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Old 01-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #31
GraceLuvsWDW
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DVC is me, you're going up against a tactic schools frequently use to deny services. They will tell you that your son has a "medical" diagnosis that does not equate to an "educational diagnosis". It will be a long, hard job for you to convince them otherwise. The first step to this will be to document EVERYTHING. When he was denied the use of the earplugs/headphones find out WHO denied this. Write a letter to the principal declaring why he needs them. You can request pragmatics assessment from the school, but be aware that in some schools the child needs to be severely impaired to receive services. Many schools do not offer services for pragmatics. My dd was assessed by the SLP at the school and denied services (eventhough the SLP suggested services) due to the overwhelming IEP meeting team going against it. Later, when we left the school, the SLP informed me that she was unable to make diagnoses at the school that should have been made due to their criteria for "impairment". DD was given additional dx of Mixed Receptive Expressive Language Disorder and now receives Speech therapy from a SLP who specializes in AS kids. It has been a tremendous help for my dd, although it is a long process (years). My dd also has an articulation disorder and was assessed as having the speech capabilities of a 4 year 4 month old-despite the fact that she is 7 and a half. The school denied speech services entirely.

I just had great success with the school by filing a federal civil rights complaint against the school. This is the avenue you would use for violations such as the refusal to allow him earplugs/headphones when necessary. The schools are charged with leveling the playing field for all students with disabilities and under federal guidelines they cannot use the "not eligible" excuse. I can give you more info on filing an OCR complaint if you wish but it is tantamount to waging war so if you can get things done by being nice but firm I would exhaust those avenues first.

Any expectation on your part that the schools will fix your son's problems are futile in my opinion. Schools rarely go above and beyond what is required in my opinion (and those requirements are less than comprehensive). It will be up to you to document, document and fight them at their own games. It is unfortunate but this is the way it works. I gave up on the public school and in the meanwhile lost a precious year in the development of my daughter. The school she was in was so damaging and I didn't realize the full extent of that damage until I removed her from the school, got her the supports she needs, and worked very hard at decompressing her. Her anxiety from holding it together at school was so severe she was pulling out her hair, becoming violent towards her peers, and started saying she wanted to be dead. I regret that I listened to the school professionals constantly tell me that they knew best. I hope things go better for you and your son.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #32
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Never sign the IEP at the meeting. You have 2 weeks to sign it. If it not signed within this time the the school district is out of compliance. You can then call the state and let them know you have not signed it and why. Know your rights. You can purchase copies of the laws. Wrights law is a fedral law. As is IDEA and No Child Left Behind. No Child Left Behind is actually over 40 years old. Until a few years back it did not really have a name and did not really have any time limits. It does tell the districts what the need to do but without detail. It can be a bit vague. Unfortunatley the government does not really fund it. We live in southern NH. A lawyer from here has but our state special ed laws into laymans terms. See if anyone in your state has done this. Make a list of what issues you want to discuss at the meeting. When you walk into the meeting hand each person the list. Shake their hand and introduce yourself to anyone you do not know by name. Bring a plate of cookies or such to the meeting. This is blatent manipulation and everyone knows it, but it works. It puts everyone at ease. It shows them that you are willing to work with them is they are agreeable. Put all paperwork into a binder. Sections should bel labled. Papers should be in cronological order put the date in the upper right hand corner and hilight. This makes them easier to acces. Sections should be school forms. IEP, Drafts. Neoro psych exams, Corespondance, Meeting Notes, Notes from school (teachers, nurse, etc.), Phone log. You should keep a phone log. Write the name of the person you spoke to, the day, time and what was said, Keep personel calls on this log also. That way it cannot be sopened. (spelling) But you can reference a specific call at a meeting. Do you go into these meetings alone. If you do not have a good educational advocate. If not I would recommend one. Speak to one before hireing a lawyer for mediation. The advocate should work for a non profit. If they are working for themselve they can be to abrasive. If you do hire a lawyer made sure that they specialize in educational law. The school districts do not usually like lawyers. They will do what they can to avoid this situation. Another good tactic: Are you ready to go into mediation. I have been asked this by teachers and administration before. My response is fine I will call so and so right now, insert lawyers name here. I also recomend recording the meetings, you cannot do this in mediation if it comes to that. Write a letter informing them that you want to record the meetings. Make 3 copies of the letter. One for your files, one for the special ed director of the school, and one for the director of pupil services at the school district office. Offer to give them a copy of the recording. They do not have to let you record but if you offer to let them have a copy they will usually agree. Sorry if this is so long. If you have any other questions for me please feel free to pm me. I have 2 special needs children of my own so I have been through it all. I am not an advocate myself but have voluntered at the agency we use for years. I am also a member of our towns SEPAC, special education parent advisory commitee, along with being a parent rep to the town special ed commitee. Hope this all helps.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:43 PM   #33
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Things I forgot in previous posts. Find out how much notice you are entitled to inform you of a meeting. It should inform you of everyone that will be at the meeting. You can request anyone that you want to be there. You can also bring other support persons. Go ahead and rewrite the draft IEP and mark it up with your notes. They should offer you a copy of your rights and regulations for your state at each meeting. Request a full neuro psych test, if they will not pay for it send a letter to the director of pupil services asking for them to pay for it as it can be costly and not all insurances will cover it. Even if they do it is usually only particialy and you will need to come up with the rest. As far as the playground goes at the elementary school my children attended had what they referred to as a recess club. It was for those kids with disabilities. They played organized games, offered things such as playdough and blocks, a reading corner, etc. This was also used as a teaching tool, how to get along with others, taking turns in games, being a good sport. They were allowed to bring a classmate of their choosing. This went a long way in their being accepted by their classroom peer. The other kids learned that their was more to the kids their then meets the eye. The special ed staff and other teachers and aides took turn staffing this. Board games and stuff were usually donated.

