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Please help me understand Samantha's rights


 
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samantha's mom
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PostPosted: October 16 2006, 10:46 PM    Post subject:
Please help me understand Samantha's rights
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Hi everyone first of all. I have a few issues and since these will fall under eduction I thought I would post it here. This post is mostly for the parents with older children.

I live in a small (tiny tiny tiny) rural area. Samantha is 3 1/2 years old and is "school" Let me start by giving you a brief (ha ha ha nothing I do is brief) description on where Samantha is at. She tested between 8 months and 15 months. She is non verbal except for babbling and occasional mama Dada baby. She will mimic about 4 signs but never spontaneously. She has no word to object recognition. Meaning her baby that she has had for 3 years she can no pick out in a group of 3 objects. She knows in her heart that I am her mommy but she does not call me by it. She does not interact with other children ( she will walk by them and pet one of them once in a blue moon) She has sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, she will have to have something in both her hands and walks back and forth back and forth in the classroom. She will sit and "participate" in painting and when it is time to go outside she will go by herself and walk back and forth. Her doctor thinks she may be autistic and is going to have her evaluated for this. With THAT being said this is my problem. She is placed in a daycare/preschool since my town does not have a special education program she is there 3 hrs a day. Her aide is hearing impaired he can read lips/talk and he does sign with her. He is not the problem. My problem is that it is more like a day care then a school. She does get OT and PT and she gets it for 1 hr a MONTH for OT and 1 hr a MONTH for PT. Her speech therapist is a complete joke. She is using a board of black and white pictures about 35 pictures and all she does is show them to Samantha and tells her what they are. She gets this for 1 hr a week. I went and looked at a school in Ramona ( a town that is about 1 hr drive from here) where they have a special education class and their program is completely wonderful. It is structured and consistent which Samantha needs or her world gets turned upside down. I had an IEP meeting today telling them that I wanted Samantha to go to Ramona (which they already have other students going) and they told me no they said they are providing her with what they have to by law. I know for them it is all about the money and they want to keep the money they get for Samantha and I have no clue how to get what Samantha needs. Her day right now consists of. Playing, wash hands, snack (she eats nothing by mouth so this time is wasted) art, going outside to play, coming inside to play then goes home. So what exactly is she learning???

Any advice, suggestions any websites to lead me to would be greatly appreciated. I live in California (San Diego County is my governing county)

Side note to all the old timers here. Samantha is now 23 pounds and 34 1/2 inches long. She is still not eating anything by mouth and they don't know if she ever will but her rate on her pump is up so she now gets 4 hrs off the pump, very excited about that. She has only gained 1 pound is 6 months Sad but she has gotten taller Smile so that is good. My camera is not letting me upload pictures so I need to get a new one and when I do I will give a new picture of her. Her pigtails are getting long and she still has a smile that will melt your heart!

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Nicola
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 1:46 AM    Post subject:
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Elizabeth,

How wondeful to hear from you! Just yesterday I stopped by Samantha's Closet and Katie Rose's site (both of which need updating!). I would LOVE to see a photo of your precious little angel.

Unfortunately I have nothing to suggest for Samantha's education as our system is so different. Gianna has had pitiful amounts of therapy her whole life- we too suffer from the lack of resources in a small town. I do though think that the approach of the speech therapist is pretty pathetic- she probably is out of ideas. Have they tried using a photo type picture communication program with Samantha? She will not need to be able to respond to the word for the picture, just select the picture of what she wants and hand it to you. Helen (helandy.cop) is dealing with autistic type issues at the moment too. Perhaps you could help each other explore the different approaches.

Heaps of love and hugs and it is so good to see you here!

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Stephanie
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 9:26 AM    Post subject:
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It is so good to hear from you Elizabeth! I am anxiously awaiting your new pics...I am in need of Samantha's smile.

As for your concerns:
If you do not agree with their decision, according to IDEA2004, you can request an "Independent Educational Evaluation" at public expense. This will bring in someone not associated w/ the child to see if the child's needs are being meet. You can contact FAPE. They are in place for cases like yours.
http://www.fape.org/

Also, do not sign the IEP, mark that you disagree w/ the outcome. Call another meeting to get it on record that you disagree.

