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Does Special Education ALWAYS mean "Special"?

660 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Tinkerszs
My DD is very gifted. I know that a lot of parents say that, but she's been reading since she was almost 4 and is currently working on her multiplication. I don't force her, but I don't want to hinder her either.
The problem here is this:
She is in 1st grade in public school and the teacher can't deal with her. Nobody at the school seems to be able to. She is very active (presumed ADHD) and extremely BORED. I've had several conversations with the teacher, as well as the principal, counselor, and school psychologist. They all agree that she's bright but they aren't willing to do anything to help her succeed. I've explained numerous times that she acts up because she is looking for attention, and a better education. One-on-one, she's GREAT. They all tell me that (like I didn't know), but in a classroom setting she's disruptive. She comes home from school every day telling me how she didn't learn anything. She's bored. Seriously, in first grade a child should not hate school. The other kids pick on her and she has very few friends.
The school's new answer to this is to put her in a Special Education class. To me, that doesn't seem like the answer. I've don't know much about SE classes now, but I do remember that when I was in school, the "Room 3" kids were segregated from the rest of the school. They ate lunch alone, had recess alone and never really ventured from their classroom. They were looked down upon and it made me sad. I befriended some of the kids, but I rarely got to see them.
All that aside though, are they trying to say that they think something is "wrong" with DD? Will SE really help her or will it make things worse?
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If you're lucky enough to be in an area where gifted ed. is treated as special ed- thank your lucky stars

Take a look at what they're offering- ask how they will meet your daughter's needs.

good luck!

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Is this a pull out TAG class or a class for children with learning disabilities? That is the first thing you need to find out. Since TAG is not funded in Oregon I seriously doubt they have a pull out TAG class. I think they are addressing her behavior problems and nothing else.

DH was like that.. they kept him in remedial classes because he was disruptive but no one bothered to realize or care that he was disruptive because he was bored. I also think he had undiagnosed ADD.. possibly ADHD.

Do NOT let them force her into a box. The first thing you need is to demand a 504. If they think she has ADHD get her diagnosed.. then you can get it written her 504 that they need to TEACH her. (pst schools can't force you to put her on drugs either.)

Have they tested her for TAG? They tested in first grade for DD who is now in 5th.

I can't remember which major west side city you are in.. but check into their TAG programs with the district. If the school is unwilling to help you, you may need to talk to the district to get her needs meet.

Good luck. I know what a PIA it is to deal with this.
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Thanks Tina. They did/are going to test her for TAG. They've done other tests and she's scored in the top 10 percent on all of them. Some even in the top 1 percent. I don't know what it is that they are trying to do for her, but they called it a "Special Education Team". I'm trying to find out more, but all they're doing is trying to force me into going to one of their meetings. Of course the meetings are all at a time when it would be impossible for me to be there. DD's teacher at least is trying to see if they could have my kids play in a classroom or something while I'm at the meeting. Otherwise, there is no way I could do it.
Oh, and as far as what city, didn't my location give it away?
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Originally Posted by RainbowEarthFaerie View Post
Oh, and as far as what city, didn't my location give it away?

I thought you were in the other one.

And yea.. those meetings are all after school so the teacher can be in on it. I have been offered before school meetings however. (yea right I barely get my kids to school on time as it is!) Maybe you can do an early one and have DH watch the kids. He is still working swing right?
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Yeah, he's still working swing, but it's hard enough for me to get up and get her to the bus in the morning. I don't think I could be up, showered and ready for a meeting by 7. I share the swingshift hours. I don't go to bed until 2 or
I think it could help her in a way. My ds' class is 1st through 3rd grades. He is in 1st and learns somethings at a higher grade level type of thing while somethings are easier for him. He is about at an early kindergarten level in reading and language skills while at grade level in math. His placement in special education has much more to do with his learning style and disabilities than his actual academic level. He is however learning a whole lot and is pushed in some ways more than a traditional 1st grader. His teacher can cater to him more and help him with his actual learning style. Also there are 14 kids with a teacher, an aide , and various therapists and student teachers helping in the class. Much more one on one.

I would listen to what they have to offer. At the very least the special ed teacher would have a much better understanding of how to deal with a child with adhd and how to teach them to be able to learn in a classroom setting. They would be much less likely to be totally frustrated with the situation. Also my child's class is when the regular primary classrooms. They eat with all the other kids, have assemblies and recess with them. In fact many times my kid eats lunch with the next door neighbors who are both a typical kindergartener and first grader who seems pretty bright.
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Hi there! I was going to move this to the Parenting the Gifted Child forum here, but it is really an educational/school question. Supervee linked you there, just so you are aware. I think there are very particular struggles that come up with gifted children so you might want to hang out over there to get some good ideas!

In many districts gifted education and services are the first thing to be cut when budgets are in trouble, because these services are not mandated, the way serving developmental delays and learning impairments are mandated. That is why it was said to be thankful that the school district still views this as something to be addressed through the existing processes.

It seems to make sense to go through the process to see what is offered. I supposed you could always decline their offerings later if it doesn't seem like a good fit for your daughter.
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My advice is to ask them what they propose and try it for 6 weeks. Many times a Special Ed Team deals with "special ed" kids but they are also the team that deals with other issues, such as the one you described with your daughter. I also would reccommend the 504 route. You'll need a medical ADHD diagnosis from your dr first. But the 504 will give her some protection and some benefits.
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