Today is IEP meeting....any last minute advice? **UPDATE # 13** - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-06-2008, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We go in at 1pm for Ds4's actual IEP meeting. I am so excited as we have been waiting for this day for a LONG time.

I dont think my dh will be able to make it though so I really need to toughen up before I go in. I'm so non confrontational and when I have to be oppositional, I tend to get very shaky

Anyway...quick recap. Ds4 (I'm going to refer to him as "Boo" from now on..it's his nickname here at home )
has a mixture of dx's. He, according to his psychiatrist has ASD. The school district "disagrees" with this dx and is biased in what they want to offer him as far as a program.
They are going to offer him an ED preschool program. I want him to be in the autistic preschool program at my kids' school. (Or I at least want that as an option).
Here's the deal. I dont know much about either program. There is no way to check them out prior to them being offered.
How do I push (the psychologist is a bit of a bully) for the ASD program as an option?
Any thoughts? Thanks so much

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#2 of 16 Old 10-06-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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Wow so ironic, my son who we also call boo LOL was diagnosed with aspergers, and through the IEP we had some therapy for a while, and then He started kindergarden, and I decided to try to keep him in regular classes to start out, and wow he is doing great in them, I mean he is a very high functioning aspergers dx, but he is doing great. They wanted to put him in the autism school here, but I wanted to try mainstream first as he is so high functioning that I just wanted to see how he would be in that situation, and it was the best thing i did, cuz he is doing great, and has lots of friends, and his teacher absolutely adores him... As far as advice with the phsych stick to your guns mama, only you know your son better then anyone else, and if the autism classes at your kid's school is what you want for him, suggest it to the dr and give it a try. I hope it all works out for you! Post back and let me know how the visit went.
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#3 of 16 Old 10-06-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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I don't see how they can legally deny you a visit to each program before you agree to either in the IEP.

Remember that this meeting isn't the end. You can have another one or reconvene if this one doesn't finish.

Most importantly, sign the attendance form but NEVER sign the "I agree to this IEP" form in the meeting. ALWAYS take a copy home with you to sign and return to the school later. This way you have time to think it over, review with other professionals, talk to your family/spouse, and think of any additions/subtractions you want to make before you agree. If you disagree with something but the school says that your child cannot receive some other service until the IEP is signed, you can sign the "I agree to the offer in the IEP with the exception of:" and then put what you are NOT agreeing to. That way the other services can start. You can also do this if you agree to most things but disagree with one or two.

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#4 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont even know where to begin. I can't possibly recap the whole IEP today as it would take way too long.
I'm exhausted, sad, furious, frustrated, scared and just plain worn out.

The IEP team consisted of the speech therapist, the school psych , a gen ed teacher, the top administrator for the preschool sp ed dept and Boo's therapist.

The very condensed version is that even though Boo has an ASD dx, they wont put it in his IEP as a dx, because "they" dont see it : They said he does have some "autistic like" traits but not much. They are making him eligible under a developmental delay cat. The eligibility statement is :Boo exhibits significant developmental delays in the areas of social functioning, pragmatics, and expressive language that adversely affects educational performance
They wanted me to agree to an "emotionally disturbed" eligibility but I refused at this time.

They said that if he was truly "autistic" that he would have no empathy, sympathy, awareness of others feelings. He would not have such intense tantrums or behavioral problems.

I can't even tell you how frustrated I am with them. They want to put him in an emotionally disturbed preschool program that focuses on behavior. They did add pecs cards into the IEP. They also will have an aide with him for a while to help him transition but actually they worded it as "an aide to help him stay seated, etc". (I need to get a better definition of this).

OH and get this.....I asked them what would happen if they preschool program didnt work out? They basically said that if he didnt do well, we could talk about adding the ED label and talk about residential treatment ::
I said if the program wasnt working for him and made his anxiety worse, I would homeschool him. They said that was the WORST thing I could do for him....They said it would be reinforcing his anxiety

Here's my position: He DOES have autism. He also has ADHD and severe anxiety! They may not see the autism because he's high functioning and his anxiety tends to rule his actions but for heaven's sake, dont undermine my Dr's dx!!!!!!

