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warning:vent! Horrified by school!


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Keep in mind most school districts will do an FBA when the behaviors are new or escalaing. They may not feel one is necessary. If you can get an IEP rather than the 504 plan do it. The IEP you will have much more support with behaviors and the possibility of counseling services. If behaviors are sever the school can make referral for outside services in the home also. If you get a behavior support plan with a FERB (Functionally Equivalent Replacement Behavior) being taught there are many more accomodations that teachers have latitude in using.

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I always feel so torn when I read posts that rip special education. I'm not sure who exactly is meant by "the county" but I can tell you there is local and federal pressure placed on districts if the

I see my comment about "the county" came off flip--- not my intention!   Depending on where you live the structure of the school system can look very different. Some are set up by counties and the

The connection is that if the typical pediatrician was as apt to diagnose and treat pandas as they are to say, push vaccines, my dd would have never skipped a beat! It is the medical community's fail

That is so helpful. I hadn't heard if any of those things yet.

 

My first job was to send them all a copy of his most recent work that came back with some very negative messages on them. The principal called me and apologized and admitted that they were inappropriate. One if our 504 accommodations is that all support staff caring for him, even at recess are to be aware of his plan. The Ed assistant in ELA was obviously unaware and picks on him constantly. I think I finally have their attention.

Hopefully he will qualify for services. If not, they will have to amend his 504 to include extensive accommodations and I will be all over them.

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IEP's, 504's, FBA's, my head is spinning. What I find truly sad about the elephant in the room is how much bureaucratic red tape and hoops that parents have to go through in order to have their child's needs met. Our institutions have all become so buried in the need to create paperwork before anything meaningful can be done to help a child that It appears that the child, whom is the POINT, is getting lost and neglected in the process.....

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+1 to quannie's point. I read this entire thread and am well versed, having lived it during my son's three years in public school, with the legal definiation of what leads to services and the enormous financial pressures that schools are under, as referenced upthread. As a journalist, I'm trained to consider both sides of the story, always.

 

But ultimately, it's really really sad that the child is getting lost in all this process and alphabet soup -- how is any of this ultimately serving the child?

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My personal experience leads me to ask the hard question of schools though....When my ds had his Sept. flare, it was a bad one. The phone calls started. Here was the result: His teacher, the school psychologist, and the principal put vast amounts of energy into figuring out how best to get my ds thru his day. This included concrete game plan with them bouncing off their ideas off of me and asking my input. Everybody asked questions about Pandas and researched it. This led to the principal offering an "open door" policy to my ds in the sense that "anytime he needed a break he could come to his office". If he was unavailable, there were 3 names on a list available to him at all times. If he could stay in the classroom, the school psychologist herself would again stay with him in support, and if she was unavailable, the school made sure that somebody was. The principal himself took my ds outside many times to the playground to give him a much needed stress outlet, or just walked around the school with him. The psychologist went out and personally bought wax candy bottles for him to chew on in class to help him with his vocal tics and shouting out, he was allowed to ask for them anytime he needed them. When my ds had his worst days...and my ds was screaming at all of them that he hated them and that he did not have to listen to anything they said, I personally witnessed both the teacher calmly, and lovingly explain to my ds "not to worry about how today went, tomorrow is a new day". When I voiced concern about how my ds's angry sometimes violent comments were going to affect other parents concerns to the principa, his reply to me was, "don't worry about how the other parents are going to react, I will handle it". My point is this. My childs school did not ask or require a 504 an iep or whatever, they essentially just stepped up all on their own. There immediate response served my ds well, and I believe that if we waited for the paperwork to be done before anything was done, it would have made things worse. This school did not seem to need all this red tape, so I have to question if these other schools truly need this. I do don't mean to undermine 504's, ieps, I am just saying.....

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Oh, Qannie, Im moving to your neck of the woods!! How amazing! Its too bad more schools arent like that. These things didnt take them any red tape or funds, they simply acted in the best interest of the child. VERY impressive!!!

