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Our son recently completed an O.S.S for dislocating his teacher's knee.

He is autistic.

Of course, autism is no excuse, and I do not seek to excuse his behavior. He understands that what he did is wrong. He was saddened and distressed when I explained why he could not attend school last week, and apologized to his teacher on Monday.

The educational side of the school understands this, and says they will not hold his actions against him. The only reason an O.S.S was given was because the teacher had to go to the doctor for the injury. Again, I have no issue with this. Andrew understands what he did is wrong.

However, I believe the fault lies mainly with the school's Special Services Department, and I will explain why after the fold.

When Andrew was first admitted to school, the SSD assured us that they would get him assessed for what was (to us) obviously autism. Three weeks later, the results were in; Touchpoint had allegedly come in and "ruled out Autism", preferring instead to label it a "Sound System Disorder". Andrew was, at that time, functionally mute.

My wife has a doctorate in Psychology; she has the education to know that "Sound System Disorder" is 100% meaningless. It's akin to diagnosing spina bifida as a "walking system disorder", or PTSD as a "worrying disorder". In one sense it describes a symptom of the disorder, but in no way has any explanatory power in treating the problem.

Still, we went along with it, mindful that an educational diagnosis would be different from a psychological one. And Andrew progressed, improved, made huge strides.

In December, my wife and I finally obtained a medical diagnosis of what we expected all along; Autism Spectrum Disorder. We duly passed it along to the school and they did precisely; nothing.

The IEP was not amended. The paras assigned him received no special instruction. Nothing. All that happened was a rider on his IEP saying that his primary diagnosis was now ASD, but they still stood by the (now secondary) diagnosis of "Sound System Disorder"

Worse still, when we contacted Touchpoint to arrange a formal assessment for the summer, they had no knowledge of Andrew at all. They had never assessed him at any point. The school, basically, lied to us.

Nice.

Worse still, the attitude of the paras and staff has changed since getting he formal diagnosis. They became more standoffish, more distant. Instead of animatedly discussing Andrew's day with us and him when we collected him from school they shoved him towards us with a muttered "here; bye."

What the hell is going on?

Then Andrew's grandmother died. Naturally, he began to act out; pushing, yelling, hitting. And their solution? Again, do nothing. Let it fester until it erupted in the kicking incident.

At the last IEP meeting on Monday, the staff assured us they would give Andrew a "dedicated" para for 100% of his school hours; we're waiting to see if this happens.

Andrew is smart, sensitive and kind. He only resorts to pushing if you are in his bubble or he feels unwell or threatened. We simply don't know what's going on with him at school, but it seems that the SSD at his school is so concerned with championing him as their poster-child for "most improved" (as they actually do; every time State regulators come, they trot him out as their standard-bearer), his actual care is suffering.

We don't want to damage our relationship with the school, and we are pursuing other avenues (including sending him to the local Catholic School who have already assured us they will be able to get all the resources he needs through the Knights of Columbus and the Diocese), but 'till then, it seems Andrew is stuck, as with so much in his life, in a situation not of his making.

The point of this diary? A rant, perhaps. Or another tale to add to the woeful state of Special Education in this country. Take your pick. It seems the list of victims is increasing, and God help me, Andrew will not be one of them.

Originally posted to Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Parenting on the Autism Spectrum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When the school ignored me and my child's doctor, (17+ / 0-)

    they got to meet with my lawyer, who was a specialist in educational law.  Two meetings, problem solved.  

    Once they discovered I was serious about insuring that my child received the best possible outcome, which could have included schooling at a residential specialty school, they became cooperative and on graduation day, there were honor chords and scholarships.

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

    by weck on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:29:05 AM PDT

  •  We had a similar problem with the schools at first (9+ / 0-)

    You have my sympathies.

    The  county used the PDD bucket to categorize our son until we paid out of pocket to take him to Childrens Hospital where he received a formal diagnosis as Autistic. He is almost completely non verbal.

