School Meeting re aide

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by DVCisME, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I have an important meeting tomorrow for my son. He is in first grade in an inclusion classroom, however the 2nd teacher leaves at 11 before lunch recess and specials. My son has aspergers. I have been struggling with the school and this meeting is my last step before mediation.
    Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me? I do have the doctors recommendations and some examples of how he has been hurt during recess (once with 11 stitches). Their favorite line is, "you don't want him stigmatized".
     
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  3. Amy5000

    Amy5000 Mouseketeer

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    I don't have much advice but wanted to give you some support. I too have a 2nd grader with Asperger's. It's so hard with some districts. I hope there are some people on your team that really want to figure out ways to help your son. One thing that could help the process is to listen to what they say. Example: You ask for an aide at recess and specials. They say: You don't want him stigmatized. Consider it. You don't want him stigmatized. I would put it back out there. How could the aide facilitate things without stigmatizing him. So my son's aide isn't there just for him. She's presented as a classroom aide. She knows all the children and doesn't stick to my son like glue. (That's important). I would also suggest that they come up with some solutions to help your son. Maybe having a social worker, psychologist, special ed teacher work with a group of children at lunch time or recess.

    Anyway I just wanted to say good luck. I'll be thinking of you!!

    Amy
     
  4. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Fucus on what his needs are (both acedemic and fuctional) and how a paraprofessional (never refer to them as an aid even if the school does) will allow him to be maintained in the least restrictive enviroment and without it he will not be able to get his needs met in the current enviroment. Anyone at the table will who understands IDEA will know what you are saying and that they have little choice unless they want to be in obvious violation of IDEA.

    The stigmism thing is completely false and used as an excuse not to spend the $. First within 1 hour of your child begining the school year every child in his class new he was different so having a para willl not change that, plus a good para floats and support the other 5+ identified children and the 5 unidentified children in the class with special needs.

    I absolutly blast anyone at my son's IEP meeting who says such a silly thing and let them know that when they pretend he is not different they send a clear message that there is something "wrong" since no one will address it openly.

    bookwormde
     
  5. tweedlemom

    tweedlemom DIS Veteran

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  6. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    That link in one of the better ones I have seen (it is a little dated in laungage and the concepts of fuctional perfomance statements and functional curricular progress) but is still a good resource.

    bookwormde
     
  7. DisneyPups

    DisneyPups Mouseketeer

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    I do hope you were exaggerating when you said you "blast" anyone at an IEP meeting. That is the quickest way to turn the people who are supporting your child against you. You may be angry at the school, or the situation, but it is never an excuse for rudeness.

    But for the OP, it is possible that what your son needs is not necessarily a person dedicated to him, but you're asking that an extra pair of adult eyes be in the vicinity should anything happen. I know the needs of children with Aspergers can vary, but it is possible that he doesn't need a full time aide. Contrary to popular belief, the initial refusal by the school is not always a matter of money. I am working with a student now who is a completely different (more independent and no issues) child in school as compared to the child the mom describes at home. Not saying this applies to you, but I take issue with the advice on the board that suggests you should start on the defensive or by being aggressive.

    Good luck.
     
  8. mguilford1

    mguilford1 Mouseketeer

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    I am no expert, but my advice is to not sign anything you dont agree with. I was always signing papers which I thought was acknowledging my presence and input. Finally fed up with what they were saying I refused to sign. 2 weeks later they came back to me and said because I refused to sign the papers my son would have to be seen by their Doctor's. I said fine and I am glad I did because his findings confirmed my thoughts and then the school had to follow them. I found with my school district you had to be pushy and demanding or they did nothing but delay and put you off as long as they could.
    Now my sister is fighting with them because they built a new school with 3 playgrounds and not one of them is handicap accessible even though this school is where they send all the "disabled" kids. My nephew is in a wheelchair and has to sit and watch the other kids play! :confused3
     
