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Thread: Report Card Day

  1. #1
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Report Card Day

    The report card came home.

    As many of you know I went to my school district when DS was 3 and told them he needed help. They denied it. I've been fighting with them since right before he entered K that something was clearly wrong. They say, "no, nothing is wrong, he's FINE" Fine. Fine. Fine.

    I fight and finally win OT. Big deal. It was something, they threw me the bone, I took it. They made it sound like he was doing well.

    Today the report card comes home and I am physically sick to my stomach right now. They don't grade in A-F but it is a scale, which I'd say is similar but words, not descriptions. Out of 25 areas, he got the basic F in 10. He's fiiiiiine. I am horrified on how bad this report card is. I have another kid who went through the school, so I know this isn't the norm.

    I guess I will call the learning consultant tomorrow and hear her again deny anything is wrong and I'll feel furious again. And my biggest fear is that they will leave him back in K. First of all, he's the oldest kid there (late b-day, missed the cutoff) and worse yet, that means he would not go to school all day til he is EIGHT. He goes to 2.5 hours of kindergarten a day and the truth is, after over 6 years, I need a break and can't see only 2.5 hours of school a day until he is eight.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I really need a good long cry over this. They tell me to my face he is "fiiiine" and act like I am a crazy mom, then he gets this terrible report card.

    I need a good cry...

  2. #2
    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    OMG. I am SOOO SORRY. Well, they can no longer say things are fine.

    I am sending you big hugs.

    I hope they listen to you this time!!!!!!

    They are such AHOLES. (sorry for my language!)

    Keep us updated ok??

    And, I m with you.....ella has a late bday - 6 days off the cutoff - and they better not pull holding her back....i need the full day and I could not relate more to wht you are sying!

    Angi

  3. #3
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    Default A suggestion.. don't call, write!

    I can "hear" your fustration... I too have a flat spot on my forehead... from the school.

    I know you want to call... but I would write a certified letter indicating the report card clearly shows learning challenges and ask for a full educational evaluation. Write the letter to the principal and cc the teacher, learning specialist and anyone else you can think of that is involved with your DS's education.

    This will put the school on notice and by referencing the report card (include a copy), this will start to document the descrepancies (sp?) and the letter starts a time clock (so to speak) for action.

    If you hand deliver it, ask for a stamped received copy.

    Hang in there... we're all here to help!

    -Robin

    DS#1 IEP/504: APD
    DS#2 IEP (Speech) ADHD

  4. #4
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    I wish you luck. Though my situation is a little different have gone through and am going through something similar. My ds is in 4th and his grades last quarter were not much above failing in 4 subjects. He was bringing home 10s and 30s in quizzes and tests. I suppose they will just let him fail because they are doing nothing. Teacher conferences are at end of the month. I am giving up improving his IEP as the only thing they keep adding is testing accommodations so they look good/meet AYP. Since August the Resource teacher has added to the already plush testing accommodation section 4 new things

    Good luck and sorry to hijack the thread.
    Updated to add his progress report for 3rd quarter arrived home today and his highest grade is a 78, the rest are all 70-74-most 70 & 72! 69 is FAILING. This is for reading, math, spelling, science, writing and social studies. But I bet at the teacher conference in a couple of weeks they will still say that he is doing fine Math is the only subject he gets help in (as in co-teaching) and he has a 74 right now.
    Last edited by trek; 02-09-2010 at 04:24 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default I'm sorry (m)

    I know you are in a dark place now, and hope you are feeling better (or at least empowered and not sick) soon.

    I think you have got some great advice. You need a meeting asap with the teacher, asst. principal, principal and special education teacher or special ed district contact. You want to ask for a full educational assessment (and set a time line) and then a follow-up meeting with all the same players to discuss the outcome and what accomodations can be then made for his specific deficits. I would also discuss an immediate plan for getting him up to curriculum level in the areas he is struggling in, like access to a resource teacher on a scheduled basis.

    I would also go to your pediatrician and request a referral for a full developmental assessment on your ds - pt, ot, speech, psych that can be used to supplement the educational portion (which probably, if your school district is anything like mine, just an IQ test and some basic behavioural screening with the BASC, but without the ability create a distinct diagnosis, only a coding for use by the special ed department of the school).

