school mdt and county fapt team

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The sd is having their mdt meeting on Tues. to decide if they should recommend the fapt team get involved. I was told by someone at the county last week that the school mdt (Multi-dsciplinary team) meeting was all sd personnel, except in cases where they invited someone from another agency, and was to determine if sd should be providing more to a student or if they needed to get other agencies involved. I was ok with that, I just wanted the process to move faster.

    Today, though, the principal had me sign a release form for all county agencies to be able to communicate, but the form said it was for fapt involvement. Now, a parent does not attend mdt meetings, but that isn't a problem if they are only deciding which agency is responsible for what. Parents do attend fapt meetings because they are deciding what services can and will be provided and the parent has to be in agreement, unless it is court ordered.

    The principal said she has only been involved in this one time, so I think now that her reluctance is more from being unsure about things than being unwilling to help. But I asked her to explain this MDT to me and she said it is a brainstorming session with all these agencies involved. That is fapt- the mdt isn't supposed to be deciding what the child needs. Anyway, the principal said someone from all these agencies will be at this meeting on Tues (the mdt) and she neededd me to sign the release form so they could all discuss difficult child's needs and determine if the sd should/can do more and take care of it all. If they had recommendations that sd couldn't cover, they would ask for the services to be provided thru fapt.

    She's either mistaken because I was told the mdt is about who takes repsonsibility for what and the fapt is the meeting where the determination of specific services is made and the parent is involveed, similar to an iep meeting except that it covers more areas than academics.

    I'm a little concerned- I hope they aren't having PO there. And I specificaly told the principal that I did not want people at the mdt deciding what they thought we needed then asking fapt to fund it. I want to go to a fapt meeting and we brainstorm together what is needed and can be provided, per the coordinator's suggestions to me on the phone last month.

    I looked closely at the form I signed- it is a release for fapt communication between various agencies. That's all. It said nothing about giving consent for a meeting regarding my son's needs that I would not be a part of. So, I think it's ok.

    The principal and higher up at last week's meeting said fapt would not accept their reeferral until knowing that sd had done all they can do in-house. I think that's true, based on my research, but I have no doubt that our needs far exceed the sd's responsibilty. Not that the school shouldn't be doing more, but I know we need some things that are out of sd's realm.

    Thoughts? The principal asked me to email her my list of problems that I wish could be solved or helped thru fapt services. I want the list to be used to show that we do need a fapt referral, not to be used for them to meet and determine what they believe we really need and whether or not they will provide certain things. Maybe I better keep it vague and general, like therapist did in his letter.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know anything about this meeting, but would be VERY reluctant to allow them to shut me out of it. Is there ANY way you can attend the meeting? I think you may need 2 versions of the letter, a vague and general one and a more specific one. Then when the time comes you can give whichever seems appropriate.

    At least the school knows that more needs to be done. I hope you get good results.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Here's what I'd really like- please let me know if you can think of anything useful that I'm overlooking.

    • house repaired from difficult child's damage
      financial assistance to compensate for time off work due to supervising difficult child, going to therapist/psychiatrist appts, meetings about difficult child, and preparation for meetings
      a mentor for difficult child who would also get difficult child involved and take him to recreational and/or sporting activities
      someone to supervise difficult child and help him with homework and makeup work while I'm working
      crisis plan and intervention when things are not stable but have not reached level of imminent danger yet
      debt relief due to debt incurred meeting court requirements and difficult child's mental health needs
      possible Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement (I haven't told them yet that I'm shooting for that at this point- I didn't think the sd would be willing to pursue fapt if I did)
      possible mental health case manager- if difficult child has to have a case manager- it should be a mental health prof, not a PO
      new nueorpsych testing done to include neurolinguistic testing as recommended by neurologist who saw difficult child last year

    These aren't listed in order of priority. I'm off to see difficult child's therapist now. Then I'll be back and work on letter to judge (and others) later.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep- that's what I'm thinking, too, Susie. Parents aren't allowed to go to the mdt. I do believe that the principal is mistaken about all agencies being at the mdt meeting to brainstorm what should and can be done. This is based on the way the higher up from sd talked last week, then I called someone at central school office and asked them. We'll see- this release was just so agencies could communicate. If anyone pops up later and says I agreed to something they discussed at that meeting, then I can fight it.

    The list I just posted is my wish list- I will send something more general to the principal.
  5. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Nice work Mom!
    Here is a thought: ask that the members in that meeting also list for you what they wish were in the mix with or without the funding or authority to
    provide it.

    I am so glade that you have had the occation to recognise that the principle does not have experiance with this and, like you is having the 'first time' jitters.

