spoke to school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so i spoke to difficult child's school today, ya know the one that called cps on me lol. love them NOT. :)

    sooo they again need more paperwork from me from oregon. figured that, their calling back.

    their talking about transitioning her back into school. i have to admit that made my hair stand up a bit. she just got back home, and i know we gotta keep it flowing. yet she's academically behind now her school piece in hospital was minimal. also she's not totally recovered and i'm afraid of a relapse.

    so the guidance counselor who im not a big fan of told me well we can't continue to enable her. i said i dont' think by allowing her time to catch up on work and also fully recover is enabling her. i saId if that anxiety shoots up again it'll be me running off to another treatment place for 3rd time. thinking in my mind not you!

    so i said i'm not doing anything at all with this other than home tutors till we have a mtg. and sit down and talk about the approach. their actually thinking of bringing her back into school 2 periods a day.

    in my mind husband and i, i don't consider ex's feelings on this because he really doesn't know how to handle her or what she's truly like. we agreed that we'd try to put her back in september a fresh start. give her supports now, continue home tutoring, try to set up socialization pieces, actiivties make her life better. it was so bad before just in a cave.

    not sure how i'm feeling about throwing her into the fire before she's ready for it. i'm trying to get her one playdate with a kid she used to play with just to see how she'd handle the questions etc. a small warm up thing. yet no parents are returning my calls. ithink their afraid their kids will catch it. again the neighborhood i live in bites.


    thoughts on school anyone? we've never been thru a major hospitalization before. yet kids i worked with did and they never transitioned back in immediately at all. it was time at home to fully recover from whatever they went in for, than supports in place than a small small transition back that would be carefully monitored.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Are there any therapeutic day schools in your area? You should ask your school about that possibility.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Go with your instincts. The school wants to push you now before you get a doctor on board to send them a letter saying that she needs homebound because homebound costs them more. Does difficult child have an IEP? If not, go to the sp ed archives and find the letters asking for the evaluations, etc.... and get that ball started. There MUST be a plan before she returns. Period.

    I cannot see a benefit to her going back to school before services are in place, but I am not there. Whatever your instincts and whatever the docs from OR suggested that felt right are what is right for your child. School is NOT NOT NOT the expert on your child, regardless of what they say or want. YOU are that expert. Don't go against your instincts.

    Have you contacted any of the homeschool groups to see about doing something with them? You can also use sunday school to see how she will do in a more social gathering. At least wait until after Sunday to make any decisions about tossing her back into school so soon. You are probably right about jumping right back into school causing lots of anxiety. Until she has some tools and the ability to use them, this anxiety is counterproductive, in my opinion.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't forget that you also have the option of online schools that are accredited and will count as credits. I'm not sure about your State but I think most have free virtual schooling available. There are well established private accredited schools (I used two). I would think that she could work alone online with-o you having to be her involved partner. A little independence could make her feel proud.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    yes i did mention the small school setting, diff school thing. yet i think the way this is going to play out and i have to get my hands on their laws etc. is that she'd have to re enter than tank and than we could talk about district having to pay for private school. personally i've been shoving her into mainstream for years public and it hasn't worked yet. to me she already tanked, day 2 of school. we have already proven it isn't the right environment for her.
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Even if she isn't on homebound instruction now and an IEP I would think that a note from the doctor stating she needs homebound instruction would be sufficient. Not much way school could argue with that.

    I think the school's concern is in essence the same as yours--you don't want her to become closed off to the world and let her in her anxiety retreat to the safety of her home. They have a view on how to do that and you do too--that's why you are looking for all these outside pieces of socialization for her. So keep going down the path you have set.

