Need ideas on how to get the school to work with me instead of against me.

Corrie - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I have a 5 year old boy who has had some issues with outbursts, meltdowns, and some hitting at school. The doctors just recently started him on Intuniv, and he has been on it for about 5 weeks now.



Before he even started the meds, the school kicked him out full day kindergarten and only allows him to go half days. Today was his first full day back, and at 5:20 today, I got a call stating he will be back on half days because he hit a student. (Otherwise he had had a good day.)



The school has not worked with me, and I have had to push to get him ways "out" if he's feeling upset. I don't believe they use the "outs" we have lined up. They only seem to want to get rid of the problem. For example, when he was there all day they would call me almost daily to pick him up.



He is a twin and his twin sister gets to attend full day, and it is very discouraging to him, and he was noticably depressed the first week he was on half days. They are both very intelligent, and I am worried that not getting the same education as his peers with affect him negativly down the road.



Any advice?

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Kim - posted on 01/26/2011

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Corrie,
Contact your state school board special education department, and ask them for a list of advocates in your area. You may want to call your local center for independent living for a referral. Let them know that you need help getting an independent educational evaluation for your child and assistance with the school in writing an IEP for him. Check out the IDEA Laws (State School Board website should have a link). Students with disabilities can not be given a shorter school day than non-disabled students without proving that their disability prevents them from being capable of attending a full day. BUT they also have to provide appropriate supports, including doing a behavioral functional analysis and then putting a behavior support plan in place. This is done by a TEAM of teachers, psychiatrists, school administrators and most importantly, you, the parent(s). They also have to have to meet to determine if your child's behavior is a result of his disability, and if it is, they have to take that into consideration. They also have to take into consideration that your child is fairly new to a medication and that may be affecting his behavior, and you may not have found the correct medication/dosage yet. It is a long process finding the right medications sometimes. If you truly disagree with his placement, you have the right to file a due process request to have a hearing as well. Also, they have to give you 10 days advanced written notice before they can make changes to his placement, and must be done at an IEP meeting. There are SOOO many more details I can give you from my personal experience if you want to message me, I will be happy to help as much as I can. Best of luck. The biggest thing is to educate yourself on the rules and go into your meetings armed with that information. All of this is assuming you live in the USA, I don't know the rules in other countries.

Catherine - posted on 01/20/2011

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Dear Corrie, I had the same problem with my son, who is now 9. When he started Kindergarten, the school dropped him down to half a day because of his behavior, and the school didn't even have a half day program!! I had to leave work and pick him up or get various family members to pick him up. Even after he was diagnosed with ADHD, the school did not want him to come back full time. What helped us was a very caring teacher who taught special Ed that came to bat for us. She got us a meeting with the school board and after a lot of "we know better than you" from the administrators, I finally got them to admit that they were wrong about my son. In addition, I had the opportunity to send him to a private kindergarten with the local preschool, where the class size was much smaller and he did great! If the school won't work for you, go above them. Check into your parent rights for your school, most of them send a booklet home at the beginning of school, and take matters into your own hands. Most school provide a 504 plan or IEP if a child has been diagnosed with a disability, including ADD/ADHD. That they haven't even considered this is negligence on thier part. They cannot force him to go half a day without calling a meeting with the school board to decide what is best for your son. Call the district office and request a meeting with the school board. Explain to them the situation and ask what can be done to make sure your son is getting the quality education he not only deserves but is rightfully entitled to. Trust me, when the schoolboard starts questioning thier tactics, most school officials will change thier tune in a heartbeat. Don't back down, you know what is right for your son. The school cannot treat you or your son with such dissrespect and expect you to just idlely sit by. Go above them and show them you mean business. You and your son deserve it. I hope this helps. The school needs to remember that our kids are not bad or even bad behaved, they cannot control thier outbursts and need understanding and patience. Good luck and God Bless :) Keep us posted

Amanda - posted on 03/29/2011

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I think it's time to contact the school board and call a lawyer. This is getting out of hand when they are talking about pressing charges against a 5 yr old that is having well documanted issues. You can proove you are trying to get him the help he needs but they are not working with you. There is a number (like 311 or something like that )that can direct you to lawyers that will do these kinds of cases pro bono or state funded. This won't help your son with his education but if you need to bus him to another "better equipped" school . The school district will have to accomidate him. It's time, I believe to start useing the trigger words. like, " You feel your son is not in a safe learning envirnment" or" he is not being given the oppertunity for learning". He has the same rights of every child in this country to an education.

