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school is *done* with my explosive child - Page 2

post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeisabelle View Post
He does have a Behavior Intervention Plan, but I didn't sign it because the psychiatrist said not to because it isn't enough.

Just to be clear, I did request the evaluation in writing and they did do it and they say he is not special needs.

The psychiatrist says they are not allowed to say that since she said he has ADHD, but they do say that.

So, if they agreed that he was special needs, I could use Wright's Law, right? But they don't. They did the formal evaluation and said he isn't.

I guess I say, then, are they saying my 5 year old is just bad? [He IS overwhelmed and just UNABLE to process and make the right choice in those moments...he is sweet and compliant a lot of the time.]
I'm sorry but the psychiatrist isn't a lawyer. Signing the Behavior Intervention Plan is a legal matter, not a medical one. Without your signature, the school's hands are tied. Legally, they can't do anything further without your legal agreement, which is your signature on the document.
post #22 of 97
Thread Starter 
Hi, everyone, thanks so much for all these replies!

Homeschooling seems like a really difficult option for us based on our economic situation and my actual personality. Also, I think? he needs socialization. He longs for the company of other children.

I am going to try to get moving on a private evaluation with a developmental pediatrician.

Okay, I asked the volunteer if not signing the Behavior Plan was keeping them from implementing it and she said no and that I still shouldn't sign it...but I am suspecting that maybe I should sign it...Okay, reading the second post about it...I should sign it.

Thank you everyone for the information and links.

We are trying different medications. Very low dose of Prozac, we tried one dose of Ritalin [Daytrana] which gave him a tic and made him a zombie, he is on a very low dose of guanfacine which I thought helped but now the school is saying they don't think it does.

I wish the meltdowns were more predictable. That is one thing that make it soooooo hard to prevent them.

Thank you thank you thank you everyone.
post #23 of 97
I've had some similar issues (my son is also in K). It seems that if your child is bright and meeting grade level expectations, and does not have a speech problem, then they are not 'disabled' and are just treated like a discipline problem.
post #24 of 97
Was this child in daycare previous to kindergarten? If so, did he have similar problems there, or did they just manifest when he started school?
post #25 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I wish I had expertise to offer but I don't really. I did just want to address this issue of homeschooling. I totally support homeschooling by choice.
But the answer to every problem between child and environment is not "well just homeschool then," nor should our public education system be designed to just kick the problem 5 year olds (!!) out, tough for them. If that's an option the parents want to explore -- and financially and emotionally and academically can -- yay for them, honestly. But it is not a default solution.
The OP has stated (after my post) that homeschooling isn't really a feasible option but I want to respond to the quoted post, above, for others who may be reading.

Nobody has said "the answer to every problem is homeschooling"

I do believe in fighting for good public education for all but the simple fact is, school environment is not for everyone (some argue it isn't for anyone) Nobody has stated that homeschooling should be the default when schools fail to meet the needs of our children. The reason schools often fail is complicated and is not necessarily going to be solved on a case by case basis. It is embedded in our culture (US) and isn't likely to change any time soon.

The OP's child is gifted and sensitive to his environment. These two characteristics make being in a traditional school environment difficult, in my experience.

I am not going to derail this thread by getting involved in a debate about education, special needs children, our culture, etc, I just wanted to quickly state a few things

If homeschooling is not an option, then of course you work within the system and do your best to protect your child and mitigate damage from a mismatch in environment.

Good luck to you, OP. You sound very involved and your son is lucky to have you.
post #26 of 97
That's a tough situation. We had some similar problems with dd in preschool. Have you looked into food allergies? Food dye and dairy are common ones that can lead to explosive episodes. Also, it might help to take him to an occupational therapist for an evaluation. Even if he doesn't qualify for sensory processing disorder, they may be able to recommend sensory activities that would be calming for him when he starts to feel upset.

Do you think half days at school would help? Maybe the school would agree to put that in the 504 plan?
post #27 of 97
lots of hugs to you. Have you modified his diet?
post #28 of 97
OP, your ds has due process rights. Exactly what those rights are varies from state to state, but the school's hands are legally tied - they cannot "indefinitely suspend" a five-year-old. They have to provide him with educational services somehow.

A proper evaluation should include behavior surveys completed by a parent and a teacher, and an observation of the child in the classroom environment. The evaluation you describe sounds inadequate.

