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Backstory: My son is turning 4 at the end of this month. We knew there was a problem at age 2 1/2 when he had only 15 words. We knew there was something more at 3 when he wouldn't eat food unless I put it in the freezer so it was cold, and would have meltdowns where he was inconsolable for extended periods of time and had to be held to keep him from hurting himself. We are now trying to get him approved for the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) after a diagnosis of high functioning autism in August of this year.

With that said, we had an ARD evaluation after I contacted the school. Long story short the district is telling me that though he shows "defects" in social skills, and less so in the nonverbal area, his verbal skills are now too high to qualify as they say that to qualify for special education he has to meet their criteria in all three areas. I strongly disagree as they refused to accept my answers on the interview portion and kept attempting to qualify statements in such a way as to ensure they wouldn't meet the numbers needed to qualify, and his speech is only where it is after a year and a half of work on my part. They are also questioning his diagnosis and insisting that in their (2 hours) time with him, he "exhibited minimal symptoms" and when I told them that was a short period of time to be making a judgment on, went to asking me if I "wanted" him to be autistic and then when I bristled at that, back pedaling to the "well... see, there's a medical model and an educational model and he doesn't meet the educational model"  They referred to pre-K as an option but we don't qualify as he is not ESL and we apparently "make too much money" (which is laughable but there you go) to qualify in the state of Texas. The suggestion of the school district is that I let him go into a general kindergarten classroom and trust their "safeguards ad procedures" to identify and address whatever problems he has, and ignore the articulation problems that are still evident in his speech until their program will address them at age 7. Since I have been fighting with the school over my 7 year old's fine motor difficulties, asthma and ADHD for the last year and a half I do not precisely trust their procedures and safeguards. I also do not feel comfortable waiting til he is 7 to address his articulation problems.

Now that I am done explaining, I have already refused to accept their ARD evaluation and asserted my right to request an IEE.

Does anyone have any experience or advice with similar situations, or the ARD or IEE process, anywhere really but especially in Texas?

Originally posted to thelittlefyre on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Parenting on the Autism Spectrum and KosAbility.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Haven't dealt with this (7+ / 0-)

    specifically -- but contact the ARC (I can't remember what their new name is...).  They can give you guidance on where to go from here.

  •  Where are you in Texas? (14+ / 0-)

    There has to be a mediation process.  I know people have had luck bringing in independent testing services.

    Advocates and even attorneys could be useful.

    I'm in Austin, but my daughter is way down on the spectrum.  I've never had to fight to convince anyone there's a deficit so I'm not as familiar with that kind of fight.

    Don't despair.  You have options and paths forward.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:23:01 PM PST

  •  I'm don't, I'm sorry...but Tipped and rec'd... (13+ / 0-)

    so more eyes see it! Good Luck littlefire!

    Arrogance is ignorance matured.

    by jennyp on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:23:48 PM PST

  •  I would look for an advocate (11+ / 0-)

    who specializes in these things. I didn't need one, my school district was pretty cool.  

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:25:20 PM PST

  •  GET A LAWYER NOW. (15+ / 0-)

    Here in PA they have the PA Education Law Center, which is a nonprofit. It's a starting point, they give great advice ontheir site, even if it isn't TX. They have violated both your child's rights, and your rights as a caregiver. It's Friday night, right before Christmas break, so there's not much you can do for the next 5 days, except research... so first go to my blog, zizismom.com, on parenting with special needs and forget about reading the blog - just start reading the Awesome Parent Links that are on the side,and there's a link to the PA Ed. Law Center there.

    I have no idea what the laws are in TX, but somebody in your local Parent-2-Parent will be able to help you get started, even thought hey can't make recommendations or give any kind of legal advice.. for that, you need to network with other parents and get lawyer's names. You CAN do internet searches for private schools in your area (usually called "Independent Schools" in searches) for both learning disabilities like ADHD and for Autism spectrum.

    From this post, it looks like you actually have TWO children with diagnosed disabilities (ADHD is recognized as a disability and covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act) who are being denied access to their education, and so I'd say you at the very least need to get someone who can work as an advocate for your kids, and explain your rights to you FROM YOUR SIDE OF THE TABLE.

    Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:36:11 PM PST

    •  Are you an attorney? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Just wondering how you know that they have ' violated both your child's rights and your rights as a caregiver.'

      I am a special education teacher, in Texas, and I have some idea what the laws are in Texas. I would not dream of giving legal advice, much less from a thousand miles away.

