Looking for ideas on school stuff

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Looking for ideas on school stuff
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 12:29pm
Mike is on a 504, which I am finding this year to be a useless waste of tress. Anyway, he is stressed and loads of his sensory needs are showing. (Chewing his clothes, wearing a heavy jacket in 85-90 degree weather, spinning circles, pacing, banging into things, laying on the floor spinning, etc. The last ones are at home only I think, school it was the jacket and chewing that I know of. It isn't like anyone would have noticed the other activities there.)

District still tells me that OT is not a stand alone service and he can't get access to OT without an IEP. He doesn't qualify for an IEP because he is doing well academically thus far and behaviorally with the help of medication is able to hold it together at school. I left the teacher a message Friday Morning to call me to set up a meeting. She has not called back yet. I would like some modifications to the class to help his anxiety. Mostly I would like him to have access to fidgit toys and breaks as neccessary.

The teacher has not yet been great about working with me. He doesn't have an IEP or access to OT. I will be volunteering in the class to see how it is going very soon. (If she doesn't get back to me I will just show up). Anyone have any creative ideas on how to get this done?

Ya know, he wants so much to be a good boy and trys so hard at school that it backfires on him. Sometimes I wish I could tell him to act up at school so he could get the modifications he really needs.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 1:41pm

It's been a long time since I've "spoken" with you. I've been reading your concerns about your younger boy with interest - as I have a just 4 year old in preschool and we are always working on how to proceed.

About your son without an IEP. Hum....this might be a kind of crazy idea, but, it sure does sound like he needs OT and some sensory outlets in class. Coming from a really great school district who has gone out of their way to work with our 11 year old, I find it really distressing to hear about your non-IEP issue. Our IEP was based upon a "no drugs" evaluation of DSS's behavior. The drugs are just one tool to help with the core problem that exists. The IEP is another. Can your DSS function w/o them? How anxious and/or deeply would his behavior be affected? The school can't "make" you give your son drugs - so if he could be off them a bit and they saw the true needs he has, do you think then you could get an IEP?

I realize it is different everywhere - and of course - we can't just upset our kid's routines. But, it sounds like he's not comfortable.

Another question I'd ask is whether or not your son's work is actually up to his IQ potential. Have you had independent IQs run? Our school is obliged not just to make certain a child is performing well in classes (passing tests, etc.) but keeping up with his/her individual ability. Sure, your son may be doing well - but is it as much as he is capable of? This angle works in some states. One reason our 11 year old gets as many services he does is because of his tested 40 point spread in intellectual and emotional/expressive IQ - not because of his actual work (which is way beyond grade level).

Those are the crazy ideas. A more traditional one might be to try and help "point out" behaviors to your son's teacher while you are volunteering. Perhaps she doesn't know what to look for when he is stressed or not processing a situation. Our DSS can "fool" a lot of people (well, for a while anyway) because he is so bright.

Good luck,

Jackie (with 4 year old Colin still being very tolerantly accepted in his preschool despite some very disruptive sensory issues)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 3:11pm

So nice to hear from you. Actually your "crazy" ideas have crossed my mind on more than 1 occasion. I have brought up the "no meds" idea with hubby once or twice. He wasn't a big fan because of the stress it would cause Mike without for sure results. Last year he was off meds for 6 weeks in a study and the teacher could surely see a difference, but she was making modifications already and helping refer for a student study team.

Actually, this is stupid, but there is a place when referring a kid for a 504 that says they don't need one if the difficulties are controlled with meds. It also says the school doesn't have to put a kid on a 504 if the parents choose to take a child off meds that had been having positive results. Fortunately, I was always able to say teh previous meds had side effects that I felt justified taking him off (therefor not positive results). I don't even think right now they know he is on meds, so I could take him off but it would be very rough on him while we awaited referral and testing.

As for the "split" well, I tried that one with the school (both actually, Mikes and Cait's old one). The insist that split only counts if the child is having difficulty academically in class. Mike doesn't qualify. I think I can make a hassle of it, but would probably need to go the advocate route or mediation.

I like both your ideas and I think I may give them a try or at least loads of consideration. I am going to try to contact the teacher 1 more time via note instead of voice mail. If I have a bad run in again, I will definitely go perhaps both routes (insist on testing and take him off meds during). Can't afford private testing and since he is so darn smart, can't get insurance to pay for it either. I may be able to get testing through a study my neuro is doing. Worth looking into anyway.

Thanks for your advice and good luck with your little guys.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 9:19pm
I think you've already thought of this, but according to Idea, you have right to a second opinion paid for by the school district. they must seek outside professionals to get that second opinion.

Have you asked for one?