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♥ms.pacman♥
05-20-2019, 02:32 PM
we had a mtg today at our school (counselor, teacher, vice principal, principal) for converting dd's campus documentation (for her Selective Mutism) to a 504. it was at 7:15 in the morning and thankfully dd's (amazing) therapist was able to attend for support.

the school counselor reviewed current plan in place for my dd, which consisted mainly of accommodations for allowing her not to speak, (vs. interventions to get her talk). i asked about the stimulus fade-in technique that we are trying to get dd's main teacher to use (next year) which involves 2 or 3 sessions of 20 minutes each of teacher with dd (and a parent) in the classroom. this is the technique that dd's therapist used in her office when she first met DD and got her to talk on the FIRST VISIT (whereas she had never spoken to any other adult other than family save for 1 person).


it sounds like even with the 504, it will be difficult if not impossible to get the school to agree to allow teacher to do this fade-in technique with DD, even for next year. principal said it would take too long, and that she cannot take away instructional time from the teacher's 20 other students. though - we never ever suggested we wanted to take away instructional time from other students - we suggested getting someone to cover for teacher during recess duty so that she could do this techinque with dd.

therapist suggested parents volunteering to do recess duty - principal says they don't have parent volunteers for recess duty for liability reasons. and then mentioned they are short-staffed and thus they can't have people to sub for teachers during their recess duty. i am stumped on this - we have parent volunteers all the time at the school helping with various activities and working directly with kids - but somehow cannot be considered supervision at recess or lunchtime?

anyway, the thing that gets me is this - we have these regular meetings for DD since kinder (she is now in 2nd grade) -accommodations have been put in place and documented, but she has never once talked to a teacher or inside the classroom. these meetings and documentation i'm sure is a lot of busy work for the teachers - therapist pointed out, this fade-in technique may sounds a lot of work up front but it will save time later. makes sense to me - if this gets dd to talk in the classroom, that solves a lot and could easily lead to dd no longer needing any accommodations , documentation, which i'm sure would save the school time and money.

dd's therapist did point out that her experience, kids with SM who get this fade in technique do very well whereas doing the whole "wait and see" approach do not.

later after the meeting, therapist did say that in her experience, our district unfortunately tends to be pretty bad re: flexibility for allowing interventions for kids with SM. :( on occasion when some schools allowed it, it may have been more "off the books" , more out of ppl wanting to help vs. sticking with the legal red tape. which i guess really sucks. the thought of dd starting another year (fourth year at school) still being unable to speak at school is heartbreaking. i can tell as she gets older she is more and more aware of her limitations and how peers perceive her.

petesgirl
05-20-2019, 02:41 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry it didn't go as well as you wanted. I really thought that having the therapist there would get them to be a little more compliant.

I do understand where the district is coming from though. Our reccesses are only 15 mins long, how long are yours? So even if you could get a parent or volunteer to cover for your teacher, that wouldn't be long enough.

I would definitely approach her teacher next year about finding time to do it, maybe her next teacher will be willing and able to make it work.

sariana
05-20-2019, 03:52 PM
Do you have any friends who are lawyers? Sometimes a properly worded letter with legal letterhead can get a response when nothing else can. You don't have to have any intention of pursuing legal action--just an attorney who's willing to write the letter to make the district THINK you might be willing to take legal action.

I've even known people who took along a random friend in a suit with a legal pad to IEP and 504 meetings. The district attendees don't necessarily know who the "official-looking" person is, but the suit and notepad can (sometimes) work wonders.

mmsmom
05-20-2019, 04:13 PM
I’m sorry it didn’t go better. There are many districts though that do not allow parents to supervise kids in a classroom. Yes, they can help in the classroom and chaperone field trips but being in charge of a class is different. If something happened while a parent was supervising a class there could be a huge backlash. As a parent I would not want that responsibility though I volunteer and work with students in other ways.

I would try to research where this technique has been done in other schools and how it was managed. I hope next year’s teacher would be willing to put in some extra time for it. There was a child in DD’s class with hearing problems and the teacher wore a transmitter which she received training for and someone came to class to speak to the kids about it and explain how it worked. So obviously teacher time and instructional time was used in this case so it is possible. If you keep getting no then I would go to the district and consider hiring an advocate.

DualvansMommy
05-20-2019, 06:30 PM
I would try to research where this technique has been done in other schools and how it was managed. I hope next yearís teacher would be willing to put in some extra time for it. There was a child in DDís class with hearing problems and the teacher wore a transmitter which she received training for and someone came to class to speak to the kids about it and explain how it worked. So obviously teacher time and instructional time was used in this case so it is possible. If you keep getting no then I would go to the district and consider hiring an advocate.

I have friends who are parents of deaf kids, and oftentimes when they want to mainstream their kids, itís often 2 options they go. Research other schools with exact same issues (in your case; SM) how the schools managed to do the fade in technique then present it at your school.

Pursue it legally for further action. I think itís harder in your situation, because there is still a lot of unknown and resistance (that you already saw and experienced) from the school. In my friends cases, thereís already a lot of documentation, accommodations ideas, and different options for deaf children that it is bit easier.

Isnít there any national group or forum for parents of kids with SM? Join one and youíll have a wealth of information, support and ideas as far best in helping your DD.

Sorry that the meeting didnít go as much you hoped for.


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♥ms.pacman♥
05-20-2019, 09:51 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry it didn't go as well as you wanted. I really thought that having the therapist there would get them to be a little more compliant.

I do understand where the district is coming from though. Our reccesses are only 15 mins long, how long are yours? So even if you could get a parent or volunteer to cover for your teacher, that wouldn't be long enough.

