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'Reading Milestones' program??


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 14, 2003 at 3:12:02 PM
Subject: 'Reading Milestones' program??

Hi,

Do any of you have an opinion on the reading program "Reading Milestones?"

This is the program that is being used for my son in his SDC class. (It was like pulling teeth just to get them to tell me it's name) Anyway, I really need to get any information/opinions regarding this program that I can. My son has another IEP scheduled for the 27th and my concern is that he isn't being challenged enough and the program isn't working for him. 5 months growth in one year of teaching, to me, is not sufficient and I believe my son is capable of much more. Currently he is 14, in the 8th grade and reading at a 2ed grade level. They refuse to change anything and won't even consider the fact that asking for harder work, more homework, extra packets, is a sign that he isn't getting what he needs. I feel as if they're teaching him things that he already knows, and won't step it up or teach him anything that takes any effort to learn. There are 6 or 8 students in this program with him, and I wonder if he's being held back because some of them aren't ready do go forward? I don't know, I'm reaching I guess. <sigh> Anyway before I go in there again, I would like to know more about the program being used.

Another question is does a SPED teacher need to be "trained" using this program? I'm wondering if maybe it isn't the program.....maybe it's the instruction?

Thank you so much,

Brenda

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Anonymous
Joined Jun 24, 2017
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Posted:Feb 14, 2003 8:26:17 PM

Brenda,

I will tell you about Reading Milestones, and then I am going to give you some very honest, but tough advice to hear.

Reading Milestones is a reading program that was first designed for hearing impaired children. It is written with controlled language and is a totally sight word based program. It did not teach deaf children how to read and it will not teach your son to read. No sight word program will teach a severely dyslexic child to read. I used it back when it was the only reading program that was promoted for hearing impaired children. But I have learned a great deal about reading since then and would not waste one minute instructing a child to read using it. It has nothing to do with needing to be trained to use it, by the way. You can be the best trained person in the world in a useless program and it still won't work!!! Your son must have a structured multisensory language based program for teaching reading (after he has a good private evaluation).

This proves to me that your child's school has no idea how to help your son. I'd be at that IEP meeting to tell them that since they have totally failed to educate your child, that you will be seeking legal counsel to see that the school system pays for him to go somewhere like a Lindamood-bell Clinic for several months and/or probably a private LD school. Age 14 and reading at 2nd grade level is very typical of some of the cases you see winning private school placement paid for by the system. You might want to tell us your state to see if you could get an advocate to help you at that IEP meeting. Injustice is being done to your child and that makes me a bit angry. Let me find you a few links to read and I'll post again.

Janis

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Anonymous
Joined Jun 24, 2017
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 12:31:23 AM

Hi Janis,

Thanx you for replying. Ya know, just when I think I've cried every last tear I have for the day, it starts again and boy.......the hurt is almost unbarable. I feel so helpless and inadequate. I've read and read and asked question after question....there is so much information in my brain, and I haven't a clue as to how to use it effectively to help my son. *sigh* Going up against the school system is akin to taking on Godzilla and Mothra at the same time........the whole thing seems so unfair and shouldn't be allowed to happen.

Anyway about this reading program "reading milestones." If it's not effective then why does the school insist on using it? I can't get them to do anything. I've explained to them that this program hasn't done a thing for my son and they need to do something else now, because he's running out of time and to do nothing, would be a crime....completely unfair to him. They're insisting that because he's made 5 months progress in one year, that that means the program is working. Hogwash! But that's what they're standing behind.

I would like to quote to you from a letter that my son's teacher sent home yesterday. This after pulling teeth to try and get the name of the program from them.