    It will be exceedingly difficult to get the district to pay for private school. If you are in a small district, you might want to investigate whether neighboring schooldi districts have a more therapeutic classroom--some to do--that you could petition your district for a transfer to.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i was just thinking about it. their plans' going to be..... let's transition her back in now. she used that horrible word we are enabling her to continue doing what she does? hmmm your kidding me right? LOL

    so i am not willing to risk putting her back in that way, having her tank another hospitalization than round and round we go. my aim is to build my case, i called a 504 meeting just now and state i'm not willing to risk both her medical and mental well being to transition her back in prior to her being ready. also at what point do we say ok this isn't working she needs specialized school till she's living in nurses's office again.?? see my pt.

    there has to be this clear concise ok in a mos or so once services are in full force and have been in slowly try to put her in one period a day see how it goes. if she doesn't do well and that's if i don't just push for them to pay for specialized school. which hello we all know they don't wanna. at what pt do we say ok this isn't working for her.

    i think that's already been proven. she's been thru alot and i want her back in school yet this school may not be the right setting for her. so i called the clinic trying to get them to recommend a private small school setting on paper to fax to school as my back up along with-her pyschiatrist and peds.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If an MD (not PhD, has to be a medical doctor) says she may not attend school or may only attend for 90 minutes/day, they CANNOT ignore that. Their liability would be HUGE in attempting to force you to go against medical advice.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    yes i figured that. yet medically she will totally stabilize. they dont want to pay for outside school. so they'll shove her back in and wait for her to crash again. yet ihave a huge long history since 3rd grade and entering their school district of extreme anxiety, etc. which lead to 504, any plan we implemented didn't work etc. what more would they need than after 2 days of school and 10 periods a day she totally stopped eating and lead to 2 hospitalizations.??
  10. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Here's my advice coming from someone who has been through this a bit. Unless you want to spend many $$$ and fight to get her into a therapeutic school now with the SD--a battle which you are unlikely to win and certainly not right off the bat, take it one step at a time. Get the doctor's note, keep her out of school, get tutors, and see where she is after spring vacation. Don't fight battles now that you don't need to fight. If you need another doctor's note or whatever in two months cross that bridge. Your daughter may surprise you and do really well with all the supports you have in place. Or she may not. But one step at a time.
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i agree with-you 100% unfortunately the school is making me jump thru hoops yet again. they called today i need her discharge paperwork, a whole treatment plan for future here in new york which the place didnt' give me.

    they also want a diagnosis again, a time frame tutors needed until. yet on the flip side they are pushing for the 504 meeting now. i had to put it off in writing two times due to both hospitalizations. their calling me back with-a date which i'm sure will be soon. so i'm gearing up so i am prepared. at the mtg. they want to know what difficult child's educational future will be and the transitional plan to get her back into the building. let's remember same school that yes did call cps on me i found out, and also the same school that i had to fight for provisions on 504 and had to fight for a 504 for 3 years because they didnt' want to give anything extra.

    it's a heavily funded we have alot of money in this school district, the teacher's salaries here are 110k some of them a year. the lower end newer ones are like 60. they just dont' want to spend the money their actually known for it.

    what will probably wind up happening is husband and i will have to go private with her if they push the plan too soon. i'm all about let's see what she can do, yet once supports are in place and we have a clearly defined plan on at what point do we say enough is enough. i would think after since 3rd grade mainstreaming her isnt' working we are at that point.

    i spoke to a mom whose on the Special Education board today. she said what theyll do is theyll put her in resource, difficult child will get pulled out thru day than when that doesn't work and she's still floundering assuming that's what she'll do they'll put her in self contained classroom Special Education with physically handicapped kids. she said bluntly jen there is and have never been provisions for children like ours in this school and there never will be. i fought it it's just too hard. her son has autism and she had to pay for private schooling because she fought and fought and got no where.her youngest is in difficult child's grade now has anxiety issues yet manages.

    she told me look for private schools in area, get the stats bring that into mtg. with as much doctor back up as you can. so that's what i'm going to do now.

    by the way she's doing awesome i'm happy to say she really is. ate each meal today without a fight or anything. has gone to bed on time past two nights since home. my changing my approach and this medication are working really well. so far so good.
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I think that at this point you should be pushing for an IEP and getting her more protection than a 504 can offer. I would ask for an FBA to give the school some ideas as to how to handle her. It does not sound like she is ready for school yet.