    We are lucky, our son does not strike out and is very laid back (relative to the autism world) and thus adapts to changes better than many of his peers. He also is adept at simply tuning out many of the distractions of life (although is it very hard to enter his world when he is there).

    I have always joked that if the definition of cool is not caring how others think then my son is the coolest cat in the world.

    I wish I had more advice beyond keep advocating for your son. I wish you luck and perseverance.

    When I see pictures of Tea Party events all I see are 60 somethings, when I see pictures of Occupy Wall Street all I see are 20 somethings... attrition is our ally.

    by Loudoun County Dem on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:34:01 AM PDT

    •  Thanks LCD... (6+ / 0-)

      We're lucky we found a child psychiatrist who would work with Andrew in time, although he initially questioned the lateness of the diagnosis, which we don't begrudge. No, it was not denial, doctor; it was a complete lack of support from the local healthcare and educational systems.

      He was appalled when he found out how Andrew had been treated, and has positioned himself to be Andrew's medical advocate in any and all proceedings that may follow. He's great.

      Andrew does not usually act out physically; he, too, is very laid back, and incredibly adaptable, not simply for an autistic child, but for an eight-year-old in general. In many ways, he's more adaptable than his NT ten-year-old brother! That's why this sudden change was so concerning to us, especially considering his progress in signing and using his Springboard speech system, as well as in his articulation generally.

      Thanks for your kindness! :)

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sorry to hear of your problems (5+ / 0-)

    It does highlight one of the problems with how we approach mental illness in this country where to receive certain services you must have certain Dx and if you cannot find a health professional willing to use that label, then you are screwed.

    Example in point: in dealing with AD, the MMSE is correct 90% of the time when AD is present but is only correct 50% of the time when AD is not present.  Therefore, Alzheimer's is a convenient label for any number of seizure disorders, perhaps as many as 50 discrete syndromes which we poorly understand.  The problem is a Dx of AD instead of one of the other multitudinous possibilities mean your choice of services is limited as you are restricted to the AD menu.

    I wish you good fortune with your IEP.  From personal experience with my own children, I know that a good IEP can be the difference between success and failure for your child  

  •  My two oldest kids..... (6+ / 0-)

    We had a hell of a time getting any designation.

    And the schools insist they cannot get any extra funding for supports if they don't have one.

    So off we go to the specialists. Years of wait lists, they never see the kids in their natural setting, always in an office for an hour in the city.

    By the time we got to these appointments the kids had already been traveling for three hours, often getting them out of bed by 4am to make a ferry. LOL.
    What can possibly go wrong with that?

    Ever have your kid set off the fire alarms at a major hospital?
    :)

    ANYhoo.
    My oldest, he is a brilliant young man. Honours student now, Deans list at University. Working part time to pay for that so he doesn't get into debt.
    Socially? Well. Yanno.
    I always thought autism spectrum, most people that have dealt with him agree.
    They said OCD instead (which does overlap) and the plan was to give him meds over actual supports. The school was of no help.  
    And so it goes. He was never medicated, but he has had to work harder. Luckily he's pretty driven and focused. Downside: too much.

    He was unable to speak really until age five. Started school a year later, and that was my call. I kept him in the child care centre instead, fabulous place. He got an extra year to just learn social skills and routines. The ladies there worked hard to get him ready enough to start kindergarten.

    Do not get me started on what happened with my oldest daughter however. That is never going to be a success story. She was pre-expelled (as I call it)  in grade 3, and was not allowed back until she was medicated. They labeled her as "moderately mentally handicapped".  What does that mean you ask? No one knows. Just something they said so they could warehouse her elsewhere.

    Shes also brilliant. And probably autism spectrum too.

    The system sucks.
    And I live in Canada. The funky tests were all paid for, but at what cost to my family?

    "As the days go by, we face the increasing inevitability that we are alone in a godless, uninhabited, hostile and meaningless universe. Still, you've got to laugh, haven't you?" - Holly, Red Dwarf

    by pale cold on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately... (3+ / 0-)

      ... the system will always push medicating over therapy/assistance because it is so much easier (and cheaper... uhm... more cost efficient). That is one reason why we as parents and family members MUST advocate advocate advocate!!!

