9
   

Do I have a case? Where do I start?

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 10:17 am
So I dragged myself and my raging sinus infection out to the open house. Despite my delirium I was pretty impressed with the program and the facilities. All things being equal, I'd sign up in a second.

What I was unprepared for was the weird, free-form angst I feel about it. I think it probably has to do with the fact that taking such a big step is an admission that things aren't going to magically get "fixed" and Mo is, in fact, fundamentally, neurologically, different.

I mean... first you go.... "Wow, the school has a psychologist that meets with each kid every week!".... then you go "ACK! Does Mo need to see a psychologist every week?"..... then you go "Yeah, probably he does."... then you go "Am I such a failure as a parent that my kid needs this kind of help/education?"..... then you go "This isn't about YOU, this is about what's best for him.".... then you go "Okay. Where can I find a spare $14,000 a year?"..... then you go "Is public school really so bad?".... and then you go "Yeah. Kinda. For Mo it isn't very good.".....

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 11:05 am
@boomerang,
boomerang, it all hinges on this

Quote:
whenever a public school fails to make a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to a disabled child


The public school simply has to provide an appropriate education for a child with certain special needs. But appropriate doesn't mean ideal, it really means very basic. It means the special needs are taken into consideration and addressed in the child's educational setting and plan.

Understandably, you want something more for your child.

Quote:
I believe it's appropriate that Mo receive a quality education, not just be shoved through


But what the school considers legally "appropriate" and what you consider "quality education" may be quite far apart. The school does not have to provide "quality" in the form of top-notch education and support services that approach ideal conditions for your particular child. A public school is not obligated to provide such ideal conditions for any child.

That your child is still struggling and needs extra tutoring does not mean the school is not providing an "appropriate" or even adequate education. The child might still be struggling no matter what they did. And lots of children, without some sort of special need or specific learning difficulty, also need or benefit from private tutoring, and their parents can't claim that the school isn't providing an appropriate education. Some children need more additional assistance than others, and, beyond a certain point, it's up to the parent, and not the school to provide it.

What you have to do is to be very specific about the ways in which the private school could address your child's particular learning disabilities, and show that the public school is failing to do these things--you have to prove they are not providing an appropriate education for a child with that type of disability, and that the private school could do so. This has nothing to do with the extra frills a private school has to offer, it means the private school can meet your child's basic educational needs and the public school cannot. This is not an easy type of case to prove. I have known of parents of children with autism who were able to prove it and receive tuition reimbursements for private schools, but it was a tough fight.

It helps to connect with advocacy groups of parents who have children with learning disabilities similar to your child's. They are familiar with these battles.
You certainly should see the attorney you found who specializes in this area.
You have nothing to lose by trying to pursue this legally, and the lawyer can tell you if you have a legitimate foundation for a case.

Good luck. Keep fighting for your child.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 11:47 am
@firefly,
Thanks firefly! That's great information. You've given me a very specific question to ask the prospective school that may help in my quest.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:00 pm
Yes - the public school may argue that it is providing a "least restrictive" environment for him.

You said you had an IEP. Was he placed in a special ed class for some or all of the day? What was the plan? When is the followup meeting?

At 8 years, it could still be a maturing issue. this summer cold be a real turning point for him.

(PS I am not impressed with special ed services at the private school setting. I don't think kids should be sent to private schools to get "fixed. " They tend to enhance the already alpha students.)
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:10 pm
@boomerang,
I dont recall what your work situation is, but we homeschooled because we did not have good school options, I had the time, and I had an interest in doing it.

If you have ruled out homeschool for philosophy reasons (your not liking the idea in principle) you might reconsider.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:38 pm
@sullyfish6,
"Restrictive"? I don't really get that. What do they mean by "restrictive/least restrictive"?

Yes, he has an IEP. The school kept nagging me that he had ADD/ADHD so I took him to be evaluated. He has NLD. He's in SpEd for about 1 hour per day, it consists mostly of reading.

This school is a special education school that deals only with children with learning disabilities, not your typical private school.

--------

I came across this about NLD:

Quote:
I believe it is still fair to say most students with NLD are still not receiving adequate services in our schools, and therefore, are not receiving a free and appropriate public education, as PL 94-142 requires. There are still numerous school districts refusing to accommodate students with NLD. There are still educators who resist making the needed modifications which would ensure the success of these students in regular classrooms. ....


0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:42 pm
@hawkeye10,
I've seriously considered homeschooling but ruled it out because of the social aspects -- NLD kids already have trouble with social relationships, add his attachment issues to that and something as insular as homeschooling wouldn't be so good.

Also, he thinks I'm a bully for making him brush his teeth. I can't imagine what kind of bully he would think I am as a teacher.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:51 pm
@boomerang,
good point, it does change the parent/child relationship. The social concerns however can be dealt with.

You are in a hell of a spot...I hope you can find something that works.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 12:54 pm
@hawkeye10,
Thank you!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:53 pm
Okay, so you know me... I've been poking sticks at every hole I could think of for the last week and today I finally got a response from someone that I think is honest.

They told me that I was probably SOL when it came to the school district. It seems the only way to do this is to enroll your kid then sue the district for reimbursement which can end up costing a few years tuition.

But don't think that means I'm giving up.

Oh no.

If Mo stays in public school next year I'm going balls to the walls with the IEP.

I am Mommy, hear me roar.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:55 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I'm going balls to the walls with the IEP
exactly.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 08:04 pm
Meantime, get in touch with national NLD groups, or, what the hell, start one.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 09:04 pm
Bingo!

I went to pick Mo up at his tutor tonight -- she's an administrator at a private school (not one I would send Mo to though) and I told her "The public school isn't willing to talk to me about private schools but I've been looking at one.... have you heard of it?"

She raved about it and the work they do. Very familiar with their program. Very familiar with their staff. Highly recommended them. Thought they'd be a great match for Mo.

And she told me about another special education type school that does good work.

I'm shameless about asking for help but I feel a bit more educated.
0 Replies
 
Philis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 12:06 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I found a local attorney who lists her specialties as:"Practice Areas: Special Education/IDEA, Section 504/Accommodations, Disability Discrimination/Civil Rights" AND she offers a free initial consultation!

Go For IT
0 Replies
 
 

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