Archive for June, 2009

Holy cow-the Supreme Court got it right!

I was parusing through the local paper this morning online and came across an article about how the supreme court ruled in favor of a set of parents who wanted reimbursement for a private education for their special education son.

I’m elated.

First off, the supreme court got it right-this is not for parents who deem the program that their child is pegged for to be inapropriate. For that, you still need to take the course of action described in the parent rights literature. This is for parents who are completely ignored by the school district, have not received a free, appropriate education for their child and have had to take their child elsewhere.

This is for the parents who have had the crap school psychs, teachers who ignore them and a system that is so broken that they had to pull their child to fix it.

In this specific case, the student was tested and the conclusion was that the child did not have a disability. Upon using their second opinion clause from the parent rights, the testing that the school had done was proven wrong, and the student was pulled to a private school for their education.

So, the parents sued for the cost of their child’s education, and who can blame them?

When a school district fails so miserably, they should reimburse the parents for the cost of educating their child. Private schools and therapies are NOT cheap, and can drain a parent’s income faster than anything out there.

Will the majority of parents need to use this recourse? I highly doubt it. This is an extreme step, albeit a needed one to keep the school districts in check and doing their job. I will say it’s nice to see that for once, the courts are considering the student and not the bottom line.

June 28, 2009 at 7:17 am Leave a comment

Can I please parent my OWN child?

Today, I took Isaac to a local farmer’s market-one that has a playground right next to it. As I was finishing my last transaction, knowing I’d be over in 3o seconds, I allowed him to zip over to the playground, where I could see him the ENTIRE time. He was in my line of sight and I was on my way over.

As Isaac is prone to do, he fell over another child-he refused to wear his AFOs this morning. I was not going to fight with him on that.

I had no less than 4 parents asking me if this was my child, and basically condemning me that I wasn’t within arm’s reach. For cripe’s sake-I saw the whole thing, he was fine, I was paying for some eggs-it was all of 30 seconds. I had to explain myself to these parents and I ended up getting a lecture on how I should NEVER leave my child alone.

Umm, really? I know when I was 5, I spent more time running from my parents down at the local park. As long as I was in eyesight, I was fine. My parents never got lectures from other parents who thought they knew better and how I functioned. I’m sick of the hyper vigilant society that we live in thinking that we all know best how to parent another person’s child.

When will others learn that only the parent knows what is right for their child? Telling someone how to parent is like telling the weather to change on a dime. It just doesn’t work.

June 28, 2009 at 6:56 am Leave a comment

Misguided Kindergarten Packets

I figured we were all set and kindergarten would be as smooth as things can get around here. No such luck.

Yesterday with the IEP revision documents, we got the kindergarten packet with teacher assignments as well as the schedule for kindergarten orientation.

Included in this packet, was a letter from Plastic Principal saying that it was so wonderful to meet all the kids and parents at screening. It also  said that the screening results showed that my child was within normal limits for scores, fine and gross motor as well as vision and hearing.

Umm…My child has an IEP-obviously his scores are NOT in normal limits, or he wouldn’t have a full out IEP with RESOURCE ROOM! Good lord.

It would be nice if the packets that were sent to teh parents were checked for accuracy. The big problem is with that letter. I wonder if students in the k-2 room (the kindergarteners) recieved that one too. .

The sad thing is that nothing shocks me with this school anymore. After what I’ve been put through in the kindergarten placement, the crap goals on the IEP, and the changing dismissal times for Isaac-this just seems par for the course. I don’t even know why it SHOULD be par for the course, but it is.

oy. Again, Kindergarten entrance s hould NOT be this hard.

June 27, 2009 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day!

Dear Dadoo:

You are not the recipient of the majority of blog posts here that revolve around my family, but you are quite the instigator of a lot of the fun that happens. So, here is my official “dad” post…just for you.

And since it is widely known that I can’t do anything straight, and if I did, you’d think someone had died…

From the Home Office in SUNNY Seattle, Washington…

here are…

The top 10 reasons my Dad is the coolest!

10. He lets me take pictures like this:

and unlike SOME parental units, doesn't complain...

9. Has mastered the art of rolling his eyes at me and telling me I’m insane.  That’s a good thing to master-I’m serious!

8. Daddy-Daughter Date night!

7. Knows that when a kid learns a foreign language, they only want to know the “good stuff” first, not basic vocab!

6. Knows everything about cooking-and is one heck of a chef!

5. Map coloring is now a sporting event, once every 4 years-kinda like the Olympics. Cackling is NOT optional. Neither are some good crayons.

4. Is the awesomest grandparent-breaks all the rules we used to have-and feeds Isaac eclairs in the living room.

3. He allows Yoda ornaments to be hung on his tree…after loudly stating that they were not allowed, ever.

2. Late night Lenten Domino’s Pizza!

1. He’s MY Dad! There should be no other explanation other than that needed!

so, Happy Father’s day to my darling Daddoo!

Love you!

June 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm 1 comment

Kindergarten warning shot

I got Isaac’s IEP in the mail yesterday, and I was quite impressed by this, as I wasn’t expecting it until later in the summer. It had his summer pre-k IEP and his new Kindergarten one. I was parusing through the kindergarten one and came to the goals. Umm…these are not the goals that his current school sent. These are goals I hadn’t seen until I was peeking at the IEP. Some of these goals were the most garbage things I’d ever seen. Serious garbage. They didn’t even send these goals to me prior to the meeting to approve them or present them at the meeting, or I would have asked them to be tweaked.