    I think you have time on your side; your ds is still young. You need to make a plan and ask for what you need. Make it clear to the school that 'just fine' is no longer an acceptable answer and you are expecting testing and appropriate accomodations. Get the school administration (and if necessary, the school district administration) involved if necessary to ensure that you are not just getting handed extra ot slots or whatever to keep you quiet. Once they realise you have a plan and are serious and this isn't an upset parent during report card season that can be placated in one meeting they will likely be more inclined to follow your plan and be more receptive to your requests.

    Be kind to yourself.

    Amanda

  6. #6
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    Default

    I agree with everyone!
    Good luck..let us know how it goes!
    JOy

  7. #7
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Thank you everyone

    I'm still really down today. I will get back in the game and call a meeting to discuss this report card. I just need a few days to regroup and get rid of the emotional part and focus on the facts.

    DS was fully evaluated by our school system, and he came back within the normal range in all areas, with the exception of OT. I have three reports from two different OTs stating he has a visual processing issue. On one he scored under the 1%, the other was in the 5%. The school does not consider outside reports. At all. They are irrelevant. I've thought of taking him to yet another "specialist" and paying huge sums out of pocket, but these "experts" meet him for 20 min, find him charming and intelligent and decide it must be the mom. And even if some expert finally sees something, my school doesn't care. They do not consider outside evaluations. They keep telling me it all comes down to performance in the classroom and that he is fine. Obviously, it is a big lie and some sort of game to them.

    The school shows his IQ test to be very strong in the verbal, yet very weak (one pt above avg) in the visual. There is a big discrepancy. The school says this is "fine."

    I keep thinking back to the meetings I've had with the teacher and the learning consultant and I become more furious. They kept telling me he was in normal range. I'm sorry but "normal" range is not the equivalent of 10 Fs out of 25. Not even remotely close. They tell me I am not being patient and not giving their tactics time to work (um, 5 months, half the school year?) And meanwhile, their strategies are pathetic, at best. "preferred seating. Verbal reminders" If the kid CAN'T sit and listen and can't follow directions, those things don't do a darn thing. More of the same isn't going to help this child.

    This is a kid who could tell someone what outfit they were wearing when they came to my house 6 months ago, reminds me of things I need to do all day long (don't forget to order brother's lunch mom) but yet can't follow 2-step directions in the class.

    He goes to an enrichment class a few afternoons, but it is low-key and very little is expected of him. Just playing, doing fun science, crafts. There is little pressure. And ironically, that teacher tells me all the time that he is great, is a good listener, she loves having him in her class, he's so kind and caring. This just confirms for me that he does have some sort of a learning disability, because when he is expected to perform visual/fine motor tasks he acts out negatively or "checks out" because he knows he can't do the work.

    If I could get one person at that school to care about my child, just one, maybe there is hope. But they keep pushing me and him along, telling me to my face he is fine and avg and then I get this horrifying report card.

    I'll request a meeting and go from there. I've just had it with the fighting with this school. This child is suffering and it is terribly unfair.

    Sorry to be such a downer. I'll get my game on, I just need a few days to cope with the emotions. Then I'll go back in the ring. [sigh]

  8. #8
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    Default Reese (m)

    I have to reply again, because on the outside looking in at your situation I am seeing so many problems:

    1) If your ds has a 'normal' IQ, but it (sorry this sounds harsh) effectively failing K, then either there is a problem with the assement from which they got the 'normal IQ' or a problem with the teacher or the form of classroom instruction. You need to put pressure on them to figure out which one it is.

    2) I am astounded that they will not consider outside assessments provided you have got them from a properly degreed/licensed individual. They fact that they won't consider outside assessments seems like a red flag, unless the school district has a multidisciplinary team that includes pt, ot, a psychologist, and a vision and hearing team.

    3) I would be highly suspect of IQ results done on a 6 yr old. We had this issue when my ds was 7. He was obviously bright, but having some behaviour problems. The school psych did an IQ test the month after he turned 7 and he came out normal. His behavioural screening was showing 'clinically significant' and 'at risk' behaviour issues. School coded him as having 'emotional problems.' I took him to a developmental pedi, who did the 20 min assessment and said he had ADHD, or some immaturity issues that were ADHD-like. I started reading up on ADHD and felt it wasn't a good fit. Meanwhile, ds was having meltdowns in class and the school was 'accomodating' him by giving him stickers when he had a good day, and allowing him to leave the classroom without asking the teacher if he was getting upset, which didn't seem to be helping things at all.

