SPED school is not special

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Star*, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    hi -

    Went to IEP update meeting today. Wasnt going to go - but after the school making Dude leave the school property for loitering and walking 2 miles to our mechanics office - I thought I would go and see if it was a fair meeting.

    I sat silent (not my usual m/o) listened to the teachers tell of Dudes bad habits, annoying behaviors, disruptive impulsive talking. Then listened to the school psychiatric tell Dude it's time to grow up. Then listened to the principal basically rip Dude for his behaviors and how she WILL NOT TOLERATE any of her teachers being disrespected, or how she has given him chance after chance after chance to shape up.....and then Dude said "I'll solve this - I know I'm not wanted here - I'm not liked, so I'll just transfer to a school closer to my foster parents." and at that point everyone shook their heads in agreement like "OKAY" and started to get up. And I said ....

    WHAT???? NO....wait. Are you people for real? Seriously!!!! Gosh how many behavior problem children have you taught? A child with Conduct Disorder says he doesn't think the principal likes him (a person of authority) and there was no disagreement - If I went to school here I would probably think you didn't like me either - wow. Then the principal said "I do like you Dude, but...I won't have my teachers disrespected."

    So I asked HOW he disrespects them -how many times? And she said The teacher said "Have a nice day" and he said mocking her in a funny voice "Have a nice day." and I won't tolerate that.

    THIS IS HER BEHAVIOR PROBLEM??????? OMG - no wonder he doesn't want to go there. I then explained he had a bad time at a group home, came home to live with me, then foster parents, had court didn't know if he was getting 6 years in prison and yes while all this is true - he also had a migraine headache and was told to go out in the hall - what good does that do? how about a little more tolerance on YOUR parts with a disabled child? The principal said she HAS been tolerant. 10 years of teaching and she has been tolerant - i said with emotionally disabled children? No answer.

    I asked the principal exactly WHEN did problems start?
    -when he went from afternoon classes 2 days a week to 4 morning classes. (uh huh)
    I asked the teacher what were his strengths because I have spent the last 35 minutes sitting here listening to his BAD habits described to a T. What did they think were his strengths - his building abilities?
    (um.....um...look at each other and then one said He works good one on one) and right after that the other teacher said (He works good in a group)

    Did you get that? One says he works well alone, and the other says works in a group.

    So i said 'Well which is it?" and they said "BOTH" and I said "If he works good in a group and works good alone - what is the real problem?"
    (you could have heard a cricket toot)

    Then I said If he's only bad 1/2 the time - he must be good 1/2 the time. So when he is good - what is he doing that he could build on? Is he good at math? Does he need a break? Does he need to stop talking? (Oh yes we send him out in the hall) - I said YOU SEND HIM OUT IN THE HALL - and what is the purpose of that? She said "it gets him out of the room and the other students aren't distracted. I said "Where does that help him understand anything about the punishment?" Does he have a punishment/
    Well no -
    Ummm i see - no punishment for talking out in class - just stand in the hall, and you can't tell me what good that does him? See where this is a messed up system?
    (cricket toot again)
    I looked at the caseworker and said "Is it just me - or does this school appear to have a hidden agenda?
    The principal said "We're an adult ED school - we don't operate like a regular school, we don't have to put up with this behavior." I said 'Well telling ME isn't helping HIM - have you told HIM that? or did you just send him outside in the hall with no explanation?? Come on people work with us here - This school system pushed him through and now you are telling me you don't HAVE to put up with behavior problems? - Maybe I'm missing something what is an IEP for?

    So I said "Well if that is the case, then he should leave here, enroll him in full time high school, enforce the IEP goals and add some behavior interventions that put more understanding in place for a child with his disabilities.'

    The psychiatrist said "THAT is brilliant."
    The principal said "That could work."
    The caseworker said "Sounds good"
    And Dude said "NO WAY...."

