Friday, June 01, 2007

IEP Hell- Going out of my mind!

I am in IEP hell right now! Because the educational system makes up it's own rules about what category to put your child in based on it's own criteria, my older son is facing "undiagnosis" of his Asperger Syndrome and is going to have to be placed under the "Emotionally Disturbed" category because he has been so sucessful at learning social behavior with his peers that he no longer qualifies for SPED under the Autism category. Never mind that he doesn't interact properly with adults, and still is definately in my opinion on the Autism spectrum. I am seriously just fed up with this whole system.

Since we got here in 3rd grade he hasn't learned any more writing than he knew at age 8. His math skills are at grade level, but he won't do more than a few problems. He won't take direct instruction from an adult, and will not respond to any of the tactics they have tried to use on him. None of this is new. He is exactly the same kid that shut down on them in 3rd grade, more or less. Just happens to have made 2 friends and is now comfortable in his classroom in middle school.

SO they spring this nice little "change of classification" on me without written documentation at the beginning of his 3 year re-evaluation, before we even go over the PLEP (Present Level of Educational Performance). The SPED director blatantly tossed this bomb out like he was announcing "Milk or juice" and I lost it.

I had agreed to do an FBA, hoping we could figure out the reasons he isn't learning. I should have realized they would use it to bite me in the ass. He's getting a new teacher in the fall and I hoped this would help her. Instead, all I got was this reclassification, and a suggestion to take away the only thing he likes about school- his lunch time with his friends, and his break time. You know that is only going to lead to a complete school refusal. But then it won't be "their fault" it will be my fault. They are just creating a nightmare for me. And for my son!!

Between both boys IEP stuff and school issues it is a wonder I managed to get a B+ on my last exam. I am seriously wondering if I am going to be able to do the nursing program now.

Update 7/2/07

Well I got the mess straightened out. I was able to negotiate the Autism label, with secondary label of ED. Hate to concede even that much, but sometimes you just have to. He has made a lot of progress I think in other areas the last few months, it's subtle but I am hoping it pays off at school next fall. The brain maturing as he enters adolescence may be the key to unlocking the frontal cortex maturation he needs to plan and execute the more complex academic challenges coming his way. At the very least I just have to hope he has better rapport with the new teacher. I have to keep reminding myself that even if the school system fails my son, I won't! He has a supportive loving family and that will mean more than the backwards school system and it's shortcomings.