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I have posted before about my 14 year old son. Prior to his current problems he was an excellent student and is currently enrolled in a full time gifted program.

Although he is working hard most of the time, he is having problems this year and his grades are slipping. He is slow with his homework and is having difficulty focusing to study for tests. He started out the school year strong, had a major crash and is now doing better.

After consulting with the school nurse and guidance counselor, I emailed his teachers and he was given some very minor accomodations (full credit for 3 late assignments). Another teacher who initially said she would work something out with him after he was unable to finish a test did not follow through with her promise.

I called the school today to speak with the ESE Liason. She told me that since my son is passing all of his classes he is not eligible for a 504. She stated the laws have recently changed and this is a new requirement within the past two years. She did talk with the school nurse and they are suggesting a "health plan" with accommodations which would be in place when he is cycling or having a medication change. She is going to speak with the school psychologist next week to see if my son would be eligible for a EDI classification which would allow for accomodations even if he is not failing.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I still think the school would prefer for us to take him out of his current program, but this is where he wants to be for now so I am trying to do everything I can to support him.

Lor:)
Lor,

I believe your ESE liason is misinformed. Passing or failing has nothing to do with Section 504 eligibility. However, your son may be better served under IDEA with an ED (emotionally disturbed) coding. With this coding he can attend regular classes (mainstream) with accomodations that teachers must follow under penalty of law. You can take the school district to a due process hearing and sue, if necessary, if the accomodations/modifications are not followed. Speak with your school psychologist about your son's diagnosis and see what they say. Good luck :)
Lor - I am happy that Drew's school seems to be working with you and that he is feeling better. Please keep us posted.

Chelle - I hear you about the school's attitude! We, too, hear that all Zac has to do is to get his work done. My niece had a great analogy, though. That is the same thing as telling an anorexic to eat! If they could, they would, and despite getting help sometimes, there are no magic wands. Each of our kids are different and how they react to pressure is different.

Zac is struggling again. He simply can't seem to manage getting the work done and, no matter what he does, he seems to always be behind. His IEP is not written correctly for his challenges becasue, basically, there are few accomodations other than his starting 2nd period. We have called an emergency meeting with the school to see what we can do because as we suspsected at our meeting last year, a full schedule is too much for him. The level of the class seems to be immaterial. He prefers the class discussion of the more accelerated classes and is able to participate in all. No teacher has ever disputed his knowledge of the facts. He has been tested and reads at 160 wpm with perfect comprehension.

My question, continually, to them is why they think he would intentionally destroy his academic career. He still talks about going to a good college and although I think some of his challenges are time management issues, I think the bigger problem is something beyond his control. Lack of sleep and lack of focus compound the problem greatly and he is deteriorating again. Last week he actually said he thought he should go inpatient because he was getting so overwhelmed, but he's not really a candidate for inpatient right now.

And so, we are trying to figure out what to do. I'll keep you posted.

xxx
Hope
Hi All,

Lor, you asked how our school meeting went and I thought this was the best thread to answer that.

It went as well as can be expected, but was still disappointing. It was good in the sense that the CST was open to listening and seemed genuinely concerned, but bad in the sense that they didn't seem to have a handle on what was going on at all.

To make matters worse, we just found out, on the last day of the marking period that Zac is failing French. His French teacher does not understand children with special needs and has made no accomodations for him. He has missed alot of her classes, just like the others, but she decided to report it and, since he has supposedly missed 10 classes (we're not sure if that's right), it's an automatic failure. We think we can appeal it, but the question then is, do we want him to stay in the class or drop it?

As Jules said, it never ends. Zac's mood has been better, but there always seems like we are dealing with something. This is certainly better than when his moods were swinging by the hour, but I deluded myself to think that once we got him stabilized, life would just get back to normal.

The school part is especially hard on my husband and sometimes he's very supportive and sometimes very critical of Zac. I understand his frustration, but it doesn't help the overall picture. Zac and he are getting along much better, but there does always seem to be some issue swirling around us!

How's Drew? It sounds like he is doing better again, although not quite himself. Is that accurate?

Chelle, I've been keeping up with Amanda on the other thread and I'm sorry she is having so much difficulty. Are you moving forward with the classification?

I don't think the schools really understand this disorder at all. As Zac's Studies Skills teacher said, this is much tougher to understand than a physical disability where a teacher can see the problem, or a physical illness, where a teacher has some preconceived understanding of the problem. Here, our kids look fine, and it is often their behavior or their ability to execute that is impacted and it's easy for the teachers to determine "they could do the work if they wanted to." She said when she spoke to Zac's French teacher, the French teacher said Zac had more than enough time to get his assignments done and she was trying to make the French teacher understand that sometimes all of the time in the world is not enough - you have to go with the flow of what the kids can manage at a point in time. She said the French teacher was unwilling to listen to her.

Ah, never a dull moment.

I hope all of you are well.
I am going to have to make this quick.

First of all, if a child has a disability and there is an IEP or a 504 plan the teachers by law have to follow the modifications or accomodations.

I had a teacher just this afternoon e-mail and tell me that "all the other students.....and Amanda should too". It is totally wrong for any teacher to compare any student to any other students. When a teacher does that I CC the administration with my response. I am going to tell you that you have to be insistant, persistant and adamant about these plans being followed-no matter how much work it is for the schools, teachers or administrators. This teacher has yet to respond, but I expect one from the principal.

An IEP or a 504 for bipolar is the same as and IEP or 504 for any other condition, illness or disability and they must be followed as agreed to. Otherwise the school is breaking the law.

I have to go and take the kids to Tae Kwon Do. I will check in later.

Cristina
Hi Hope, I am glad Zac is out of French. I can't believe his teacher would make a comment like that in front of the class. Can you report her now that he is safely out of the class? Hopefully the extra study time will help.

I am sorry Zac is struggling. Ever since we started any meds. Drew has slept fairly well. I do think that makes a huge difference in how he fuctions. We sometimes have trouble getting him to settle down for the night, and it's hard to get him up for school, but once he is in bed he sleeps.

Our meeting went OK. The Nurse presented the health plan which includes temporary accomodations including flexible due dates, delayed tests or increased time for tests when Drew is going through a medication change or cycling. Drew will also be permitted to leave the classroom to go to the clinic as needed. Our tdoc will communicate with the Nurse when the accommodations are needed and I will let her know about any medication changes.

The teachers were supportive, but surprised. Drew is not a behavior problem. They did express concern about the amount of school he has missed, and were able to look back over his grades and identify the 3 weeks where he earned almost all F's. He is actually doing really well right now. The teachers commented that he is talking more in class and that they are starting to see his sense of humor in the classroom.

I am not sure the plan will address all the issues. It really does not address the ADHD or focusing pxs but I'm not sure how they could address them. Drew does say that in the past week this has been less of a problem for him. He is managing to get his work done right now but is not putting as much time into studying as he should and his test grades reflect this.

I know the work load will increase next year so I think the accommodations are fair and will give us a good idea of his ability to function in highschool at his current school. I do not think he will be able to be a straight A student again, but given these accommodations maybe he would be able to stay in his program and earn B's.

The meeting was well attended with most of his teachers, the school pdoc, the VP ect., however his guidance counselor did not attend even though she was invited and told me she would. She has still never met him. I will send a followup note to the school thanking them for the meeting and their concern but expressing my disappointment in the guidance counselor not attending. I really am thinking of requesting an alternative guidance counselor unless she calls me to followup. She is the only one for his grade so it may be difficult to switch.

Thanks for asking.
Lor:)





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