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I got mad and pulled DS out of school


MedicMom
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After finding him crying and rocking back and forth in the cool down room, crouched in a cubby in the closet. For the fourth time in two weeks. He's autistic and has autistic behaviors that are sometimes difficult, but the school is making next to no attempt to manage the overstimulation he's struggling with.

 

I told the assistant principal after they called me yesterday morning to come get him that he wouldn't be back. I have fourteen days to submit my letter of intent to homeschool, which I will on Monday. The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

 

I know it was a knee jerk reaction, and I've been sick in bed for a week, but all I feel is relief.

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… The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." …

They said this to you after you found him crying in a closet while in their care???  (Maybe I'm missing something)

 

Hugs to you both and hope you get to feeling better.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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They said this to you after you found him crying in a closet while in their care??? (Maybe I'm missing something)

 

Hugs to you both and hope you get to feeling better. :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

You're not missing anything. This was the fourth time I've come to get him, either at the end of the day or when they called and said I needed to come take him home, when he's been crouched in this cubby in a closet sobbing. The fourth time in two weeks.

Pretty sure I'm not the one who's handicapping my child's education.

 

I've developed a good relationship with his teacher and counselor, and that makes me a little sad. But I also have a 103 degree temp and a wicked sore throat and I can't think right now. I might be doing this all wrong.

Edited by MedicMom
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You're not missing anything. This was the fourth time I've come to get him, either at the end of the day or when they called and said I needed to come take him home, when he's been crouched in this cubby in a closet sobbing. The fourth time in two weeks.

Pretty sure I'm not the one who's handicapping my child's education.

 

I've developed a good relationship with his teacher and counselor, and that makes me a little sad. But I also have a 103 degree temp and a wicked sore throat and I can't think right now. I might be doing this all wrong.

 

I am so sorry you are so sick.

 

I think your reaction is 100% reasonable and their response is so so wrong.

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:grouphug:

 

I'm so sorry this happened.

 

And I'll be crabby with you... Do they think what's been happening to him won't "harm him academically and socially"?

 

Spring at home, summer off, and 6months to grow, mature, and time to explore or rest or whatever he needs... should hopefully help you make the best decision for next school year of you need to reevaluate.

 

Good luck, and I hope you feel better.

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Homeschooling doesn't have to hold back an autistic child. The only problem is if you want to make an effort at providing social opportunities. I was a member of at least 3 groups that had park days and other get togethers so my children could see other people outside our house. It kept us busy for several years and was worth the aggravation of coordinating it all.

 

I'm sorry you're sick but I think I'd have reacted the same way. My poor ds was coming home from Kindergarten every day and having a meltdown as soon as he walked in the door from being overstimulated all day. It was really a bad environment for him. His school tried to guilt me into not taking him out but I had researched the laws and told them some things they seemed to not know. I walked out with my child and didn't look back.

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After finding him crying and rocking back and forth in the cool down room, crouched in a cubby in the closet. For the fourth time in two weeks. He's autistic and has autistic behaviors that are sometimes difficult, but the school is making next to no attempt to manage the overstimulation he's struggling with.

 

I told the assistant principal after they called me yesterday morning to come get him that he wouldn't be back. I have fourteen days to submit my letter of intent to homeschool, which I will on Monday. The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

 

I know it was a knee jerk reaction, and I've been sick in bed for a week, but all I feel is relief.

The part I bolded seems to be the exact description of what the school has been doing so far! They're just scared because they'll lose funding. Well, boo hoo. I think you're doing the absolute BEST thing for your son! You go, mama!

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

You did the right thing.  He is already being harmed socially and academically.  How could it possibly be a healthy environment if this poor child is hiding in a cabinet sobbing his heart out multiple times in a two week period?  They are clueless and you made the right call.  Hang in there.  

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The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

I can never think of a response like that in the moment so kudos to you for standing up for yourself. I remembering having to go several rounds with the school district when I pulled my NT child out. They always thought that they could "discuss" things with me. I eventually gave up and had dh call. Two minutes later he had it taken care of.

 

Stinks that it had to happen, but it sounds to me like you handled it just fine.

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After finding him crying and rocking back and forth in the cool down room, crouched in a cubby in the closet. For the fourth time in two weeks. He's autistic and has autistic behaviors that are sometimes difficult, but the school is making next to no attempt to manage the overstimulation he's struggling with.

 

I told the assistant principal after they called me yesterday morning to come get him that he wouldn't be back. I have fourteen days to submit my letter of intent to homeschool, which I will on Monday. The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

 

I know it was a knee jerk reaction, and I've been sick in bed for a week, but all I feel is relief.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Definitely *not* a knee-jerk reaction. A wise, loving parent reaction.

