Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So, there's a reason I haven't been blogging

And that reason is known as "LISD Sucks Donkey Balls".

Read this and beware the current state of special education in Texas.

DD2's teacher is awesome, and very sweet, and dd2 loves her very much. Her teacher is also very overwhelmed in the classroom, and a lot of my daughter's behaviors are not helping with that.

DD2 is 8, and she is in second grade. She's been in a school environment since PK3. In 2011 she was evaluated by our school district, LISD, and became eligible for special education services with an educational diagnosis of Autism (AU). We went through a lot of this with DD1 previously, and we came to the school evaluation prepared with her physician's report and dx, as well as reports from a private speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and child psychologist. It was an IEE that we paid for ourselves.

It is now 2014 and time for her REED (Review of Existing Educational Data). This has to be none at least every 3 years by the school. They did a new FIE (Full Individual Evaluation), and an FBA (Functional Behavior Analysis). Welcome to my world of alphabet soup, yes!

During the same time period that they tested her, a lot of stuff was going on. The largest of those changes is that the school told us she was very sleepy in the morning and asked us to look into adjusting her medication(s). We did, with her pediatrician's support and supervision. Ultimately this ended up doubling her dose of Vyvanse and lowering her dose of Seroquel. (Note for those not familiar: that means she was now getting a double dose of  amphetamines and 2/3 of her usual dose of "calming" medication used to assist with sleep.) That took the entire testing period to work out dose timing, etc.

My child has never been violent and attended 4 previous schools with ZERO incidences of violence. ZERO. Two Montessori schools, one more rigid classroom, and public Kindergarten. That's a lot of different schools in a rather short time (not what we ever wanted or intended, but we've had to learn to roll with the plot twists.) Four schools in a little over 3 years, ZERO incidences of violence, aggression, or anything but glowing reports of behavior.

In the one year that she has attended Valley Ridge Elementary, this has all gone utterly to shit.

Her very first ARD there, we made clear that we felt she needed an aide, or at least one within the classroom to support her teacher. Her attention is VERY bad and she does need a lot of redirection, and a lot of assigments and materials need accommodated or modified. She's also made friends, become more outgoing and social, and even has a little "boyfriend" who lives just a block away from us in our very own neighborhood. It's never all roses, but her friends have been amazing and accepting of her differences while offering peer correction that she usually accepts.

 She started showing some difficult behaviors toward the end of school last academic year, in 1st grade. The school's response to this was not intense and targeted intervention with a counselor to learn appropriate, replacement behaviors - their immediate response was to suspend her. *headdesk*

Do note that each time we've gone to ARD, we've again asked for an aide. At the beginning of this school year, 2nd grade, we were told "There's not enough data to support that". We said fine, what data do you need? How long will it take to get that data?

We have done nothing but cooperate with the school. We've signed consents for them to talk to anyone involved in the care of our daughter. We've changed our own parental discipline at home to match the ones the school was using so there would be no confusion, working with the district provided in-home trainer. We've screwed with her meds to make it easier ON THEM and sacrificing better time at home for that goal. Everything they have asked, we have done.

In return, they have managed to turn my well-mannered but eccentric, loving daughter into a terrified, angry, self-loathing individual that culminated in a suicide threat in November. "Holding the Demand" done by these batshiat trained assholes can suck a giant bag of sweaty dicks. You fucking assholes. I hate you so much and hope you die slow and painful deaths for doing this to a child.

So, this REED comes back in early December (yes, testing takes a long time and the wheels of red tape are the enemy of quick intervention). Surprise! Not only do they want to add eligibility for ADHD and Speech - they want to label her Emotionally Disturbed.

Hmm. She says odd things? She didn't draw fingers on the people you asked her to draw, because she usually just draws ponies that don't have fingers? She hides under the table? The methods that you have chosen to use such as "holding demand" are WELL KNOWN for extinction burst behavior that may never have previously presented including screaming, kicking, hitting, and death threats?

(Don't believe me on that one? Feel free to google it.)

GENERALLY speaking, a diagnosis of Autism precludes Emotional Disturbance, and vice versa.  To have ED, the behaviors can't be explained by something else - such as Autism. To have Autism, the behaviors can't be explained by something else - such as ED. Clear?

So, we disagree on that, and the school says okay, we won't put that in her eligibility code (ED) - but then they type up an addendum in regard to it that basically says "We're agreeing not to add this eligibility, but these BEHAVIORS should be monitored if they impact the child". See that word behaviors? Re-read the previous paragraph. See the problem there?

Oh but wait, there's even more!

They now say she does indeed need a smaller staff to student ratio. Have they defined exactly what is is? No, but that hasn't stopped them from saying the only place she can receive that is on a different campus, in a self contained classroom. This classroom is the Behavioral Classroom. Not Autism, because "they don't serve by label" - well gee gosh willikers, why the fuck is it called (and run as!) a BEHAVIORAL classroom?

We've done all we can at this point. I might edit this later for clarity, because I'm super pissed off and up entirely too late to be making paragraph transitions. I did go and view the classroom - let me leave off all that I saw and just say this - whatever you're envisioning with those words? It's exactly what you think it is.

Fun Fact: A child, with the diagnosis of Autism, placed in a self-contained classroom, within the state of Texas (so pretty damn particular statistics here people!) is 25 times more likely to be restrained. Really, really think deeply about all the reasons that would go in to why that happens. If I have to spell it out for you... actually, let me know if I do, because LISD doesn't understand it either, and they've made that patently obvious.

I'm so tired, and I'm so angry. This was an extremely long post, and I'll likely follow it up with another extremely long post to conclude.