Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    VClute is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC, USA.
    Posts
    1,431

    Default UPDATE IN OP They want to move my 2nd-grader to a self-contained classroom

    UPDATE: After an occasionally ... ahem ... spirited marathon IEP meeting (2 1/2 hours!) on Monday, the school has agreed to let him stay a little longer at his current resourced level. His teachers and the administrator are (understandably) concerned about his academic progress (or lack thereof) and I'm more concerned about the potential for him to lose the small amount of independence and social opportunity he currently enjoys. At the meeting, I learned that, much to my dismay, there have been no consequences for Dixon for NOT doing his work. They have assumed that NOT doing it means he CAN'T do it. ABA has taught me that Dixon needs more rewards for doing the right thing and defined consequences for doing the wrong thing than a typical kid does. So we set up a reward system for him (I'm still shaking my head that there wasn't one in place already. I have been so complacent!) and the past couple of days have shown some improvement. Our next IEP is already scheduled for March 11. My fingers are crossed that he has shown some progress by then.

    Hi, all. I hope I can get some guidance or BTDT advice. Dixon was diagnosed with autism before age 3. He went to an early intervention preschool program for two years and then they wanted to send him to a self-contained classroom. I fought it, and he attended our district's primary school (K-1) for two largely uneventful years. He is certainly behind his peers and that isn't anything I didn't/don't expect.

    This year, he's at a new school (2-5) and many accompanying changes are really throwing him for a loop. He has gone from the first report card showing he is on grade level for math and below grade level for reading and writing to "well below" grade level in all three areas. His classroom is somewhat chaotic because there are lots of IEP kids in there (I'm told they cluster the IEP kids in one or two of the six classes there) and so (per the teacher) kids are coming and going all the time. Dixon has NEVER had behavior problems (no kicking, hitting, yelling or tantruming, regardless of his discomfort with noise or transitions, etc) but I learned that he is simply not doing or turning in his work. To me, that *is* poor behavior, but all I've ever gotten from his teacher is smiley faces.

    He's been in "resourced" status (where he's pulled from class a couple of hours every day) for six weeks but now they want to move him to self-contained (a classroom located at a different school).

    I'm no educator, and I trust that these people want only good things for Dixon (the alternative is to NOT trust them - and I just can't wrap my head around getting into a fight with these people) so I went to observe the self-contained classroom and didn't care for what I saw. I want him to remain at his district school, but I don't know how best to advocate for that.

    I'm looking for sources that state that a FAPE can be accomplished in a typical classroom rather than a self-contained classroom. Especially when there are no behavior problems.

    Conversely, I'm looking for opinions from other moms of children with autism. Am I denying my child an important opportunity by NOT wanting to send him to the smaller self-contained classroom environment? Or is keeping him with typical peers also an important educational opportunity? Any research showing one or the other?
    Last edited by VClute; 12-20-2012 at 08:55 AM. Reason: UPDATE
    Amy in NC
    mom to Dixon, 2/14/2005
    and Abigail, 4/7/2007

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    22,684

    Default

    I wish I had more to offer, but all I can think of at the moment is to suggest that you look at the Wrightslaw website if you haven't already. I don't think they can change his educational setting without your concurrence or a whole bunch of process.

    Catherine

  3. #3
    inmypjs is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Could you say more about what you didn't like about the self-contained classroom? I agree that they can't make a change like that without your consent. They'd have to schedule an IEP meeting, notify you of it and you would have to sign the new IEP before it could be implemented. Are there any special education advocates in your area? I don't know of any in mine, but have heard some people talk about organizations that provide support to parents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA.
    Posts
    8,817

    Default

    How many kids are in his current classroom? Are there any aides? What did you not like about the self contained classroom? I'm not sure what a self contained classroom entails. Does that mean there are no typical kids?