    With an IEP, you can look at programs like the Alternative Learning Centers at Western Suffolk BOCES or the Eagle Avenue School in Nassau BOCES (not sure where you live, just on LI). I looked at Eagle Avenue for difficult child, it was not for him but I know many kids (including dyslexic PC14's best friend) who have gone there with many different issues, from bipolar to adoption issues, schizophrenia and have done fairly well. It runs from grades 6 through 9. BOCES programs are cheaper than private schools so there may be less of a fight over funding. I would start now because Cuomo's new budget is going to wreak havoc on NYS (not that we don't need some controls, I just wish it wasn't schools getting the hit).

    This way, she could learn in a small and safe environment and you can set a goal of sending her back to public school for HS or not.

    Mods - sorry, I know we're not supposed to use real names, but I don't have PM enabled.
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so without an IEP i can't get funding for other programs via the school district? I have the 504 now, i will push for an iep due to her current situation. also i am not a fan of thoe you listed. i am on the south shore. i found two schools that look good to me online for her. she is stuck on going back to that school. i dont' know why. on a good day she struggles unbelievably. she is only going to be 12 and doesn't get what's best for her yet i am a bit tossed because do you give the kid a chance? i dont' know. yet i do know these other two schools are real expensive, the programs look amazing. i'd have to do a walk thru.

    they even state that alot of their students are there due to funding from the school district that were not able to appropritately educate the kids. they have small class sizes, easier days, therapy throughout the day, alot of supports in place bigtime. their a bit of a distance away yet wow they go up till 12th grade! can you imagine??

    so how oh how am i going to win a battle this huge if i want to place this child in a program that is non the name of the school you mentioned
  14. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    You will need to get her on an IEP. You will need an advocate with you at all meetings and will undoubtedly have to hire a Special Education lawyer. And the mom is probably right, you won't get anywhere until the school is given the chance to show it can't meet her needs. Yes, I know it hasn't, but they will argue she wasn't on an IEP and they have more resources available that you haven't tried yet. And you will have to go through a whole legal battle to prove that they won't work. And that will be difficult if you haven't tried them.

    Sorry to sound discouraging but it will be a long drawn out battle. If you win and you can get her in somewhere for HS it will be worth it. But you may not win or you may win too late.

    One thing you could do would be to call up the private schools, talk to them about the types of kids they have, which ones are funded by their districts (maybe even some by yours!) and if they have any advice on how to qualify her. Worth a try.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thats' exactly what i was just thinking too. ahh great minds lol thanks!
  16. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Although you most likely will have to have her in school and crash and burn before you will get out of district, it doesn't have to happen that way. I was able to get funding for dyslexic easy child to attend an out of district sped school (he was bussed into NYC every day) for middle school without having him attend the district middle school at all. At his 5th grade CSE, I asked them for detailed descriptions of what programs they had for him in the MS. They had completely mainstreamed, mainstreamed with resource room. inclusion and self-contained. I don't know if your school has similar set-ups. Mainstream with-o svcs was not going to work; he needed a lot more support. Resource room alone was also insufficient. Self-contained was set aside by Pupil Personnel, who said he was too high functioning for it. Inclusion was a possibility until I learned that it took SIX kids a year and my son's IQ was about 20 points higher than the next highest functioning kid. The support in the mainstream class from a co-teacher would have been nice but the six kids spent several periods a day together and PPS told me that my son would tear his hair out from boredom. They did not have support in the mainstream class coupled with resource room, which would have been appropriate for him, so he went to private school. He is back at the district this year, in grade 9. He goes to resource room 4 hours/ week and his math, global and bio classes are co-taught. They did not have an option like that at the middle school.