So, I called the CPSE/CSE director and asked her a few questions (because there were some things I didn’t see on the IEP that I know we had said at the meeting-I just overlooked them…) and asked her where to go with the mediocre goals. she told me to call the teacher at the elementary school.

So, now, this is the time to fire the first warning shot that I am not going to accept mediocre IEP goals and all of that. They are going to learn today that Special Education is my training and that they better do it right or it will be kicked back to edit.
The sad thing? The director of Isaac’s current school basically all but spelled this out at the transition meeting. Guess they didn’t listen, huh?

June 18, 2009 at 7:53 am Leave a comment

As if things couldn’t get much more complicated…

As it is, it is the end of the year, and I’m all sorts of going insane. Between IEP hell and the insane amount of paperwork due by June 24, I’m already going slightly insane.

So, let’s just add some more insanity to the fire here, and toss me on crutches! Yep! That would be me, gimping around again. I took a spill at a local grocery store on Friday. Their floor was slick, unsigned and basically a hazard. One of their employees even fell as well, going in the opposite direction as I was-and then putting up a caution cone. Yeah, a bit late for me.

So, here I am, with a sprained ankle and knee to boot, and having to deal with this at the worst time of the teaching year. Plus, I can’t even be a game geek until I get this all healed up, as there’s no option for sitting at all.

At least today I can wear normal shoes…I was living in my Adidas slides all weekend, because my foot didn’t fit into any of my shoes…today, I’m air-casted and ace wrapped, so I can actually wear my comfy shoes to work! WOOHOO!

But really, crutches and gimping around is the pits.

June 16, 2009 at 8:05 am 1 comment

Special Needs and Kindergarten-Cut and Print!

Finally, the saga of “where does Isaac go to Kindergarten” has come to an end, and not soon enough for my taste. In my opinion, this should have been decided by the end of April-not the beginning of June! BUUUT, what do I know. I’m only the parent and a special ed teacher to boot!

 

Since this was a transition meeting, the crowd was HUGE-unlike past years, where it’s just been me, the director of Isaac’s school, the note taker, teacher rep and chair and county person, this year, it included not only those people, but the resource teacher, school psych,speech therapist, OT, PT and the kindergarten teacher that Isaac will be having next year. OY. Can we say  crowded room? 

We started with intros (as usual) and moved into the preschool section-quick and dirty-go over present levels, and we were prepared for the fight for summer services, but we got no fight. Both the school director and I were just floored that we got no fight at all! WOW! They just handed over what we wanted! Holy garbage! 

The one hilarious thing during this portion of the meeting was that the CPSE chairperson had to explain to everyone in attendance (the newbies) that there was no parent rep, because I declined one after the first meeting. They all looked at me like I had 20 heads-and then when the director handed out corrected copies of the IEP report (first two pages-there were wrong items that I had to have them correct..) everyone who didn’t know me seemed slightly flabbergasted. I wanted to stand up and scream “I GO THROUGH IEPS!! THIS IS YOUR WARNING!!! DO IT RIGHT!” But I didn’t. 

Score me one point for restraint. It was superhard, but I did it. 

 

So, I sat patiently as they started the transitional portion of the meeting-really hoping to get a good read on the teacher for next year, but I’m not really sure. She was very quiet, kind of “I know more than you do” and just was more interested in her pen (that I almost klepto’d because I didn’t know that it was hers) than realizing that this is a mom you’re going to have to deal with all of next year, so maybe you’d better start talking to her…hrm….

 

So, this is what the meeting ended up with everything I wanted, and it was calm…and they were aall pretty civil. I really do like the new Speech person, and we will probably continue with speech services at the local college, because he’s getting more group than individual, and I think some things just need to be individualized…but that’s just me.

So, it should be interesting. The OT detailed what she was planning on ordering for Isaac…and one of the items is really interesting to me. I’ve never seen one, and it’s called a HowdaHug chair. The OT wants it for floor time and for keeping him supported on the floor-and in his own space. Hrm. Sounds ok by me-I made her describe it, because I’d never heard of it ever.

Should be interesting…

But after this, the issue of transportation came up-and the one and only fight ensued. At first, when I requested regular, district transportation, because the stop for the elementary school bus is literally 7 steps from our house, the OT balked. She then wanted him to have a harness to ride the bus. How about  NOT A CHANCE! My child has been riding a bus to school since he was 2 1/2. He does not need bus riding lessons all of a sudden.

I made it clear that this was not acceptable and he would ride the regular bus, and if it was not to work, we can find an alternative, but until that point, we were taking the regular bus.

So, they gave in.

I also briefly met the teacher Isaac will have next year. Jury’s out on her. Not sure what I think of her yet. Give me until October,a nd I’ll have a solid opinion.

But at least we’re done. We know Isaac’s heading to the public school for an extended day with wrap care (that they’ll bus him to) and we’re getting pretty much what we wanted out of them. Now, I can go on to being the parent of a child entering kindergarten-twitching and all, but it’s a different kind of twitch….

June 9, 2009 at 8:45 am 1 comment

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