We had that IEP on Tuesday, the 6th. What a nightmare! They almost bordered on the ridiculous for what they were expecting.
First, they wanted to put her in regular ed kindergarten with no support! We wanted her to have an aide to help her- not a full-time aide, but an one there for the time she needed help. We were told that NO ONE has their own aide. We were told they couldn't pay for it. Lies again! She really needs help during fine motor time like cutting, pasting, writing. She also needs help during independent work time because she can't attend without lots of cueing due to her inability to tune things out. We fought & argued. They claimed she was doing well without support during those times- A LIE! She just about has a 1 on 1 aide for those things in her preschool class. She has PRE writing skills emerging, but none really to speak of. They then said she would have consult CDC teacher (classroom for disabled children) 15 minutes a day. No where near enough support! She could have a sensory break if needed. They presented that data that she has moved from a 1-2 year old skill level to a 3-4 year old skill level, with most motor skills at a 3 year old level. They then claimed she would be at the same level as every other 5 year old entering kindergarten! UGH!
Second, they wanted to put her on a regular ed bus. The child who can not walk down steps unassisted & loses her balance so easily to go on a regular ed bus. We asked about her saftey, especially when getting off the bus and the bigger 4th & 5th graders are pushing to get off. They said the BUS DRIVER could help her off! That is against the law here. They also said that sometimes an attendant rides the bus and someone could probably help her off the bus. HELLO!!! Probably & sometimes is not good enough when it comes to safety. We had to remind them she doesn't just have ASD, she has CP as well!
Third, they totally shot down ESY saying she showed no regression. Again, her teacher lied. She has always talked of how hard it is for MM to get back in the swing of things after breaks, long weekends & even the weekend. That was their sole basis for rejecting her. They kept saying they know how this feels & how sorry they were. I went around the table asking each one if they had a child with a disability. They all said no. I then gave them the you don't know how I feel speech because they don't live our life & have never walked in our shoes. I was so angry & upset, I walked out. DH continued to argue with them, he even ended up asking the CDC teacher (who was extremely ignorant IMO) if she was stupid! It was terrible.
We refused to sign anything. They kept trying to get us to sign it, first trying to tell us we had to. I know that is not true. They then kept asking why won't you sign it, we have made such & such accomodations for her. We also wanted another meeting with the county special ed supervisor to discuss bussing, ESY & placement. I had to remind them that by waiting so long to discuss ESY left us in position that they were denying our right to due process since it takes up to 60 days to go through it. I was so angry that I finally just said "It's okay, we will just go to mediation & I will get an attorney." It was over 2 1/2 hours of stress & arguing.
After leaving the meeting, they were calling within in 30 minutes, setting up a meeting for the following Tuesday, the 13th. The supervisor was going to be there. I started researching like crazy & got a hold of the local adovocate. She really gave me great advice. I was ready with my three page rebuttal & all the laws to support the services that are necessary and appropriate to get her what she needs. I stressed all week about this next meeting, I cried so much that I think I had no more tears.
What a difference a supervisor makes!
No more lies flying around. When the meeting started, they immediately told us she would be on the special ed bus still with a 5 point harness since she hovers around the 40lbs weight. Next, they offered us ESY based on insufficient data & her need to have continuous monitoring of her social skills. They are giving her OT & PT over the summer @ the preschool as well. They also changed how kindergarten will be for her. She is going to typical ed with what is called resource here. It is essentially an aide (but she is actually a special ed teacher) for the times she needs it- fine motor times, independent work times & lunch time. We also won't have to deal with the CDC teacher at first! WOO-HOO! MM is considered mild to moderately disabled, not severely disabled. Most of the CDC children at this school fall into the severe, the rest get resource. She will get the 1 on 1 she needs at those times. She will also have a peer buddy assigned to her that will help her. They will use a child who tested high at the kindergarten testing so she has someone who is smart enough to help her. We will have an IEP one week after school starts to see how she is doing to see if she needs more support. I did not have to argue, fuss or even use my 3 page rebuttal. Hmmmm....
WHY? Why did we have to argue so much at the first meeting? Why did they tell us all those lies? Why did we have to have a second meeting? Why was it so easy to get those things once the supervisor was there? Why do they put us parents through all of this BS?
So, see they originally had us down with a Technical Knock Out, but we managed to get the decision overturned & in our favor! I am sure I have another b!tch flag added to MM's school file since we are already labeled a high profile case. I will take the flag & wave it proudly if it gets her what she needs!