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This doesn't bode well...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ds needs accommodations for a medical condition.  One of the things I am requesting is a later start time on an as-needed basis (as in: he won't be late every single day, more like once a week or so).

 

After three weeks with no response from the school, I got a call today to let me know they were "checking with the district to see if such a thing is even allowed".   *headdesk*   Seriously?!

 

I made the gentle comment that that type of accommodation was acutally very common and was told "the school is new to all this and is learning as they go".  It's a charter school that has been in operation for like ten years.  And is full of special needs kids.  Are they kidding me?  Is this a stall tactic or are they really that dumb?

post #2 of 7

Could be either. Though they may deal with students with disabilities they may not be familiar with your child's medical condition and relevant/legal accommodations.

 

I don't know where you are in the process but I would recommend:

  • Read the federal regulations (IDEA, Section 504) and state law and determine how the law applies to your child/child's medical needs.
  • Make your request in writing; include the applicable law, response deadlines determined by law, and when/how you expect a response (ex. the IEP meeting on November 1st). The accommodation should be written into whatever plan she has OR if they deny the request get it in writing.
  • If you know someone with this accommodation find out how they did it.
  • Check your state department of education website/special education page; there is someone to contact on the state level with procedural and/or special education law questions.

 

http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/disability-categories-under-idea/

post #3 of 7

I wonder if they have a rule they're bound by whereby attendance is taken at the start of the day, and funding is based upon the attendance numbers? So they fear they'd lose funding if he wasn't presenting his warm body in a seat at 8 a.m. or whenever?

 

Miranda

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

I made the gentle comment that that type of accommodation was acutally very common and was told "the school is new to all this and is learning as they go".  It's a charter school that has been in operation for like ten years.  And is full of special needs kids.  Are they kidding me?  Is this a stall tactic or are they really that dumb?

 

I wouldn't be too hard on the school. The accommodation may be common for your DS's condition but that doesn't make it common in general. Public schools have a lot of red tape, plain and simple. They have to document and justify everything. 10 years isn't that long to be around in school years and there are plenty of accommodations they simply wouldn't have experience with yet. It doesn't mean they won't end up being good for your DS.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

I wonder if they have a rule they're bound by whereby attendance is taken at the start of the day, and funding is based upon the attendance numbers? So they fear they'd lose funding if he wasn't presenting his warm body in a seat at 8 a.m. or whenever?

 

Miranda

 

Yes, this is often the case in American schools. Students need to be counted and submitted before a certain time in the morning to get funding. Coming in after that period results in no funds for the school even if your child was in attendance most of the day. Charter schools can be particularly strapped for cash and the weekly loss of income can hurt more so than it would in a traditional school.

post #5 of 7

Requesting a late start time on an as needed basis is a really, really big deal. Most special needs kids attend the same hours as everybody else.

 

My DD had a shortened school day (starting late) when she was in public, and it was a huge deal. She was the only kid in the district with that accommodation.

 

I'm not surprised that a small charter is taking their time.

 

What is happening right now? Do they see the problem?

 

When we got this accommodation, my DD was missing huge chunks of school and spending about half the time she was there with the social worker rather than in a class, and that had gone on for about 1/2 a school year. We had letters from her doctor and counselor, and every single person who had contact with her knew that was what happening was not working in really big ways.
 

post #6 of 7

I wanted to add that being "the first" is always a bigger deal in any school. They have to set it up legally for you but they have to simultaneously put a system in place to handle following requests too. This is time consuming and can require approval from a lot of different sources. 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, my kiddos doctor took forever getting the Clinician Statement back to me but I have it now along with a wonderful letter listing the reasons why my son needs an occasional late start and a reduced work load (basically not being penalized for not doing the copious amounts of HW they assign...his grades are great, he doesn't need extra practice).

 

I'm just so exhausted by all this school stuff.  My older son needed accommodations a few years ago.  I'm pretty sure I posted about it.  He was given a provisional diagnosis of Ideopathic Hypersomnia while going through a battery of tests.  His school refused to allow him to take a nap under the conditions outlined by his doctor.  He was a sophomore and they said the only way he could do it was to go to the pre-K room and get on the floor with the 4yos...how creepy for the little ones!  Anyway, I took it all the way to OCR who basically told me there was nothing they could do and then his charter school closed before the official diagnosis of narcolepsy came through, so I never got to sue them, or at least threaten to sue them.  He ended up at our neighborhood school and they also refused to allow him a late start time as needed.  The boy has a federally-protected disability and because he is an A/B, gifted student, they refuse to allow accommodations.  On days when he ends up being late, they try to give him a detention!  I got tired of having to call and chew out the attendance clerk and the dean, especially now that he is 18 and is legally capable of explaining for himself why he is late, so now when he has a bad bout of sleep inertia, I just keep him home for the day to avoid the detention debacle.  It's so screwed up...the kid tries to be responsible and get himself to school even when his body is fighting against it, and instead of commending him, they punish him.  They have basically forced a good kid to become a truant!

 

And now, ds2 and all his issues...I'm not really even sure what they are yet.  Officially, it's Mood Disorder-NOS.  He has the symptoms that make up what is being called "Early-onset Bipolar Disorder".  His father is completely non-functional and awaiting a disability determination.  He can't take care of himself and his current wife is just sticking around til he gets his check because she feels sorry for him.  I see ds heading down the same path as his father.  He has mood swings every 5 minutes.  Violent rage.  Mild self-harm.  Paranoia.  Visual hallucinations.  Crippling depression.  Irritable hypo-mania.  His circadian rhythm is set to a 36 hour day.  He can't fall asleep at night, can't rouse in the morning, and has extremely low energy, so bad that he can't go outside and run around or sometimes even get up long enough to take a shower.  He's been to his big brother's sleep specialist who told us that he should keep taking melatonin, we should try to stick a sleep schedule with less than one hour of variation on weekends, and that the addition of psychiatric medication in time would help him sleep at night, but there was nothing else she could do for us to help him jump out of bed in the morning because he is wired to have an erratic sleep pattern controlled by his prevailing mood of the day.  But he's an angel at school and has an IQ in the 130s and learning comes easy for him so the combination of good grades and exemplary behavior causes the school to tell me he doesn't qualify for help.  So here we go again...they ignore the information provided by the doctor and my child ends up being forced into truancy.  I had always intended to be HSing by the start of juior high, or possibly HS, but now I wonder if we should come home for 6th grade next year.

 

Oh gosh, that's long!  I don't expect anyone to read through, it was just nice to get it off my chest.  :)

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