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Bombaloo
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22 Mar 2012, 8:39 pm

This is really just a vent but the following is the email I got from my son's K teacher today

"C had another very, very difficult day. He did not do any must-do’s. He went to reading group for a few minutes then left the room without permission and came back to our room. He did not do writer’s workshop or math.

Neither the aid nor I could reason with him to do anything. He did not go outside for morning recess so I tried to do some sensory things with him. He became violent when I tried to rub his back or give him fidgets. He kicked, hit and pushed me. During writer’s workshop he was constantly moving around the room. Karen tried to get him to do writing, but he refused. He continues to climb up on the window ledge, climb into my chair, etc. He spilled crayons then walked through them and tipped over chairs. I finally called and the principal came and removed him from the room and kept him until lunch.

I had told C there would be mid-day group after lunch. However, neither the counselor nor the SP were there to get the kids in the gym like they normally do so I tried to have him come to the room with the class, telling him they would come get him from our room. He refused and headed towards the office. The principal was right there so she caught up with him at the office. I guess the principal had the SP take him for awhile so C would “feel like” he had group like he was supposed to.

The rest of the afternoon was much the same as the morning. We did math while he wandered around the room. At the end of the day the kids were cleaning up the room. C was climbing under and around the easel. The easel collapsed on him. This scared him. At that point he got his coat and backpack and left the room. I went after him to tell him to come back and he refused. I called the secretary to tell her he was headed that way. He ended up going outside to the little playground. The secretary met him there and stayed with him until his dad picked him up."

This is the child that they said doesn't need services so they declined to write an IEP earlier this year. We are finally having another IEP meeting tomorrow but quite frankly I am tapped out. I just don't know what to do anymore. I wish I could homeschool but I just can't figure out how to make that happen right now.



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22 Mar 2012, 9:52 pm

No IEP?! Wow....it is sad for your kiddo who needs the support system and for teachers who understand exactly how to help and encourage him. :(

It gets to the point of exhaustion for both you and the kiddo.

Maybe the IEP will be a good opportunity for change?



questor
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22 Mar 2012, 10:02 pm

Your kid is obviously not ready for regular school. You need to HOME SCHOOL your boy. Go online to search home school sites. They have home school materials you can get to use at home. Don't put it off, and don't dump your kid on an unprepared normal school environment when he is obviously not suited for it. He is YOUR kid. It is your duty to take care of him, and that means home schooling if necessary, and it is necessary in his case. If you are working give up the job for now. You have a more important job that you are neglecting--the job of MOMMY! I am sure money is tight, but ever hear of budgeting? Get a budget journal to keep track of expenses. Pay off food, utilities, phone/I-net, mortgage/rent, medical, car, and insurance first every month. Credit card debt can wait if you don't have enough money to pay off everything every month. Stop using the cards, and stop buying stuff that can wait. Consider dumping cable TV, and just using free online TV sites. After all you are probably already paying for cable I-net. That will allow you to dump your cable TV bill. Won't that be nice? Listen to Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey on the radio, and check out their web sites. They tell people how to manage their money and get out of debt.

Should your boy eventually get stable enough to return to school, you can get a part time job during school hours to help with the bills. In the mean time he needs you at home, and home schooling him. Remember, your job title right now is supposed to be MOMMY!


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23 Mar 2012, 8:10 pm

:( I hope your IEP meeting goes well. Someone very early on in our journey (when my oldest was 8, newly diagnosed) and I was pretty much feeling that I was partaking in a physical fight every day (school not following IEP, notes home asking, "Is everything OK at home? Julian was very upset today....", saying to him, "But you're so smart! There's no reason that you can't do this writing work...", Julian coming home with pinch marks all over the back of his hands (he pinches himself when he melts down), all of the usual negative stuff, a friend sent me a message:

All you and Julian need is one person in the school system who is on your side - someone who will really get to know, understand and love your kid as much as you do and who isn't afraid to stand up, speak up and do the right thing.

We were very fortunate to have found that person last school year. Unfortunately, this inclusion teacher was out most of this year on medical leave and has minimal time to spend with Julian (as there is no writing test this year and she's his scribe). Julian moves to a different school next year (Jr. High) and I'm hoping that we at least find someone as competent and caring to encourage him and believe in him.

I hope you encounter that person soon.

We're starting on the same journey with the second kid now and I'm going into the process with an open mind and a fighting heart. Know that you aren't alone in having to do this. We're all fighting for you and your son.


