Information Overload!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Information Overload!
5
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 12:37pm
Near the end of my DS 2nd grade year, my son's teacher and I started lengthy discussions about issues that were affecting his education.....Inability to stay focused, inappropriate Touching of other kids (tapping them on the shoulder repeatedly when asked not to, etc) "zoning out" (staring out the window) He had also developed a facial tic (I believe due to the stress he felt at not being able to control what was happening to him)Ty has never been a "behaviour" problem in school, in fact all of his teachers have always fallen in love with him because he is just a sweet kid.

The teacher brought in the school psychologist and she performed the Achenbach test. That was it. No updates, no phone calls to me, Nothing. At that time, I was ignorant of my rights as a parent (or that I had any rights at all) and I let it go. Over the summer, We went into action. First, we saw a Neurologist who performed several medical tests (blood, MRI, CT scans, etc) to rule out any medical conditions. Next, she sent us to a Adolescent Neoro-Psychologist. He performed several Cognitive tests. By the end of summer, we had a 10 page report from the Neuro-Psych. final prognosis: Combined Type ADHD. The Psych recommended a "Teacher Consultant" (?? Aide?) be assigned to help him in the classroom. and put him on Adderall 10 MG.

NOW....on to the real issue... THE SCHOOLS! I went to the Assistant Principal the week before school started (I had only just received the report back from the Neuro-Psych.) She promised that the first week of school, we would have a meeting with his new teacher and discuss the report. First day of school starts, I introduce myself to the teacher, and basically got the attitude "Yes, I was told that you wanted to meet with me, but I just do not have the time to be bothered with that right now, my daughter is getting married this Friday" That was almost verbatim what she Said to me!

Needless, to say, I marched right up to the Principal's office, who Stuck up for the Teacher! The next day I started out with a call to the District Superintendant's office. He was wonderful, and told me to request a classroom placement change, and that he would support me in every way. I got the placement change (after an argument from the Assist principal That it "was not necessary" until I told her that the Supintendant agreed with me that it "WAS NECESSARY". She was not happy that I had contacted the Superintendant) I am very happy with the new teacher. Hers is the only 3rd grade class (of 4) that has an Aide.

Now, I am faced with an upcoming IEP meeting with a board of professionals that I am sure already view me as a "Thorn in their side". The school Psychologist already informed me

in the "Child Study" session on Friday that the "Resource room" at the school was already full, and that Ty would have to be bussed to another school to get the "Teacher consultant" help that the Neuro-Psych recommends, and she wants to "avoid that at all costs"

I mentioned that Ty could use an updated Audiogram. (he was born with a cleft in the soft palate, and has been through 4 sets of tubes) The assistant principal just said "Yes, have that done and have the results released to the school" I found out yesterday that That is not my responsibility!! It is the responsibilty of the school to arrange for the tests!

I am so sorry this got so long, I am just so overwhelmed with all of this, and I know that it is Just the Beginning!

My main question is this: I have searched on the internet, and have found several sites with inforamtion about special ed, IEP's, 504 and IDEA....However, everywhere I look, there are 20 weblinks that lead to another 20 weblinks, and .pdf files with 500 pages worth of legisaltion and articles ...AARGH! information overload! Is there a booklet out there that will explain to me in "layman's terms" just exactly what my rights are, and help me to find the best solution for my son. I want to be able to go to that IEP meeting armed and ready! What sorts of things can I ask for? What sorts of things might help him? I am in Mid-Michigan.

Thanks for ANY Help you can impart.

Robin

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 2:29pm
I would call the special education department of your school district and see if they have such a booklet.

I am a special ed teacher in Louisiana, and we have such a booklet that is supposed to be given to the parents when an evaluation is begun and at every IEP meeting. Being as Louisiana is not on the front edge of any trends, I would guess that this booklet is probably a federal requirement.

Good luck!

Karen

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 4:31pm
I would go to www.wrightslaw.com

see what they have to say, They have a book on IEP's and how to advocate for your child.The schools will always have you spend money first. They may be responsible to give the tests but you should if at all possible get them done indepently. You will get better and faster results. Districts are strapped for cash just as we all are and they have learned to be frugal. You can press teh principal for anything you feel necessary and you can go over his head if they don't ahve room for your son in the resource room then have them hire someone they will do that before they have to bus your child anyway. If it all fails request a due process hearing. That will get you point across even more then having one. I agree with to much info I feel the same way.

Maureen
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2003
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 6:03pm
I know exactly how you are feeling. My son has been out of school for 2 weeks now because of the inadequecy of the school and the district. I have begged for my son's rights and was not clear on what I could or could not ask for. After hours of researching this weekend I am going in tomorrow morning and fighting with the facts. I found a website that is helpful: WWW.ED.gov then typed in special education in the search, then to the right of that screen is Office of Spec. Ed & Rehab services. Hope it helps.

Tracey
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 11:04pm
Thanks Tracey! I will check it out.

Robin

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sun, 09-14-2003 - 11:15pm
I haven't looked at it myself, but a lot of people on the bipolar board I'm on, many of whose kids require school accommodations, recommend the book "From Emotions to Advocacy."

Good luck,

Melissa