    And I looked at him and said "Sounds like you made a good choice Dude." and he said "what choice?"
    And I said - "You are choosing 2 days of school where you will work on your assignments one on one with the teacher to get your GED OR you will not work with anyone, violate your probation and go to jail."
    I am happy you made a good choice for yourself.

    And before we left I told him it sounded like the principal was willing to allow him to come back 2 days a week, that she is wiping the slate clean and he can choose to get along with her or be let go from her school. She agreed. Then I said "I also didn't hear her say she didn't like you I heard her say she wants respect." She nodded - Dude told her he was sorry and shook her hand.

    Everyone got up - I told the teacher she may try a little signal between him and her to help Dude curb impulses - a tap on the shoulder or a word - and she said that was a good idea.

    Honest to pete - all hail the school system.

    Dude waited for me in the hall - and I got a hug and a kiss- and a thank you Momma -

    I told Dude - NEVER go diving without a buddy in unknown waters. Honestly and these people RUN a school for kids with behavior problems? GET OUT! (seriously get out).

    The teachers and administration should know - knowledge is power - and effective communication is really helpful - not stand there and put the kid down. Can you imagine what he felt sitting there wondering if everyone there hated him or had nothing but bad things to say? How would I have felt? No one acknowledging his feelings? No wonder our kids feel so outside of everything.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so glad you were there for him Star. I often wonder what happens to those with less warrior armor. I'm surprised Dude sat through it all. I'm glad he appreciated your efforts.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    That is just it - those that KNOW Dude (psychiatrist, caseworker, me) KNOW that three years ago Dude could NEVER have made it and did not ever make it through a meeting lasting 45 minutes.

    THIS was a milestone and outside I did thank him for being so cooperative, smart, handsome, and funny- he just smiled and said "Get off me Mom" while laughing.

    And yes - I don't have a clue what happens when kids don't have parents involved - but i hope we never have to find out. people forget kids are people too - even the challenged ones.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    To read what they were saying to Dude's face literally brought tears. No child deserves to hear that kind of garbage. What kind of teachers would do this? I'm so glad he had you there to help him.

    Way To Go for being a warrior mom and standing up so well for your son.

    I'm proud of Dude for sitting there and taking that bull. I know I wouldn't have been able to handle that and I'm an adult. He's come a long way.
  5. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    I'm rolling my eyes (luckily I can touch-type) thinking about that meeting. "Have a nice day" said sarcastically is a big deal? Ooo-ooh.
  6. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    WOW!!!! I have so much learning to do. I'm not good at quick thinking, quick responses....it takes me awhile to react & by then, I am normally too late! I suppose I need to go into these things with a better plan. It sounds as if you did a GREAT job today ***pat on back***. I hope I can figure it all out & be the best I can be for my difficult child when it comes to her education. I often wonder if I don't know enough, research enough or am missing resources. But, I am however, learning quite a bit from all of you. Thanks for sharing & I'll mark another one down for a learning example for me. You should be very proud of yourself.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    You did a great job! I am so proud of you!!! It must have been so hard to sit there with him while they tore him down.

    HOW on EARTH do these people think??? I know of NO educational paradigm or model that uses long lectures about how terrible a person is to teach. I would send an email to them, and to whomever is above the principal. Maybe they were just not thinking, got on a roll and acted like idiots. But if this is there style, I wonder how many success cases they have?

    I really think kicking this up the line will be a good thing. Maybe some communication classes for the teachers??

    Dude was great. I am so very proud, he has come so FAR! I dont' think that I would have been able to sit there while they tore me down like that - and I am 20 years older and loads more experienced!!!

    Sounds like a productive meeting, but it will be tough for Dude to NOT think they don't like him. Maybe if he brought snacks to share with the teacher, or did some other nice thing it would help build a bridge? A bath bomb, and a note saying he is sorry he stressed her so and maybe this would help her calm down? Walgreens had some in the cosmetics area that were cheap.

    I really hate to think he has to be there with them. They really don't seem to be on the ball.

    But maybe if he reaches out they will start to see him as a PERSON, rather than as a thing.


  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm a bit late to this thread.

