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I didn't let them see me cry!!!!

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Mar 21, 2002 at 11:31:14 AM
Subject: I didn't let them see me cry!!!!

Well, as I said in a earlier post, I had my meeting with the school on Tuesday. It did not go well at all!! We found out that these tests show that my daughter is mildly mentally retarded. (that is very hard for me to say)They request that she attend another school that has more one on one learning. It is a living resource room. They said that they learn spelling, reading, math, and how to wash clothes and how to spend money at the store and how to take care of herself. As if that isn't bad enough to hear, they told me that I have been lied to for the past couple of years. The SLP told me that when her and the LD teacher tested my daughter last year that she did not qualify for services and that the teacher made her lie to keep her in the programs. This LD teacher isn't there anymore. The other teachers told me that they think the reason that she did this is to keep my daughter in her home school as long as she could. I know this teacher is a very good teacher but I was entitled to the truth. This year of school is moreless wasted. She is not progressing hardly at all and now I see why. I am so D*** mad and I don't know at who. Am I mad at myself because I didn't pay close enough attention . Am i mad at the school for saying something I don't want to believe, or that I don't believe at all.Am I mad because my daughter has been trying sooo hard and everybody says that she just isn't trying. I am mad because I have been lied to for I don't know how long and why should I believe them now? I am mad because when I sat this meeting up with the principal they already knew what they were going to tell me. They didn't tell me that I needed to bring someone with me that it wasn't going to be good news, and they knew I was comming by myself. I told her on the phone that I would be attending alone that my husband couldn't get off work. I felt like the ganged up on me. I couldn't say a word once they started taking about the mental retardation. I just sat there like an idiot, holding back the tears because I made up my mind that I wasn't going to let them see me cry, and they didn't. I recorded everything on a tape recorder so that my husband could listen to it . I think that is the only thing I did right through the whole meeting. I am done with the crying and cussing and throwing things now I need to figure out what I am going to do about it. If anybody has any suggestions they will be greatly appriciated.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 11:42:30 AM

Would you be willing to have your daughter tested again by an independent evaluator? I would say that the position you are in (being lied to and having it on tape) would entitle you to this outside evaluation at their expense. You are right, why should you trust them now. How do you know that they are making accurate conclusions. They may be getting you upset for nothing. If it were me, I would go in that direction and work from the outside's findings, not theirs. I am so sorry for what you have been through.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 11:46:49 AM

If they suspect that her disabilities are that severe, my understanding is that an evaluation by a neuropsychologist is the most thorough. We are going through it right now.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 11:53:29 AM

I had my mind made up when I went to request that and outside evaluation be done but, I just couldn't get it out . We have a meeting with the principal next week and I am going to say something then. We are good friends with her so maybe I can get something out of her. I just hope I don't have to fight with them to get this testing done and they pay for it,.if I do I will have her retested anyway and I will pay for it.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 12:29:02 PM

Another mom I know refered this book to me as she was totally redoing her IEP that was insufficient for her daughter.It might make some things clearer in your mind."You, Your Child, and "Special" Education" A Guide to Making the System Work by Barbara Coyne Cutler.I wish the school would take into consideration our feelings.I fortunately kind of had a hunch about my daughter having LD and told the psychologist I wanted to know before I went into the meeting with them. I still left in tears but was able to handle the meeting as I would not have if I was surprised with that information.You are the best judge of your child, don't let a professional dictate what your child can do. I had one professional say my daughter did not belong in the public school system . My child did well 1st grade and I was surprised.Next grade progress was slow ,so I am still working to get things better and the book I recommended gives you the boost to keep on trying to get the best education.Good Luck-

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 12:29:42 PM

My heart goes out to you.

I have found that out of all the schools I have dealt with, most...MOST...don't know their proverbial arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to diagnosing children.

Your story about the LD teacher and the SLP is especially provoking.

Please don't rely on your 'relationship' with the principal to get this matter handled. Remember this is a LEGAL matter and your daughter's life and future depend upon you being her advocate. She is only a principal and who you are dealing with is the school district. I would not agree to any change of placement until you have a trustworthy evaluation.

