Resource Specialist Conclusion - My Son Needs to Get His Act Together

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vja4Him, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    This is very frustrating .... It seems that the conclusion the Resource Specialist made yesterday regarding my son basically boils down to this:

    My son just needs to get his act together! I'm not making this up! Although the Resource Specialist didn't say exactly that, he kept stressing that the school just can't make the accommodations that I'm requesting (which are all things that are already listed on the school 504 Plan form ... !!!).

    The Resource Specialist continued to say that my son is just going to have to figure out how he can get organized, pay attention, write down his assignments for every class, keep up with his work, turn everything in, etc. ......

    I tried desperately to point out that my son has a very serious case of ADHD. I told the team that I am not trying to make up excuses for my son. My son is not lazy. He is not trying to get out of school or assignments. He wants to succeed. He loves to read and learn and interested in science, animals, history, and is very creative at writing (poems and stories), and reads at a very high level (college level already!).

    But this guy (the Resource Specialist) continued throughout the entire meeting to stress that my son is just going have to 'man up' (my words) and face reality, get his act together, learn how to deal with the issues he is facing.

    They (the SST) did not like my idea about having a study buddy. They came up with several excuses, like what if my son's study buddy is sick, or doesn't want to help my son, and several other excuses I can't remember ....

    I told the team that I work as a substitute teacher and often see study buddies in classrooms where I work. I have seen that this system works VERY WELL ... !!! In every single classroom I've seen study buddies, IT DOES WORK ... !!!

    I wish I could scream at the meeting, with a very loud blow-horn .... LISTEN to ME, you bunch of lazy bums .....
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    7th grade? Sounds so much like Middle School. You go from an elementary setting where teachers are willing to help out to *BAM* - Middle School where they system believes that it is sink or swim time for ALL kids! Can't help, time for them to do it on their own!!!

    I requested my difficult child be switched from an Art class (he had two that quarter) to a study hall because he HATES to read and is failing AR. In a study hall, he WOULD read that time each day. But no, study halls are for kids who are failing and because difficult child doesn't read and is failing AR it is not enough to bring his Language Arts to a failing grade - so no, difficult child just has to motivate himself to read!

    I also think that because your son is so intellegient, the school doesn't care that he has a struggle to maintain a good grade through inability to coordinate/organize his day!

    Parents beware, if you don't have a 504 or IEP in place before 7th grade, your fight becomes so much harder! And as vja4Him is finding, even if you do have one in place can be a fight to get the school to honor it.
  3. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I'm guessing that the school either doesn't understand that I mean business, or they don't care and are ready and willing to fight .... If it comes down to it, I will play hardball ... !!! I've played hardball fighting a vicious court battle for custody of my boys and won, against all odds.

    I'm afraid that it might be difficult for me to control my anger .... I already used the BS word in an e-mail, in reference to the school policy. That is when the principal told me to not contact my son's teachers, and just contact her only. I tried to stay calm and diplomatic for a long time, but was getting nowhere. Just getting the run-around. All of my son's seven teachers and the principal were ignoring me, despite my numerous pleas for help!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you will have to go over your school district's head. They are not willing to work with you. We get it because we had the same problem. Has he been assessed outside of school?
    If your son is bright and struggling, then they are probably just not willing (without more pressure from you) to pay the $$$ for accomodations. It sounds like he's trying hard and still having trouble. Middle School is a big step up. A lot of kids with various issues that impede learning need help ESPECIALLY at that time and up. Do you have an advocate for your son? There is a FREE advocate that the school districts don't tell you about in every single state. If you want to know yours, call your State Dept. of Public Education and ask for the Special Education Advocate. You can also tell her your story, if you like. Sometimes it takes pressure from the state to get your school moving...that route really helped us. My son would not be succeeding in any way in school if we had just let the school have it's way with him, but as soon as we called the Dept. of Public Ed, well, it was like we lit a fire under their butts :tongue:...we got everything we'd asked for for our son...and he thrived with the extra help. Now he no longer needs much help and is still doing fine, but his resources helped him learn how to organize, take notes, compensate for his learning deficits, etc. He is also a very bright boy.