Please let us know how it goes.

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momofrussell
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 9:41 PM    Post subject:
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If that was their answer "we are providing what the law is" so to speak, it sounds like they may have FAPE confused with her IDEA rights if you ask me. FAPE is the Free Appropriate part which I think some think means ANYTHING goes just so they are in some public school anyway. And that's not really true.

The key is how are her IEP goals. Are they being met? Is she truly learning, ect? I would justify your wishes by going through her IEP and seeing if her goals are really for her, are they measurable goals, are they being met, ect... that would be your ammunition right there.

Now.. he is the kicker though... technically you and the current school would have to adjust and accomodate in such a way that it still wasn't working for your daughter, to prove and justify the move out of district. Which means, the burden of proof is actually on the current district. Sounds difficult but it might not have to be... just sharing technicalities with you. They might NOT even know this. The other things districts will try to say is that they have a program and that children can't go out of district. Which is not true either. ONE program does not fit ALL children. It's not a "one child fits all" kinda deal. It's based on a child's individual needs... NOT what placement they offer. And children CAN go out of district, Russell has in CA and in IL Actually, out of district was offered to us in both states because of his needs.

And yes, don't sign the IEP and always put your concerns and requests in writing. If you don't sign a new IEP you have 10 days to contest it and get a new plan of action going... it will allow the old one to stay in place. If you don't sign but also don't contest it, the new IEP goes into place on the 11th day. So.. remember to write write write!

Also.. I always plug this book so I might as well do it now LOL.. Go buy "From Emotions To Advocacy" from Pam and Pete Wright (wrightslaw). It's THE MOST WONDERFUL book and tool!!!!! It's very worth it!!!!!

Good luck!!!!

A.

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samantha's mom
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 10:39 PM    Post subject:
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Okay I have a question. When we had our IEP meeting all they did was take notes. There is nothing that is checked marked that says this is the new IEP, All the place to sign is that who was in attendance, it does not say anywhere on it that I agree by signing this. The ORIGINAL IEP is the one that at the beginning I was okay with but now that her needs are not getting met I don't agree with the services they provide for her. I also wanted to ask, they said a trained special education teacher. Samantha has no real teacher at all. She has an early development teacher with no special education training and an "aide". Which I need to tell you what happened with the aide today. Yesterday during the iep meeting her aide stuck up for Samantha (he is legally deaf and has been through the school systems, a different area but knows what it is like to be disabled) Well today he got called into the superintendents office with the principal there and they told him "We feel that you defended Samantha's mom and not the school, we hired you and we know what is best for Samantha. You MUST agree to what we say for Samantha and not listen to her mother." He then told them that he did not feel comfortable being the sole person responsible for her education as he is only her aide and not her teacher. They told him that he is her teacher and that if she fails he fails. Can you believe that!! He said that he has been treated differently before but he has never been treated like this before. He is so angry, he is talking about quitting, which means that they will have no aide for Samantha. He is going to write something up for me about what they said. Also I called the school today and told them I could no longer provide transportation for Samantha and they need to do it starting Monday. They called and said they cant do it by Monday could they have another week. I have not called them back yet. I want to tell them no. What do you think???

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Annieo
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 11:25 PM    Post subject:
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Elizabeth,

I don't have any advice for you--sorry!!! But I did want to say hello! Good to hear from you. Sorry things aren't going more smoothly for Samantha. Can't wait to see pictures.

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shawensmom
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 6:46 AM    Post subject:
Advocates?
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Are there any advocates in your area? I just am horrified at what I'm reading here. I don't know all the laws well enough - haven't had to deal with issues like this. But - one of the laws - not sure if it's IDEA or NCLB - has something about highly qualified teachers - which is supposed to protect our kids from being taught by an aide who is not a certified teacher. It goes farther than that. It doesn't allow them to move a teacher who is qualified for specific grades to teach outside those grades - things like that.

I haven't read the Wrightslaw book, but I've read their website. If you go there, you may find some good resources ... www.wrightslaw.com.

good luck -

Tamara
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momofrussell
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 7:35 AM    Post subject:
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Wow... ok..where to begin....

