Still not getting the info

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ropefree, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Lower your expectations for your child. When is lowering expectations making sense? Is that when they are above average and superior range and still having problems producing the work that shows mastery?
    When does the system take priority over the daily chores of tracking students for on task?
    Is the approach to adulthood in the public school system the time when we decide that the student with disability then no longer deserving educational supports?
    Is the qualification for iep by testing or is the qualifcation subjective and based on when a student is mostly getting passing grades?
    This site deals with the issues of diagnosis that have a wide range of limitations and
    environmentally intiated learning as well as internally assumed patterns that are what is the outward appearances of disorders.
    Who else here has dealt with the high fuctioning adhd learner and the school system and what are the means of achieving success within that system?
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hand raised here.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Me, too.

    What I find works best is the non-traditional parenting & teaching methods. My difficult child resists everything that feels like someone telling her what to do. So how to learn when that is the first reaction? It is a tough dilemma. She has had more confrontations with teachers that try to hold the line with difficult child. She gets along much better when/if they try to understand her.
    She is hard to understand - so those have been few and far between! LOL!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We are lucky - difficult child 3's current school (correspondence) still has an IEP (or similar) in place for him. They recognise that he is very bright but needs support to access learning. He has had occasional trouble with a teacher who doesn't 'get it' and who asks more from him in abstract terms, than he can give. But in general the teachers are modifying how they present the work, to make it easier for difficult child 3 to show them what he is capable of.

    If you have a gifted-learning disabled child who is highly visual, the work can be presented all on paper, or in writing. If the child is highly capable on the computer then lessons can be computer-based. If a child hears better and has trouble reading, notes can be on audio tapes and work can even be turned in on audio.

    As for how to qualify - we don't have testing, but we do have a aystem where either teachers or parents can'flag' a kid as needing the quesitons asked, then teachers plus parents meet, throwing in any medical/psychology reports and (for us) there are forms to examine, a questionnaire which determines whether the child needs extra support. They look at what the child's potential should be, then at what impact their disability is having on their ability to reach their potential. So a child who is already getting above-average marks is not necessarily excluded from support.

    However, this is as it should be. But some schools get it wrong and will not help a child who is already passing.

  5. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    thanks busyend and Mar:
    B: you both mention this in different ways when teachers are not participating with the supports and are so demanding and critical and also that constant negative approach where when the student is missing some point of part and the teacher is just not caring.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Often it's not teachers not caring, it's teachers who don't understand and just don't seem to 'get it'. difficult child 3's English teacher form last year - I'm still not sure if she was someone who relaly cared but was trying to show exactly whatGFG3 shouldbe doing in order to get through the next stage of his eduction, or if she simply didn't get it, that he really couldn't do what she wanted him to do. I think the latter, because she would be talking to him and would suddenly break off and say, "YOu do understand me, don't you? I cn see by that little smile of yours. I don't buy this 'dumb' act. So now we understand one another, I want you to do this for me. Alright?"
    She was pleasant about it, but he would nod and smile but still not fully get it. Then when he put in a mammoth effort to please her, he would get his work back from her marked very strictly because he ahd failed to fully explain the motives and emotions of the characters, for example. When I asked her at a Lerning Team meeting, her answer was, "he's a really bright kid, this is the standard he must work at to get past his next exams, I know he can do this."

    She really does care, but we just couldn't come to an agreement. However, because she WAS so pushy, it made it possible for me to yell for help from the Special Education staff and the Year Advisor, probably sooner than we would have otherwise.

    So never discount the benefit from even a difficult, apparently bullying teacher, because they can give you the clear understanding that there is a problem and it needs mroe than the teacher or the parent can provide.

  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Three weeks ago I started meeting with the administration and setting up meetings so that when we meet together we can start with the discussion of what is working for the part of this Team that is getting top grades and what is going on in the classes where the grades are less.

    I have been to so many and have offered what is clear to me as a means of establishing a working effort.

    Does anyone have memories where a teacher themselves brought a new idea to the discussion that worked?
    What is so discouraging to me about these last few years is that the teachers are abdicating the role as per the students needs on this idea that at this grade level they are on their own...when without the environment prompting for the habits and the expectation now what is occuring is less motivation to hit the mark.

    Given that these are the last years when the obligation of the schools and teachers is for these disability rights I am especially unhappy that I am getting little and no effort to be that from the teachers who are now loosing the momentum that was so hard to establish and easily discouraged.

    I can not with honesty enter this next meeting with the same hope and enthusiasm I have because I am myself just upset about the teachers and their lack of initiative to pick up on the abilities and the oppertunity to be teaching when my son is so easily motivated by possitive attention.

