School Giving Up On Son With PDD-NOS...

Star - posted on 04/11/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )




I am very frustrated at this point. This weekend, I had received an email from the special education person at my son's school. Apparently, he had been having an up and down week (which was not told to me at all) and Friday afternoon, he was getting aggitated with the teacher and he said that some tape sucked...which he got into trouble for....which increased his aggitation. He didn't want the teacher anywhere near him (totally common for him) yet the teacher tried to be over his shoulder. He spoke "disrespectfully" (sorry if I spelled that wrong) and the teacher tried to send him to the Planning Room (which doesn't work for him, but...) and Darby refused to go. It was at that time that I picked him up and nothing was said to me until the email yesterday.

So I sent an email back asking for her to elaborate a bit more, so I would have an idea of what they were dealing with, and asked if there were other alternatives that we could figure out for the rest of the school year (see my other post about the issues that we have had with this school).

I get an email back asking for a meeting tomorrow morning with myself and Darby (they never invite my husband which is complete b.s. and it is something that we have told them over and over, is that we are a two parent household, and that we are equals) to talk about a "shortened" school day...

We had this issue before in kindergarden at CP Smith School in Burlington, VT (NEVER SEND YOUR CHILD THERE!!!!!) where they segerated Darby from all the other students and was in a room with three aides who were really demanding...needless to say, he flipped out, and they ended up just having him go to the middle school for two hours a day to be tutored. That was IT.

My husband and I feel that this school (Sustainability Acadmey at Lawrence Barnes, Burlington VT) is the same way, and my husband has given me a cart blanche to tell them exactly how I feel. He refuses to go, because they do not value his input, nor do I feel that they value mine. But it is completely clear now that because I have raised hell over their lack of concern, and have demanded that he be placed in another school or program for next year, that they are ignoring his needs and have given up on him....has anyone else had these experiences?

PS. I have spoken with several other parents who have dealt with this current school and they have the same's a joke. If there is anyone on here that has any info on any other Burlington VT school, I'd be happy to hear what you say.


Bonnie Jean - posted on 04/13/2010




From reading your post it sounds as though your school does not use “Positive Behavior Interventions” nor a Sensory Diet schedule for your sons Individualized Education Plan/Program [IEP].
It sounds as though they are using emotional behavioral disability interventions which are proven NOT to work for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Law IDEA 2004 says: “If behavior is a significant issue for the student, seek help from expert professional resources (including parents) to understand the meanings of the behaviors and to develop a unified, positive approach to resolving them.”

Here is a link to information use can use to teach your sons education staff:
Positive Behavioral Supports for Students with ASD
File Format: Microsoft Powerpoint - View as HTML
Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(PBIS) is based .... The TEACCH approach to autism spectrum disorders. ... - Similar

New! Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools Educator Manual from theNational Autism Center (2010). The manual outlines the current state of research findings, professional judgment and data-based clinical decision making, values and preferences of families, and capacity building. Each chapter sets a course for advancing the efforts of school systems to engage in evidence-based practice for their students on the autism spectrum. Free download (pdf) l order print copy ($24.95) FREE DOWN LOAD BOOK LINK DOWN BELOW…\/

“Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with autism/PDD may be eligible for early intervention services (birth to 3) and an educational program appropriate to their individual needs. In addition to academic instruction, special education programs for students with autism/PDD (ages 3 to 22) focus on improving communication, social, academic, behavioral, and daily living skills. Behavior and communication problems that interfere with learning often require the assistance of a professional who is particularly knowledgeable in the autism field to develop and help implement a plan which can be carried out at home and school.

The classroom environment should be structured so that the program is consistent and predictable. Students with autism/PDD learn better and are less confused when information is presented visually as well as verbally. Interaction with nondisabled peers is also important, for these students provide models of appropriate language, social, and behavioral skills. Consistency and continuity are very important for children with autism/PDD, and parents should always be involved in the development of their child’s program, so that learning activities, experiences, and approaches will be most effective and can be carried over into the home and community.

With educational programs designed to meet a student’s individual needs and specialized adult support services in employment and living arrangements, many children and adults with autism/PDD grow to live, work, and participate fully in their communities.