I would definitely approach her teacher next year about finding time to do it, maybe her next teacher will be willing and able to make it work.

thanks! i am really glad the therapist was there, i think she did help a lot.

our recesses are longer (>20min) but the length is not the issue - the fade-in technique could be done in 10-15 minute sessions if needed, ias t's not a set time.

also the issue is that it's not up to the teacher - dd's teacher this year was very wiling to help do this technique and even met with me and dh once with the therapist there to get idea of this techniques and how to help DD. only at the next mtg with, the vice principal saying no, teachers are legally required to have kid-free planning times every day. when we asked about doing the technique over the summer before next year, before school started, she said no, they have a week for planning and it's very busy. at this meeting the principal said the same thing right away and kept saying they had 500 other students to take care of.

i find it so odd though that a teacher is basically forbidden from spending ~15 minutes time with a student, in a classroom. one time dd's teacher told me that dd would have to stay in during recess to work on an assignment with her that she didn't finish during class (that she could not finish, due to her selective mutism, bc she could not ask for help or explain the problem she was having). i'm sure that is not uncommon.

specialp
05-20-2019, 10:35 PM
later after the meeting, therapist did say that in her experience, our district unfortunately tends to be pretty bad re: flexibility for allowing interventions for kids with SM. :( on occasion when some schools allowed it, it may have been more "off the books" , more out of ppl wanting to help vs. sticking with the legal red tape. which i guess really sucks.

I'm sorry it didn't go well. I'm curious if the therapist has any other suggestions re: this. Other school options? I would hate it and the unfairness of it all, but yes, I would be exploring it. And does she think they are correct or accurate? In other words, does she think they are legally correct, but some have been willing to go "off the books?" If they cite a law or requirement that is hindering them, you can always ask where you can find the text of it so you can familiarize yourself with it. Your therapist's comment makes me think there may be some truth to it.

niccig
05-20-2019, 10:38 PM
Ohhhhh crap, I was hoping with the therapist there, you could get more traction. Sounds like the issue is who will supervise the class during these sessions. In our district the person has to be certificated so a parent volunteer doesnít count. Our teaching assistants canít be alone either with students. Itíll need to be a sub (who pays for that?) or someone maybe in admin to cover as other teachers already have their class to supervise.

Iím wondering if thereís a time when the class is with another teacher like during specials, or a special assembly where there already enough certificated staff, but not during the teacherís planning or lunch time. Or if a sub will be there but not with a class the whole day. We get subs to cover for teacher so they can attend IEP meetings. When theyíre not covering for a teacher in a meeting, they do other duties around school.

But to work that out requires flexibility with admin, and they donít sound flexible. Did they offer any suggestions for organizing a time?

Does DD need to do the fade in technique for every environment? Just wondering if thereís other options that treat the underlying anxiety rather than deal with each environment. Have you considered medications for the anxiety? My understanding is that medications help to decrease anxiety enough that other strategies can work.

I know itís a big issue to consider with consequences of taking medications and consequences of not taking medications. Weíre having to medicate DS for his nerve pain condition. I hate doing it, but if we donít he could attempt to self-medicate (drugs, alcohol) to deal with the nerve pain. Itís a real threat, so weíve opted for medications we control and can deal with side-affects.

ETA: Is there a time for teachers to conference with parents? At my school, itís 20 mins before school starts. DS is in middle school, and his teachers can meet after school for a short period of time, as still in contracted time. Could you organize a ďconferenceĒ and do the technique then?


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♥ms.pacman♥
05-21-2019, 11:18 AM
Ohhhhh crap, I was hoping with the therapist there, you could get more traction. Sounds like the issue is who will supervise the class during these sessions. In our district the person has to be certificated so a parent volunteer doesn’t count. Our teaching assistants can’t be alone either with students. It’ll need to be a sub (who pays for that?) or someone maybe in admin to cover as other teachers already have their class to supervise.

I’m wondering if there’s a time when the class is with another teacher like during specials, or a special assembly where there already enough certificated staff, but not during the teacher’s planning or lunch time. Or if a sub will be there but not with a class the whole day. We get subs to cover for teacher so they can attend IEP meetings. When they’re not covering for a teacher in a meeting, they do other duties around school.

But to work that out requires flexibility with admin, and they don’t sound flexible. Did they offer any suggestions for organizing a time?

Does DD need to do the fade in technique for every environment? Just wondering if there’s other options that treat the underlying anxiety rather than deal with each environment. Have you considered medications for the anxiety? My understanding is that medications help to decrease anxiety enough that other strategies can work.

I know it’s a big issue to consider with consequences of taking medications and consequences of not taking medications. We’re having to medicate DS for his nerve pain condition. I hate doing it, but if we don’t he could attempt to self-medicate (drugs, alcohol) to deal with the nerve pain. It’s a real threat, so we’ve opted for medications we control and can deal with side-affects.

ETA: Is there a time for teachers to conference with parents? At my school, it’s 20 mins before school starts. DS is in middle school, and his teachers can meet after school for a short period of time, as still in contracted time. Could you organize a “conference” and do the technique then?