    I am tired most of all of having the teachers wanting my son to want to do the meetings, when he does not. if asked he will say he doesn't want the meetings the whole works. When the conseling was not provided they said he didn't want it. He wasn't connecting with the conselor. I know that fit was not helping him. It is not that he doesn't need the relationship or the safe person who can help him to find his place in the role for his education.

    It feels bad to me when the teachers who are not able or willing to the teaching he needs are aware that their are things to be done. Hey, a person has to live under a rock not to know that when students are not getting good grades that there are steps to take. They do not follow what there is when required and starting in with the testing is potentially just going to upset my son.

    The message is that he "should" be doing things independantly. He should be taking charge of his education. He "should" be self motivated, if he wants to go to college to pursue all those steps on his own. I see him as being filled with trepidation over it and I am like a fish out of water trying to get what to do and he needs and I need some other person who is breaking up our routene here.

    Thats how I picked ropefree for my name. i am so far a field from the place where I felt that I knew what here to there is one grasp to the next...I am just going snow blind into the undefined blank unknown all the time. And I am in alot of pain everyday. Does it have to be so important and a crissis every minute?
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds like the teachers just cant do proactive as you would like. It also sounds like they have certain expectations based on difficult child's age and really don't seem to understand that some kids just can't be made to fit the pattern of what is normal.

    That means you have to step in and fill the gap. I get that you feel you shouldn't have to - but if parents like us don't step into the breach, then our kids are totally lost.

    At least the teachers are making opportunities to listen to you. It could be worse - they could be ignoring anything you say and doing what THEY feel is right and thereby making things much worse.

    You need to speak plainly and simply. Take notes if necessary. Write a point-form sheet for them if you can.

    "difficult child has a diagnosis of ... As a result he has difficulty with ... You will observe this in the following situations - [list the typical classroom scenarios where he has trouble]. He is on the following treatment. He has difficulty with homework because medications wear off by the time he gets home from school [I use this as an example]. He also needs as little distraction as possible between him and the teaching focus of the room. He cannot be expected to perform at age level in the following areas:... On the positive side, he wants to please you. He is bright. He does well with habit and routine. If you want to motivate him, use praise because you will find it really, really works well with him. Use positive statements with him rather than negative. Example: if he's repeatedly tapping a pencil don't say, 'difficult child, stop tapping the pencil,' instead say 'difficult child, put your pencil down while you're thinking of what to write next.' "

    I've often found that teachers want input from me in order to have some idea of how best to meet difficult child 3's needs (or difficult child 1's, in his day). However, if they have any idea of how to go forward, they did sometimes contribute. I turned up to meetings a few times to find the treachers saying, "We've tried giving him a written list to tick off, of the things he needs to do to get going in the mornings. It seems to help him. And we have a voucher system for rewards, his reward when he earns enough points is free time on the classroomo computer. I also use his expertise on computer as the classroom expert, which has boosted his standing in the eyes of the other students."

    When difficult child 3 was in pre-school they used his extraordinary abilities to get him to help the other students, but they quickly found they needed to supervise because difficult child 3 wasn't very patient. But what did work for them (again, their idea) was getting him to read out the roll at rollcall time. They also would get him to read a story to the other kids.

    Teachers can contribute ideas, but only if they have some sort of understanding. The two extremes are - either the teacher isn't proactive but instead is like a limp fish, waiting for someone else (like a parent) to show some spine and tell them how to do it; or they are over-confident and determined that the parent has got it wrong and all the kid needs is a firm hand and their bluff called. With the first one - at least you have the chance to have input.

    Ropefree, I can't emphasise enough - you need to keep it really simple, cut it back to basics. You probably privately consider the teachers to be brainless idiots - OK, address them as such (politely - they can't help it, poor things). The simpler you make it, the easier it should be for them to do what you want.

    I also strongly recommend you add to the list, the use of a Communication Book. From my own experience, it cut back on problems and reduced the number of "please come and rescue us" calls from the school. It didn't eliminate the problems, of course, but it did make response much faster and much better coordinated. It boosted communication between school and home which then led to a greater chance for teachers suggesting something positive and constructive, that also had a chance to work.

    It's a pain to have to do the thinking for the schools, but at least they have given the opportunity to do so.