 

I'm not surprised that the school responded as it did. Idiots. Do not engage in conversation with them. OTOH, you might consider joining HSLDA, because schools tend to be more bothered by the withdrawal of children with special needs, which might or might not be related to the fact that they get extra funds for children who are officially recognized as having special needs...

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My friend had the same sort of thing happen to her. Multiple times where her autistic son was hiding under tables, rocking and miserable, while the class was bellowing around him.

 

She did not want to homeschool AT ALL, but she finally had enough. One teacher either flat out said or strongly implied that she didn't believe her son had autism at all.

 

Oh, and another friend came to the school (a different one) to find her autistic son wandering around outside, because he was so distressed in class that he got up and left. He'd been sneaking out of the classroom a lot, but had stayed hiding in the building until that last time.

 

She also didn't want to homeschool, but if her child is wandering around outside on the streets...

 

Some schools really have no clue about how to handle autistic kids. Especially if they don't look autistic. They're not in silence, rocking so they seem NT when you look at them, but they're not.

 

Even though you were sick, your reaction sounds the same as my two friends who finally pulled their kids when they were healthy and thinking clearly. And my friends who pulled them out didn't want to homeschool. It's not like they were looking for reasons to pull the kids. They were looking for reasons to keep them in, but there weren't enough reasons to keep them in.

 

They still don't love homeschooling. They do it as a necessity but not a love. But it's the best thing for their kids.

Edited by Garga
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Being left to self-soothe for hours at a time in isolation is not educating him. I would rather have a child who is safe and treated with love and respect, but not as well-educated, than a child who is tossed aside when his needs interfere with the classroom lesson plans while supposedly being educated by an expert. The only thing he was learning at that school was that no one cared to understand or help him.

 

I understand the timing was not the best, but you made the right decision for your child.

 

Feel better.

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After homeschooling my oldest two, dd10's special needs are a bit too much for me to deal with at home (and maintain my own sanity).   I have been in your position sooooo many times.Desperately wanting to bring her home, but in my case (not saying it applies to you) knowing it was not the right decision for me.

 

So many months of ... Waiting, as the school district goes through protocol,  Waiting, when I know their new 'plan' isn't going to work.  Waiting, as they hold meetings.....lots of meetings, trying to decide what to do.  Waiting, while they check the boxes of things they have tried (and failed).  Waiting, as they do harm my daughter and often other kids, teachers and property in the process.  I have never had to advocate so hard for anything in all my life.  There are weeks, when I talk on the phone  to the teacher every.single.day.  Her school's protocol is that, any significant event gets a phone call home after school, by the main teacher, to give the parent a run down on the day.  If your school doesn't have this protocol in place, then I would suggest getting it written into his IEP.  It really, really changes the relationship between the parent and teacher to have communication that isn't written in a short note on a piece of paper. 

 

I can completely understand you wanting to make the school program work for your child and your family.  Raising an autistic child is exhausting and emotionally draining on a normal day.  Trying to educate a child who has significant special needs, is 10 fold harder than a NT child. Having the optimism, that the school programs will be beneficial, on some level, is all that gets some of us families (with special needs kiddos) through the day sometimes. 

 

I really hope that if you decide to home school him, that it is a wonderful experience for both of you, and your family.  Academically, it will likely help him be leaps-and-bounds ahead of where he would get in a classroom.  It will reduce his stimulus triggered stress.  But, there are trade offs too.  There are benefits of school based programs, that are unique to each child/parent/family.  If you decide to keep trying to work with the school, I hope that you can change things for the better!!  It is really a trade off of pros and cons, on a level that NT parents doesn't have to deal with.  I wish I had the strength and mental fortitude to home school dd10.  It is my own decision to keep her in her school, but there are many, many days when I wish I could pull her. 

 

Either way, I wish the best for you and yours.  And that you get better soon! 

Edited by Tap
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After finding him crying and rocking back and forth in the cool down room, crouched in a cubby in the closet. For the fourth time in two weeks. He's autistic and has autistic behaviors that are sometimes difficult, but the school is making next to no attempt to manage the overstimulation he's struggling with.

 

I told the assistant principal after they called me yesterday morning to come get him that he wouldn't be back. I have fourteen days to submit my letter of intent to homeschool, which I will on Monday. The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

 

I know it was a knee jerk reaction, and I've been sick in bed for a week, but all I feel is relief.

 

I'm so sorry.

 

the bolded really caught me.  "like having so much anxiety from the teachers in the school that he runs away and cries while rocking back and forth in an attempt to sooth himself?"

sheesh.

 

reminds  me of a friend who was told by someone at church her kids were socially isolated from other kids.  she responded "they learn all about what worldly kids are like from associating with kids at church."