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thanks for commenting!! having the therapist there did help a TON to speak to the effectiveness of the fade-in technique. however the principal was pretty firm that they didn't want to do it, even now with the 504. the therpaist did point out that DD (completing 2nd grade) has technically not passed her Kindergarten TEKS (texas curricululm standards) because she cannot respond to the teacher. i thought that was really good point she raised! i think DD tends to be dismissed bc she does well in school and behaves very well and doesn't appear to have a "need" for services.

the fade-in technique needs to be done in the empty classroom with DD (and a parent). There are times every day/multiple times a week when all the kids are at specials classes (e.g. art, PE, etc) for a decent chunk of time and the teacher is alone in the classroom but apparently that is considered the teachers "planning time" and admin says we cannot legally use that (again i do question how hard and fast rule this is - we used that time once to meet with the teacher and therapist to discuss how to help DD). So only option is getting someone to fill in for teacher's recess or lunch duty so then teacher can be in the classroom with the DD. again, i question that as i know there are times when teacher has to stay in the classroom during recess to help a student with work that was not completed in class, so someone must obviously be covering her duty at that time. this fade-in technique (2-3 sessions) would be really no different from that.

the school admin didn't offer any options for doing the fade in, just pretty much said straight up they didn't want to do the fade in technique because it took too long and they can't take away instruction time for other students, and asked if there is any other intervention they could do. they made a point to note that at last meeting they offered for the school learning specialist (instead of the teacher) to do the fade-in technique and we turned that down (based on recommendation of our therapist), and her tone totally insinuated we were being difficult/unreasonable. I am so confused by that - why do they want us to try the fade-in with the learning specialist and not the teacher? there is one learning specialist for 500 students at our school (a title I school with lots of kids with issues), i'm sure she is very busy too. plus, say we did fade-in with her, then what? then my dd will be able to talk to 1 adult at the school that she never otherwise interacts with. and we'd still have to do a fade-in with her main teacher in the classroom to get her to speak and interact with the teacher like a normal kid - so it would be more work. Our therapist tried to explain this in the meeting, but i don't think it was fully grasped. Therapist had also pointed out to us - if they offer the learning therapist to do the fade-in, why couldn't she just instead use that time to cover the recess duty for the teacher so she could do it in the classroom with DD? i don't really get it.

to answer the question re: settings - dd would not have to do the fade-in technique in every setting - the main thing would be to do it with the teacher in the classroom bc that is the most common environment she is in, and where lots of speaking and interaction with teacher would normally occur. i'd be over the moon if she could at least speak to the teacher in class and be able to read out loud etc.

SnuggleBuggles
05-21-2019, 11:30 AM
As pp have said, have you started researching other schools? Some schools just aren't good fits and there could be a much better option. Your therapist might be able to suggest some.

specialp
05-21-2019, 11:31 AM
to answer the question re: settings - dd would not have to do the fade-in technique in every setting - the main thing would be to do it with the teacher in the classroom bc that is the most common environment she is in, and where lots of speaking and interaction with teacher would normally occur. i'd be over the moon if she could at least speak to the teacher in class and be able to read out loud etc.

On a different note from school, could you use the summer to utilize this technique in other ares? With other people your daughter regularly interacts with but is unable to speak to? People like nannies, camp, dance teacher, music teacher? I know that doesn't help in the classroom, but I was curious if working these areas would benefit in the classroom down the road.

♥ms.pacman♥
05-21-2019, 11:39 AM
As pp have said, have you started researching other schools? Some schools just aren't good fits and there could be a much better option. Your therapist might be able to suggest some.
No havenít done that yet. I reluctant at this point to uproot both my kids from their school (which is in otherwise very good in other aspects, great teachers and kids have friends) , without at least going down the child advocate/lawyer road first. Also therapist suggested this entire district tends to be inflexible for kids with SM. Though, that is a consideration. It is incredibly frustrating one to have to make though.

♥ms.pacman♥
05-21-2019, 12:00 PM
On a different note from school, could you use the summer to utilize this technique in other ares? With other people your daughter regularly interacts with but is unable to speak to? People like nannies, camp, dance teacher, music teacher? I know that doesn't help in the classroom, but I was curious if working these areas would benefit in the classroom down the road.
We use other techniques suggested by therapist and now dd is able to order at certain restaurants. But It doesnít really translate to the classroom. The setting and person is inherent to the disorder of SM, which I think is puzzling to most people (including school admin). In SM many settings are ďcontaminated ď and thus do not allow dd to speak then. She had not spoken in classroom ever in her life and sheís been in school for so long so itís much harder mentally for her to speak in those settings. She has gotten comfortable not speaking.

Dd is continuing therapy over the summer and we are continuing to do our homework re: using techniques to encourage her to speak at restaurants and to new people and she is definitely making progress there. But she doesnít speak at school (except to her brother and one classmate) where she spends 7 hours a day (actually 9 hours if u include aftercare).l. i feel like that is not going to change unless we implement this fade-in technique with her new teacher.

I think the hard part here is most people , even educators, are unfamiliar with SM and the effects on a kid - I donít think most people understand what it must be like to not be able to speak for ~9 hours at a time and not be able to ask for help. She is very smart and reserved so she hides her frustration and anxiety well.

♥ms.pacman♥
05-21-2019, 12:12 PM
Also just want to add, thanks all for the input here, it is good food for thought!!

I should also thank the bbb for recommending to see a therapist for my dd. My DH was reluctant at first..I was the one who researched for SM experts in the area and insisted on trying it. Had to wait several months on waitlist but it was so worth it. Ddís Anxiety in general had improved so much from last year . DH was blown away how dd talked to therapist in first session. Also - now therapist says at every session dd is teeming with things to tell her, like she has been holding her thoughts in all day. Through all this frustration I guess I have to remind myself I did something right.

Thanks to our therapist I did find a weeklong drama camp geared for kids with SM and anxiety, so we will be doing that next month. Maybe I can reach out to few of the parents and discuss more in how schools are helping their dc and what they have succeeded in being able to do.

candaceb
05-21-2019, 05:29 PM
Thanks to our therapist I did find a weeklong drama camp geared for kids with SM and anxiety, so we will be doing that next month. Maybe I can reach out to few of the parents and discuss more in how schools are helping their dc and what they have succeeded in being able to do.