    DS1 has high functioning PDD-NOS and is in a typical classroom with a teacher and full time aid. There are several other kids on IEPs. (I know of 2 others for sure; not sure if there are others.) In your shoes, I would not be happy that they want to move your DS out of his current classroom. I think it is important for spectrum kids to interact with typical kids in a regular classroom. (unless they have very severe needs that can't be accommodated in a regular classroom.) DS1's therapists have continually told me to sign him up for activities with typical kids.

    If the class has a lot of IEP kids, there should be more aides to accommodate them. It sounds like your DS needs more help in getting his work done and turned in; the school should be providing that help and they're not. Do you have a developmental pediatrician that can write a letter to the school stating that he needs this support?
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

  5. #5
    VClute is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC, USA.
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ett View Post
    How many kids are in his current classroom? Are there any aides? What did you not like about the self contained classroom? I'm not sure what a self contained classroom entails. Does that mean there are no typical kids?

    DS1 has high functioning PDD-NOS and is in a typical classroom with a teacher and full time aid. There are several other kids on IEPs. (I know of 2 others for sure; not sure if there are others.) In your shoes, I would not be happy that they want to move your DS out of his current classroom. I think it is important for spectrum kids to interact with typical kids in a regular classroom. (unless they have very severe needs that can't be accommodated in a regular classroom.) DS1's therapists have continually told me to sign him up for activities with typical kids.

    If the class has a lot of IEP kids, there should be more aides to accommodate them. It sounds like your DS needs more help in getting his work done and turned in; the school should be providing that help and they're not. Do you have a developmental pediatrician that can write a letter to the school stating that he needs this support?
    I counted 19 in his current class the one time I visited. But there may have been kids missing because of being pulled out for services. As I understand it, she has a part-time aide. And at the beginning of the year, the EC teacher also came in for a couple of hours a day to assist. Six weeks ago, they told me he wasn't doing well, and we changed the IEP from 100% typical classroom to resourced, meaning he spends more than 25% of his time outside his classroom, in a small group in the EC classroom. But now they say that's not enough, either, so they want to move him. I tabled the discussion for the time-being, but I need to present our case on Monday. Or agree. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching to try to decide if I'm against the idea because it wouldn't be the best for Dixon, or because I just don't like the fact that he's not doing well.

    In the self-contained classroom, there are no typical kids. They currently have a roster of 9 kids, but will have 10 in January, 11 if Dixon goes. The kids are in grades K-2nd. The kids I saw were all at least somewhat verbal, but one has some pretty difficult-to-manage behavior. I saw him tantrum 3 separate times in the 2 hours I was there, which is not a problem in itself, but it is disruptive. I asked the teacher if she used any ABA strategies or anything else that would make her classroom ideal for a child with autism. No. In fact, besides the smaller class size and the ability to manage behaviors (The teacher expects to be interrupted several times a day to deal with this particular kid's tantrums) the teacher could tell me no advantage to Dixon being in her class as opposed to his typical classroom, especially since HE doesn't have behaviors that need to be addressed.

    I asked if she encourages kids to become independent and learn better organization skills and no. She zipped up a lot of coats while I was there, and she told me that she and the aide gather up their items for them at the end of the day, and clean out their desks for them once a week. My concern is that Dixon would never learn how to function in a classroom independently. Not that he's learning that now. In fact, I'll be adding more to the IEP regardless of what direction we go in. I'm kicking myself for having been so complacent before... sigh...
    Amy in NC
    mom to Dixon, 2/14/2005
    and Abigail, 4/7/2007

  6. #6
    VClute is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC, USA.
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by inmypjs View Post
    Could you say more about what you didn't like about the self-contained classroom? I agree that they can't make a change like that without your consent. They'd have to schedule an IEP meeting, notify you of it and you would have to sign the new IEP before it could be implemented. Are there any special education advocates in your area? I don't know of any in mine, but have heard some people talk about organizations that provide support to parents.
    Oh, don't worry. They're going through all the appropriate channels. I'm so blessed to have never really needed to go into an IEP meeting with guns blazing. I did work hard to get him into his typical K class, but that teacher was a GEM, and he had a great year. So I felt vindicated, and got a little lazy, I guess. I was absolutely blindsided in both our meetings this year. But now I have a little more time to prepare.
    Amy in NC
    mom to Dixon, 2/14/2005
    and Abigail, 4/7/2007