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Academically, DS is a breeze. He is 2E and on the gifted spectrum as well, and academics come very easily to him. He is smart and curious and loves to learn, just as long as it's not in a classroom or he is being made to do repetitive things he already knows.

Behaviorally, I really don't have the issues at home that they have at school. Partly that's because I can manage the sensory issues much more easily than they can in a classroom, and partly because it's simply easier to manage the behaviors one on one.

 

Mostly, I feel a little sad that it didn't work out, and a little guilty for taking him away from his friends and counselor that he loves. But it's not a good situation, and it's time to bring him home.

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Does he have an IEP? Is this his first year there? It sounds like he doesn't have a correct placement and correct supports. Autism is really ugly in the ps system, imho. Like if you get a diagnosis young and go through EI and slide into your IEP, fine. But if you are say homeschooling and don't get that and slip under the radar, then when you go in they start with well he's so gifted, he should be mainstreamed, it's all YOUR fault, etc. My ds has an IEP, so we lived it. :(

 

Now I'm right where you are, with a 2E ds with ASD and SLDs to boot. (3E?) Anyways, I would be concerned about being rash in your position. I take what the school is saying as a threat to call in child services. You've been sick. Does the dc have an IEP or not? His placement sounds very, very wrong and he's CLEARLY not getting enough support. What's happening is absolutely positively not acceptable.

 

I'm just concerned because the reasons you put him in in the first place haven't gone away. So now you're going to bring in ABA at home? You're going to get services and a behaviorist at home? We have that. It's really not enough to say well he can function at home just not in your lousy ps environment. The whole world is lousy. Gonna need services, an IEP, supports. No matter where he is, he's still going to need interventions to gain the skills to self-regulate and function in those environments. As you say, the academics are nothing, easy peasy. The challenge is the behavior, the self-regulation.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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This was the fourth time I've come to get him, either at the end of the day or when they called and said I needed to come take him home, when he's been crouched in this cubby in a closet sobbing. The fourth time in two weeks.

:grouphug: to your son and you. This is not okay. You're doing the right thing.

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It does not sound to me like this school is equipped to "Handle" your son, in a gentle manner.  I think you are doing the correct thing and I hope you get well soon.  103 temp is no joke, as you well know from your user name.  Get well soon!

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Does he have an IEP? Is this his first year there? It sounds like he doesn't have a correct placement and correct supports. Autism is really ugly in the ps system, imho. Like if you get a diagnosis young and go through EI and slide into your IEP, fine. But if you are say homeschooling and don't get that and slip under the radar, then when you go in they start with well he's so gifted, he should be mainstreamed, it's all YOUR fault, etc. My ds has an IEP, so we lived it. :(

 

Now I'm right where you are, with a 2E ds with ASD and SLDs to boot. (3E?) Anyways, I would be concerned about being rash in your position. I take what the school is saying as a threat to call in child services. You've been sick. Does the dc have an IEP or not? His placement sounds very, very wrong and he's CLEARLY not getting enough support. What's happening is absolutely positively not acceptable.

 

I'm just concerned because the reasons you put him in in the first place haven't gone away. So now you're going to bring in ABA at home? You're going to get services and a behaviorist at home? We have that. It's really not enough to say well he can function at home just not in your lousy ps environment. The whole world is lousy. Gonna need services, an IEP, supports. No matter where he is, he's still going to need interventions to gain the skills to self-regulate and function in those environments. As you say, the academics are nothing, easy peasy. The challenge is the behavior, the self-regulation.

 

You really think the whole world is as chaotic, demanding, and inflexible an environment as a public school classroom?

 

I disagree.  DS8 has adhd characteristics and does not do well in full day, every day classroom settings with 20+ kids his age and both the stimulation that entails and the need for rigid control it also entails.

 

However, he does fine at home (obviously the other end of the spectrum re: stimulation and behavioral control) and also manages at stores, visiting grandmothers, hockey practice, parks, restaurants, libraries, waiting in line at the post office, etc.  The world is nothing like an elementary classroom.  

 

Some social skills development is necessary, sure - but to say that he will have to succeed in lousy environments for 8 hours a day is just not true. 

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Does he have an IEP? Is this his first year there? It sounds like he doesn't have a correct placement and correct supports. Autism is really ugly in the ps system, imho. Like if you get a diagnosis young and go through EI and slide into your IEP, fine. But if you are say homeschooling and don't get that and slip under the radar, then when you go in they start with well he's so gifted, he should be mainstreamed, it's all YOUR fault, etc. My ds has an IEP, so we lived it. :(

 

Now I'm right where you are, with a 2E ds with ASD and SLDs to boot. (3E?) Anyways, I would be concerned about being rash in your position. I take what the school is saying as a threat to call in child services. You've been sick. Does the dc have an IEP or not? His placement sounds very, very wrong and he's CLEARLY not getting enough support. What's happening is absolutely positively not acceptable.

