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Old 05-10-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
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!
Definitely not E.D. A key component to being E.D. is the inability to change or control your behavior from one setting or set of circumstances to another. He is very much in control of his behavior.

You're right about "specific" learning disability. Highly vague!

He's not on medication and doesn't exhibit any signs of ADD. He's not a hyper-active kid. He just does (or doesn't ) do as he pleases.

He was able to learn in one-on-one sessions, just as he was able to learn in the class of 35. Oftentimes, he will simply decline an offer of assistance. We ask to help, he says no.

His behavior isn't a real danger to others outside of it being a danger in terms of it disrupting others' learning. I wouldn't be able to advocate scamming the taxpayers out of money to fund a one to one aid for a kid who's basically going to laugh at the aid and refuse help. And, again, he's demonstrated he can learn in a room of 35 if he tries.

Right now, SDC ranges from 10-15. Of course, if we keep putting every kid who's parents like the idea of a smaller class into SDC, that number will go up quite a bit.

*I scanned through my posts and realized I left out one key detail: For the last two months, he's been pulled out of the gen-ed math class to a class with just three other students! He has behaved WORSE and has certainly not progressed. We already have proof that the small learning environment changes nothing.*

The problem with letting a case like this go is, this is exactly why special education is broken. There are an unbelievable number of similar cases throughout education. This type of kid is what dominates SPED. It's got to stop.

Why would one school (the elementary) hold a meeting declaring him not eligible for SPED and then, after 19 behavioral referrals, now the middle school says he is eligible? Doesn't that show just how subjective and open for interpretation all of this is?

Thanks for the well wishes. We have a meeting scheduled in a week and a half.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Toms River, NJ
1,106 posts, read 4,670,087 times
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I work in a Title 1 district in NJ. We definitely handle things differently then L.A. My kids go through a lengthy battery of tests before they are classified. Let me tell you, if they can find the slightest reason not to classify, they use it. I've seen kids "de-classified" during their 3 year re-eval because their scores put them in the normal-average range, even though I knew they still required services.

I've seen parents "demand" a different educational setting and turned down for insufficient need (even though 2 independent doctors recommended the change). Basically, the district assumes the parents will never go to the next step.

I've seen kids who do not apply themselves - of course being from an urban setting, I realize that outside influences are dramatically impacting the child's will. It is unfortunate, but there is little one can do without proof. Too often Child Services do not find enough reason to remove a child to a more suitable environment and so they are moved through from one year to the next making minimal progress.

It is true that there are parents that will seek a classification for a child in order to obtain SSI benefits. There are also parents who will sell their child's meds., so the child comes to school without having taken them.

So, to the OP, I can't say that I have ever seen a parent win a battle that you are describing. My district handles things differently. But I think the best advice I've seen is for you to refuse to sign the IEP. At the beginning of my post I gave the example of one of my children being de-classified. I told our CS Team that I could not in good conscience sign off. As a result I did not participate in that meeting. With 15 other kids in my room, there was little more I could do. But at least I knew it wasn't me signing off at that meeting.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:03 AM
 
1,488 posts, read 2,705,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrjersey View Post
I work in a Title 1 district in NJ. We definitely handle things differently then L.A. My kids go through a lengthy battery of tests before they are classified. Let me tell you, if they can find the slightest reason not to classify, they use it. I've seen kids "de-classified" during their 3 year re-eval because their scores put them in the normal-average range, even though I knew they still required services.

I've seen parents "demand" a different educational setting and turned down for insufficient need (even though 2 independent doctors recommended the change). Basically, the district assumes the parents will never go to the next step.

I've seen kids who do not apply themselves - of course being from an urban setting, I realize that outside influences are dramatically impacting the child's will. It is unfortunate, but there is little one can do without proof. Too often Child Services do not find enough reason to remove a child to a more suitable environment and so they are moved through from one year to the next making minimal progress.

It is true that there are parents that will seek a classification for a child in order to obtain SSI benefits. There are also parents who will sell their child's meds., so the child comes to school without having taken them.

So, to the OP, I can't say that I have ever seen a parent win a battle that you are describing. My district handles things differently. But I think the best advice I've seen is for you to refuse to sign the IEP. At the beginning of my post I gave the example of one of my children being de-classified. I told our CS Team that I could not in good conscience sign off. As a result I did not participate in that meeting. With 15 other kids in my room, there was little more I could do. But at least I knew it wasn't me signing off at that meeting.
Yes, I've made it clear I won't simply sign my name on something I don't believe in.

Certainly, your district seems very different than LAUSD!
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:20 PM
 
8,143 posts, read 4,406,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
Dealing with an issue right now in special education. We have a student who is in the Resource program. He is failing all of his classes. ALL of his teachers agree it is for ONE reason: Lack of effort to pay attention or complete assignments. NOT lack of ability.
All of DD's teachers thought this way about her.

An MD and therapist diagnosed PDD after years of listening to her teachers describe her in the same way as you have posted.

I note you want to fight what the parent wants here. Why?
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:49 PM
 
1,488 posts, read 2,705,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minethatbird View Post
All of DD's teachers thought this way about her.

An MD and therapist diagnosed PDD after years of listening to her teachers describe her in the same way as you have posted.

I note you want to fight what the parent wants here. Why?
Do me a favor and please read through the thread. I'd rather not repeat what I've already stated. Thanks
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:41 AM
 
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Lightbulb Truth To Power

A plan of action? Simple if you have the cojones to speak truth to power. I work in the school system as well, and even though it is not in the U.S., I suspect the frustrations are similar.

