Friday, September 19, 2014

Goofy's Meeting

We had a meeting with Goofy's team one recent Monday, about 2 weeks ago. I've sort of tried writing about it, but I've been a little frustrated. It didn't start out well and went downhill from there. The way things have been going lately, that's a real shocker, right? I'm not sure if I need a better attitude or a freakin' break.

I started out mad. They were nice enough to send me the two weeks worth of collected data beforehand so I could review it before the meeting. Their collected data on his on-task behavior is total bullshit. I still stand by that statement. The day after we picked up Goofy's prescription for Adderall, I got a phone call from the pediatrician's office that I didn't pick up his prescription. I disagreed. We were confused about how she still had his prescription in her hand and she decided to shred it. A day or so later, I checked our mymercy account and saw in a message from his pediatrician that he prescribed the wrong dose based on his weight. We decided to finish the current dose and then increase to the proper dose. I didn't tell the school that part, but I did tell them repeatedly that his meds aren't working. They disagreed. I told them at the start of the meeting that their data made me angry so I didn't want to discuss it and that I was requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment no matter what their data said. They wanted to discuss it anyway.

It didn't go well.

It is really irritating when they think they hear you fall for something once and then think they'll get by with it again. In the first meeting, when they were suggesting taking data, the resource teacher told me that the Goofy One's evaluation wasn't relevant because it was from last year and this is a new year, so they have to have new stuff to look at. I was furious. I knew what she was saying was not true, but I didn't argue it because they were collecting data, which was what I wanted, so that made her stupid statement irrelevant. Remembering and anticipating that argument when I quoted the same evaluation in my formal written request for a Functional Behavior Assessment, I went ahead and let them know that I will absolutely agree to their request for re-evaluation if they disagree with the last evaluation because you know schools have the right request re-evaluation if they determine that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation. They said it anyway. And then changed their mind. I guess they agree with his current evaluation.

You know you have the right to Prior Written Notice (a Notice of Action) any time the school proposes or refuses actions related to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child AND the provision of FAPE? That includes when they are agreeing to or refusing things you ask for relating to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of FAPE for your child. Saying no is easy, when they have to explain why...they take a minute to think it over. I asked for a Notice of Action on my request for a FBA. Three times I clarified that I would be getting a notice of action and three times the man reluctantly agreed.

Then we moved on to his handwriting. In the last meeting, my suspicion was confirmed that "this is really typical for a *fill in the grade* grader" really is some sort of standard line that they hand everyone, whether it is typical or not. I think it's in their training, maybe their job contract. You know what else is standard? Blaming the parents. Whether it's for breaking the kid in the first place, or expecting "too much," or that "parents worry." That's annoying.

Absolutely typical for a second grader.
I totally see it.
In this meeting, his handwriting isn't quite as "typical" as I've been led to believe (too bad. There for a minute, I could have believed that my child was perfectly normal). This time, he needs a word processor. A fusion is what they're using. The resource teacher going to set up a meeting with a lady that does technology stuff. and now I'm even more irritated. If he's doing so much better with a word processor, that means handwriting is a real problem, as in the act of writing limits what he is capable of. His typing is much more detailed, he has a lot to say, but handwriting is silencing him. You can't just ignore that. You can read about Dysgraphia, everything says that they need accommodation, modification, and remediation. He needs remediation. They say occupational therapy is enough, I disagree. He has remedial reading, he has reading in class. He has special ed instruction in written expression, he has writing in class. How does that make only OT for handwriting instruction sufficient?

We disagree for a very long time before I rudely cut the principal off and turn to the area coordinator, "would this conversation be going differently if he actually had the dysgraphia diagnosis?" He hesitates, I'm not sure if it's at my rudeness or if he doesn't want to answer. He says no. I don't think I believe him. We disagreed about whether or not Dysgraphia is covered under Specific Learning Disability, he was saying no because IDEA specifies "written expression" while I was arguing that SLD is a disorder that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. The funny thing is, we were both right. Dysgraphia was a Learning Disability in the DSM-IV, In the DSM-V it's called Specific Learning Disability in the area of Written Expression. After the meeting, I put together an e-mail for him with links that explain that dysgraphia is  a disability in written expression and asked what more we could do to help him. That e-mail was ignored.

So I waited. When the resource teacher emailed me to set up the SETT meeting to discuss technology options, I asked her about the Functional Behavior Assessment. She asked the Area Coordinator. I still haven't heard back. So this morning I called and left a message for him to call me, and I still haven't heard back. I'm getting a little irritated, but I am determined- I will have a Notice of Action proposed or refused on his FBA. And, I called his psychologist. He has an appointment October 20 to be evaluated for a Specific Learning Disability. Because I guess we're starting back at the beginning.

I'm tired, man. I'm so tired of fighting. I'm so battle weary, I wondered if I had any fight left. Well, I guess I do, because here we go.

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