      When I see pictures of Tea Party events all I see are 60 somethings, when I see pictures of Occupy Wall Street all I see are 20 somethings... attrition is our ally.

      by Loudoun County Dem on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:43:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am now dealing with my littelest. (4+ / 0-)

        And putting my foot down about stuff. They are not going to get a label that will be detrimental to her.

        She's not at all like the oldest two, just some  mild speech delays and some behaviour stuff.  Also brilliant.  She doesn't take any crap, and just needs to channel that. As the smallest in a bizzy house, that is survival just to be heard.

        Right now she's a kitty cat.  (Ears and a tail I made for Halloween.)

        Heh. I have a 21, 19, 6 and  a 7 yr old.

        "As the days go by, we face the increasing inevitability that we are alone in a godless, uninhabited, hostile and meaningless universe. Still, you've got to laugh, haven't you?" - Holly, Red Dwarf

        by pale cold on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:43:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Refugees from the school system (6+ / 0-)

    My daughter has primary juvenile fibromyalgia, and has central sensitivity disorder.    She has a great deal of trouble maintaining a regular schedule due to severe pain and fatigue and other symptoms.  

    Also, her condition is made very much worse by sensory stimulation like jostling, light, noise and smells, which pretty much describes every moment of her school.

    And, she had "fibro fog", a difficulty in concentrating and memory.

    The only accomodation that the school offered was to cut back her hours.  

    Instead of 8 hours of sensory torture, how about 6 hours?   Or four?  

    How about if I bang this loud drum and blow this shrieking whistle in  your ears and shine this blinding light in your eyes for 4 hours instead of 8 hours?    By the way, I'll be giving you a high stakes test while I do it, and if you fail, you get to come back for another year of me banging and shrieking in your ears and glaring in your eyes every day.

    We solved the problem by transferring to a virtual school run by a charter.  

    Schools have provided handicap stalls for persons in wheelchairs, but they are in the dark ages when it comes to sensory sensitivity.  They can't even be bothered to dim the glaring lights.

    I don't have the time or energy to reform the entire school system, and that's what I told the principal during one incident.  There was a problem where the teachers were not allowing my child to see the nurse when she felt ill.  I spoke to the principal, and she said she would make sure it didn't happen again.  It continued to happen, so I sent a cell phone to school with her and told her to call me, if they wouldn't allow her to see a nurse.  She did.  

    The principal wanted to dress her down for having a phone at school, but I ended up dressing the principal down for not doing her job.    She looked totally shocked when she discovered that she was the one who was in the wrong.  

    There was no point in battling the school system.   You can't build Rome in a day.   The school has not even begin to start to begin thinking about how to provide services for students with sensory sensitivity, and a need to have flexible schedule.   They quickly devolve into chaos if you can't meet their schedule, into a mess of "make-up" work and truancy disputes.   They have no idea how to create an environment suitable for a child with sensory sensitivities.  They seem unaware that such a thing might even be required for some kids.  They are totally clueless.

    In fact, the Jr. High principal looked at me at one point, and said, "I don't understand.   Help me understand."

    It took me years to fully understand my daughter's condition.  The error that the school made was to believe that they had to understand it before they could do what my student and I told them was needed.   Often, unless a person has this disease or has a family member with it, they never do understand it.   We don't have the time or energy to hold their hands through their learning process, and help them grow and mature.   That's what they're supposed to do for my child.  

    I hope that your experience with an autistic child is different from mine with a child with fibromyalgia.   My experience has been that I have to shed the people who hold us back, even if it's a school or a doctor.   Either do something to contribute, or get the H--- out of our way.

  •  A Question..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lina

    You said that naturally when his grandmother died, Andrew started pushing, yelling & hitting & the school let it fester until it erupted in the kicking incident.