 

My situation gets stickier all the time. I keep getting the wrong information from our new principal who has no clue what shes doing. I requested that they consider an aide in the classroom. I was told the question was posed to the principal and I will hear back soon. I waited two weeks with no response. When I asked what the response was, I was told there was already an aide in the class at all times. This is so untrue! When I asked again, via email, copying all involved, she simply changed the subject time and time again. When I addressed the fact that my childs therapist had a lengthy convo with the school pych. about making sure feedback on papers in school and especially homework were positive and yet my child is coming home with threatening and negative comments, there was no reply whatsoever. I ended up having to photo copy the paper with the comment (many exclamation points and triple underline in red pen) to the whole team, explaining that this is the kind of feedback we are trying to avoid and that Im hoping this doesnt have to wait until our meeting in Feb to be addressed. Now my psychiatrist has been blown off by the classroom teacher for weeks on end. She fails to make or take phone calls that were pre-arranged via email. Our doctor is now asking directly for information via email conversation, which no one wanted the paper trail in the first place. The principal said she did an "observation" and "was fine" and no additional support is needed. I asked her for a copy of this "observation" since I knew it would not be official. Sure enough, she sat in the classroom for 10 minutes and said he was fine, needed as many reminders as many other children. Then she stated she spoke with MRs. XXX (Not his classroom teacher) and said that she teaches X,Y and Z (when she only teaches my child X...AGain, totally wrong information) that teacher said he needs reminders but is fine. This principal does not understand what she is saying or doing, and all other staff members are no longer responding to emails. We have been shut out!

 

I am leaving it to our Dr. from here on out. IF nothing happens, I will be hiring an advocate as well. I can see that they intend to do nothing for my child, and now that things have gotten heated he will get even less. In the meantime, DS seems to be out of his flare which is fabulous, but timing has not helped our case in point. LEts just keep our fingers crossed that he doesnt flare again and this can all be water under the bridge. Still, it would be nice to know that he was being supported in school.

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Thanks Jag10, I guess you are right, it was misunderstanding your point. You did get me thinking and researching though. The standard to be placed on an IEP has nothing to do with achieving at "2 grade levels below". I read our government website and it the criteria is for a child that does not make progress, even after accommodations or RTI has been implemented. Im absolutely horrified that any school would use that as a criteria a child would have to exhibit before receiving services. My older child on an IEP tested many grade levels ABOVE average but he still qualified for certain services related to his severe ADHD and sequential order processing disorder.

 

We have been able to prove that he DOES make progress when he has positive feedback and a little additional support. Its my hope that we are able to get him that extra support regardless of what paperwork is required.

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It's true that you won't find a government website that states you need to be 2 years below grade level. It has to do with the diagnosed disability and the related needs that require specially designed instruction. 2 years below grade level in at least one area, not all, is a barometer that parents and teachers can understand. It has to do with standard deviations below the mean as well as discrepancy between cognitive ability and achievement. A student can most definitely display uneven development being above grade levels in some areas while significant below grade level in the areas where they receive service. My experience with that slippery term "progress" is that a student can be making progress, but still behind their peers. The peers will be making progress at a quicker pace and the gap widens, but he might still be in that "normal range" for awhile. If the school is claiming your child is making progress, but you don't agree, ask to see the progress monitoring data. Examine it carefully. Just like most statistics, this can be easily manipulated if that is the intention.

 

All of this technical, in the weeds jargon, but know this: if you make a big enough stink you will get your child an IEP even if all they can come up with is a time on task goal. A Due Process hearing costs $15k for a district and even if the arbitrator completely agrees with the school, they always throw the parent a bone of something. It's usually not until parents are asking for approved private school tuition or a One on one aide that a school will go to due process because those things cost more than $15K.

 

The papers are only as good as those who are implementing them and how their style matches with your student. It is a gifted special educator who excels at both behavior management and academic instruction. They are golden!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My dd's school did nothing until I went to Legal Aid for a special ed. atty. Then she got a one one para based on her neuropsych eval and MD recommendation. Our 504 provides this, but, at our next and last we plan to fight and get it provided in an IEP. They are resisting the IEP because even though they are already paying for the para, I think there must be some type of penalty to them if it's provided through an IEP.

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That is so sad that you had to go through all that. I'm glad you actually got the job done! Did that process cost you a lot ?

 

Our case is slowly rolling along. Once our doctor got in involved and started to send emails out it was amazing how fast things started to turn around. I'm saddened that the only way out school will listen to you is when you have a doctor or lawyer involved. They brought in a social worker who is doing a develope mental history and extensive family history for us. I have no idea if this is typical but I intend to give her as much info as I can. Our doc is also going to do an observation for us. I totally trust this doc and I will not second guess her recommendations.

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