In my advocacy training my teacher also always said, "don't ever sign an IEP"... kinda like a buyer's remorse kinda thing. But in reality, most of us don't get offered to sign an IEP... me included. For us it wouldn't matter though because we have never had issues. Some IEP meetings they just take notes and do the IEP up later and send you a copy, some come in with a draft. It all depends. We have had it both ways but in the past couple years or so, we go in with notes and goals and work on the IEP together.

Regardless at this point, whatever IEP is in place right now for your daughter, is what you should be using for your ammunition. Like I mentioned above, go through the whole thing and see what you come up with. Are you getting progess reports with her measured goals? That's another thing that they should be doing.

As far as the aide... did he tell you this? I'd say document, document, document.. just more ammo for your case that she needs to be moved. And IF they fired him they'd have to provide another aide... they can't just fire an aide and not provide another if it's on the IEP that she needs one. It concerns me their overall attitude with this guy... EVEN if he did step out of line in their eyes... this desention isn't good if you ask me.

Yes, I can try to find my notes or look online but the teacher does need to be qualified/experienced or however they word it.

On the bussing... this is my take... give them the week. Don't be to sticky with everything just yet. I know in the districts I have been in, working busing and adding a new kid DOES sometimes take a few days... so, it's not uncommon for them to ask to be given a week. If you call and say "No, I want the bus Monday no matter what" ... I don't think that will accomplish much except for tension. You can't force a bus to your house, KWIM? That's just me though. Pick and choose your battles and I'd wait for the bus to NOT come that Monday before you do something Wink They might need some more rope! LOL

And yes, there comes a time when sometimes we DO need an advocate on our side... I'd start searching the net and maybe find one to come to your meeting and help you. That is what they are there for. Even the Regional Center ( you are in CA right?) might be able to lead you to one. Sounds like in this situation you may need one. Wink

Good luck!

A.

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ciarrasmom
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:08 AM    Post subject:
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I think Adrienne is very correct, sounds like the IEP goals are not written well, or she would be progressing, they MUST write goals that are attainable. My instinct is that they are in violation, and you need an advocate and a new assesment.
I have a friend with a 7 yr old dd in El Cajon, not far from you. I also have another friend who is an atty in that area, whose son is 5 with DS. I can ask both to offer suggestions, if you would like?
In the meantime, some locally offered help you might start with:

Lane Cole
LEGAL ASSISTANT SERVICES
Legal Assistance for Special Needs Students
(714) 997-0055(P) (714) 997-0066(F)
casailor@inreach.net


The San Diego Autism Society may be a very good resource, as well

http://www.sandiegoautismsociety.org/home/index.htm

Advocacy Services
13983 Mango Drive, Suite 206
Del Mar CA 92014
Dr. Sarah Frampton, Mr. Alan Roth
(858) 755-7843
(858) 755-6676 Fax



Area Board 13/ Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities
750 B Street, Suite 1830
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 645-3000
(619) 645-3008 Fax
(800) 748-2055
Description: Advocacy and support for children and adults with developmental disabilities, ensuring services are provided according to the Lanterman Act.


Learning Disability Association - San Diego
P.O. Box 421111
San Diego CA 92142-1111
(858)467-9158
http://www.LDASanDiego.org
Description: Offers a two-part workshop to assist the parents of public and private school students in getting help for their children who are experiencing difficulty in school.


Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Right’s
(612)827-2966


Protection and Advocacy Inc. (PAI)
3580 Wilshire Suite 902
Los Angeles CA 90010
1-800-776-5746
(213) 427-8747
(213) 427-8767
www.pai-ca.org
Description: Non-profit agency for protection of individuals with disabilities.


San Diego City Schools- Office of Ombudsperson
(858) 490-4054

San Diego City Schools Special Education Parent Facilitator Program
(619) 627-7359
Description: Assists parents to become more effective in their child’s education.

