View Full Version : Update on school situation with DS

01-15-2013, 12:45 PM
I have been literally hounding the school special ed-coordinator on a daily basis with calls and emails. Seems it works! If you keep bugging her, plus gently suggest how miserable your child is and that you might have to consider other options, well that seems to keep things moving ;).

I am feeling a bit more optimistic today. Here's what is in the works;

1) Yesterday I met with the shadow we plan to use. She seems amazing. She works exclusively with kids on the spectrum and clearly knows how to work with them. I think she will be a great fit with DS. She told me she will be my eyes and ears in the school and let me know the good, the bad and the ugly. She has worked with several kids in the school already and has a good sense of the school and community culture. I love that I can be very frank and upfront with her and even ask if she thinks DS can succeed in the current school. She was upfront with me as well in terms of pros and cons of the school. I guess that's the one advantage of hiring someone privately. She is working for us and not the school. She's going in this week to observe him and she'll give us her proposed goals and plan and then we can decide if we want to make any changes. We plan to use her full time for the first month and then have a meeting to reasses DS's needs. Also, she says that if at any point she feels he doesn't need her at certain times, she will take a break and we don't get charged for that time.

2) Still waiting to see the status of gov't funding for the shadow. Request was submitted through the school. I've been pushing the school to get an estimated timeframe from their caseworker contact. We are also in the process of filing a back-claim for a disability tax credit DS is now eligible for from birth because ASD is considered a genetic trait he was born with, even though the diagnosis is recent. It is a substantial amount of $ and would go far in covering the cost of the shadow. There should be no reason why we don't get it but it takes up to 6 months for them to process. So, either way, it looks like financially we can now afford the higher cost shadow without too much difficulty.

3) We have an IEP meeting scheduled for next week. Special ed-coordinator told me that she will write it up herself because her staff are a bit swamped right now and she knows we need this in place asap.

4) In addition to the IEP meeting, I requested that we meet with the hebrew teacher and the director of judaic studies to set some specific goals for DS and tailor the curriculum for DS's needs. Special-ed coordinator thought it was a great idea especially because the hebrew/judaic studies curriculum is much more rigid and structured than general studies. Also, the teacher can't seem to filter out anything as non-essential. That meeting is tentatively scheduled for next week, pending availability of the director of judaic studies.

Thank you again everyone for all your help in guiding me in the right direction. I'm sure I will have more questions after the IEP meeting. At the moment I am feeling much more confident that things at school can improve for DS and glad that we are actually moving towards a structured plan.