  9. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    You can "blast someone" factually and intellectually without being "rude". An IEP meeting is not about social relationships it is about meeting the needs of the child. If you are lucky enough to have a knowledgeable team that focuses on that goal then that is the best situation and you can all "be friends", but if the process proven to be more challenging (since the OP is talking about mediation, I am assuming this is the case) then yes you do have to be direct and instructive to those who say and use incorrect premises in an attempt to avoid doing what is necessary and required to meet the needs of the child. Unfortunately there is often a bureaucratic mentality in the meeting and in the end you have to make it harder for the school to not do the right thing than to create and implement an IEP which will allow the child to receiv what is needed for FAPE. One person putting forth incorrect information or inaccurate regulatory standard can contaminate the whole team so it needs to be dealt with directly and strongly when it occurs.
    I will note that I advise parents to be a "generous" to the classroom staff in your presentation to them, since most often they have the least knowledge (about IDEA requirements) and grossly inadequate support and the greatest challenge in implementing so they have reason to be concerned what is going into the IEP and their ability to fully implement, so I focus on asking them "what do you need to meet this child's needs" and often list items that do not currently exist in their environment, but are used in more restrictive environments. Most teachers have no Idea that these support and accommodative structure are available I their classroom. I have found that this makes real allies and not just "superficial friend" among the IEP team.

    Unfortunately 90% of IEP work for kid who on the spectrum and in the general education environment is highly adversarial, due to the lack of knowledge and unwillingness to expend required resources by the schools and districts, that is just the reality today. In the end you get a lot more appreciation and respect from the implementing members of the IEP team if you are a strong advocate for your child's needs and focus on supporting the classroom environment.

    Yes I agree being intentionally rude and angry has no place an is of little benefit an IEP meeting, but if people find it rude to tell them that they are incorrect, lack the knowledge they need, or are just not meeting the need of the child then that is OK.

    FAPE is a right, not something that you go begging for, or are asking as a favor from "friends". It is about meeting the child needs, not the dynamics of the IEP team, and if the school members of the IEP do not fully complete their responsibilities because they do not like the presentation of the parent, then they are violating IDEA and putting their own social needs ahead of the child's needs.

    bookwormde
     
  10. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    I have to agree with bookwormde. I have to even put a little force behind them classifying my son as autistic. They wanted it other health impaired. This is also the second time I am bringing the recommendations from the doctor up with no avail. They are currently doing my son a disservice. I cannot believe how hard it is for them to be on the same page:confused3.

    My meeting is at 10. I will update when I come home. Thank you all for your support.
    And that link was great! Added it to my favorites:)
     
  11. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Good luck, and remember do not sign any IEP mods at the meeting (take it home an review it) and if you do not get all your child's needs met ask for another meeting at the end.

    bookwormde
     
  12. DisneyPups

    DisneyPups Mouseketeer

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    I don't disagree with anything you said, but you also appeared to dial down your aggressive terms. FAPE is a right, but LRE is a goal as well, so schools do have to weigh the options. I can see both sides. I was not suggesting that IEPs were social events, I was mentioning that civility will get you a lot farther than rude demands. In my opinion, rants do not equal intellectualism. Parties most certainly will disagree, but an angry parent who does not listen to the school, and an angry school that does not listen to the parent is setting themselves up for failure.

    As for the OHI vs. Autism debate, I think you would be better served looking for the service you want, not the label. We have kids who have been diagnosed with Aut/ADHD, and the school may feel that the inattentive, impulsive behaviors are more of an impact than the social interaction/communication delays. The label helps to guide the IEP but having a diagnosis does not always mean the child fits that category academically.

    Just a thought.
     
  13. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  14. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Do you have any kind of IEP in place right now? What steps have been taken up until now with the school? What kinds of meeting and evaluations? What people (titles, experience, etc) have been present at the meetings? I guess I was under the impression from your first post that you already have an IEP in place but that either it's insufficient or not being followed but with your most recent post it now sounds more like what little the school was doing wasn't actually documented but rather just kind of doing what they saw as necessary at the moment. Can you please clarify the history and current state of things? I'd love to be able to offer suggestions but right now I know anything I suggest could be way in left field because I have an inaccurate understanding of what's going on.