San Diego SELPA
(619) 225-3606

South County SELPA
(619) 498-8171

Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK) of San Diego
3750 Convoy St. #303
San Diego CA 92111
(858)874-2386
(858) 874-2387
(858) 874-2375
email: tasksd1@aol.com
Description: Offers workshops and advocacy training for parents. Assists and supports families seeking and obtaining early intervention, educational, medical or therapeutic support services.

The Council for Disability Rights
(312)444-9484


Frankly, with the signs of autism she is showing, I would almost use THAT as her primary diagnosis, you may find more services etc. Also, the school needs to get the referral going NOW, and you maybe might suggest that to them in writing. No time to waste, and they sure dont seem to have their act together. PM me if you would like me to talk to my friends and see if they have any suggestions. Good luck.

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ciarrasmom
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:09 AM    Post subject:
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CHECKLIST AUTISM CHECKLIST
Individuals with autism usually exhibit at least half of the traits listed below.
These symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary in intensity.
• Difficulty interacting with other children
• Insistence on sameness;resists changes in routine
• Does not point
• No real fear of dangers
• Little or no eye contact
• Sustained odd play
• Apparent insensitivity to pain
• Echolalia (repeating words or phrases in place of normal language)
• Prefers to be alone;aloof manner
• Uneven gross/fine motor skills
• May resist cuddling
• Spins objects
• Not responsive to verbal cues;acts as if deaf
• Inappropriate attachment to objects
• Difficulty in expressing needs
• Noticeable physical over activity or
extreme under activity
• Tantrums;may display extreme distress for no
apparent reason
• Unresponsive to normal teaching methods
Please note this symptom list is not a substitute for
a full-scale diagnostic assessment.Consult your
healthcare provider to obtain a complete
diagnostic evaluation.

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Stephanie
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:41 AM    Post subject:
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Even if you signed the original IEP doesn't mean you can't change it. In fact, if she is not reaching her goals, the staff should be calling another IEP and making suggestions. This is just terrible. I think the suggestions on an advocate are a good idea. Good Luck and keep us posted.

Oh and I declined the bus to start for MEgan and they told me when I was ready, I needed to give them at least a weeks notice. So they need to work out there route cause it effects other kids schedules. So just let them know you need it ASAP, but are willing to wait. Maybe they can work on getting her on the bus sooner than a week.

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momofrussell
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:58 AM    Post subject:
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Yes, although Russell's school DX is NOT Autism, his primary DX IS Autism, as told to us by our Ped Neuro. So...they need to be accomodating her needs.

And like Chelle said, put the request for eval in writing then they have a timeline they have to follow Wink

A.

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 11:24 AM    Post subject:
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First, thanks for some news! I was at your website two days ago looking for a Sammy fix!
I'm a little confused, but not a lot. Confused about the IEP - at Emma's school it's a multi-part document with specific, measurable goals for her PT, OT, and speech. They are prepared ahead of time, and, if we agree in the meeting regarding any changes, they are made there before we sign it.
Not confused about the mentality - we have a very good team for Emma, with one exception. Since they are a team, it is very difficult to politically negotiate your concerns with one of them, because they all can get pretty defensive, pretty fast.
What you are describing goes way beyond that. There was a district rep present at Emma's IEP two years ago (not this year), I'll check and see if we still have his card. Regardless of the outcome here, I think someone on a district level needs to know how you've been treated, particularly your aide. I suspect that there's not a lot of "oversight" out there in the desert. We don't always get what we want, but this sure isn't the way to conduct themselves. They should all be on Samantha's side. There should not be sides. But you know that. Wink
I also think that the ARC (if you're still involved with them - we aren't, but are contemplating re-joining) would be an excellent resource, for perspective if nothing else. I hope it gets better.
Jeff

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 1:54 PM    Post subject:
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Hi Elizabeth

Great to hear from you again - sorry things aren't ideal for you at the moment!!!

No help on the IEP. It's very different over here. However, I empathise re the therapy. Matt gets no PT or OT and the last time he saw an ST was in June. It's hopeless.

Like Nicola said, Matt's also being tested for autism - he's fixated with holes, doesn't play, blanks us, little/no eye contact, no speech, virtually no signing any more, etc. He's a very different little boy to the one you 'knew' a year or so ago. It's a tough one, but it's better to know, then we can work with it.