 

I'm just concerned because the reasons you put him in in the first place haven't gone away. So now you're going to bring in ABA at home? You're going to get services and a behaviorist at home? We have that. It's really not enough to say well he can function at home just not in your lousy ps environment. The whole world is lousy. Gonna need services, an IEP, supports. No matter where he is, he's still going to need interventions to gain the skills to self-regulate and function in those environments. As you say, the academics are nothing, easy peasy. The challenge is the behavior, the self-regulation.

He has an IEP, but all he qualifies for is an inclusion classroom and once a week pull out counseling. The school does not have a behaviorist or ABA therapist, and he does not qualify for the nearest school that does(it is forty minutes away and they serve three counties, only taking the most severe cases. He doesn't meet the qualifications). We have been turned down for OPWDD and Medicaid waiver, even after appeal.

So yes, his IEP will follow him wherever he goes by law, but since they already aren't providing services beyond once a week counseling, it's pretty much a moot point.

 

He completed kindergarten in the most restrictive classroom they offer, the 12:1:1 room. However, he never really met the qualifications for that either, as it is a class for the intellectually disabled. So he got placed in inclusion this year. We did ask if there is a way for him to go back to 12:1:1, but they only have one class and it's over capacity. This is a very small school, TBH, and they have a total of three special education teachers, two counselors and one school psychologist handling the needs of all special needs students.

Edited by MedicMom
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You really think the whole world is as chaotic, demanding, and inflexible an environment as a public school classroom?

 

I disagree.  DS8 has adhd characteristics and does not do well in full day, every day classroom settings with 20+ kids his age and both the stimulation that entails and the need for rigid control it also entails.

 

However, he does fine at home (obviously the other end of the spectrum re: stimulation and behavioral control) and also manages at stores, visiting grandmothers, hockey practice, parks, restaurants, libraries, waiting in line at the post office, etc.  The world is nothing like an elementary classroom.  

 

Some social skills development is necessary, sure - but to say that he will have to succeed in lousy environments for 8 hours a day is just not true. 

I'm missing something here. Your dc has ADHD or ASD characteristics? I just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing. My dd has ADHD with sensory issues, and it's just not even comparable. And yes, the world can be lousy and hard, full of unwritten rules and pitfalls and overloading situations when you have autism. I have my ds out quite a bit, every single day, lots of situations, and it's HARD. We've had to work HARD to keep him out from under tables and overwhelmed. I just changed churches with him, because he was coming back from church in the state the op's boy is.

 

Absolutely NOT am I saying she should put him back in there. What I am saying is that there is severe discrimination when you go into the ps, under-servicing, especially of 2E/3E kids, and that he does not have adequate services or proper placement. Those things should not be happening. They're what would happen with my 2E boy in that situation, and I can tell you flat out I know what my ds' IEP says. My ds has an IEP, and they wouldn't leave him in that situation. I don't have my boy enrolled, because I take a disability scholarship from the state and do things at home with service providers. So clearly I think homeschooling CAN be a good choice. But to be sick, yank the kid, have no IEP, and go that crap school was mishandling my boy, well reality is you have to work the system if you want to be in the system.

 

So it goes back to basics. Does he have an IEP? Have they acknowledged his disabling condition as autism? Is he receiving services, an aide, pullouts, or the option of a different placement? When the ps cannot provide adequate services, they also have a process of complete placement, where the ps PAYS to enroll that dc in a different school that CAN meet his needs. 

 

She may need legal counsel and help to go through the IEP process. 

Edited by OhElizabeth
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He has an IEP, but all he qualifies for is an inclusion classroom and once a week pull out counseling. The school does not have a behaviorist or ABA therapist, and he does not qualify for the nearest school that does(it is forty minutes away and they serve three counties, only taking the most severe cases. He doesn't meet the qualifications). We have been turned down for OPWDD and Medicaid waiver, even after appeal.

So yes, his IEP will follow him wherever he goes by law, but since they already aren't providing services beyond once a week counseling, it's pretty much a moot point.

 

He completed kindergarten in the most restrictive classroom they offer, the 12:1:1 room. However, he never really met the qualifications for that either, as it is a class for the intellectually disabled. So he got placed in inclusion this year. We did ask if there is a way for him to go back to 12:1:1, but they only have one class and it's over capacity. This is a very small school, TBH, and they have a total of three special education teachers, two counselors and one school psychologist handling the needs of all special needs students.

