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Old 05-06-2010, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
It is interesting that you think you can diagnose a child who has a learning disability as *lazy* This is what many teachers did to our kids back some years ago.

It *may* be that the placement will be wrong for him, but parents do know their children better than teachers. I am a grandparent and have been a teacher and a parent.

Parents have struggled with getting children proper placements and been told by school districts that they are the experts, so the placements are not given. This sets our children up for failure *and* bullying. Sorry, but you are wrong on this one.

Dorothy
nana to one autistic 6 year old and one asperger's almost 8 year old who is having to fight with the local school district to get appropriate accomodations.
I notice you have a lot of posts dealing with autism and asperger's. That's a REAL disability. I'm not talking about anything remotely close to that. I suggest you visit an inner-city school and observe the mild-moderate labeled special day classes for kids labeled as having "specific learning disabilities". Your outlook will change, believe me.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Denver
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Doesn't this all boil down to the LRE? Can't you prove that a Special Day program is not the least restrictive environment for the student?
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HighlandsGal View Post
Doesn't this all boil down to the LRE? Can't you prove that a Special Day program is not the least restrictive environment for the student?
Absolutely, this is what SHOULD happen. Problem is my district. THEY are telling me that, regardless of the circumstances in this case (they have not investigated the matter or heard the teachers' point of view), the parent will get what she asks for no matter what. This is precisely my point of contention and what this thread is about. Would you agree it's a pretty messed up situation???
And if you agree there's a problem with this, how might you approach it? I'm standing my ground (and applying to work in other districts) but I'm not sure if that will mean anything in this case. Due process can only be requested by either the parent or the school district, not by a teacher.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Denver
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I agree it is messed up. I would tell them they are violating the law by not placing the student in the LRE (of course, you will probably get blacklisted or whatever, but you gotta do what you think is right/best).
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
Absolutely, this is what SHOULD happen. Problem is my district. THEY are telling me that, regardless of the circumstances in this case (they have not investigated the matter or heard the teachers' point of view), the parent will get what she asks for no matter what. This is precisely my point of contention and what this thread is about. Would you agree it's a pretty messed up situation???
And if you agree there's a problem with this, how might you approach it? I'm standing my ground (and applying to work in other districts) but I'm not sure if that will mean anything in this case. Due process can only be requested by either the parent or the school district, not by a teacher.
Isn't this child currently in the Least Restrictive Environment? If so, then it is not working for him, as you stated he is failing ALL of his classes. How does keeping him in his current placement solve anything?

You also stated that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
Lack of effort to pay attention or complete assignments. NOT lack of ability. The mere fact that he is labeled as learning disabled is a joke to us.
Does this not imply that there is a learning disability present? MANY children with learning disabilities HAVE the ability AND capacity to succeed in school, but their disability presents a roadblock to that end. The IEP is supposed to put in place supports that will help the child get through that road block!

Have you even considered the fact that this child's attitude, or bravado, or poor behavior is an act he is putting on because he is seriously struggling in school? Have you even considered that his lack of effort is his way of dealing, or trying to hide from his peers, his inability to break through that road block due to his disability?

The fact that you state this child's disability is a joke to all his teachers reflects the poor attitude you all have towards this child. Be it a learning disability or something else, this child is in serious trouble! Is placing him in a special day class going to solve all his problems? Unlikely! But why is this child not receiving psychological help at school? HE NEEDS HELP!

HIS CURRENT PLACEMENT IS NOT HELPING! Why are you fighting this so strenuously? Obviously, the school needs to try something else.

Also, you seem to forget or neglect the fact that the parent is part of the IEP team! The parent has just as much say in the placement of her child as you do. Nothing frustrates me more when school staff INSIST that they are the only experts and always know what is best for a child.

Sorry, but this is simply not the case. It amazes me how often the members of an IEP team discount a parent's opinion and place themselves on a pedestal and see themselves as the only true expert. Unfortunately, this attitude often intimidates parents who then actually believe this to be the truth and school does what it pleases, not always in the best interest of the child but in the best interest of the school district's bottom line.

Edited to add: And when the occasional parent comes along to actually FIGHT for their child's rights, they end up butting heads with "experts" like you who decide the child doesn't "really" have a disability! Many disabilities are HIDDEN disabilities! It really is not your place to decide whether a child has a disability or not; you place is to put in effect the supports that will help overcome the CLASSIFIED disability so that the child can succeed in school!

For goodness sakes, the kid is in 8th grade! He'll be leaving your school soon. Why are you fighting this fight? Give the kid a shot in a more restrictive environment, because he is NOT succeeding in the LRE!

Either really try to make an effort to help this kid, i.e. change your attitude and try to get this kid psychological services and social services, or if you can't do that, just let it go!

Last edited by wsop; 05-07-2010 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:48 AM
 
1,488 posts, read 2,704,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Isn't this child currently in the Least Restrictive Environment? If so, then it is not working for him, as you stated he is failing ALL of his classes. How does keeping him in his current placement solve anything?

You also stated that:



Does this not imply that there is a learning disability present? MANY children with learning disabilities HAVE the ability AND capacity to succeed in school, but their disability presents a roadblock to that end. The IEP is supposed to put in place supports that will help the child get through that road block!

Have you even considered the fact that this child's attitude, or bravado, or poor behavior is an act he is putting on because he is seriously struggling in school? Have you even considered that his lack of effort is his way of dealing, or trying to hide from his peers, his inability to break through that road block due to his disability?

The fact that you state this child's disability is a joke to all his teachers reflects the poor attitude you all have towards this child. Be it a learning disability or something else, this child is in serious trouble! Is placing him in a special day class going to solve all his problems? Unlikely! But why is this child not receiving psychological help at school? HE NEEDS HELP!

HIS CURRENT PLACEMENT IS NOT HELPING! Why are you fighting this so strenuously? Obviously, the school needs to try something else.

Also, you seem to forget or neglect the fact that the parent is part of the IEP team! The parent has just as much say in the placement of her child as you do. Nothing frustrates me more when school staff INSIST that they are the only experts and always know what is best for a child.

Sorry, but this is simply not the case. It amazes me how often the members of an IEP team discount a parent's opinion and place themselves on a pedestal and see themselves as the only true expert. Unfortunately, this attitude often intimidates parents who then actually believe this to be the truth and school does what it pleases, not always in the best interest of the child but in the best interest of the school district's bottom line.

Edited to add: And when the occasional parent comes along to actually FIGHT for their child's rights, they end up butting heads with "experts" like you who decide the child doesn't "really" have a disability! Many disabilities are HIDDEN disabilities! It really is not your place to decide whether a child has a disability or not; you place is to put in effect the supports that will help overcome the CLASSIFIED disability so that the child can succeed in school!

For goodness sakes, the kid is in 8th grade! He'll be leaving your school soon. Why are you fighting this fight? Give the kid a shot in a more restrictive environment, because he is NOT succeeding in the LRE!

Either really try to make an effort to help this kid, i.e. change your attitude and try to get this kid psychological services and social services, or if you can't do that, just let it go!
I'll respond in sequence to your post.

Question: Let's look at a hypothetical scenario. Imagine I decide to ignore laws and break into houses and steal things that look nice to me. I'm perfectly capable of understanding that this is against the law. I'm also capable of following the law and not breaking into houses. But, for reasons completely unexplained, I simply don't follow the law and continue breaking into houses. Do I have a following the law disability? If the criteria for having a disability is having the ability to do (or not to do) something, but for reasons unexplained I don't do that, than, uh, that's interesting to me.

Regarding education, so, failing classes means one is disabled? So, we can just go in and look at report cards and label everybody who is failing as disabled? Anybody see anything wrong with that? What you're assuming is that the only variable in this equation is his placement and how that works for him. You're completely disregarding the fact that HE also has something-A LOT-to do with how he fares in school. In fact, it is a reality in SPED that you can't cite grades as a factor in placement if missing assignments etc are a contributing factor to bad grades. Perhaps a communist government would see things as you do.

Yes, I've considered that his attitude is a result of struggling. After an intelligent, thorough examination of the matter, I-and every single other of hjis teachers-concluded that is NOT the case.

Psychological help is a different realm all together. Plenty of people need psychological help who aren't learning disabled. School is school. Psychological intervention is another deal. Is there a void there that the government should fill? Perhaps. But teachers can only provide a very limited amount of help in the area of student psychology.

I'll finish my response in a while.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Isn't this child currently in the Least Restrictive Environment? If so, then it is not working for him, as you stated he is failing ALL of his classes. How does keeping him in his current placement solve anything?

You also stated that:



Does this not imply that there is a learning disability present? MANY children with learning disabilities HAVE the ability AND capacity to succeed in school, but their disability presents a roadblock to that end. The IEP is supposed to put in place supports that will help the child get through that road block!

Have you even considered the fact that this child's attitude, or bravado, or poor behavior is an act he is putting on because he is seriously struggling in school? Have you even considered that his lack of effort is his way of dealing, or trying to hide from his peers, his inability to break through that road block due to his disability?

The fact that you state this child's disability is a joke to all his teachers reflects the poor attitude you all have towards this child. Be it a learning disability or something else, this child is in serious trouble! Is placing him in a special day class going to solve all his problems? Unlikely! But why is this child not receiving psychological help at school? HE NEEDS HELP!

HIS CURRENT PLACEMENT IS NOT HELPING! Why are you fighting this so strenuously? Obviously, the school needs to try something else.

Also, you seem to forget or neglect the fact that the parent is part of the IEP team! The parent has just as much say in the placement of her child as you do. Nothing frustrates me more when school staff INSIST that they are the only experts and always know what is best for a child.

Sorry, but this is simply not the case. It amazes me how often the members of an IEP team discount a parent's opinion and place themselves on a pedestal and see themselves as the only true expert. Unfortunately, this attitude often intimidates parents who then actually believe this to be the truth and school does what it pleases, not always in the best interest of the child but in the best interest of the school district's bottom line.

Edited to add: And when the occasional parent comes along to actually FIGHT for their child's rights, they end up butting heads with "experts" like you who decide the child doesn't "really" have a disability! Many disabilities are HIDDEN disabilities! It really is not your place to decide whether a child has a disability or not; you place is to put in effect the supports that will help overcome the CLASSIFIED disability so that the child can succeed in school!

For goodness sakes, the kid is in 8th grade! He'll be leaving your school soon. Why are you fighting this fight? Give the kid a shot in a more restrictive environment, because he is NOT succeeding in the LRE!

Either really try to make an effort to help this kid, i.e. change your attitude and try to get this kid psychological services and social services, or if you can't do that, just let it go!
Response continued....
I am fighting it so strenuously because I believe very strongly in what I've stated here. For years, I've witnessed special education classes ruined by kids who's shortcomings have nothing to do with difficulty learning. That needs to stop. I'm also fighting it vigorously because of the way my (often criticized district) is handling the issue. They're not even willing to lsiten to the teachers at our school present a case as to why the special day class would be the wrong placement. That is also wrong.

The parent is part of the team and does have an equal voice in the services the school provides. BUT, see the paragraph above. Our district is wanting to MUTE all of the other team members-those who actually work with the kid every day and understand what he does. We're ALL a part of the team and all of us should have our voices heard. Not just the parent. (And, in the end, when there is a difference of opinions, the Least Restrictive Environment should win out). Even if the district mediation person agrees to give the parent what she wants, at least the teachers should also be able to offer their rationale in a meeting with said mediation person. The parent was a no-show for the annual IEP and suddenly decided she wanted a change of placement after the fact.

Again, our "bottom line" is not the least bit impacted either way by where the kid is assigned. Believe me, MY bottom line sure as hell isn't impacted! I AM acting in the best interest of the kid. I don't get paid more or less money based on where he's placed. Actually, truth be told, my responsibilities would be REDUCED if this kid went SDC. He'd be off my caseload and out of my class. AND, I was told that I would not have to rewrite the IEP or do any extra work on it if I just allowed them to tweak it for him to be in SDC. So, with no financial reward at stake, I am making things considerably harder on myself by taking this stand. Why might I do that if the kid's best interests weren't what I was concerned with???

Fight for the kids rights? That's what I'm doing. The kid has a right to an education in the Least restrictive environment. You're mistaking a kid's rights and what's best for the kid with what's happening in this case. His right's aren't at stake here. Abuse of the system is what's at stake.

Exactly. He'll be leaving our school in 5 weeks anyway. Why would I kick up a fuss?? Maybe because I really believe strongly that he does not belong in SDC? How SDC classes are filled is not just a matter of the whimsical wishes of uninformed parents. We can't put every single kid into an SDC class because the Mom decides she'd like the kid in a smaller class. Beyond those trees you're looking at, there's an entire forest!

I am trying to help. He's trying to have fun.
Psychological services and social services?? Again, totally different deal!!! Apples and oranges. I would make another whole argument about this kid and those services on another occassion. But, regardless, you can't say that because a kid needs social services or psychological services...we should provide learning disabled services. LMAO

Last edited by skyway31; 05-07-2010 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
But, regardless, you can't say that because a kid needs social services or psychological services...we should provide learning disabled services. LMAO
1. I never said that, so I'm not sure why you're LYAO.

2. The fact of the matter remains that this child IS classified with a learning disability. Was he recently classified, or was he classified in the younger grades?

Honestly, if the kid is REFUSING to do any school work and is putting 0 effort into school, by what criteria are you determining that he is actually CAPABLE of doing the work? How would you know?

I think you are more rankled about the idea of a kid who rebukes authority and smokes pot, being placed in the SDC. I would have to assume that the majority of the kids currently in the SDC class are making an effort to succeed despite their disabilities, while this boy thinks everything is a joke. I understand this could throw off the balance of the classroom.

I get that and I can understand that. However, the fact that he smokes pot really has nothing to do with whether he has a learning disability or not. The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't think you or his classroom teachers are really in a position to decide whether this kid does or does not have a learning disability. Since he has been classified, you need to go with that premise and then have appropriate supports put in place.

So, he is not succeeding in his current placement and being in a smaller class may actually help him.

I think I would be more sympathetic with you if you were acknowledging this child's disability and felt the SDC would be doing him a disservice, but I don't get that sense from your posts.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wsop View Post
1. I never said that, so I'm not sure why you're LYAO.

2. The fact of the matter remains that this child IS classified with a learning disability. Was he recently classified, or was he classified in the younger grades?

Honestly, if the kid is REFUSING to do any school work and is putting 0 effort into school, by what criteria are you determining that he is actually CAPABLE of doing the work? How would you know?

I think you are more rankled about the idea of a kid who rebukes authority and smokes pot, being placed in the SDC. I would have to assume that the majority of the kids currently in the SDC class are making an effort to succeed despite their disabilities, while this boy thinks everything is a joke. I understand this could throw off the balance of the classroom.

I get that and I can understand that. However, the fact that he smokes pot really has nothing to do with whether he has a learning disability or not. The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't think you or his classroom teachers are really in a position to decide whether this kid does or does not have a learning disability. Since he has been classified, you need to go with that premise and then have appropriate supports put in place.

So, he is not succeeding in his current placement and being in a smaller class may actually help him.

I think I would be more sympathetic with you if you were acknowledging this child's disability and felt the SDC would be doing him a disservice, but I don't get that sense from your posts.
- Student was in special education for some amount of time in third grade and maybe before (I don't have easy access to his records prior to then as he was enrolled in a different district). In third grade, his IEP team formally met to declare him not eligible for SPED. He remained in regular education free of supports the rest of his time in elementary school. He then goes to my middle school for 6th grade. He racks up 19 behavioral referrals for things such as kicking/hitting kids, cussing at teachers, general defiance. You get the picture. He gets referred to SPED. He's now declared eligible again. The rationale? Formal intelligence testing reveals his abilities are perfectly normal...but for reasons unclear/unexplained, he's failing his classes and performing poorly. Thus, he "appears to exhibit a specific learning disability". That's it. Using that logic, EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD THAT EVER GOT BAD GRADES AND WAS DEFIANT HAS A DISABILITY! Capable but not succeeding? YOU'RE DISABLED! If I ever get pulled over for speeding, I'm going to tell the officer I'm "Going the speed limit disabled". Do you think that will work for me? Should he offer me "following the speed limit support services" (at the taxpayers' expense)? After all, I'm capable of following the speed limit, but, for reasons unknown, I'm not doing so. Same exact logic.

-About 5% of the time, he'll make a small effort to pay attention and learn. I've worked with him 1 on 1 and observed him in the regular class with 35 kids. His aptitude as far as picking up on the concepts is quite high. The 5% of the time he listens and applies himself, he learns quickly.

Yes, I am rankled by the idea of a lazy, defiant kid being placed in SDC..because he's lazy and defiant. That does tick me off.

Being in a smaller class can be beneficial to every single student in America. I wholeheartedly support having ALL kids in MUCH smaller classes than what they're presently in. BUT, we don't have the resources to do that. The only really small classes that are available are SDC classes. SDC classes are for a specific type of student and we have to be carefule in deciding who goes into those classes.