I've been following along, but haven't chimed in at all because my kid's issues are totally different.
HOWEVER, I do think you are on the right track in terms of connecting with other parents. Does your district have a parent advocacy group? We have this group: https://a2pac.wordpress.com/
There are monthly meetings and a very active facebook group. People ask all sorts of questions in the fb group about how to get the services their kid needs and what avenues are available. There is also a relationship with a non-profit advocacy agency and either the advocate or other parents from the group will sit in on IEP meetings to support parents (take notes, remind them of questions they meant to ask, look official (as noted above), etc.

niccig
05-22-2019, 01:28 AM
The drama camp sounds good. Maybe there are other programs she can attend. I came across this one, and maybe there are other experiences she can participate in that are closer to home.

https://childmind.org/center/brave-buddies/



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♥ms.pacman♥
05-22-2019, 06:39 AM
Thanks. I saw that which looked great but all the camps were in New York or Bay Area. There wasnít a single thing available in state of Texas :(

I talked to DH more yeseterday as dd had her therapist appt and he had a chance to talk to therapist a bit. Therapist did mention that school seened to be putting on a bit of a show to try to intimidate us to back down and was very reluctant to even consider doing the fade-in. Therapist says she knows of at least one family that transferred out of the district for this reason. It does sound like we have to go the lawyer route and if that doesnít work we have to consider this. But this would require us to move out of our house we worked so hard to design , build etc and find and buy another house etc. Plus start dd at a completely new school with no friends at all. I feel nauseous just thinking about it. So we will be totally be doing the lawyer route first. DH was saying it seems like the only way would be to get the district to force the school to do it. Ugh this is so stupid - we are talking about fighting for 45 minutes of a teachers time here, that could determine whether or not dd is able to speak to the teacher during the entire school year.

I must say that the whole ďteacher canít do it because be legally provided student-free timeĒ during lunch or recess is total BS ...because as DH later reminded me, DS (3rd grade) often has ďbuddy lunch ď (which is lunch with the teacher in the classroom with 1 friend, while all other students are having lunch in the cafeteria) - and DS gets this at least ONCE A WEEK- either with his own teacher or another teacher (his friendís teacher). Obviously teacher is giving up her planning time for this or using a sub for lunch duty - and i believe this must be going on every day because I know DS alone goes once a week or more. So i do know that teachers at least in 3rd grade do this - donít know why principal has put up such a fight. Iím sure DS would happily give up his buddy lunches so that teacher could use that time help my DD. Ugh I had forgotten about this or I would have mentioned this in the meeting.

SnuggleBuggles
05-22-2019, 08:00 AM
Private school, charter or religious school is worth looking at too so you donít have to move. Some do work well with special considerations despite not having the same legal requirements as public schools. There are probably more options out there than you know. Definitely tap into your local parenting community especially for kids that need those extra School supports. Maybe your therapist knows of some.


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♥ms.pacman♥
05-22-2019, 09:42 AM
Private school, charter or religious school is worth looking at too so you don’t have to move. Some do work well with special considerations despite not having the same legal requirements as public schools. There are probably more options out there than you know. Definitely tap into your local parenting community especially for kids that need those extra School supports. Maybe your therapist knows of some.


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thanks, that is good point. not having to move would make things a lot easier. much as i believe in and want to support public schools (and this is what attracts many people, including upper income folks to our area actually - very high public school ratings) - i would have no problem with paying for or going to a catholic school for example if it came down to it .the issue would be whether or not they would allow for interventions such as the fade-in for DD and would make accomodations for it.

IME, catholic schools (and private religious schools in general) were not great for things like ADHD and behavior issues (my brother had to change schools in Kinder for this reason - so growing up we went to separate schools ). though we did have great luck with teacher in Primrose pre-K before DD started school. teacher was really willing to work with DD. in my case, due to the nature of DD's disorder, teachers in general really like being with DD and are willing to do extra things to help her (FTR, i think teachers at our current school are like this too, but are being quashed by the administration). if a private school administration doesn't have the same bureaucratic red tape as public school (plus doesn't have to deal with tons of other kids with severe & disruptive issues, like our school does) then maybe it would be better. i will have to talk to other parents and therapist to get a feel.

SnuggleBuggles
05-22-2019, 09:49 AM
thanks, that is good point. not having to move would make things a lot easier. much as i believe in and want to support public schools (and this is what attracts many people, including upper income folks to our area actually - very high public school ratings) - i would have no problem with paying for or going to a catholic school for example if it came down to it .the issue would be whether or not they would allow for interventions such as the fade-in for DD and would make accomodations for it.

IME, catholic schools (and private religious schools in general) were not great for things like ADHD and behavior issues (my brother had to change schools in Kinder for this reason - so growing up we went to separate schools ). though we did have great luck with teacher in Primrose pre-K before DD started school. teacher was really willing to work with DD. in my case, due to the nature of DD's disorder, teachers in general really like being with DD and are willing to do extra things to help her (FTR, i think teachers at our current school are like this too, but are being quashed by the administration). if a private school administration doesn't have the same bureaucratic red tape as public school (plus doesn't have to deal with tons of other kids with severe & disruptive issues, like our school does) then maybe it would be better. i will have to talk to other parents and therapist to get a feel.

Exactly- far less red tape and less likelihood of union regulations. Good luck!

hbridge
05-22-2019, 11:24 AM
Definitely look at private schools and speak with an advocate or lawyer about mentioning "out-of-district" placement in a meeting. If they are unable to accommodate the child's needs in the school, the district much place the child in the least restrictive environment. Someone knowledgeable about your state's laws should be able to word this properly. "out of district" placement is expensive, especially when they need to provide transportation on top of tuition. Have a school or two that would be appropriate and have the lawyer/advocate send a letter or give you the wording for a document or meeting.

I'm guessing if you push hard enough and will cost the district enough money, they will magically find the time to try the "fade-in".