I'm not on this site very often, so I don't recall the specifics of your situation - if you're comfortable/able, look for an advocate. I found that very empowering, even though mine couldn't attend the IEP meeting. Look to people outside of the IEP "team" members - don't be afraid to call the special ed heads for your district and ask them questions too. See if there is a district ASD specialist. If you have a university near you, they might have a CARD program - we've gotten lots of help there.

Please let us know how it goes. We're rooting for you!



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23 Mar 2012, 8:35 pm

Covuschik wrote:
:( I hope your IEP meeting goes well. Someone very early on in our journey (when my oldest was 8, newly diagnosed) and I was pretty much feeling that I was partaking in a physical fight every day (school not following IEP, notes home asking, "Is everything OK at home? Julian was very upset today....", saying to him, "But you're so smart! There's no reason that you can't do this writing work...", Julian coming home with pinch marks all over the back of his hands (he pinches himself when he melts down), all of the usual negative stuff, a friend sent me a message:

All you and Julian need is one person in the school system who is on your side - someone who will really get to know, understand and love your kid as much as you do and who isn't afraid to stand up, speak up and do the right thing.

We were very fortunate to have found that person last school year. Unfortunately, this inclusion teacher was out most of this year on medical leave and has minimal time to spend with Julian (as there is no writing test this year and she's his scribe). Julian moves to a different school next year (Jr. High) and I'm hoping that we at least find someone as competent and caring to encourage him and believe in him.

I hope you encounter that person soon.

We're starting on the same journey with the second kid now and I'm going into the process with an open mind and a fighting heart. Know that you aren't alone in having to do this. We're all fighting for you and your son.


I'm not on this site very often, so I don't recall the specifics of your situation - if you're comfortable/able, look for an advocate. I found that very empowering, even though mine couldn't attend the IEP meeting. Look to people outside of the IEP "team" members - don't be afraid to call the special ed heads for your district and ask them questions too. See if there is a district ASD specialist. If you have a university near you, they might have a CARD program - we've gotten lots of help there.

Please let us know how it goes. We're rooting for you!

Thanks so much for those words of encouragement, I need and cherish all the support I can get. I think the IEP meeting went well. I took a lot of the strengths and needs off the sitckie at the top of this forum and emailed them to the Spec Ed teacher earlier this week and she incorporated almost all of it into the IEP document. 8O Our private OT who has been working with DS on and off for the past 2 years was with me at the meeting for which I was very thankful. Before he had his private practice he worked in the local school system for several years so he is familiar with both sides of the fence. He is soft spoken but a strong advocate and has a great understanding of DS.

The head of the Spec Ed dept also attended the meeting which I was glad to see. She has been in a few of the meetings we have had over the past 2 yrs and has been somewhat negative but today she had some really positive conributions.

The upshot of the meeting was that DS will now be spending a significant amount of time in the resource room with the Spec Ed teacher so he can get more one-on-one time. A shocking fact I found out today is that the only way my son would qualify to have an aid with him is if we qualified to be covered by medicaid. Evidently in this state the only way you can get that particular service is if you have a disability AND you are poor. That makes me want to hire a lawyer (or quit my job and go on welfare not sure which). He will also get one-on-one with the Speech Path in addition to the social skills group that he had been attending with her.

I feel fortunate to have found this site. I felt like I was able to speak intelligently with the team today mostly because of everything I have learned here. All of the struggles and successes I have read about here helped me today. THANK YOU ALL!



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24 Mar 2012, 10:10 am

questor wrote:
Your kid is obviously not ready for regular school. You need to HOME SCHOOL your boy. Go online to search home school sites. They have home school materials you can get to use at home. Don't put it off, and don't dump your kid on an unprepared normal school environment when he is obviously not suited for it. He is YOUR kid. It is your duty to take care of him, and that means home schooling if necessary, and it is necessary in his case. If you are working give up the job for now. You have a more important job that you are neglecting--the job of MOMMY! I am sure money is tight, but ever hear of budgeting? Get a budget journal to keep track of expenses. Pay off food, utilities, phone/I-net, mortgage/rent, medical, car, and insurance first every month. Credit card debt can wait if you don't have enough money to pay off everything every month. Stop using the cards, and stop buying stuff that can wait. Consider dumping cable TV, and just using free online TV sites. After all you are probably already paying for cable I-net. That will allow you to dump your cable TV bill. Won't that be nice? Listen to Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey on the radio, and check out their web sites. They tell people how to manage their money and get out of debt.

