School says there's nothing wrong with difficult child 1

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    and that he simply CHOOSES to not do his homework or his classwork, that he stated this himself, and so that's why he has struggled in class. So he doesn't need Special Education services. They said his tendency to isolate himself from others is just his personality, insinuating there's nothing to do about it and why would you want to change it.

    The Special Education teacher only briefly read the neuropsychologist draft report that I dropped off earlier in the morning. The school psychiatric didn't get a chance to see it, and wasn't overly concerned about looking at it when he learned about the document in our meeting.

    And they dismissed my pointing out that the neuropsychologist said he has memory problems because of the way he remembers things. They said well EVERYONE needs time and repetition to remember things, and the difficult child 1 says it's just not worth the effort to him. He is not motivated.

    The school psychiatric said that on one of the days he was testing him, difficult child 1 was annoyed at the prospect of missing PE that day beause they were doing Lacrosse, so he wanted to know what it would take for him to get out of there on time to go to Lacrosse, saying he would work as hard as he could to make it happen. And he did work very hard and he was able to go to PE that day. Apparently it's just a motivation problem. :hammer:

    So after an hour or so of them telling me how bright he is and showing me the pretty graphed results of their testing, we signed the form that acknowleged they did not qualify him for services. The psychologist pointed out that it did not mean we agreed to the testing results and we can still request an Independent evaluation.

    Once I get over husband losing his job this week, I'll try to figure out what to do next with this kid.

    The neuropsychologist recommended I get difficult child 1 in for counseling to help with his anxiety and depressive tendencies. Regardless of what the school does or doesn't do for him, I think this is a good idea.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I'll give you some advice for next time. Bring an Advocate (you can get a free one through your state's Board of Public Education) and NEVER SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU TAKE IT HOME AND READ IT TEN TIMES...and show it to others (I would have shown the neuropsychologist).

    Although the educators always try to get hub and I to sign THAT DAY, we just don't do things that way. We sign a week or so later, from home, after we AGREE with what we are signing. And if we don't, we bargain for changes. And we always bring our Advocate, who scares the pants off of them, and we don't accept "no, nothing it wrong" as an answer, when we know there is something wrong.

    But for now, if you feel they missed the boat, I'd call your state's Dept. of Public Education (usually located in the capital), ask for the Special Needs Advocate, get your own Advocate (ask who that person is in your area) and then I'd tell the story to the person on the other end of the phone. It's ridiculous how school district's expect you to play their way and to agree that they are right. This is your child, not theirs. You know what's best, not them. :mad: Gotta play hardball (we learned) or you can pushed around, and so does your child.
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Thanks MWM....I'm kind of facing something similar, where Missy is getting failing grades, but the Special Education department refuses to test or give her services. Going in for round three soon and I feel the need for an advocate...didn't know about getting a free one. Just looked it up and will be calling them. certainly have my I said, I'm dealing with the same brick wall you are.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, I agree with needing an advocate ASAP.

    Seriously I wonder sometimes why people cannot understand mental illness or learning differences. To me it seems so basic............but as we all see in our day to day lives with our difficult children...........for many and most, the concept is foreign. Everyone wants to rationalize away the obvious so that they can put it in their more familial boxes. :mad:

    Anything can be rationalized or denied! And that is what they did to your son and his testing. You definitely need an advocate in your corner. You also need to be well versed in your rights as a parent of mentally ill or challenged kid, because there are many.

    Hugs and support being sent your way.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I always made sure to ask for the teachers'/administrators' training and experience when they presume to know more than the specialists treating my child. Not that it accomplished anything, but made a point that I wasn't going to back down without a fight. Our school psychiatric didn't know what lexapro was. And it had been out for quite some time.

    I still think they gave difficult child and IEP just to shut me up. It was really weak at first, but it was a start and fine tuning came later.

    You're going to need to polish your armor. :warrior:
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    So, since they all say he is basically fine, who's house will he be staying at during summer vacation?? maybe they can each take a couple of weeks with him??

    Cause if he is "fine", well, that means YOU are doing something wrong. And to "protect" difficult child from your mistakes, surely these professionals can "do it better"???

    I would get an advocate, an attorney, and someone from the neuropsychologist's office or a local university teaching program to explain what these problems are and how it makes difficult child truly NEED the extra supports.