You do not have to pay for a thorough and complete independent educational evaluation. The school MUST pay, and you must prepare the proper letter to request your daughter's right to the extensive testing she most definitely needs.

Has your daughter been tested for auditory processing disorder? Do you know that this disorder can invalidate all IQ testing? Perhaps your daughter is severely dyslexic. What about visual perception? Non-verbal LD?

Please pull yourself together and get the proper evaluation so that you can have some reliance on what the issues are that you daughter is facing. I would not, under these circumstances, take anything the school is saying as valid.

Bless you during this upsetting time. Please regroup and take action. Do not let these people determine your daughter's future. That is in the hands of the Divine, your daughter and your husband and yourself.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 12:53:00 PM


On one of my many prowls through Barnes and Noble
I found the book auditory mom recommends
"You, Your Child, and "Special" Education" A Guide to Making the System Work by Barbara Coyne Cutler

And I agree, it is a great book and one that gave me a needed boost.
I plan on using many of the ideas when I start planning with the
staff for next year.

Anne

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 1:09:08 PM

A few more pieces of advice. Never go to any meeting without first discussing, either in person or by phone, what is going to be said. Before any PPT meeting, I always make the "rounds" and talk to everyone quietly so I can understand their opinions and issues and freely ask questions. I can also influence the IEP, etc for next year before the meeting. Then any "official" meeting is simply proforma and a rubber stamp of what we have already agreed to. Much easier and more effective.

I routinely go to parent teacher conferences along but I would NEVER go to an IEP or IEP type meeting alone. Too intimidating! Schedule the meetings for first thing in the morning (ours for next week is at 8:15) and make sure your husband, or at least someone, comes with you.

I'm not a huge fan of testing because I don't see how it really influences what the Resource Room is really working on. (ie an IQ test is nice information but doesn't help your child learn to read). However, in your case, since placement is dependent on what it shows I would definitely get outside testing done and I would try very hard to get it paid for by the school. If they wouldn't pay, I'd still have it done for peace of mind.

We all struggle not to cry at IEP meetings and then have a good cry in the car going home. It's a normal part of the tensions at the meetings and what's at stake and how much we LOVE our children. Don't let them get you down!

Good luck!

Debbie

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 2:13:11 PM

Absolutely get an independent evaluation. We had a good relationship with our school principal but I wasn't naive to think only our interests would be hers as well. We got what we needed but it wasn't a walk in the park, we still had to argue it out with the team. Go with a neuropsyche and get as much information as you can. Go to socks' website, she has sample letters and lots of info to help. If you go to search above and put in socksandfriends it will give you the posts which have the whole site name, I have a terrible memory for remembering website names. I am so sorry for how the meeting went for you today, it is why I call it the sp.ed roller coaster, it can absolutely wear you down. My first thought is that a lot of things the school folks said just don't go together, like why lie about needing services last year? If the scores were similar, obviously she would have not been able to be served in a regular classroom she probably would have needed services of some kind. If she had scores that low then why are they telling you she isn't trying? I would agree with you that she was probably doing her best. On the other hand, there are many things which could have affected how she scored. The other posts above are right on. Take a look at her previous tests and compare it with this one, you have that right to look at all her files and materials contained in them. Please though, make your request for the iee from the school, more information can only help. My best to you and your family, hang in there, we are here for you. Let us know how things go.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 2:15:36 PM

Bring a family member or friend and ask to meet with the school psychologist again and ask that person to review the original private testing and ALL of the school testing with you; if all scores show both IQ and achievement in the mildly mentally retarded range, you just need to have an assessment of adaptive behavior(the Vineland scales) to make sure of the diagnosis. If you can afford it, you might want to have testing done again, but most IQ tests can only be done every 2-3 years or they are not valid. Ask about parent support groups associated with the new schoo program.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 6:08:50 PM

I, of course, agree with all the posts that say to get an independent evaluation. I have a couple of questions, though. Has she had an IQ test before? How do the results from then to now compare? (If you give us the subtest scores, you migth get more feedback on what they might mean). If the scores are consistently low across the board, I'd be more inclined to think the diagnosis might be correct. However, if some are average or above and others are very low, that's a red flag that there's something going on like a processing problem. That does not invalidate the whole test, but each subtest must be looked at individually and the composite score should not be used.

