If you haven’t read about our IEP experience, I suggest you start HERE first so the rest of this makes sense.
Some comments on my IEP post brought to light a critical irony which I forgot to include in the post:
I INVITED BOBO! (Shaking head in disbelief and shame…)
I had suggested he be invited b/c Nik was not going into the autism program but has definite behavioral components which needed to be part of his IEP. Logic told me that the district psych, the one who would be helping to put those things in place, might be a good person to include. HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO WRONG!?
As far as the rest goes, we had actually asked for copies of all the evals and materials in advance so we would go in with an idea of what school was proposing and be prepared with questions, arguments, what have you. I only got anything from the PT. Since the meeting ran so long, our advocate had to leave to take care of her own child. When we asked for the weekend to think on things and “digest” Bobo struck again. When we asked for copies we were told “oh, well it’s all in rough, draft form. We’ll get a copy to you as soon as possible.” Had I not been so shell shocked from the gross rudeness of Bobo, I would have said, “That’s fine. I’ll wait while you make photo copies.” Duh…but I felt like the deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi (truck).
So, in the harsh light of day brought on by ingesting reasonable amounts of ice cream (wink), Niksdad and I have come to some clarity about a few things. First, we will keep Nik in school for one more week. Why? Because we need to get copies of all those documents (even if they are handwritten) so we have something for legal records. Second, we need to get some very important information from the school OT –the results of Nik’s sensory evaluation and her recommendations for specific activities. (Though, I suppose, we could simply get another outside eval done through the hospital.) And finally, we do not want to cause an irreparable rift between us and the school district…we may need them one day.
Sometimes you’ve gotta think with your head not your heart…and it’s hard to do.
Hopefully, we will also get a letter of support (“medical necessity”) from our pediatrician which will eliminate the need for any struggles with the insurance over Nik’s services. Even without it, we will still be able to get services; I will simply have to request home nursing care (which we are eligible for since Nik has a feeding tube and seizures). Our advocate tells me “Watch how fast they jump to authorize his outside therapies! It’s waaay cheaper than providing a nurse!” Hmmm, who knew?!
We have decided that we are going to file a procedural complaint with the DOE. There are too many things which were mishandled for us to simply turn a blind eye because we are leaving. It won’t cost us anything to write a letter and it may help another family who’s been intimidated by Bobo or others of his ilk.
We haven’t yet contacted a lawyer but I imagine we will at some point in the near future. Sigh…
It shouldn’t have to be this hard just to be able to give your child a “normal” experience before he’s required to go through the educational mill.