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I think I’m homeschooling again(TW: school abuse)


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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I think every school here except private schools has an SRO.  We do have specific autism schools in the state but none closer than 90 minutes and probably more. 

 

I doubt he’ll qualify for job training.  We’ve had an impossible time getting services and right now school placement in a 6:1:1 and social skills group/therapy is all he gets. His IQ is high and  his adaptive skills always come out just enough over the cutoff to make us ineligible for everything.   We clearly need a new BIP and I am requesting a meeting for that.

Are there any private options? I pay for social skills group with a private specialist. It has been really, really good. My dd would get nothing in public school. She also does therapeutic horseback riding at a private facility that only works with the disabled. She has taken jobs skills classes there. They offer all kinds of stuff. hippotherapy, OT, SLP, etc. And they are so well funded through donations and grants that I've never had to pay a dime toward any of it. I will say... it wasn't easy finding out who/where/what offered these services. They don't advertise because they have waiting lists. We waited a year for the barn. So worth it though. 

I am so so sorry for what your son experienced. It's horrifying.

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50 minutes ago, popmom said:

Are there any private options? I pay for social skills group with a private specialist. It has been really, really good. My dd would get nothing in public school. She also does therapeutic horseback riding at a private facility that only works with the disabled. She has taken jobs skills classes there. They offer all kinds of stuff. hippotherapy, OT, SLP, etc. And they are so well funded through donations and grants that I've never had to pay a dime toward any of it. I will say... it wasn't easy finding out who/where/what offered these services. They don't advertise because they have waiting lists. We waited a year for the barn. So worth it though. 

I am so so sorry for what your son experienced. It's horrifying.

Unfortunately, no.  The only two private schools are small, church based schools with no resources for his needs and larger classrooms than what he’s in.  We are in a weird space where he doesn’t need academic resources, but a small, sensory informed classroom with a rigid structure, a visual schedule and clear expectations.  He excels both behaviorally and academically in that situation and has in this school for (almost) two years now.  It’s unfortunately the only place that offers the type of classroom he needs.  He honestly doesn’t even get OT or anything other than some social skills groups anymore because he’s just been doing great in the small classroom setting.

If it was academic intervention alone or he’d manage a regular classroom with a 1:1 aide, we’d have a lot more options.  
He’s the type of person who would probably give himself a solid education with a library card.  He’s curious and loves knowledge and to figure out how things go together—right now for fun he’s making a diagram of the Greek gods and their Roman counterparts.  He soaks up knowledge and loves to make connections between disciplines.  I sometimes wonder if I should just let him unschool himself to a point; but I don’t think I can provide the structure at home that he craves.  He’s old enough now though that during vacations and such he makes his own schedule that he sticks too, though. 

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Unfortunately, no.  The only two private schools are small, church based schools with no resources for his needs and larger classrooms than what he’s in.  We are in a weird space where he doesn’t need academic resources, but a small, sensory informed classroom with a rigid structure, a visual schedule and clear expectations.  He excels both behaviorally and academically in that situation and has in this school for (almost) two years now.  It’s unfortunately the only place that offers the type of classroom he needs.  He honestly doesn’t even get OT or anything other than some social skills groups anymore because he’s just been doing great in the small classroom setting.

If it was academic intervention alone or he’d manage a regular classroom with a 1:1 aide, we’d have a lot more options.  
He’s the type of person who would probably give himself a solid education with a library card.  He’s curious and loves knowledge and to figure out how things go together—right now for fun he’s making a diagram of the Greek gods and their Roman counterparts.  He soaks up knowledge and loves to make connections between disciplines.  I sometimes wonder if I should just let him unschool himself to a point; but I don’t think I can provide the structure at home that he craves.  He’s old enough now though that during vacations and such he makes his own schedule that he sticks too, though. 

He sounds a little like my dd. And age 11 was when we started unschooling. She flourished. I just let her go as deep as she wanted with her special interests. Now that’s she’s in high school, we are playing catch up in a couple of areas because she’s interested in college. No regrets at all though. 

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I’m not sure where you live and I know the services can vary greatly between states, but I live in a state that’s known for lacking autism services and yet my son has employment assistance and he is very high functioning. He has an exceptionally high IQ and was diagnosed with ASD at 15 years of age. I was told that he’d never qualify but he did- somehow. And it’s been the most amazing service- way beyond my what I had hoped for. 

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27 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I am meeting with the officer’s boss’s boss in a few minutes.  One handy perk of being a paramedic in a small city is that I know everyone.