      •  No, I'm "just a mom" (6+ / 0-)

        But I'm sure you guessed that as you weighed in with your impressive credentials, the ones that keep you from even dreaming of offering any solid, practical help to a desperate mother who at the very least has been treated abominably by her school district, but yet give you all the chutzpah you need to speak up to undermine the advice which was given from one parent to another.

        You can thank your colleagues in PA for all the reasons WHY I gave that advice, since they made it necessary for me to close up an incorporated business, and take on learning about, and fighting for, my child's education as my full-time job for 5 years.

        BTW, littlefire, once in a very long while, you find a REAL teacher, who truly cares, who is confined by her job but who is willing to literally walk outside the building, and cross the street, to talk to you honestly and give you the real deal on what the hell is going on and what your kid needs, even if it is off the record. Treasure them.

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:32:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From another "just a mom" who (6+ / 0-)

          had to deal with similar bullshit in Pa. a long time ago- it was remarkable how the professionals changed their attitudes once they knew we had hired an attorney. We wound up never even needing his services cause all of a sudden everything magically fell into place.

          Not to mention that "get a lawyer" is not legal advice, it's suggesting that someone get legal advice. And it's a great suggestion.

          •  For what its worth.. (7+ / 0-)

            I may be just a mom too, but I do know that Ive been pushed around, talked down to, and ignored for way too long. This district appears to be banking on the idea that I won't know what to do. (Which is why Im reaching out, I know enough to know I don't have to just accept this .. I just don't know what steps to take)..  What I will never understand is why so many teachers and administrators seem determined to see us parents as enemies and fight us rather than working with us

            His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

            by littlefire on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:29:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep. (6+ / 0-)

              That's the point of me saying, I'm "just a mom"... I'm THE  expert on my kid. I'm the hub of all information and communication for the whole support team that treats her. I've actually had the psychologist, in front of me, tell someone else that I know as much as any PhD at this point on her issues... and I sure as hell have clocked thousands of hours more "field time" than anyone else on her team.

              NEVER let some suit tell you who your kid is or what they have in terms of ability or potential.

              Best video I've seen is this. I disagree with the part he goes on about ADHD being an made-up epidemic, - I have an ADHD kid with a chromosome deletion to prove it -  but otherwise... the video nails it.

              Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

              by Cinnamon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:37:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Are you dealing with a local school district? (9+ / 0-)

    Sometimes Universities have programs to help in diagnosis and treatment way beyond what is offered to the general public.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:54:53 PM PST

  •  Bring a witness--and a tape recorder--to (11+ / 0-)

    every meeting with the school district, and start taking notes. It sounds like the school district may be trying to avoid having to spend the money it will take in order to provide your child with services. You are "new" at this, so they may think they can more easily get away with giving you the run around. They are less likely to try to pull funny business if they are being tape recorded--it has an amazing way of changing their attitude.

    I had to deal with this sort of thing when I lived in Tennessee. (We moved, and are in a much better school district now.)

    Here is a list of different special ed advocacy organizations on the TOPAA.org website.  Link They should be able to direct you to an organization that can help you. You have a legal right to bring an advocate with you to your child's IEP meetings.

    Hope this helps--and good luck.

    •  Yes! A witness is crucial (5+ / 0-)

      Preferably an "expert."My sons are 33 and 30 now, but I still have nightmares occasionally.  Individual education plans are expensive to implement, so they try to wiggle out of them whenever possible, especially for kids that look like they might be able to be swept along for a few years before the deficits are too noticeable.  They usually shape right up when confronted by someone they see as an authority, or even just a neutral witness.  

      I also agree that private testing can be worthwhile if you can afford it.  

      The past 50 years we: -Ended Jim Crow. -Enacted the Voting Rights Act. -Attained reproductive rights (contraceptive & abortion). -Moved toward pay equity. Republicans want to take our country back. I WON'T GO BACK!

      by petesmom on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:36:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I was closer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tonyahky

        I'd show up for one of them. I'm not an expert but there are several school districts in Florida that were quickly fearing me LOL. I helped a few people locally with similar issues over the years. Plus I'm an OTA which may give me some umph.

        But I agree, she needs a witness, someone with a relevant professional field if possible. If not maybe another parent who's been there (and if the school district knows them all the better).

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:49:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  this has been helpful: (7+ / 0-)

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 04:29:35 PM PST

  •  Check your kosmail (6+ / 0-)

    I had an idea you might want to follow up.  :)

    "Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

    by KelleyRN2 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 04:30:55 PM PST

    •  littlefire (3+ / 0-)

      If you can't figure out how to access Kosmail, call me and I'll talk you through it. Trust me, you want to see a mail from Nurse Kelley :).

