Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Complaints About the IEP Meeting

As you may know already if you have read this blog for very long, I am a HUGE fan of the TEACCH method because it has worked for Griffin for as long as he has been in school which will be 2 years now. I realize that ABA works wonderfully for many of your children and that there are HUGE fans of ABA out there. That is just great for all of you but for Griffin he has become accustomed to TEACCH and thrived with it and I just do not think that he would do well with ABA or at least not as I understand it. This new teacher that is supposed to be his educator is only trained in ABA and has no clue as to what TEACCH is nor does she have a clue that it is totally inappropriate to tell a child that he is a "good boy" as apposed to telling him that he did a "good job". This is all just the surface of what is bothering me. She told me that she was very proud of the fact that she does exactly the same things every single day, day in and day out. I do know my child well enough to know that that simply would not work for him. He would be bored out of his mind if he had to only do the same things, that he already knows, over and over again. Not only that but then she tells me that they have circle time for THIRTY minutes!!!! That is absolutely outrageous and even Kathleen said that it was way too long for Griffin. Then she said in an almost gleeful manner when I asked her what method she used for behavior management she said that they used redirection first (she didn't say that they tried it more than once) then they,the children, are made to sit in a Rifton chair and held down if necessary. I was totally dumbfounded!As she turns to me and asked me if that was okay with me. I found it so appauling that I was speechless, then I found the words and protested and replied that NO it was not okay with me. On top of everything else, the class is only 2.5 hours long and they do not have gym nor do they go outside to play so I just don't see how there can be time for him to socialize. Griffin is used to being challenged and if he is not challenged then he is bored and then he will act out and be "disciplined" and then boy oh boy, will I ever be an exceptionally upset parent then. Perhaps to some of you this does not seem like much of a problem but I am really upset with the IEP meeting and I am going to demand another one and this time I am going to have an advocate there with me from the Austism Society of SC. And yes I did know when we moved down here that the schools would be "poor" at best and that the teachers here wouldn't have anything close to the education and intellegence or the experience that Mrs. Kathleen has in Anchorage, Alaska. She was trully a blessing indeed. There is more to it than I have mentioned but I just get so darn upset then I can hardly type and will have to continue on later. I am seriously considering finding a private school for him until after he turns 5, or rather until the end of the school year and then get him ready for kindergarten. He has been working at Kindergarten level in Kathleen's class, working on tasks individually, and he has shown signs of interacting with his peers in his classroom and outside of it. I need to go now and go to sleep. I thank you all ahead of time for all your support. Please let me know, from those of you with lots of experience, how you think that this might turn out and what I might be able to do about what I consider to be "inappropriate education" and do you agree with the individuals who told me that restraining a child is illegal unless there is some kind of behavior plan in place or something like that? It is all so overwhelming for me and the darn IEP meeting consisted of talk about other people and somebody's colonoscopy, I was beginning to wonder what the heck I was doing there and was it just some kind of social event for them. The one positive thing that I can say is that the director of special needs from the district office seemed really really nice and the teacher seemed to have lots of enthusiasm but most of all the speech path. was the only one whom I found to be totally professional and focused on my child and what is best for him. I will continue later because I didn't even mention anything about the goals, or the lack thereof. Love to you all , thanks and I hope to have time to visit your blogs soon because I miss you terribly and I've got to get an e-mail to Tina and the Boys too. I haven't forgotten you guys.


Anonymous said...

they do not go outside to play???
not good.....

Anonymous said...

What happens in PA when a Rifton chair is used for discipline:
The teacher was sentenced to house arrest, but did jail time when she broke the rules of her probation.

KC's Mommy said...

Hi Lora and Griffin,

K.C. uses a Rifton chair in class but it isn't used as a disciplinary tool. That concerns me. The chair is used to help him to learn to sit and not wander off. They use the Rifton chairs at circle and throughout the day as well. There is recess and I can't imagine a kiddo not being able to go to at least one recess! K.C. would thrive in the same day to day activities knowing what to expect on his schedule but Griffin has been doing so well with the TEACCH method and has made huge progress that I would not want to change either, why on earth would I? Can you talk with the Director of Special ED and explain your concerns and how Griffin has done so well using the TEACCH method? They should follow his IEP! I would visit different schools in the surrounding area (different Autism rooms) and when I found one I would ask he be sent there under open enrollment. Every kid is different, ABA may be good for one child but TEACCH may work better for another child. I would stick with what has worked for beautiful Griffin. Try to find out what method they are using in the Kindergarten rooms ahead of time. I wish I had better ideas for you Lora, it breaks my heart to hear how upsetting this is to you. It reminds me of K.C. and Music class, remember what the music teacher said to me when I asked her to please sing a Disney song something familiar K.C. could hear until he got used to the class and she said, "I have a curriculum to follow." What a bitch. Now he has adaptive p.e. with no music or library cause he can't handle it.

mommyguilt said...

Oh Sweetie! I was all excited to see that you're "here" and settled in. Both you and Griffin are going through a HUGE change right now.

I agree with Tina...demand that they go back and follow HIS IEP - that's why it's and INDIVIDUALIZED education plan, because it's what works best for the INDIVIDUAL. I think you're doing the right thing by bringing an advocate from the Autism society with you.

As for the teacher's description of how they use the rifton chair...OH. MY. GOD! What the HELL are they thinking? NO ONE, I mean NO ONE restrains my child.

Again, you guys have a major life change in the works right now and everything is in upheaval and disshevelment. It will all settle down. Just keep popping in and letting us know when you need help. We're always here!

Melissa H said...

Dear God, are you sure you're not in Florida? What you just stated is exactly what is currently happening with Conor and in his classroom. We cannot find ANYONE who seems to use or understand the TEACCH method here and they're all about discipline, discipline, discipline. It appears that the south has forgotten that special needs kids are special needs because they learn differently. Conor's circle time is supposed to last for 25 minutes, but it lasted an HOUR when I was there and it was absolute CHAOS. No wonder the poor kid won't sit on his carpet square and kept trying to retreat into a corner.

As for the restraint???? Every time they have tried restraining Conor for timeout, they've gotten bitten. Serves them right, too.

I would definitely get an advocate involved. They will know the SC laws and be able to direct you to the best thing for Griffin.

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Oh my Lora! That doesn't sound like ABA at all to me! What's so sad is about 75% of people that claim that they "know" ABA Therapy do not. I just want you to know that Gabe never did or was subjected to anything like that, especially circle time for a half hour or repeating the same thing over and over.

I totally agree with you that if Griffin works best under the TEACCH method to try to work something out in that direction, because they are certainly not doing ABA Therapy from the examples you gave.

Good luck and I wish you both the best while in trying to work through this :o)


Anonymous said... has lots of iedas and links for iep's

kristi said...

WOW! I just had an IEP meeting at my son's school (he just started in January) and it was VERY serious and matter of fact. I would have been pissed if someone was talking about a colonoscopy!

vernongetzler said...

This is a wonderful post. The things given are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

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