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA.
    Posts
    8,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VClute View Post
    I counted 19 in his current class the one time I visited. But there may have been kids missing because of being pulled out for services. As I understand it, she has a part-time aide. And at the beginning of the year, the EC teacher also came in for a couple of hours a day to assist. Six weeks ago, they told me he wasn't doing well, and we changed the IEP from 100% typical classroom to resourced, meaning he spends more than 25% of his time outside his classroom, in a small group in the EC classroom. But now they say that's not enough, either, so they want to move him. I tabled the discussion for the time-being, but I need to present our case on Monday. Or agree. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching to try to decide if I'm against the idea because it wouldn't be the best for Dixon, or because I just don't like the fact that he's not doing well.

    In the self-contained classroom, there are no typical kids. They currently have a roster of 9 kids, but will have 10 in January, 11 if Dixon goes. The kids are in grades K-2nd. The kids I saw were all at least somewhat verbal, but one has some pretty difficult-to-manage behavior. I saw him tantrum 3 separate times in the 2 hours I was there, which is not a problem in itself, but it is disruptive. I asked the teacher if she used any ABA strategies or anything else that would make her classroom ideal for a child with autism. No. In fact, besides the smaller class size and the ability to manage behaviors (The teacher expects to be interrupted several times a day to deal with this particular kid's tantrums) the teacher could tell me no advantage to Dixon being in her class as opposed to his typical classroom, especially since HE doesn't have behaviors that need to be addressed.

    I asked if she encourages kids to become independent and learn better organization skills and no. She zipped up a lot of coats while I was there, and she told me that she and the aide gather up their items for them at the end of the day, and clean out their desks for them once a week. My concern is that Dixon would never learn how to function in a classroom independently. Not that he's learning that now. In fact, I'll be adding more to the IEP regardless of what direction we go in. I'm kicking myself for having been so complacent before... sigh...
    I'm not liking the feel of the self contained classroom from your description either. I would not agree to the move and fight to keep him in the current classroom with more support. Perhaps other posters have suggestions for legal help available for this? I understand how hard this is.
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

  8. #8
    karstmama's Avatar
    karstmama is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bath, nc
    Posts
    2,328

    Default

    my ds is in the contained classroom. we started out (new school for him, we moved) with him just in that class, then doing some stuff unofficially in a regular kindy, and now after an iep meeting doing more integration. their point is that he needs to interact with neurotypical kids so he'll pick up on neurotypical behaviors. his ec teacher really wants him on a path to mainstream (at least largely) by middle school, when she says the ec classes become much more about poor behaviors.

    so my opinion would be to try to keep him in the class he's in & ask for more accommodations. '19 kids to one teacher' sounds like a good place to start - work to see if the other iep's can be combined to provide another aide.

    we're behind you in 'the worries', though. total btdt. keep working & keep your chin up.
    mama to j karst, former 25 weeker, 12/06

  9. #9
    o_mom is online now Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Central IN
    Posts
    15,220

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VClute View Post
    I'm looking for sources that state that a FAPE can be accomplished in a typical classroom rather than a self-contained classroom. Especially when there are no behavior problems.
    Don't forget the other half of FAPE - the least restrictive environment. Since they have not tried anything in between, such as a 1:1 aide, I think they can't say that the self-contained class is the LRE. I would ask for a trial of more supports in the regular classroom before moving to the self-contained.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  10. #10
    mytwosons is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,076

    Default

    They are skipping steps. Before moving him to resource room for any amount of time, they need to increase the 1:1 aide to FT. This means the aide is only assigned to your child, not the class. If that isn't sufficient THEN try some pullouts. SC is the last step, and from what you described, is not appropriate for Dixon.

    Moving him to resource or SC is cheaper than a FT 1:1 aide.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •