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    #230224 - 05/05/16 08:16 AM Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up.
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    Starting a new thread because it's that time of year and I'm panicky and hogging the board.

    I just went through and read all of my old posts because I am trying to gain some perspective on this situation.

    (It didn't work, really, just produced a lot of anxiety.)

    I am almost certain I've decided we can't do this anymore. Supporting DS' EF without an IEP is a full-time job and is interfering with my other responsibilities and general sanity level.

    In the middle of the night--DS came into my room, told me he loved me a few times, then went back to bed. This morning, I had trouble waking him (as always) and had a few moments of sheer panic that he had actually offed himself.

    This is not healthy.

    I have some ideas for next year:

    Idea #1: Part time regular MS, part time homeschool.

    Idea #2: Full time regular MS, send him in without help or meds (which he has a really hard time with) and let them decide whether or not they "suspect a disability."

    Idea #3: Have his psychiatrist document that he is "medically fragile" so he can do virtual school without our having to pay for it.

    Idea #4: Just quit, "unschool," leave him alone, and try to get the rest of my life in order.

    This situation is ridiculous, overwhelming, and all-consuming.

    Any thoughts about my Ideas 1-4? Taking a *gap year* at age 13 seems a little unconventional, but he still wouldn't be behind as far as credits go.

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    #230226 - 05/05/16 09:18 AM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    playandlearn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/14/08
    Posts: 309
    Hi, eco21268, I tried to search your old posts but somehow couldn't see what your DS's diagnosis is, but I just want to first give you a big hug. Hang in there! Our kids will turn out to be fine one way or another. Their path of growth will not be exactly what we imagined, but with love, patience, wisdom and perseverance, they will be able to accomplish and enjoy so much!!

    From your idea #2, I see a school that is not willing to fully support him and your family. I wonder whether it is possible to switch to a *better* school (again, I didn't read all of your old posts), then go for #1, or maybe a hybrid of #1 plus online courses.

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    #230227 - 05/05/16 09:52 AM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: playandlearn]
    stemfun Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/23/12
    Posts: 100
    Originally Posted By: playandlearn
    I wonder whether it is possible to switch to a *better* school (again, I didn't read all of your old posts), then go for #1, or maybe a hybrid of #1 plus online courses.
    I think you should really consider this option, a different school one that is a better fit for him, in terms of support and workload. This will relieve a lot of the stress on both of you.

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    #230228 - 05/05/16 10:33 AM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: eco21268
    I am almost certain I've decided we can't do this anymore. Supporting DS' EF without an IEP is a full-time job and is interfering with my other responsibilities and general sanity level.
    He has a 504 and not an IEP? You have documented the school's failure to follow the 504 and that has not helped gain compliance? You have documented why you believe he needs an IEP?

    Are you familiar with the articles on Executive Functioning from Understood.org, such as
    - At a Glance: 8 Key Executive Functions
    - Executive Functioning Issues: Strategies You Can Try At Home
    - 4 Ways Kids Use Organization Skills to Learn
    - At A Glance: 7 Ways to Teach Your Middle-Schooler Organization Skills
    - 9 Simple Steps for Breaking Down Assignments
    Each article has links to more related articles.

    Are you familiar with the Wrightslaw website?
    - free online Parent Guide
    - Book: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA)
    - Companion website to Book: fetaweb.com
    - IEP FAQ
    - Free weekly e-mail newsletter: Special Ed Advocate
    - The wrightslaw page of recommended books includes Executive Function in Children and Adolescents
    - Article: My Child with a 504 Plan is Failing, School Won't Help: Your Eligibility Game Plan
    - Article: Should Poor Organizational Skills be Accommodated in an IEP?
    At the end of this article are links to two PDFs on Accommodations and Modifications.

    Quote:
    Taking a *gap year* at age 13 seems a little unconventional, but he still wouldn't be behind as far as credits go.
    You may wish to consult your State's homeschooling laws and truancy policy as a guide to any options/solutions you may brainstorm and implement.

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    #230229 - 05/05/16 10:57 AM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    dreamsbig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/14
    Posts: 65
    HUGS. What about hiring an educational advocate to assist you with dealing with the school and getting an IEP in place (and followed)? IEPs (and 504s) can be tricky, especially for a diagnosis the the school isn't used to accommodating. It is tough going it alone and an advocate will work for you and your child's interests rather than the school's.

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    #230230 - 05/05/16 11:06 AM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Hi eco,
    Sorry you are still struggling.
    I remember some of your posts and I am wondering if, even if you were to get an IEP, is the school so incompetent that they wouldn't really do anything for him anyway? Is there a head special ed teacher or psychologist you could talk to?

    Also, is there any chance you can move in order to get into a better school? Maybe rent for a while and try it out before making a more permanent commitment? Or do you think he would have the same issues no matter where he is? If so, then homeschooling or online school would make more sense.

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    #230232 - 05/05/16 12:18 PM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    Thomas Percy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 206
    Can you get a lawyer to help you get an IEP?

