Up all night again- worried about school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don’t get it. According to the principal in our meeting today, “we are not on the same wavelength even though we like each other”. She has been pretty accommodating this school year- so maybe it is that I have a communication problem. I know someone here posted before that it sounds like she’s just trying to pacify me- it’s looking more and more that way.

    I went to meet with her today so she could review difficult child’s report from MDE herself and to discuss a couple of other things. She seemed to take everything I said like I expected them to never discipline difficult child. And at one point she asked straight out why I wanted her to review this report. Now I know that if I hadn’t brought it in, I would have been accused at some point of withholding information from the school- I’ve had this happen before.

    The point I had been trying to make with her regarding difficult child is that if he’s become disruptive, dealing with him in certain ways will escalate problems and dealing with him in certain ways will minimize problems. Her response was that if he does something wrong, he’s going to get suspended. I tried to discuss that from holidays until spring break is his “bad” period and for the last two years, this is the time period when he’s unstable and can lose it. I asked if we could discuss ways to be prepared to deal with that. She said we can’t predict everything that might happen, so if it did happen we would meet and get a BIP in place. Well, last year their idea of a BIP was a contract saying nothing more than if difficult child got into trouble again, he would be put out of school. I did not sign it. He got in trouble and was put out of school. I told her I didn’t want to go down that route again. This is when she said she thought we weren’t on the same wavelength.

    Their idea of an IEP meeting is to decide what they are and aren’t willing to do, then bring me and now, difficult child, in to get us to “buy into it”. (Yes, they have actually used that phrase when referring to their ideas on more than one occasion.) I know I’ve caused friction over there, but it is hard for me to view this as me being the cause of the communication problem. They seem to act like they think difficult child shouldn’t be on an IEP and can control all of his problems.

    For instance, when I mentioned recent testing for ADHD and previous neuropsychologist testing (done 2 years ago) and that results on both came back with difficult child all over the board- from high average to impaired, and that I didn’t know what that indicated- cycling?- but obviously, there was something going on. She said well, it could just be typical hormones. She discussed a student who has autism (difficult child had mentioned something troubling about him so I discussed it with her to see if difficult child was telling me the truth and to see if they were aware) – anyway- she said they were all aware that he masturbates in class and that when a teacher sees him, they redirect him. No problem, she says. And that they know his triggers and do their best to prevent them. Ok, then why won’t they make an effort to prevent my difficult child’s triggers and redirect him? Why does he get the “he does something wrong, he’s written up and gets the same punishment as any other student”. I didn’t ask for him not to be punished, I asked for prevention and redirection, which would probably take care of some things, and then some understanding of his issues when assigning punishments and discussing incidents with him.

    She also mentioned, again, that there used to be a boy there with bipolar but he was on a 504 (I think that’s what it’s called) and not an IEP and the only accommodations they made for him was that his mother would keep him out of school if he was manic and they required a letter or call from psychiatrist or therapist that day telling them that the student had full blown mania and it would not be safe for him to come to school. So, I take this as her message to me- that they don’t want to accommodate anything that happens to fall between complete stability and full blown mania. HUH Well my difficult child is on an IEP.

    I feel like giving up on this sd but I don’t see how I can. And I know we’re headed for a rough road right now- difficult child isn’t getting to sleep until 11:30 or 12:00 (trouble sleeping is a sign of things to come with him), and there are a couple of other tell tell signs I see. Am I expecting too much to think the school should be aware and handle things differently? Am I expecting too much to think an IEP meeting should be a real discussion- with no minds made up until after the discussion and that if I tell them he could be entering a bad period, that doesn’t mean crack down harder on him?

    Last year when he started coming to school half asleep, hair uncombed, unmotivated, they came down on him so hard- just for that. Well, I know it’s not good, but it’s not a violation. And then he started becoming disruptive and the whole pattern starts.

  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey K! This is a load of cr*p! Did you post these results of the meeting on the Special Education board?

    There's an FBA and BIP format that they're supposed to be following.

    They're playing games with you as far as this goes.

    Do you have an advocate? If not, it's probably time. See, (in my humble opinion!!!) I think you've fallen into the same trap that I did with my kids. I kept looking at the situation from EVERYONE'S perspective. How they were affecting the other kids, the paras, the teachers, the administration, etc. Know what? They're taken care of by the "powers that be". I finally learned that while I have to keep those add'l parties in mind, I can't let them railroad me because I'm being considerate. Unfortunately, that seems to be a weakness within many of the school systems.

    I'm not sure what state you're in, but usually if you do a search on the web (I type in "free childrens advocates, new york") I tend to find what I need. We also have a federally funded program called "Parent to Parent" that we worked with.

    I'm rooting for you! You've done a killer job with these knuckleheads!

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    For an advocate, you can also check the website www.copaa.com.

    Definitely post on the Special Education board and see what Martie and Sheila think.

