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    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Originally Posted by blackcat
    Are teachers telling the class that student X has ADHD and student Y has autism? I find that rather disturbing.

    When DS was in 3rd we found that other children were afraid of him-- he was unpredictable and got upset about things that didn't bother other people. The brilliant and loving teacher decided we had to do something. With our explicit permission and DS's, she taught the kids a little bit about autism and he talked a little bit about how it is for him. This event (lasting probably less than an hour) was transformative-- once the other kids understood how it is for him, they weren't afraid of him, which vastly improved the atmosphere in the classroom and his peer relationships.

    It was transformative for DS, too, to know that his difference could be named, understood, and accommodated.

    I wouldn't do this with just any teacher, or in just any situation. But in our particular setting that year, it meant a lot.

    DS is also quite "out" about his autism now. We try never to let him use it as an excuse, but he does use it as a way of explaining his experience. He owns his dx. That will no doubt have bad aspects, if he tells the wrong people and they use it against him, but he has to have some ownership of that information, because the autism is not going away.

    But yes, if school personnel disclosed IEP details without my permission, I would be upset. That hasn't happened.

    DeeDee


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    I understand your point polarbear, and I think there is a benefit to explaining disabilities in some cases in terms of the children. It's the parents that are a problem. Once a disability is known, things are seen through that lens. People expect the worst or people look for behaviors that confirm their small knowledge of the disorder. That's why I only tell people who already know us. There's a big difference in how a person would perceive a child with something like Developmental Coordination Disorder or a learning disability like dysgraphia vs. ADHD. People hear "ADHD" and immeditely think "hyper" or "impulsive" and those characteristics are indeed a part of the disorder. I bet that teachers go through their stack of files at the beginning of each school year and sigh when they see kids with ADHD 504's or IEPs. "Great, I have 5 of them this year. Last year it was only 2." Then they expect the child to be difficult before the child even gets there. That's why I'm wary of even writing a 504 for DD. Her problem is processing speed and she has NO problem behaviors in school but when teachers see the 504 they are going to expect more than just processing speed issues. And if she went there unmedicated, she would indeed be a behavioral problem just like they would expect.

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    Originally Posted by blackcat
    Once a disability is known, things are seen through that lens. ...People hear "ADHD" and immeditely think "hyper" or "impulsive" and those characteristics are indeed a part of the disorder. I bet that teachers go through their stack of files at the beginning of each school year and sigh when they see kids with ADHD 504's or IEPs.

    Blackcat, I'm sorry your experiences have been like this.

    We have had some teachers like that, and I remember those years with horror and regret.

    We have also had some expert teachers who not only welcomed our child, but made an enormous effort to meet that child where he was, really understand him, and help him grow. I remember those years with gratitude.

    Our DS11's current school includes staff who have really enjoyed and embraced him in ways that are not limited to his disability.

    We have some neighbors who have made us part of their world and enjoy DS for who he is. Not all, but some.

    I'm not saying it always happens in this rosy way, only that it's possible.

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    So far no teacher has behaved like that in terms of DD, but that is because she does not have a 504/IEP and they don't know anything about it, other than what I've told them.
    The teacher last year seemed to think I was just making it up, because DD acted so "normal" in her class.
    But I have worked in a school with teachers and they gossip and gripe about kids and families in the lounge. There are some teachers who are very good and love all kids. But I would not say the average teacher is free of biases about disabilities, or that they "embrace" kids with challenges.

    puffin #179163 01/10/14 08:08 AM
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    Originally Posted by puffin
    you treat what you have. And sometimes you don't know whether the problem goes away because of the treatment or because it wasn't what you thought it was. But you still have to treat it - you can't wait. And knowing what you are dealing with is always better though not always easier.

    ITA.

    Originally Posted by puffin
    And now I am going to stop digging my hole before it gets too deep to climb out of and wish the OP all the best.

    I don't think you are in a hole, puffin. Just saying.

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    IEP meeting went fine. They are not at all concerned about the autism-related stuff, to the point where I think maybe we'll wait and bring it up with his pediatrician at his annual checkup, instead of right now.

    He'll be doing 30 min/week of time with the SLP working on retelling/summarizing, and 4x30 min/week of special education working on social skills. Goals are to have him able to retell a story 4/5 times one year from now, and to be able to join play and/or invite others to play with him at least 3/5 times.

    Right now I'm happy with the services he's getting, pending seeing how it all works for him. Obviously if he doesn't make progress, we'll have to change it up. But I feel like the people at the school are professional and really want to help him, so I am hopeful that it will all work out well.

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    Elizabeth, that's awesome.

    I am so impressed with the pro-active qualities of your school, that they are dealing with the issues they see right away and on their own initiative. Would that more were that way-- it's how it's supposed to work!

    Well done to you and the team.

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    Well, I did have to initiate the request to evaluate him. But since they responded to that request, they have been super accommodating and really want to help. And for that matter, I think they could have blown off my request, and they didn't - they brought in a small army to evaluate him. (OT, SLP, counselor, special ed teacher, regular teacher)

    On the autism issue, they pretty much told me that it wouldn't change what they provide at all if we got an autism diagnosis - for any kid, they evaluate the behaviors and how they're affecting his education, and act accordingly.

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    Originally Posted by ElizabethN
    On the autism issue, they pretty much told me that it wouldn't change what they provide at all if we got an autism diagnosis - for any kid, they evaluate the behaviors and how they're affecting his education, and act accordingly.

    Also as it should be. If new issues come up, call another meeting, but until then, watch the progress and appreciate those who are helping.

    For me, the reason to pursue the autism evaluation as you can would be that it may open helpful avenues and strategies outside of school.

    We ended up being pretty intense about DS's education for a while, with a serious therapy program outside of school-- but knowing he had autism also helped us choose fun activities that we knew would support social skills development, even at the expense of other activities that we had always thought we would place a child in. Knowing what's up helps you make the right investments, we think.

    Anyhow, glad that meeting is behind you!

    DeeDee #202794 10/06/14 06:57 AM
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    Originally Posted by DeeDee
    There is no such thing as a permanent school record for kids this young.
    This may be a false belief, as the U.S. Department of Education, in a factsheet dated July 2009, describes Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems which have been funded through grants since 2005:
    The Recovery Act competition requires that the data systems have the capacity to link preschool, K-12, and postsecondary education as well as workforce data. To receive State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, a state must provide an assurance that it will establish a longitudinal data system that includes the 12 elements described in the America COMPETES Act, and any data system developed with Statewide longitudinal data system funds must include at least these 12 elements. The elements are:

    1.An unique identifier for every student that does not permit a student to be individually identified (except as permitted by federal and state law);
    2.The school enrollment history, demographic characteristics, and program participation record of every student;
    3.Information on when a student enrolls, transfers, drops out, or graduates from a school;
    4.Students scores on tests required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
    5.Information on students who are not tested, by grade and subject;
    6.Students scores on tests measuring whether they're ready for college;
    7.A way to identify teachers and to match teachers to their students;
    8.Information from students' transcripts, specifically courses taken and grades earned;
    9.Data on students' success in college, including whether they enrolled in remedial courses;
    10.Data on whether K-12 students are prepared to succeed in college;
    11.A system of auditing data for quality, validity, and reliability; and
    12.The ability to share data from preschool through postsecondary education data systems.

    ...These data systems will capture data on students from one grade to the next...
    emphasis added

    = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + =
    The US DOE's 2009 SLDS Factsheet is archived on the WayBack Machine - https://web.archive.org/web/20210809095250/https://www2.ed.gov/programs/slds/factsheet.html

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