ProTeacher Community - View Single Post - Happy for my own mental health!
View Single Post
GraceKrispy's Avatar
GraceKrispy GraceKrispy is online now
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 41,783
Blog Entries: 1
Senior Member

GraceKrispy
 
GraceKrispy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 41,783
Senior Member

Old 04-12-2016, 10:47 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

Super late to the party.... (been consumed by my paper writing and my job(s)) Not sure if anyone will see these at this point, but I'll respond to both ideas in this thread anyway

re: mental health: One of the reasons I got into education in the first place, and then into counseling and school psychology was because I've experienced some of the things those kids have experienced and I found support and confidence at school. I want to be able to be there for other kids in that way. It makes me thankful that I am not in the same place I was in those days. And I want others to have hope that things can get better. Some situations kids are experiencing are just so much more horrific than anything I've gone through. That breaks my heart

As to the other question/issue... it really does vary by district. I'm always amazed at what other districts do. In HI, school psychs were rarely members of the IEP team, always members of the evaluation team, but never led the meetings. That job went to another team member who attended evaluation meetings (eligibility meetings) and IEPs. It was a special position and that was basically the job- to schedule and lead these meetings, and do academic testing. Every school had one of those people, but school psychs serviced up to 6 schools. Our teams were definitely more "team-like" and no one person made the decision. We had some school psychs from the mainland who seemed to forget the "team" aspect and acted like their opinions were the only opinions, but that didn't go over well at all.That being said, the team agreed with my opinions 99.9% of the time. Once we did not agree on an SLD reeval. The team went one way, I was supporting a different way. I wrote a statement of dissent on the paperwork and that was that. (any team member could write a statement of dissent if they disagreed and did not want to sign)

We didn't use discrepancy model where I was in in HI (commonly called the "wait to fail" model). It was written in the state regs that we could use either discrepancy or a processing strengths/weaknesses (PSW) and RTI model, but our area of the state disallowed discrepancy. When I moved back to WA (where I was initially trained and worked), I was actually shocked that they still used discrepancy. Some districts have moved more to PSW and/or RTI. I can see the school psych having more say in a team when discrepancy is used because it's either met or not, based on the testing the school psych has done.

WRT Recommendations, I was always taught that they should always be written in such a way that the district was not required to follow any of them. For example, I couldn't say "X should be evaluated by a psychiatrist for ADHD and medication therapy" or something because the school would then have to pay for a psych appt and I'm not qualified to assess whether a child needs medication. I could, however, say something like "X's parents may wish to consult with healthcare professionals with regards to symptoms of ADHD" or something. I did give a number of fairly specific recommendations with regards to accommodations or teaching strategies, many of which were backed by research, but couched most of them with "may benefit from" or something else so it wasn't saying they HAD to do those. The behavioral health specialists (each school had at least one behavioral health specialist who was responsible for IEP counseling goals-- school counselors did not do that) and sped teachers really appreciated my recommendations (or so they said) and often used them as a basis for IEP goals. I've seen reports where psychs have given nothing recommendations and teachers are frustrated because there is no direction. I see it this way: one part of the evaluation is to provide information about how the child is performing. Necessary for qualification for services. Another part of the evaluation is to provide direction based on how the child is performing. This is the application part. I try to give examples of how to do what I'm saying as well, so anyone can use those ideas.

RTI (or, as people prefer to say now- MTSS- multi-tiered systems of support) is supposed to meet the needs of students who do not qualify for special services. It's supposed to be the first step, and kids who don't benefit from those (general ed) services might need an evaluation and additional services. Way too often, RTI/MTSS is done completely incorrectly, or seen only as a gateway to sped eval/services. It's not supposed to be that at all! Those kids who are low but not "disabled" according to the IDEA definitions are supposed to be receiving intensive support in RTI services consistently. One of my old schools would give them one 6 wk shot, and then that was it. Regardless of whether they made progress, they couldn't do it again. I fought that for so long. It was unethical and not in line with the law in education. If they benefited, they should have continued to receive it in addition to their general ed. That's the way it's supposed to work! If it didn't work, something else (equally intensive) should have been tried, and then an evaluation if that also wasn't successful.
GraceKrispy is online now   Reply With Quote
 

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net