U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-02-2010, 06:22 PM
 
907 posts, read 2,910,315 times
Reputation: 666

Advertisements

I posted here not too long ago about services for autistic children in the state of Virginia. The point was to warn potential newcomers that it was bad here. Services in this state are at the bottom. Second only to Texas as being the worst in THE COUNTRY. But, to speak specifically to Fairfax, I have posted a question about ABA to my friends in Fairfax. I will post their responses when I get them. Skater
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-02-2010, 07:44 PM
 
907 posts, read 2,910,315 times
Reputation: 666
Default More Feedback 4 You!

Here's a comment by a woman, Fairfax resident, who has been through the ringer with that county:

1. It depends on the age of the child, the eligibility determination of the child, and what is currently on the IEP. I’m talking about what is on the paperwork, not what the parent believes or what they have documented on private evaluations or what the child may be receiving even though it is not documented on the IEP.



2. The parents need to arrive to Fairfax after they have reviewed and gotten copies of everything in their child’s record. As you know the accepting school will only accept documents that come directly from the losing school. You can imagine what is forwarded, what conveniently gets lost, and what information is added without the parents knowledge. Once the parent gets to Fairfax they need to make an appointment to review their child’s education record in its entirety requesting a list of the locations and types of information contained at those locations. They should compare what was in the record when they left and what is in the record when they arrive.



3. Fairfax does not do “great things” for autistic kids or with ABA. If a parent has heard that Fairfax does great things ask them for specific examples of what great things they think Fairfax is doing. FCPS does not employ true ABA and they do not implement an ABA-VB approach. FCPS only implements the “principles” of ABA and the only kids that get this type of methodology are only those children who happen to be assigned to the Preschool Autism Classes or the Elementary Autism Classes. FCPS staff claim to have 2:1 student:staff ratio in these classes but I have not found one single class that actually is 2:1. Most are 3:1 and some are 4:1 with an aide. The teaching that goes on in these classrooms is reinforcement strategies, discrete trial teaching, lots of use and reliance on prompts but no push for independence. The FCPS autism programs primarily focus on behaviors, social skills, and introduction to language using ABA techniques. However, FCPS does not focus on developing communication skills with this population. They rely on prompts (visual, physical, or verbal), gestures, and low and high tech communication devices (PECS, or voice output devices) they do not focus on a communication system that the child uses daily and in every situation.



4. FCPS uses a life skills curriculum in these classes so these students do not participate in state assessments and therefore the schools are not held accountable to educate them. So if the progress great, if they don’t can’t blame the school system.



5. On the other hand, school districts only do what is written on the IEP. If the parent can come here with specific services identified on the IEP like child requires 1:1 ABA instruction 5 times per week, 5 hours per day, or child requires 1:1 speech therapy for 45 minutes, 5x per week, or progress will be measured with the ABLLS or VB-MAPP, or they have goals and objectives in the communication area of need (spontaneous language, expressive language, sign language, communication device, oral language comprehension) they will be well ahead of the game. Once they show up they need to find an advocate or someone who is familiar with the school district that they will be sending their kid to to attend the first IEP meeting with them so the school staff cannot BS them and change the IEP to what is convenient to the school.



Parents usually don’t believe what I have to say because there are plenty of other parents out there who have young kids who don’t understand the system and who believe that the schools are doing great things for their kids. They do not have the long-term vision to see what will happen when the kids get older, bigger, and stronger and are not making the progress that the school system has promised and then they wake up and say Oh My God, What Happened.
***

I concur. Virginia, as a whole, does a poor job for autistic children.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2010, 08:34 PM
 
1,824 posts, read 2,576,359 times
Reputation: 1778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Here's a comment by a woman, Fairfax resident, who has been through the ringer with that county:


4. FCPS uses a life skills curriculum in these classes so these students do not participate in state assessments and therefore the schools are not held accountable to educate them. So if the progress great, if they don’t can’t blame the school system.
.
I'm not responding to most of this as every person/child is different and that is why every IEP is, or should be, different. I do agree with reviewing all records received from the previous school district. I've seen things lost just between schools within the district so this makes sense.