Were you asked questions about things she can and cannot do in her daily life during the evaluation process? Someone has already mentioned the Vineland. We cannot place a child educably mentally disabled in our state unless the Vineland (adaptive behavior scale) scores are in line with the IQ score. The parent must answer the questions regarding what the child can do in the home.

Know that your feelings of anger and hurt are very normal, though. It is part of the grieving process that most people experience when learning their child potentially has a serious problem. We do live in a culture that values high achievement and high IQ. But I firmly believe that each child has been given special gifts and we should look for them and nurture and encourage them until the child reaches his or her potential. Here's a hug, {{{{Wendy}}}}.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 6:50:19 PM

I am sorry for what you had to go through today. I cannot add any more valuable advice to what you already have been given, but just wanted to let you know you are not alone in the way you felt.
In 2nd grade, one of my sons, who I thought was going to pass the testing, came in at the mentally retarded range too. I think the rest of the meeting was a blur, of feelings of loss, dreams being shattered. That lasted for a short time until I could get everything into perspective. You have alot of people here who have given you excellent advice. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 21, 2002 8:36:51 PM

make the request in writing. You can hand-deliver it to the principal, if you want. Verbal requests are not legally binding on the school and can be ignored. A written request cannot be ignored.

Before you do this, I would recommend going to the "LD in Depth" section of this website and reading some of the articles under "assessments" and "IEP". Most schools will grant a request for IIE because, if they turn it down and you challenge their denial, it costs them more in legal fees than granting the IIE request. When you go to the meeting, it is helpful to let them know that you understand how all of this works. If they think you will just accept a denial, they might try it. If they figure you'll challenge a denial, they're more likely to grant the IIE request.

Hope I'm not repeating something. Haven't had a chance to read all of the other posts....

Mary

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 12:05:08 AM

Wendy, Bless your heart! I wish i had something cleaver , or witty to say that would help take some of your pain away. I can't even imgaine what it must have been like for you, sitting there all alone while they piled this information on you. In my heart i just gotta beleave that the teacher done this to keep your child in regular school. This doesn't excuse what wuz done to you and your family, and honestly it seems that lieing to you became a way of life to the school. I hope that your child gets the help they need and they get to make up for lost years. My thoughts are with you and you family.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 7:38:16 AM

Those meetings can be awful and yours sounds like it was. My heart goes out to you.

My thought would be to go and see this 'living resource room' and see if you like it. Sometimes these programs can be better than school. Sometimes it's a few children with one or two very caring teachers.

Years ago, they told me to put my son in a 'special' classroom. The idea bothered me terribly but I have to admit after I visited the classroom, I thought it was a great place for my son or almost any other child. The teachers were marvelous and they had only 9 children in the room. My son loved it and had a wonderful year in the 'special' classroom.

Sign nothing yet but consider going to see the classroom they're recommending.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 7:58:58 AM

I too had this same experience of thinking this would not be good for my child. I went and visited and it was just what my son needed. He would be the 10th student in the class with 3 teachers. He has been in this class since Oct and has made wonderful strides-as a matter of fact he has made more gains since Oct then he did in his 3 years of inclusion. The class gets speech/language help, social skills training, and small group direct instruction in areas of weakness. For example my son had the lowest reading abilities when he started the class. He was even so far behind the special ed kids he could not benefit from their reading instruction. They moved him to his own group and he gets direct 1 to 1 reading instruction every day. This has paid off has his reading skills are really starting to improve. I must say it is the best move I ever made. My son has been much happier and is more willing to work on his skills.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 8:09:40 AM

I don't put much stock in testing either. My child was tested as having a low IQ. Testing done by an intern. Which she stated that "it doesn't mean that the child can't learn. Well my child is learning and faster than expected by his resource teacher. He is well past what was on his IEP for the end of this school year. He is only in resource room for language arts. He is doing great in math. I will not let a test determine what my child can learn or not learn.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 8:41:11 AM