Kim - posted on 01/26/2011

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YOU NEED AN ADVOCATE!!!!!!!!!! If you do not have an IEP demand one contact someone to help you advocate for your child most of the time the advocate is free. The advocate is your best bet they know what a school can and can not do. The best person on your side and your son good luck and don't be discouraged

Josie - posted on 01/26/2011

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Catherine is right. A public school CANNOT make changes to your son's education without having a meeting. He needs an IEP. Stat. Normally, the Early Intervention Program is for under age 2. After that, it's through the school district. He has a right to be evaluated by the school for the special education program. I know that might sound scary, but it's what's best for many of our children. They can then get the in-class support they need. Be your son's advocate. Go online to get your parent rights information. Or, better yet, go to the school and demand it. Let them know that you will not accept less for your son.
Good luck. He does not deserve to be discriminated against for having a disability. And yes, that's what it is. Legally. Use that to his advantage. What they are doing is just not right.

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Corrie - posted on 04/09/2012

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It's been over a year since my initial post, my son is doing much much better. He qualified for Special Ed and has a parapro helping him throughout the day. Most days he's great and I don't recieve nearly as many phone calls. It's so nice to have found a school willing to help.

Corrie - posted on 10/04/2011

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We have moved to a new district, so far they seem to want to work with him, but it has already been a rough start to the year. Now he has added running away to his behavior.

Corrie - posted on 03/29/2011

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Now they have kicked him out for the rest of the year, and the teacher is going to press charges because he bit her. He says she was trying to hold him down...I just don't know what to do.

It's not an official expulsion yet...but if I push anymore, they will call an expulsion hearing. I don't see how I could win if it goes that way.

Corrie - posted on 03/23/2011

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They did sort of discuss that, I think they want to wait and see how he does next year. I don't like how they can toy with my child's education, but I don't see any other choice at this time. There are only 10ish weeks left of school, he does seem to be happy when he comes home and I do enjoy the time with him...just the days I work are hard.

Amanda - posted on 03/22/2011

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If he can stay ahead withall that crap going on, why aren't they testing him for a highly capable program? Sometimes kids act out because they are bored sensless when they move faster than the rest of the class...

Corrie - posted on 03/22/2011

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UPDATE: 3/22/11 Our IEP meeting was yesterday, they deemed him ineligible because his behavior was not affecting his acedemic progress. Also, they have stated that he will remain on half days for the rest of the school year, because he has been sucessful during the half days....to this I respond (in my head) well duh, his problems were with the afternoon teacher...

On a good note, he is at least a grade ahead and this half day nonsense doesn't seem to be causing him to fall behind.

Corrie - posted on 02/10/2011

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Well he is officially in the EIP program, so now they have no legs to stand on, and they will have to let him back in school. Tomorrow we have an IEP meeting scheduled. I am super nervous, but I am glad to know that soon we will be getting him the help he needs. My mother talked to the special services coordinator at the community college she works at, and according to her the school district we are in is notorious for this behavior.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/30/2011

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Hi Catherine, Your child has a right to be educated with the same opportunities as other children. I feel your frustration and worry. My children have ADHd age 4 and 13. We have struggled with the same issues and I had to call the guidance councelor and request a 504 meeting to review what current accomodations were actually in writing. They didn't like the fact that I was making them stay an hour later at the end of the school day to have this meeting but to bad for them. My 13 year old sons teachers were completely dropping the ball. I know behind closed doors that after those 504 meetings take place that there are some teachers(not all) that will share they are worried that they can't meet certain students needs because of either budget cuts that pull services back out of classrooms or that the class size in some schools is to large for a teacher to manage. Some classrooms have about 25 students in the district where we live. IN some of these classrooms about 10 percent of kids are coded as special ed or 504. I see both sides but it's our kids who lose out. I would reccomend that you call a 504 plan meeting in writing and give it to the principal of your school. By law they have a certain number of days to respond and make a date to meet. At this meeting either bring and advocate from Disability rights our of Augusta or Southern Maine Parent Awareness or any of those other advocacy centers. Let them know that you mean business. If you would rather just meet with the school board you can also bring an advocate with you to that meeting mot only for support but to show you are done with your child not being treated like he has the same rights as other children. With them calling you to share that he can only go half days then i would request in writing why they feel they have made that choice and let them know that if they feel that they can not meet his emotional and academic needs then they need to put that in writing. Most schools do not like to put that in writing because it costs more for them to pay for out of district placement rather then pulling money back into the school. Maybe they would be willing to hire an ed tech to work with your son so that he can get the support he needs to manage the rest of his day. Good Luck Liz