 

Our state has disability advocacy lawyers. Things may not change without a lawyer. Don't ask me how much I hate the IEP process, sigh. Hate it. This is the kind of mess we ran into too. Our ps has a flat policy (not in state law or from the dept of ed, btw) saying that ASD1 gets no IEP for their ASD. Like seriously, nothing. Just walk the halls, give it up, no services at all. 

 

There are a bunch of in-between options, but odds are they're shafting you. More could happen, but it doesn't happen without data, without a lawyer. You have the legal right to request independent evals that they pay for. Those evals can be used to dispute the level of ASD or placement. Clearly if a dc is being sent home multiple days his placement is not adequate.

 

The whole thing is way ugly. I'm just going back to wondering why you enrolled him in the first place and what has changed. If that hasn't changed, if you don't have improved access to whatever services you needed that you didn't have before, then it may be that fighting the IEP is the way to go. 

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I'm so sorry this happened to you and your son, that you are sick, and that the school is treating you like this. If it were me, I would not agree to meet with them at all.  You are not obligated to do it, they will only badger you, and I'm sort of thinking no good could possibly come of it.  Just my 2 cents.

 

I'd take that one step further and say that they ONLY way I'd meet with them at this point is with a lawyer. If he has to be enrolled another two weeks, you ask them to make that meeting an IEP meeting and tell them you're bringing a lawyer. That will force them to bring THEIR lawyer, and although that sounds really contentious it's actually a good thing. At that point, their lawyer will haul their person aside and point out where they're not using sound legal judgment. Then things happen. ;)

 

Don't play nice in the IEP process. You've been shafted. Bring a lawyer. If you don't, THEY hold all the cards.

SaveSave

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Check, but because you are enrolled you should have the legal right to request a BIP. A BIP forces their hand and compels them to bring in a behaviorist. They also have other placement options. Even for ASD 1, there's more they can do and must do. But to get it done, you'll have to fight through the IEP process, which is admittedly arduous. Just because your school doesn't want to do it or fund it doesn't mean they can't be compelled.

 

 

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I'd take that one step further and say that they ONLY way I'd meet with them at this point is with a lawyer. If he has to be enrolled another two weeks, you ask them to make that meeting an IEP meeting and tell them you're bringing a lawyer. That will force them to bring THEIR lawyer, and although that sounds really contentious it's actually a good thing. At that point, their lawyer will haul their person aside and point out where they're not using sound legal judgment. Then things happen. ;)

 

Don't play nice in the IEP process. You've been shafted. Bring a lawyer. If you don't, THEY hold all the cards.

Save

Save

Fortunately we've had an attorney all along. I suspect we're stuck in a no man's land and a poor school district when it comes to special needs services. We had enrolled him in kindergarten because (a) we naively thought we'd receive services and (b) I had a brand new preemie at the time that needed a lot(more like ALL) of my time and attention and a three year old at home. The baby is now almost two and doing fine, and DD is thriving in pre-k. This gives me a lot more ability to establish the routine and structure DS needs.

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All this! You showed him that no matter what, you are on his side and you have his back. You will rescue him. You will be there for him. That lesson is worth more than any other. Period. 

Being left to self-soothe for hours at a time in isolation is not educating him. I would rather have a child who is safe and treated with love and respect, but not as well-educated, than a child who is tossed aside when his needs interfere with the classroom lesson plans while supposedly being educated by an expert. The only thing he was learning at that school was that no one cared to understand or help him.

I understand the timing was not the best, but you made the right decision for your child.

Feel better.

 

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(Hugs).

 

You need to do what's right for you. PS are a lottery wrt services. I would not consider once a week pull out counseling worth it unless you need him in PS as a personal or family decision. Unless they beg you to stay and have hours of ABA therapy and real services and help daily, it's unlikely they can do as good as you, not to mention better than you.

 

I hope you feel better too.

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That's probably why you've gotten as much as you have, honestly. Because our ps, without an advocate, was giving us diddley. 

 

Just your word to the wise or whatever (and not to make any pressure, lol), but it has been really good for us to have outside activities. The Y has been really good for us.

 

Well remember you can come over to LC and blow off steam and talk shop! Everyone seems to find their own unique mix. 

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You really think the whole world is as chaotic, demanding, and inflexible an environment as a public school classroom?

 

Some social skills development is necessary, sure - but to say that he will have to succeed in lousy environments for 8 hours a day is just not true. 