Hope your situation improves and you get what you need for Samantha. Looking forward to the new photos. And keep in touch!

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 2:50 PM    Post subject:
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Be careful about NOT signing the IEP. You can't just not sign it, you have to check the box that says, "I do not agree with the proposed IEP" or whatever the wording is on your school's forms. Just not signing it, after 30 days it is adopted by the school as a functional IEP due to lack of response.

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 3:21 PM    Post subject:
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I just got a copy of her school records, how a little one like this has so much already is beyond me. I spoke with SELPA and voiced my concerns and she is calling the school for me. Jeff i do have the initial IEP with her goals etc. That one I initially agreed upon but NOTHING they are doing are getting her to those goals. The other IEP meeting we have they are just taking "notes" Nothing they do actually amends the initial IEP. I am going to go through this and see what all is in there and highlight what they are NOT doing. I wanted to get clarification about her teacher and aide. They tried to tell me as long as a teacher is overseeing her with the credentials then her actual physical teacher / aide do not need anything. To me that sounds like a crock of poop!

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 4:26 PM    Post subject:
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Leah, that is interesting. We just learned this recently and was told 11 days.. if you don't sign, the old one is still implemented on the 11th day. do you have something on this? Our teacher who works for our state advocacy agency never mentioned checking the other box you are talking about, just NOT to sign in. I want to make sure I am telling everyone correctly because all my stuff states something different then you are saying.

A.

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 7:42 PM    Post subject:
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You know, it could be 11 days! (I swear, my mind is mush right now) I just have always signed because I've never had an IEP I didn't agree with. But I HAVE known parents who haven't signed AT ALL and are surprised to find out the IEP was implemented. Ok...I will look for the information on how long you have to sign that you don't want to sign the IEP.

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:07 PM    Post subject:
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Angela's IEP states, among other things:

"Your child's IEP, IFSP or IIIP is changed as notied in the attached form. The school district will proceed with this change unless you object in writing within 14 calendar days of receiving this notice."

Then on the bottom there are two choices:
1) I aree with the decision, and I give permission to the school district to proceed as proposed

2) I do not agree with the decision and I do not give permission for the school to proceed as proposed. I understand that someone will contat me to offer a conciliation conference or mediation. I understand that I (or the district) have the right to proceed directly to a due process hearing.

This website http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:nlukK4UDLbMJ:www.coping.org/specialed/iep.htm+sign+the+IEP+within&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3&client=firefox-a
States:

* If you cannot come to an agreement, and you are running out of time. Or if you feel you need time to consider the situation, you have the right to request another meeting. Do not feel pressured to make a decision.
* Most schools ask that you sign the IEP form. If you refuse to sign, the IEP can still be implemented as is. If you don't agree, simply sign your attendance sheet at the IEP meeting to document your presence. Specify that you are not in approval of the present IEP.
* If school personnel refuse to include needed services in the IEP, inform them that you intend to file for a due process hearing and that you will file a written complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and write to the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped.

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:23 PM    Post subject:
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Ok. do check, but I could swear it's 11 days. You get 10 days to contest if you don't sign and if you don't sign but say nothing, on the 11th day it's implemented. And yes, you are right, alot of parents do think that if they don't sign it's not implemented. I am like you and we haven't ever had one we disagreed with, so we haven't had this issue personally.

I read your part about the 14 calendar days and that's then the same as I am saying... because the 10 days I am talking about is 10 school days. Wink So, yours says what I was saying. Wink When I took these classes we learned everything on "school days".

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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 8:27 PM    Post subject:
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Last year I was invited to sit on the Govenors council for disability rights. (sounds very similar to the classes you're going through A.) We met one weekend a month, and it was really classes on all different aspects of disabilty advocacy. Unfortunately I had to quit after the second weekend as that's when Tyler's situation erupted and I had to focus on that. This year wasn't the right time to go back either. Maybe next year I will....

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 12:13 PM    Post subject:
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Elizabeth, got your PM. I heard back from my friend Laura, and she will be contacting you personally. She knows the area, that should help. She is very smart, sharp as a tack, her dh is also an atty. She should have some great advice for you. I am keeping everything crossed for you guys, this kinda thing kills me to hear.