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:00:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why, thank you, Ma'am! (3+ / 0-)

        I merely referred him to left over flower child, our resident expert on making things work in Texas education.

        "Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

        by KelleyRN2 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:04:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ((Nurse Kelley)) (4+ / 0-)

          little fire is a female though, for the record. Single mom of two. And next summer, if things work out, she may be teaching Draco how to drive lol. She's one of the few I know can handle him and keep him calm so he can learn. I don't have a car or a license.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:23:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Draco is going to be driving? (3+ / 0-)

            That could be an interesting learning curve. It's better that someone outside the family teach him! I taught my dyslexic son how to drive, and it wasn't pretty at all....

            "Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

            by KelleyRN2 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:36:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Given we can get him through his permit test (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KelleyRN2, bigjacbigjacbigjac

              And we can get him to Texas for a couple of weeks to get started, yes. We trust littlefire, and just as importantly Draco trusts her. She handled him when he was young and much more violent and difficult than he is now. I know she can stay calm and keep him calm and teach him right.

              With Draco if you get panicky, frustrated, or upset he will be too. He picks up on emotions and it affects his emotions.

              "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

              by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:46:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  My child's school district did not want to spend (8+ / 0-)

    the time or money needed to insure school success.  Once I realized they were trying to avoid implementing the pediatric neurologist's recommendations, I found a lawyer who specialized in educational law.  She went to three meetings and I never had another problem, and at graduation there were honor cords around my child's neck.

    Well worth the money to scare the school district.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:07:36 PM PST

  •  I can't give relevant advice (5+ / 0-)

    but can tip and rec so more eyes see it. Good luck.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:33:29 PM PST

  •  I am so sorry (3+ / 0-)

    I have nothing specific to add except
    to trust your gut that he needs services NOW

    Speech develops early. Seems to me the earlier problems are corrected or aided the better the outcome. (i worked with early intervention kids with many different kinds of issues and am amazed at the progress they make that young)

    Since you are not mired in abject poverty, I surmise, but not rich either, you might investigate getting a STUDENT to try to work with your son if you can't find ANY other sort of program he'd be eligible for. If you have a university with a (grad) program in speech/language pathology speech therapy etc you might be able to find somone. You could call the shchool see if they have a program even.

    Big hospitals that treat kids have speech/language pathology and occupatioal therapy etc. Probably you know this but the people at the children's hospital would know of any programs (social services perhaps would know if there isn't a speech dept at the hospital itself). That dept would have social workers who could tell you what people of your income level could do. He may need OT as well.

    The younger you can get services for kids the better. Some parents who can afford it hire private therapists.

    I am sure you will get better advice and I don't have time to read what you already got but wanted to say what I know just in case.

    Autistic kids in my area can go to Children's Hospital get diagnosis and then treatment through them...outpatient PT OT speech or they connect you with services. If you do not have the "medical" dx, try to get in. In my area that would trump the assesment of the educational system. Wouldn't allow them to say your son doesn't need help.

    Time matters for autistic spectrum kids. I hope you can get him one on one floor therapy or ABA (applied behavioral analysis) if they (medical) think it would help. Some kids can be quite affected and ABA jumps them ahead. Need to go into grade school with behavioral issues and reactions and communication as under control and as good as possible so they can learn optimally and not fall behind educationally or socially. Cann't make up for lost first few grades sometimes

    •  The frustration is (in part) (4+ / 0-)

      because we DO have the medical dx. School is arguing that for special education services he can have a medical dx and still not meed educational model criteria.

      His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

      by littlefire on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you joined the Autism Awareness (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, bigjacbigjacbigjac

        groups yet? Especially on Facebook, they are constantly posting good articles, stories from other parents, and will help you to connect with the community so you aren't feeling alone and isolated.

        Having a network of peers who are all "been there, done that" helps enormously... it's one of the things I cherish most about my kid's school - we're all in the same boat, even with different diagnoses, so when we do things together with our kids, everyone gets it, no need to apologize or smooth things over, we're all copacetic.

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:48:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  how infuriating! (4+ / 0-)

        sorry I missed that.
        they think themselves more knowelgable than a doctor.