    In my life as a parent more than once I have had someone attempting to block based on some idea they have that pursuing the help "is bad".
    It is all about what is appropriate. When dealing with an affliction that impacts
    a tiny percent of the greater population and is as unique as a snow flake in composition when the call for help is risen what is also true is THIS WILL BE THe FIRST tIME FOR ALOT OF THe RESPONDERS!

    You may not be able to attend the meeting. Can you send in a note? Can you send in a greeting and thank each of them for their time and attention and expertice and say how grateful you are to live in an era where the tribulations of the young are taken seriously and recieve the benefit of the care and attention that are provided here today by this group?

    You may not be able to attend or steer...can you cheer them on? Can you let them know that you want their ideas and thought too? That you are so concerned and deeply committed to the welbeing and developement of your son into a worthy and contributing member of society?

    And be near and give your cell number in the event that some or someone in that meeting may desire anything from you to help them do this bit to the best of all ability.

    i do not know about all your concerns...this is new to me...but I have been involved past the point of turning back. Ride it out with your best intentions and your best attention. You are doing this thing and you are on it like a
    show horse. GO get that trophy! you deserve for this to work out beyond your best hope or wildest expectations.

    I will be one of the people cheering you on in the back of your mind and waiting to know how well it all turns out because I care too.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It looks like you've got a handle on it. You can never be too sure when you sign anything, but you've done a good job.
    I wish you luck!
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ask for a "plan" of services, a skillbuilder for difficult child who will have set "goals" regarding his behaviors etc. that will hopefully be met within certain time frame. Respite def. but that'll be when your home and you need the break. the skillbuilder if they have those there will take him out on outtings, etc and work with him that way. also ask them for medical coverage if you do not have any yet.

    it's a great list klmno seriously i'm impressed
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Looks like a good list. I'd add in respite! Sure wish you could be at that meeting.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks all! I remembered later today that PO told me she's off work tomorrow- that it was a holiday for them. That probably means the clerk's office is closed to. :( I will have to wait until Monday to get anything back in for a chins.

    I thought I spent all of the time with difficult child's therapist rambling on about the happenings since we talked last. But I did tell him that I thought what casued this was due to medications used for depression and physical illness causing rapid cycling. However, I'm sure that a big part of the problem is difficult child's lack of good friends and facing the natural consequences of everything resulting from me having to pay restitution and other factors leading us to have no money, difficult child having no friends, having to stay supervised, run from appointment to appointment, etc. difficult child feels like he's at the bottom of a hole and it's hopeless. therapist said he could see this.

    I said he shouldn't have been discharged when he was in Dec. He said that difficult child does fine at the psychiatric hospital and they see no problem with him. I said ok, but he comes home and feels like he's back in the same hole. Then he said he wanted to do a family meeting when difficult child comes in next wed. (He's assuming he'll be home by then) so we can all come up with a plan so difficult child doesn't feel that way and so things aren't the same. Ok.

    But I'm sitting here getting royally ticked. First of all, this hole that difficult child feels, I feel it too. But no plan that we discuss is going to change it. The things on my list need are needed in order for it to change and difficult child's cycling needs back under control. I am soooo going to scream if this is turning into a situation of me compromising what I am doing with some idealistic thought that it means difficult child won't be aggressive at the drop of a hat or that we won't feel like we are living in a hole that there's no way out of because I cook dinner earlier or give him more computer time.

    Nope- I'm not willing to do the 'ole behavior modification or traditional family therapy here under some ridiculous pretense that it will solve these problems. Any therapist or anyone else that thinks this will change things has never lived with my difficult child. Whatever possibility there was that I would pick difficult child up and bring him home from this psychiatric hospital stay is quickly diminishing.

    If therapist thinks the only problem is in my house, than they can all start looking for another place for difficult child to live. That stupid approach was tried a long time ago with difficult child. Now, when anyone starts it I asked "what I'm supposed to do when grounding him doesn't work, what am I supposed to do when sending him to his room doesn't work, or loss of tv priviledges doesn't work, etc and/or he becomes aggressive or self-harming" eventually, they all come back to the same thing- then call 911. Well, HELLO. It's going in circles.

    therapist said difficult child told him "I don't care" a whole lot about different things. Personally, I think someone needs to be working with difficult child to help him see that his anger and depression and negative feelings about himself are not going to change as a result of anything I do or don't do.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    A little Occupational Therapist (OT)- is "respite" pronounced re-spite with a long I, or respit with a short I?
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sorry- but a little extension of my vent (another one)- has anyone been in this situation? At what point do I say that I cannot do anymore because I have to go back to work full time? I can't supervise difficult child when he's not in school, I can't run him to appts, I can't pay for more or give him more time- I have to go to work.

    Now, does that mean that I'm putting my job before my child when I have done the opposite until I have no credit left, a damaged house, a PO telling my how to raise my kid and never satisfied, a kid who sticks knives in my face or at my throat, a therapist wanting to negotiate what more I should do to make difficult child feel motivated and happy, still owe about $2000 for difficult child's restitution, and if I keep on, we will be giving up our home and dogs and he'll be taken away for neglect because I'm not able to pay bills? Mind you- I did not break the law, I did not abuse my child, I did not neglect my child- I have advocated for him.

    But is there not a point where I have to tell them that I can't meet anymore demands- I can't meet the ones I have at this point. Has therapist suddenly forgotten that this is what he wrote in his letter recommending fapt?

    Then, what do they do? Are they going to court order me to do more- so where will that lead? It might end up with me calling PO and telling her if she's the one in control, then take him and go figure it out. So, she'll take it to court and sooner or later I'll end up in jail because I can't do more?? I seriously do not think it's me that needs to do more.

    I can't believe that because I have tried to get mental health services for my son instead of filing charges on him, that I'm left with another person wanting to talk about what changes I can make. He** - I don't think there's so much time in my life that I control as it is. And that time is spent on this board, which has helped difficult child more than anything, indirectly.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  12. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    with a short i
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for you. When my difficult child was at his worst, I had a support system around me that helped hold me up. I honestly don't know how you do what you do. I couldn't do it. No wonder you are tired and fed up. Something has to break. If you have to place difficult child in the state's custody, it's not giving up. But you can't keep living with a difficult child who is explosive and holds knives to your face when you tell him no. You have to work to meet your financial responsibilities or you and difficult child will both be out on the street. Hopefully somone will see what you need and the help will come. Keep fighting. You are my hero.
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - I don't know about fapts or how an mdt mtg can be held without you (that sounds *really* wrong to me but that's just me).

    However, as I'm reading this the one thought that really was screaming in my head was "nothing about me without me". It's a slogan from the disability community, I would guess borne out of all those mtgs held without the client they were supposed to be "benefiting".... probably with those "benefits" being the furthest thing from what the client really wanted. It's all about self-determination.

    difficult child cannot self-determine for himself but you have been a fabulous advocate for him. It makes me more than a little queasy that they would have a mtg about him and services, regardless of whatever red-tape excuse they're using, without you.

    on the other hand do remember: My name is Sue and I'm a control freak. ;)

    Just my 2 cents.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    At least I am not the only one who saw big red flags when they said they were having a meeting about your son that you couldn't attend. That is W.R.O.N.G. but that is just in my opinion.

    I really admire you. I know you must be near the breaking point yourself. I think your list is fabulous but you need to prioritize things. A list like that, esp typed with a space between each bullet will be easy for the judge/committee/whoever to read and absorb.

    I seriously cannot fathom how you are managing all of this with virtually NO support system and a PO who actively works AGAINST you. You truly are a hero, an awesome parent and an amazing advocate for your son.

    Sending gentle hugs and lot of strength, along with my rhino skin armor to see you through.

    Love ya,

  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I did feel that way- until it was explained to me that it's a meeting with employees of the sd with different roles (social worker, school psychiatric, principal or cm from home school, etc) and that it was for sd to determine internally if they were mmeting the needs of the kid (eg- FAPE). I'm ok with that. It's clearly a CYA, standard procedure sort of thing, if that's the case. I found this out by calling a receptionist at the central school board office and asking. That sounds lame, I know, BUT I made myself sound - well, not like a parent- and just ask her to tell me what these meetings were and who was normally in attendance. I think she thought I was someone from another county agency. She told me it was really for the sd to determine if they were the agency that was supposed to be cover ing (ie- funding) a specific need. She said parents were not in attendance. I asked "so, do they discuss what the student needs and determine if it's available" She said no- the determination of what the student needs is made in an iep meeting or another meeting (I would assume fapt) with the parent there. This meeting is for the sd to check themselves and see if they are meeting those needs and if there are needs that they cannot meet, then the determination is made to call in other agencies who can.

    So, that is fine. It became clear that this was not something specific to us- apparently the sd has these meetings every two weeks as a standard and parents are NEVER in attendance. If my understanding is correct, that would leave the door open for parents showing up saying sd should have paid for this and that, but didn't.

