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  1. #1
    melrose7 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default Anyone ask for a new placement

    We have been in our school for 4 years and DD1 is 8 and in 2nd grade. She has autism and apraxia plus a possible learning disability. I have a feeling the school and special ed teacher just can't figure out how to teach her. She still doesn't know her letters, numbers, alphabet, colors, and shapes. She is making progress but no where near what she make. There is a specialized school about 25 minutes from us that deals with kids with autism, ADHD, behavior issues, etc. But now I need to prove the school is not teaching her and even though she is making progress I feel she could make more elsewhere. She does have an IEP and we are having a meeting in 2 weeks to revise it. That's when I want to bring up that I am looking for a new placement for her. Not sure how much they will fight it but assuming they will. Anyone gotten their school district to pay to have their child go to school elsewhere? I feel bad as the special education teacher is trying so hard and has been doing this for over 20 yrs and just can't figure out how to teach her.
    Mom to
    DD1 7-3-05
    DD2 7-5-07
    DS1 3-23-10

  2. #2
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    It is possible that you are right that the teachers are well-meaning but don't know how to. It is also possible that the progress you are seeing is because of goal objectives not being set high. While it is understandable that they are to be set appropriate to your child's rate of learning plus some, it is possible that they are not challenging her enough or are not going about goal setting in the right way.
    Is there something you notice she is doing or showing signs of doing but is not being encouraged at school or they are not seeing it?
    have you ever done a private assessment? It can be expensive, but something to consider before moving on to suggesting a non-public placement at their expense. Yes, it will get contentious and to have a higher chance of success with getting it, you need to back up your demand/request with a professional's input. I also feel that you will also get a good independent idea of what is happening and maybe the school is already doing everything and that it is a matter of time. Either ways, it will put your mind at ease.
    You could potentially approach the independent assessment piece via an Independent educational evaluation (IEE) request made to your district since you do not agree with their assessment results or with their understanding of your child's needs. It is important to understand the laws surrounding that. I would also say look for a special education advocate and speak with her/him and see what your options are.
    And yes, expect them to fight hard to provide the services and claim that your DD is making progress. Often this is an administrative problem and the teachers, however well-meaning, have to abide by their administration's general directive (we do not fund private education since we have an in-house program and children are making good progress). Exceptions always exist, of course. Again, I will urge you to find an advocate to help navigate this.
    I'm sure others here will have more thoughts.
    hugs...it's hard when you are not sure...I've been there, and go there every now and then.

  3. #3
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    I have never heard of anyone getting a private placement without a legal battle. If you seriously want to pursue this, I would suggest talking with a lawyer. You will probably need some outside assessments and lots of documentation. Best of luck!

    Catherine

  4. #4
    melrose7 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullkin View Post
    It is possible that you are right that the teachers are well-meaning but don't know how to. It is also possible that the progress you are seeing is because of goal objectives not being set high. While it is understandable that they are to be set appropriate to your child's rate of learning plus some, it is possible that they are not challenging her enough or are not going about goal setting in the right way.
    Is there something you notice she is doing or showing signs of doing but is not being encouraged at school or they are not seeing it?
    have you ever done a private assessment? It can be expensive, but something to consider before moving on to suggesting a non-public placement at their expense. Yes, it will get contentious and to have a higher chance of success with getting it, you need to back up your demand/request with a professional's input. I also feel that you will also get a good independent idea of what is happening and maybe the school is already doing everything and that it is a matter of time. Either ways, it will put your mind at ease.
    You could potentially approach the independent assessment piece via an Independent educational evaluation (IEE) request made to your district since you do not agree with their assessment results or with their understanding of your child's needs. It is important to understand the laws surrounding that. I would also say look for a special education advocate and speak with her/him and see what your options are.
    And yes, expect them to fight hard to provide the services and claim that your DD is making progress. Often this is an administrative problem and the teachers, however well-meaning, have to abide by their administration's general directive (we do not fund private education since we have an in-house program and children are making good progress). Exceptions always exist, of course. Again, I will urge you to find an advocate to help navigate this.
    I'm sure others here will have more thoughts.
    hugs...it's hard when you are not sure...I've been there, and go there every now and then.
    Thank you for the in depth reply. I don't feel as I know enough if my education rights and am trying to find an advocate. I am not sure where to find one but we have a meeting with the director of her ABA team on Monday and she has been through this before so I am hoping she can point me in the right direction.