"This program came highly recommended by the professionals at Fresno Diagnostic. The series was designed specifically for students who are learning English as a second language, developmentally disabled, language delayed, learning disabled or for other types of special students who are having problems learning to read English fluently." (it goes on to describe the program details)
"I am a big advocate of this program as I have seen success with all of my students who are currently working with me in this program. I find five months of growth in one year to be quite remarkable considering I am working with a population of students who are designated as SDC. I provide my students with daily reading instruction in small groups. Anthony's group is the higher group consisting of six students. All students are given considerable opportunities to read to me and with me during the course of daily instruction.
Anthony is a fine yourng man, I think very highly of him and consider it a privilege to have him in my class. He takes his schoolwork very seriously, often doing more than what I've asked of him. He always does his homework, and often asks for extra homework. He gets along well with his peers and teachers. His behavior is excellent in the classroom and on the playground. I often tell his mother that he is a shining star in my classroom. While working under a modified but still very challenging curriculum Anthony earned a respectable GPA this past trimester making the schools Honor Role. I have confidence that Anthony will continue to make steady progress in my program here at *schools name*."

I looked up the program on the internet and his discription isn't the same as what I found and after reading it, I felt misled.

Discription from the internet:
"Reading Milestones
The most popular alternative, language-controlled reading program Reading Milestones is the most popular reading program of its kind. This successful alternative, language controlled program is especially effective for students with hearing impairments and language delays, and is also widely used with others who have special language and reading needs including individuals with learning disabilities and students learning English as a second language. It is designed to take readers to approximately a fifth-grade reading level with graphics, content, and presentation that are appropriate for readers of all ages. Revisions made in the third edition were based on recent research, new practices in reading, and feedback from users of the series. An update kit is available for those currently using Levels 1-3."

What I get out of that is that the program is designed for students with hearing impairments, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't know why he didn't add that, or maybe it's because my son is not hearing impaired. I want a program that will address his "specific needs."

I don't know how to make the argument that this program isn't good enough. They listen to me but do nothing. They just say that his placement is appropriate and that's that. Well that can't be that.....it isn't working and he needs help! How do I, as his mother, argue against the school about which program should/shouldn't be used? I have no background or knowledge about any of the programs, so I can't even suggest one that would work. But THEY have the knowledge and they're not being forthcoming. I don't know what to do, or how to do it. : (

When I spoke with the Dir of SPED and told her that I believed that my son was capable of making much more progress then he's been making...but that he needs a different program.....some intensive instruction......something! She asked me what I based my opinion on, and I told her I base it on the fact that he is continually asking for harder work in class....always asking for more and harder homwork than what is offered to him. His homework takes him all of 5 minutes to complete and his spelling words are mastered with little effort. IF he were challenged and given something that he actually had to study, instead of things that he already knows (clocks for telling time, 0 x 0..1,2 etc...) I believe that he would be able to increase his abilities and progress much further than they're allowing. He's not afraid of hard work and has a deep desire to read. She then stated that without looking at his test scores she has to question if his placement is appropriate. I told her that his test scores would improve if the school would teach him something. If he could read, then he'd do better in ALL his subjects. (all this through tears I couldn't help crying....and I reeeeeeally tried)

While she seemed to agree that his placement is questionable I can't hold her to it, and I can't make the IEP team even concider it. At the last meeting last week his reg ed teacher wasn't even there....they called the meeting short without addressing all my concerns...ignored transition issues.....there was no one there who was able to committ district resources, they wouldn't allow me to bring the IEP home to review and share with my husband, they made me sign under dissenting opinion and gave me 24 hours to return a letter of dissenting opinion. Those being just a few things they did wrong. That's why I'm having another meeting so soon, and only because I called the dir of SPED did they make any kind of move to call another IEP. I was so upset....because this IEP was a waste of time not to mention not even valid! Yet these are the people I'm supposed to trust......I don't think so. But again, I don't know how to fight them......they'll just use legal jargon and other B.S. to try and intimidate me and make me forget all the questions I'm demanding they answer. I can not make it through a meeting like this without crying, and trust me, I try SO hard....I just can not do it. I think they use that to their advantage. When I'm all emotional they redirect the conversation and never finish talking about what whate ever it was we were talking about. I'll be taping this next meeting, so maybe they won't be so bad, but they won't give in...I know they won't.