I am going to FOIL the body cam if they won’t let me view it. I also have a children’s attorney that knows my son personally(goes to church with my in laws who take my kids) who has a sharkish reputation.  It’s not even about my son, who’s already moved on and is much more interested in discussing Spartacus and the Third Servile War than this—but there’s a lot of kids in that school who are foster kids, living with grandparents who are exhausted and overwhelmed, living with single moms who just don’t have the resources that I do.  There’s a lot of non verbal or limited verbal kids who can’t tell their parents things.  Not every parent has the availability to take a day off work and pursue legal avenues and make phone calls or drop an attorney retainer fee.  

If they’re handcuffing and isolating my kid(knowing full well that I am a b$tch with resources and connections), what are they doing to the other kids?  It’s just not okay. I’m blowing this up.

Thank you for taking the time and energy to stand up for the parents and kids who can't do it for themselves.

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29 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I am meeting with the officer’s boss’s boss in a few minutes.  One handy perk of being a paramedic in a small city is that I know everyone.

I am going to FOIL the body cam if they won’t let me view it. I also have a children’s attorney that knows my son personally(goes to church with my in laws who take my kids) who has a sharkish reputation.  It’s not even about my son, who’s already moved on and is much more interested in discussing Spartacus and the Third Servile War than this—but there’s a lot of kids in that school who are foster kids, living with grandparents who are exhausted and overwhelmed, living with single moms who just don’t have the resources that I do.  There’s a lot of non verbal or limited verbal kids who can’t tell their parents things.  Not every parent has the availability to take a day off work and pursue legal avenues and make phone calls or drop an attorney retainer fee.  

If they’re handcuffing and isolating my kid(knowing full well that I am a b$tch with resources and connections), what are they doing to the other kids?  It’s just not okay. I’m blowing this up.

Yes!  Good for you.  I am so happy you are doing that.   Know that we are all behind you.  Thank you for standing up for your son and all the other kids.  I can't even believe this is going on in the world today.  So sick and wrong.

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52 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I am meeting with the officer’s boss’s boss in a few minutes.  One handy perk of being a paramedic in a small city is that I know everyone.

I am going to FOIL the body cam if they won’t let me view it. I also have a children’s attorney that knows my son personally(goes to church with my in laws who take my kids) who has a sharkish reputation.  It’s not even about my son, who’s already moved on and is much more interested in discussing Spartacus and the Third Servile War than this—but there’s a lot of kids in that school who are foster kids, living with grandparents who are exhausted and overwhelmed, living with single moms who just don’t have the resources that I do.  There’s a lot of non verbal or limited verbal kids who can’t tell their parents things.  Not every parent has the availability to take a day off work and pursue legal avenues and make phone calls or drop an attorney retainer fee.  

If they’re handcuffing and isolating my kid(knowing full well that I am a b$tch with resources and connections), what are they doing to the other kids?  It’s just not okay. I’m blowing this up.

So very glad. Praying it goes super well and you get all the info you need and that this never ever ever happens again to anyone else there. 

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

The county sheriff’s department is issuing my son an apology and doing some things to build rapport with him so he is not afraid of law enforcement.

And they asked me to come in and train all their deputies on autism awareness/deescalation/mental health emergencies. 
Now I have to deal with the school.

Good.  I am glad they realized that they messed up big time.  

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

The county sheriff’s department is issuing my son an apology and doing some things to build rapport with him so he is not afraid of law enforcement.

And they asked me to come in and train all their deputies on autism awareness/deescalation/mental health emergencies. 
Now I have to deal with the school.

Wow! 

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4 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

The county sheriff’s department is issuing my son an apology and doing some things to build rapport with him so he is not afraid of law enforcement.

And they asked me to come in and train all their deputies on autism awareness/deescalation/mental health emergencies. 
Now I have to deal with the school.

While you are uniquely qualified to do this and perhaps that is why they are asking you, other parents/guardians would not be able to set things aside to train the sheriff's department in situations like this or might not have the skills.  Another reason why it's good that you are pushing this. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

While you are uniquely qualified to do this and perhaps that is why they are asking you, other parents/guardians would not be able to set things aside to train the sheriff's department in situations like this or might not have the skills.  Another reason why it's good that you are pushing this. 

I’ve actually been running autism awareness  for first responders workshops and lecturing on mental health emergencies for about a year and the undersheriff was aware of this(I go everywhere from local fire departments to a couple National and state EMS conferences and  law enforcement groups).  So that is why they asked me to come in.

It’s not just my kid.  My ambulance company does a lot of pediatric mental health transfers and calls, likely because we have a state pediatric psychiatric center in our city.  I see my son in all the kids, and I want to advocate for all of them. Of course I can’t, but these kind of events remind me why it’s important.