Tips for Parents

Learn about autism/PDD. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child. Your State’s PTI can be especially helpful. You’ll find resources and organizations at the end of this publication and in NICHCY’s online State Resources Sheet.

Be mindful to interact with and teach your child in ways that are most likely to get a positive response. Learn what is likely to trigger melt-downs for your child, so you can try to minimize them. Remember, the earliest years are the toughest, but it does get better!

Learn from professionals and other parents how to meet your child’s special needs, but remember your son or daughter is first and foremost a child; life does not need to become a never ending round of therapies.

If you weren’t born loving highly structured, consistent schedules and routines, ask for help from other parents and professionals on how to make it second nature for you. Behavior, communication, and social skills can all be areas of concern for a child with autism and experience tells us that maintaining a solid, loving, and structured approach in caring for your child, can help greatly.

Learn about assistive technology that can help your child. This may include a simple picture communication board to help your child express needs and desires, or may be as sophisticated as an augmentative communication device.

Work with professionals in early intervention or in your school to develop an IFSP or an IEP that reflects your child’s needs and abilities. Be sure to include related services, supplementary aids and services, AT, and a positive behavioral support plan, if needed.

Be patient, and stay optimistic. Your child, like every child, has a whole lifetime to learn and grow.

Tips for Teachers

Learn more about autism/PDD. Check out the research on effective instructional interventions and behavior on NICHCY’s web site. The resources and organizations listed in this publication can also help.

Make sure directions are given step-by-step, verbally, visually, and by providing physical supports or prompts, as needed by the student. Students with autism spectrum disorders often have trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. Be as concrete and explicit as possible in your instructions and feedback to the student.

Find out what the student’s strengths and interests are and emphasize them. Tap into those avenues and create opportunities for success. Give positive feedback and lots of opportunities for practice.

Build opportunities for the student to have social/collaborative interactions throughout the regular school day. Provide support, structure, and lots of feedback.

If behavior is a significant issue for the student, seek help from expert professional resources (including parents) to understand the meanings of the behaviors and to develop a unified, positive approach to resolving them.

Have consistent routines and schedules. When you know a change in routine will occur (e.g., a field trip or assembly) prepare the student by telling him or her what is going to be different and what to expect or do. Reward students for each small success.

Work together with the student’s parents and other school personnel to create and implement an educational plan tailored to meet the student’s needs. Regularly share information about how the student is doing at school and at home.”

Hope this helps! Bonnie Jean mother of four- two that learn on the Autism Spectrum


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Jenn - posted on 04/12/2010




My doctor and one of his teachers told us when our son whom is 3 was diagnosed with autism at 2 that we are his only advocate because there is no one else to do it for him. Even when we feel like no one cares, is listening, etc that we have to talk louder, communicate better and make sure we are getting done what needs to be done, etc. I believe this completely, however; am still learning and digesting.

I agree with Renee, prior to your meeting you should check around for local agencies that help with IEP's and just general advocate information for persons with diabilities, and even consult with an attorney that deals with enforcement of laws for those with special needs just so you know what you and your child's legal rights are. I realize that seems like a steep thing to do, however; you have to protect your child's rights and if they are being abused then you shouldn't let them get away with it because you can imagine that there might be others parents as you've mentioned in your shoes that are feeling helpless and hopefully them being fully informed would get the ball rolling in the proper direction. :o)

On a personal note though, I do feel awful that you are having such an issue with the school. I know, for us, that we depend on our son's school greatly to help us and him along the scary, unknown journey that we are embarking on with autism. I grant you that our son is only in a preschool for autism so I don't have any experience with much else. Our daughter goes to a public school and is in 1st grade (she does not have autism) and I treat her education the same as our son's. My husband and I are both their advocates. Hope this helps :o) Good Luck!

Renee - posted on 04/11/2010




See if there is an organization called Raising Special Kids in your state. Check the internet. They help the families for free - they get their funding from the state in which they are located. They are specialists in advocating IEPs for children with special needs. If not find a similar organization and fight like heck. They must provide an appropriate education. You son should be able to attend a mainstream class with a one on one aide. What is with these teachers?! Wow good luck to you!

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