Anyway.....gosh this is SO long and I didn't mean for it to be, but with some background info I thought maybe it would help you help me. With the IEP meeting being SO close......I need something to fight/argue them with....I wish I had the knowledge that you all have, I bet then they wouldn't make our world so difficult. <sigh>

Okay well.....that's that. If you can think of "anything" that might be helpful, I would be forever grateful! OH BTW....I live in Central California....near Stockton. I should have said that a long time ago. Sorry.

Thank you again for taking the time to read all this and especially for your advise.

Brenda

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Anonymous
Joined Jun 24, 2017
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 9:03:04 AM

Brenda,

We're just going to have to pray that someone will see this and be able to go with you to that IEP meeting. I live on the opposite side of the country, but I would have helped you if you were within driving distance. I think maybe Sue and Patti live in CA so perhaps they can help us connect you with some help. I'll try and reach them on the reading board to com over here.

Now I am going to give you just a few things to read. This article is from this site and it will tell you about the kind of reading program your son needs. They are not ALL listed in this article as there are a few other good ones not listed. I use Phono-Graphix which is another acceptable one. You can for starters copy this article and take it with you to the meeting. You tell them that your consultant has told you that RM will not teach the skills on that list and you expect them to provide one of the programs in that article:

http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/reading/mssl_methods.html

Here's one more to copy and take:

http://www.schwablearning.org/Articles.asp?r=318&g=2&d=5

What I will say is that they are not deliberately using a bad reading program; theu are simply ignorant of the readign research and how to teach children to read. These articles may be the first time they have ever heard of these programs. I say that is a very poor excuse, but very sadly, it is a common scenario in most schools. The training is expensive so those that do know about them still may refuse to send teachers for training. I asked last year to go to Phono-Graphix and Lindamood-Bell training and was told no. So I paid for the PG training myself. What would be the point of going on with teeaching if I knew I was doing a bad job???

There is another reading program like the ones listed and it was designed by a woman named Susan Barton. I believe she is in California. I think she created the program after trying to help her nephew who could not read. I just looked and she is apparently in San Jose. Don't know how far that is but it's just a thought. Her program contains training tapes, but at this point, your son should be taught by an experienced person, not one who is just getting trained.

http://www.bartonreading.com/

You also may find some help on the International Dyslexia Association site. They have branches in each state and perhaps you cna just call someone listed for yoru area and ask if they know of anyone who can help. All you need to tell them is that your son is 14, reading at 2nd grade level, and the school is using a sight word program with him.