    I happen to agree the the actual classification (autism vs OHI) isn't all that important since each child on the spectrum has unique needs and the IEP needs to be written to the needs and not the diagnosis. DD12's officially listed at OHI based on a letter from a neurologist stating that she has Asperger Syndrome. Her IEP details her specific needs.
     
  15. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    I had assumed that you child had an educational classification allready for Autism. By you last post I am guessing that he does not. If this is the case print our the information on the link above and read it. you should be requesting in writing to the special education director of your district a full IDEA evaluation for Autism/Aspergers, and give your permission for this evaluation (so the 60-90 day clock starts) and that you are prepared to attend the meeting where the team decides what evaluation are appropriate and useful.

    Most of NJ is acually reasonably compliant, it sounds like you are in one of the "bad areas"

    bookwormde
     
  16. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Disneypups,
    Same terms, but I gave a lot more detail since your perception did not match the reality of how this is handled. Yes I did mean "blast" them since not being adequately trained and knowledgeable when you are part of an IEP tem is inexcusable since it is very damaging to the child.
    And you are correct, it is about determining and meeting needs not about a diagnosis or classification
    bookwormde
     
  17. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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    Actually Bookwormde, NJ is pretty hit or miss especially with the budget crunch. I have one local district that has a phenomenal reputation on one side of me and one 2 towns away that I have heard nightmares about. Mine is pretty good although I haven't heard of ANY districts in my county offering programs specifically designed for HFA/Asperger's students like I've heard about in other areas and states. (If I ever win the lottery, it's at the top of my list.) And now that Gov. Christie would like schools to be run more like businesses, I don't see any expansion of existing services.

    DVCisME, stay strong and keep pushing. When my son started with his aide/para, it was on a part-time trial basis. Once they saw what an improvement there was, they added it into the IEP and eventually changed it to FT. Every child is different, we're content with an OHI classification, as long as our son receives the services he requires. His para is great, she fosters independence but is there should DS need her. She has her own desk near, but not on top of, DS's and does assist other students. I have to admit though, that she has never been with DS for lunch or recess.

    We faced the same questions about "stigmatizing" him from our own pediatrician. Guess what? I'd rather label him the ASD kid or the kid with issues than traumatize him. Is your son already classified? I agree with writing a letter to the Director of Special Services that you insist on a full evaluation (or re-eval). Insist that they observe recess and lunch. They have 20 days to respond. Once you meet and sign the paperwork authorizing the eval, they have 60 days to complete it and meet with you to discuss the findings. Then, if they still say no, you can appeal. Good luck!

    Where in NJ are you located?
     
  18. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    My son does currently have an IEP. It is classified as OHI. We recently. last week, got a diagnosis of aspergers. When we started this process in Sept 2009 I believed he had aspergers. I cited his social complications and his need for structure. At that time we were in a different town. Even they did the evaluations they only looked as hid IQ. HIs OT was denied but cited difficult cutting, with motor skills, and a funnel grasp for pencil. I told the school that I was disappointed that they did not look at him with his peers, that he was denied OT, etc.
    We started this school year at Little Egg harbor, we recently moved. At the first meeting I again stated that I did not agree with the IEP. We also agreed that a monthly social worker visit was needed as he had anxiety about school. The team agreed that our concerns sounded like aspergers. They told us about a lunch bunch and that he would be in an inclusion class.

    In September I asked for him to be re-evaluated for OT. He qualified and was to receive services once a week.
    In October he was hurt at school, the stitches. No one could tell me what was going on during recess. It was at this time that I found at the special education teacher was done for the day at 11. I asked about the lunch bunch and a buddy system. A week later he was being bullied on the bus...