        Can medical people review the educational people's conclusions and say they are not adequate? Is there a way you can dispute their conclussions or appeal? (sorry if I missed that as well just racking my brain....) Are you clear on exactly why they think (or say) he does not need help...ie are you crystal clear exactly what criterea he'd need to have shown to GET help and that he in most times DOES meet that critera and that their snapshot just didn't capture it? Of course you have to keep coming from the place of ...you just didn't see it. Have to come from the place that their criteria are correct. Are you clear o what their critera are?
        are their superiors to go to beggingly but respectfully remiding them that autistic spectrum kids fall behind if things aren't addressed early (have references in your letter siting that) and that you KNOW your son meets their criteria but for some reason he DID NOT in that snapshot. Say that private help is far beyond your means (if it is) and as his parent you feel you MUST advocate for him because his very life's quality is at stake because of his age.

        Probably you've done this beseaching already...was wondering if there is someone above who can overturn decisions that you can write to.
        Many if not most who get into these fields we have to remember originally do so because they care about kids and want to help. Even if they become worn out and jaded (as often happens by sheer volume of what they do and sheer number and how so many parents seem to put their kid first or are entitled they think everyone is coming from that place). If there is a person not yet beseached your words might be able to reach that person and tweek that part of them that wants to help and does not want to KNOW that some kid IS unfairly being denied services by their organization.

        best of luck for you. It could really be that this is one of those Y points in a child's developement where he could go in one on direction or another (say that) that organization those services could literally be the key for him having fullest life possible (flattery but possibly true) You are SURE they did not get a good snapshot (if so) of your son.

        if you are absolutely sure your son needs services and understand the exact details of what they would have to see to deny them you will be in best position. Have to act AS IF their process of evel was valid. See, when you point out they only got a snapshot for two hrs it's not enough that hooks egos because that's how they evalutate EVERYONE so if they were to grant you that they'd have to admit their eval process was not workign well and that many kids might fall through. They prefer to think that YOU are mistaken not their process. IF you instead say that you thinnk they missed things becuase in those two hrs the child happened not to show his problems maybe they'd hear you...if it's not too late

        sorry if this isn't useful just ignore me. I love kids and work with them. I see other people's kids on one of those Y junctures or what could be one I feel a sense of urgency. When people have speech or OT jobs where they see a lot of clients (MDs can be like this too I worked in healthcare) their jobs seem routine and they forgte the urgency for any one child a bit I think unless you can break through to them

        •  I'm disputing on the basis (4+ / 0-)

          of social skills and nonverbal on that basis, that I feel he DOES meet the criteria but it just didn't show clearly enough during the evaluation. Where I'm stuck on is speech, they refuse to accept the fact that he was a late talker and even now has articulation problems as qualifications and insist that he isnt far enough behind to qualify in the verbal section. What I don't understand is why they say it has to be all three to get assistance... Im going to try their director of special services which is apparently the next level up

          His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

          by littlefire on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:33:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, this problem isn't uncommon. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, Cinnamon

            I've heard of several instances where therapies are working well, then the school wants to claim there is no more 'demonstrated need' for continued services.

            The hardest thing is that they tell you they care about students, & they really don't & you can't make them. And they lie way too often.

            I also second the use of tape recorders for ANY talking to school personnel - tell them ahead of time. If they don't consent, don't talk - schedule an official meeting, where they can't refuse with prior notification.

            I had to threaten to bring an attorney & sue; other parents have had to go to civil damages against the district for job loss (time away from work to deal with melt downs, medical costs, etc.) everything you can think of.

            In CA we have Protection & Advocacy to help parent s & families, I don't know bout TX. I do know one family that moved because they could get no services in TX for their low functioning child in the 1990s.

            I don't know if this link will help, http://www.tea.state.tx.us/...  

            but it will definitely get you used to terminology. When I had to advocate, knowing the terminology was a powerful weapon - they hate when you can force them to act with their own language.

            Best of luck & remember to take care of yourself as the battle is a long one.
            Also, parent support groups are golden.

            Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

            by CA wildwoman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:35:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  now that sounds like BS -- is it Aldine ISD, (0+ / 0-)

        by chance?

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:52:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          Its Tomball ISD.. which generally has a decent reputation.. for everything EXCEPT special education services.. for reasons I am not becoming familiar with it would seem.

          His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

          by littlefire on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:47:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aldine's budget's still in recovery (0+ / 0-)

            from having to gut and rebuild several buildings after Allison flooded the universe down there ... that's way before Rita / Katrina / Ike ...

            Tomball. Hmm.

             How far are you from Houston's Medical District?