 

We pulled Geezle after PPCD because of the school district's inability to shape his behavior. He was shaping theirs instead. We homeschooled for 8 years and then he tried my patience past the breaking point and I enrolled him in middle school just to get him out of the house for 8 hours a day. Lo and behold, middle school special ed was nothing like PPCD or elementary special ed. The room was pretty calm. There were spaces to decompress if he got too stimulated. The teacher and aide would actually suggest that to him if he started to get agitated and he learned to recognize his needs himself. They had a structured day that worked for him and allowed him to do a few loud activities with general ed students and then come back and regroup. It was an excellent environment for Geezle and his classmates. He's now in Applied Skills in high school and they're continuing to work on his ability to handle chaos more calmly. They do a really good job of developing the non-academic skills kids need to be able to get a regular job. For kids without an ID but who do have ASD, they include them in the Applied Skills gym and theater classes to give them a social space where they don't have to conform to NT standards all the time. It's a bit of a break in their day.

 

So, even if 1st grade is a total disaster, MedicMom, it doesn't mean you're locked in to 12 years of homeschooling. It may be the best option for the next few years but kids change and schools aren't uniform either. Sometimes they're better with older kids than younger ones or vice versa.

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I'm sorry.  Are there no schools nearby designed for children on the autism spectrum?  If you are worried about cost, there might be state scholarships.  Either way, best of luck.  I would have taken him out too.  :(

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I'm so sorry that he has been going through this and so sorry you had to deal with it while you are sick and yet so proud of you for standing up from him.

 

Just my quick anecdotal story on how homeschooling handicaps ASD children academically and socially: my ASD ds is a sophomore in college. We started homeschooling at the start of 6th grade. When I took him into the school for testing in high school (for accommodations with the ACT/college boards) the person who did  he testing and the coordinator I worked with were amazed by him. They told me he would never have reached the academic & social levels he had if he'd stayed in their school district all the way through. They even offered me a job teaching in the high school special ed department. I told them I wasn't certified and they offered to sponsor my certification. 

 

Apparently homeschooling doesn't have to spell disaster for an ASD kiddo.

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You really think the whole world is as chaotic, demanding, and inflexible an environment as a public school classroom?

 

I disagree. DS8 has adhd characteristics and does not do well in full day, every day classroom settings with 20+ kids his age and both the stimulation that entails and the need for rigid control it also entails.

 

However, he does fine at home (obviously the other end of the spectrum re: stimulation and behavioral control) and also manages at stores, visiting grandmothers, hockey practice, parks, restaurants, libraries, waiting in line at the post office, etc. The world is nothing like an elementary classroom.

 

Some social skills development is necessary, sure - but to say that he will have to succeed in lousy environments for 8 hours a day is just not true.

ADHD is not the same thing as ASD and homeschooling a child with ADHD doesn't qualify you to draw conclusions about homeschooling a child with ASD.

 

I've homeschooled a 2e child with ASD for 7 years now. Oh Elizabeth is right- services and supports will be needed at home and in the community for most kids with ASD who can't attend school.

 

The psychologist who dx my son told me the best outcomes she sees for 2e kids with ASD are often from homeschooling. In my experience this has been the case for my son. So I totally do support homeschooling for kids with ASD.

 

That said, it's a time intensive process and the OP has previously indicated that they opted for school because she works FT. Getting a plan in place moving forwards to homeschool a 2e child with ASD and get him the therapeutic supports he needs is going to be a FT job on it's own. She may decide to opt to continue receiving some services from the public schools even if he is homeschooled. Many homeschooling families with special needs kids do this.

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After finding him crying and rocking back and forth in the cool down room, crouched in a cubby in the closet. For the fourth time in two weeks. He's autistic and has autistic behaviors that are sometimes difficult, but the school is making next to no attempt to manage the overstimulation he's struggling with.

 

I told the assistant principal after they called me yesterday morning to come get him that he wouldn't be back. I have fourteen days to submit my letter of intent to homeschool, which I will on Monday. The school just called me and said they want to have a meeting on Tuesday before I do "something that might handicap him academically and socially." I'm recovering from the flu and not in the best of moods, but I managed to explain that my twelve years of homeschooling didn't seem to hinder my acceptance to (and subsequent graduation from) any colleges or graduate schools.

 

I know it was a knee jerk reaction, and I've been sick in bed for a week, but all I feel is relief.

 

They think YOU'RE going to do something to hold him back academically and socially? Because an autistic child rocking back and forth and crying in a cubby on multiple days is the result of good academics and socialization? Were they even trying to help him? Were they following whatever educational plan you had in place? Sheesh. Your poor little guy. (And poor you for having to deal with this situation when you're so sick.)

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Can I just say that I'm so proud of what you said regarding homeschooling?  Formally homeschooled kids are the best one to quiet these voices b/c those of us who were not homeschooled will always have that little voice inside saying "What if they are right? What if this experiment is a failure?"  But you have lived it and know and have the confidence.

 

I have been a ps and private school teacher.  I have worked with autistic children in a special ed school.  I think you are doing the right thing. Completely.

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They said this to you after you found him crying in a closet while in their care??? (Maybe I'm missing something)

 

Hugs to you both and hope you get to feeling better. :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

I know right? We wouldn't want to do something damaging like overstimulate him to the point of meltdowns and then leave him flipping out alone in a room. Sheeeeesh.

 

You did the right thing. It sounds like the environment isn't well suited to him, at the very least.

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I do work FT--but I'm only gone two days a week since I work 24 hour shifts. My husband is home when I'm gone, and my mother is willing to homeschool DS those days. She has 32 years of homeschooling experience, including homeschooling a child with ASD and two others with various learning disabilities, so she's quite up to the task.

 

While his IEP will go with him, he isn't getting many services as it is. I was hoping for social skills groups and such, but frankly it's not going to happen. According to my lawyer, they are doing the minimum required by law, so technically, they don't have to offer anything else.

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...

The psychologist who dx my son told me the best outcomes she sees for 2e kids with ASD are often from homeschooling. In my experience this has been the case for my son. So I totally do support homeschooling for kids with ASD.

 

That said, it's a time intensive process and the OP has previously indicated that they opted for school because she works FT. Getting a plan in place moving forwards to homeschool a 2e child with ASD and get him the therapeutic supports he needs is going to be a FT job on it's own. She may decide to opt to continue receiving some services from the public schools even if he is homeschooled. Many homeschooling families with special needs kids do this.

 

That's very interesting and encouraging! And yeah, I didn't realize op was working FT. Honestly, I don't know how you're planning to make progress doing that. My ds is ASD1, pushing into 2, with certain behaviors that are ASD3. I agree with Lucy that he is a FT job. He's MORE than a FT job actually. I bring in workers 4 days a week, and still it's exhausting, keeping things ready for them, coordinating, problem solving. I'm always trying to keep up and learn so I can generalize, so I can take something one person is doing and carry it over to the rest of the day and week. It's a lot! And when I'm not doing that, I'm working with him or taking him places while providing support. It's a lot! But I have him out a LOT. I think it's very, very important that he have all these opportunities to stretch his skills. And really, it shows. He's doing really well, overall.

 

The main thing though is that he can't have the amount of alone time that other NT kids get. If he does, he begins to withdraw and become non-compliant. I would HIGHLY CAUTION you against listening to advice from parents of NT kids about what is reasonable or appropriate for your ASD dc. It can really, really backfire. With my ds, more is more. Less is not more. If I'm not working with him, my goal is to have someone else who is. I try to have very little "feral" time, time where he's just off in his own world doing his own thing. It just takes too much to pull him back.

 

I'm sure kids vary. I'm just saying for me, having homeschooled a non-ASD dc all the way through, that was the biggest shock. I thought that would fade, and in fact it's just the opposite. To get the effect that is homeschooling, you'll want to put in time or have other workers putting in the time. If your time is limited, I would definitely consider joint approaches or renewing your advocacy efforts. Might be time to bring back in the lawyer. 

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 It sounds like the environment isn't well suited to him, at the very least.

 

Again, the onus is back on the school. You call the lawyer and you say hey my *E#aesh;alj school district gave inclusive but not specifically autism placement, and he's been sent home multiple days, is hiding under the table, is having all kinds of problems. Let the lawyer step in and solve it. The school is acknowledging they have a problem. There are placements that could solve this.

 

Just as an observation, people have successfully litigated for replacement services for education not received because the school mishandled the case. You can literally add up all those hours he missed from being sent home because they wouldn't provide an aide, wouldn't provide a better placement, and take them to court over this. They know that. 

 

IEPs are ugly, terribly ugly. I started off playing so nice and thought they would do whatever they thought was best. Then, after a year and so many hassles, I realized they were stonewalling because they knew my ds was very complex and that even upping the ante wouldn't actually meet his needs. In my ds' case, he could eventually qualify for full placement if he went into that setting and was STILL having issues (which he doubtless would). And full placement would be shockingly expensive. So the REAL reason they stonewalled was because they didn't want it to get to that point. Had nothing to do with the measley little in-between steps.

 

It's all about how little they can get away with and skid them through. So yeah that's why my gifted in math with math disabilities kid isn't in there, obviously. 

 

Well I'm just on a rant. Good luck on the work thing. That's rough. So he's compliant at home? I pay my workers to play with my kid. You have other kids, so that can help. If they're more typically-developing, they might be able to play with him. I actually pay workers to play with my kid. There's just a lot that needs to be done! If he's easy going enough to work with anyone, you might bring in a grandma figure or a homeschool teen or someone and have them work with him. I'm guessing though that as you increase demands, he'll be under the table for you just like he was at school. Might be the sensory, or it might be the demands. And, unfortunately, that's not easy to get around.

