Child Elopement from School aka Bolting - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-19-2014, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Child Elopement from School aka Bolting

My DS, age 14yrs, recently started a new school. He is diagnosed SLD-dyslexia, ADHD, PDD-NOS, Anxiety Disorder, SPD and some other things as well. He has been in private 1 to 1 tutoring for the past two years. He has an IEP and a 1 to 1 para for support. Anyway here are the problems - DS removed an eraser from a pencil and fashioned the metal part into a sharp edge with which he proceeded to use to carve into his arm during science (it bled). He ran away from school, off campus, twice and was returned to school by the police both times. After the second time, they left him in ankle shackles for the rest of the school day so he wouldn't run again. When I asked the school for their policy regarding elopement behaviors in ASD kids they just pointed me to the truancy and skipping policy. I told them (all of this is in writing) that there was a difference between truancy / skipping and school refusal / elopement. Now they want to have another IEP meeting to define the difference. Are they just playing dumb? Are there any resources that I should take with me? Anyone else have to deal with this???

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Old 08-19-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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I am so sorry. This should never, ever happen. Congress has debated making the restraint of special needs children illegal throughout the nation, but not passed a bill. Yet.

Why isn't the school campus locked? Schools here have a fence around the perimeter. (I had a runner in my class last year.)

This doesn't have anything to do with truancy -- this is an autism related behavior and, according to IDEA, they need to deal with it through positive behavior supports so that they can provide him an appropraite education in the least restrictive environment possible. They need to do a functional behavior assessment and come up with a positive behavior plan.

This has some good background:
http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content...ior-assessment

Ideally, this should be done by someone who is a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). Most likely, no one at your school has this credential, but at the district level they should, and if they putting your CHILD in SHACKLES it is time to call the person in the district who figures out what will work for complex children.


This is a helpful link:
http://www.pathfindersforautism.org/...sion-at-school

This PDF has the laws for each state, and it was updated this year. There might be something specific to your state:
http://www.autcom.org/pdf/HowSafeSchoolhouse.pdf

This is a summary of federal laws. I copied it from Wrightslaw: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/abuse.index.htm

Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that a child's Individualized Education Planning (IEP) Team consider to the child's behavior if it interferes with his or her education or the education of others. IDEA is explicit in what it requires the IEP team to do when a child with a disability has behavior problems:
  • If a child's behavior impairs the child's learning or that of others, the IEP team shall consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports (20 U.S.C. Section 1414(d)(3)(B)(i)) (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 103);
  • If school personnel decide to change the child's placement because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the school district, parent, and relevant members of the IEP team shall review all relevant information including the IEP, to determine if the conduct was caused by or had a relationship to the child's disability (20 U.S.C. Section 1415(k)(1)(E) (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 119);
  • If the team determines that the child's conduct was a manifestation of the disability, the IEP shall conduct a functional behavioral assessment, and implement a behavior intervention plan (20 U.S.C. 1415(k)(i)(F);(Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 120);
  • If a behavior intervention plan already exists, the team must review and modify it to address the child's behavior (20 U.S.C. 1415(k)(i)(F); ( Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 120);


If they aren't using positive behavior supports to provide your child with an appropriate education in the the least restrictive environment possible, they aren't following federal law.

Document everything. Get copies of the police report. Take pictures if there are marks on his leg.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-19-2014, 10:17 PM
 
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Wow.

I can't really add anything to LOTM's suggestions, but my heart goes out to you and your boy. Where was the 1on1 while he was fashioning the pencil and cutting? No, the running incident had nothing to do with truancy; not even close.

In my area, educational advocates are available - perhaps through an autism group, disabiliy rights organization, or free lance. I think you need legal advice and support on this one
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:52 AM
 
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I am sorry I can't even add to the suggestion, just wanted to know you aren't alone and I am thinking of you...

My son used to do all this and more...I finally just signed him out at 16...I was miserable and the school was miserable...

Hugs...
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Ladies! I'm looking through all the links now and I plan to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the next IEP meeting. We have an education law attorney that we keep on retainer. She has emailed the attorney for the school district regarding the incident and the violations of the law. She doesn't attend IEP meetings with me though as it is cost prohibitive. We filed due process and settled three years ago but we may need to file again. Before the off campus elopement incident. DS slipped out of third period and they found him sitting at the carpool area. That plus the cutting has got me asking the same question as mamarhu What was the 1 to 1 para doing?!? Why did DS need to be found?!? LOTM the school campus doesn't have a fence. It's just wide open. According to the report from the school DS ran into traffic, took off into the neighborhood near the school and ran through people's yards by climbing fences. DS says that he was trying to find someone to borrow a phone from so he could call me to come get him. He said that the school wouldn't let him call me and he was tired of the para "getting in his face". We have a BCBA involved who also has a PhD in educational psychology. He is supposed to be conducting an FBA. The current BIP is pretty much useless. It has things in it like "Reinforce school rules" there is no explanation of how or what this looks like.