    I do feel like the goals they have set for her are appropriate she just isn't learning them. I have tried teaching her too and I feel terrible as I have an education background but can't get her to understand. I think they need more consistently between the aides and need to be more strict with her but she just is a tough case. Letters and numbers have been in her IEP for 2 years and she is not reaching them. I feel like we need to make her goals harder so we can prove that she isn't learning.

    I just don't know where to start and feel like she is just going to slide through the school and not really learn anything.

  5. #5
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Wrightslaw.com is a good resource. Also, Try to find a local support group. There's probably a yahoo group, so, look for it. You could also ask your ABA company if they know of any advocates or parent support groups.

  6. #6
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    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    What is her placement now? (regular classroom? autism classroom? multi-handicapped classroom?) What other placement options are available in the district?

    Quote Originally Posted by melrose7 View Post
    But now I need to prove the school is not teaching her and even though she is making progress I feel she could make more elsewhere.
    The key is that you will need to show that she is not getting the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) she is entitled to by law. Remember, that the law doesn't require the district to provide the best education, just an appropriate one. So that is the term you need to use, over and over. You need to show that her current education is not appropriate and that she can get an appropriate education elsewhere.

    When you say that she is making progress, what do you mean specifically? Do you mean that she is gaining new skills? Do you mean that her behavior is improving? Do you mean that she sits quietly and doesn't make trouble?

    If she is gaining new skills, that is great, but how are her skills advancing compared to her same age peers? Her 2nd grade peers started the year ahead of her academically, and they are probably learning new skills at a faster rate than your DD, which means that your DD is falling further and further behind her peers. So gaining new skills is not enough. Do you have evaluations and test scores that your DD has taken over several years? How have her percentile rankings changed over the years - do these ranking scores reflect that she is falling further behind her peers? Does the school have a plan to help close this widening gap between your DD and her peers? Is that plan realistic? Can the private program you want provide a plan to close this gap? Do they have a history of helping other students?

    If you haven't already read "From Emotions to Advocacy" by Pete Wright, I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of good information about how to show a lack of appropriate progress, how to phrase things correctly, how to work within the school culture, etc.

    A local support group may also be able to provide good resources and possibly a parent advocate.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

  7. #7
    melrose7 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gena View Post
    What is her placement now? (regular classroom? autism classroom? multi-handicapped classroom?) What other placement options are available in the district?



    The key is that you will need to show that she is not getting the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) she is entitled to by law. Remember, that the law doesn't require the district to provide the best education, just an appropriate one. So that is the term you need to use, over and over. You need to show that her current education is not appropriate and that she can get an appropriate education elsewhere.

    When you say that she is making progress, what do you mean specifically? Do you mean that she is gaining new skills? Do you mean that her behavior is improving? Do you mean that she sits quietly and doesn't make trouble?

    If she is gaining new skills, that is great, but how are her skills advancing compared to her same age peers? Her 2nd grade peers started the year ahead of her academically, and they are probably learning new skills at a faster rate than your DD, which means that your DD is falling further and further behind her peers. So gaining new skills is not enough. Do you have evaluations and test scores that your DD has taken over several years? How have her percentile rankings changed over the years - do these ranking scores reflect that she is falling further behind her peers? Does the school have a plan to help close this widening gap between your DD and her peers? Is that plan realistic? Can the private program you want provide a plan to close this gap? Do they have a history of helping other students?

    If you haven't already read "From Emotions to Advocacy" by Pete Wright, I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of good information about how to show a lack of appropriate progress, how to phrase things correctly, how to work within the school culture, etc.

    A local support group may also be able to provide good resources and possibly a parent advocate.
    She is mainstreamed but probably only in the regular classroom less than half of the day.

    She has had assessments done but not regular testing because she is so hard to test. With her lack of language and her inconsistency with answers it is hard to know what she really a know or not. She could give the right answer one day but she could have just guessed because the next 5 times you ask she gets it wrong.