In the meantime, actually research schools that are more flexible. The therapist should be able to help there. You never know when you might actually need one. It sounds like this school is not going to help much...

zukeypur
05-22-2019, 06:09 PM
Also just want to add, thanks all for the input here, it is good food for thought!!

I should also thank the bbb for recommending to see a therapist for my dd. My DH was reluctant at first..I was the one who researched for SM experts in the area and insisted on trying it. Had to wait several months on waitlist but it was so worth it. Dd’s Anxiety in general had improved so much from last year . DH was blown away how dd talked to therapist in first session. Also - now therapist says at every session dd is teeming with things to tell her, like she has been holding her thoughts in all day. Through all this frustration I guess I have to remind myself I did something right.

Thanks to our therapist I did find a weeklong drama camp geared for kids with SM and anxiety, so we will be doing that next month. Maybe I can reach out to few of the parents and discuss more in how schools are helping their dc and what they have succeeded in being able to do.

Would you mind sharing how you found a therapist? I did a search with our insurance for a child therapist who dealt with learning disabilities, anxiety, and ADHD, hoping that some of the therapies used would cross over to SM, but there was no SM search option. We did go see one therapist, but she was a bit odd and kept asking questions that were autism related (trying to fit DD into that category). She wanted us to get DD tested before she starts seeing her, but the lady who does the testing doesn’t take our insurance. I can’t get the office to call me back to tell me exactly what kind of testing she needs so that I can search for someone else to test her.

I wish I could remember the name of the advocacy group in Austin for children with special needs. I realize your DD hasn’t been categorized as SN, but a phone call from this group could help. I’ll make some phone calls and see what I can find. They were my next step when DD1’s school refused to evaluate her for special ed (despite her having no hands or feet.......because Texas). The school nurse stepped in before I had to go that far.

zukeypur
05-22-2019, 06:24 PM
https://www.txp2p.org/resources/statewide-resources/special-education

PZMommy
05-22-2019, 07:40 PM
I’m stuck on the fact that if the teacher is willing to give up their time, why is the school fighting it? By contract I am given a duty free recess (20 minutes), and a duty free lunch (40 minutes), plus need to be there at a least 10 minutes before and after the school day. The principal can’t require me to do something on my lunch break, but if I choose to do something on my lunch break that is on me. I would like to think that most teachers would be willing to give up a few recess times or lunch times to help a student. I would look into getting an advocate. I also would wait and talk to the teacher she will have next year and see if the teacher is willing to do this. If they are maybe they can speak up and say that they are willing to give up recess or lunch time, or stay after school, etc.

niccig
05-22-2019, 10:19 PM
Iím stuck on the fact that if the teacher is willing to give up their time, why is the school fighting it? By contract I am given a duty free recess (20 minutes), and a duty free lunch (40 minutes), plus need to be there at a least 10 minutes before and after the school day. The principal canít require me to do something on my lunch break, but if I choose to do something on my lunch break that is on me. I would like to think that most teachers would be willing to give up a few recess times or lunch times to help a student. I would look into getting an advocate. I also would wait and talk to the teacher she will have next year and see if the teacher is willing to do this. If they are maybe they can speak up and say that they are willing to give up recess or lunch time, or stay after school, etc.

I agree. I know they canít tell us to do something on lunch break, but I canít remember the last time I didnít work through lunch! I have way too much paperwork and try not to take it home.

I was hoping they could reach a compromise as itís not a lot of time over a school year. I think some administrators Iíve worked with, would figure out a solution.

Iím working with a teacher and intervention coordinator right now for one of my students. Heís on an IEP but the accommodations he needs right now arenít written in it as it wasnít an issue before, and I canít get a meeting held as itís end of year for us. So weíre working out a solution for now that works, and Iíll hold the meeting next year to get it written in officially, just in case next years teacher may not be as accommodating - I donít think that will be the case, but I want to have legal might backing me up.


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PZMommy
05-22-2019, 10:43 PM
I agree. I know they can’t tell us to do something on lunch break, but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t work through lunch! I have way too much paperwork and try not to take it home.

I was hoping they could reach a compromise as it’s not a lot of time over a school year. I think some administrators I’ve worked with, would figure out a solution.

I’m working with a teacher and intervention coordinator right now for one of my students. He’s on an IEP but the accommodations he needs right now aren’t written in it as it wasn’t an issue before, and I can’t get a meeting held as it’s end of year for us. So we’re working out a solution for now that works, and I’ll hold the meeting next year to get it written in officially, just in case next years teacher may not be as accommodating - I don’t think that will be the case, but I want to have legal might backing me up.


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We had an issue a few years back, where we as a staff agreed to make a detention room 2 days per week at our lunch time. We all agreed to rotate days, and no one was forced to do it. An outside coordinator, who was not even a part of our detention agreement, called the union on the school, and it got shut down really fast because it violated the duty free lunch agreement. So in retrospect I can kind of see a principal not wanting to agree to a teacher doing this, but at the end of the day, it should be up to the teacher.

♥ms.pacman♥
05-22-2019, 10:54 PM
I’m stuck on the fact that if the teacher is willing to give up their time, why is the school fighting it? By contract I am given a duty free recess (20 minutes), and a duty free lunch (40 minutes), plus need to be there at a least 10 minutes before and after the school day. The principal can’t require me to do something on my lunch break, but if I choose to do something on my lunch break that is on me. I would like to think that most teachers would be willing to give up a few recess times or lunch times to help a student. I would look into getting an advocate. I also would wait and talk to the teacher she will have next year and see if the teacher is willing to do this. If they are maybe they can speak up and say that they are willing to give up recess or lunch time, or stay after school, etc.

thank you - this is what i don't get either. i wasn't at the previous mtg, but DH says that DD's teacher was there at that mtg and was saying at the meeting she was willing to do the fade-in (just as we had discussed with her few days earlier), but then vice principal stepped in and said no, legally teachers are required to have that kid-free planning time every day. we asked then at this mtg this week about the week before school with the new teacher and it was a hard no, that teachers only get 1 week before school starts for prep in the school and it's very busy. again, we are talking about a total of 45 minutes here (three sessions of 15 minutes each). during a time where there would no other students to worry about supervising (since that was brought up as a main issue).

and yeah,as i mentioned before, i know that teachers willingly give up their lunchbreak to have lunch with 1-2 students in the classroom (when they earn enough points that day, for things like good behavior/finishing their work etc) - my DS gets this all the time (like at least every other week, and then other times he gets picked by a friend who got it, so he goes at least once a week).

i don't know the more i think about it, the more i begin to think it's all because they don't see the value of doing it (or the seriousness of SM) - given they likely mostly deal with students who are really struggling academically and/or have more obvious disabilities. and thus we somehow come across as overzealous helicopter parents asking for specialized, excessive treatment and are going to push for doing this every week throughout the school year. i wish there was a way to convey how limiting SM can be and how difficult it can be to treat as kid gets older. people in general don't understand SM, which makes things hard. apparently 1 in 140 kids have it, but most people have never heard of it.

i am listening to podcasts re: SM and one specialist was saying that 504's were mainly for accomodations and to get interventions like the fade-in you often have to have an IEP. sounds like IEP are much difficult to get becasue they require proving that the SM is affecting her learning . DD gets excellent grades and is not disruptive at all so i can tell that would be a hard sell. But, could totally make the argument that it is affecting her social development which it TOTALLY IS. she cannot do group projects and i can tell she intentionally limits her activities to ones where she doesn't have to interact with others or speak.

it sounds like our therapist is prepared for getting stuff together for trying to get IEP which i think is good.

♥ms.pacman♥
05-22-2019, 11:01 PM
Would you mind sharing how you found a therapist? I did a search with our insurance for a child therapist who dealt with learning disabilities, anxiety, and ADHD, hoping that some of the therapies used would cross over to SM, but there was no SM search option. We did go see one therapist, but she was a bit odd and kept asking questions that were autism related (trying to fit DD into that category). She wanted us to get DD tested before she starts seeing her, but the lady who does the testing doesn’t take our insurance. I can’t get the office to call me back to tell me exactly what kind of testing she needs so that I can search for someone else to test her.

I wish I could remember the name of the advocacy group in Austin for children with special needs. I realize your DD hasn’t been categorized as SN, but a phone call from this group could help. I’ll make some phone calls and see what I can find. They were my next step when DD1’s school refused to evaluate her for special ed (despite her having no hands or feet.......because Texas). The school nurse stepped in before I had to go that far.

thanks. on finding a therapist, i actually went on facebook and asked in various groups about therapists specializing in SM. i got only two comments/recommendations (even on busy active parenting groups, most people didn't know what SM is, so i got few responses)- then i googled SM therapist and one of them turned out to be one of the names recommended and her office was close by. plus she had a great website discussing SM. i then reached out and got on the waitlist. she is really great. since i'm on the high-deductible plan i just pay for it with my HSA card.

and wow, how frustrating to have to go thru all that with jumping through hoops just to find a therapist and settle the insurance. i can see how u can feel in the Twilight Zone with things like that - so frustrating. the healthcare system here is just so broken.

also - thanks for the link!!

petesgirl
05-22-2019, 11:13 PM
Ok, so I regularly have random questions for my child's teacher. Sometimes I enail beforehand and ask if I come after school, sometimes I just pop in after school and we discuss my question in 30 seconds and then just chat for 10 more minutes. Could this be something like that, if next year's teacher agrees to it, where you just schedule a 'parent meeting ' and then use it for the technique? Do you think it could be done without the admins knowing that is what the teacher is really doing?
Another idea, if your school does in person parent/teacher conferences every quarter, could you use your alloted time for this, since your DD'S grades probably need a lot of attention as she is a good student?

niccig
05-23-2019, 12:24 AM
. So in retrospect I can kind of see a principal not wanting to agree to a teacher doing this, but at the end of the day, it should be up to the teacher.

Or if this teacher agrees, is there then pressure for other teachers OPís DD interacts with, or next yearís teacher. I still think they could work out a compromise. This isnít much time really and could save time in the classroom later.



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♥ms.pacman♥
05-23-2019, 06:44 AM
Ok, so I regularly have random questions for my child's teacher. Sometimes I enail beforehand and ask if I come after school, sometimes I just pop in after school and we discuss my question in 30 seconds and then just chat for 10 more minutes. Could this be something like that, if next year's teacher agrees to it, where you just schedule a 'parent meeting ' and then use it for the technique? Do you think it could be done without the admins knowing that is what the teacher is really doing?
Another idea, if your school does in person parent/teacher conferences every quarter, could you use your alloted time for this, since your DD'S grades probably need a lot of attention as she is a good student?

That is really good point and DH was actually thinking along these lines ...he was thinking he could become the room parent for next year and then do it off the books in that way.
He could help teacher set up for things so that she wouldnít need to use her planning time for it. Things like that. DH schedule tends to be way more open than mine during the day/week.

mom2224
05-23-2019, 01:16 PM
Great ideas so far, especially your DH being the room parent. Does the technique need to be done in the classroom? I was wondering if you could work with the teacher completely off the books. Maybe hire her and meet somewhere other than the classroom (playground, parking lot).

RiverRat
05-23-2019, 05:28 PM
This may be a silly question, and I mean no offense: does the technique need to be done at school? Could you ask the teacher to meet you after hours and just pay him/her? Almost like you ďran intoĒ the teacher in the world. Iím thinking like ďprivate tutoringĒ.