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:09:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1

              about 45 mins to an hour from the Med Center, (I know cause thats where my older child's pulmonologist is and I have to take her to Texas Children's a couple of times a year

              His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

              by littlefire on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:51:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, so you know the area well. Can you ask (0+ / 0-)

                your other child's pulmonologist who they'd recommend to do a baseline exam with this child? You're not looking for a doctor -- you're looking for an evaluator ... a therapist or behaviorist.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:58:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  some autism spectrum people & families (3+ / 0-)

    Follow me on Twitter, so I'll post there (as well as  tip/rec) in case they might have info for you.

    Pe'Sla isn't safe until the loan is paid off. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe could use some help with that.

    by Kay Observer2 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:50:28 PM PST

  •  See Littlefire (3+ / 0-)

    I told you someone here would have more local information that I do.

    For the record, Littlefire is a r/l friend of mine. She lived with us for a few years when Draco was younger, so we've been talking a lot about this. But while I know Florida pretty well, I don't know Texas. She's been with me while I was dealing with Draco's elementary education, so while the school district may think she's new to this, she does have some idea of her rights. She's just having trouble getting those rights enforced (as so many of us do).

    Her four year old and my Draco are SO similar as well. Except she was able to boost him ahead in several areas already using experience she gained with Draco.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:55:37 PM PST

  •  As a follow up (6+ / 0-)

    I did find a private ST/OT that will take our insurance so I am pursuing that. After Christmas, I think I will check in with ARC and see if I can't get some help with finding an advocate that I might be able to actually afford.

    District says I have to contact special services director to push the IEE. I admit though, I have little to no familiarity with this process?

    His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

    by littlefire on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:44:11 PM PST

  •  rec'd and tipped for visibility (3+ / 0-)

    I hope you get some good advice.  The generousity of DKos members to connect and help others here is UNIQUE and precious.  Its why I feel a part of this community eve
    n when we dont see eye to eye, but I know we care and always share our strengths and experiance togrther wherenthrpe rubber meets the road.

    The personal is the political thats what i learned from ny sisters and brothers Nd never forget.

    I wish you the best,my sister had to face down her local school system to defend and resolve for my nephew so he would not wind up drugged for thier convenience,

    I have no advice for you, but just encouragement.  FYI my nephew has grown up to be a spectacular and productive indidividual, thanks to my sister.  

    You know whats best for your child more than anyone else.  Bless you.

    I don't know who you are, but maybe you will see this. Thank You for gifting me a subscription. Wow! Thank you!

    by Frisbeetarian on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:40:48 PM PST

  •  From Personal Observations (3+ / 0-)

    of friends of mine who have children on the Autistic spectrum, your instincts are very sound; the earlier the intervention the more success your son will have as he grows and matures.  And you are right that NOW is the age to intervene not 2 years from now.  

    fight on and don't take no for an answer.  As others have said already, it sure sounds like someone in that school district see's themselves as a gate keeper and not as a helper of children.  granted money is tight these days in many school districts across the country, however, those of us in public service need to remember that we are here to serve the public; that we are not servants of the agencies or department administrations but of the public.  

     

    Life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be experienced.

    by DarkHawk98 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:04:49 PM PST

    •  If they put as much $$ and effort into helping (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Cinnamon

      as they do into preventing help, there would be enough time & money to help kids with needed services.

      I like your 'gatekeeper' term - I used to envision the trolls under the bridge (or the GAP Troll from MAD TV.)

      Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

      by CA wildwoman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:44:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My dear littlefire, I watched and listened (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Cinnamon

    to the video posted by cinnamon,
    and it supported what I want to say
    on this subject.

    I'm now 57,
    and when I was a small child,
    as far as I know,
    no one,
    at least no one in my world,
    was diagnosing anyone
    with autism spectrum.

    But I feel as if
    I have high functioning autism,
    or aspergers,
    or obsessive compulsive personality disorder,
    or bi-polar,
    or whatever you feel like calling it.

    I've been diagnosed
    with a mild version of bi-polar disorder,
    but I feel these things are all in one package.

    Look at the way I write;
    I'm so stuck on this free verse style,
    I can't write any other way.

    I do this to force my readers
    to pause
    when I want them to pause.

    My point is,
    even though I may be way different
    than your children,
    and all the experts agree,
    get special help,
    special methods of educating them,
    the sooner the better.....

    Yet I've always felt the opposite.

    I've always felt that,
    even though I could not stand
    to miss a day of school;
    I felt left out!
    but mandatory school
    has always seemed like a big mistake.

