because he is slow. That is BS and intolerable. They can then either scribe for him or let him have modified assignments so he doesn't have to type as much. If the reg teachers "cannot" modify every exercise then he "cannot" be in their class as it is NOT FAPE.

I am sorry she is such a bully. You can find the Parent Report on the link in my signature. They are a huge help even if you cannot fully complete it before the meeting. YOU can reschedule that meeting as YOU are every bit as important as they are to the meeting. Don't be afraid to send a letter saying they must reschedule as they did not give you 10 days notice - and sending notice home with your child does not qualify as notifying you.
ok Brief update: i sent the teacher an email :eek:k remind me, what evaluations are we doing? and i thought it was his 3 year review...who else will be there? The school psychiatric? I've got a terrible memory with all this stress and hardly remember what you said about it all

i know it's late notice, but i'm calling around checking some stuff on his kind of behavior and writing problems for ideas, but i dont think i can have any plan put together by tuesday, any chance of putting it off for a couple weeks till we can come up with something that will work?

I just spent half my day looking up info on another child's medical problem...oh and dealing with a vomiting youngster...parenting , never boring.

response: it's an annual, not 3 year, for this and next year. she, the counselor, the regular-ed teacher, and the speech therapist (he's having that part discontinues) will be there

Quote from her reply: You don't have to have anything prepared, as you can add your input at the IEP meeting. This will take about a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. I have completed most of the paper work already. It is very difficult to reschedule this meeting, as I had to check the dates with many people before scheduling. Can you still meet? I am hopeful, as it is extremely difficult to coordinate all parties schedules. As far as you needing a plan of action, that isn't necessary, but I do appreciate your interest in searching for ideas. Thank you so much ! I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday at 3:30 in our room.

somehow i'm pretty sure the only one she'd have real trouble rescheduling would be the speech therapist... the rest are there all day. It is after school...but I'm expected to be available whenever they put it... I do vaugely recall seeing a note with a time and date on it in his behavior log (which i have to sign and send back every day) after saying i know it's about that time of year during one of her badgering me sessions, so i suppose that might have Been her 10 day notice. Does the 10 day notice rule apply for annuals? This one they Had cancelled because it was actually due earlier this year but the teacher never got to it before she quit. so I dont know if that means this one is early or late. His 3 year is due in jan '12. Can they kick him out of sped on an annual review?

a couple other quick things: difficult child 2 never asked Her to use the alphasmart. I'm guessing it's in his file that he types slowly, she locked the alphasmarts away when she started. He's occassionally allowed a scribe in the sped room, but not the other classroom. In the Sped room she insists he do 90% of the writing himself...including the read and respond when he doesnt get it done in the other class. The alphasmart and scribing are in his IEP. No homework was never put in, only agreed on by every teacher since the beginning of his IEP. (said they couldnt actually write that in the IEP, they'd just let him do it at school anyway)

I do remember that the last time they did a 3 yr re-evaluation with difficult child 1, they refused to re-evaluation anything that they didnt see as a problem. which apparently looking at this teacher's attitude would be Nothing.

oh, now she wants me to come to the classroom to make him do his work since i cant at home. "Maybe that will scare him, he needs to know that school and home are a team and he cant get away with anything!" :nonono: (in other words, come deal wit him myself cause they cant) i'm afraid at this rate they might just send him to the alternative school.


member since 1999
Loony Smurf - They cannot kick him out of sped. The 3-year is to reevaluate what areas he needs services and supports in, and whether he still qualifies for sped. Since you've just got the annual IEP mtg coming up, and the 3-year will be with different school staff, I wouldn't worry about that right now. But for future reference, the IEP *team* (you're a full member) determines which domains need to be reevaluated. If SD refuses to evaluate a domain, you do have recourse.

10-day notice does apply for annual IEP mtgs. Notes in daily planner about upcoming IEP mtg don't count in my book, LOL. I've always gotten a letter in the mail from sped director. You can waive the notice if you want, but you *do not have to*.

So wonderful she's completed most of the "paperwork". Hopefully this doesn't include the IEP goals, since those are to be written by the IEP team, of which you are a member.

If the scribe and alpha-smart are in IEP but he's not being given access to those supports in either sped or mainstream classrooms, then they are not following current IEP, and in fact then his "placement" has changed since he doesn't have access to his supports in the mainstream class. Does current IEP state he's to write 90% of assignments, or that he is only to be given access to alpha-smart when he requests it?

Is the sped director going to be at the meeting? Anyone from administration? One of the requirements of an IEP team mtg is that someone from the district who has the authority to approve (basically anything that costs $$ - I forget the wording) must be there. And since part of his IEP is for writing problems, where is the Occupational Therapist (OT)?

I *really* think you need to get an advocate to go with you. It sounds like this teacher is not following current IEP, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if you walk into a mtg where she's already got the IEP goals written for next year. That is *not* an IEP mtg. That's an ambush. If he's got IEP goals for his writing problems, it sounds like she's completely ignored it. If she states at IEP that difficult child doesn't need access to scribing and alpha-smart, I would ask her for the objective testing that bears out her opinion, especially since she's having such a hissy fit over getting him *to* write!! She cannot have it both ways. She doesn't need you to come up with- "a plan of action, nor do you need to plan anything." Sounds like it's going to be her way, period. Again - that's not an IEP mtg. Definitely - get someone to go with you.

You are neither an employee of the SD nor a student. She cannot mandate that you come into school to help difficult child with- his homework! Some kinda nerve there, LOL. "Scaring" a child into doing homework is simply not an appropriate strategy. Sheesh. I'd let the IEP team know that you absolutely support the school's efforts at getting difficult child to do his homework, but since you have other issues with- difficult child you are dealing with at home, you are not going to be able to further disrupt your entire household to engage in homework battles. The opportunity to do the homework at home is there, you are available if he needs assistance, but it is not worth a meltdown/rage to "force" him to do it.

Definitely do some reading on wrightslaw.com. It's a very good resource for info on IEPs, the mtg and the team, writing goals, etc.
Ok, it seems i've overlooked some stuff in the rewriting of his IEP. Year before last we left here and went to Utah for a semester, and they had to rewrite the IEP to fit their format...then when we moved back here they rewrote it again to fit the format here again. somewhere in that the writing aides and behavior supports were left out! (extremely rough couple of years, suffice to say i'm not surprised i've missed stuff :bag:)

I know i need to get him an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, is that something i can do at the IEP meeting, get them to have that done? I also need to get the bipolar stuff back in there. (i'm looking at last years that they rewrote, not the 3 year, guess i may have to find that too)

His primary eligibility is Specific learning disability in written expression,
Secondary is Emotional Disability
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I know i need to get him an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, is that something i can do at the IEP meeting, get them to have that done? I also need to get the bipolar stuff back in there. (i'm looking at last years that they rewrote, not the 3 year, guess i may have to find that too)

His primary eligibility is Specific learning disability in written expression, Secondary is Emotional Disability
Absolutley you can request IN WRITING that they conduct a thorough Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. If they refuse, tell them you "want their refusal and their reasons IN WRITING otherwise you will expect it be done within the legal timeframe". Take the old IEP with you so you can tell them what was in it that you want to be in this one that currently isn't. If he has difficulty with written expression, they NEED to have accommodations in the IEP. Don't let them railroad you. If you disagree with ANYTHING, state that at the meeting and send a follow-up letter restating your disagreement.

It does sound like they are going to ambush you. Go in armed and ready to fight for you difficult child. Don't settle for less than what has worked in the past. If they want to mainstream him, make sure that he will be given the proper supports to "achieve" in the regular classroom.