http://www.interdys.org/jsp/other/california.jsp

Let me go try to find some other help and I'll be back.
Janis

Brenda wrote:
>
> Hi Janis,
>
> Thanx you for replying. Ya know, just when I think I've
> cried every last tear I have for the day, it starts again and
> boy.......the hurt is almost unbarable. I feel so helpless
> and inadequate. I've read and read and asked question after
> question....there is so much information in my brain, and I
> haven't a clue as to how to use it effectively to help my
> son. *sigh* Going up against the school system is akin to
> taking on Godzilla and Mothra at the same time........the
> whole thing seems so unfair and shouldn't be allowed to happen.
>
> Anyway about this reading program "reading milestones." If
> it's not effective then why does the school insist on using
> it? I can't get them to do anything. I've explained to them
> that this program hasn't done a thing for my son and they
> need to do something else now, because he's running out of
> time and to do nothing, would be a crime....completely unfair
> to him. They're insisting that because he's made 5 months
> progress in one year, that that means the program is
> working. Hogwash! But that's what they're standing behind.
>
> I would like to quote to you from a letter that my son's
> teacher sent home yesterday. This after pulling teeth to try
> and get the name of the program from them.
>
> "This program came highly recommended by the professionals at
> Fresno Diagnostic. The series was designed specifically for
> students who are learning English as a second language,
> developmentally disabled, language delayed, learning disabled
> or for other types of special students who are having
> problems learning to read English fluently." (it goes on to
> describe the program details)
> "I am a big advocate of this program as I have seen success
> with all of my students who are currently working with me in
> this program. I find five months of growth in one year to be
> quite remarkable considering I am working with a population
> of students who are designated as SDC. I provide my students
> with daily reading instruction in small groups. Anthony's
> group is the higher group consisting of six students. All
> students are given considerable opportunities to read to me
> and with me during the course of daily instruction.
> Anthony is a fine yourng man, I think very highly of
> him and consider it a privilege to have him in my class. He
> takes his schoolwork very seriously, often doing more than
> what I've asked of him. He always does his homework, and
> often asks for extra homework. He gets along well with his
> peers and teachers. His behavior is excellent in the
> classroom and on the playground. I often tell his mother
> that he is a shining star in my classroom. While working
> under a modified but still very challenging curriculum
> Anthony earned a respectable GPA this past trimester making
> the schools Honor Role. I have confidence that Anthony will
> continue to make steady progress in my program here at
> *schools name*."
>
> I looked up the program on the internet and his discription
> isn't the same as what I found and after reading it, I felt
> misled.
>
> Discription from the internet:
> "Reading Milestones
> The most popular alternative, language-controlled reading
> program Reading Milestones is the most popular reading
> program of its kind. This successful alternative, language
> controlled program is especially effective for students with
> hearing impairments and language delays, and is also widely
> used with others who have special language and reading needs
> including individuals with learning disabilities and students
> learning English as a second language. It is designed to take
> readers to approximately a fifth-grade reading level with
> graphics, content, and presentation that are appropriate for
> readers of all ages. Revisions made in the third edition were
> based on recent research, new practices in reading, and
> feedback from users of the series. An update kit is available
> for those currently using Levels 1-3."
>
> What I get out of that is that the program is designed for
> students with hearing impairments, and maybe I'm wrong, but I
> don't know why he didn't add that, or maybe it's because my
> son is not hearing impaired. I want a program that will
> address his "specific needs."
>
> I don't know how to make the argument that this program isn't
> good enough. They listen to me but do nothing. They just
> say that his placement is appropriate and that's that. Well
> that can't be that.....it isn't working and he needs help!
> How do I, as his mother, argue against the school about which
> program should/shouldn't be used? I have no background or
> knowledge about any of the programs, so I can't even suggest
> one that would work. But THEY have the knowledge and they're
> not being forthcoming. I don't know what to do, or how to do
> it. : (
>
> When I spoke with the Dir of SPED and told her that I
> believed that my son was capable of making much more progress
> then he's been making...but that he needs a different
> program.....some intensive instruction......something! She
> asked me what I based my opinion on, and I told her I base it
> on the fact that he is continually asking for harder work in
> class....always asking for more and harder homwork than what
> is offered to him. His homework takes him all of 5 minutes
> to complete and his spelling words are mastered with little
> effort. IF he were challenged and given something that he
> actually had to study, instead of things that he already
> knows (clocks for telling time, 0 x 0..1,2 etc...) I believe
> that he would be able to increase his abilities and progress
> much further than they're allowing. He's not afraid of hard
> work and has a deep desire to read. She then stated that
> without looking at his test scores she has to question if his
> placement is appropriate. I told her that his test scores
> would improve if the school would teach him something. If he
> could read, then he'd do better in ALL his subjects. (all
> this through tears I couldn't help crying....and I
> reeeeeeally tried)
>
> While she seemed to agree that his placement is questionable
> I can't hold her to it, and I can't make the IEP team even
> concider it. At the last meeting last week his reg ed
> teacher wasn't even there....they called the meeting short
> without addressing all my concerns...ignored transition
> issues.....there was no one there who was able to committ
> district resources, they wouldn't allow me to bring the IEP
> home to review and share with my husband, they made me sign
> under dissenting opinion and gave me 24 hours to return a
> letter of dissenting opinion. Those being just a few things
> they did wrong. That's why I'm having another meeting so
> soon, and only because I called the dir of SPED did they make
> any kind of move to call another IEP. I was so
> upset....because this IEP was a waste of time not to mention
> not even valid! Yet these are the people I'm supposed to
> trust......I don't think so. But again, I don't know how to
> fight them......they'll just use legal jargon and other B.S.
> to try and intimidate me and make me forget all the questions
> I'm demanding they answer. I can not make it through a
> meeting like this without crying, and trust me, I try SO
> hard....I just can not do it. I think they use that to their
> advantage. When I'm all emotional they redirect the
> conversation and never finish talking about what whate ever
> it was we were talking about. I'll be taping this next
> meeting, so maybe they won't be so bad, but they won't give
> in...I know they won't.
>
> Anyway.....gosh this is SO long and I didn't mean for it to
> be, but with some background info I thought maybe it would
> help you help me. With the IEP meeting being SO close......I
> need something to fight/argue them with....I wish I had the
> knowledge that you all have, I bet then they wouldn't make
> our world so difficult. <sigh>
>
> Okay well.....that's that. If you can think of "anything"
> that might be helpful, I would be forever grateful! OH
> BTW....I live in Central California....near Stockton. I
> should have said that a long time ago. Sorry.
>
> Thank you again for taking the time to read all this and
> especially for your advise.
>
> Brenda