I STILL have not heard a word from the school and that is really annoying me.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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If moving ever IS an option, look for states that have educational savings accounts/scholarships for special needs. My kids with special needs get access to closet to 10K a year in funds that can be used for private school, or homeschooling including tutoring, curriculum, occupational therapy therapeutic summer programs, sensory integration stuff, job counseling services, social skills counseling, etc etc. The only "hitch" is you can't use the public schools - so it's basically giving you access to the funds that would have been used to teach your kid in public school. I know that doesn't fit your needs now, but if it does in the future, something to think about when looking at places/options. 

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On 7/15/2021 at 1:37 PM, ktgrok said:

If moving ever IS an option, look for states that have educational savings accounts/scholarships for special needs. My kids with special needs get access to closet to 10K a year in funds that can be used for private school, or homeschooling including tutoring, curriculum, occupational therapy therapeutic summer programs, sensory integration stuff, job counseling services, social skills counseling, etc etc. The only "hitch" is you can't use the public schools - so it's basically giving you access to the funds that would have been used to teach your kid in public school. I know that doesn't fit your needs now, but if it does in the future, something to think about when looking at places/options. 

Wow. That’s really amazing!

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Restraint and isolation use is such a big issue for special education.  They often fill sped jobs with the least experienced, least prepared teachers because the jobs are hard to fill. 

I encourage you to file a case against the school district.  Make them pay for better services.  

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Fwiw, I wasn't being snarky or presumptive there. I live in sort of an average sized town, and I can tell you our district has a lawyer on retainer, a very sharp one. When this lawyer walked up to the building the first time (for my ds' IEP meeting) I was pretty much wishing she was my lawyer, lol. 

So yes they have a lawyer, yes they are talking with them before they talk with you. The best way for you to get a good outcome right now is NOT TO TALK TO THE SCHOOL WITHOUT A LAWYER. If you go in with a lawyer, it compels them to bring their lawyer. Then everyone places nice and things happen. The goal of that lawyer is to save the butt of the school and to keep them out of court. When you bring in a lawyer, it forces their hand. In our case, it was sort of like a bench trial. They had been failing to make certain things happen that were obvious even when I had plenty of evidence. Walked in with a lawyer (and not a fancy one btw, literally a pro bono SN lawyer through an org in our state) and suddenly things happened.

If you feel you don't have money for a lawyer, contact your SN/autism group in the state and find out who does pro bono work. Like I said, it's not about trying to go to court. It just forces their hand and at that point basically the school's lawyer acts as the judge. If you're satisfied with the outcome, then you're done. 

There's zero chance they're not talking with their lawyer and I don't think you'll get the same outcome if you walk in vs. walking in with a lawyer. It's not playing ugly, because they're already lawyered up. It's making sure you, your dc, and the other students are represented completely.

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44 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, I wasn't being snarky or presumptive there. I live in sort of an average sized town, and I can tell you our district has a lawyer on retainer, a very sharp one. When this lawyer walked up to the building the first time (for my ds' IEP meeting) I was pretty much wishing she was my lawyer, lol. 

So yes they have a lawyer, yes they are talking with them before they talk with you. The best way for you to get a good outcome right now is NOT TO TALK TO THE SCHOOL WITHOUT A LAWYER. If you go in with a lawyer, it compels them to bring their lawyer. Then everyone places nice and things happen. The goal of that lawyer is to save the butt of the school and to keep them out of court. When you bring in a lawyer, it forces their hand. In our case, it was sort of like a bench trial. They had been failing to make certain things happen that were obvious even when I had plenty of evidence. Walked in with a lawyer (and not a fancy one btw, literally a pro bono SN lawyer through an org in our state) and suddenly things happened.

If you feel you don't have money for a lawyer, contact your SN/autism group in the state and find out who does pro bono work. Like I said, it's not about trying to go to court. It just forces their hand and at that point basically the school's lawyer acts as the judge. If you're satisfied with the outcome, then you're done. 

There's zero chance they're not talking with their lawyer and I don't think you'll get the same outcome if you walk in vs. walking in with a lawyer. It's not playing ugly, because they're already lawyered up. It's making sure you, your dc, and the other students are represented completely.

Seconding this.  I will say that had I realized how fast the district would cave and that our lawyer could get the district to cover our legal fees, I would have lawyered up years earlier.  I don’t like that it’s such an inequitable, litigious process but I just reminded myself that if the district followed the law in the first place, I wouldn’t have needed a lawyer.  It’s not my fault they insist on doing the bare minimum until they are facing a lawsuit.  They are extremely accommodating to our family now.  We seem to have been placed on a list of people they shouldn’t piss off…

Edited by LucyStoner
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6 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I will say that had I realized

Another had I realized is that bringing in a lawyer is *not* going nuclear. There are things that are, but bringing in a lawyer is just a minor inconvenience, a safety check. It's so unusual to us that we think it's a Big Deal but for them it's just a normal thing that can happen. 