    Looking back,
    I feel that if someone had given me
    really short articles,
    describing the nature
    and purpose
    of each field of study,
    and then set aside quiet time
    at a library study carol,
    with access to a big library,
    of books and magazines,
    maybe I would have gone far,
    in a few subjects,
    or maybe many.

    I'm smarter than average,
    and I did well enough,
    but I got lazy
    towards the last years of high school.

    I'm trying to reassure you
    that even if the school does nothing different
    for either of your children,
    they might be okay.

    Nothing unusual was done for me,
    back when John Kennedy was shot,
    and I was in third grade.

    And I'm okay.

    Of course,
    I did spend 30 years
    married to a woman
    who was born disabled.

    Many folks might think
    that was retarded
    (I know that's a bad word,
    I'm being cynical,
    fishing for a pat on the back....)
    but I'm okay now.

    My second wife,
    Tonia,
    takes care of me.

    However,
    I still have fits,
    crying for a long time,
    worried about little things.

    I'm still a child.

    But I have a good time,
    in my face to face world,
    and here at Daily Kos.

    So,
    take a deep breath,
    and remember,
    your kids might turn out okay,
    even without any special treatment.

    But libraries,
    and magazines,
    and newspapers,
    and Daily Kos,
    these things truly give folks
    and education.

    Get them into those things,
    as soon as possible.

    Sorry if you think my ideas are worthless,
    since I have no children;
    just thinking of my own childhood.

    •  Far from worthless (0+ / 0-)

      Any time I've met a teen or adult who's had ANY of the diagnoses my daughter has, I ask them for advice - what works, what doesn't, what were later years for them like (the ones that still lay ahead of us). Things like playing sports, driving a car, and taking meds vs. being able to go out pub crawling when they got to college... the best people to learn from are the ones who've lived it.

      Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

      by Cinnamon on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I second the far from worthless bit (0+ / 0-)

      in fact, even if your comment did nothing else, hearing from adults who navigated the system with diagnoses like my children's it gives me hope. It can be easy to fall into thinking that there isn't any hope, but then I see things that reassure me that it does get better, it does get easier. Parents who walked this same road before me, and their now older teens or grown children are an invaluable resource for ideas, suggestions and hope that it can be done.

      His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

      by littlefire on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:02:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay...I'm an advocate in Texas... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KelleyRN2, melo

    First, Texas has one of the largest autism activist groups in America--The Autism Society.

    Texas Autism Greater Austin...I know it's Austin and you're in Houston but they'll know where to send you or at the very least know where you'll find contact people.

    Contact Partners Resource Network. They're a parent advocate agency set up through IDEA and other funding organizations. You'll find other parents you have been where you are. There is nothing like a veteran parent to help you find your way through the special education maze.

    And the ARC of Texas...There is a large support group of parents in the Autism Spectrum Support Group in just about every major city in Texas. The ARC should be able to help you find that info.

    As to why the district is fighting you and questioning the diagnosis--The answer is two fold. You didn't mention the Early Childhood Intervention program or ECI, which is the program set up to find children ages birth through3 years and identify them as having special needs challenges. Districts in Texas are notorious for fighting against a diagnosis that didn't originate with a program. It's always been that way. Second, autism in Texas is an expensive label and the districts know this. The autism support groups in Texas have lobbied successfully to get all kinds of services other disability areas have not been able to secure. So the districts will do all they can to stop that diagnosis if possible.

    You are within your rights to ask for testing though the school by an outside professional, the catch is they have to agree to the professional. The autism support groups mentioned should be able to best advise you on this matter.

    I'm pulling for you and your little one. This is not an easy task, but it can be done. If there is anything else I can help you with, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Good Luck!

    Aisha Taylor on meeting Barack Obama..."He smells like cookies.....and freedom"

    by left over flower child on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:47:17 AM PST

    •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

      Will definitely follow up on the groups you've mentioned after Christmas. You are correct, he was never an ECI client.  

      His fire, their mommy. I never wanted to be different, I just wanted to be me.

      by littlefire on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:17:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are most welcome.... (0+ / 0-)

        It's a difficult maze to navigate to be sure with all the twists and turns and misconceptions out there...ARD's IEP's FAPE LRE...Acronym soup abounds in this world, but you're not alone...I've sent my contact info via kosmail...If I can be of help, I'm happy to do so.

        Aisha Taylor on meeting Barack Obama..."He smells like cookies.....and freedom"

        by left over flower child on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:23:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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