"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No success. Pushing forward.

Trying to wake up this chilly Tuesday morning. I must admit, it's not easy to wake up after not sleeping well the night before. I've seem to have lost some much needed sleep due to worries regarding Carly attending our local school district. Quite honestly. I'm tired of the whole thing. Sadly, Carly is only in the first grade so this is likely to continue for quite sometime. It just plain sucks!

Monday, mom and I, along with an advocate headed in to the school for the continuation of Carly's IEP meeting. It lasted 2 1/2 extremely long hours. Some issues were resolved. Others were not. The main issue being Carly's signing. We had no success with that issue. The school flat out refused to get an ASL certified Para Pro. In fact, when they were asked, point blank whether or not they would hire someone for Carly, they answered flat out, "no"! Our next step is to present a request in writing for the signing Para, to the school district. Then, we head to the lawyer and plan to go into Due Process. Did I mention how much this sucks?

We have been in contact with the Dept of Education in Washington DC. We were told that the school district must provide this special type of Para Pro (signing) for Carly in order for Carly to receive an appropriate education. Which in turn, falls into F.A.P.E. Why on earth the school is refusing is beyond me. Heading into Due Process with cost the school some big bucks. They will indeed have their lawyers there. Lawyers that are extremely costly to the school district. Money that could be spent on my daughter's education. However, our attempts to work with the school and convince them that Carly does in fact need someone to help her to strive and be successful at school, has failed.

Many things were addressed during the meeting. One of which; I questioned why is Carly being put in time outs. Why I hadn't been informed of this (my mom busted them in action). Why they were now requesting that we give them several days notice and not to just pop in to check on Carly during school hours. The teacher turned her chair toward me and said, "how do you suggest we handle Carly?" Um...WHAT????? Everyone had just said that Carly was laid back and easy going, non disruptive, no problems with behavior whatsoever. After I pointed out the fact that the teacher was placing Carly in time outs, (which take place out of the classroom, down a hallway and on a bench), with no reason other than no one wanting to take a little extra time to help Carly along. The tune was quickly changed. The teacher then said, "well we do that so Carly can refocus". And she said, "we do that with all the kids from time to time". Her examples of time outs for other kids did not involve a bench at the end of a hallway. Those kids get to run errands for the teacher. They get to go down to the office and help make copies for the class. That's how they get punished for not being focused. How is that fair to my daughter? It's not!

During yesterdays meeting, my heart was broken by a particular comment that Carly's first grade teacher said to me/us. First, let me explain a little bit about the IEP. An IEP is a meeting with the 'team' who work with your child at school. It's a plan of goals that are set up for your kid. A plan that the school must, by law, follow. During IEP's, the 'team', which is made up of any one person who works with your child toward their education. Such as; physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech & language, spec., ed director, principal, aid, teacher and resource teacher, etc... At each meeting, each person talks of the child. Telling how the child is doing, as far as reaching goals that are set in place during each IEP. When it came time for the teacher to start her spiel. She started out by saying that she had parents come to her regarding their children and the interaction taking place with Carly. Imagine how my heart broke at that point. She also said that the parents feel their kids are having a burden placed upon them, by helping to assist Carly with various things. Such as; working with her as a buddy. The teacher went on and on and then she wrapped it up and it went something like this: "Well, I think Carly needs to be in a smaller group setting." She rambled on a bit more, but she completely lost everyone. Everyone, except for me. I knew exactly where she was heading. She went on to say, "Carly would really benefit more with one on one time and I just don't have the time to give her one on one attention." This remark really was a slap in the face. She then said, "I do have 17 other children in my class." The spec. ed director still wasn't sure what the heck the teacher was talking about and she then questioned her. The teacher went on to say that she thought Carly should be in the resource room for a good part of the day. Well....much to my surprise, the Spec Ed Dir., spoke up on Carly's behalf and said, "no, that is not what Carly needs. Not at this time ". After that, the teacher walked out of the meeting. Unfreaking-believable, don't you think?

And so, I came home an absolute wreck. 1, because they refuse to get my daughter the help she needs in order to be successful. 2, the teacher telling me the thoughts of the other parents. 3, the teacher stating that she doesn't want Carly in her classroom. Wow..talk about being slapped in the face. No wonder I didn't get any sleep last night.

