Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Avery’s first IEP meeting

I know I should of posted something earlier to let you all know how the school meeting but honestly I needed time to think about everything that happened..but I do apologize for not letting you all know sooner. So here it goes…
I went to Avery’s IEP meeting with a mom of an 18yr old who also has down syndrome. We all introduced our selves and then we were getting ready to discuss the proposed IEP and I just basically said that there was no need bc I did  not agree with the proposed placement for next year.  I had stated that I was asked about before hand about that classroom and I had told them that I didn’t like it and I wouldn’t put her in so I had no idea why they drafted up the whole IEP on her being in that classroom. On the IEP there is a spot for them to check was parent involved in the IEP..and they checked yes…LIARERS bc I was not involved in any way! The whole meeting just kept going down a downward spiral slope..it just kept getting worse and worse..I told them that I wanted her in a regular classroom about 80% and they said was not going to happen and I said well im not signing that IEP and so they told me that the school will still be able to offer therapies to Avery next year but that was it..and we would have to meet again and have another IEP meeting when Avery was 6. So in other wards as of right now she is not going to school next year..Do you think they are in violation of FAPE (free appropriate public education) hmmmm I belive so! 
I walked out of that meeting in SHOCK!! That other mom that went with me was in SHOCK! She had never seen anything like it before..I was bullied..and I had no rights..Avery had no rights…there was no table talk of even coming to an agreement..it was either I was doing it there way or Avery wasn’t going to school. I was LIVID!! I don’t think I have ever been that mad in my life! I was ready to reach across the table and slap every single one of them and punch the door on the way out! Her teachers who say that they love her and want what's best for her…and have always been so nice to me..and helping..well all bets are off when it comes to IEP meetings..one teacher didn’t say one word..not ONE word..the other teacher that did say a little well she basically put a nail in Avery’s back and just twisted it in..it didn’t help her..it hurt her way worse. The principal…well she didn’t say ONE word either..which totally blew me..bc we had a different principal last year and he was awesome..he didn’t even hardly know Avery and he stood up for me at last years IEP meeting..he was all for LRE. (least restrictive environment) But not the new principal who has had a chance to get to know Avery and claims to love her..did she stick up for me..nope …did she stick up for Avery..nope…not one word…
Well if they would like to play this game..BRING IT ON!! I am not backing down..I started it and I'm going to finish it..and I'm not going to back down until my child has a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment as possible..why..bc IT’S A FEDERAL LAW!!!!! Do I like it??? Nope.I HATE this..I am not this kind of person..I HATE being confrontational. I hate stepping out of my comfort zone..but I HAVE to for my daughter. IF I don’t stick up for Avery no one will. Everyone else does not have my child's best interest at heart..they have there job at there best interest they don’t want to say anything that will get them in trouble or fired. So they keep quite.
After  I walked out of the meeting I asked for a copy of the notes..They told me that I couldn’t have them. They told me that the parents usually take there own notes and the ones that they take are for the school’s copy. WHAT??  So you are saying I cant have a copy of them?? Yeap that is what the special education director told me. Ok I said..and walked out..couldn’t believe it..that is not legal at all. Its illegal! and they knew it bc when I had to go drop something off at school the next morning for Destiny they were handed to me by the principal..very short and to the point. Its an awkward situation..really I have to be nice and not say anything bad around them about any of the officials at there school bc they have to go to school still there and they still have to respect there principal. They kind of know what is going on but not to much..and I would rather leave them out of it.
So I actually went to talk to another school in a different district that is closer to us.. My sister in laws sisters little boy goes there and he has autism and she has good luck with the school. At first she thought it was a charter school..but its not..but anyways I am glad that I did..As I was walking up to the school there was a little boy on the front steps with down syndrome with his therapist. Anyways it was awesome..he tells me hello..and my heart just melted..So anyways I went in and talked with the asst principal of that school and they were awesome…Even SHE the asst principal of another school in a different district was SHOCKED at what just happened at my IEP meeting..I asked her what that little boy was doing..and he said that he is in a regular kindergarten classroom with an aide and is doing great..they were unsure of how it was going to work last year but agreed to it per the parents request and they have been surprised. They have made accommodations and modifications to the kindergarten curriculm  but it can be done!  maybe just not in my district. Apparently it hasn’t been done before so I have to pave the way. But anyways after a really long talk with the asst principal..she gave me some great advice…and I asked if I could write a note to the parents of the little boy that I seen outside and if she would put it in his backpack..and she said she would..so that is what I did..
I talked with another mom who has a child with ds in third grade and he has been in a regular education classroom since the beginning and is pulled out for two periods..and is doing great too..it can be done it just takes some time and work to make it work.
I called the superintendent of my district and informed him of what was going on too..I have a meeting with him and the special education director on Thursday morning of this week. The special education director was at the IEP meeting..I don’t much care for her.
I have talked to so many other people..other parents..advocates and ALL of them said what they did was crap!! and they cant get away with it. So I am happy to inform everyone that I have an advocate for me..and I really like her..she is awesome..she is apparently very good at her job..and don’t back down and she told me that she has contacts at the next level if we need to go there.. I just wish she would of came with me to the first one. but I have called another meeting and our second IEP meeting is on the 21st.
whew did you make it all the way to the end of this???  Hope so…So what do you think??? 


Becky said...

WOW...I am just mad reading this I cannot imagine being at that table. You are amazing and I will be praying because you know what Avery deserves...and I know you will get it. It just plain sucks that in today's world this is still happening. Even though opportunities for our kids have come so far from 20 years ago, we still have a lot of work to do as parents to keep doors open and give them the chance they are entitled to in the first place.

Ronda said...

Wow... That just makes me mad. I can come with you to a meeting or two!! ;) I'm good at the confrontational stuff... *snicker* Keep it up, you're doing great!!

Laura said...

I'm late to reading this but I am SHOCKED!!! I was talking to a special ed person last week about our district (which sounds a lot like yours) and she said our district is breaking the law by keeping the special ed kids so segregated. I am so sorry that you are going through this.