    In the first almost 2 months of school I doubt she has learned anything. She was interested in the subject of caterpillars turning into butterflies but I doubt she really knew that the butterfly use to be a caterpillar. She just likes butterflies.

    I feel like they have documents of her progress for speech class but not in her everyday learning. So that is what I am going to focus on. What has she learned? How do you know she learned it? What is their behavior plan? I feel like she gets away with too much at the school, they don't follow through, and it is harder to get her to do the work so they just let her do what she wants to do.

    My long term goals are for her to read and write but we are so many steps behind that I don't feel like they have the right idea of how to get there. She is so far behind her same aged peers. I just don't see any progress at all.

    I have a couple choices of schools and one would be a parochial school with out ABA team able to run it at the school for anywhere from 1-3 years and I would be so comfortable with there because we have had them in our home for the past 4 years so I know what they do.

    We have our IEP coming up next week so I know I need to write down my "demands", what I am unhappy with, and what I feel needs to change for her to learn at the school. I plan to record the meeting and have our ABA director and senior therapist coming as well. I am trying to find an autism advocate by them or a special education lawyer.

    Thanks for the insight
    Mom to
    DD1 7-3-05
    DD2 7-5-07
    DS1 3-23-10

  8. #8
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Anyone ask for a new placement

    How is the ABA program coming along? What skills are they working on? Ad how do they affect learning at school? Is there any overlap a all? IMO what school districts provide for an child on the spectrum is a subset of a full fledged ABA program, although it is possible that ABA companies funded through insurance do not do education related goals. However, I feel that ther must be an overlap of challenges being targeted. If her ABA team were to take on some of the IEP goals, would they be more likely to succeed?

    ETA: how did the ABA team come on board? D ou have a medical diagnosis or a diagnosis from the school district? When was the last time the SD did an in depth assessment? Per my understanding, a triennial is supposed to be an in-depth assessment, correct? Has that happened? Sorry, I don't mean to bombard with questions. I am just asking these to get you thinking. These could give you some sense of what to ask at the IEP meeting. I think you should go in with some questions, listen, process and leave the meeting to process more later and have a follow up. For each of the services she is receiving, when was the last testing done? Fr the ASD label itself, what testing did they do? What will they continue to do?
    Last edited by Sweetum; 10-22-2013 at 01:30 AM.

  9. #9
    melrose7 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullkin View Post
    How is the ABA program coming along? What skills are they working on? Ad how do they affect learning at school? Is there any overlap a all? IMO what school districts provide for an child on the spectrum is a subset of a full fledged ABA program, although it is possible that ABA companies funded through insurance do not do education related goals. However, I feel that ther must be an overlap of challenges being targeted. If her ABA team were to take on some of the IEP goals, would they be more likely to succeed?

    ETA: how did the ABA team come on board? D ou have a medical diagnosis or a diagnosis from the school district? When was the last time the SD did an in depth assessment? Per my understanding, a triennial is supposed to be an in-depth assessment, correct? Has that happened? Sorry, I don't mean to bombard with questions. I am just asking these to get you thinking. These could give you some sense of what to ask at the IEP meeting. I think you should go in with some questions, listen, process and leave the meeting to process more later and have a follow up. For each of the services she is receiving, when was the last testing done? Fr the ASD label itself, what testing did they do? What will they continue to do?
    I really appreciate all the questions. I want to feel totally prepared for the IEP so I need to think everything though. We have been doing ABA for 4 years and work most on language and behavior with some daily living skills. ABA doesn't do academic for say but we have done some acedemic. ABA has spent some time on the IEP goals of similarities but we are down to 15 hours a week and have a lot of programming and just don't have time for all of it with limited hours. If she would go to a parochial school led by ABA I would feel much more confident that they could teach her better. She has continued to show progress with ABA at home, slow progress, but progress nontheless, and much better than what we have seen so far from the public school.


    She got a medical diagnosis 5 years ago when she was 3 and an educational diagnosis when she was 6. When she got the educational diagnosis is when they did the evaluations and testing. Should that be more frequent? Looking back at old IEP there are goals that were never mastered but are not on the current IEP. Should I bring up why those were never mastered and left on?

    Thanks again!
    Mom to
    DD1 7-3-05
    DD2 7-5-07
    DS1 3-23-10

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