After years of dealing with this kind of thing, where a group of experienced teachers know what's best for the child, but no one is listening, the only thing that has ever worked for me was to band those teachers together and go public. Fortunately, I used to have a Directress who would give us all the "unofficial support" we needed. On two such occasions, the teachers went on strike on behalf of the children. It attracted considerable support from the press.

And so it was that a problem that vexed us for years, found a lasting solution within a couple days, because a politician suddenly realized that if he jumped on this, he could look like a hero, and if he didn't it could move sideways on him really fast.

Use the press. Go public!
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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Hmmm, old thread but quite interesting. I wonder whatever happened. The OP was in a tough spot.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Hmmm, old thread but quite interesting. I wonder whatever happened. The OP was in a tough spot.
I'm still teaching! And still struggling with somewhat similar cases. (Lots of success stories, so things aren't as dark and depressing as they may seem.)

Now, the idea of "insufficient progress in an RTI model" is being formally declared in some initial IEPs. In other words, if the child does poorly enough, for long enough, they're declared disabled...no matter what. And, of course, if they have an IEP and do well enough for long enough, they almost always exit the program. Meaning they're more or less declared "cured" or no longer disabled. So, what we really have is a system of segregating and tracking the lowest performing students, some of whom may be legitimately disabled...or not disabled in truth at all.

The misconception that remains to this day is that there is an entirely objective, almost medical in nature, process involved in declaring a student disabled. This is simply not the case, especially with regards to the ubiquitous "Specific Learning Disability". There are objective intelligence tests and objective academic tests used in the eligibility determination. But, as I assume I mentioned almost a decade ago, there is nothing objective in deciding WHY grade level academic skills haven't been developed. If you're telling me something, and I turn my back and plug in my earbuds to play music, I will not know what you've said to me. You can quiz me, and, I promise that if I try my best I will fail the test. But not because I have a hearing disability or an auditory processing delay. It's because I turned my back and tuned you out! Same goes for a student in a classroom. If they've decided to ignore and tune out the lesson, and not participate, they're not going to acquire any new knowledge or skills. And that would be by their own choosing. Now, is it concerning that an 11/12/13 year old child doesn't care? Yes! Should the school intervene and try to change the course the student is on? Yes! Should the school label the child as disabled under federal law? Only if there is considerably more evidence of a disability beyond poor grades and lack of academic skills, given the fact that we know they aren't trying to participate in lessons and activities.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:01 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
18,605 posts, read 13,512,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyway31 View Post
I'm still teaching! And still struggling with somewhat similar cases. (Lots of success stories, so things aren't as dark and depressing as they may seem.)

Now, the idea of "insufficient progress in an RTI model" is being formally declared in some initial IEPs. In other words, if the child does poorly enough, for long enough, they're declared disabled...no matter what. And, of course, if they have an IEP and do well enough for long enough, they almost always exit the program. Meaning they're more or less declared "cured" or no longer disabled. So, what we really have is a system of segregating and tracking the lowest performing students, some of whom may be legitimately disabled...or not disabled in truth at all.

The misconception that remains to this day is that there is an entirely objective, almost medical in nature, process involved in declaring a student disabled. This is simply not the case, especially with regards to the ubiquitous "Specific Learning Disability". There are objective intelligence tests and objective academic tests used in the eligibility determination. But, as I assume I mentioned almost a decade ago, there is nothing objective in deciding WHY grade level academic skills haven't been developed. If you're telling me something, and I turn my back and plug in my earbuds to play music, I will not know what you've said to me. You can quiz me, and, I promise that if I try my best I will fail the test. But not because I have a hearing disability or an auditory processing delay. It's because I turned my back and tuned you out! Same goes for a student in a classroom. If they've decided to ignore and tune out the lesson, and not participate, they're not going to acquire any new knowledge or skills. And that would be by their own choosing. Now, is it concerning that an 11/12/13 year old child doesn't care? Yes! Should the school intervene and try to change the course the student is on? Yes! Should the school label the child as disabled under federal law? Only if there is considerably more evidence of a disability beyond poor grades and lack of academic skills, given the fact that we know they aren't trying to participate in lessons and activities.
I’m of the mind that this was a system change needed, provided we don’t lose sight of truly learning disabled kids with IQ’s high enough to perform at “acceptable” levels. You are right, of course, not all students who fail to perform are disabled but they do still need intervention and greater insight. Some of the goals, I think, in switching to the RTI system was to reduce the number of kids labeled learning disabled who in reality were just experiencing set backs and to create a system to assist kids that didn’t legally qualify as learning disabled due to state parameters but that were going to end up unable to simply read or have enough rudimentary math skills to understand their own basic finances.

Special education has morphed into an albatross and lost its way. Sometimes parents are given too many rights to dictate services or placements for their child and school systems don’t challenge it, even when every professional sitting in the room knows it’s the wrong thing, for fear of lawsuits or an unwillingness to start due process procedures themselves.

Good to hear back from you and to know you are still teaching. Good teachers who care about how to best meet the needs of their students are a true treasure.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:16 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
36,406 posts, read 66,215,441 times
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I too am glad to hear that you are still teaching. Here we are seeing more and more parents hiring Special Ed Advocates or legal counsel as advocates to ensure that they get everything their child is legally entitled to. When that happens, typically that student gets more than they should in order to avoid legal action, at the expense of others who don't complain. The bottom line is that there are still only so many Special Ed teachers and para-educators, and a limited budget. Many of the good teachers have become burned out and moved on to general education teaching.
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