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Snow mom
05-25-2019, 10:25 PM
I agree that you may be able to pay the teacher to meet with your DD outside school time. I know our music teacher does private piano lessons for students as a second job so at least in our disctrict it must be allowed.

Also, just curious--would the fade in allow DD to actually speak during class? I imagine she doesn't speak in front of people, not just doesn't speak to people? So maybe she can learn to speak to teacher in an empty classroom but will she be able to speak to the teacher in front of a couple dozen kids that can also hear her?

bisous
05-29-2019, 07:55 AM
OP, Iím sorry youíre going through this. Unfortunately I have experienced working with a school that just decides they will put their foot down on something for no good reason whatever and when you reach that point itís extremely hard to get them to move the dial at all. It makes me realize that so much of what we receive in the way of accommodations is really according to the good will of the school!

We did eventually need the help of an educational lawyer. When we enquired about the process it was extremely expensive and we lucked out in getting lawyer BIL to draft a serious sounding letter and used a contact we had, a well known education lawyer in the community and merely had to mention her name and the accommodation was made after we contacted the school board.

All this to say, you might be able to get permission/help on this but you might need to involve a lawyer. The advantage to involving a lawyer is that you help everyone that comes after you with similar problems. The disadvantage is the time, the expense, and the strain with the school.

And just so you know, we got our accommodations for our current year and then ended up switching to a charter school that was 180 degrees different in helping with our issue! Iím still glad we pushed on our issue though. Good luck!

bisous
05-29-2019, 07:57 AM
Oh and also I think you have a case for an IEP. As youíve said, there an oral component to the tests allowing DD to pass from one class to the next. If she canít talk, she canít complete that requirement. Itís unacceptable that their workaround is using your DS! So yeah, Iíd push for IEP for sure!!

hbridge
06-02-2019, 02:02 PM
Oh and also I think you have a case for an IEP. As you’ve said, there an oral component to the tests allowing DD to pass from one class to the next. If she can’t talk, she can’t complete that requirement. It’s unacceptable that their workaround is using your DS! So yeah, I’d push for IEP for sure!!

THIS!!!! Using a sibling as a workaround is NOT okay! It may actually be illegal since the school is disrupting your sons education. Also, your son deserves to NOT have to take care of his sister at school, it's not good for either of them.

Your DD needs an IEP, ASAP. Put in writing that you want the district to do the testing needed for an IEP. Depending on the state, this can take a LONG TIME. We submitted a full neuropsych in early January and the IEP was not put in place until May since the district had to do their own testing, ect. So get the process started now.

Hugs to you and your sweet kids. Your wonderful son is working so hard to help out, that's not his job and is only going to make it harder for your daughter to receive the services she needs.

♥ms.pacman♥
06-03-2019, 06:36 PM
thanks all! i have talked a bit to other parents on this since school got out (school has been over for more than a week now). it does seem like she needs an IEP. one possibility i heard was having pediatrician write a note recommending her for services (that is what one mom recommended) - but our ped isn't aware of her going to seeing therapist for SM. not sure if it has to be a ped or a therapist could write this.

that is a good point about how my DS should not be used in that regard. it never bothered me honestly but now thinking about it, i should totally use that to leverage another reason dd needs the fade-in with the new teacher.

on a positive note, our principal did get a chance to talk to district specialist on SM about what this intervention could look like..should know in some weeks what the outcome of that discussion was. sadly, this one specialist (who is the one person in the district who has expertiste in SM) is retiring, which really sucks. it is hard bc very very very few people understand SM, even after explaining it to people in simple terms. It is probably the least understood disability, even though it's so friggin basic. I will literally tell people "she has an anxiety disorder where she cannot talk in certain situations" and people get down and TRY THEIR HARDEST to get her to speak. Like they want to be the magic unicorn whisperer that gets her to talk. It is so INFURIATING. Seriously, WHAT IS IT with adults wanting to demand a child talks to them?? It is not "rude" if a child doesn't speak to you. OMG....this needs to be drilled into adults' heads.....

today dh went to summer school open house (summer school starts tmw) and there was only 1 hour of "open house" to talk to the teachers there about DD"s SM. DH was good and printed out a handout to give to teachers showing what they can do (not for doing fade-in, but just not to punish her for not speaking). bc dh had to be there and ds had swim team practice at same time had to leave work super early to pick up my DS. Dude, i have no idea how folks with multiple kids and/or multiple therapy appts do it!!

niccig
06-03-2019, 09:16 PM
ms.pacman[emoji813];4335432]thanks all! i have talked a bit to other parents on this since school got out (school has been over for more than a week now). it does seem like she needs an IEP. one possibility i heard was having pediatrician write a note recommending her for services (that is what one mom recommended) - but our ped isn't aware of her going to seeing therapist for SM. not sure if it has to be a ped or a therapist could write this.

that is a good point about how my DS should not be used in that regard. it never bothered me honestly but now thinking about it, i should totally use that to leverage another reason dd needs the fade-in with the new teacher.

on a positive note, our principal did get a chance to talk to district specialist on SM about what this intervention could look like..should know in some weeks what the outcome of that discussion was. sadly, this one specialist (who is the one person in the district who has expertiste in SM) is retiring, which really sucks. it is hard bc very very very few people understand SM, even after explaining it to people in simple terms. It is probably the least understood disability, even though it's so friggin basic. I will literally tell people "she has an anxiety disorder where she cannot talk in certain situations" and people get down and TRY THEIR HARDEST to get her to speak. Like they want to be the magic unicorn whisperer that gets her to talk. It is so INFURIATING. Seriously, WHAT IS IT with adults wanting to demand a child talks to them?? It is not "rude" if a child doesn't speak to you. OMG....this needs to be drilled into adults' heads.....

today dh went to summer school open house (summer school starts tmw) and there was only 1 hour of "open house" to talk to the teachers there about DD"s SM. DH was good and printed out a handout to give to teachers showing what they can do (not for doing fade-in, but just not to punish her for not speaking). bc dh had to be there and ds had swim team practice at same time had to leave work super early to pick up my DS. Dude, i have no idea how folks with multiple kids and/or multiple therapy appts do it!!