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 12:50 PM    Post subject:
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Hey! Elizabeth...you've been missed. I can't wait to see Miss Samantha's updated photos...she's such a doll.

I posted on this a while back and it didn't stick...I don't know why my message was not posted. Anyway, back in previous life (ie before I had more than 3 children) I took a special ed class as part of a teaching certificate. For some bizarre reason, I thought I would like to teach high school English. Rolling Eyes

Anyway....one thing in the class that stood out to me was the professer's comment that 'nothing catches the school staffs' attention more than when a parent attends the meeting with a lawyer.' I bet.
He said that in reality you do have all the power....as the parent....and it's a well kept secret in the educational world. You just have to learn how to use it responsibly. I think bringing a lawyer to the IEP meeting is an attempt to walk quietly and bring a big stick as Teddy Roosevelt said.

Hopefully one of these contacts that all these older more experienced moms gave you will become that 'big stick' for you. I just hate you have to do all of this just to get what Samantha needs...which by the way is federally mandated she should receive via the 'no child left behind' policy.

Love you guys. Give Katie Rose a hug from us. My Rachel, 10 years old, donated her hair to Locks of Love because of your niece. I know she used a different hair replacement company...but Katie Rose was her inspiration nontheless. Sarah will be donating her hair next month.

Keep us updated on your progress with the IEP meeting and the school.
amy

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 12:53 PM    Post subject:
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There is an organization called PACER (Parent Advocacy Center for Educational Rights) and I believe they're a national organization ( www.Pacer.org ) They have an office here where I live, and if you happen to mention, "I'm bringing a PACER advocate with me" all kinds of things happen that wouldn't have other wise been offered!

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 2:05 PM    Post subject:
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just heard from laura. She says she will call very soon. She is suggesting she might go to an IEP with you, as sometimes the threat of an atty is enough to get some action. Shes good people, I think you will like her. Can you make a few phone calls and tell them you want to convene a new IEP meeting? Maybe in writing would be even better. Keep it simple for now, no big complaints etc, just a simple "I would like to reconvene the IEP meeting." Dont want to tip your hand just yet. Laura will be a very helpful resource, no doubt. Please let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 2:05 PM    Post subject:
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just heard from laura. She says she will call very soon. She is suggesting she might go to an IEP with you, as sometimes the threat of an atty is enough to get some action. Shes good people, I think you will like her. Can you make a few phone calls and tell them you want to convene a new IEP meeting? Maybe in writing would be even better. Keep it simple for now, no big complaints etc, just a simple "I would like to reconvene the IEP meeting." Dont want to tip your hand just yet. Laura will be a very helpful resource, no doubt. Please let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 2:57 PM    Post subject:
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Thank you all so very much, unfortunatly I wrote a letter aready to them. This is what I wrote:

To: Borrego School District
From: Elizabeth Lindquist
Date: October 19, 2006
Re: Concerns about Samantha Van Heertum’s IEP

This letter is to inform you of the concerns I have regarding Samantha Van Heertums, IEP and the recent meeting we had on 10/16/06.

First: It was stated that Samantha is making progress and that she is signing please and thank you. If you look on her IEP under the preacademic/academic/functional skills, meaning prior to her attending school you will see that it says, “Samantha mimics sign language and can even mimic seven signs with understanding of one sign, “more”. She mimics “mama, dada, baby, thank you, please and signing” but does not yet understand what she is signing. This is something she was doing prior to school so therefore it would not be considered progress.

Second: Connie from the Children’s Center attended the meeting and said that Samantha is interacting well with the other children. Connie is not her teacher and is not in the classroom to observe Samantha; she is in her own classroom. When I asked her teacher the following day if Samantha was interacting well with the other children the teacher stated that Samantha walks back and forth, carrying objects and on occasion will stop and “pet” another child. This is not interacting with the other children.