    Don't worry about making waves. This is your child's life. The school takes advantage of passive parents who accept their decisions. I know MY kids will always be treated well...haha. My youngest is an Learning Disability (LD) student and is also getting such good help that she is ready to try mainstreaming next year. Although she couldn't even read by third grade, she is now a few points from the honor roll. The extra help our kids access can make the difference between success and failure in school. A child with LDs and no help can actually give up and decide not to try anymore. Don't believe that the school will take it out on your kid if you don't act passive. They actually will get away with what they can IF you are passive and will treat your kid well if they know you are holding them accountable. This Special Education Resource Teacher is just trying to save his district $$$ at your son's expense, just as they were doing to us and our son.

    Never go to an IEP meeting (I recommend an IEP over a 504) without your Advocate. And you may want to take your son to a private neuropsychologist who can figure out exactly why your child is having so much trouble in school. That gives you more ammo. Although the school doesn't have to take it into consideration, when we presented the findings to the Dept. of Public Education, they called our school and insisted they get him interventions. Since the Dept. of Public Education helps determine how much money a school district gets, they have a lot of power. They can actually investigate each school to make sure it is doing things right.

    Good luck, regardless of what you decide to do.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Do you have a trusted friend who can help you through this? Someone who you can vent your anger with who can then help you come up with a strong but non-angry approach? It can be very difficult to keep frustration emotions out of a conversation and correspondence with the school. It is many times helpful to have another pair of trusted eyes to read through a draft to see if it sounds like you want it to sound. If you can stay as non-emotional as possible, the school will respond better. I do know this is difficult especially when the school makes you feel trapped - you want to come out swinging and clear through those people who are standing in your way.

    Once in awhile, someone here will post a portion of a letter (or the entire letter) and ask for input. If you are comfortable doing so, you can share with us parts of your correspondence that are more on the emotional side and we can try to provide input on how to make that statement strong without the emotions - make it more professional so the schools will not dismiss it from an angry parent who just needs to calm down (their insight, not mine). Lots of people here have learned the terminology that makes the schools stand up and listen.

    On a lighter note: I had to chuckle just a tad when you stated you used the BS word in an e-mail. My daughter uses "whatever" a lot when talking to me but when I actually see it in writing, I just laugh. You mean these words go beyond just SAYING them and someone actually will WRITE them? She also likes to use my least favorite four letter word and will put it in writing. That was actually the first time I had seen anyone put these types of word in writing. I am sorry your anger is so strong to bring you to this.

    Follow Midwest Mom's advise of finding your State's advocate. I am sure that person is also used to working with angry parents and will give advise on termonolgy to use and not use at meetings. The school will use your anger against you if you show it during meetings. Like our kids like to keep the focus off the issue, the school will try to take the focus off your child's need and keep it on your anger. You will need to fight to keep the focus on the needs of your child.
  6. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    So far, I've been able to keep myself under control pretty good. Just that one time I used BS. Must have upset somebody, because the assistant principal told me that I could no longer contact my son's teachers! So, I flooded the assistant principal with e-mails, all polite and diplomatic, but still getting the run around. After a couple weeks of not contacting my son's teachers, I sent out a few e-mails to my son's teachers, and got a nasty phone call from the assistant principal, asking me why I had contacted my son's teachers, when she specifically told me not to. I told her point blank that I've been getting nothing but the run-around and continually being ignored, resulting in my son failing school. She let it go and pretty much continued to ignore my pleas for help.

    Her final word was that my son will be allowed to pass on to the 8th grade no matter what his grades are, so it really doesn't matter if he is failing. I kid you not, that is exactly what she told me! She even told me that she didn't want my son to hear this or find out, so I walked across the street when she told me this. I wish that she had sent me that statement in writing .... or that I could have recorded that phone conversation.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Isn't it amazing how schools know that time is their friend but not ours? They only have to continue to put you off while your child grows and misses out of the education the school is suppose to supply. I think some schools misinterpret the No Child Left Behind rule. Your school thinks it means to just pass them through the system. In my eyes it should mean working with every single child to educate them. Sometimes I wonder when and how education got dropped from the duties of the school system. It usually gets bad in 7th grade. Teachers have a whole new set of ethics they work with and helping kids on the individual level isn't usually a top priority.