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SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 83 
 

 

Kids Who Need Help

One Parentís Experience

 

Let's Stop the violence! 

See how KEYS can help!!

See Available Resources below

 
 

This article was written by a subscriber to the Keys Safety Bulletin. The views expressed belong solely to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Keys To Safer Schools.com, its Directors or other staff members. It is presented here to provide a platform for the expression of frustration felt by many parents in trying to obtain the best available services for their children. Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, other Parents, Students and others concerned with school issues involving potential violence are encouraged to take advantage of this platform and contact Keys with you thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

 

 

Comments from a Frustrated Parent:

Itís about the money. It is important to realize this as your child enters the Special Ed or intervention system that has been established to fix your child. Itís not about helping your child with his/her individual struggles with ADHD, dyslexia, hearing problems, motor skill problems, shape recognition problem, or other learning disorder.

Some one other than you decided what things are going to fix your child before they met him or her and they allocated the money to do those things. The people who administer the system that they have been required to create are primarily concerned about the money and the district does not want to spend it. As a result, they will not inform you of all of the resources that are available to try to help your child get an education and this information will have to be dragged out of them. As much as they try to intimidate you and make you feel that they are in charge, remember that you are in charge, your child has a legal right to an uninterrupted public education, you are fighting for your child, and you have the ultimate say over where your child attends school and what individualized education program (IEP) is implemented to help him or her. They will not tell you this or what is available so that you can make a decision. If you ask them for a list of available resources the answer you will get is something like, ďWell, in your childís case, with his particular Which way do we go?disability, we normally do XYZĒ. XYZ do not include making sure that your child is not teased or bullied, new student welcoming committees, or increased security and supervision that would allow your child to focus more on his/her school work and enjoying their school experience rather than social issues.

The Resource Manager or Special Ed Administrator you are dealing with reports to a district Student Resource Director who reports to the district Superintendent (Super). Unfortunately, the Superís primary concerns are not your childís education. They are the money and getting high scores on standardized testing in the district which gets him/her more money and maybe a bonus. If the Student Resource Director does not help the Super with these goals, he or she will lose their job. If your childís Special Ed Administrator does not help the Director help the Super with these goals, he or she will lose their job and they all know it. Consequently, no one will tell you what is available to help your child and they will try to keep any spending to a minimum. They will also try to take steps that will keep your child from affecting the schoolís over all test scores and this means isolation or telling your child that he/she doesnít have to take the tests.

All of this may sound hopeless and frightening but there are things that you can do to insure that your child gets every chance to succeed.

They will also make every attempt to make you bear the burden of the expense by telling you that you should hire tutors or send your child to a therapist who they will recommend. The tutors and therapists get most of their business from the school and they are not inclined to antagonize the schools by providing you with information that would go against the districtís concerns about money and standardized testing. Drugging (Medicating) your child is another way that the school will attempt to exercise control and make you bear the expense. Most children go through the following process to get drugged: A teacher gets frustrated over a childís behavior and speaks to the school counselor suggesting that the child may need to be drugged to help them, the counselor speaks to the school psychologist suggesting that the child needs to be drugged, the school psychologist refers the child to a county psychiatrist suggesting that the child is depressed or psychotic and needs to be drugged, the county psychiatrist interviews the child briefly and prescribes drugs. Your child becomes drugged because a teacher did not like him/her or the teacher has problems of their own that affect their abilities to cope with behavioral characteristics in students. While all of the individuals along this chain are trained and considered to be professionals, they are human beings involved with each other in their daily careers and they are susceptible to their peerís opinions. The drugs prescribed are mind altering and often lead to an increase in anger, suicidal thoughts, and psychotic episodes when they are needlessly prescribed (see free Resource Below).

All of this may sound hopeless and frightening but there All of this may sound hopeless and frightening but there are things that you can do to insure that your child gets every chance to succeed.are things that you can do to insure that your child gets every chance to succeed. Remember that you are in charge. Use the system to create a learning environment for your child where he/she is free to enjoy school and have fun while they are being educated. Usually, there are two problems. One is your childís disability and the other involves social issues. Each one will affect the other but they must be treated separately. Accept that, except for the more brilliant people at your childís school, that the teachers or administrators will not like you.

The most important thing is to become immediately aware that something is bothering your child. Talk to him or her and ask what is bothering them. Your child may have been dealing with something like ADHD, shape recognition, or motor skill issues all along and getting Aís, Bís or Cís and they suddenly get Cís, Dís or Fís. They may change from having fun to being sullen and staying to themselves. They may drop off of the soccer or baseball team and become interested only in video games. They may suddenly refuse to go to school or develop a sudden interest in weapons. Their disability has just become harder for them to cope with for some reason.

