I understand why it is suprising that this has become so adversarial with the school system.
I suppose I should make a few things more clear. First, I am in an ENORMOUS school district. The high school is one of the largest on the east coast. Teachers have 40 kids in a class, and 4-5 classes a day.
The way EC works here, is that ALL accomodations (whether it is extra time on a test, or asking for extra help with a class, or anything) MUST go through the EC coordinating team. There are no individual discussions with teachers, nor are teachers allowed to discuss accomodations they are willing to provide for thier particular class with any student. They follow what the IEP tells them to do, and the IEP is only drafted by the EC coordinating team. I realize to others this lack of communication between students and teachers seems like its crazy, but its a fact of life here. (Not for regular students, but for EC students on an IEP). Essentially, the school is so large, that the job of the EC team is to make things as easy as possible on the teachers. For instance, there is no emailing teachers to ask questions if you have an IEP kid. Discussions with individual teachers arent allowed.
The teachers are not allowed to discuss accomodations they are willing to provide becasue the EC team (says) that would potentially create an unfair situaiton-where one child is given an accomodation that another teacher denied another child. Something as simple as needing some extra time on a project you'd think would be so simple, right?
And yes, I have asked for recorded classes (and disclosed I would pay for the recording device) and also have asked for web based classes (and disclosed I would pay for the webcams). Both of those accomodations were denied, along with many, many others that we thought would help.
So most definitely you are correct that we are not "sitting around waiting for the school to come up with ideas". I have been to 60 IEP meetings and have brought experts to the meetings, doctors, advocates, and many, many, many suggested IEP accomodations that we thought would help. Everything is denied.
I will say though, that I do believe that it is part of the EC team's JOB to present ideas that can help individual children. This is not all up to ME. They are the "experts". Thats why I am unhappy that not one single idea has come from the school (the EC team). Not ONE.
Textbooks are not used in this high school which makes things much more difficult as you can imagine.
Yesterday, I finally hired a lawyer. I had posted on this board for ideas as well as other parenting boards, and also had talked to every possible person I could think of over the past year. I've asked for ideas at support groups for parents with ill children, hospital social workers, I have been all over the place trying to deal with this myself for way too long. I am exhausted, and out of time.
So that was my big step yesterday. I have no clue how I am going to pay for this, but I will fight. I will fight because what the school system is doing is wrong, and I cannot NOT fight. There are so many kids who arent being provided an education and that is just so wrong. I cant stand by any more. The lawyer was stunned by my description of events, and said the school system has broken so many laws and has been so negligent that he is unsure of where to even begin with it. He wanted to really go at it, and even get my money returned for all the private tutoring I have paid for over the years. But I dont want that-I want her educated-that is all I want. An equal education, under the law, provided to her just like every other kid. If they do things right going forward, I dont need vengeance. I need correction of the past mistakes and a good IEP that will be meaningful going forward.
I feel much better after discussing this with the attorney and I know he has this handled and I can stop trying to do this all on my own. He is a specialist in education law, and that makes me comfortable. Someone send me good vibes that I will win the lottery though because this is gonna cost me :)