Monday, March 18, 2013

Outcome of meeting with district

I have been putting this post off.  Not sure why because it is good news.  Maybe just so much to type?  Hesitant things would fall through?  I don't know but here we go.

Since moving to Colorado it has been one fight after another with the school.  The administration refused to get educated on Tourettte Syndrome.  Since the admin would not educate, the staff could not get educated nor could the students.  Every day it was a fight.  Drew was in a self contained classroom in California - not because of a behavior issue but because it was a good structured environment   He thrived.  His teacher in California was the most amazing woman who saw the potential in Drew.

Since Drew's IEP from CA was for a self contained class room the district decided he needed to be placed with kids who had bipolar, ODD and other behavior issues.  Not the best place for a kid who needed a quiet structured classroom. I couldn't even get him mainstreamed per his IEP.

In January I really started pushing for what he needed.  In small bits and pieces they started allowing him mainstream time.  The problem we were running into was that the kids in the Special Ed class were making fun of Drew and hitting him.  Problem was no one was telling me.  I would hear about it from Drew and then have to find out what was going on.  I started pointing out that Drew had no issue with the Gen Ed kids and the SPED kids had marked him as a target.

The special ed teacher watched some videos from TSA and went to the principal and told her Drew was in the wrong placement.  Didn't help.  The Gen Ed teacher went to the principal and told her Drew was in the wrong placement.  Didn't help.  It also didn't help that since the admin didn't understand TS or that anxiety  OCD and ADD are co-morbid.  They had labeled Drew a behavior problem.  I was also labeled a problem parent.

We had finally had enough - after 5 IEP meetings in 3 months and more time in the principal's office than any mom should spend  we decided to get an advocate.  She got the ball rolling and the next thing I knew we had a meeting with the principal, the advocate and the superintendent of special ed! I was so focused on that meeting, it consumed me night and day.  I was armed with TS information, IEP information.  I was a walking talking TS IEP encyclopedia. Oh yea, did I mention the letter from the Pediatric Neurologist who treats Drew's TS?

All of a sudden the admin starts changing their tune.  Scott and I arrived for the meeting.  We start talking about TS and how it affects Drew.  I very quietly hand the letter to the advocate who reads it and hands it to the superintendent he reads it.  The superintendent then says he thinks now that everyone has had time to get to know Drew we all agree he is in teh wrong place.  WHAT???? that was out of left field.  He also tells us he as a background in Autism and understands the similarities.  WHAT?????  After hearing everything he concurs that Drew is in the wrong class.  WHAT??????????????????????? We were being heard for the first time in months.

The next thing we know it is being discussed about how to handle Drew's math issues - only thing that is not on grade level.  Also discussing how to handle the social emotional piece since we refuse to let the psychologist for the SPED class get near Drew (another post for another day).  Then we start talking about next year and what school Drew will be going to.  Colorado has school choice. Meaning we can petion for what school Drew attends.  He could continue at his present school through 6th grade but there was no guarantee that he would be allowed to go to the JR. High with his friends at his current school.  Changes are he would have to transfer back to his home jr. high.  Our other option is to up root him one more time and put him back at his home school for 5th and 6th grade so he can transition with those students to Jr. high and have friends before that transition. I think the principal was relived when Scott and i started leaning towards moving him back to his home school. We have now made the decision to move him to his home school in the fall.  The superintendent is setting up a meeting for the new principal, me and the superintendent to start the ball rolling.  The superintendent is also ensuring that the staff will be educated in TS before Drew starts and that staff from the new school will be making visits to the current school to get to know Drew over the next couple months.

The best part?  Drew spent today in the General Ed class for the whole day and loved every minute of it.

All it took was a whole lot of FAITH TRUST AND lots of people who love that little guy and know what is best for him.  a dash of pixie dust didn't hurt either.