    Good luck.
  4. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    A 504 plan is to accomodate kids that are not eligible for IEP's because their disorder does not qualify them as sp.ed. Having a kid that's bi-polar on a 504 plan is insane and she was crazy to bring that point up to you. Don't let them convince you that a 504 is all your difficult child needs - It not true!!!! Knowledge is power! I would also say to try the sped part of the forum, but don't think it's your fault in the breakdown of communication - it's just the principal talking out of her a** because she wants you to do what is best for the school and not your difficult child! Go kick some butt!!!!
  5. Calista

    Calista New Member

    I've said it once and I'll say it again, If the principle does not turn around and walk away every time you walk through the door then you are not doing it right.

    Spend several hours on the Wright's Law web site. Familiarize yourself with applicable law. Print the applicable law. Request and ARD and line out your complaints and concerns in the request. Send it certified mail to every administrator you can think of, including the SPED Director. Waive your 5 day notice. When you go into ARD be sure you lay out your Wright's Law info in plain site of everyone, for your reference of course. Start demanding that they meet the needs of you special needs child. You are not there to make friends. You are their to get the needs of your child met. You cannot do both.
    Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. You can request an ARD anytime you want. If they know that you are not afraid to do so and that you know the laws they will be much more willing to cooperate.

    Also remember, you are not asking them to excuse your child from consequences you are simply "requesting the accommodations required to support your child in an environment where he/she can be academically successful and follow the rules and regulations of the school."

    Good Luck!
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    First off, the principal is seriously confused about what your roles are here. "Not being on the same wavlength even though you like each other"?? Give me a break - in my humble opinion she's trying to disarm you and negate your role. I think when you walk into a school for a mtg with principal, or IEP or BIP mtg, you are not only difficult child's mom but you are his *advocate*. Principal is not your friend in that setting, she is supposed to be a professional who you, as difficult child's advocate, are working with. As far as you causing friction... well, I'm more than a tad cynical about most SDs at this point, but I think that's a good sign! ;)

    Please post over in sped 101. The IEP is *not* something you buy into. As a member of the team, you are instrumental in participating in the writing of it.

    I'd also check out VA state regs and their Special Education department website for info on BIPs. A lot of states are now giving much more detail than IDEA about what a BIP is, and the use of "positive behavioral interventions", which is *exactly* what you're trying to get them to do - manage behaviors without escalating.

    I'd document your conversation with principal in writing and send certified copies to her, and the members of the IEP team, as well as sped director. I'd include in the letter that you want XYZ (I'm assuming a new BIP, and I'd be real specific about what behaviors you are expecting given his history during this time of year - really common in BiPolar (BP) kiddos - the interventions that you've found to work, and use wording in VA dept of ed documents, if you can find them, regarding positive behavioral interventions). The principal's idea of suspending him and addressing behaviors in BIP after the fact is, in my humble opinion, very close to denying him FAPE in LRE.

    I totally understand the sleepless nights - I'm so sorry.
  7. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    OH BOY does that bring back memories!:mad: I have been there done that sooo many times. I have found that school, espically administrators, do not want to do anything unless you force them to.

    My suggestions are: 1. Read Wright's law page and get to know your rights. 2. Definitally find an advocate, they are very good at dealing with schools. 3. Do not let them change the IEP to a 504. You get more rights and services with an IEP.

    I have learned that sometimes you have to turn into a witch/mother bear to get what is best for your difficult child. Also, forget what is best for other kids and the school, concentrate on your difficult child's needs and fight for them.

    Here is a hug for support and armor for your fight.:warrior:
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Follow the advice others have given and GET EM!!!!! The principal is being an idiot. who really cares if she likes you, make the witch do her dang J O B!! Which is tohelp your child get the support he needs to get a FAPE in the LRE!!!!!

    Sp Ed forum will help, they can give you on the nose advice to make these wishy-washy idiots cringe when they see you. THAT is what you WANT!!!!!!! It worked for us, with the help of the Sp Ed forum I caught my son's school breaking the LAW and ended up iwth a written agreement getting anything I want for any of my kids for their entire school career!!!! And the school Super and Lawyer signed off on the letter!!

    Go YOU!!!


  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I found this on the VA DOE site re: manifestation determination hearings. I think it's worth a read - clearly defines district's responsibilities. Wasn't able to easily find anything on positive behavioral interventions and I've got to get to work but perhaps a call to DOE requesting any state policies on BIP and PBI might be helpful?
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You've been given some good advice - follow the recommendations regarding reading up on the law and posting the results of this meeting on the Special Education board. This principal is "leading you down the garden path." Don't stand for it. I would also suggest looking into an educational advocate.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, everyone! You save me when I need to vent in a BAD way!
    I have copied this to this Special Education forum.

    Question for those in Virginia: I have looked for and advocate in the past and only found a couple of phone numbers- when I call and leave a message (actually messageS), I never get a call back. Any advice? Do they really exist in central Virginia?
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you so much!!