Corrie - posted on 01/27/2011

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Wow! Thank you all for the advice. I called an advocate and am waiting to hear back from them. I'm hoping with their help I can get him the help he needs. I will keep you all updated. I super appreciate the advice!

Yaumara - posted on 01/27/2011

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Get the diagnose from the pediatrician and contact the school board to have him obtain an IEP from school. My son's school would not talk to me or work with me until I spoke to the school board. It took a few calls to the school board and being shuffled around until I got the right person who then contacted the school and told them that my son had the right to an IEP and that they better evaluate and give him one or else. Once your son has the IEP they HAVE to accommodate him in every way. Also, it is important that your input is counted during the IEP setup. Afterall, you know your son better then anyone. My son is given extra time during tests or test have to be shorten. He goes to a smaller classroom setting where he grts more attention from his teacher. Also, he is given "reasons to move around" like sharpening pencils, collecting papers, etc., so that he doesn't have to sit still for long periods of time. And time out from pE or Recess is NEVER permitted. Remember YOU are your son's advocate, his voice. Good Luck!

Amy - posted on 01/26/2011

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oh, you might also want to check out the "no child left behind" regulations. I'm pretty sure they're breaking the law there. Once you can start using terms they thing only they know... things should go a bit easier.

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2011

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Wow ,Catherine . Where were you when I had to learn all this the hard way. Haha. I have had similar experiences and I agree with Catherine! You are the one and only TRUE advocate for your kids. That is why I believe we get the kids we are given.

Angella - posted on 01/26/2011

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Corrie-
You are not alone on this issue. I also had to fight the school for my son to be able to attend. They wanted to try and diagnose him and then placed him in ISS on a daily basis. You must go over the school and go to the district level. My son started kindergarten off by throwing desk across the room, running down the halls and all the above. He is now in the 4th grade and doing much better. The school can not stop him from attending. I hope that it gets better for him and you.

Amy - posted on 01/26/2011

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Seems as if they are playing games with you in order to make their lives easier. It angers me (I cannot communicate how it angers me, but I'm sure you are feeling the same way) that the priority to so many educators is to make THEIR lives easier rather than to provide your child with the education and respect he deserves.

Don't forget the media in this. They are playing stall games. Call the news stations and newspaper. A little public pressure might just get you what you need. It seems as if going to the board, etc, hasn't worked, so it's time to up the ante and show them you mean business. Your son needs education, and he needs special help. He's legally entitled to both, and those people are PAID to provide it with YOUR tax dollars and MINE. There are many many wonderful teachers out there, but there are at least as many who are only there to get summers off, and they need to either man up or find a different career.

Kristi - posted on 01/26/2011

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That is terrible. I think it all has to do with the school district and their programs. You might want to call the superintendant of your district and try getting him in a special program or class. My son has Aspergers and has to attend a school, not my home school, that has an autistic program and he is mainstreamed but has an aide with him at all times in case he gets frustrated or upset.

Kathy - posted on 01/26/2011

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The US DoE funds Parent Information Resource Centers in every state to improve children's school success. I took 2 evening course through them, "Understanding Special Education" that helped us.
Some of us decide to homeschool so we can adapt the curriculum and schedule to our special kids's needs. A few parents say it's less stressful than dealing with the school was. More about that, and other tips any parent (homeschooler or not!) can use is on my website, LearnDifferently.com

Corrie - posted on 01/24/2011

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Got a call today, they are even going to discuss allowing him back until he is in an Early Intervention Program. We've been on the waiting list for this program since December. Could be months.

Corrie - posted on 01/20/2011

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Thank you so much Catherine. I appreciate the advice. Will let you know how it goes.

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