  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Today I met with one of the support services people who are doing the iep services for the high school and went over my experiances with the school with her.
    She is well aware and described it as "you have been through it" and she offered that I tell the ONE attorney she refered me to him after going over my sons lack of serviced all along.
    The principle who intiated the intial evaluation stands alone in this fiasco as the one administrator who did her part. After her the next two schools have just been dishonest from the get go.
    I do not need the teachers to do much. What is needed is to provide the services and those were used by the adminiistrators to ridiculously non compliant means like when I was told that he could only have tutoring to grades topping at the C level in middle school.
    Meanwhile since I met with the vp just three more weeks have transpired and foolish nonsence that I have been subjected does not end!
    I spoke with him on his cell while he was in traffic and then he asked me to call him in ten minutes. After which I merely went to voicemail.
    Apparently the fact is he may recieve tutoring regularly and that none of it, as they have insisted, requires that he attend any empy hours of school time to do so. he can have full class loads, honors and ap classes and the foolishness that the colleges and universities will not accept and iep is nonsence.
    Anyway it has been outrageous all along. Who knew that the teachers would undermine a student with full awareness that these things are not so? who knew that the only means for recieving the federal Act in place requires the services of an attorney to do so. i always had thought that teachers were on the side of students and wanted them to have the needs met. Although most of would not be here were our schools operated with respect to the law.
    I wonder why this is so? Any ideas?:faint:
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do believe teachers, for the most part (I'm sure there are some that don't-have even met some) are on the side of the students, passionately so. They want to do what is best for each child. At the same time there is a law that, unfortunately, isn't supported with funds to carry out that law.

    As a teacher with 25 students in my room I have 7 special education students. Many have learning and emotional disabilities. I have a Special Education. teacher in the room some of the time and an aide most of the time. I'm doing what I can to help each child succeed. Is it enough? Probably not. Does that frustrate me? To no end but I also am able to keep peace with myself knowing I'm doing everything within my power to help my students.

    As teachers we advocate for more help in our classrooms. The bottom line is there isn't enough funds to accomplish everything the law requires.

    Also, even when provided with the supports not everyone will succeed. I have students who receive one on one who because of their emotional disability aren't in a place where they are able to learn to their academic ability. Still we keep trying. We wish we were perfect and that all of our children succeeded and showed great progress. We are delighted when we can point to progress made.

    Most of us really do care. Maybe where some of the fault lies is in a system that has a law they don't help to provide enough resources for what they require.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Long ago I learned to be cynical. I live in a small village where teachers who work here also live here, alongside students and parents. In a couple of cases the teacher is a target for local thugs out for revenge. in my opinion they're after the wrong target, but that's a separate story.

    I found a great deal of complacency in staff at the local school. Occasionally I'd find astaff member who was really dedicated, but in general they would do the least they could do, to get the job done.

    These people took the line of least resistance. When difficult child 3 was being bullied and I was pounding on the desk demanding action, it was still easier for the principal and his staff to do as little as possible (and put up with me getting angry) than to call in the (bullying) parents of the bullies and confront them. The school staff, knowing that soon the problem would graduate out of their juridsiction, stalled. Toconfront the other parents was likely to be unproductive, unpleasant andhave long-term social repercussions. To stall woiuld be to annoy me in the short-term but they gambled that I would be less trouble for them than angry, bullying parents who had a reputation for lying in wait for you in dark alleys.

    Other issues affecting school staff - bureaucracy. I got a phone call today from an old teacher of difficult child 3's, asking for my help with the parent of one of her students. The parent needs help in learning how to be a Warrior Mum, help that the teacher is not permitted to give because it involves kicking the same rear ends she works for. Now, this particular teacher wasn't perfect for difficult child 3 by any means. She got angry with him, she got angry with me at times. But she was still one of the good guys, I could generally rely on her to have difficult child 3's interests at heart.
    This teacher is no longer at the local school, because she cared too much and began to burn out. She had to leave to preserve her sanity. What really frustrated her was the way most of the other staff worked really hard to avoid work.

    These lazy staff have one big payoff - they have survived in the job, because they have learned that the problems don't last. A problem can be moved along, can be graduated, can be placated and soothed for long enough to finally become Someone Else's Problem.

    And the biggest motivator of all - teachers work with one another. They will be working alongside one another long after our kids have grown up and moved on. Therefore they need to get on with one another, and the staffroom politics often dictate that a conscientious teacher not "show up" the other staff. Again, this happened here at our local school.

    Yes, teachers ARE on the isdes of students. But they are also human, which means that like all human beings, they are out for themselves above all. That means that yes, they want to help your child but not at the expense of their own peace of mind, their own energy levels and their own safety/sense of security when it comes to risking offending other people who could REALLY make their lives miserable.

    That is why, when I am dealing with teachers (or people in general who I want something from) - I try to find the carrot at the end of the stick. What can I do, to "sell" the idea to these people? How can I make it worth their while to give me what I want?

    Of course we shouldn't have to do this. But what it all boils down to - I want something to happen that will benefit my child. I could stand on my high horse and say, "You're supposed to do this," but I know I will get much more of what I want if instead I say, "If you do it this way, it will be much easier for you and will make your life easier and more pleasant."

    After all the negotiating I've had to do, I figure I would do brilliantly in advertising and also in political lobbying.