I do want to respond to the comment about not participating in state assessments. This is not true. If the IEP committee decides they don't participate in the regular state assessment, meaning the standard SOLs, then they DO participate in an alternative assessment. Depending on the child's level of functioning, this may be the VAAP, Virginia Alternative Assessment, or the VGLA, Virginia Grade Level Assessment. Both of these are portfolios, not the multiple choice tests given at the end of the year. ALL students have state standards they must be meeting. The teachers, and students are held accountable to meet these. It just makes sense to use an alternative assessment if a child is not able to do a grade level multiple choice test, but can, in another manner, show they have met their standards for their grade level. These scores are included in the school's AYP score, so they are part of the NCLB and state assessment.

For anyone with a special needs child, it makes sense to contact the school, or better the special ed office, to set up a meeting to discuss the needs of their child. Bring the documentation you are hand carrying because while the school may want the official copies from the previous school, chances are the parents will have their own copies available much sooner than waiting on the mail/fax. Go with a set of questions written down, so they aren't forgotten. Ask about state standands, as they are addresed for all students.

Best of luck with the move in all aspects.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,623,356 times
Reputation: 3755
Quote:
Originally Posted by choff5 View Post
I do want to respond to the comment about not participating in state assessments. This is not true. If the IEP committee decides they don't participate in the regular state assessment, meaning the standard SOLs, then they DO participate in an alternative assessment. Depending on the child's level of functioning, this may be the VAAP, Virginia Alternative Assessment, or the VGLA, Virginia Grade Level Assessment. Both of these are portfolios, not the multiple choice tests given at the end of the year. ALL students have state standards they must be meeting. The teachers, and students are held accountable to meet these. It just makes sense to use an alternative assessment if a child is not able to do a grade level multiple choice test, but can, in another manner, show they have met their standards for their grade level. These scores are included in the school's AYP score, so they are part of the NCLB and state assessment.
I was going to respond about the VAAP, but you pretty much nailed it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2010, 08:57 PM
 
19 posts, read 135,818 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Here's a comment by a woman, Fairfax resident, who has been through the ringer with that county:

1. It depends on the age of the child, the eligibility determination of the child, and what is currently on the IEP. I’m talking about what is on the paperwork, not what the parent believes or what they have documented on private evaluations or what the child may be receiving even though it is not documented on the IEP.



2. The parents need to arrive to Fairfax after they have reviewed and gotten copies of everything in their child’s record. As you know the accepting school will only accept documents that come directly from the losing school. You can imagine what is forwarded, what conveniently gets lost, and what information is added without the parents knowledge. Once the parent gets to Fairfax they need to make an appointment to review their child’s education record in its entirety requesting a list of the locations and types of information contained at those locations. They should compare what was in the record when they left and what is in the record when they arrive.



3. Fairfax does not do “great things” for autistic kids or with ABA. If a parent has heard that Fairfax does great things ask them for specific examples of what great things they think Fairfax is doing. FCPS does not employ true ABA and they do not implement an ABA-VB approach. FCPS only implements the “principles” of ABA and the only kids that get this type of methodology are only those children who happen to be assigned to the Preschool Autism Classes or the Elementary Autism Classes. FCPS staff claim to have 2:1 student:staff ratio in these classes but I have not found one single class that actually is 2:1. Most are 3:1 and some are 4:1 with an aide. The teaching that goes on in these classrooms is reinforcement strategies, discrete trial teaching, lots of use and reliance on prompts but no push for independence. The FCPS autism programs primarily focus on behaviors, social skills, and introduction to language using ABA techniques. However, FCPS does not focus on developing communication skills with this population. They rely on prompts (visual, physical, or verbal), gestures, and low and high tech communication devices (PECS, or voice output devices) they do not focus on a communication system that the child uses daily and in every situation.



4. FCPS uses a life skills curriculum in these classes so these students do not participate in state assessments and therefore the schools are not held accountable to educate them. So if the progress great, if they don’t can’t blame the school system.