Should your boy eventually get stable enough to return to school, you can get a part time job during school hours to help with the bills. In the mean time he needs you at home, and home schooling him. Remember, your job title right now is supposed to be MOMMY!


While the OP politely skipped over how harsh you are being here, I find I want to say something, because there is NO right or wrong way to parent, and while you obviously feel you have a strong instinct for the situation, this is still just messages on a board and, long run, no one giving advice is in any position to be certain of the right answer.

The OP is a long time reader and contributor to this board and if she says she can't figure out how to home school right now, I trust there are very good reasons for it. No one who reads here is unaware of how well that option has worked in many situations, and the adjustments many of our families have made so they can give this to their child.

There is no foregone conclusion that once the school wakes up (as they seem to finally be doing) it will still be a poor placement for this child. The school hasn't tried yet, at least not seriously. Many of our kids do well and are happy in school once the right supports are in place, and the right adjustments have been made. Yes, it takes time to figure that all out, but the same is true at home, or no one would have a need to ever post anything on this board.


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DW_a_mom
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24 Mar 2012, 10:15 am

Bombaloo wrote:
Covuschik wrote:
:( I hope your IEP meeting goes well. Someone very early on in our journey (when my oldest was 8, newly diagnosed) and I was pretty much feeling that I was partaking in a physical fight every day (school not following IEP, notes home asking, "Is everything OK at home? Julian was very upset today....", saying to him, "But you're so smart! There's no reason that you can't do this writing work...", Julian coming home with pinch marks all over the back of his hands (he pinches himself when he melts down), all of the usual negative stuff, a friend sent me a message:

All you and Julian need is one person in the school system who is on your side - someone who will really get to know, understand and love your kid as much as you do and who isn't afraid to stand up, speak up and do the right thing.

We were very fortunate to have found that person last school year. Unfortunately, this inclusion teacher was out most of this year on medical leave and has minimal time to spend with Julian (as there is no writing test this year and she's his scribe). Julian moves to a different school next year (Jr. High) and I'm hoping that we at least find someone as competent and caring to encourage him and believe in him.

I hope you encounter that person soon.

We're starting on the same journey with the second kid now and I'm going into the process with an open mind and a fighting heart. Know that you aren't alone in having to do this. We're all fighting for you and your son.


I'm not on this site very often, so I don't recall the specifics of your situation - if you're comfortable/able, look for an advocate. I found that very empowering, even though mine couldn't attend the IEP meeting. Look to people outside of the IEP "team" members - don't be afraid to call the special ed heads for your district and ask them questions too. See if there is a district ASD specialist. If you have a university near you, they might have a CARD program - we've gotten lots of help there.

Please let us know how it goes. We're rooting for you!

Thanks so much for those words of encouragement, I need and cherish all the support I can get. I think the IEP meeting went well. I took a lot of the strengths and needs off the sitckie at the top of this forum and emailed them to the Spec Ed teacher earlier this week and she incorporated almost all of it into the IEP document. 8O Our private OT who has been working with DS on and off for the past 2 years was with me at the meeting for which I was very thankful. Before he had his private practice he worked in the local school system for several years so he is familiar with both sides of the fence. He is soft spoken but a strong advocate and has a great understanding of DS.

The head of the Spec Ed dept also attended the meeting which I was glad to see. She has been in a few of the meetings we have had over the past 2 yrs and has been somewhat negative but today she had some really positive conributions.

The upshot of the meeting was that DS will now be spending a significant amount of time in the resource room with the Spec Ed teacher so he can get more one-on-one time. A shocking fact I found out today is that the only way my son would qualify to have an aid with him is if we qualified to be covered by medicaid. Evidently in this state the only way you can get that particular service is if you have a disability AND you are poor. That makes me want to hire a lawyer (or quit my job and go on welfare not sure which). He will also get one-on-one with the Speech Path in addition to the social skills group that he had been attending with her.

I feel fortunate to have found this site. I felt like I was able to speak intelligently with the team today mostly because of everything I have learned here. All of the struggles and successes I have read about here helped me today. THANK YOU ALL!


I sincerely hope that this will prove to have been a positive turning point in your relationship with the school, and they will now finally do their job and be a positive support for your child. There will always be pushing and shoving with the professionals in this process, but I did feel everyone, long term, found positive and effective answers for my son, and I hope the same for you.


