Saturday, November 12, 2011

IEP and How We are Doing

The way I see it:

- We had some negative experiences at Rooster's first elementary school.
- We heard that another school nearby was better.
- We entered the better school's lottery.
- We got a call: we won the lottery!
- We showed up to registration and were told, "Oh, autism? No thanks, we have enough of those kids already. Our lottery was for typical kids. Go back where you came from."
- We consulted the district, officials, attorneys, etc. and heard we had a right to enroll our son in the better school.
- We finally were allowed to enroll him the week before school started.
- We heard, "Because you enrolled him so late, his services will not start on time."
- We told them, "Without services, he will struggle."
- The aide started three weeks late, misses work regularly, and is described by the principal as inadequate.
- My husband sees children bully, taunt, tease, hit, chase, and torment my son the minute he sets foot on the yard in the morning; my son doesn't want to go to school. He says everyone calls him "Bad Rooster."
- We get called for an IEP meeting to modify the behavior plan. At the IEP meeting, we hear that our son is a bully, that he is the one calling names, striking out. No one says anything when we describe the situation he faces the minute he enters the campus, never having even spoken a single word.
- We agree our son's behavior has regressed, but we place the blame squarely on a transition from hell because of the school and the lack of supports to which the law clearly states my son is entitled.
- We all agree the district provided aide does nothing, does more harm than good, and we decide to go for a behaviorist from a non public agency.
- I have to leave the IEP meeting ahead of my husband. He decides to sign it. But strangely there is no printer available. He reads it on the laptop, he signs.
- A copy comes home. It has a whole paragraph my husband has never seen. This describes my son as a menace and a safety hazard to others. It also has the wrong name of the school on the document, rendering the whole document invalid. A new document will have to be signed. This will all go down very, very differently.
- My husband? The nicest man anyone has ever met, will ever meet? Quivering with fury. He says, "They have messed with the wrong guy." He drafts emails, gets attorney phone numbers at the ready. He says, "I will never trust those people again. I will not allow them to abuse the system or our child."

The way the school seems to see it:
Kids who have autism should go away. They bring down our test scores, our precious API, our race to the top. They are expensive. We teach reading and math -- that is how we get paid -- we don't have time or money or energy for the whole child. We told you that after we accidentally picked you for enrollment but you would not listen. We said you didn't want you but you came anyway with your whining rants about rights and laws and blah blah blah. You should go back where you came from. Please leave your box tops, raffle donation, book club order, bake sale item and $1500 annual contribution in the box on the counter on your way out.


Anonymous said...

Go get 'em. For all of us. Bastards.

Melissa said...


My word verif is "feclized." It sounds like they all need to be "feclized" (pronounced "fecal-lized" in my mind).


Anonymous said...

I am in your corner...This is an injustice and it infuriates me that this is happening to our children.

kim mccafferty said...

Just reading this post makes me so angry I can't even see straight. There was no call for those kind of attitudes fifty years ago, and certainly no room for them today. Are there private schools in the area which would suit your son better? We had to think "out of the box" a few years ago, and weren't even facing a tenth of the issues your family is dealing with daily. I am so, so, sorry, but I have every faith that you and your husband are going to make your school system do their jobs and fulfill their legal (and MORAL) obligations to your child. My fingers (and every other extremity) are crossed for all of you.

redheadmomma said...

just read this. WTF. You must be just having a hell of a month, dear friend. Let me know if you need to talk. I seem to remember meeting your Rooster one time and he is a sweetheart. :) I am sorry they don't seem to see it that day - but I hope you know - it doesn't really have to do with him at all.

PBear said...

wish you could come to Kansas. It's not perfect, but I've had nothing but positive experiences with the school district here, and my son didn't even start out in it.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and I'm having a near identical experience with my son. This is a very frustrating process. I hope things are better for your Rooster.