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Please help me understand Samantha's rights


 
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samantha's mom
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Joined: 29 Apr 2003


Last Visit: 18 Oct 2006
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Location: Borrego Springs, Ca

PostPosted: October 16 2006, 11:46 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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Elizabeth
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Nicola
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003


Last Visit: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 1295
Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: October 17 2006, 2:46 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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Mum to Brendan 11, Chiara 10, Kiernan 8, Aidan 6, Lachlan 5, Gianna 22 Jan 03 (DS)Smile and Sienna 18 Jan 2005
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Stephanie
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PostPosted: October 17 2006, 10:26 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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Proud Parents Stephanie and Joe
Awesome Big Brother Joey 3/8/97
Beautiful Daughter Megan 11/8/03
Precious Lil' Livi 7/6/05



www.megansgot47.com
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momofrussell
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006

Last Visit: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: October 17 2006, 10:41 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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Adrienne, mom to Regan 13, Russell 8 (DS, Autism, Visually Impaired) and Reece, 5.

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samantha's mom
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Location: Borrego Springs, Ca

PostPosted: October 17 2006, 11:39 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 18 2006, 12:25 AM    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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Ann
Mom to Sally, Mark, Jane, John (12/02, DS), and Paul
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