5. On the other hand, school districts only do what is written on the IEP. If the parent can come here with specific services identified on the IEP like child requires 1:1 ABA instruction 5 times per week, 5 hours per day, or child requires 1:1 speech therapy for 45 minutes, 5x per week, or progress will be measured with the ABLLS or VB-MAPP, or they have goals and objectives in the communication area of need (spontaneous language, expressive language, sign language, communication device, oral language comprehension) they will be well ahead of the game. Once they show up they need to find an advocate or someone who is familiar with the school district that they will be sending their kid to to attend the first IEP meeting with them so the school staff cannot BS them and change the IEP to what is convenient to the school.



Parents usually don’t believe what I have to say because there are plenty of other parents out there who have young kids who don’t understand the system and who believe that the schools are doing great things for their kids. They do not have the long-term vision to see what will happen when the kids get older, bigger, and stronger and are not making the progress that the school system has promised and then they wake up and say Oh My God, What Happened.
***

I concur. Virginia, as a whole, does a poor job for autistic children.
Many thanks for the update, makes me stop and really think about my options. So what's available in the NOVA community in terms of:

1. Respite

2. Adapted recreation

3. Private tutors (ABA)

How are (1) and (2) funded? Over here respite is funded via medicaid and there is a waiting list of up to 6 months to obtain 10 hours /month (in-home) and up to 2 years for out of home respite.

Thanks!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2010, 09:10 PM
 
19 posts, read 135,818 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
I also teach elementary, but not at a school with an autistic program like a center school would have. Homework, by FCPS standards, should be what the child can do independently.

It doesn't make sense that his work would only be adapted for tests. What does his IEP require for math?
It does not identify Math specifically but rather, has a "basic cognitive/Daily living skills" goal. The only thing sounding mathematical is being able to "count different coin combinations" . Any math homework sent always appears new to our son and we find that we essentially have to teach him from scratch. The work has not been restricted to coins; it has been pretty much 3rd grade math .

Do high functioning autistic 3rd graders in FCPS get modified Math curricula and are they working towards a regular or IEP high school diploma?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2010, 09:17 PM
 
19 posts, read 135,818 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by choff5 View Post
I'm not responding to most of this as every person/child is different and that is why every IEP is, or should be, different. I do agree with reviewing all records received from the previous school district. I've seen things lost just between schools within the district so this makes sense.

I do want to respond to the comment about not participating in state assessments. This is not true. If the IEP committee decides they don't participate in the regular state assessment, meaning the standard SOLs, then they DO participate in an alternative assessment. Depending on the child's level of functioning, this may be the VAAP, Virginia Alternative Assessment, or the VGLA, Virginia Grade Level Assessment. Both of these are portfolios, not the multiple choice tests given at the end of the year. ALL students have state standards they must be meeting. The teachers, and students are held accountable to meet these. It just makes sense to use an alternative assessment if a child is not able to do a grade level multiple choice test, but can, in another manner, show they have met their standards for their grade level. These scores are included in the school's AYP score, so they are part of the NCLB and state assessment.

For anyone with a special needs child, it makes sense to contact the school, or better the special ed office, to set up a meeting to discuss the needs of their child. Bring the documentation you are hand carrying because while the school may want the official copies from the previous school, chances are the parents will have their own copies available much sooner than waiting on the mail/fax. Go with a set of questions written down, so they aren't forgotten. Ask about state standands, as they are addresed for all students.

Best of luck with the move in all aspects.
Thanks for this very useful info. Is it possible to arrange a meeting with the special ed office before actually moving to Fairfax if i have a sense of where i might want to live ?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2010, 01:31 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,111,910 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
Here's a comment by a woman, Fairfax resident, who has been through the ringer with that county:

1. It depends on the age of the child, the eligibility determination of the child, and what is currently on the IEP. I’m talking about what is on the paperwork, not what the parent believes or what they have documented on private evaluations or what the child may be receiving even though it is not documented on the IEP.



2. The parents need to arrive to Fairfax after they have reviewed and gotten copies of everything in their child’s record. As you know the accepting school will only accept documents that come directly from the losing school. You can imagine what is forwarded, what conveniently gets lost, and what information is added without the parents knowledge. Once the parent gets to Fairfax they need to make an appointment to review their child’s education record in its entirety requesting a list of the locations and types of information contained at those locations. They should compare what was in the record when they left and what is in the record when they arrive.