In my school district, a child with the issues you describe, requiring 1:1 assistance for much of the day would be considered emotionally disabled, and would be eligible for an IEP with a behavioral intervention plan. My state is not particularly enlightened. I do wonder, though, if the 1:1 support from the aid is really helpful. For adults, a full-time 1:1 assistant is known to be counter-productive. People regard the assistant as demeaning and patronizing, and direct a lot of aggression at the aid. Children are more receptive to some interventions, and I can see how your ds would need someone in the classroom who is available to him. But if the aid is following him around 100% of the time, and only interacting with him, that could conceivably be aggravating the problem.
post #29 of 97
OP-you may want to post over in Special Needs as well. Your concerns will not be unfamilar there!
post #30 of 97
What is he eating? Artificial colors and flavorings can cause explosive behavior as can excessive sugar. Have you had him tested for food allergies or vitamin/mineral deficiencies? I think this might be a good place to start - or at least a way to rule things out.
post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
In fairness, what exactly do you expect the school to do? It sounds like pretty much what can be done is being done, but your son continues to have violent episodes that target the teachers and administrators.
What does she expect the school to do? THEIR JOB.

A school doesn't get to wash its hands of the more difficult children, the disruptive, the disabled, merely because it's not convenient for them. The OP's child is entitled to a free and appropriate education; it's mandated by law. If the school can't meet his needs, they are LEGALLY REQUIRED to find someplace that can and foot the bill besides.

OP, you need a lawyer.
post #32 of 97
not sure what your work and other dc schedule is like, but if you want him to be in school, and he wants to be in school.... you could stay on campus as a volunteer in his class/library/lunch room etc. Hopefully he may outgrow his behavior and soon you would not have to be on campus all the time. But I really feel for all his classmates. What are they doing when the teacher has to put 100% of he attention on his behavior?
post #33 of 97
LD (learning disabled) is not the only way to qualify for special education. what about ED (Emotional Disturbance) or OHI (Other Health Impaired) because of the ADHD?

XOXO
B
post #34 of 97
Thread Starter 
Emmeline II, yep.

No, he wasn't in daycare. He was always watched by different family members.

Thanks jazzharmony.

Doing stuff with food has always sounded very hard to me. He and I are both picky eaters to begin with, and it seems overwhelming to do special diets. I am going to get in touch with his doctors and discuss it though.

stik, his 1on1 person is absolutely wonderful, she is involved with the whole class, not just sitting on top of his every move, and truly does nothing but help hugely. We all love her and he doesn't resent her or feel stigmatized by her at all. Maybe if he were older...

jetteaa, as I said in a previous post, he has a paraprofessional who is pretty much one on one with him. The teacher doesn't appear to give him any extra attention, let alone put 100% of her attention on him.

The school says they don't feel he is EI, and the volunteer advocate said not to push for it as it could be a stigma in the future when his behavior is better [if it is and I am working so hard toward that]. As far as Otherwise Health Impaired, that is what they labeled him for the 504 but they said he doesn't qualify for an IEP, only a 504. The principal also said that ADHD does not account for hitting and kicking.

I will try special needs forum, too.

Oh, I really don't want to battle with the school. I really don't. I want to foster a situation where the school and I work together to help my son. Which is how it was going until recently...and I desperately want to get back to that.

Again, thank you everyone.
post #35 of 97
Thread Starter 
Oh, and as far as me volunteering, the school and our psychologist both feel that that would be counterproductive because of his separation anxiety. I was willing...they said no. Also, economically, it would be catastrophically difficult for me to not work during school hours.

Oh, also, he is doing a half day only. And he does see the OT and she said he does have a sensory disorder but that she cannot diagnose? We have been brushing and doing other sensory things and so has the school.
post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
Have you modified his diet?
yes, i would highly recommend looking into the feingold diet.

http://www.feingold.org/

i'm so sorry you all are going through this. it sounds like it is really hard for everyone. hugs to you & your little boy.
post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeisabelle View Post
Emmeline II, yep.

No, he wasn't in daycare. He was always watched by different family members.

Thanks jazzharmony.

Doing stuff with food has always sounded very hard to me. He and I are both picky eaters to begin with, and it seems overwhelming to do special diets. I am going to get in touch with his doctors and discuss it though.

stik, his 1on1 person is absolutely wonderful, she is involved with the whole class, not just sitting on top of his every move, and truly does nothing but help hugely. We all love her and he doesn't resent her or feel stigmatized by her at all. Maybe if he were older...

jetteaa, as I said in a previous post, he has a paraprofessional who is pretty much one on one with him. The teacher doesn't appear to give him any extra attention, let alone put 100% of her attention on him.

The school says they don't feel he is EI, and the volunteer advocate said not to push for it as it could be a stigma in the future when his behavior is better [if it is and I am working so hard toward that]. As far as Otherwise Health Impaired, that is what they labeled him for the 504 but they said he doesn't qualify for an IEP, only a 504. The principal also said that ADHD does not account for hitting and kicking.

I will try special needs forum, too.

Oh, I really don't want to battle with the school. I really don't. I want to foster a situation where the school and I work together to help my son. Which is how it was going until recently...and I desperately want to get back to that.