That's all for now....I'm disgusted.....Thanks for all your support, mamas

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#5 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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That sounds so infuriating!
to you. I hope you can get some more good advice here.

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#6 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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#7 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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ugh Im so sorry it went the way it did, I had similar problems when my son went to his IEP, and I to was very frustrated, they basically watched him play on the floor by himself and labeled him with PDD, and like you I definately know he has Aspergers, he has all the symptoms, however I was not going to just take them watching him for 20 min without other kids and give me a diagnosis, so I stopped going i went for 4 weeks and she pretty much told me everything I was doing wrong, and I felt very judged and started questioning my own parenting, with my son the best way to repremand or punish him is to sit down face to face and talk to him about what he did wrong and why it was wrong and what action he should take next time if he was getting frustrated, with my other two, the same thing, only not as much explanation is needed and we do time out with them, well she told me that i need to do the same thing with all three of them and be consistant, which i totally disagree with each child is different and responds to things differently, and she went on how we needed to do this and that, and at that point my son was doing really well with what I had already been doing, so I opted out of the therapy sessions, and just kept doing what i was doing adding a little more structure, and he is doing great, im so sorry that you had to go through that ((HUGS))
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#8 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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can you have his psychiatrist help you at all? We are just beginning the whole IEP process with dd1. The school doesn't want her to have one and her private OT thinks she should have one. My dh is a teacher and has been talking with special ed teachers in his school and the rec. to us was that if they won't give her an IEP then we should have the private OT write a letter or even come to meetings to back up the fact that she does need services.
sorry you are going through all this
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#9 of 16 Old 10-07-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Gosh, is that LEGAL? They are allowed to ignore your doctor's diagnosis?!
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#10 of 16 Old 10-08-2008, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Gosh, is that LEGAL? They are allowed to ignore your doctor's diagnosis?!
They are supposed to give EQUAL weight to the outside reports you bring in and the district's report.......yeah, they didnt.

I know this may seem trivial but today at therapy, Boo went to the window in the therapist's office and looked out and started barking. Then he kept pulling away from interacting with the therapist....He wanted to play army men with her but then he changed his mind and wanted to line everything up. He found this little birdcage in her dollhouse and he kept throwing it down on the ground...he was trying to break it open...(there was no distracting him..he was on a mission)....once he got it open, I asked him what birds ate and he said "bombs".....(I knew he meant worms but I had to clarify) I said "they eat worms?" He said "yes, that's what I said...bombs...." Then a few minutes later he paused before he said "worrrmsss". The therapist said "wow, I havent seen this side of him......this really does look like autism"......
I really like her and she is on our side....but THIS is what I needed the school psychologist to see.
The reason I bring it up is because we've been going to this therapist for about 8 weeks now and this was the first time his autism really showed.
He saw the school psychologist for TWO HOURS and she is hell bent on him NOT having autism...even though we have a report from his psychiatrist stating he does have an ASD dx. (Not to sound snobby but this psychiatrist is one of the leading researchers of autism at UCLA AND is head of the early childhood inpatient and outpatient hospital at UCLA....I'd like to think he knows a tad bit more about autism and mental health issues than the school psychologist).
I'm still stewing.....
I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this IEP. I thought for sure there would be an appropriate preschool program for him. I thought for sure we could FINALLY get some support services! We basically get a slap in the face. Part of me really wishes I could start an autism co op preschool in my neighborhood.....

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#11 of 16 Old 10-08-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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I homeschool so don't know the details, but I thought that if the school does an eval and you don't agree with the results, then upon your written request they have to pay for an outside eval by someone mutually agreed to and they then have to accept those results? Isn't there something like that? Have you checked wrightslaw for a discussion of it?