You will like how the meeting goes much better if you take a lawyer. Do not wonder how ugly it gets when school officials know they've messed up, are covering, are worried about their jobs (which some of them right now absolutely are), etc. They could try to blame YOU for something! For real. Now maybe they won't, but good luck on that. Cornered officials will lie, blameshift, "lose paperwork", and more. 

Your dc was abused in the school. Not only should you be taking in a lawyer but you should be finding out what you should be asking for. Abuse results in trauma. Personally, I would want some trauma counseling. He now has the sensory memory of the trauma stored in those sweet wrists. Blows my mind. It's not talk therapy (because you said he has bounced back seemingly) but trauma therapy to do the bodywork to get that sensory memory cleared. Stored trauma has all kinds of effects (dissociation, etc.).

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/0143127748/ref=sr_1_2?crid=4BR2I9Y549YT&dchild=1&keywords=the+body+bears+the+burden&qid=1626526240&sprefix=the+body+bears%2Caps%2C178&sr=8-2

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Sadly I 110% agree. Get a lawyer to deal with the school. Things will go smoother and faster that way. Should it be that way?  Nope. But it totally is that way. And the school literally banks on parents not knowing or accepting that. 

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Btw, what you could have him do yourself is a tapping/ownership exercise. He taps parts of his body and goes through a mantra "This is my ear, it's a part of me, I own it" over and over with each body part. Not only does it bump self awareness, but it's a really mild, easy way to clear sensory memory of trauma. Doing that and working toward the wrists (and anything else they GRABBED while working with him) could help clear it. 

I would actually be *more* worried if he seems to bounce back, because that's the opposite of what we want to see. He ought to have been talking about it and processing and working through those feelings and trembling and helping his system let it go. But because it's autism, maybe he's not going to talk or be self aware enough to realize how much he's holding. So then you get people as adults with autism talking about their trauma. And that's how you let it go, with basic bodywork. 

The tapping exercise is kid friendly. It's from Levine's book Healing Trauma. The book is fine but that was the main interesting thing in it to me. There are more high powered methods of bodywork for trauma, but maybe the tapping would be enough. It's good insurance to make sure it's *not* being stored as trauma and not resulting in disconnect and dissociation. 

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21 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

Wow. That’s really amazing!

It really is. I mean, there are societal implications, if they are basically defunding some stuff in the schools, but on a personal level it's hugely helpful. They just expanded it this month to things like behavior and emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, etc. Also kids with anaphylaxis qualify, autism, etc. You pay out of pocket for most things (but not all - there is an online portal that has a lot of books, computers, supplies, sensory stuff etc where you can order using your account) and then submit for a reimbursement. Some therapists and such are direct pay providers so you don't have to pay out of pocket with them either. We are frugal with it, as you can use whatever is left over when they graduate toward college, vocational training, etc at approved schools as well as those books, supplies, etc and job counseling. 

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

It really is. I mean, there are societal implications, if they are basically defunding some stuff in the schools, but on a personal level it's hugely helpful. They just expanded it this month to things like behavior and emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, etc. Also kids with anaphylaxis qualify, autism, etc. You pay out of pocket for most things (but not all - there is an online portal that has a lot of books, computers, supplies, sensory stuff etc where you can order using your account) and then submit for a reimbursement. Some therapists and such are direct pay providers so you don't have to pay out of pocket with them either. We are frugal with it, as you can use whatever is left over when they graduate toward college, vocational training, etc at approved schools as well as those books, supplies, etc and job counseling. 

Daaaaang.  I think every kid in America should have such a program.  I don’t see it as taking away from public schools at all.  Either the school can start offering those things or the school can use their resources for focusing on other things for kids. 

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9 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

Daaaaang.  I think every kid in America should have such a program.  I don’t see it as taking away from public schools at all.  Either the school can start offering those things or the school can use their resources for focusing on other things for kids. 

Yeah, before we had this program I used to joke that the school system should pay me to keep him home, out of their schools, cause no way did they want him. Turns out, that was basically true! (he's my one with ASD - and the school did NOT want him)

My other son qualifies with his PANDAS diagnosis, which is good as him being in school where strep is passed around constantly would be a HUGE problem for him. And now DD will qualify for her dyslexia, hopefully!

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