I'm not (formally) challenging the notion that he has a disability. I don't believe he is disabled. But, as you said, it's not presently my place to challenge that. That's an entirely separate debate, though. So, as you said, we have to provide the appropriate supports. SDC is NOT APPROPRIATE. Him going to SDC hurts both him and his potential classmates.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
- Student was in special education for some amount of time in third grade and maybe before (I don't have easy access to his records prior to then as he was enrolled in a different district). In third grade, his IEP team formally met to declare him not eligible for SPED. He remained in regular education free of supports the rest of his time in elementary school. He then goes to my middle school for 6th grade. He racks up 19 behavioral referrals for things such as kicking/hitting kids, cussing at teachers, general defiance. You get the picture. He gets referred to SPED. He's now declared eligible again. The rationale? Formal intelligence testing reveals his abilities are perfectly normal...but for reasons unclear/unexplained, he's failing his classes and performing poorly. Thus, he "appears to exhibit a specific learning disability". That's it. Using that logic, EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD THAT EVER GOT BAD GRADES AND WAS DEFIANT HAS A DISABILITY! Capable but not succeeding? YOU'RE DISABLED! If I ever get pulled over for speeding, I'm going to tell the officer I'm "Going the speed limit disabled". Do you think that will work for me? Should he offer me "following the speed limit support services" (at the taxpayers' expense)? After all, I'm capable of following the speed limit, but, for reasons unknown, I'm not doing so. Same exact logic.

-About 5% of the time, he'll make a small effort to pay attention and learn. I've worked with him 1 on 1 and observed him in the regular class with 35 kids. His aptitude as far as picking up on the concepts is quite high. The 5% of the time he listens and applies himself, he learns quickly.

Yes, I am rankled by the idea of a lazy, defiant kid being placed in SDC..because he's lazy and defiant. That does tick me off.

Being in a smaller class can be beneficial to every single student in America. I wholeheartedly support having ALL kids in MUCH smaller classes than what they're presently in. BUT, we don't have the resources to do that. The only really small classes that are available are SDC classes. SDC classes are for a specific type of student and we have to be carefule in deciding who goes into those classes.

I'm not (formally) challenging the notion that he has a disability. I don't believe he is disabled. But, as you said, it's not presently my place to challenge that. That's an entirely separate debate, though. So, as you said, we have to provide the appropriate supports. SDC is NOT APPROPRIATE. Him going to SDC hurts both him and his potential classmates.
Is it possible he's ED? I realize he was classified with a specific learning disability (which actually sounds pretty unspecific ), but his behavior suggests one of two things: 1. He has a disability which causes him to act uncontrollably or 2. he is nothing but a bully.

Since it's unlikely, from what you described about the situation at your school, that you can prove he is nothing but a bully, I guess you have no choice but to accept his classification.

Just wondering - is this kid on medication? Is his mother at her wits end about what to do with him? It is certainly possible that the mother is also having difficulties controlling his behavior at home.

I know you said you worked one-on-one with this boy, and though you didn't directly state he was able to attend and learn during those sessions, I did get the impression that was the case.

I'm going to go out on a limb here. Is it possible for this kid to get a one-in-one aid? Maybe you could argue that his behavior is a danger to himself and the other kids and so needs constant redirection and one-on-one attention.

What is the student to teacher ratio in the SDC? I HAVE heard of children even in self-contained classes (what SDC is called here) getting a one-on-one aid, though that is not easy to get and my sense is that this kid is probably not severely disabled enough to qualify for this.

Another suggestion is to have the staff in the SDC keep careful documentation of his behavior and consider the possibility of calling another IEP meeting to show this boy HAS to have an aid as he poses a danger to himself and others.

I know you feel what is happening is unfair and unjust, but sometimes you have to learn to choose your battles. This boy won't be in your SDC for long...he will be moving on. It might be best to just let it go. Not because I think you should give up on something you believe but because I don't think this is worth making yourself sick over.

And who knows, again the smaller class and more one on one attention may actually help this child. I know you may not feel he is the most deserving of this class, but the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I would bet that most parents at your school leave the placement decisions to the district, but not this time. While I don't know the particulars of this boys mother, she just may be at the end of her ropes with him and is demanding (or BEGGING) for help. A class of 35 is insane. I think my typical children would have major difficulties in a class that size.

Let him go...he may surprise you. And if not, you only have another month at most.

Good luck and I would be interested to know how it all turns out.
All the best!
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