That is infuriating, especially her explanation of what would be different if he were autistic (no empathy, not such intense tantrums, etc.)--both my Aspie son, and my more straightforwardly ASD criteria meeting nephew would fit that dx (although he wasn't dx'd until over 8 even though he only spoke 3 words at 4 yoa because people doing the school system intake noted that he was so attached to his older sister that it didn't suggest autism to them and his parents kind of took it as if he'd been evaluated as not autistic).

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#12 of 16 Old 10-09-2008, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JohannasGarden View Post
people doing the school system intake noted that he was so attached to his older sister that it didn't suggest autism to them and his parents kind of took it as if he'd been evaluated as not autistic).

Sherri

These are the types of things that keep me going. Thank you so much for posting this. I think there is so much stereotyping of Autistic children out there that even "professionals" are getting it wrong.

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#13 of 16 Old 10-09-2008, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to give a brief update. We went to the preschool that had been recommended today.

I met with the teacher...and within the first 5 minutes....guess what she told me.....drumroll please....................

"Please dont tell me he DOESNT have autism because it's so apparent he DOES".

I actually started to cry and asked for a hug...lol....I then began to recap what had happened with the school district. She told me she couldnt believe THEY didnt see his autism. She told me she was afraid I was going to tell her that he DIDNT have autism.
She seems very nice but firm. Boo liked her but did call her stupid and said he hated her a few times....eh, overall, he liked her
The classroom is set up nicely. There is an OT that comes in and works with the whole class on sensory stuff
She has two other students that have "autistic-like" behavior.
She seems to have an understanding of autism and is sensitive to Boo's specific needs.
We're going to give it a try and see how it goes He should be able to start next week sometime (after we do an intake interview with the principal and the school psych and teacher).
There is a silver lining now

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#14 of 16 Old 10-09-2008, 03:45 AM
 
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That's a big silver lining. Getting a teacher who understands and who he likes is the most important thing. : That way he has a chance at a good experience now _and_ a teacher whose reports will weigh heavily in the future evaluations (even if they disregard UCLA experts, they will hopefully listen to a teacher within the system). Well, it isn't surprising there are other kids with autism in the class, they probably display some empathy or make occasional eye contact and have nothing but eval's by those overdiagnosing UCLA experts to back up the parents POV, so what do they know? Anyway, hopefully school will be better than IEP meetings from here on out.

Sherri
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#15 of 16 Old 10-09-2008, 04:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
I wanted to give a brief update. We went to the preschool that had been recommended today.

I met with the teacher...and within the first 5 minutes....guess what she told me.....drumroll please....................

"Please dont tell me he DOESNT have autism because it's so apparent he DOES".

I actually started to cry and asked for a hug...lol....I then began to recap what had happened with the school district. She told me she couldnt believe THEY didnt see his autism. She told me she was afraid I was going to tell her that he DIDNT have autism.
She seems very nice but firm. Boo liked her but did call her stupid and said he hated her a few times....eh, overall, he liked her
The classroom is set up nicely. There is an OT that comes in and works with the whole class on sensory stuff
She has two other students that have "autistic-like" behavior.
She seems to have an understanding of autism and is sensitive to Boo's specific needs.
We're going to give it a try and see how it goes He should be able to start next week sometime (after we do an intake interview with the principal and the school psych and teacher).
There is a silver lining now
Aww, what a great meeting! I am so glad that it seems it might work out in Boo's advantage despite the initial IEP team.

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#16 of 16 Old 10-09-2008, 07:27 AM
 
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I am so sorry you are going through crappy school official stuff. But its AWESOME that his teacher understands! Now if you can get a good teacher next year, too, it might be okay!

They refuse to accept my son's medical diagnosis, either because Jayce has eye contact because he glanced briefly into the classroom coordinators eyes for a split second.

They psychologist said he could not have autism because he tested too well on a simple non-verbal test they gave him

So, I requested a copy of the educational autism criteria... and to my surprise, I found out that they did not even TEST jayce for autism based on that! I didn't fight it at the time, because he was admitted under "Developmental Delays", but if they ever say he doesn't qualify, then I'll have him re-tested by the school's expense.

Good luck with stuff!!!
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