    If that doesn't work, Auntie Susie can come in to town with the rolling pin and thump these people into mental clarity and compassion. (I have a rolling pin dedicated to each of these - so I will be swinging with both attitude adjusters!)

    I sometimes wonder if these people don't just miss the forest for the trees, they miss the trees for the air!
  7. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I'm surprised with anxiety and ADHD you should be able to get an IEP. How are his grades? How are they planning to "improve" his motivation?

    I know it is frustrating, even more so with husband out of work limiting your options.

    The biggest thing I read about the IEP process that I found helpful is that no matter what, they can have 20 people at the table, there are only 2 votes, the school and you. You have to agree or head to mediation, you don't want an adversarial relationship if you can help it...but they don't want it to go higher either. You can go to mediation for being classified as well I'm pretty sure.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I strongly disagree with worrying about an adversarial relationship. The school districts try very hard to deny services. How are we supposed to be? Compliant about our children's failure?
    I have NEVER found that schools retaliate when hub and I reach higher up (like to the Dept. of Public Education) to get our children appropriate help. Never. If anything, they tread carefully around us, treat our kids better than kids whose parents are afraid or appear not to care, and go out of their way to give our kids the services they need. The way our schools work in the US, you ARE at odds. They don't want to pay for services and you want them. If you hire a free advocate and involve the State Dept. of Public Ed, with folks who really do care about how our kids are achieving, you can achieve the help you need without fighting pointlessly in your own school district--all of the people who are on the same page and wink at each other. No school district is so stupid as to tick off the State Board of Education, who allots the money for it. If you have to go to mediation, go! School districts don't like that because it puts them under close inspection and looks very bad for them. And, if they are denying services, they should look bad--you are not only helping YOUR child, but others. Our school district backed off from mediation and suddenly accomodated our Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son in every way we had asked, and were VERY nice about it. They love our son--truly do--and there has been no backlash. That would be stupid--we'd complain to the State Board again, and they know it. And we don't HAVE an adversarial relationship just because we prevailed. We work hard with the educators and I can tell that they respect us for fighting for our child--far more than they respect those who back off and let themselves get steamrolled over. There are agendas at play here. Those who fight the hardest will get the best results, and you don't have to do it in a hateful way. The school districts expect us to give into them and save them money, but respect us when we don't. And our kids are actually treated better than those kids whose parents lay down and give up. How do I know? I started out doing it the "let's be nice" way and that got me nothing except a daughter who is now 24 and can still hardly read. I'm sorry I didn't get an Advocate for her (I didn't know about them at the time) and, if necessary, gotten the State Dept. of Ed involved (didn't know I could anad was afraid they'd take it out on her). I kept being told "she's a little too capable to qualify for services." Baloney. She has severe dyslexia.
    Fight for your child. Your child can only get as much help as YOU are willing to get him. The school districts do not care and will not give in unless they are told they have to. Also, outside providers, such as private NeuroPsychs, are not the "go to" people to contact. They don't care about them because they are not the people who allot the funds for their school district. Yes, it's all about $$$. Go to their "bosses" so to speak. And the Superintendant of the school is not the boss of the school district. He is the head of it and is often the chief Winker-In-Command. If he fails to deliver, go to HIS boss--the State Dept. of Public Education.
    Well, off the soap box, but wanted to dispell that myth.:tongue:
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ditto what everyone has said. I'm surprised with all the documentation that you are unable to get an iep. It is frustrating on the teacher end at times as well. This year I had 3 students who both the spec. ed teacher and I have learning disabilities. The process of even getting testing is difficult. We have to show about 19 pages worth of interventions we have tried before they will think of doing testing. Basically they want us (the teachers) to provide an iep without having the support of Special Education.

    However, with the nueropsych. report I am surprised they didn't. The fact that you support one also makes me a bit surprised they didn't because so often we have parents that are in denial that there is anything wrong that often we can't qualify students who do meet criteria. Many often want their children in a spec. ed full inclusion room because then there is more support in the room but don't want their own children to be "labeled".

    I so agree with getting an advocate. We've had to do that and would do it again if needed. We are luckky this year, we were able to get the wording we wanted in the iep. The case manager asked us to look over the iep and let her know if we want any wording changed.

    I'm sorry the district is being a pita about this. I know how frustrating it is. Hugs.
  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    If you do get a list of Parent Advocates from the school, check them all out - I found when I had to do that IEP song and dance, all of the people on the list were X school district employees one way or another. I contacted T.A.S.K. in Anaheim and had hired a guy from there - he was brilliant, knew his stuff and was well worth the money. They also do seminars on going thru the IEP process. I would assume right now, with Ca. in bankrupt mode, they are going to be putting up major fights about spending any kind of money dong what they are supposed to.

    House, in Ca, ADHD alone wouldn't qualify you for an IEP, but if there is something else going on, anxiety, depression, definately you qualify.

  11. ML

    ML Guest

    This is maddening and a transparent approach to avoid taking any measures on their part. I'm so sorry. Currently manster's on the books diagnosis is anxiety and adhd and they've been really good with him. Now he only has a 504 and I've been told when middle school hits is when I'll likely have trouble. Thinking of you xo
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks for all the great suggetions everyone! Marcie, I think I remember you talking about TASK before. I'll look into that.

    What really struck me is that they chose to ignore the neuropsychologist draft report that I gave them that day so they could just plow through and get the meeting over with.

    They brought in his Lang Arts teacher as the ONLY teacher staff member to comment directly on his work. She said he just does not like to write, he says he doesn't like to write, and so that's why he blows off a lot of his assignments. But when he IS interested in a subject, he really shines. And in his test scores show he's a really bright kid. They had to go much deeper in the test booklet to find his knowledge limit than they normally do.

    The fact that he was uncooperative with the Special Education teacher really didn't seem to raise any flags to them other than they think he's stubborn. They just saw it as a kid who didn't see the benefit of the testing and that it was a waste of his time (which he essentially did say to them). I said he was likely acting that way 1) because of his perception that having anything to do with the Special Education teacher meant you were stupid 2) he butts heads with me the most and she's a loud, no-nonsense woman so it's likely he identified me in her (the school psychiatric is an unassuming soft-spoken guy and he had NO problems with difficult child 1) and she was making him do something he didn't want to do.

    And the school psychiatric said he could see that difficult child 1 did have distractibility issues in the testing, but that they seemed to be well controlled with the medications. Makes me feel like pulling him off everything and refuse to give him the stims so that they'll support him. They said they do have parents who refuse to go the medication route and then wonder why their kids performance suffers. Hmmm.... I can play that game too. I can say that the stims were making him lose weight and he wasn't eating at school (which he often doesn't) and that affected his school performance.

    So it's purely a motivational issue, in their opinion, and it's up to the parents to work that out. The more I think about it, the more I just don't buy it. If I haven't been able to motivate him the past two years, what's going to change that?

    We are done with this school, so I'll have to take this up with the new highschool at his 504 review in September. In the mean time, I will get my edits back to the neuropsychologist and have her FINISH her friggin' report. And I will ask to meet with her about the school's conclusions. I will get difficult child 1 back into therapy and I will start looking for an advocate to take with me to the September meeting.

    I wonder if the school psychiatric was secretly trying to let me know we didn't have to let it end here when he pointed out to the Special Education teacher that the document we were signing did not in anyway mean we agreed with their findings. And that we were entitled to seek an independent review, or some such thing.

    Has anyone here initiated the independent review, and what wording did you use in your letter to start that process? Did you send it to the district or to the school?
  13. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    I am going thru the process of and IEE right now. I'm suspecting thats what you mean by and Independent review?

    First here's a site owned by a lawyer in San Francisco that has LOTS of information on education law regarding all children with disability's.... the main focus is Autism, but the information really applies to all children with a disability.

    On his site he has a section called sample letters. I have used a few of these letters when communicating with our school district.

    And here's one of his letters you should use to ask for this IEE. It's really important that you start documenting everything you can and start communicating with the school thru letters. As Pete Wright says, if it's not written then it wasn't said (or something like that lol). Pete Wright is a very well known education atty and his site is incredible too. It's

    Now after you send this letter, if they still refuse then they have to by law file for Due Process to prove their testing was adequate and accurate.