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    #230235 - 05/05/16 02:53 PM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    NotherBen Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/24/14
    Posts: 313
    Ah, spaghetti, those are wise words.

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    #230236 - 05/05/16 03:57 PM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    DS says he is on board to try to finish up the year with some effort.

    I can't communicate effectively with some of his teachers. I ask very direct questions and just don't succeed. An example:

    Me: Can you update me on his grade? How is he behaving? He’s having panic attacks to add to the fun and had to leave yesterday. I’ll help him if I know what he’s supposed to be doing.

    Teacher: He is now two days late on his two projects we talked about last week. He did not get them done last week because he chose to watch the NFL draft.

    [We did not discuss two projects, but one, which teacher told me DS would show him in class the next day, because he had been absent. He didn't bother telling me that DS did not have the project completed, as I'd assumed. The second project was not listed in grade book or planner which is on 504.]

    Me (cutting my losses): Can he bring them home and are there instructions somewhere?

    Teacher:They are both powerpoints so he can work on it anywhere and he should have the instructions for the first and the second is an open ended project and he knows the expectations for it.

    [DS draws blank when I tell him he should know what he's supposed to do.]

    Me: He doesn't have instructions for either--I'd like to make sure he follows instructions, he's bad at remembering.

    Teacher: I gave him a note with the requirments on it again. It is a very simple project both are and he should have complete a good amount of it already.

    [DS comes home, I say teacher said he gave you a note, DS says "No he didn't. Wait, maybe he did. [SPAM]. I left it there."

    A different class--

    Me: How is his behavior? I know he has been doing a careless job turning in his letters, but I’m under the impression he is caught up now (with one due Friday). Is that correct?

    He also says he has completed one writing assignment and the other (revision of previous piece) is in progress. Do you know if he is right about that?

    On the project—are they allowed to use a book they’ve previously discussed via letter, or does it need to be a different one?

    Counting down, and thanks for all of your help this year.


    Teacher: [radio silence]

    Then there is a third email, where I asked when his final is and when his final project is due and haven't received a response, yet.

    An email to the coordinator, saying HEY, it seems like DS is really struggling, he told me school makes him hate himself and he is tired of being singled out, was sent to the hall for two classes today. Can you find out how often that sort of thing is happening? I don't think sitting in the hall, alone, is a good place for him.

    She and I go back and forth while I say, do you think maybe we could get a BIP now? And she basically ends up by telling me that MAYBE, the teachers could "send him to the hall, when he needs a quiet place." OMG! I am not kidding. The whole thing is just so asinine.

    They ignored all of the significant data on the teacher BASC last year, and used "beginning of the year, everything is wonderful" new teacher data to determine that DS does not need a BIP.

    With the assignments, what ends up happening is--I email or call a friend whose son is in this program and he tells us what DS is supposed to do.

    This is just really ridiculously labor intensive.

    Lawyer: can't afford.
    Homeschool/truancy laws: not a big deal, very lax state.
    Biggest issue: he's technically done with MS this year, so I could put him in a different school for 8th, but what would he take for his classes? They don't even offer the next math class on any campus except another "choice" program, which would be unlikely to accept him with his transcript.

    I could put him in his assigned school and think of it as child care, but that goes directly against what the neuropsych recommended for him.

    On the upside, his mood is somewhat improved. He is in his room composing very dark and moody music electronically, and that seems to help him.

    Y'all, I've done the advocate thing. I considered the attorney (and even made a call), but in the end, why would I fight so hard to keep my kid in a program that clearly doesn't have any interest in supporting his needs?

    OTOH, if I just set him loose in a traditional MS, without all of my help and his stimulant med (which he hates), he might have a great time just "being DS" like he did all the way through elementary, while learning nothing at school, and get a lot of detentions and ISS for being annoying. All while not making grades high enough to even put him in "honors" classes, much less gifted/accelerated.

    Not one single teacher, a single time, as expressed an opinion that the curriculum is too difficult for DS. In fact, the opposite--I had one call this year telling me that he is really talented in math, is probably kind of bored in Algebra, and we shouldn't penalize him for organizational issues (there are a couple of really kind teachers, who have his back).

    I just want to pull my hair out!

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    #230237 - 05/05/16 04:18 PM Re: Reviewing old posts, PTSD setting in, giving up. [Re: eco21268]
    eco21268 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/21/15
    Posts: 647
    I didn't address a couple of comments:

    DS has autism spectrum diagnosis. His 504 is for ASD, ADHD-combined type, generalized anxiety disorder and depression NOS. He is, basically, gifted with Asperger's and the autism is "mild" but the co-morbids aren't.

    He's in an accelerated gifted program. I think the work load is too heavy for him with his EF issues and anxiety.

    I am pretty much thinking we are done with his program. At this point, trying to figure out what makes sense to do next.


    Edited by eco21268 (05/05/16 04:20 PM)

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