  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Teachers risk losing their jobs (paycheck, benefits, health insurance,
    retirement) by informing parents that the district is in violation of the IEP.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    SRL, that is it exactly. There are so many areas where teachers are hamstrung.

    And Sharon/WO, I know it seems I'm denigrating teachers; sorry, I don't mean to. But I have had more than my share of teachers who give their profession a bad name. Currently difficult child 3's placement is with the other kind, the sort of teacher who makes you wnat to nominate them for sainthood. And even the worst teachers that difficult child 3 had, must have at some stage gone into teaching because they wanted to help kids, or because they really wanted to make a difference. No person is all bad, there is always some good somewhere, something that can be appealed to in even the worst teacher.

    I find I always do best when I stay on friendly terms with the staff and when I make it clear I am not a threat and can make their lives easier. However, if the problem in their lives is my child, then I will not make their lives easier simply by going away; instead, I will work alongside them to find a solution that will best help my child, while still being workable for the school staff.

    Just as we want doctors to fix us up when we're sick and we expect doctors to have a magic bullet tat makes all our illnesses and pains go away, so we seem to want the same from teachers - "please work with me so I don't have problems with my child".

    Ufortunately, it just doesn't work that way, unless we just happen to luck out. A solution often requires a lot of hard work, and the more hard work we can put in as parents, the more likely we are to have a solution that teachers will be able to manage, to fill in the gaps. And sometimes we can be lucky and find a solution, and teachers, that make our lives much easier also.

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ropefree, my difficult child has not had problems with all teachers. Just the few that really make her feel like it is their way of the highway.

    Most teachers she has never had any problems with. It is few teachers on both ends. Some have helped her tremendously and some have really butted head with her. Most just get her to do the minimum amount to pass.
    But, that is really on difficult child. She chooses to not put in much effort. Everyone in her life, including teachers has told her what the consequence of that lack of initiative and motivation will result in. She chooses not to listen to that. Mostly because someone told her it was so - or so it seems.

    School and difficult children really don't mix. Non-traditional schools are the best route for difficult children. But, they are hard to find.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    This is so true, Marg!

    Always be prepared to step in and do more work than you have to--the easier you make it for the teachers and the school--the harder it is for them to resist.

  16. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Thanks everyone.
    Of course many great teachers have been on board. what this actually does make clear to me is that I have been hearing that teachers do not know what to do and clearly the services of iep are needed so the way it happens is to get the outside contracts adjunct to the school.
    This is a difficult transition from the time when kids went through school without learning to read.
  17. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    wiped out: Thank you for that. I am aware that teachers essentially are there for the students for learning.
    In my sons case he was never reminial. His learning issues were one on one needs for infor specific to his needs. In that way when my son was incorrectly removed from a reg ed class to sit through and over crowded Special Education classroom he was shorted on both choices.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    All you can do, Ropefree, is put it all in writing as a summary and take it to the meeting. Don't make accusations (no matter how tempting, nor how justified!) but simply approach it all with a sleeves-rolled-up approach of, "Where do we go now? These are the child's needs, this is what is supposed to be happening, how can we, as a team, make this happen?"

    With that approach, you should have the best chance of a good outcome.

    Save your justifieable rage for venting when you get home, beat up a pillow or something. Then do what I'm doing - writie it all down and get ready to publish your own exposé in years to come. Be prepared to have to change names to protect te guilty... but for now, you need to keep your teeth clenched and smile through it, to get what YOU want achieved.

    It's not fair. But it's what your child needs. And who of us won't walk over burning coals for our children?

  19. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Thank you everyone of you for coming back to this and helping me plug away at this knot.
    The last few days have been so emotional with my Mother in this sorrowful condition and my Father in such pain and my siblings welling with the innoscense of denial like cotton around their breaking hearts.
    This group of teachers have a bright learner in their mists and I do not care what they do or do not have to say. I am going to turn this matter over to the state ed attorney and I am blazing the trail for acedemic excellence as a standard for the above average/superior iep qualificant.
    I understand that teachers are not all bad. i had some, my son has had some really neat teachers. I get it that they are saying what is so for them and you know that is just not all that is needed for my son. No defense coming from me at this point.
    i am going to seek it and I will not be signing anything tomorow. Nope. i will attend, but what ever i will be carrying out with me to get the second opiion.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    From experience, you can't really sign anything until it's been properly prepared. And the purpose of the meeting is to set up the groundwork so someone can go away and prepare the stuff.

    With a bright child not being extended at school - I found that while I waited for the school to help extend my child, I put stuff in place at home to do the same thing. Usually computer-based. Whenever my child was home from school for whatever reason, I used the stuff I had set up, to supplement his education. Somteims just reading ahead in the textbook can make it easier for a child to feel more confident about his abilities. And with confidence comes competence.

    Good luck with the meeting.