The school search has begun

As you may or may not be aware of, we are in the process of having to locating 2 new schools. What’s that you say? We already have enough on our plates?  Ding Ding, we have a winner. You are absolutely correct but we have little choice in the matter. Elliott’s previous school has decided that they cannot educate a child with Autism. In a last ditch effort to try to talk to someone about it I sent a certified letter. My emails and phone calls have gone unreturned and my face to face attempts to talk to someone have been fruitless. The really frustrating part is that our hands are pretty much tied unless we move. Canton City Schools is our only choice right now and that school system as a whole, leaves much to be desired. Canton City Schools, as you may recall, is the School System that “abused” Gavin and refused to follow his IEP. We have always said that it will be a cold day in hell before we EVER send another child to this school and yet here we are.

Emmett has aged out of early intervention as of his 3rd birthday, this past June 26th. I attended the ERT and IEP meetings myself as Lizze was otherwise occupied with Akron Children’s Hospital during Gavin’s admission last month to the psych unit.  Dividing and conquering has it’s advantages but in this particular case it would have been better if we had both been there. Basically, the school is not qualifying Emmett for services under the Autism diagnosis. They basically said that the ONLY thing he needs or qualifies for services under is speech and language, which is complete BS. I explained that Emmett struggles in more the just speech and language but they wouldn’t hear it. I refused to agree with the ERT and checked the box for disagree and we went on to the IEP. The IEP was based on the results of the ERT and so it was focused on speech and language. I agreed with what they were offering for speech and language but I didn’t agree with him being mainstreamed. I got them to agree to an integrated classroom with a mixed population of IEP kids and “typical” kids. They informed me what school he would be going to and that was basically it. I once again expressed my concerns about their assessment and I completely disagreed with the fact that they don’t consider Emmett, diagnosed with PPD-NOS/Autism Spectrum Disorder to be Autistic. That just kills me and frustrates the hell out of me as well. When I arrived home and finally met up with Lizze she did some digging around. Turns out that the school they are sending Emmett to is just about as bad as it gets. So the idea of sending our son to this Canton City school is an ABSOLUTE last resort.

Elliott and Emmett are in the market for new schools. In many ways it has to do with a lack of understanding as to what Autism or Aspergers really is. One would think that a school system charged with our children’s future would be a bit more up to speed. I still hope to hear from Elliott’s school and be able to actually talk to someone about this and try to work something out as the school is what’s best for Elliott. We have looked into open enrollment but it’s not an option for several reasons. If a nearby school system participates in open enrollment they either charge an outragous amount for tuition or only open enroll in the Spring, without exceptions. So we are feeling backed into a corner and without many, if any options. We have begun looking at new locations to move to should we get the opportunity to move but we honestly struggle keeping up with where we are now at times so moving may be something we just could not manage.

With everything else we have going on right now, school shopping is the LAST thing we needed to worry about and we are just about out of time. No pressure right..

 

 

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments
most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AimeeVL

I don’t know if you have any good advocates in your area but that is what I do for a “living”.  I don’t know how much you guys know about the SpEd. laws so I’m not trying to tell you anything you don’t already know, but just trying to be helpful.  If they are basing his services and placement on the evaluations they have performed and you disagree with those evaluations, you can get an Independent Educational Evaluation at the SD’s expense.  Often they will give you a list of providers and infer that you have to choose from that list… you don’t!  As long as the person you choose to do the IEE has fees that are comparable/average you can use that person. Also if you have made requests that they have denied, they have to issue you a Prior Written Notice explaining (using tests, evaluations, observations and any other information) why they have denied you.  The purpose of a PWN is for the SD to JUSTIFY their decision so they can’t just ram it down your throat with no explanation… and it is a rare SD I have come in contact with that actually provides properly written PWNs.  For me, it is one of the most important procedural safeguards parents have and I have accomplished a lot by simply demanding properly written PWNs.  Anyway, if you respond to this and want more information I will post contact info.  Best of luck to your family… you must have backbones of steel.

kat13

That sounds like a completely wrong state and region to be at where you guys at!  I am really sorry to hear about all of your troubles with school, but I guess I can share a complete opposite story with you.
 
When my youngest was about 2.5, she was sent to an early intervention program that is providing kids with free therapy right at home until they are 3. In the mid time, I was like a hamster in the wheel taking her from one specialist to another in the effort to eliminate all of the possible causes that could have contributed to her developmental delay.  At the end of all these tests, everything was coming back as normal, so no one could really explain why she isn't talking yet. The place that was trying to diagnose her at finally waived their hands in the air and said that they can't really diagnose her with autism because she had shown some improvements in that free intervention program. Being a single parent with two kids, I was simply drained from all of the tantrums in each doctor's office and pretty much just said forget about, I will figure something later and will do everything just to keep my child happy and as healthy as I can. 
 
So once she turned 3, she qualified for the program at the Public Schools Systems. She was in the class that was mixed with typical kids that were placed there as role model for others. They did keep her there an extra year as they saw she probably will benefit from it and will give her extra year to play a catch to her pears. Also her birthday is also at the end of July, so she has that advantage on her side to stay one extra year there without being too obvious later for the rest of the kids. Once she joined the kindergarten, working tightly with her therapists, they started by keeping her in the room with "Living Skills" class, but gradually placed her more and more into the main stream. So by the 1st grade she was mainly in mainstream,and they were taking her out when she had meltdowns or was time for her therapy. 
 
Last year, seeing my older one starting the Middle School (and she is the one who is a typical child), I started to worry about that "what if." Basically, I can easily say that what she is now, her teachers and therapists had done a lot for her. So we went for another cycle of doctor's visits and finally got an official diagnosis of autism topped off with ADHD. 
 
With that said, I really want to just tell you that there are better schools out there that are supportive in all many ways even for the kids like mine that didn't have an official piece of paper why isn't she learning as the typical child would. And where you guys are right now, schools sounds completely awful and the worst nightmare for parents who have no break or help as it is! I hope it will get better for all of you soon and let me know if you have any questions.
 
All of my thoughts are with you!

lostandtired

@kat13 we are definitely in the wrong place. I think you summed that up really well. 🙂

Megskitchen

That sounds horrible to have to contemplate. I am constantly… I want to say harassed or pushed maybe, by my family to move someplace better, with more opportunities for my husband and myself. What they don't seem to understand is that we have a GOOD school district. They of course, don't want to spend extra money, but any time we have asked a question, related a concern or issue at home, they have investigated the issue and found a solution if possible. Heck, in preschool I showed them his favorite book and they made the effort to get a few more of the series to get him some more vocabulary. I won't say we haven't butted heads occasionally, but it has always been settled reasonably with compromise on both sides.
I guess normal parents never have to think about such things.

Dearest_Nikky

Meg – schools like that are rare! Stick with them!! My kids are "typical" but I feel like I walk right along side Rob & Lizze and get disheartened by the crap that gets thrown at them. I have found that even if you occasionally buttheads you are forcing the school district to grow and support more kids (like I wish Elliott's would……) and in the long run it will help another child down the line! I wish more people understood that when you find educators, doctors or therapist that CLICK and GET it, they are worth MORE then their weight in gold… silver OR platinum!!

5
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
%d bloggers like this: