School Meeting re aide

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

  1. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. I am not entirely upset that the school will not change the iep from OHI to AUT as I am tha tthey will not take the doctors recommendations. I have reached out to SPANN, just got a few resources from Autism Family Services of NJ, and am calling an advocate from FACES.

    I had my son bring in headphones for the bus, but was told he was not allowed to wear them. The school said they will take care of this. In the meantime, I don't want my son getting in trouble and adding to his anxiety.
    As for services my son really is not recieving any. He goes to OT 2x a week and sees the school social worker once a month. We are taking him to someone privately and are fighting with the insurance to cover it...
    One of my big concerns is that with the special ed teacher leaving at 11, no one is able to tell me what is going on for the second half of the day. I am thinking about going in to observe, but I also know my son's behavior will be different with me there (I have volunteered at the school in the past).
     
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  3. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    How much para time per week does his IEP specify? It should be spelled out in hours per day and days per week or in hours per week if the IEP is properly written.
     
  4. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    He does not have any para time. That is what I am trying to get.
     
  5. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    So the para that he has in the morning is something that the school is providing but is not required to do? I'm glad to hear that the school is standing up for your son with the bus driver.

    Isn't waiting until April beyond their legal limit of how long an evaluation can take? Unless you signed something stating the delay is acceptable of course. When my DD12 was first being evaluated by our school I did sign a waiver to give the school more time because I knew that they were contracting to a highly sought after psychologist who specilizes in autism so to me it was worth the wait. I thought the school only had 45 days to complete the evaluation unless the parent agrees to the extention. Bookworm, am I wrong about this?

    I don't under the school saying that there's nothing to observe. They haven't observed him; how do they know what there is to observe?

    It sounds as though your son is very high functioning. I'm confused about something. Why do you need somebody to tell you what's happening in the classroom in the afternoon? Is this the reason you want a para in the afternoon? What need is not being met with the absense of a para? Obviously you have a concern that he's being bullied at recess; the school needs to step up and protect him from being bullied and you need to state the problem this way. Schools have very strict bullying policies these days. This is not something that you need to even adress as part of his being a special needs child; the school must protect ALL students from being bullied. Ask them how they plan to accomplish this since he is currently being bullied (you'll want to provide examples).

    I think you're focussing far too much on telling the school what solution you want rather that documenting the problems and handing these to the school to figure out a solution. The school is not obligated to provide your choice of solutions; the school is obligated to provide a solution that is reasonable. Have you asked the school what they can do about his specific problems? Have you asked the school to provide recommendations?
     
  6. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    I am sorry this is all a little confusing to me. The woman in the morning is a special ed teacher for the classroom, they co-teach. My son is in an inclusion classroom, with no one specifically for him. Does that help?

    I am not sure if the time requirement is in effect. He does already have an IEP. I think I might have to formally request a re-evaluation now that they rejected my docotor.
    He was previously observed at another school. I do think it would be abenefit for him to be observed again for many reasons. One this year he is with all new kids and seems to be having a hard time socializing. Two the gap between him and his peers is widening. And three is something is triggering him to come home and have more frequent meltdowns and plummeting self esteem.
    I would like the para in the afternoon because his afternoon is heavy with unstructured activities and social interactions. The problem seems to be stemming sometime in the afternoon, since the special ed teacher is telling me everything is okay.
    I disagree that I am focusing too much on what I want. I have tries since Sept to hear there suggestions. What few suggestions they have made are of ill fit for my son. They believe it is our responsibility alone to make sure his socialization is happening. They recommended we put him on sports teams. He has neither the self esteem or motor skills to do that.
    I have in fact handed them documentation of the events that show he needs more support. They said he could get hurt anywhere and that they can not help facilitate play.
    I do however disagree with this. I would be more than happy with a classroom aid to oversee what is happening. I would be happy with them acknowledging that my son needs support.
    At this point in time, my son has gone through two schools with no help. I fear that as him and his peers get older this gap will only get bigger. I am doing all I can in my power to help my son. I would be more than happy to take the schools recommendation, if appropriate, or any support.
     
  7. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    My daughter is in a regular classroom. There is a para in the room as specified in her IEP but the para is not just for her. Kids without IEPs do benefit from having the para there. It sounds as though your son falls in this category of benefitting from a para who is there because the need is specified for another child. I'm not saying there's something wrong with the para helping your son. I'm saying that right now the school has no obligation to provide a para because it's not documented in his IEP that one be there to help him.

    There's a difference between learning to socialize and learning social language. Our school does not teach DD12 to socialize; they teach her pragmatic language, reading body language and facial expressions, idioms and other forms of social language since she has tested as having a deficiency in this area as part of her Asperger Syndrome. The school gets to determine the method of teaching this and she has very specific goals written into her IEP for this. If she's not meeting her goals then the school has to re-evaluate the method being used. I also signed her up for Girl Scouts outside of school to provide additional opportunities for socialization though she actually has become friends with some of the kids that she met through her pull-out group speech and pull-out group counsellor sessions. It is my responsibility to provide additional social opportunities. It's the school's responsibility to teach her HOW to interact. This is all part of the language deficiencies associated with her Asperger Syndrome. We don't refer to this as social deficits when discussing her needs; we discuss her language deficits. She tests at 98th percentile for reading comprehension and has a vocabulary of a high school graduate (that's as far as the tests go; she periodically uses words that her teachers don't even understand because she has such an extensive vocabulary and takes pride in expanding it) but the Speech & Language Pathologists and Guidance Counsellors and Psychologists do recognize that she has a language deficit when it comes to all areas of pragmatic language. They are very much independent of each other. I know this may sound like nitpicking, but the terms used are VERY important. The school is right that you are responsible for providing social opportunities. The school is responsible for teaching pragmatic language which is something you haven't mentioned. Using this term will get you a LOT farther with the school.

    Rather than focussing on the need for a para in the afternoon, focus on his need for structure. Personally I'd be annoyed with an elementary school class that doesn't have much structure for the entire afternoon. Very few children thrive in this kind of environment and a child on the spectrum will do even worse. Something as simple as a plan for what he'll work on for specified times during this unstructured part of the day should help him a lot. If we're talking about say a 2 hour period, his time could be structured into something like 30 minutes of reading, 5 minute sensory break, 20 minutes of homework, 5 minute sensory break, 30 minutes of artwork, 5 minute sensory break, 20 minutes of homework, 5 minutes to wrap up what he's doing and pack his bag (I'm totally making up an itinerary because I don't know what's worked on in this time but I'm trying to illustrate an example of something that could be tried). Have this schedule taped to his desk with times. Maybe he could even have something like a small personal digital clock for his desk or he could wear a digital watch so he can see when it's time to transition. The unstructured nature of the afternoon is more likely the cause of his problems; not the lack of a para (though I do believe a para in the classroom even if it's not just for him would be helpful; the teacher wouldn't have time to dedicate to ensuring these transitions but a para could guide him through the transitions). You might also want to explain this to the school as a problem of executive function. He doesn't know how to divide his time or manage his time. It's overwhelming. He needs somebody to break it down for him right now and he could also use goals in his IEP for learning these executive functioning skills. This is another term that you want to use with the school. Learning their language will help you a LOT.
     
  8. bookwormde

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

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    The newest jarg'n is "social communication deficits" which is actually a pretty good and clincally accurate definition the put the oversight in the SLP's area of resonsibility (which is great if you can find one that is trained in this area).
     
  9. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    My son did not qualify for speech. I did argue that his pragmatic levels were lower. The psychologist also recommended that he receive speech for this reason.
    I also spoke of my son having a processing problem that required constant reminding as cited by the teachers. I did not call it executive functioning, but I believe we are talking abouty the same thing and will take note of it.
    My son has an inclusion class on his IEP. I was not aware that the inclusion part stopped at 11. Should this have different wording in his IEP?
    I do bring my son to boy scouts, though it is hectic (all the packs meet at once and spead throughout a firehouse). He is in CCD and I try to have playdates. That being said, on most days he is done after school.
    I thought the school should be applying what they teach my son. If they are trying to get him to understand social situations it would be best applied to his peers. Am I wrong in asking for this? Do most schools not handle it like this? I am also getting a lot of feedback that he is just smarter than the kids so not to worry about it. Explained as, when Jacob is talking about x, Jimmy is standing there picking his nose. I am worried about it. He should be able to carry on a conversation with another 6 year old, to some extent.
     
  10. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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    What is SPL?
     
  11. GraceLuvsWDW

    GraceLuvsWDW DIS Veteran

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    I think it's Speech and Language Pathologist
     
  12. GraceLuvsWDW

    GraceLuvsWDW DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  13. mickey&minniealways

    mickey&minniealways DIS Veteran

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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.

    Ann Marie
     
  14. mickey&minniealways

    mickey&minniealways DIS Veteran

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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.

    Ann Marie
     
  15. ma2nojo

    ma2nojo Mouseketeer

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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!
     
  16. sl_underwood

    sl_underwood DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  17. ma2nojo

    ma2nojo Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  18. DVCisME

    DVCisME DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  19. ma2nojo

    ma2nojo Mouseketeer

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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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