Originally Posted by heatherweh
Anyhoo, the special education advisor said he does have a disability, he does require accommodations to succeed BUT she is not aware of how special education would help him. She said he's better off not to go into special ed as then they will give him an entirely new/reduced curriculum and he wont learn the things that his peers do?
The way it usually works is that the kids who have special needs and are in a regular classroom are pulled out at certain times to work on key skills areas of reading, writing, and math. They miss out on what their classroom is doing during that time, usually science and social studies, but sometimes art, music, PE, recess etc. Because the kids are overall working below grade level, the pull out time is at a lower level to meet the needs of those students. It's kind of a sucky deal, but for some kids, it is the thing that makes the most sense. For your son, though, it wouldn't help or make sense.
How did they determine he is on level? What tests did they use, and how well aligned is it to the actual classroom expectations? Some of the tests that have been around forever and are well respected are not in alignment with current standards because all the standards keep going up. Common core tests and curriculum emphasis higher order thinking skills while some tests of student achievement do not.
Is the school going to provide OT? Does he do better with typing at this point? It is easier for kids with fine motor issues than hand writing, but it is still tough, especially when they are learning to type.
DS has a 504 and they are going to basically increase rigor on the positive behavior plan and get him in small group reading and pull him for major state tests. We're meeting back in a month or two to review.
This is a good first step. Are they going to try accommodations for regular classroom quizzes and tests? If he continues to receive failing marks, I would ask for alternate assessment for classroom work, such as being quizzed orally by the teacher. My personal deal as a parent was that if my kid was doing her best and basically understood the content, she should get at least a C, and that they needed to accommodate her to make that happen, even though she had very limited to ability to show what she knew in writing. (BTW, kids can have accommodation for testing right through college!)
Also, her 504 stated that assignments requiring writing could be modified to ensure success. Frequently, she do fewer problems, or just write the answer instead of writing a complete sentence, or write 3 sentences instead of an essay, or have me type it up instead of her writing.
It's great that they are going to emphasize positive behavior plan.
Do they know about the struggles you guys are going through at home? In some cities, there are agencies that work with families who have a special needs child to address behavior challenges at home, doing functional behavior assessments of behavior occurring at home and helping parents come up with realistic and helpful behavior plans for home. The special needs teacher/advocate or the school social worker might be good people to talk to about what other supports your community has. You may be eligible for respite care, there may be summer programs and so on. These kinds of things are usually offered through a patch work of agencies, and while they aren't offered through the school, the school might be able to help you through the maze.
Also - I just want to send you and your kids a bunch of big hugs. I know this is a very difficult time for all of you in many ways.