    In November I stated that my son was still having a great deal of difficulty. I stated that the second half of his day was very heavy is loosly structured activities and social interaction. Still no word on the lunch bunch and they were not able to find a buddy yet. I stated that my son was suffering, specifically his self esteem. He was constantly saying he hated school and had no friends. At this point I brought recommendations for a psychologist. OT was supposed to be increased to 2x. I also noted that the main teacher was out half the time and that was an issue. On Nov 18 she was out until Jan 18, plans on coming back and then will be out in a month or so for maternity leave. They told me that there was an aid for the second half of the day. However, my son did not know anything about the woman. The special ed teacher told me that she was really just their for one student who was waiting on equipment to come in (I think for an auditory problem)

    On the first day back from break I brought the school the diagnosis and recommendations. Asked for a log of when he sees OT, aid or extra pair of eyes for second half of day, consideration for speech services. Asked again about a buddy and lunch bunch to no avail. I also asked for a functional behavior analysis. The woman today stated that they do not see any behavior that would need to be observed. I stated his social difficult, something during the special at the end of the day is triggering him, his low self-esteem, his comment5ting about problems on the bus and his meltdowns at home.

    I was informed that with the diagnosis changed to autistic we would have a little more weight as to why he needs these services, instead of that acting like we are making them up. Is this incorrect? Could this be correct due to the way the school has thus handled the sitaution?

    Anything else that one might need to know?
     
  19. tweedlemom

    tweedlemom DIS Veteran

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    Should you need it, here is a link to a southern NJ law firm specializing in education law. I heard one of the lawyers present 2 years ago and she was fabulous!
    http://www.reismancarolla.com/index.php
    Hugs to you!:grouphug:
     
  20. jodifla

    jodifla WDW lover since 1972

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    Federal law says that ANY of the labels, including OHI, gets a student ALL the support he needs to progress in school. Most schools don't understand this, and will try to tell a parent they need x label or y label to get x aid or y service. There are some perameters, like safety issues, and the child and other children in the class need to be learning, but it's supposed to be an INDIVIDUAL education plan, not like oh you're this label, so you only get these supports.
     
  21. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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    I feel for you, I really do. Sounds like they have reason after reason lined up for you. Hang in there.

    Out of curiosity, is most of your dialogue with the case mgr or the school? I found at one point they would bounce parents back and forth. School would say that it has to go through the CST and CST said it had to go through the school. I would ask for input from all his teachers. Just send out a mass email to them asking what type of behaviors they are experiencing in their class. I would keep pushing and get an advocate involved. The advocate can go in to observe in the afternoon to see what may be triggering the outbursts. Sounds like you're logging. Keep documenting everything, every little detail in a notebook. I'm sure others will feel differently but I found that our DS receives the same services with an OHI as he would for AUT. He didn't qualify for AUT based on the stress that NJ Code places on the communication piece of the classification. He gets small group and inv. social skills therapy, etc. Sadly, our district doesn't have a lunch bunch or buddy program. We keep asking but they keep telling us they can't provide such services. I specifically asked both the team at the school he attends, the team at the school I work for, and a few consultants if it would make a difference and asked if I should push for AUT and they all told me that it wouldn't make a difference in the services he received so we left it OHI.

    Have you considered having him see a therapist though your health insurance? It has helped our DS quite a bit. We still have highs and lows and battle the "I have no friends, everyone thinks I'm weird" days but they are much fewer than before. As for the bus, can they move his seat closer to the aide, if there is one, or the driver? Noise is a trigger for my DS so I take him to school but he has to take the bus to the after school program. We found that by wearing the noise reducing ear buds attached to his MP3, whether it's on or not, helps prevent him from becoming overwhelmed on the bus. He has clear silicon ear plugs for assemblies or pep rallys. Is there an alternative for recess? DS goes to the LGI (large group instruction) room like a computer lab rather than recess.

    Good luck, just don't give up. :goodvibes
     

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