Anyone have this experience with their school dist?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by irish dancer, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

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    I will try to be brief but this might be long - sorry.

    My DS6 is ASD and in a self-contained K-1 classroom. He has had a wonderful year and made huge gains. Things started to go a bit wrong when his IEP was held without our attendance. He has been in school since he was 3yrs and we have NEVER missed any meeting, both dh and I have attended every single one. We did insist that they have another meeting with us in attendance. At that meeting (in March) we agreed that it was too early to try and decide on placement for 07-08, we would re-meet in May to make that decision. They gave us the option of a 2nd-3rd grade self-contained at a different school or inclusion with resource aide in his home school(not where he is now). Now both of these involve a change in school, again! He has been at 3 schools in 4yrs. I find this a bit ironic that they are having children that have difficulty with change/transitions and problems with social issues move around so much.

    Now here is the real kicker. There is a new district policy that does not allow parents to view programs while children are present due to "privacy" issues. This puzzled us, how can we choose a program if we cannot view it?! Has anyone had this same problem? I've talked to a friend that is a psychologist in the neighboring district and she has never heard of such a thing and said we should push for viewing. We then asked to meet the prospective teachers to find out about the programs but that was met with resistance too. They do not allow parents to "shop" for teachers.

    Any thoughts/recommendations????

    We are very new to IEPs and such, does anyone have any resources in the Chicago area that we could get info on an advocate or someone that can help steer us through the laws and what our rights are since I know the school isn't going to help in that area?

    Thanks for all your help!
     
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  3. shoegirl1020

    shoegirl1020 Mouseketeer

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    I'm not from Chicago but feel your pain. Hook up with a local branch of a parent support network. I think it's wrong (maybe even illegal) for them to have an IEP without the parent/guardian present.

    However, I understand about not being able to view the classroom because of "privacy" concerns. To this day I haven't been able to sit in on my son's class. They have on one occassion let me look through the window to see him:confused3 . However, they should at least allow you an opportunity to tour the school and speak with the teachers who would be involved in his care.
     
  4. winniethepoohsmom

    winniethepoohsmom DIS Veteran

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    How can you decide where to place your child if you can't see the programs. Do you know anyone who has a child already in these classes? If so you may me able to ask them some questions about the work they are doing and about the teachers. Who told you that you can't view the classes? If it's the case manager I would speak to the director of special services or the school principal, or both. Do you have a support group in your area for parents of disabled children? That can be a good source of info. Good Luck!
     
  5. belle&beast

    belle&beast DIS Veteran

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    I work as a SLP in public school preschools and we cannot hold a conference wiothout a parent present unless they have been informed of and missed 2 meetings. Then on the third try we hold it without them. This does not sound like your situation at all. As far as privacy issues, I work in an inclusive district, so classrooms are open at all times, although the teachers will not tell anyone who has or doesn't have an IEP. I strongly recommend you find an advocate group in your area. Best of luck to you.
     
  6. freckles and boo

    freckles and boo <font color=blue>I occasionally lurk on the UK boa

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    Chicagoland is huge, but we attended a parent training session at Little Friends in Naperville. I know they offer advocacy services. They aren't free by a longshot but these people are awesome. Look under the "services for families" on the homepage.

    http://www.littlefriendsinc.org/lfca.asp
     
  7. Mish

    Mish DIS Veteran

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    I know when I was having a problem with my sons IEP I got help from Student advocacy. They were great and they are there for your child. She knew so much and taught me a lot. (they used to make me attend all class trips at my cost only to find out that I didn't have to go and the school had to provide someone to go with him he likes to wonder off) Anytime my son had to change schools or I had to make a decision I was able to look at the programs. Call your state education department also they will tell you what is allowed and what is not. Hope everything works out.
     
  8. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the link. We are western suburbs so Naperville isn't too far from us. I'll give them a call. I just feel like we're getting the brush now after being very involved for the past 3 years, almost like we are a nuisance.

    Thanks!
     
  9. freckles and boo

    freckles and boo <font color=blue>I occasionally lurk on the UK boa

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    No problem!!!
     
  10. Goofyluver

    Goofyluver <marquee behavior=alternate><font color=red>Knock

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    Okay...I'm also an SLP in the schools...and I first can't believe that they held an IEP without you. This can't be done unless the parents don't show twice in a row.

    Second...are they going to bus your child to the alternative (not home) school? I'm asking because, if your child is placed in a self-contained classroom, and there is not one available at your home school, then they must bus your child to the school where one is available.

    Also, it is your right to have an advocate present for your family and child. You have the right to investigate the programs in which your child will be involved. Bring in an advocate and get done what you need!

    Good luck to you!
     
  11. SandrainNC

    SandrainNC DIS Veteran

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    Before my son started K, I was allowed to meet with teachers after school, but not come into the classroom while there were students there for privacy reasons. Only the SAC class though. I could watch a regular K class if I wanted to.

    I cannot believe they had an IEP meeting without you though. That is wrong!

    Sandra
     
  12. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

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    In our district, parents tour special ed classrooms during school hours all the time. As long as you make an appointment with the school psychologist and are escorted into the room, it's not problem. Teachers actually like it when parents tour first so there are no surprises when the kids start school.

    As for the IEP, were you given notice that the meeting would be held? In our district, parents are always given a notice that the meeting will take place. The parent can either sign the form and accept the meeting or request another time. The teacher I work with (I'm a special ed aide) always calls the parents first to agree on a meeting time that works for them. Then she sends out the notice of meeting. They can hold the IEP meeting without the parents only if the parents have agreed to and then missed two consecutive meeting appointments. Parents can also designate a representative to attend the meeting in their place. We have a grandma who always comes to IEPs because the mom can't get off work. I don't think we've ever had an IEP with no parents or family members present.
     
  13. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone.

    They actually are not allowed to have the IEP without making 3 attempts to contact us. The teacher stated that a notice was sent but we didn't receive it and there were no other attempts at contacting us until they were all sitting in the room and we weren't present. They called but we were not home so they went ahead. My DH did look into this recently and I don't know the exact verbage but they are required to consult on the date for the meeting (which they never did) and they must attempt to make contact 3 times before going ahead without the parent unless the parent gives consent for the meeting to be held in their absence. In the past the teacher would ask if a particular date was possible and then sent the form which had to be signed and returned. None of this happened this time.

    We did insist on them having another meeting which they did but it wasn't the same since they had already been through it all.

    We're going to get in touch with the Asst. Superintendent of Special Ed and push for our rights. My friend that is a psychologist in the neighboring district did offer to attend as our advocate and I might take her up on the offer.

    Ugh, this whole process is really so frustrating. When you first start out in this world of special needs you have no idea what is going on and it is up to you to educate yourself. I'd love for doctors to refer people to someone that can help walk you through all of the rules and regulations. It's like one big secret!
     

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