It would be interesting to know what the IQ scores were. Just went to an IEP meeting the other day,the child's IQ scores in the past three years were very low,at one point he was placed in an EMH class,(educable mentally handicapped). Instead of just doing the usual IQ testing they also did a pictorial IQ test,his score was incredibly different. He went from a 71 FSIQ to a 93 in the nonverbal meaure! The child definitely has problems in the language realm,like word retrevial. The point being,when they did the right testing for him,it showed good learning potential,then what it previously showed. School's don't seem to have difficulty saying out of one side of their mouth,your kid is mentally retarded,and then the other side of their mouth saying,no she isn't . I would absolutely request an independent evaluation. Now to give you your rights under the law,so when you do request it you know what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do. Under Procedural safeguards in IDEA,which they were obligated to give you and explain to you at this last meeting,it states you have the right to request an Independent evaluation at the districts expense,if you disagree with their findings. The school(principal) either agrees to the independent eval,which is an evaluation where you pick the evaluator,they are not affiliated with the school,OR they file in court and prove their evaluation was adequate. Most often,the school district will go ahead and agree to the IEE,because it is cheaper then going to court,and they wouldn't have a chance of a snowball in you know where proving their eval was adequate!The trick is to know what they are allowed to do,they will say anything. You request this IN WRITING,have your letter ready at your next meeting,do NOT ask for this verbally. The school is allowed to ask you why you want the eval,BUT you do not have to tell them. In most instances you are better off not telling them,it just causes a lot more meeting,a lot more rhetoric,a lot more of the school BS. Just go in simply give the letter to the principal,and do not take no for an answer. I would say,if this was your kid,wouldn't you do the same? I would visit the class,not only will it give you an idea of whether your child belongs there,but it will also give you a sense of how inaccurate the eval might be.Did you sign anything at the last meeting? Like an eligibility form? §300.502 Independent educational evaluation.

(a) General.

(1) The parents of a child with a disability have the right under this part to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child, subject to paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section.

(2) Each public agency shall provide to parents, upon request for an independent educational evaluation, information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained, and the agency criteria applicable for independent educational evaluations as set forth in paragraph (e) of this section.

(3) For the purposes of this part—

(i) Independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in question; and

(ii) Public expense means that the public agency either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent, consistent with §300.301.

(b) Parent right to evaluation at public expense.

(1) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency.

(2) If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the public agency must, without unnecessary delay, either—

(i) Initiate a hearing under §300.507 to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or

(ii) Ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the agency demonstrates in a hearing under §300.507 that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet agency criteria.

(3) If the public agency initiates a hearing and the final decision is that the agency's evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at public expense.

(4) If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation, the public agency may ask for the parent's reason why he or she objects to the public evaluation. However, the explanation by the parent may not be required and the public agency may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation at public expense or initiating a due process hearing to defend the public evaluation.

(c) Parent-initiated evaluations. If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at private expense, the results of the evaluation—

(1) Must be considered by the public agency, if it meets agency criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the child; and

(2) May be presented as evidence at a hearing under this subpart regarding that child.

(d) Requests for evaluations by hearing officers. If a hearing officer requests an independent educational evaluation as part of a hearing, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.

(e) Agency criteria.

(1) If an independent educational evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the public agency uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent’s right to an independent educational evaluation.

(2) Except for the criteria described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a public agency may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at public expense.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(1))

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 10:23:01 AM

I was tempted to title a post 'socks, help!'. However, I figured you'd be here, you always seem to know what to do and I was sure you'd be able to help this mom. I know how you got your knowledge, thanks so much for sharing.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 12:15:51 PM

wow,amyf,thanks.. I am glad to know I have a cheering section:-) And YES,no way could I not help someone who refuses to cry at the meeting:-) God knows reading this post I had to hold back a few of my own. Everytime I read from a parent the emotional rollercoaster the school is putting them through,I can't help remember from where I came. AND who helped me:-) Just giving back what I was given.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 12:45:37 PM

didn't know you could find me doing a search! good to know. my address in any case is http://expage.com/socksandfriends,maybe one of these days I will have the money to pay for a site and have a shorter address until then...

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