For an IEP evaluation, you put a request in writing. A doctors note wonít get a child services at school as dr prescription is for the medical setting, schools donít take Dr prescriptions. I get them for kids saying child has certain speech or language disability (no testing done by the doctor to prove this) and to give speech therapy x times a week. I canít do anything with just that!! I need parent request in writing and then parent has to sign the assessment plan form before I can even go look at the child. Then I have to test to see if child meets state education code eligibility requirements. If they do, then I recommend therapy frequency, not a doctor. Heck even in private practice, a doctor canít tell me how often to see a patient for therapy, thatís determined by the treating SLP.

A letter from your therapist would be useful to have included in the evaluation. Iíd even sign exchange of information form, so school staff can talk to the therapist. All that information should be included in her evaluation. If sheís had any evaluations by outside providers, give those copies. They must be considered, but schools do not have to accept their recommendations. Schools must follow the stateís education code, least restrictive environment and free and appropriate public education; outside providers do not follow any of that, so the recommendations can be different.

You can give a letter requesting an IEP first day back at school if you want to. You do not need a dr letter to get the process started.






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cuca_
06-04-2019, 08:27 AM
OP, if you are going to request an IEP, I would send the letter now and get the process started. IME school district offices are open and working for several weeks after school is over. Once you submit your request, the school has to follow a specific timeframe. You want this timeframe to start running ASAP, so that if your daughter qualifies, the IEP is in place as early as possible in the school year. I would also submit any evaluations and diagnosis at the meeting. While they are not binding, the school must take them into consideration.

Good luck!


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DualvansMommy
06-04-2019, 08:52 AM
OP, if you are going to request an IEP, I would send the letter now and get the process started. IME school district offices are open and working for several weeks after school is over. Once you submit your request, the school has to follow a specific timeframe. You want this timeframe to start running ASAP, so that if your daughter qualifies, the IEP is in place as early as possible in the school year. I would also submit any evaluations and diagnosis at the meeting. While they are not binding, the school must take them into consideration.

Good luck!


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Agree with above. I know you mentioned schools been out a week or so. Send letter in now, so ideally DD May have something in place by late Fall. Vs starting process first week of school and services likely wonít be in place till after Xmas break which is practically halfway done of year.

I know my district school front offices is open for whole month of July on reduced schedule. This is so to deal with last min new student admission, medical info, and a zillion other things.


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niccig
06-05-2019, 01:18 AM
Agree with above. I know you mentioned schools been out a week or so. Send letter in now, so ideally DD May have something in place by late Fall. Vs starting process first week of school and services likely wonít be in place till after Xmas break which is practically halfway done of year.

I know my district school front offices is open for whole month of July on reduced schedule. This is so to deal with last min new student admission, medical info, and a zillion other things.


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Unless a school district has evaluation teams that work over the summer, the evaluation wonít start until school starts back. OP, check with your school district.

The OPs school is already on vacation.Here, the letter will not be acted on until school starts back, an assessment plan would be sent home and then the 60 day timeline to evaluate would start when the signed assessment plan is returned to school. We donít do evaluations over the summer as the staff that do them arenít working. If an evaluation is started 30 days before summer vacation, it is not due until 30 days after school starts. Part of this is legal to give 60 day time frame and we are required by law to do several observations in the school setting. The 60 days does not include vacation days.


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cuca_
06-05-2019, 05:47 PM
Unless a school district has evaluation teams that work over the summer, the evaluation wonít start until school starts back. OP, check with your school district.

The OPs school is already on vacation.Here, the letter will not be acted on until school starts back, an assessment plan would be sent home and then the 60 day timeline to evaluate would start when the signed assessment plan is returned to school. We donít do evaluations over the summer as the staff that do them arenít working. If an evaluation is started 30 days before summer vacation, it is not due until 30 days after school starts. Part of this is legal to give 60 day time frame and we are required by law to do several observations in the school setting. The 60 days does not include vacation days.


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I think this varies by state and by district. IME, some states do have some teams that work over the summer, and these matters are taken care of despite school not being in session. We've had meetings and evaluations after school has ended in two different states. In fact, the federal regulations call for 60 calendar days, and the timeframe is not paused by summer vacation. That said, I believe that States can legislate differently and have a longer or shorter timeframe, and include language that provides for business or school days. OP will need to check with her school district to see what the procedure is like there.

niccig
06-05-2019, 10:14 PM
I think this varies by state and by district. IME, some states do have some teams that work over the summer, and these matters are taken care of despite school not being in session. We've had meetings and evaluations after school has ended in two different states. In fact, the federal regulations call for 60 calendar days, and the timeframe is not paused by summer vacation. That said, I believe that States can legislate differently and have a longer or shorter timeframe, and include language that provides for business or school days. OP will need to check with her school district to see what the procedure is like there.

Yes this is why I told OP to check with her school district. In CA, all timelines donít include vacation days.


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zukeypur
07-17-2019, 02:30 PM
I am on a web conference right now with Texas Parent 2 Parent. The presenter recommended contacting Disability Rights Texas for legal support.
https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/home/

PZMommy
12-02-2019, 09:27 PM
I was just wondering how things were going for your DD this year?

TwinFoxes
12-03-2019, 12:34 AM
I haven't read all of the replies, but everyone I know in our district who hired an attorney got what they wanted. Sad, but true.