    (Your Name, Address, and Telephone Number)


    To: Principal and IEP team administrator

    RE: (Your child’s name, grade, and school)

    Dear _________________,

    This is to request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of my child to determine the identity and nature of disabilities that my child might have and to recommend appropriate services. (PARENT: choose all or part of the language in the following sentence that is appropriate.)

    This request is made because I believe that the assessment that was made by the school district did not cover all areas of suspected disability, that the assessment was not adequate and a qualified person did not perform the assessment made by the school.

    I would like to have ________________________ assess my child at public expense. Please provide me with any procedures that the school may have in providing an independent educational evaluation.

    It is important that the assessment be performed in a timely manner because a delay of appropriate services could deny my child an appropriate education.


    (Your Name)

  14. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    After looking at that letter more thorougly I realized there is a sentence in there that asks you who you want to test your child. So take that out unless you already have someone set up to do the independent testing.

    I would also make sure you not only ask for a Neuro-Phys to do the testing, but also look into ALL areas like Speech and Occupational Therapist (OT) too.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks Mamabear... do you or does anyone here know how often you can have a neuropsychologist evaluation conducted? We just had one done on him in April, so how long do we have to wait before we can do it again?
  16. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    You can't have the same tests conducted within a years time. When you go to the second doctor, show him what tests have been done and he/she can use other tests to find out his needs.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If the school is saying the testing already done is not accurate or is flawed in some way then I imagine that retesting can be done at any time.

    It would be useful to provide the new doctor with the test results AND the actual forms used for the testing (any and all parent checklists, teacher checklists/statements, and any forms the child filled out, drew on, etc... If some tests are done via computer then there should be a printout of the actual results - not just the prior test administrator's interpretation of the results.

    If at ALL possible, get the NP to give YOU copies of these things for your file. I keep them just like I keep copies of any/all Xrays, MRI's, labwork, etc... It can be very helpful to track progress and identify changes if you have the actual results.

    And, if any EEGs, MRI's or whatever are done the hospital here only has to keep the films/reports for seven years. These can all be helpful in figuring out what is wrong, esp if they show the beginnings of a trend (my mom needed 8 years worth of lab tests to figure out that she had a serious liver disease. NONE of the tests were abnormal, but over the span of time there was a trend in some of the results that indicated the disease.)

    I hope the school stops messing around and gives you what difficult child needs. They have to know they can't fight a Warrior Mom and win!!
  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi there, I really think you need an advocate before you proceed any further with the school.

    Here's a link to a directory of Parent Training and Information Centers (by state), which help families obtain appropriate educational services for their children:

    You might also want to check with your local chapters of NAMI ( and the National Federation for Children's Mental Health ( for information about free or low-cost educational advocates.

    Good luck.
  19. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Certain tests (for example, WISC and Woodcock-Johnson) cannot be repeated within one year. And SDs often have a set list of tests they will and will not accept for the purposes of making educational decisions.
  20. LHB

    LHB Starting to figure it out

    Hello Everybody! I just registered on this site and I'm glad I found you guys!

    I'm looking for some support/help/advice in dealing with my 10.5 daughter. She shows definite signs of ADD-Inattentive as well as Sensory Intergration Disfunction - two terms I hadn't explored until 6 months ago. But, as I started putting pieces together and doing some research, she fits the description for both of these areas.

    Last week I took her to the pediatrician who had me take the Vanderbilt assessment to her teachers. They came back showing there was little to no issues with her behavior/attention. She really doesn't exhibit it at school (maybe because she's so focused on specific tasks, or gets lost in the crowd?) and her grades are good because she's a conscientious kid and I help ALOT with homework. I'm sure I'm the smartest 4th grader in her class! So, I hit a wall. Since she isn't what I would classify as 'disabled' by this I don't feel it's necessary for me to do an all out campaign to pursue it with all kinds of doctors just to get the answer I want. Yet, I am still dealing with a child who requires constant attention at home, zones out, drags her feet, etc, etc. And, I'm worried about how she's going to function as school gets a little harder each year. (And I return to work and don't have the time to write a report on Brazil!)

    Anybody hear of a child who exhibits symptoms more strongly in one environment than others? Any suggestions as to where I can go from here?