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What would your district do? Placement issue

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What would your district do? Placement issue
Old 10-21-2017, 06:24 AM
 
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Just curious-what would your school do in regards to a flat out denial of placement in a very obvious case? Example-a child who is not continent (wears diaper and needs changing pee and/or poop several times a day), and nonverbal, extremely low (50) IQ, of course intellectual disabiliy, syndrome that requires close supervision. All of this diagnosed and student labeled sped. District of course says LRE is a self contained classroom with some inclusion. What would your district do if parent completely refused this placement? If parent said no he needs to stay in gen ed all day and have a one on one? Would your district give in? Or double down? My feeling is that if the case went to due process the district would very easily win. We've had parents disagree before but not in a case this obvious.

This is elementary


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Old 10-21-2017, 11:11 AM
 
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I had a student in my "mild needs" program in K last year who we jumped through all the hoops for to get her placed into SSN (self-contained significant support needs). She was mostly non-verbal, had toileting and other self-care needs, and had severe behaviors. My district is tiny and we only have one SSN classroom for the entire district, and it's at another school. At the end of the year meeting, mom agreed to send her to the SSN program the following year.

At the beginning of this year, mom changed her mind for a variety of stupid reasons I won't go into here. We had many LONG meetings with mom prior to school starting and she wouldn't back down. Mom was told that the only way the child could attend our school was if she refused sped services all together. Mom initially said she wanted to do that. Thankfully, she changed her mind (still not sure why, but it's not like I was going to ask too many questions) and the child is now in the proper placement. Had mom chose to send her to my school without the IEP, they would have bombarded her with daily phone calls every time the child had an accident, a behavior issue, etc. and asked mom to pick her up from school when serious incidents happened.

I've thankfully never actually gone through a due process case myself, but my understanding is that it's very expensive for the district, even if the district wins, so districts are hesitant to go there. We've had a few parents of kids with milder disabilities refuse services and the district just let them do it because they weren't wiling to spend the money for due process. I have no idea what the actual cost for due process is, but I wonder if it's similar or more than just hiring the aide. If it is, I could see the district feeling like they have a reason to just cave.
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other side of the coin
Old 10-21-2017, 12:43 PM
 
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This happened this year in one school I sub in. In this case the student was placed in general ed because of a regressive disorder. The child is physically degenerating, but he is still alert and receptive to grade level materials. The child is well liked by peers. That is what is important to the parent right now.
In your case, continue to follow the IEP and keep documentation. I guess I'm prejudiced because I've know students who went through general ed all the way through elementary school and were successful in their given IEP programs and some even surpassed expectations. Just because a child has no muscle control of bowel and bladder doesn't mean the child is not intelligent. Just because the child tests at a 50 IQ doesn't mean the child cannot learn. I am assuming this child is nonverbal. That can throw off the results of an IQ test. In my experience, teachers who embraced the inclusion students as their own and included them in all activities really improved the students' receptive and expressive skills.
Even within my self-contained low incidence classroom I have a variety of levels of ability. Instead of putting the "low ones" in the back of the room, I've embraced them and put them at the front. It helps their attention. They get more attention from all staff in the room. In the 3 weeks I've been subbing in that room, I've seen amazing responses and interactions with my two "low kids" and they are taking those awareness and abilities to specials. One even did what was requested in music what we thought would be physically impossible. I wasn't there, but I guess the music teacher and paras were in tears.
Don't downplay the intelligence of a child whose physical disabilities impact toileting and self-care skills. I always assume all the information is going in and getting it out is the challenge.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:36 AM
 
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I'm not downplaying anything. There are no physical disabilities-the limitations all stem from the intellectual disability. I also wasn't asking about opinions on the child's placement since posters don't know the child. I was asking for personal experiences regarding parental disagreement with placement. I know you are very experienced with working with children with special needs, but it feels like the point of your post was just to tell me that I am wrong. My team and I are also very experienced with working with children with special needs, from mild needs to the most severe, and make every effort to include them at appropriate times during the day. This proposed placement does include a lot of inclusion. We all feel that it is appropriate for the student.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:20 PM
 
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Iím in a huge district so it would depend on the principal and the SpEd AP. My principal would back down and allow the teacher to be miserable as allow the student to flounder in the improper placement.

I know another P who would fight it. We also have a new SpEd director and that makes a difference too as our last one was strongly opposed to self-contained anything so she wouldnít have fought the parents. I donít know enough about the new one yet to say one way or another.

Is your district fighting the parent or cow towing to her?


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I am not entirely sure
Old 10-22-2017, 02:00 PM
 
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as we are a smaller school and only have so many options anyway.

We would likely have a meeting, agree on a trial basis and then document the heck out of every second. At the end of the trial, we would reconvene or at least go over progress [or lack of] then see what our options are. If the trial was even a somewhat successful, the child may likely be allowed to stay. If not, ... well, I'm not sure what would happen...

We would at least be open to discuss it. Generally, the parent can be reasoned with in the face of an honest effort and current data.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:48 PM
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Agreed
Old 10-22-2017, 08:28 PM
 
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Curious, I agree with you. I too have worked with severely impaired upper elementary students who were in diapers and nonverbal. None of it was due to a physical disability. I saw how wildly inappropriate a general ed classroom was for these kids. We were strictly working on maintaining eye contact as a form of communication with these kids while their grade level peers are learning long division. We were working on getting these kids to communicate the need to pee/poop via sign language while their grade level peers are writing paragraphs. If you've not worked with children such as these, it really cannot be explained nor understood. They are a very small percentage of the population and unfortunately they tend to be hidden in our society, as frustrating as that is.

Anyhow...my district would likely take this to due process. We RARELY go to DP, but I know we would over this since we've got programs for these children. We are also a relatively small district.
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Due process
Old 10-23-2017, 01:44 AM
 
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In my experience, the districts I have worked in would allow the student to remain in regular ed until the behaviors got too expensive to handle.

For example, I worked with a student who was physically violent and low like op described.

The parents had pull in the relatively small district. Things came to a head when the district had a hard time finding workers comp insurance coverage because of the numerous claims every year related to the student.

At that point it was cheaper to go to due process.

It was also common for a 1:1 to basically baby sit non-violent students in regular ed until the students go too big and it became impossible to find a 1:1 to work with the student.

Behaviors would also start to increase when it became almost impossible to engage students in middle school science labs or their were no electives like art or music offered at the middle school level or higher.

Things also changed when 1:1 aides became harder for parents to get. I am not sure how that was justified to the parents, but it also seemed to cut down on situations like the one op described.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:07 PM
 
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My district would not force a placement by taking parents to court. The student would get a one on one. Unfortunately the one on one would mostly be in charge of the education which is really not something they are trained for. If the principal wants the kid to move they would probably go the passive-aggressive route: daily phone calls about anything and everything until the parents are worn down and consider a different placement.

As a teacher I would consider that the parents are grieving the life they pictured for their kid. They might have a very unrealistic picture of what mainstreaming with 1:1 support looks like and what self-contained looks like. I would invite them to come in and observe what mainstreaming looks like for their child and have them tour self-contained. Self-contained is not the sad place that many people seem to picture (at least not in my district) and it is a chance to develop friendships with other disabled peers that do not develop in mainstream with non-disabled peers. ( I want to clarify that I am talking about more significantly disabled children).

I think sometimes really listening to what the parent's fears, hopes and dreams are for their child might turn an adversarial relationship into one that focuses on the child.
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