Again, thank you everyone.
I've somehow been successful in maintaining a team approach with my son's school district despite all of the "fights" we've had. I constantly remind them that our goal is to support my son so that he can be educated in the least restrictive environment. I think they like hearing it from me and knowing I'm not trying to make them do everything and without making any effort to do my part.
But they WILL NEVER volunteer information that will make it easier for you to navigate the special services. They WILL NOT tell you what other services are available for your son if you don't name them or ask for them. These supports DO cost money but you have to remember that the school budget is none of your concern. And sometimes, when you push for your son's needs to be met and finally receive the proper supports it turns out, like in my situation, that it's actually cheaper for the school than they thought - and cheaper than what they were already doing.
When I go to meetings, I bring a framed picture of my son and put it right there in the middle of the desk for all to see. I also start off each meeting with a short update on my son and share some of his recent achievements and current interests. I usually have one of his jokes to share, too. They often bring muffins and fruit to the meetings.

It's very nice that they have worked with you and done many things to help support your son. But it's not working and they are trying to give up. They are not allowed to give up. My method was to ask questions. Ask tons of questions. "If this setting isn't working, what setting do you suggest?" "If the aide isn't the answer to his explosive outbursts, what else can we do?" "WHAT ELSE?" was my most frequently asked question. And when I came up with the solution to send my son to this wonderful school that practices Collaborative Problem Solving, I never once told the school that was my plan. I told my son's psychiatrist, I told my son's therapist, I told my son's neurologist. They all wrote letters to the school outlining his deficits and needs and offering suggestions for environments where they thought my son would succeed (and worded these letters so they would lead them to placing him at the school I had chosen). They didn't name the school, either, they just described the best case scenario. When my son's school district finally came to the point where they brought up changing his school to another school that could meet his needs, I asked them for names of schools. I researched the schools and took my son to visit them and then showed them how those options wouldn't work. Then came WHAT ELSE? and they had nothing. So I gave them a list of schools that his therapist suggested. There were 3 schools on the list. One had a 9 month wait list, one turned out not to work when my son had an explosive outburst on a visiting day, so that left the school I had chosen. I sat back and let them discuss it and they even went on a tour. And now he's there. He's been there for one year now and has recently made progress on his IEP goals for the first time ever! He also completed the 3rd grade state competency testing without complaint. I'm so amazed at how they've supported him at this school.
Sorry for rambling through my whole story but what I learned is that it's important to be firm, organized, get your team lined up, research your state special education code for procedure and to find out how to support your son backed up by portions of that code and then sit back and be patient while you never waiver or let them railroad you.

Right now my challenge is that the district is saying he doesn't qualify for OT and SLP services even though they agree he clearly shows the need for supports in those areas. I have a team lined up and will be meeting with them in the morning
post #38 of 97
I would take him to a different psychiatrist and have a full assessment done. I don't know nearly enough about his behaviour to make any kind of assumption but I do want to note that Early Onset Bipolar Disorder is often misdiagnosed as ADHD. Again, not saying that he would have anything like that but it sounds like there could be more going on.
post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeisabelle View Post
They have given him a 504 based on our psychiatrist's diagnosis of ADHD, but the psychiatrist felt it wasn't enough and keeps sending me back to the school.
What does his current 504 say? What do you want it to say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fullofgrace View Post
This does tie their hands legally as to how they can help him while he is in school. With no signed plan that lays out how they can intervene if he gets violent, all they can do is send him home.
I agree. You need to be willing to try stuff, and that means signing something. You can ask that a follow up meeting be scheduled one month out to discuss how things are going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
And if he is taking meds, have you talked to his psych about maybe changing them to see if there is a better one for him out there?
agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeisabelle View Post
The school says they don't feel he is EI, and the volunteer advocate said not to push for it as it could be a stigma in the future when his behavior is better [if it is and I am working so hard toward that].
I really disagree with this advice. Sometimes to get kids what they need, we just have to face up to the fact that they have a problem with a stigma attached. I think it's better to be honest with ourselves and the school and deal with the stigma thing and let our child get the help and support they need to be successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I would take him to a different psychiatrist and have a full assessment done.
I agree 100%. He sounds like complex kid that they haven't figured out yet. I'd want real answers so I could help my child.
post #40 of 97
The school's resistance to labeling your son Special Education or giving him an IEP is really perplexing to me. It's my understanding that school's receive finding from the gov't for each student who has an IEP, but nothing for 504 kids.

If your son was receiving no extra services I could see their resistance, because they would most likely have to start providing (expensive) services.

But your son already has the one-on-one aide! Why on earth would the school NOT want the gov't funding to help offset that cost?

Something's just not adding up.


I would continue to fight their decision re: the lack of an IEP. Your son is clearly struggling and there is something wrong.
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