    What did your family do @ home to help him cope w/ her death & did you notify the school of her death?  How much responsibility did the school bear following his grandmother's death & how much was your responsibility?

    Things may not always go Andrew's way outside of school hours.  What happens when he's not on school grounds & acts out?

    Do you have a partnership w/ the school to meet @ regular intervals & set up a treatment plan for physical altercations as Andrew gets older & physically stronger?

    •  At home, we spoke about it often... (4+ / 0-)

      ... included him in discussions, let him express himself about it. He had no trouble at home. He always had an outlet and was surrounded by people who acknowledged the loss and allowed him to grieve.

      School was notified before she died, as well as the day she died.

      However, they admitted to being "unsure" how much to talk about it with him, even when his behavior deteriorated. Even after we urged them to talk about it with him, they seemed unable to do so.

      This week, they have finally implemented a proper program of giving him time and space to grieve, and his behavior has improved enormously.

      We do have a partnership with the school, or at least assumed we did, but since the official diagnosis, the gap between what they tell us they will do and what they actually do seems to be growing by the day.

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:59:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Based on experience and reading the news... (6+ / 0-)

      In the majority of schools in this country, the "treatment plan" for "physical altercations", even where the child is disabled, is to call the police, charge the child with assault, and expel the child from the district.

      A co-worker of mine just finished defending his own autistic child from a court case that was triggered by a complaint to the police from a teacher in the school (which did not even go through the principal) in which the able-bodied children who caused the incident were neither questioned nor charged, and the autistic kid only got his case dismissed after about $10,000 legal expenses to the innocent family and a lot of bad press against the DA who decided to "go there".    The father was a consultant who was told his contract was terminated due to expense cutbacks the week after charges were filed against his autistic son.  His children did not get a vacation that year, because the family was place in financial straits due to this incident.

      Justice for autistic children is often bought at a dear price, and schools often do not place a priority on the welfare of the autistic student.   Instead, they do love their Zero Tolerance programs (or Zero Brains, as I think  of it).  

      Disabled kids are expensive, and if you can expel them, you save your district money.

    •  Oh, and as an addendum: (4+ / 0-)

      Andrew actually never acts out outside of school. I'm not glossing over small misbehaviors here. He never gets violent or aggressive. On the few occasions he does act in an inappropriate way, he has timeouts, but he does not act out outside of school in a way that is far beyond the norm for an eight year-old.

      He does not act out in public; he is always well-behaved and polite (if non-verbally so). The few incidents of acting out at school before now have been responses to specific stimuli (personal-space intrusions, loud noises and the like) that the paras seem to have been able to identify and deal with. This was a new behavior that they seem to have ignored, or thought they could handle alone, and thus we were not informed of it until the week before the kicking incident, and our attempts to assist were either ignored, or were too little too late. Either way, they are treating the OSS as a "reset: of sorts.

      We'll see if this is the right approach.

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:03:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a terribly bizarre question. Are you at (5+ / 0-)

      all familiar with EIPs?  Parents can't control what is happening at the school.  This incident happened at the school, not at home.  Trying to shift blame to the parents is worse than silly - it's cruel.  I'm guessing your employment is with a school system in some way?

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:05:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read it more as a request for information... (6+ / 0-)

        ... I admit, my diary may seem overly hostile to the school, and I would be the first to praise them for the enormous progress Andrew has made; however, it is clear now that this progress has been in spite of the IEP, rather than because of it. Even now, three months after being informed that he is autistic, the SSD has made no real accommodations for the fact that he is autistic, has scheduled no autism experts to actually come in (which the State actually does provide for) and simply asks us to do all the legwork (find specialists to come in on our dime or Medicaid's) while they gt to trot him out when the state visits again and say "Look at how far poor Andrew has come! We're so good at our jobs! Give us extra money!"

        I'm not offended, since it gave me the opportunity to give a little more background to what was happening, and, I hope, let the poster know that with children with disabilities, more so even than "regular" kids, the lack of control over the school environment is terrifying to parents.

        Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

        by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:13:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad you - who are at the middle of this (3+ / 0-)

          emotionally draining saga - could be so open minded about his questions.  I have to admit, I read them as very patronizing and assumptive, particularly since they weren't questions designed to actually obtain information, but instead to make you "think" about how much of this is really your fault rather than the schools.

          I think there's more enough blame to go around, and I also think parents sometimes think schools should have a magic wand to fix all problems, somehow finding people that are able to understand and deal with a myriad of impossible situations, and getting angry when perfection is not achieved.  And maybe you are feeling a bit hostile to the school yourself right now, maybe not taking into consideration the difficulty of a school to find the perfect solutions for your child.  OTOH, your top priority is to lobby for your son, since he can't.  And I think you need all the support you can get while you're doing it.  

          I guess I'd just rather someone wrote what they're really trying to say, rather than asking "questions" in order to provide them with deniability.  Which is what I continue to believe happened here.  But good for you for being the higher minded person.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:35:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

            I don't have time for "agendas"; Andrew's condition, strength and bravery let me do away with all that. My father was disabled, too, and many of my friends growing up had multiple mental and physical disabilities, since my father was a teacher at a residential school for the seriously disabled. My upbringing primed me for this fight, so I at least have that going for me. I'm lucky in that regard.

            When the psychiatrist told us "there will be many more hurdles ahead", my wife and I looked at one another and smiled, then said "They aren't hurdles; it's Andrew", and that's the way it has always been.

            Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

            by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:40:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I do not perceive it as overly hostile (5+ / 0-)

          Every parent of a disabled child that I have known at our school has had bad experiences with them, and found that even simple, well documented acommodations, such as giving a child mid-day medications, were routinely ignored.  One problem is that there are so many different school officials that a child encounters in a day, and as soon as you get a temp, all bets are off.   It's like herding cats to get special instructions disseminated to all of them, and most of them don't really understand the situations, and many don't even understand the instructions, even if they seem clear.

          We have also all had the experience of having the school counselor or other school officials make comments that appear to blame us for our child's disabilities.

          It seems to be the common experience of parents who have children with disabilities, even when the school appears to be trying (some don't).

          And, when I got into the virtual school, and talked to parents there, I found that many of them had left their schools for similar issues.   Every parent I spoke to had a problem that they had attempted to work with the schools to address.  One had a child who was bullied.  Another was ADD.  We had the issue with FMS.   And, so on.   None of them seemed particularly concerned with religion.  All of them seemed to be trying as hard as they could to get an education for their children.  One parent said to me, "I don't believe in evolution, but it's not an issue with me that evolution will be taught in this school.  I just want my son to be able to go to school, and not be bullied."

          There is a myth that children are home-schooled by crazy religious parents.   The reality is, that many children are home-schooled, because districts refused/failed to address serious issues, and children left school or were expelled because public schools failed to meet the special needs of their children, or to address bullying problems.

          There is also a myth that our public schools meet the needs of special needs children.    They only meet the needs of some children, and often fail to adequately meet those needs.   I believe they do best with children who are severely disabled, and need more assistance with medical care or mobility.   For children who are slightly disabled, where it is necessary to try to keep them at grade level and cope with subtle emotional or behavioral problems, schools fail miserably.

          It's not hostile, to speak up, when the school is failing to address the needs of your child, and your child has a legal right to have those needs addressed.

          •  Hear Hear! (4+ / 0-)

            Home schooling is a possibility; even now, we have explored it, but we feel that if Andrew is able to be socialized, he should be. Of course, if in the course of socializing him, more damage is done, we should re-evaluate that. We're not there yet, and I hope we won't be.

            Thanks for your support.

            Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

            by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:56:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have a friend... who is actually on DKOS (4+ / 0-)

            She goes by littlefire. Her daughter is a brittle asthmatic. She has a note from the doctor stating that her child is to use the inhaler before PE so she doesn't go into an asthma attack. Simple request right?
            Nope, she's had to fight tooth and nail to get them to comply with it. They always act shocked when her daughter ends up in an asthma attack during PE, because they fail to get her to the nurse to use her inhaler. (This child is in first grade so isn't old enough to be responsible for it herself, and even if she did remember herself isn't old enough to go on her own.)

            Asthma is a very common and very noticeable when it happens disease. You would think after the first time the PE teacher would check with the classroom teacher and make sure the child has had her inhaler. You would think that a doctor's note specifying how to handle her asthma would suffice. But no. They almost never remember and she regularly has problems breathing because of it.

            How much harder to get schools to comply with IDEA law when it's something they can't see and hear? With a child who is non-verbal or speech/communication impaired?  It's absolutely ridiculous the hoops they make you jump through and then they do NOTHING anyway.

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

            by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:16:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  My Husband Taught Special Education For 30 Years.. (0+ / 0-)

        He worked w/ many autistic children & had great relationship w/ them & their mom & dads, so we're pretty
        familiar w/ special education from the viewpoint of the teacher & the parent.  I've met many of the parents w/
        children w/ special education needs.  

        I am familiar w/ EIP's.  I've never been employed in any way w/ the school system.  I'm a retired RN after 25 years of working night shift as a float pool nurse.  

        I'm sorry that you feel my question is "terribly bizarre", Gustynip.  I understood where the incident happened.  

  •  The squeaky wheel gets the most grease. (3+ / 0-)

    It may be trite, but it's true when it comes to schools, IEP's and IDEA. I've had the reputation in several elementary schools over the years that when they saw me coming, they quickly checked in with my son's teacher to find out what I was coming about. Even so, there were a myriad of problems and battles over the years.

    Does your son have behavioral goals or procedures in his IEP? If not, you may want to call a meeting to add those.

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

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:00:58 PM PDT

  •  Best of luck with your son (3+ / 0-)

    It's amazing how inconsistent special educational resources are from district to district and even from school to school within districts.

    And please keep in mind the health and safety of the teachers with whom your child interacts. My wife has worked in special education for over a decade. She has degrees in education and English and has taught in the past at several different high schools (as we moved in response to my job).  But she prefers the challenges and rewards of special education.

    More often than I would like, her students have punched her, scratched her, and pushed her...hard (one time causing a lost time injury that involved physical therapy). I can imagine how easy it might be to view the school and its staff as the enemy in a contentious situation, but these are very often good, well-trained and well-intentioned people. They're not punching bags and they should not have to endure, over and over, work place incidents that -- were they to happen to a random person on the street -- could incur assault charges.

    •  I should be clear (2+ / 0-)

      (and thanks for giving me the opportunity to do so) that we in no way view the staff of the school as the enemy. It is the SSD hierarchy we are having problems with (although his regular paras appear to have ”gone cold” of late, a situation that has improved since his return to school).

      He is in regular class more than 85% of the time, and they are wonderful. I fear it is more a lack of direction and mishandling by the administrators if the SSD that is the issue.

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:57:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ask Andrew. (3+ / 0-)

    I assume you've developed nonverbal communications to an artform.  Therefore, rather than any of the options on your poll, I suggest that you discuss the situation with your son and ask what he would prefer.  As an HFA whose needs were systematically ignored throughout childhood, I'm kind of an advocate for letting the person most involved have a say in their own future.

    •  We have spoken to him.... (2+ / 0-)

      ...and asked what he wants. The thing about Andrew is that his comprehension is very advanced; he understands everything, he just can't speak clearly about it, so we have no issues talking about it, thankfully, and we certainly understand his responses, which are usually quotes from favorite books and cartoons (we think of this as a verbal shorthand).

      He had between fairly noncommittal on changing schools vs. staying put. He is familiar with the local catholic school (his older brother already attends it) so it is not scary to him, but of course, he, like any 8-year-old, funds the ideas of changing schools worrying. He also knows that he will be changing schools anyway next year (from primary to elementary) so his basic thought is that next August is going to be tough either way.

      Still, either way we all decide, he will be a major part of the process.

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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