    Star, that was brilliant. And I agree, he shouldn't have been made to hear that stuff, especially since they clearly weren't doing right by him, trying to handle it in such a heavy way.

    And you did what a lot of parents need to learn to do - to not only criticise, but give constructive, positive options and cut through the bulldust. Too often a parent sitting there hearing this stuff would either have been successfully deflected from her task of supporting the child and would instead have joined in the "let's bash difficult child" routine; or would simply dissolve into tears or other emotional outburst and again, accomplish nothing.

    Way to go!

    However, if what you heard is also their knee-jerk response, then you're going to need to keep close tabs on them to make sure they don't fall back into bad habits.

    Punishment, if they're going to use it, needs to be constructive, consistent and informative (ie the child needs to know what they did wrong and be given a chance to learn from it; they also shouldn't be punished for something out of their control or something that was triggered by bad handling).

    Good luck, wear a trench coat and cut a hole through your newspaper for your camera as you sit in your car outside the school...

  9. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Star, we had the same issues with adult ed. I fought hard for my difficult child. He needed 3 assignments and 12 hours to recieve a high school diploma. I did not want him to go back on campus. He was having major panic attacks and those a sign that he will begin using again. I fought with the district to allow him to make up the work off campus. We won. He graduated. IEP and Special Education laws still apply in adult ed. Does he have a BIP? You may think of having one done just in case.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    MARG!!! You SAW ME????? (NY times and a digital camera) -lol
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, maybe I am too idealistic. But, Star, The threads that I have read over the last few months lead me to think #1 - you and Dude are forming a much better relationship- and he loves you- and there is definitely something to be said for him "feeling" for you- like saying thank you, like realizing some things you are doing for him.
    #2 - the schools ****. Well, ok, we all knew that already. But, maybe with Dude's growth in maturity lately, just maybe, he (with your help) can bridge that gap.

    More than anything- it sticks out in my mind that maybe this is the time to let your relationship grow (and heal a little) and if school success comes a little later- so be it. My guess is that he'll hang in there. It just comes across to me that you both are doing a lot of healing right now- albeit, maybe not as fast as you would like to see it, in my humble opinion, it's happenning-

  12. looking4hope

    looking4hope New Member


    As a teacher, I cannot believe that an IEP was run in such an unprofessional manner. Typically, we always start with a child's strengths, not his or her problems. Don't get me wrong, we do get to those issues, but it should be done with a positive tone, and include the interventions we've tried in the classroom.

    For a teacher to be sarcastic like that, and walk out of the meeting, is unprofessional. I would seriously consider writing to the district's personnel department, describing what happened at this meeting. The entire situation should be looked into, and resolved. This is a school that is supposed to help students who don't do well in a regular high school environment, not alienate them.

    You are a great, caring parent. I think that the teachers and principal finally saw that fact, and thank you for reminding them that they have a responsibility for ensuring your son's education. Some of the teachers at my school regularly use sending a student out in the hall as a way to cut down on the distractions. I use it sometimes to, but not without finding a break a few minutes later to explain to the student what it will take for them to stay in the class. As a science teacher, I also use it to immediately get a student out of the room who may be creating a safety hazard during a lab (why do they like to play with Bunsen burners so much??), but that's a different story.

    Anyway, good for you for standing up to the teachers. Can Dude be transfered out of the "Have a good day" teacher's class? Might be beneficial for both. Just a suggestion.

    YOU ROCK!!
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I want to be Star when I grow up.

    That is all.
  14. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Nice going warrior mom.:bow:And nice going to Dude for sitting there and taking that, and then thanking you.:bravo: Maybe this is a new beginning for you and Dude to get closer. That can be hard with difficult children.
  15. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    I am in awe of you, Star. What an amazing warrior mom. Wow, Dude is such a lucky boy to have you as his mom, and he obviously is realizing it, which is wonderful.

    I am lifting up my metaphorical wine glass and drinking a toast to an amazing warrior mom!

    Love, Esther