3. Fairfax does not do “great things” for autistic kids or with ABA. If a parent has heard that Fairfax does great things ask them for specific examples of what great things they think Fairfax is doing. FCPS does not employ true ABA and they do not implement an ABA-VB approach. FCPS only implements the “principles” of ABA and the only kids that get this type of methodology are only those children who happen to be assigned to the Preschool Autism Classes or the Elementary Autism Classes. FCPS staff claim to have 2:1 student:staff ratio in these classes but I have not found one single class that actually is 2:1. Most are 3:1 and some are 4:1 with an aide. The teaching that goes on in these classrooms is reinforcement strategies, discrete trial teaching, lots of use and reliance on prompts but no push for independence. The FCPS autism programs primarily focus on behaviors, social skills, and introduction to language using ABA techniques. However, FCPS does not focus on developing communication skills with this population. They rely on prompts (visual, physical, or verbal), gestures, and low and high tech communication devices (PECS, or voice output devices) they do not focus on a communication system that the child uses daily and in every situation.



4. FCPS uses a life skills curriculum in these classes so these students do not participate in state assessments and therefore the schools are not held accountable to educate them. So if the progress great, if they don’t can’t blame the school system.



5. On the other hand, school districts only do what is written on the IEP. If the parent can come here with specific services identified on the IEP like child requires 1:1 ABA instruction 5 times per week, 5 hours per day, or child requires 1:1 speech therapy for 45 minutes, 5x per week, or progress will be measured with the ABLLS or VB-MAPP, or they have goals and objectives in the communication area of need (spontaneous language, expressive language, sign language, communication device, oral language comprehension) they will be well ahead of the game. Once they show up they need to find an advocate or someone who is familiar with the school district that they will be sending their kid to to attend the first IEP meeting with them so the school staff cannot BS them and change the IEP to what is convenient to the school.



Parents usually don’t believe what I have to say because there are plenty of other parents out there who have young kids who don’t understand the system and who believe that the schools are doing great things for their kids. They do not have the long-term vision to see what will happen when the kids get older, bigger, and stronger and are not making the progress that the school system has promised and then they wake up and say Oh My God, What Happened.
***

I concur. Virginia, as a whole, does a poor job for autistic children.
Despite what FCPS wants us to believe, they do a poor job with many, many, kids, including autistic students, poor kids, Black kids, and gifted kids. They simply don't care. They have no incentive to care. It's a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies care about themselves, their jobs, their raises, their environment, not the customer/student/parents/taxpayer. Why would they care about those people?

FCPS is complaining again that they desperately need more money. Taxes must be increased! Yet they found enough money for every administrator, every principal, (and all 6 assistant principals in every high school), to be given a Blackberry. Of course they must all have training to use them, which is an additional expense. Then there are all the monthly fees, forever. What necessitates all of this additional expense? Why must they all have Blackberries? Because they want them. Period. There is NO reason that they can't wait to check email until they are back in their offices. What email emergency might they have?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2010, 01:35 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,111,910 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephzibah77 View Post
Thanks for this very useful info. Is it possible to arrange a meeting with the special ed office before actually moving to Fairfax if i have a sense of where i might want to live ?
You would have to call the local school and ask. Each school works fairly independently. It's called site based management which means the principal in each school decides pretty much everything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2010, 07:20 AM
 
907 posts, read 2,910,315 times
Reputation: 666
Default NOVA is worse

Unless you have a pre-school. low functioning child in a MIPA program, there is NO aba. Doesn't exist here. Please re-read my first email and look back for the post I wrote about services in Virginia. Virginia is a failure in regards to providing autism services. NOT just an opinion.

**********


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephzibah77 View Post
Many thanks for the update, makes me stop and really think about my options. So what's available in the NOVA community in terms of:

1. Respite

2. Adapted recreation

3. Private tutors (ABA)

How are (1) and (2) funded? Over here respite is funded via medicaid and there is a waiting list of up to 6 months to obtain 10 hours /month (in-home) and up to 2 years for out of home respite.

Thanks!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top