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Old 08-20-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just finished reading "How Safe is the School House". We are in Georgia and it looks like we have some excellent laws against restraint and seclusion.

Mylie - When you withdrew your child at 16 what did you do with him? Home school, no school, did he start working? I'm looking for options from BTDT! I dropped out of school at 16 and went to community college but I doubt DS will have the skills to do that.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding medication compliance? DS won't take his meds, not even vitamins or fish oil, if I give them to him. But if he's in charge it turns into a crisis. We tried a Sun-Sat pill box and that worked for a while but one night DS couldn't sleep so he took ALL of the Zyprexa that was in the pill box. I found him in the morning and had to call 911 for transport because he was unresponsive. I don't think it was a suicide attempt and neither does his psychiatrist. DS says he was tired but couldn't sleep and he knew the meds would knock him out. He's on nothing but protonix for reflux right now and he does pretty good with taking that but we are going to have to find something to help with anxiety.

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Old 08-20-2014, 11:43 AM
 
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I tried the homeschooling route...he refused...he was on ssi so he had money but he just wouldn't stay out of trouble...he felt invinciple...the only reprieve I got was about 6 months later he got his girlfriend pregnant....it seemed to settle him down to follow rules and take his meds ect...for awhile....but he was living on the high of the attention they were getting because of the baby...they both were...2 weeks after she was born the attention stopped and he reverted back...he is almost 25 now....he struggles and has a lot of issues still...
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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I'm glad you have a lawyer.

I think that one of the things that needs to be added to his IEP is that he allowed to use the phone in the office to call you. This makes him safer. He needs a plan that actually works for him that keeps him safe. He also needs a place in the school where he feels safe and can take a break. For my DD, it was the social workers office OR the regular office if the social worker couldn't accommodate her. Your son would be safe if he were allowed to just go to the library and calm down. Part of the problem is that they haven't given him any options he can stand.

Is there another school in the district with a fence? I think a transfer to another school would be preferable to restraint. I'm also super confused about how they "found" him. What is the total adult ratio in his room? What the heck are they doing? We always knew the minute our runner left, and one of us followed him while another adult called the office. The office immediately sent someone with a walkie talkie -- and that was on a campus with a fence.

Also, I think you need a date for the FBA and the BIP. They can't just drag it out forever saying it is in process.

Are there any private school options that might work? In your situation, you might be able to force the district to pay for private school if they continue to be unable to provide FAPE in the LRE. Is he making academic progress or are his skills stagnate?

There are boarding options, and if things continue to go down hill, it would take a court case to get the district to pay, but it might be worth it. This is part of the reason that a paper trail/ very good records are important.

My DD with autism left school at 16 (she hated it too) and got her GED. She is now in community college, which is working OK for her. I have considered a boarding option for her, but I don't think in her case we could prove that the district had to pay for it. (They tried, she was unhappy but making academic progress).

I'm so, so sorry that you are going through this.

What was going on right before he left? What was the antecedent for this behavior?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-22-2014, 11:41 AM
 
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In the meantime, while they are figuring how to get the FBA done and work out the behavior plan in place... they need to identify a place (or two) that he can run TO. Obviously, your DS is showing that when he is overwhelmed enough he is going to run away, so they need to provide an alternative that is acceptable for everyone- even if its just a stop-gap measure until other things are sorted. Maybe you, the school or he rejects all the obvious choices (counselor's office, principal's office, favorite teacher, library, etc) but even if he was willing to always run to a specific close or behind the stage curtain (quiet dark?) at least they know where he is when he's gone and it's not across traffic.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:26 AM
 
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Our district has a special program for autistic kids who still bolt in jr high/high school. It is on one of the high school campuses, and the school is easily locked down (there are buttons in all the classrooms & halls). However, because this is not the "least restrictive environment" the parents actually have to ask to be placed in the program, the teachers can not recommend it. You may see if your district has anything similar. The teachers are ALL special ed certified and there are more paras (my sister teaches there and currently has 4 kids and 4 paras in her room).

I would also ask what their definition of 1 to 1 ratio is. I have found that some schools do not define that as there is a para at my child's side all the time who has no other duties. Despite that being my understanding, I found that was not the case in several schools (they interpreted as a para in the classroom, and someone to escort between classes).

Also know that homebound is an option (where the teacher comes to your house). So if you decide to pull him out of school you do not have to be the one planning the curriculum (you will have to help him do the work, but a teacher will come out to the house, make assignments, teach curriculum, and administer tests.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am reading all the responses and will catch up and answer all the questions soon. Thanks for all the input!

~Patti~ rainbow1284.gifMomma to three girls and three boys chicken3.gif, First mother to one girl triadadopt.jpg

Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Clubkid.gif  

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