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:13 PM   #34
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Let me preface this with saying that I'm not trying to say this in a rude way- it's difficult to read tone in a written message. Perhaps you aren't trying to come off as confrontational either- just know that I'm not. I am a parent and a teacher. I get very defensive when I read how a parent treats teachers/staff as if they are not doing all that they can for their students. Yes, I do know some districts that should probably close down and everyone get a job doing something else entirely... but that's not so for everyone. I am on your side, mostly on your child's side. I'm not unique in this....at all. We have no control of a lot of decisions related to money. Ugh!!!!!!!!

In my state having a 1:1 para in the general education environment is considered more restrictive than if a student was in specialized program over 60% day- that goes for even the more severe populations. I know... sounds crazy but apparently there is a lot of research behind this. On the other hand I once saw a youtube video of a teenager that was so prompt dependent that even though he knew the next steps of the sequence and could motorically perform it- he couldn't do it without a prompt. Any sequence..... ever.

Also, I know IEP's can be very stressful but please, please refrain from "blasting" people that have very little to do in the way of a budget. Your therapists, teachers, and many administrators have absolutely no control over how money is spent and how many paras and teachers are allocated per program and school. The lack of control is absolutely awful! MANY, MANY of us are fighting like hell to get what is needed for our students but the "powers that be" are usually the ones that are not even at these meetings. Our hands are tied. I guess what I'm really trying to tell you is that we are not your enemy. It saddens me that any parent would ever think that I or my colleagues do not care about their child or are doing everything that we possibly could for them. I am very thankful that I have wonderful relationships with my parents and haven't been "blasted" in a meeting. Next year I might have 12, yes 12 children with autism in my program !!! WTH!? Oh but NO way is that fair to those guys AT ALL. Can I stop this? Nope. Can I argue, even show research stating that this is a horrible, horrible practice? Maybe if I do it in the right way. Will it change anything? Nope. My parents WILL find out though........and hopefully one of them will complain which will in turn help make the best decision possible for my students-without figuring in budgets.

Yes, be organized, armed with data, research, records- and if need be a child advocate. The schools are armed with data... because we make data driven decisions. Just know that MOST of your people supports are really there for the child so please try to remember that before you try "intimidation tactics."

I can't believe the awful way that apparently some districts handle services. This thread has my blood boiling!
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #35
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((Hugs)) I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this. It is unfortunate that so many are forced to deal with inadequate and incompetent services, especially when there are laws that are supposedly here to kep this from happening. From our experience with our autistic son, we have found that many schools spend more time finding ways around these laws than they do aiding the kids who need help. In our case, we battled the school for nearly three years and finally ended up homeschooling because our son was out of school more often than he was in. His IEP stated that he received services like speech and OT, but they were group services and did nothing to aid him. We ended up having to pay for private PT, OT, and Speech in order to see progress. The school environment was too stressful for him to make progress. At home, he is doing well but I am often overwhelmed. We are also financially overwhelmed because his therapies and tutoring are not cheap. In our case though, it was the only option. We actually took the school to court and lost. It was then we decided that we had two choices to fight the school but while fighting our son would not be receiving the education he deserved and would be losing valuable time or teach him ourselves. Thankfully, it has worked out but I still wish we had been able to work with the school and get him the help he needed.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:18 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCisME View Post
The meeting was awful. They stated that hey do not accept the diagnosis. They want him to be seen by one of their people. Which is fine by me but nothing available until April.
They are not willing to do a functional behavior analysis. Stated that they did not see my concerns, due to the fact he is not sent to the principal. Said that they will not even consider a support during recess/lunch. They stated thnaht they thing the bus is his only problem and I should drive him to school.
I am trying to find an advocate now.
Thank you again for all the help and support.
Oh my God! Get an advocate IMMEDIATELY! Did they give you a copy of your rights? Did they explain them?

This thread is making my head spin! It sounds like general education staff need to take responsibility- not just sped. That can be a huge problem.

Also, I just read a post by someone saying something like "most schools"..... don't want to .....xyz. Please stop spreading that blanket over "Most schools." Perhaps unfortunately your school but not "most" schools. I've been in a few districts over the years and yes one was awful! They didn't treat any student they way they should, let alone any child with a diagnosis.
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Last edited by ma2nojo; 02-07-2011 at 09:19 PM. Reason: typo! again!
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:10 AM   #37
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We have a new case manager now. That in itself has helped. I have been very persistent and he now is receiving most of the services he needs. The para in the afternoon will now also be available for him, who previously was not.
The school still will not accept his diagnosis. One advocate said it did need to be a MD, another said it does not. I am still confused about this.
Thank you to all for your help.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:27 AM   #38
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Here is what they do here: if it can be proven that a diagnosis-medical or educational impacts his education then they have to provide services. Do you have any specific questions that I could ask my school psychologist about? It might differ somewhat from state to state though but federal law is federal law regardless of school or state.
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