    I truly think the principal is mistaken. The FAPT team is the meeting where people from different county agencies meet with the parent of a family in need of help that has been referred by one of these agencies and determine how they can help that family. It is funded by an "Act" that was written in the state law to assist families with "at-risk" youth or youth in need of extenive services that cover more than one agency's realm. For instance, a severely disabled child's family might need a social worker, an in-home health care person and child care, and there's no way the family can afford that. Then, either the Dept of health, social services, or the school would refer this family to fapt because the care exceeds what one agency alone can provide. But, before that agency can refer it to fapt, they have to legitimately identify the various types of services and show that they exceed that agency's capability.

    The principal has asked for my list so she can go to MDT (the sd mtg) and say "this family needs financial assistance, crisis intervention at times, mentorship, along with testing that the sd will cover", for example. The parent does have to sign release forms for all these agencies to communicate if the family accepts help provided and funded this way. That's ok- that's similar to allowing psychiatrist and therapist to communicate, I think.

    My big concern is that I don't want anyone at the MDT meeting deciding that, well, this family really only needs someone to tutor difficult child to help him get caught up on school work, and then never go any further or go to fapt and ask for funding to pay for a mentor to tutor difficult child, but all the other needs never get addressed and me never be allowed to get involved. I don't think that will happen, but given my luck with people in this county so far, I'm not banking on this working out just yet.

    However, I did read this form carefully before signing. It was not like any form where a parent signs giving permission for others to meet about their child without their involvement or attendance. It clearly stated that it was a fapt form and was for release of information for the county agencies (and it listed the standard county agencies) and that's all. I think the principal will show up with it and it will mean nothing because it is not a fapt team meeting. It is the form that I would need to sign if this goes to fapt. As far as any info- the sd already knows difficult child legal problems. The only other agency we;'ve had contact with is when gal got social services involved after difficult child set the brush fire to see if DSS thought difficult child should be placed outside of home. DSS determined that I was doing more than the county or state could and that difficult child should remain in the home. So, there is nothing to hide there. If they end up pulling police reports, which I don't thinkk they will, it will just reveals numerous 911 calls from me at certain periods of the year reporting erratic behavior from my son or asking for help to get a tdo, so that just works in my favor.

    I'm going to talk to social worker at family meeting tomorrow. I seriously cannot imagine difficult child coming home without a fapt meeting at least lined up- and that's the extreme case. Personally, at this point, I'm on board with my therapist who said she thought difficult child needed to go to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a few months- not forever- but for a while. Given that he's been manic every late winter/early spring for the past 3 years and broken the law every time and is on a suspended sentence, and now it's that time of year and he's put a knife at me, I agree that it would be a good idea and it would give me time to catch up financially and get the house back to a stable home life, which woul;d only help him maintain stability.

    But, If we can't get that right away, I would let difficult child come back home with supports that are needed for me to meet his needs (financial assistance to pay bills, crisis intervention, etc). But, I am going to be honest and tell them, I can't meet his needs as it stands, so if they can't get that lined up, then they can call PO and tell her. I can't take him to a home where I know I can't meet his needs right? I think it should all be thrown in PO's park.

    I can't believe she has the audacity to know all this is going on and do nothing, yet she goes out of her way to make issue with me over not letting difficult child play M rated games. If I sat on recommendations from therapist and psychiatrist and didn't act on them, she'd have my rear in court. Why doesn't she have to act on them, then?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    I don't have anything to add but wanted to add my continuing support. I am reading these updates and feeling profound sadnes and frustation along with you. ML
  18. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry I wasn't around last night to read this thread.

    The key word here is "wrap-around services," I think. Help with crisis intervention,mentoring, in-home therapy (to supplement you rregular therapist and work with him). The school district can only address and fund school-related issues related to **educating** your difficult child, they can't address or fund any of those other things, that's why you need FAPT. That's the way it was explained to me. However, the issues your difficult child is having and his current instability are affecting his school performance (and attendance), and that's where the school can help with pushing/referring you to FAPT.

    I would focus on the fact that your difficult child needs a team of people to coordinate and brainstorm help in all areas, school, mental health, court involvement, etc. THAT is the purpose of FAPT, so it should be a no-brainer. Say that if you have to. Say that he is now so unstable you can't work, and that if financial hardship gets much worse, it will affect difficult child's stability as well. What happens if you end up homeless? Hey, pull ALL those stops out. Your family needs HELP.

    Personally, I'd leave out the specific financial piece of your list (damage etc.), except to mention that you are uanble to work, have mounting bills, and you are in a financial crisis. I would worry if you focus too much on wanting financial help (even if justified), there is the off chance they'll look at you as someone wanting to milk the system. I would focus everything on difficult child and how it is affecting him.

    There's my 2 cents. Or 50 :p
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm off to the family meeting....