    Fast forward 3 years of this, and I was at the end of my tether. I started googling his 'symptoms' one night and kept coming up with high functioning autism. I went back to the developmental pedi and asked if she would rule it out. She (thankfully) took us seriously because I took his report cards, teacher comments, teacher notes home about his behaviour as well as the results of some autism screening inventories I found on line (and that dh and I completed independantly about ds and both came up with at risk scores). Pedi arranged a multidisciplinary assessment - vision, hearing, full medical, ot, pt, speech, IQ testing, parent interview and psych evaluation. In isolation, many of the results were within the range of 'normal'. It was only when they put everything together did they start seeing problems. His IQ is 'high average' overall, but within the subscores, his reading and verbal abilities are above the 99th percentile. His visual perception and reasoning skills are 65th percentile - average, but a huge difference between the verbal and the reasoning. PT found he was 'normal' but with some minor gross motor delays, some odd muscle stiffness. OT found he was 'normal' but noted he had a hard time mirroring skills and really odd ways of writing and some minor coordination issues. Speech found he was 'normal' but noted an odd prosey to his tone and echolalia. Psych felt he was engaging and polite and 'normal', but about 30 min into the psych observation, ds launched into a monologue about budgies (his obession at the time) and proceeded to talk about this for 15 minutes. He made eye contact only twice during a 60 min observation, frequently held a wall clock that was on the desk in the observation room to his ear (because he likes the ticking) and then dissected it, removing all the gears, explained to the examiner in great detail what each part was for, and reassembled it so it would work. In whole, the psych said she felt this was textbook Asperger's syndrome - he was high functioning and able to mask his deficits when looked at in isolation, but put them all together and there was really something going on. Many high functioning kids can do quite well in a one on one controlled environment (like an assessment) but in school with social interaction, distraction, noise, interrupted routines etc, it falls apart.

    I guess what i am trying to say is that you need the multidisciplinary assessment. I would start finding out (and getting on the waitlist) for a child development clinic affiliated with a children's hospital. Get your pedi or fam doctor to refer you, or in the interim, get a referral to a neurologist or a developmental optometrist (again, ones affiliated with children's hospitals if possible). If the school won't provide it, then you need to insist that they will accept the results of any privately obtained assessments you get. You really want (if possible) a team assessment that collates together all the individual assessments and looks at what the findings (even the 'normal' ones) mean to your child as a functioning whole.

    I know this is totally overwhelming. It is going to take a lot of time to get it all worked out, so this all doesn't have to be solved tomorrow. Tiny, baby steps will get you there. Even starting to question the school and not accept their 'he is fine' statements is a baby step, so you have already started this journey.

    Hope tomorrow is a brighter one. Let us know how it goes.

    Amanda

  9. #9
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Thank you Amanda

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story and some ideas.

    I feel like they are absolutely "missing something" and it is easier to write him off as the bad kid in class then to get to the root cause.

    I feel like I've been fighting a fight here for 6 years and getting nowhere. He was happy in preschool and loved and they saw the good in him. I knew his world would come crashing down when he got to this elementary school and I did everything to try to get them to put a plan in place to help. All of my "predictions" are happening now and I am sick over the fact that they don't even care. Just give my kid 10 f's and smile to my face telling me everything is fine.

    I'm upset right now and yes, I'll meet with the teacher and a few others, but the reality is, I am doing nothing more than talking to a wall. The only strategy I can come up with at this point is to request an independent eval--that they pay for so they HAVE to accept. Getting them to agree to do it is a horse of another color. But I guess it is the only angle I have left because I've run out of options here until he hits 4th grade--if he even GETS to 4th grade. Our school does exceptionally well on the standarized testing and on paper, they look fabulous. But....when a child bombs that test--oh boy, the child study team does everything under the sun to provide help because then *they* look bad and it is all about the #s and how high we get rated. They haven't yet figured out that they wouldn't have to do so much work if they didn't wait until 4th grade to help children.

