Any mom's out there with a special needs child that is a developmentally delayed teenager?

Mandy - posted on 07/12/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My daughter is a 15 year old going into 10th grade. She is in the special needs class and now understands that. However, she is unable to grow in a reg ed classroom. The school is not being very cooperative in having her involved in the after school programs. It is so frustrating. I have been to the board of education many times with dead ended promises from them. Please help if you know where I can go for support. She has participated in the "Special Olympics" for 2 years. She can see a difference in the athletes and the reg ed. Sadly it bothers her. She is stuck in the middle of special ed and reg ed. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank You

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[deleted account]

You need to contact the local county board of Developmental Delays for an advocate. There is such a thing as a Recreational Therapist out there who is trained to help kids like yours. Also try contacting the closest university/college that trains teachers in special education. They might have someone who can help or advise. The advocate from your county is the best bet. Every county has a program like this.. to handle and serve special needs citizens. Your daughter is entitled to services NOW.

You need to push the school regarding "least restrictive environment" ... that is the LAW. IT means that each IEP student is entitled to educational and social related school activites that are in their LEAST restrictive enviornment. It is clear that your daughter wants something more. Don't stop asking for it until you get it. Good luck.

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Barbara - posted on 05/31/2011

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next step read your parents rights and responsibility book that you got at her IEP conference and you need to file a complaint with the your state. The directs for the steps are in the book hope this helps my son is in the same state only his school is very accomdating and next year when he is a sophmore he will be pulled out for choir would prefer social studies but will try choir

[deleted account]

I would recommend finding an advocate to help you work with the school. The law does not require schools to do more than provide access to programs, as appropriate - and that can vary greatly from school to school. An advocate is trained to help you assert your rights as a parent and help you get the supports and services your daughter needs. You can find an advocate through your local chapter of The Arc, or your parent to parent organization - you will find contact info at www.nichcy.org, click on state info, click on your state, and then click on parent organizations. Good luck.

Jane - posted on 07/23/2010

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Regarding extra-curriculars, I would speak with the Drama Coach/Advisor/Person in charge. You can get her a place painting sets - why not? Someone has to, and if it's something she can do, more power to her. The school is required to allow her to participate in extra-curriculars. No, they don't have to let my wheelchair bound son wrestle (much as he'd love to), but reasonably, they do have to let him on the chess team.

They are more cooperative if they know you know your rights.

As far as grading goes, she can be graded on effort toward goals in the IEP. Perhaps she has a goal regarding work completion, or punctuality or something like that?

Jane - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have seven kids, several of whom are special needs kids. Forget the school board, all they do is spend money. You need the Director of Special Education and her IEP's. You need to present it as a question of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Free APPROPRIATE Public Education (FAPE). The school (Director) needs to justify placements for both reasons. Put it in writing why you feel another placement would be more Appropriate. Get therapists, doctors, psychologists, etc to write letters for you, and send evaluation results to them.

Then, call a meeting. You are allowed to call a meeting of the IEP team at ANYTIME. Any. You are the head of the IEP team, not the case manager, not the school. You and only you have the power of exclusive rejection - you're the only one that can say, "no" all by yourself. Don't sell yourself short. If you feel that your daughter can keep up and benefit from the regular education setting with supports, then fight for it. I'll be rooting for ya!

Khrys - posted on 07/21/2010

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NOW is the National Organization of Women and the ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union. Both are wonderful to assist in the rights of people and can even assist in legal costs. You can find both online by using google search and typing in their names. Don't let them restrict your child!

Erin - posted on 07/20/2010

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Whenever I was younger and my parents were having problems with the school district, they would threaten them with the media. Believe me, they will do pretty much whatever you want them to when you let them think you might give them a bad name in the public eye. I know it might sound a little strange, but it always helped my parents get what they needed for us. I hope it helps and you're able to get your daughter into something she enjoys.

Mandy - posted on 07/20/2010

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Thank you Khrys for your insight. However, I am not sure what NOW or ACLU is. What is that and how do I contact them. Thank you again. The other problem is, she loves art. In order for her to participate in the arts it is a pass or fail grade. I can't even get the school to just let her participate!! She could help with the props or something else for the drama class. They will not allow it with out a grade. That would devistate her and set her up for failure if she was graded on that.

Khrys - posted on 07/19/2010

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First of all, Mandy, F* the school! If your child is able to participate, it is a federal offense to deny your child anything. Contact your local chapter of NOW and the ACLU, they'll have the school board running for cover and your daughter where she knows she can be. Your state statutes should be accessible online, as are the federal statutes they're violating by denying her anything that "normal" kids are allowed. If you want a strong, opinionated voice that won't back down from the school board, let me know. Kids are worth fighting for.

Lisa - posted on 07/15/2010

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Your daughter has the right to be in an inclusive enviroment. Maybe you should consult a lawyer. I had a similar situation and actually brought a lawyer to my son's school as we don't have advocates here. He reminded everyone of my son's rights and their responsibilites and I never had a problem after that. In fact they improved very dramatically in a very short time. If you can achieve that with an advocate go for it. Anything the school board promises you, get in writing. I always email them and then follow up in person or by phone. And I never go alone to meetings, take someone with you. Good luck, and try to find some support from other special needs parents. You'll always find stregnth in numbers.

Mandy - posted on 07/13/2010

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Cindy thank you so much for your input. I am truly grateful for it. I wrote down the places you suggested me to and I will contact them. My daughters IEP does state least restrictive environment. The problem is there is no middle here at our school. Her IEP is (MMD) mild mental disability. She is also with students that is (MMR) mild mental retardation. That would be ok if the school offered more programs for her. Thank You again, I will make contacts tomorrow.

Mandy - posted on 07/13/2010

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Thank you so much. I will try the library and town hall. As sad as it sounds I can't seem to get any parents from my daughters school involved. I will do what you suggested. Thank you again
Mandy

Tina - posted on 07/13/2010

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I have a 16 year old son who has C.P. I have been fighting with the school system here for 6 years, and the one prior since he began pre school at the age of two. You, first need to have more patience than a saint, try to explain to your daughter, even try to get her involved in the process. You may not want to involve her but God only knows who will live longer. I have always kept my son in the loop since I will probably die before him, and he will be left to handle some of life's problems on his own. When it comes to people you can turn to for support, your family, even though unless they are going through it or have in the past may be limited. Find others in your community, check and see what kind of programs there are in your area, like your library may have programs, check at your town hall for programs, even the welfare department. If none are available, find others in your community with special needs children and start your own. Good luck.

Iridescent - posted on 07/12/2010

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Have you spoken with a child advocate yet? If not, do. They are amazing.

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