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Anonymous
Joined Jun 24, 2017
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 9:20:36 AM

By the way, I wanted to say that even the worst programs have nice web-sites and slick advertising. Districts and teachers are fooled by this advertising if they do not do their homework. I used to use RM, too. But that was before all the reading research was out.

If you end up having to make a legal challenge, here is the web-site to get you started. Look under resources-legal and advocacy, and you can find people in CA:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/

Brenda, I know this is overwhelming. Do not expect that you can overnight become an expert on learning disabilites and special ed. law. But you do need some help from someone who is.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 9:23:47 AM

Just read this, Brenda. This girl was much like your son and the courts agreed that she was not getting an appropraite education by the school and the distrcit had to pay for private LD school:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.carter.htm

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 10:04:19 AM

Based on my experience there are 4 major reasons for reading problems (there are many more but these are the one's i've seen):

retardation: sounds like that's not it.

sensory integration problems: OT can help that and there are simple tests to determine if this is a problem. Have him lay down on the floor and do the angels in the snow thing. Now, have him do it w/ left arm/leg. Can he time the movements so the arm/leg leave and return simultaneously? Try right arm/leg.
Then try left arm/right leg. Then right arm/left leg.

Have him do elephant walk: (on all 4s) walk left arm/right leg then right arm/ left leg.

If he can't do these he miight well have sensory integration problems and that could cause reading problems. If so, have him work on these simple exercises and see if that helps his reading. If you need more, email me and i can give you more.

scotopic sensitivity: Have him try to read in a fairly dark room. Can he see the letters better? If so, his eyes might be sensitive to light. Colored filters (file folders) at WALMART may help.

dyslexia: Does he think in pictures? Can he tap right hand twice/left hand once numerous times? Does he reverse his letters? There are some more tests but that will give you some ideas.

Until the source of the problem is found they aren't going to teach him to read. Their attitude sucks. They need to understand they have legal obligations and you are an equal member of the team as is he.

I hope you can find out what all of your rights are. You could use an advocate to go w/ you to the meetings.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 10:47:32 AM

Brenda,

John is right that a good reading evaluation would be a very good idea. (But I am still betting that he needs one of the programs listed in the articles.:-) He may possibly have more than one deficit area (maybe auditory and visual), so a proper evaluation would identify them. I did not mean to neglect that part, I was just trying to help you deal with the meeting which is very near. One thing you can do at that meeting is to request an independent educational evaluation. They will balk at it, but places like Lindamood-Bell would not even work with him without doing an evaluation first. But it is important that the evaluation be done by someone who knows what they are doing, so if necessary, it might be worth driving to a Lindamood-Bell clinic just for an evaluation. If I were you, I'd make an appointment for that now, regardless of whether the school ends up paying for it. If you can get him diagnosed now, hopefully he could start some kind of remediation by summer.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 10:55:45 AM
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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 1:35:14 PM

Hi John,

I asked that exact question at his last IEP. I asked them what exactly are they saying his LD is. Because they've never really put a label on him and I wanted them to tell me something because I believe if you know WHY a child isn't reading, then you can address it head on.

They told me he has "specific learning disability." I told them that I didn't undertand that. They just said that he has "specific learning disability." I then told them that they had to FIND how he learns and TEACH him. I told them that I was aware that not every child would respond the same way to a certain program and that whatever they were doing NOW was not working.

In the IEP, under "parent concerns/comments" it says, and I quote: "
"1. Concerned about reading. 2. Concerned about how he lerns so he can make progress so he can be taught how he learns."

That's all they put for comments. The first was vague, at best. and the second hardly makes any sense....if you weren't sitting at the table, you'd have to read it 10 time to know what it says....and it still isn't clear.

So what I guess I'm saying is that I've asked them what his LD is....and either they don't know, or "specific learning disibility" isn't something they know how to work with.

I don't know which tests to ask them to do. They've done all the required testing and are going by those scores.

When he was little he had a lot of other problems. He was in OT, PT, SP, Behavioral therapy.....you name it, they (not this SD) they had him in it. He's no longer qualify for these services. Which is great....he's come a LONG way. Further than the doctors said he'd come. He still has epilepsy and takes Tegratol for that, however, his last EEG was clear/normal. And they'll be taking another EEG this summer and if it too is normal, they'll begin slowing taking him off his meds.
Real quick, the reason he was sick in the first place is that when he was a baby he came down with Croup <sp?> and it turned into strider and because of lack of oxygen he fell into a coma, and was asleep for a little over a week. When he came out of it (they thought he was dying actually, we had his last rights read and were preparing ourselves) but he came out of it and when they extubated him, he began crying.....he was back. Although he had some problems: he couldn't sit up, walk, crawl, talk, etc... He was able to suck on a bottle. So he lived at childrens hospital in Oakland for a long while after that, and when he came home he got very intensive therapy for everything! He had to re-learn what he lost and learn what he missed. He did a great job! Like I said though, he hasn't qualified for therapy services for years now, but has LD. I realize that he may never be able to read the Great Book or War and Peace, but I DO believe that he has the ability to read past the 2ed grade at 14. They're acting as if he won't ever read, no matter what anyone does. That's not fair. If his other skills are so far beyond his reading......why can't he read without the proper help? I think he can and so that's where we are now....getting them that help.

Okay sorry for the long winded message, but maybe if you all know what happened to him you'll have a better idea about "him."

I will try those exercises with him that you suggested, but honestly I know he'll be able to do them all. Years ago he wouldn't have been able to, but now I know he will. I will do it anyway (it'll be tricky getting him to let me, lol) but I'll do it and let you know if it doesn't go as I expect. and THANK YOU so much!

I have about a hundred other messages to read, so I'm going to start on that.....I hoped my post helped a little to explain him.

B.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 1:48:05 PM

This is a group that gets FED money to assist parents of children with special needs.

California
Exceptional Parents Unlimited
Stacey Thacker
4440 N. First St.
Fresno, CA 93726
559-229-2000
559-229-2956 FAX
E-mail: Sthacker@exceptionalparents.org
Web Site: www.exceptionalparents.org
Central California

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 3:13:13 PM

I can just hear 'em. "Oh, that parent is in denial. That poor child." Grrrrrrrrrrrr...
How well have you been documenting their screwups? If you can quietly but firmly convince them that it would cost them less to get your son into an intensive program than to go through due process and possibly have to pay for private placmeent, I'd give that a real try. Sometimes this can even be done without turning into a "mother from h***" -- wrightslaw has excellent "emotions to advocacy" ideas so that you're not in a totally adversarial situation with people who are, despite the fact that they're denying your child an appropriate education, humans and probably really think they are doing a good job (and may be, for some of the kids). Also peek at Judy Bonnell's site for some good documentation ideas.
And then be sure to take an hour just for yourself ...
Basically they're babysitting your kid. With that in mind, I'd consider all the other possible babysitting options. Sounds like if he were just sitting in on higher level classes he'd get more out of it. Or if he's basically a responsible kiddo, that you could homeschool him (even if you work -- this sounds like a kiddo who could do productive things on his own).
Don't know what part of the country you're in -- but middle school and high school sped can be just disaster dumps... though some of the schools are and the safest place to be is in a sped classroom (depending on the other kids in the class).