Third: My belief of this last meeting was to set up transportation for Samantha to go to Ramona. I met with Mr. Gernandt and Ms. Nichols prior to this meeting and informed them about what was happening and how I would like Samantha to go to Ramona. Mr. Gernandt said he did not believe that would be a problem and that we needed to discuss how transportation would take place. He even went on to say that she might have to wait about 20 minutes before being able to leave because of another student that is picked up in the afternoon in Ramona.

Fourth: Connie Smith stated that Samantha is in the least restrictive environment. However, her IEP states, “ Full-time placement in regular education classroom with supplementary aides or services is not appropriate because Samantha is only three years old and her disabilities require more restrictive environment.” I understand that the Children’s Center is a private day care, however she is supposed to have interaction with the other children if her aide is pulling her aside all day long to do the “buckets” and work with her one on one then what percent of her time is being able to interact with her peers?

Next is in regards to her actual goals and the content of her IEP. I will start with each goal that we as a team have created and then ask for an explanation of what is being done to get Samantha to achieve that goal.


Page 1 of 2
Goal #1 thru #3 are speech related. The teacher is still using black and white pictures for Samantha, as we discussed at her last meeting this was not an appropriate method for Samantha.

Goal #4: This is in regards to her body parts. There is nothing being done for her at school for her to learn her body parts.

Goal #5: This is to be able to tell the difference between big and little. There is nothing being done at school for her to learn the difference between the two.

Goal #6: Cause and effect. With Samantha having to do all the buckets all day long she does not get the time to do any cause and effect toys. Therefore nothing is being done to help her reach this goal.

I feel that her aide Jeff was not properly trained or informed on what Samantha’s goal are and that there has been ample enough time for the school district to have informed him and sent him to training.

I also feel that Samantha learns best by repetition and consistency. It has been noted several times on her notes and reports that Samantha needs to have things consistent, that she does not take to new environments as easily as others. She needs routine. She does need an extended school year because the break during summer would be detrimental to her education and her learning process.

I am requesting another IEP meeting to discuss what needs to be done to help Samantha reach her goals that we as an IEP team have set forth for her. I am also requesting that her teacher Theresa be present at this IEP meeting.

Thank you,




Elizabeth Lindquist
Mother









Page 2 of 2


I will let you know what happens Smile

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 3:08 PM    Post subject:
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Hey Elizabeth-

I think the letter is perfect and will definetly get their attention.

I edited your post to remove your phone number...I didn't want anyone to see it and call and harrass you or anything Laughing Wink

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 3:13 PM    Post subject:
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I take it back, and may I add...

YOU GO GIRL!!!

NIICE letter, VERY well written and factual, and just awesome. YOU are a wonderful advocate. Now all you need is a little muscle behind you, thats where laura will come in, I hope.

I also want to say that I literally and honest to God had my chin hit the floor reading this:

Quote:
her IEP states, “ Full-time placement in regular education classroom with supplementary aides or services is not appropriate because Samantha is only three years old and her disabilities require more restrictive environment.”


you have GOT to be kidding me?? Her DISABILITIES require a MORE restrictive environment????? I believe now I have REALLY heard it all. Oh my....wishing I could be a fly on the wall when laura goes after thTA one. Smile You guys will be ok, I just know it. What a buncj of HOOEY you have dealt with. Wow. Hang in there....

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 3:16 PM    Post subject:
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got me so wound up I typed everything wrong...lol

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 3:27 PM    Post subject:
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Good stuff.
I was so impressed by you, within the first five minutes of meeting you, how articulate you were, particularly about Samantha's care. Your letter displays that, and I'm just tickled that you're getting some 'muscle' to back you up.
Your little girl has overcome so very much, and I know you have the scars to prove it. You two are a couple of my heroes, and always will be.
Jeff

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 6:27 PM    Post subject:
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GREAT LETTER!!!!! And I too had to gasp at the reasons why she should be in a MORE restrictive environment. MAN... that's just AWFUL! I bet Laura will be able to help you out if you need it!!!!

Keep us posted!!!!

A.

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 6:35 PM    Post subject:
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Along with everyone else, wonderful letter! Good job mom. I agree with Chelle, you guys will be ok. School is gonna figure out real quick that whatever they've gotten away with in the past isn't gonna fly with Samantha!