    Thanks again for your reply. I'll pick myself up and move foward, it is just a hard road to fight with the school over and over. And over.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Can you???

    CAn you seek the advice of an advocate? That is what I would do. I don't like the sound of this.
    Joy






    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaG View Post
    I have to reply again, because on the outside looking in at your situation I am seeing so many problems:

    1) If your ds has a 'normal' IQ, but it (sorry this sounds harsh) effectively failing K, then either there is a problem with the assement from which they got the 'normal IQ' or a problem with the teacher or the form of classroom instruction. You need to put pressure on them to figure out which one it is.

    2) I am astounded that they will not consider outside assessments provided you have got them from a properly degreed/licensed individual. They fact that they won't consider outside assessments seems like a red flag, unless the school district has a multidisciplinary team that includes pt, ot, a psychologist, and a vision and hearing team.

    3) I would be highly suspect of IQ results done on a 6 yr old. We had this issue when my ds was 7. He was obviously bright, but having some behaviour problems. The school psych did an IQ test the month after he turned 7 and he came out normal. His behavioural screening was showing 'clinically significant' and 'at risk' behaviour issues. School coded him as having 'emotional problems.' I took him to a developmental pedi, who did the 20 min assessment and said he had ADHD, or some immaturity issues that were ADHD-like. I started reading up on ADHD and felt it wasn't a good fit. Meanwhile, ds was having meltdowns in class and the school was 'accomodating' him by giving him stickers when he had a good day, and allowing him to leave the classroom without asking the teacher if he was getting upset, which didn't seem to be helping things at all.

    Fast forward 3 years of this, and I was at the end of my tether. I started googling his 'symptoms' one night and kept coming up with high functioning autism. I went back to the developmental pedi and asked if she would rule it out. She (thankfully) took us seriously because I took his report cards, teacher comments, teacher notes home about his behaviour as well as the results of some autism screening inventories I found on line (and that dh and I completed independantly about ds and both came up with at risk scores). Pedi arranged a multidisciplinary assessment - vision, hearing, full medical, ot, pt, speech, IQ testing, parent interview and psych evaluation. In isolation, many of the results were within the range of 'normal'. It was only when they put everything together did they start seeing problems. His IQ is 'high average' overall, but within the subscores, his reading and verbal abilities are above the 99th percentile. His visual perception and reasoning skills are 65th percentile - average, but a huge difference between the verbal and the reasoning. PT found he was 'normal' but with some minor gross motor delays, some odd muscle stiffness. OT found he was 'normal' but noted he had a hard time mirroring skills and really odd ways of writing and some minor coordination issues. Speech found he was 'normal' but noted an odd prosey to his tone and echolalia. Psych felt he was engaging and polite and 'normal', but about 30 min into the psych observation, ds launched into a monologue about budgies (his obession at the time) and proceeded to talk about this for 15 minutes. He made eye contact only twice during a 60 min observation, frequently held a wall clock that was on the desk in the observation room to his ear (because he likes the ticking) and then dissected it, removing all the gears, explained to the examiner in great detail what each part was for, and reassembled it so it would work. In whole, the psych said she felt this was textbook Asperger's syndrome - he was high functioning and able to mask his deficits when looked at in isolation, but put them all together and there was really something going on. Many high functioning kids can do quite well in a one on one controlled environment (like an assessment) but in school with social interaction, distraction, noise, interrupted routines etc, it falls apart.

    I guess what i am trying to say is that you need the multidisciplinary assessment. I would start finding out (and getting on the waitlist) for a child development clinic affiliated with a children's hospital. Get your pedi or fam doctor to refer you, or in the interim, get a referral to a neurologist or a developmental optometrist (again, ones affiliated with children's hospitals if possible). If the school won't provide it, then you need to insist that they will accept the results of any privately obtained assessments you get. You really want (if possible) a team assessment that collates together all the individual assessments and looks at what the findings (even the 'normal' ones) mean to your child as a functioning whole.

    I know this is totally overwhelming. It is going to take a lot of time to get it all worked out, so this all doesn't have to be solved tomorrow. Tiny, baby steps will get you there. Even starting to question the school and not accept their 'he is fine' statements is a baby step, so you have already started this journey.

    Hope tomorrow is a brighter one. Let us know how it goes.

    Amanda

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