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 3:13:59 PM

Haven't had... oh well, yes I have had my tea. Just not paying enough attention :)

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 4:03:10 PM

I think somewhere she said she actaully lives near Stockton.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2003 4:54:36 PM

Hi Sue,

I think you're exactly right. They think I'm in denial. But I know in my heart that I am not. They are the ones in denial. I'm not sure how well I've been documenting their screw ups in the past, but their latest screw ups are very well documented and are the ones that are making me SO mad. And I believe that those screw ups are the real reason behind the next IEP meeting being so soon....they don't want me to have any leverage, they want this meeting so they can do it by the book rather than be on record breaking laws.

I'll be going over the "emotions to advocacy" ideas again....I've got them printed. I honestly have to say though, I don't know if I can go in there and not cry. That is my biggest problem. They're so frusterating and self-righteous that it's maddening. Again if I could prove that he would benefit from different placement, that would be one thing. I can't prove it, I just "know" it. It seems that if I don't go in there with proof that they can't deny, then they win. Maybe I'm just scared right now and it'll be different than I'm thinking it will be. (hmmm, doubt it) but right now I feel like I need God to walk in there with me and wave his hand....making them see the light. <sigh>

As for high school. GOD, I've already been told that they don't actually "teach" reading they give "support" This from the counselor that went through his class picks. I asked them what kind of programs they have and really didn't get an answer......I need to speek with the special ed chair at the high school to get more answers. However, when I asked if his mainstreamed teachers would be aware that he is on an IEP, I was told "no....he'll have to self-identify." This of course threw me into a private/silent rage. I'll be taking care of that at the IEP meeting too....THAT I can handle (I hope).

But do you know if it's true that high schools don't actually "teach" reading, that they "support" the students instead? (whatever that means) That can not be true...it doesn't make any sense. And like you said, I don't want him "babysat" I want him to benefit from his education and have a chance in life.

BTW: I'm in California, near Stockton.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2003 2:00:51 PM

Brenda, you need to obtain his current standard score in reading (I like to use at least two good tests) and compare it to his IQ. If his IQ is in the 60's and his standard scores in reading are at that point or greater, then you may have difficulty proving the school has been incompetent in their instructional program.

Oxygen deprivation causes brain damage, as you know. You have brought him a long, long way, however he may never completely overcome the effects the unfortunate experience he has in early childhood. I understand fully that you want to do everything humanly possible to get him as far as possible. This is very understandable and I would want to do the same thing. But, the school may be doing all they are legally responsible to be doing. You are very fortunate they labeled him LD rather than M.R. as brain damage is a major cause of M.R. While I would need to read the entire file and all the assessment reports, I have not read anything in your posts which suggests the school is remiss in this case.

From their, probable, perspective, you are a caring loving parent who has a child who sadly was brain damaged early in life, the result of which is significant learning problems which may never be entirely correctable. I commend what you have done and recommend that you continue persuing outside assistance and therapy if you believe you can continue to improve the long term outcome for your son and increase his IQ and learning. CA law does not mandate that we provide for maximum potential nor does it demand that we provide experimental therapies in hopes of increasing learning potential. This is still in the realm of parenting.

You might enjoy reading the work of Reuven Feuerstein, if you have not already done so. This direction of pursuit might offer some possibilities for your son.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2003 2:52:39 PM

Anitya,

The reason I suspect this is not the case is that he was originally classified as specific learning disabled. There HAS to be a significant discrepancy in IQ and achievement to get that label initially. Kids who are EMD have the low IQ to begin with and the low adaptive behavior and should never be labeled LD. I was betting he is a LD kid with the Matthew effect based on the LD label.

Not that I have seen a single test score, of course...just a hunch.

Janis

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