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Bombaloo
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24 Mar 2012, 10:56 am

Thanks DW! As usual you've hit the nail on the head. I am more hopeful now than I have been for the past 2.5 months!



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24 Mar 2012, 3:16 pm

If he's in kindergarden (That's what I'm assuming the K was in the OP) then just keep him home for a year before you start him in school. Maybe he's not ready for school yet.

Is kindergarden required where you live? It's not down here.


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24 Mar 2012, 4:44 pm

I would also call the school district central office and tell them what is going on (you may get more testing, faster action, etc.) if you do this. I would also bring copies of your son's medical records/private evaluations to the ARD meeting--one copy for each official in attendance. Further, I would carefully read through whatever testing that the school district was done and bring up anything that was overlooked. (Seriously, important records get overlooked, forgotten, or lost.)

Your son being all over the place sounds like severe anxiety--very, very, very common in kids with ASD and often overlooked and untreated. Meds for anxiety. SSRIs, such as Zoloft or Prozac are often the best tolerated of the available options. However, atypical antipsychotics, such as Risperidone and Abilify, or the meds Guafanicine or Intuniv (which work by lowering the heartrate and, therefore, cause drowsiness) are another option. Behavioral therapies, such as ABA, social stories, and video modeling, can also help the child to learn to better control his behavior. In addition, specific accomodations can be set up in the IEP, such as breaks, etc.

Please see some links to information about behavior therapies and teaching strategies below:

http://www.freevideosforautistickids.co ... avior.html

Here is some information about conditions commonly found in kids with autism, as well as some conditions mistaken for autism:

http://www.freevideosforautistickids.co ... tions.html

Here is some information about meds. There seems to agreement that meds work, but not all of the experts agree on which meds are best, and maybe it depends partially upon whether your child has a comorbid condition that can be identified. (If your child can be diagnosed with comorbid OCD, for example, a med commonly used for OCD might work well. Risperidone and Abilify, favored by the doctor who spoke at Yale in the third video, are very effective, but they have a higher potential for causing side effects.).:

http://www.freevideosforautistickids.co ... ation.html


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Bombaloo
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24 Mar 2012, 5:40 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
If he's in kindergarden (That's what I'm assuming the K was in the OP) then just keep him home for a year before you start him in school. Maybe he's not ready for school yet.

Is kindergarden required where you live? It's not down here.

The thing is he is quite smart, reading and doing math at least one to two grade levels above his age peers and he was doing fairly well at the beginning of the school year. Kindergarten is required here. He had a great year at preschool last year but this environment is a lot different. His difficulties didn't really start to become problematic for him until December. I've been pushing for them to come back to the IEP table since then. After several days over the past few weeks that were similar to the above description, they finally pulled their heads out of their collective rear-ends and agreed to have another IEP meeting. I have been trying so hard not to allow this situation to become adversarial but that has been tough. I feel like things are on a better trajectory with the IEP in place but that will remain to be seen. At least I have something more to hold their feet to the fire with now.

@blondeambition, I do think a lot of the difficult behavior is due to anxiety. He is starting to be able to express that to some people but you really have to be patient with him to get him to tell you what is causing his anxiety. I can usually put my finger on it but the classroom teacher cannot. She is trying very hard but honestly, I just don't think she has the skills. He doesn't seem to suffer from any comorbid conditions so I am reluctant to medicate him. Like I said, he did great in preschool last year so I know that in the right environment he can thrive.



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24 Mar 2012, 6:31 pm

Bombaloo wrote:
OliveOilMom wrote:
If he's in kindergarden (That's what I'm assuming the K was in the OP) then just keep him home for a year before you start him in school. Maybe he's not ready for school yet.

Is kindergarden required where you live? It's not down here.

The thing is he is quite smart, reading and doing math at least one to two grade levels above his age peers and he was doing fairly well at the beginning of the school year. Kindergarten is required here. He had a great year at preschool last year but this environment is a lot different. His difficulties didn't really start to become problematic for him until December. I've been pushing for them to come back to the IEP table since then. After several days over the past few weeks that were similar to the above description, they finally pulled their heads out of their collective rear-ends and agreed to have another IEP meeting. I have been trying so hard not to allow this situation to become adversarial but that has been tough. I feel like things are on a better trajectory with the IEP in place but that will remain to be seen. At least I have something more to hold their feet to the fire with now.

