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!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

IEP Meeting - to be continued

This is the letter I sent to the school on Monday after consulting with an attorney and an advocate. I don't know if we're going to be able to afford having the advocate at the IEP meeting ($75/hour - 2 hour consultation, plus the actual meeting). This month has 3 paychecks (yea!), Of course all the sudden we start bleeding money and we didn't know it was going to be a problem until we'd already spent some of the money on lower priority items (My sewing machine needed repair, $400 repair for the TV, multiple car repairs - luckily I only got a warning ticket because my brake lights aren't working right, the washing machine needs repair, had to replace the hot water heater completely, Bear's court costs...)

  1. Kitty is still in imminent danger and safety measures need to be implemented now. Due to the high likelihood that Kitty will again be of imminent danger of suicide within the immediate and midterm future, before she can be placed in a residential treatment facility and before the next IEP Meeting, we are repeating our request that certain safety measures be instituted immediately. It has been well documented by multiple mental health professionals that Kitty is in serious physical and psychological danger. The High School is endangering our child’s life and health, by continually delaying an appropriate response with distant IEP Meeting dates, irrelevant FBA (Functional Behavioral Assessment) results and an insufficient Crisis Plan and Behavior IEP. In particular, it is not reasonable or responsible to expect an emotionally disturbed 16 year old girl who has been hospitalized twice in the last 30 days to self-report. At a minimum, Kitty needs to be accompanied during all unstructured periods such as lunch and passing from one class to another to ensure that she does not attempt and complete suicide on campus.

  2. Need a new FBA if that’s a requirement for the Special School. I do not understand why a Functional BEHAVIORAL Assessment is being used to assess my daughter’s EMOTIONAL disorder; however, I am officially requesting that the FBA be redone to assess the RELEVANT documented behaviors that are inhibiting and disrupting her ability to access an appropriate education as well as are frequent precursors to her suicidal behavior. We cannot be deterred in our efforts to get Kitty the supervision and programming she requires, based on this assessment of irrelevant (because they are primarily home-based) behaviors, particularly when Kitty has displayed significant behaviors in school.

  3. I am requesting the requirements for placement in the Special School.

  4. Kitty is truant and we cannot account for these absences. I received a letter stating that Kitty has truancy issues again. The missing periods are from times that are not covered by doctor’s or hospital visits, nurse visits and/or times when I know we took Kitty home.

  5. We require the Behavior Program and Ms. V (guidance counselors) notes for this school year (and it would be extremely helpful to have the Behavior Program notes for the end of last school year as well to document this as an ongoing issue). We need this information both to document the amount of time Kitty spent out of class, and because we need information as to why she was out of class so this information can be addressed in Kitty’s treatment, and court if it comes to that. We were assured at the recent IEP Meeting that the Behavior Program keeps careful documentation, and that we would begin receiving this information in some kind of summary form in the future as well. We were also assured that we would be informed of incidents that require more immediate attention (such as what Kitty described as a panic attack late last week – before giving a speech).

Mary Themom cell (###) ###-####


There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~Walt Streightiff

This is the IEP Meeting Facilitator's Response:

Please see the preliminary responses to your concerns and if necessary, further discussion may continue at the IEP Meeting on October 31.

  1. The Behavior Program team will keep Kitty in visual sight during all transition periods and times she is not in the classroom effective immediately. All teachers have been instructed to call The Behavior Program, if Kitty should need to leave the room.

  2. The Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) must be completed in order to determine the need for a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The FBA and BIP are only one part of the process for the Special School consideration.

  3. Yes, we will provide guidelines for placement consideration for the Special School along with the notes you requested from the Behavior Program.

  4. We will be happy to research this - please clarify the periods in question and we will review our records.

  5. We will gather the the Behavior Program notes you have requested and
    anticipate delivery to you prior to the continuation of the IEP Meeting.

Thank you, Ms. IEP Meeting Facilitator

So they are being extremely helpful. On Tuesday, Kitty was in neuropsych testing all day (I found a place that will do her testing for free, and is willing to discuss the results with Kitty, especially as it relates to her future). The school called to check where she was, and if she was OK. Today she had a psychiatrist meeting in the morning so I held her out of school until it was over. Got another call from the school today asking how she was doing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it STUNNING how fast a school changes tune once you mention lawyers (or court).
It actually makes one quite sick and mad ... and to think that so many educators blame the parents for not participating in the IEPs.

Anyway, I am SO GLAD that they have changed their tune at least a little, and I'm glad you were able to talk with someone who didn't dismiss you because you put your daughter's safety over the dogma of "treat people with disabilities as though the disability is never disabling."

If their requirements for the special school differ from the website description ... we'll, I'd mention false advertising at the least.