    I think that you need to figure out what options are available at the middle school, taking into consideration her emotional needs and make a pro/con list for each option. That's what helped me fgure out what to ask for for dyslexic easy child. Given her health, I would push for an OHI classification UNLESS the school you want for her only takes ED. However, if you can, I would try to avoid a school that is solely ED. NYS DOE has a list of acceptable schools on its website. That's how I found the school my son went to. Once you find schools, you need to find out if your SD funds there. I called the school directly and asked if it had any kids from my SD and it did; that let me tell the SD that I knew it had paid for the school in the past. There is another school 5 minutes from me that my SD does not fund for although I have friends from NYC whose kids have gone there. If the school won't tell you, check your SD board minutes - they are a fund of info as they are required to list all schools they enter into contracts with so you can see which schools other kids are in from your SD.

    Once you get her testing done (send a letter asap, if you haven't already, asking for testing - there is a timeline within which it is required to be done, I seem to think it's 45 business days from the request but check. PPS should have a list of parents' rights which you should ask for) there will be a meeting to discuss her eligibility. Don't agree to meet until you have her results from the testing - ask for subtest scores as well. The subtest scores can be used to paint a better picture of her issues than just the whole scores. For instance, my difficult child and my dyslexic easy child have identical verbal IQs. difficult child's performance IQ, however, is about 40 points higher than easy child's. I used that discrepancy to get easy child services. It was so clear in looking at his sub-scores that he is classically dyslexic. difficult child's picture is much more complex but I used the almost 20 point difference in his math PSAT (which was an almost perfect score) and his writing PSAT (which was "merely" above average) to convince the CSE that he still needs to be classified.

    This is not a battle for the faint of heart, but I think that you have shown yourself to be an incredibly strong and devoted mom. I do know a terrific advocate in Huntington that I could refer you to if that's anywhere near you. I believe that if you have to do a trial of school, you should do it in mid to late May. If she readjusts, great. If not, she will crash with enough time for you to reinstate homebound and get her done for the year and enough time for you to get her placed elsewhere next year if needed.

    Middle school is all of the circles of heck combined in one. Even my daughter, who is an incredibly well-adjusted easy child, struggled through MS. For kids who are at all out of the box, MS is horrific.

    Good luck.
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    wow that was some awesome info. thanks so much for taking the time truly. here's the thing we already had her tested. i should pm you you are clearly on the island somewhere you might know of our notorious school district that is dripping with-money yet refuses to spend it. they have an MO apparently. so much so when they did her joke of a pyschological testing 2 years ago due to all her school troubles they reported how well she is!! LOL

    they will do just about anything to avoid services, spending money giving an iep. i fought them for years, friends here can remember what i went thru just to get a 504 in place. it was horrifying lol. they kept saying until she fails everything and tanks academically she isn't eligible for any services. than once the state wide testing started coming in at mid 2's and 2 than they started to look, and the missed books each day for hw, the failed tests, the lack of focus on class, the nurses visits due to anxiety.

    i found two schools that are geared towards kids like her small class size, etc. their expensive. i want to do a walk thru im calling monday and ask them how'd the parents get their kids in here from the districts. also we can't afford to let her tank. im not willing to do that again. it should stand enough with history i have on her. she had to be put in an anxiety group for 3 years in the elementery that didnt' help, than we allowed her nurse visits during day, rewards for going into building on time which didn't work, than they gave up let her go in late and thru front door. she couldnt handle side door with rest of kids paranoia about kids looking at her was extreme.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I may have just lucked out years ago but I called the State headquarters for the Department of Education and asked to speak to the Director of Special Services. The lady was extremely helpful
    and absolutely knew what the various options were in our State. Can't hurt to try. Hugs. DDD
  19. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I am in a similar type district. I'm on the North Shore so I know we're not in the same one, LOL! They want to declassify my difficult child because he refuses to avail himself of services. WELL, he's classified with ED/anxiety and one of his manifestations is an absolute fear of seeking help from an adult. I need him classified to protect him from himself. I use it to keep him in the honors and AP classes he loves because he doesn't care about grades or passing, just about learning.