@blondeambition, I do think a lot of the difficult behavior is due to anxiety. He is starting to be able to express that to some people but you really have to be patient with him to get him to tell you what is causing his anxiety. I can usually put my finger on it but the classroom teacher cannot. She is trying very hard but honestly, I just don't think she has the skills. He doesn't seem to suffer from any comorbid conditions so I am reluctant to medicate him. Like I said, he did great in preschool last year so I know that in the right environment he can thrive.


Hopefully, you can get an IEP in place, and everything will work out. I will also say, with two kids with anxiety disorders, anxiety seems to be a difficult thing for a lot of teachers and caretakers to manage and understand. Also, anxiety also gets better and worse depending upon environment and hormones. A teacher's teaching style and level of organization can even contribute to the anxiety level. Of note, eople are treated for anxiety all of the time without having other mental health conditions--anxiety is the mental health condition. (Not saying that your child needs to be medicated; it depends upon what is going on with the individual child.)


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25 Mar 2012, 10:40 am

I was surprised, btw, on what they told you about the aid. I would definitely try to verify that statement before accepting it. They could be interpreting state law incorrectly, especially since it is to their financial advantage to do so.


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25 Mar 2012, 10:59 am

Fair warning for what may be coming down the tracks: DS is fully capable of hiding his disability almost entirely when he has the resources to do so. Sadly, the IEP team takes this to mean that he's meeting all of his goals, and they're talking about taking away the supports he has except the 504 - which would be enough if they took it seriously.

Not to say that an adversarial relationship with your school is required, but I think there are many of our kids who can turn it around completely if their needs are being met. It's difficult to explain that this is not because they "grew out of it" but that their needs are being met. This can mean getting an advocate - I'd shop for one now (doing the research is free) so you have one in your back pocket for when you need it (it does make a HUGE difference; we brought a therapist and not a lawyer and were taken much more seriously.)

I wish schools were more open to offering help for our kids BEFORE they fall apart in school. The 504 accommodations my son is being offered don't really cost anything to implement, and make a big difference.



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25 Mar 2012, 8:49 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
I was surprised, btw, on what they told you about the aid. I would definitely try to verify that statement before accepting it. They could be interpreting state law incorrectly, especially since it is to their financial advantage to do so.

I was practically speechless. If what I was told is true, it is flat out discriminatory practice and it is apparently happening statewide. I will be doing everything I can to verify this. I mean you could argue one way or the other about what the least restrictive environment is; in the regular classroom with an aid vs in the resource room with a smaller group of kids, e.g. but for them to only offer aids for kids who's parents are in a financial situation which requires that their kids be on medicaid is absurd.



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25 Mar 2012, 9:27 pm

momsparky wrote:
Fair warning for what may be coming down the tracks: DS is fully capable of hiding his disability almost entirely when he has the resources to do so. Sadly, the IEP team takes this to mean that he's meeting all of his goals, and they're talking about taking away the supports he has except the 504 - which would be enough if they took it seriously.

Not to say that an adversarial relationship with your school is required, but I think there are many of our kids who can turn it around completely if their needs are being met. It's difficult to explain that this is not because they "grew out of it" but that their needs are being met. This can mean getting an advocate - I'd shop for one now (doing the research is free) so you have one in your back pocket for when you need it (it does make a HUGE difference; we brought a therapist and not a lawyer and were taken much more seriously.)

I wish schools were more open to offering help for our kids BEFORE they fall apart in school. The 504 accommodations my son is being offered don't really cost anything to implement, and make a big difference.

Thanks for this advice, I will definitely keep it in mind because I think we are quite likely to face a similar reaction if DS's behavior turns around as a result of the new placement, supports, etc. He can do so well when he is not full of anxiety, bored and dysregulated. I too wish that he had not had to hit such a low before action was taken. We wrote a 504 plan but it was worthless. He wouldn't do anything the classroom teacher wanted him to do in the time frame she wanted him to do it in so the only things that got implemented were a few sensory items like allowing him to wear his hat and allowing him to chew gum.

Not too long ago I had a long conversation with a woman who has a child in our same school district who sued the district to get an IEP for her son. She won. But it took a serious toll. I am able to hold my my own in advesarial situations but I could not go to this extreme. I guess we all choose our own paths to get where we think we need to be for our kiddos. She was absolutely convinced that her son needed to be in public school with supports in order for him to be able to "make it" in life after highschool. I don't subscribe to this theory but I do think the school can do a lot better by my son so we'll see how it goes from here.