For the life of me, I don't get this whole denying Carly a signing Para pro. Good Lord. This little girl signs ALL THE TIME! She has a list of signs that is way over 500. Which by the way, she has taught herself over a course of the last 2 years. Her spoken words are around 70+. Can they not see the best way for Carly to thrive in school? Obviously, they can not. Therefore, we are pushing forward.

I think I'll go take a much needed nap. Have a good day!


The VW's said...

This is sickening! I would be furious! I'm sorry that you are having to deal with these people! UGH!

I feel badly for Carly...she must know what is going on and she shouldn't be treated like that!

I hope and pray that this can be sorted out soon! Hang in there and keep fighting for your sweet girl!

Regina said...

Wow! This is so crazy!!! I'm so sorry for your daughter! Have you asked for an aid that stays with Carly all day? I've heard that you are entitled to this. Wouldn't it be nice to get an aid that signs?? You would think the school distict would realize what's going on.

Stephanie said...

I have three words for the behavior from that school, what the!!!!...sorry can't go any further.
Does Carley have to go to this particular school. It seems like a personal issue with her teacher. And even if you get everything Carley is entitled to, they just sound like a bunch of asses! Will the treatment get any better? I am beyond sorry that this is happening. They are clearly in the wrong and obviously don't give a damn. Sounds very much like they are pushing you out! Man, I'd like to give them a push!
Keep up your fight! I'll pray for strength for you!!!

Tina said...

Gosh this is so outrageous, I was also thinking that even you did get what you wanted would their behaviour towards Carly really change. I feel this teacher is basically not a good human being, and its impossible to change the core of a person. Such people should NOT be working with children. I wouldn't have managed any sleep myself. How hurtful and cruel. Gosh I'm actually livid. Will really keep my fingers crossed that some solution is found in whatever way that will be best for sweet Carly.

Lacey said...

I have smoke coming out of my ears right now. This is a public school? I can't believe this. You keep fighting momma, fight for your little girl that deserves the same education as any other child. And I bet if you asked parents they like having their children exposed to DS so they can see that their not that different. I think that teacher is just a b@#ch

Mary said...

Wow, this is all so unbelievable. To be honest, this has to be my worst fear. It does sound like the teacher is the biggest problem (with the exception of the school district refusing to provide a Para Pro). The time outs would infuriate me as well. I'm praying for the best possible outcome for Carly.

Kristin said...

Wow. I have so much to look forward to. I better sit back and REALLY enjoy these first couple years out of school. Wow. That is insane.

Cammie Heflin said...

Hearing about your meetings with Carly's school makes me sick, they CANNOT treat Carly this way! How would they like going to work everyday and being the only person who spoke English! I know Due Process is a pain and the school district will NOT like it but Carly has a right to FAPE and LRE!!!

Heidi said...

Awful! I just can't believe how awful everyone at Carly's school is being. I feel so bad for Carly and for you for having to go through this. You are handling everything so well. You are doing your best to fight for your daughter and I'm sure they would rather you just sat back and didn't care. You show them!

Jeana said...

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with all this! Its just horrible, thank goodness you have the law to back you up, but such a pain and a waste of everyones time. Like you said money that could just be spent to get Carly what she needs. Our prayers go out to you to get to the bottom of this.

Michele Risner said...

I really just don't get why the school is being so stubborn on this issue. Hang in there and keep fighting for Carly and her rights.

datri said...

Sorry the school is being so stubborn. Unfortunately, many districts would rather pay twice as much on a lawyer than it would cost them to actually provide the services for the child. I swear they do that to intimidate future parents. Best of luck and keep fighting!

JennyH said...

Good luck!! I just had a long IEP meeting as well a couple weeks ago. It was over 2 hours long and was just an addendum (not sure that's spelled right)! I have been very happy with our school but that day it felt like 8 against 1.

YOU know what's best for Carly so keeping fighting for what you think she needs!

Michelle said...

ugh! so sorry for what you're going through. I would have my doubts about what the teacher said the other parents said; I have to wonder if that is really true.

Is there another 1st grade class she can transfer to so she doesn't have to be with this teacher anymore?