If your child is suffering because of bullies, your divorce, drug or alcohol abuse, neglect, abuse by you or a new boyfriend or girlfriend, a move to a new school district, or just entering high school, no Special Ed program is going to help them with these problems. Your child will be, to use the term in a non-clinical matter, depressed. Being upset over these situations does not mean that your child needs to be drugged or enter therapy. Therapy can be important in these situations but only if it is with someone who does not regularly work with the school and you A Therapist Listening.decide on the course of action to help your child cope. Therapy will not fix a disability but it will help your child deal with it, accept it in a positive manner, and handle social issues. If you cannot afford it, it is available though the county but make it clear that your childís therapy is not part of a Special Ed program and the therapist is not to report to the school. Have your child tested by an independent clinical psychologist not associated with the school. Districts will pay for this. Ask the psychologist about possible drug intervention. Disabilities such as ADHD, ADD, and depression can be treated in ways that donít involve drugs. This way you will be armed with a full understanding of your childís disability and knowledge as to whether drugs are required to help your child. Never let the school system start the drugging process.

Unless your childís school has had a recent shooting, assume that your Flighting & Bullying Otherschild, along with the other Special Ed children, is being teased and bullied. Special Ed kids always get teased and bullied. Children will not report this because of fear of reprisal or embarrassment. Another indicator is that school restrictions against bullying are not included in written school policies along with prohibitions against race and sexual harassment.


See Legislation being pasted by States on Bullying in Box and learn of proposed Legislation in Texas ->
Senate Bill 152  

 

The

National Conference of State Legislatures offers

up-to-date state-specific information on bully laws.

Meet with the principal and ask him/her what steps the school is taking to prevent bullying and let it be known that you expect your child to be protected. You have a right to demand that an adult shadow your child for his/her protection and the protection of others. Given a choice, most principals will opt for an on campus police officer to protect all children. Ask the principal what new student welcoming and social resolution programs exist. Notify the police of any incident you become aware of and, if needed contact the local paper. An email titled, ďEnvironment Similar to Columbineís Exists at XXXX SchoolĒ, will get noticed. After a school shooting, the bullying stops but, try to stop it from getting to this point.

Control who deals with your child. You have every right to demand a new counselor or class change for your child. Interview the counselor and ask them if they are familiar with your childís form of disability. If they are not, never let your child talk to them. If a teacher does not like your child or does not seem to be able to cope, you have every right to demand a new classroom. Ask your childís teachers if they are familiar with your childís disability. If they are not, ask the principal to schedule training seminars for the teachers or, at the very least, to distribute reading material. Make sure that the people your child comes in contact with are positive and encouraging as opposed to critical and discouraging. While you can not expect every teacher to jump on your childís bandwagon, you can keep them from the most discouraging and harmful. Most children are not fixed by the system. They are fixed by an individual who reaches them (See Article on Connections). You must give your child every possible chance to meet this person.

Ask the Resource or Special Ed Administrator if they feel unduly pressured by the district to curtail their intervention programs. Inform him or her that, with their assistance, you will be developing an individualized education program for your child and that you need to be made aware of all available resources. This will put him or her on notice that you are ware of what happens in Special Ed Programs and that you know that you are in charge. If the Resource Manager will not list the resources available make a list of the problems areas reported by the psychologist and ask what will be done about each one. You will uncover more resources through this process. After you have collected all of this information, assume that anything is available and put together a program for your child and ask for the Resource Managerís input. Special Ed is a stigma to most kids and can create social issues. Make sure that you tell the Resource Manager that you want the intervention to be as low profile as possible. An ideal situation would be for your child to have a place to go to help with schoolwork each day. Special Ed laws give your child a right to an education alongside his peers. Try to avoid isolation in Special Ed rooms at all costs.

Make sure that you keep the school on task. Advocacy MeetingThey will try to blame you and ask you questions like how is your childís diet, how much sleep does your child get, or whether you drink or not. Ask them if they have a program to correct your childís malnourishment, sleeping habits, or your drinking problem. If they donít then tell them to focus on what they can do to make sure that your child gets an education.

If none of this works, have your child transferred to a different school and start the process over again. Do not give up and donít let the school talk you into worrying about the money.

Submitted By:
Parent - Emmett Smith

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