This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wow that was long! IEP description

I sent the letter to the teacher who started all of this (his English and Study Skills teacher), both of which classes he's failing, his school caseworker (who hasn't been returning my calls or e-mails) and the Assistant Principal (ditto), the Principal who's called me twice in the last two days to assure me that they are addressing this (now) and that she is calling an ARD* (IEP** meeting), the Assistant District Superintendent, the District Superintendent, Bear's therapist, the school psychologist, and the school guidance counselor. If I don't have an ARD date on Monday I will be hand delivering this letter to all the people at Bear's school (noting who else is receiving it) and mailing the rest. If I don't receive a meeting date by Wednesday I'll pay to resend the letter to the superintendent and principal by certified letter - with a cover letter demanding an ARD immediately.

In the meantime, the school says they would give Bear in-school suspension, but since all his classes are reviewing for finals they would prefer not to. Instead they will escort him between classes and he will be supervised at lunch.

Yesterday I got a call from Bear saying he had a project due in Science (another unfinished project in yet another class *sigh) and the teacher wouldn't let him take the materials he needs home to work on it so he needed to stay after school. I asked him lots of questions (which he hates) and discovered he could have been working on this in class but chose not to. I told him he had to have the teacher call me before I would approve it.

When the teacher called me she confirmed that she would be there, said Bear needed to use her reference materials (which she was very smart to not lend out) to classify his collection of shells (been there over a month). She promised that she would not let him out of her sight, and if they finished early or late she would call me.

5 minutes before school got out the teacher called me. She said that Bear claimed his materials were in the ROTC room and he needed to leave class to go get them. He's skipped out of her tutoring this way before so she told him she needed to escort him. He didn't like this and said he would just take the bus home then. She told him she would call me to let me know and he said, "No, she'll figure it out when I get there." The teacher called me anyway (obviously) and I reassured her she'd done the right thing (she didn't want to get in trouble). I asked her to have Bear escorted to the bus by the [behavior program] as he tends to "miss" it at times like this. She asked me if I wanted to speak to him and I screamed, "H*LL NO!" said, "Sure," but Bear refused to talk to me and walked out. I asked the teacher to call the [behavior program] and let them know what happened and see if they would check to see if he got on his bus.

I then called the bus driver's cell phone (she usually calls if he misses his bus), but she wasn't driving that day. So I called Transportation and miracle of miracles he was on the bus!

I rushed home so Grandma wouldn't have to deal with him. He was pouty, but we ignored that, and things were fairly smooth the rest of the evening. Could be because the whole family (including niece and nephew who stay with us on Thursdays) attended Kitty's choir concert I'd forgotten about. It was pretty bad and extremely boring lovely and very soothing so everyone came home very calm and almost immediately after that it was bedtime.

Oh yea, Hubby was extremely upset the whole evening because one of our clients fired us for no apparent reason when their project was almost complete. This takes us down to only one client and they aren't returning our calls. When is enough enough?!

* ARD is a Texas term for an IEP team meeting.
** IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan - it's for special ed students and lists the academic accommodations and behavior plan the school is providing. It is very thorough and progress is reported at the same time as report cards. The team that helps write the IEP must include a school administrator, a special education administrator, a general ed teacher, a special ed teacher, and the parents/ guardians, it can also include other people. Parents can bring in therapists, specialists, lawyers, really anyone they want for support and advice. The school can bring in school psychologists, psych assessment administrators... Once a kid starts middle school they usually attend the meetings too.

The team has to meet at least twice a year. Once to approve the IEP, and about a month later to assess how it's going. They can meet more often of course. Getting a meeting called for reasons like this is difficult.


GB's Mom said...

Sounds like you did a stellar job! Good for you!

FosterAbba said...

I'm sorry things are so rough. I totally understand your woes of self-employment. Been there, doing that. I just hope that your client decided to fire you after they had already paid.

We had one client fire us after he failed to pay a $14,000 bill. We sent him to collections and ultimately sued him. We won by default (he didn't show up) and when the judge's decree was posted, he filed for bankruptcy.

Oh, but the story gets better... A couple years after he stiffed us for all that money, he called us up wanting to know if we'd be interested in coming back to work for him, as if he was doing us a great big favor.

We told him we'd be glad to come back to work once he paid that $14,000. As you can guess, we never saw the money, and we haven't done any more work for the guy.

Anonymous said...

ARD = Admission, Review, Dismissal. I probably use the two "terms" incorrectly, but in general I think of the who as the ARD team and the what as the IEP.

Megan said...

I am so sorry for this very stressful end of the year! I hope your son does get the services he needs this summer. You need a big break.

marythemom said...

FosterAbba - we had a client stiff us for over $30K last year. When we complained they said all their manufacturing issues were our fault and if we didn't go away tney would sue us for the $200K they had to pay to get a new manufacturer. It was bogus, but no lawyer would take our case because the amount was so "small," they were so big, and because they'd been grandfathered in when we bought the company so we didn't have a contract with them.

ARD Team is the who that decides what goes in the IEP
ARD is the meeting where the team discusses the IEP and concerns about the child
The IEP is the document that has all the accomodations written in concrete, quantifiable terms that can be used for assessing the child's progress or lack thereof.