    I have gone head to head with the SD attorneys over my kids - at the SD level, I sat across the table from an SD attorney over the MS principal's refusal to put my son in to earth science in 8th grade (considered honors in that grade). Three years later, the SD changed the policy and now all kids are eligible for the ES entry test and have to affirmatively opt out. My son got a 99 on the Regents and an A+ in the class after the principal predicted he'd fail.

    I had less of a battle over easy child dyslexic child because I did my HW like you are doing. I would be happy to PM with you if someone tells me how to enable it. Doing the walk-through is a great idea (I did that at Eagle Avenue, once alone and once with H and difficult child), getting all of the school's literature, if someone there is willing to sit down with you and look at your daughter's scores and see if she has the profile they service. I did that with Churchill School in the city for easy child. I had thought it would be perfect for him. It turned out that he was too high functioning in his reading skills (the school has reading instruction built into its daily program and he didn't need it) and his social issues were not compatible with theirs either. My son is very outgoing and has an extremely witty, sarcastic sense of humor. His classmates at the Learning Disability (LD) MS got used to him after a while, but Churchill was concerned that he would unknowingly hurt the feelings of kids who were more literal than he is and that he would have no peers to joke around with. He's back in district where his sense of humor had its fans and its foes but it's not as huge an issue in a class of 400 as it would be in a class of 40.

    Another thing to consider for your situation is that the ratio of boys to girls in sped schools is often very skewed to boys. It wasn't a problem for me, since I had a son, but if a girl doesn't bond with the few other girls, that could be just another issue. I had that problem with my daughter when we sent her to a school for gifted students. She didn't like all but 2 of the other girls (who also came from our SD and were already her friends) and we pulled her after a year.

    You need to have as much lined up as possible before you go in to a meeting with the school. in my humble opinion, the most important thing to know is whether or not your SD has sent kids to these schools before and then to make sure the school is a match for your child.

    I agree on not letting her tank again. That's why I suggested getting info on what is available in your SD and compile a list of comprehensive and exhaustive reasons about why those programs are not suitable for her. With easy child, I relied on his overall IQ, sub-tests, his personality and learning to style. I always tell people that the least restrictive environment is not necessarily the one which might seem LR. For my easy child in MS, the LRE was the sped school, where he could learn without being stigmatized as the kid who goes to resource room and where the teachers were capable of differentiating a curriculum for him. I felt that the regular MS was MORE restrictive because he would have spent more time isolated from his peers. In the sped school, all of the students were taught together, There were pullouts but my son got only counseling (which was discontinued this semester in the district HS because his adjustment back was great); other kids got reading and math to supplement.

    If your daughter is unable to learn due to her anxiety, then the MS with all of its social issues is not the best place for her necessarily. Be prepared to visit the BOCES and other alternatives as well. Document why or why not they are not suitable for your daughter. My SD has succesfully denied private placement to families who refused to look at public alternatives before going private.

    Make copious notes of your visits. Include the percentage of kids who are medicated (my difficult child was not medicated but over 80% of the kids at the school were so it was not for him, but for a child who is on medications knowing that the staff is familiar with medications and how to administer them is a positive), whether there is a psychiatric on staff vs on call, if the school offers family and/or parental counseling services, the type/s of bmods used, etc. Use the website I told you about to see what classifications the schools accept. My easy child's Learning Disability (LD) school did not take kids with an ED classification while another MS we looked at, which took more ED kids, rejected easy child because he did not have ED components in his diagnosis. The schools also do screening because they need to ensure that a new student will blend in with the existing class and that a child's issues are what the school is geared to handle.

    Good luck.

    PS - When I retire from my current career, I plan to become a sped advocate/attorney. I had looked into it when I was downsized a few years ago, but couldn't afford the pay cut I would have had to take so I went back into my previous line of work. Over the years, I have helped some friends get services from my SD on the sidelines as I can't risk the SD knowing I'm helping other people while fighting for my own.