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I do work FT--but I'm only gone two days a week since I work 24 hour shifts. My husband is home when I'm gone, and my mother is willing to homeschool DS those days. She has 32 years of homeschooling experience, including homeschooling a child with ASD and two others with various learning disabilities, so she's quite up to the task.

 

While his IEP will go with him, he isn't getting many services as it is. I was hoping for social skills groups and such, but frankly it's not going to happen. According to my lawyer, they are doing the minimum required by law, so technically, they don't have to offer anything else.

 

That's exciting to have so much support! Since your mom is such a saint, I would ask her to get the materials from SocialThinking.com and have her start using them with him. She'd be a focused person to handle that, so I would delegate it to her. And I would ask her to play with him and practice calming breaks. They can do 5 Point Scale, ALERT, etc. also. That work on self-regulation, on social thinking, etc. will be super valuable. And play, just something as mundane as having her PLAY with him will be super valuable! 

 

Maybe what you do is vary the play. Like sometimes he has to work independently for 10 min at an independent work station with choices, and THEN he gets to play for 15 minutes with Granny. Kwim? Like use the play as a motivator. And sometimes he gets alone time to play with Granny (where she can really focus on language and social skills) and sometimes he does group play with his siblings as well. That will be harder for him probably to be gentle, stay calm, and be appropriate.

 

A lot of times Grannies are kind of low demand. They know how to work around things and they quietly make it work rather than causing a fuss and a ruffle. Really though, for his own good, she's going to need to make demands. She CAN be really valuable here, doing just like my ABA workers do, slowly increasing demands while being a lot of fun. She can do a lot for you here. However if she comes in and does the Granny thing and just works around him and doesn't have him gently learning to comply with demands, then she's actually undoing your efforts.

 

It took us quite a while to understand the demand dynamic. I'm just saying *question* your interpretation of what was happening at school. I agree he should not have been under the table and having blow-ups, totally agree. However I would not assume it was only sensory overload. They probably make more demands than he's used to, and he's having a hard time complying. And maybe it WAS exclusively sensory. Like maybe he needs some more PT/OT for his sensory, sure. But I'm guessing not. If he's mortal and human, I'm just guessing he has an issue with complying with demands. And the people who go "Oh, well he has no problems with me!" are getting there because they skirt making demands. And the people/situations where he has trouble may involve him complying with demands. 

 

It's just your super huge danger point to make sure you're nailing, the ability to comply with demands. And maybe you are! You're on top of so many other things, you probably are. *I* wasn't, so I had a huge learning curve there. I'm telling you the mistakes *I* made. I didn't see why he was doing better in some environments than others.

 

Your mother can also take him on outings very profitably. Does he have challenging behaviors anywhere? The grocery store? Restaurants? Places with lines? Shopping? Whatever it is, working on his ability to go on an outing and have expected behavior would be an AWESOME use of her time. Sometimes she could take just him, sometimes all three, depending on his behavior challenges. I have a SIL who does this for me now, saint that she is. She'll take him on super short grocery trips for like 3 things. They come back with toys from the toy section and just a piddle of food, but he's doing better at having expected behaviors in the grocery store!

 

So again, if you can milk your people like that and get them to focus on social, on behaviors, etc., it's going to go a long way. Academics for my ds are a breeze in comparison. He INHALES knowledge. The real challenge is the behavior, the social thinking. I LOVE the Social Thinking materials. You can even go to their workshops, highly recommend. HIGHLY.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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On the flip side, for my 2E ASD son, less really is more. He does so much better with more down time. IN fact, he's blossoming in community college because fewer classes, and fewer hours in a classroom, works great for him. So I guess that's back to what they say...if you've seen one kid with ASD you've seen one kid with ASD. 

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I know right? We wouldn't want to do something damaging like overstimulate him to the point of meltdowns and then leave him flipping out alone in a room. 

 

Time in a calming room is a standard technique. The idea is to remove sensory input so they CAN calm down. It's safer for the children and for everyone. Some kids are not ready to calm down with people, so they have to be alone. It's not a situation where you like your dc to be obviously, but, having btdt, sometimes, until you fix the root problems, it's a tool you have to have. The school is not being inappropriate to do that.

 

Also, I'll say this again, but where's the ABC data on these incidences? The workers make behavioral logs or not?? Because I keep people saying overstimulation, blah blah, and that might not have been the actual issue. The function of the behavior, the antecdents could have been something totally different. If the parent is assuming it's sensory (lots of kids, noise, etc.) and the behavior for escape, fine, easy solutions there. (therapy, self-regulation practice, helping them self-advocate for breaks, etc.) However, it's entirely possible that the antecedent was something totally different, like the teacher was making demands and the dc was having none of it and not complying. Well then you've got a totally different pony.

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