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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS has been struggling in school and had concerned teachers bringing this up at conferences, on report cards, and of course it can be seen in his grades since Kindergarten (actually prior to this, in PreK both years as well). He is now 9, in fourth grade. After exhaustive consultations and evaluations over the course of many years with all kinds of specialists (with private insurance or out of pocket) he was diagnosed a year ago with PDD NOS (comorbid disorders GAD and SPD). Last year he spent countless hours in ISS for work refusal. He was denied an IEP because his test scores and grades supposedly are high enough that he does not qualify? He gets a mix of As and Fs, his grades have always been all over the map- some subjects he can excel in some he will struggle in and sometimes they cross over. He got a 504 with small group testing accommodation and another BIP. BIPs have never been effective, he reacts as a child of trauma- unable to function at that level; on the days he is good he does great, on the days he does poorly he can not get it together for anything. Administration feels he needs a firm hand at home, essentially fix him and bring him back. They also boldly suggested he might need medication to help make him more compliant in school, other than his anti-anxiety and asked if they could contact his doctor directly. He has never seen the school psychologist or school social worker, nor has she been to any of our meetings for anything including 504 or IEP. He does not see the school counselor other than to briefly discuss his BIP, a few moments a month.

Today I got a call to come get him right away for an emergency, I left work and rushed over to find him sitting sullenly in the office. "He refused to get on the bus, had an EPIC meltdown!" the principal told me with flourish. What does that mean? "His teacher couldn't handle him and the school counselor and VP had to come and restrain him. We can't let him on a bus acting like that, they don't have separate facilities for that kind of thing." Wait- what kind of thing? I am unclear as to what happened- can we go into your office and discuss this (all eyes on me..oh hi all front office staff and various parents and teachers)? "Nope. He's all yours now! Sorry!" Are you effing kidding me? You called me for an epic meltdown and you give me no explanation, no accounting of the incident? DS said he was just crying and saying he didn't want to go on the bus- but why can't a school counselor handle that? Also, they know STBXH and I are going through a divorce and I have a RO at this point so perhaps taking a moment to talk to him would be an alternate course of action?

I think TDT- Theraputic Day Treatment would be a great aid for him but it is only available to Medicaid recipients. I am working through the court system to try and get it through an alternate funding source, its a long process, which is OK, but at the very cusp of victory it appears it may again be out of reach. Tomorrow I meet with the Family Advocacy Planning Team to discuss an intervention plan for my son.

What sort of accommodations have you been able to receive for your child with these types of difficulties? What can you do with a school that seems to be unwilling to work with you? Administrators have at times refused to say hello or wave to me, I guess because they are unhappy with my son's behavior...or maybe because they disapprove of my lifestyle choices..like choosing my POS husband to up and roll out, choosing to have a special needs son with EPIC meltdowns, choosing to file a RO against that nice man who agreed with our stance on corporal punishment. Sorry, I digress..anyway, my son is flailing, his teacher is at a loss- they are seeming very much out on their own without any support. I have him in therapy, tutoring, and occupational therapy and he wanted to do soccer...which actually helps keep him calm and mellow and promotes important social interaction. I can't DO anything else other than quit my job and try to sit under his desk and keep him regulated and organized. All said, this doesn't mean its easy at home either- he lets lose with the really bad stuff at home, I would love to show them what an epic fucking meltdown really looks like.
 

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I think you need to hire an advocate and threaten them with court. I'm not sure how to find a good advocate in your area. Often they are paralegals who are interested in special education for some reason, and will do the leg work and speak at meetings (for a price). But they don't even want to try.


Do you have records of how much time this year and last he spent in ISS? I'd start by requesting them. IMHO they are denying him an education in the least restrictive environment. Autism is a classification of eligibility for an IEP, and IEPs are for students who special needs interfere with their learning, which his clearly does. I think that ISS is far more restrictive than a self contained classroom.


Did the school provide you with information on how to appeal their decisions? They are supposed to at least offer you the information.


I think that Wrights law is the best source of info on the net: http://wrightslaw.com/ but it is a huge site and it can take some time to find what you need.


I'm so sorry you are going through this. Kids with high functioning autism are super difficult to help make successful in a school environment. I have a DD with autism who is now in college -- life has gotten better. I now work as a special ed. teacher and advocate, and even though I understand autism (as much as anyone can) and deeply care about my students, it is still very difficult to figure out how to accommodate and modify to make things work. Few people who work in schools have any idea what sensory issues are or how they work, and I know that for my DD, many of her problematic behaviors (which never responded to rewards or consequences) were related to her inability to cope with sensory input.


There are parents who've gone to court and been able to force school districts to pay for private therapeutic school for their children after the district failed to provide the child with an appropriate education. Its difficult to do, but it does happen.
 

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You need to find a different school. Something is really strange about the way the teachers/staff are reacting to your child.

Is there any autism groups in your area? Find out which schools have a good reputations for dealing with special needs kids.

I was going to say Good Luck with the meeting--I guess that was today? How did it go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The meeting went great- there were, geeze, maybe 10 community professionals and they seemed very, well, kind and understanding, sympathetic to my cause. They agreed with the interventions that we asked for at home and school. It felt great to have this small victory. I am going to request for another 504 meeting as well.
 
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:grin:Awesome! So does that mean that this Family Advocacy Group will be talking to the school and/or supporting you at the next 504 meeting?

And, geez how daunting--a meeting with 10 professional strangers! LOL I hope you didn't have to go alone!
 
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