Well Played IEP maneuver


I am sitting in a Continuing Legal Education seminar and ran into someone I didn’t expect to. Which led me to the stream of thought about how this CLE does not attract anyone outside of legal profession because are the required hours for lawyers. Most of the CLEs I attend are related to Special Education law and Civil Rights. The Special Education CLEs attract a lot of parents. Usually there are more parents then lawyers in those seminars. I am engaged and often chime in with info at those. Which led me to the following stream of thought from that seminar related to something that occurred a few years ago but might be helpful for someone else out there…

I had a rather adversarial relationship with one of my son’s intervention specialist. He also had an adversarial relationship with her that started prior to mine. As a parent it is sometimes difficult to get to the truth. I mean most kids, at least me & my son, not a big fan of teachers. Also not a fan of someone else up in your business. There were many times of disagreements. I caught the intervention specialist in a lie. Actually a couple of lies. Not even a misinterpretation of facts or difference opinion. Actual lies in writing. It certainly wasn’t the first time a teacher lied to me but I was especially inflamed with the content of the lies. She was causing unneeded aggravation. At one point she even lied to me about the law.

For background information my son attended a lot of the IEPs. However due to the adversarial nature I didn’t want him to attend. I had seen her upset him with her lies and inappropriate way she treated him. I did not want him in the room. I was bringing his psychologist to help me get things in place. The principal was backing his staff member.

I was not having my son in that room. She told me he was legally required to be there. No he is not. I was done. I contacted the director of special education for the whole school district. Since I had her email with inaccurate information he agreed to step in.

He came to every single IEP meeting that year. Things were not perfect but they got better. When the intervention specialist said she couldn’t do something the Director told her yes she could and she would. A couple of times the intervention specialist would mutter under her breath. She often acted inappropriately in front of the Director and in front of the principal. She was mad. She was clearly counseled for her behavior. She didn’t fight me anymore.

Perhaps she had too many kids. Perhaps she was stressed and overwhelmed. But it was my child and my child needed his accommodations and not her attitude. I wasn’t going to give in to her.

It is so hard and exhausting. It shouldn’t be but under current system we have to fight for our kids. Don’t give up. When your tired find a way to fight for your kid. You never know which battle or which person will become your ally. Our kids deserve the best. One at a time we will get teachers and administrators to understand and help our kids.

My current fight is going to be the OGT (Ohio graduation test). Yes I know they are required (i was informed by his current intervention specialist who is usually understanding and great) for graduation but he needs accommodations. they have agreed to some accommodations. These tests are crazy and they are very strict on how given. He has done well on te tests they give every few years in prep for it. but i worry. Especially since there is a writing portion and wasn’t one on the prior years test. Not sure why but is how Ohio has it set up.

I need to make crystal clear if he becomes frustrated and shuts down don’t get into a power struggle. I would rather him refuse & have to retake then have a serious meltdown. My son has gotten better at self advocating. He will say “not taking the test” prior to flipping the desk. But teachers view that as insubordination. He can’t/won’t say “I am stuck and not able to take this right now”. He sometimes asks for help but sometimes have to wait till he is calm. I plan to take time off work so I am there. If he refuses don’t push, get me. That battle will be in February for march testing but laying the groundwork now. Can’t get it all done in one conversation or email. It is a constant work in progress. Maybe my fighting will help the next aspie.

All I can do is educate and fight for my kid. It advocates for him but will advocate for the next kid too.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this…preparing for battle right now.

    • With all the literature available on Aspegers and other differences, why in the world should battles exist? There should be a team working together for all children; with the classroom teachers, resource teachers, school counsellors and parents involved for the best interest of a child.

      I hope it all goes well for you. 🙂

      Jodi

    • good luck on your battle!

  2. Awesome. I am also an autism parent. http://www.autismsparkles.com. I love all the info about the IEP’s. Ugghhh :(. My son is 13 and we have made it to regular ed but the struggle NEVER ends. We still have lots of social issues and speech issues but we keep hanging in there ;). Kudos to you and your son!! We left Ohio when my boy was six. I’m curious to see how the testing plays out and how well the district works with you!!

  3. Rebecca Logan says:

    I had to change the school of one of mine in order to get the help needed! Very strange that the policies of the EC Dept in a county can be transalated so differently within a school district! But, finally, a team that works together for the good of the children!

  4. Thanks so much. I am preparing for a IEP this week.

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