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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 6:44 PM    Post subject:
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The school just called me and they set the IEP meeting for November 6th at 10:00 am. I am just waiting for Laura to call me to see what can be done. I can tell you that this is the first time they asked me if anyone would be coming to the meeting with me. HA HA HA, all I said was that I was working on that as we speak.

I guess they just messed with the wrong mama.

Jeff you can not imagine how much I think of you and Emma! We really need to set a date to meet up again. And thank you for what you said Smile!

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PostPosted: October 21 2006, 11:50 AM    Post subject:
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I got in touch with my regional case manager and she is also refering Samantha for an education advocate. Still waiting for Laura to call me. I also found out that the "school" that Samantha goes to is really considered a not for profit child care. Her aide also is going to be calling out sick and possibly quitting. He says if they do not have an aide for Samantha then she can not go to school now can she Wink There have been no back up aides trained for Samantha so if he is out then Samantha can not go to school. The good thing about her aide is that he is disabled and has been through the system as a child. His mother had to fight for him to go to a school a ways away since he is deaf and he said it was the best thing for him.

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PostPosted: October 22 2006, 7:15 PM    Post subject:
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Hi Elizabeth

great to hear from you ( even if it is under stressful circumstances )

regarding the letter you go girl

The way you described Samantha reminded me so much of Hannah and where she is at too.

She knows I am her mommy but she hasn't said it to me. She will say mommy and sign it but only to copy me, not to acknowledge I am her mommy ( I hope that made sense )

The UK system is very different to yours so can't help on the advice but lots of people have helped with that so thats good

Also for some suggestions of things to do at home ( and if this has been covered I apologise ) which have been given to us by a private Speech and lang therapist ( as UK isn't to good either on S< )

word tapping :- This really helped Hannah

using picture cards, we use picture cards of a car, apple, dolly, brush, banana, butterfly, lion, cat, dog, bird, duck, ( and a few other everyday things )

and we put the picture card on the table and as we put it down we tap out the word ( with how many syllables ) on the table with our hands

ie dol -ly would have 2 taps
ba- nan - a would have 3 taps


this gets Hannah's attention and we have been doing this now for 6mths and she has built up pictures of what she will tap on the table and she recognises the picture and even tries to say the word

Just last week, she we showed her some of the cards and she said the word without us saying it first which was lovely for us as it meant she finally recognised this

This is the only thing that Hannah has really responded well to and so we are working with this and eventually the idea is, is to build up her picture vocabulary so she will show some recognition of things when we are out and about and hopefully build up enough to communicate with us, as some of the cards are food, drink, sit down, eat, dinner, etc

I hope that makes sense and you don't mind me suggesting it to you, its just that this method of table tapping has been the first real breakthrough we have had for Hannah who some days seems to be just in her own little world

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PostPosted: October 24 2006, 1:15 PM    Post subject:
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Your letter is really excellent! I couldn't get ahold of you this weekend but I would be more than happy to attend the IEP with you. I'm Chelle's friend, btw. I live in Scripps Ranch. Feel free to e-mail me - LPope@san.rr.com; probably the best way to reach me and we can talk on the phone this evening....? It really sounds like you covered all the bases in your letter....!

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PostPosted: October 24 2006, 1:15 PM    Post subject:
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Your letter is really excellent! I couldn't get ahold of you this weekend but I would be more than happy to attend the IEP with you. I'm Chelle's friend, btw. I live in Scripps Ranch. Feel free to e-mail me - LPope@san.rr.com; probably the best way to reach me and we can talk on the phone this evening....? It really sounds like you covered all the bases in your letter....!

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PostPosted: February 24 2007, 12:26 AM    Post subject:
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I know I am late to reply but I thought I would put my 2 cents in. I am going thru a mess at my son's school. Just wondering can you not get like a case manger to go with you to the meeting? I had to call my local DHS office and they set me up with a lady and her job is to be there for me and my child to go to the meeting, she knows the laws and what they can and cannot do. Belive me they will try to get away with the least amount possible for your child. Which is very sad. I wish you the best. However I do live in Arkansas and our system may be different. I don't know.

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