Saturday, October 2, 2010

School Day Saga

Its been a while eh?

Gosh, I don't even know where to start on what has transpired in the last month.  It's a long story which I won't bore you with but I'll give you bullet points and if you're interested in more information, I'll wait for you to ask!

  • One week BEFORE school was to start our home district called and said Daniel couldn't go to the school that he'd been going to for the last 2 years (which we already had an IEP for the 2010-2011 school year)
  • They wanted to send him to a district that has an SXI program which was NOT APPROPRIATE for Daniel.
  • A bit of arguing, and a call to a wonderful advocate (who we've named "bulldog" because she is very tough)
  • Mentioned the advocates name to home district  and voila - oh now we have a choice!
  • Gave the home school district some options and they picked what we have been looking into.
So, after some testing in the district and such it has been determined that Daniel does NOT fit into any SXI program, but he is reclassified as PI only.(Physical Impairment)

We fast forward a few weeks and now you will find that Daniel and I now reside in the Grand Rapids area (150 miles from home) attending Conductive Learning Center for the 2010-2011 school year and living in a furnished apartment - all at our home districts expense.

So what have I learned?  I think that whenever you think you can trust people in the schools to be looking out for your child - you are mistaken.  No matter now nice they are, and the people we dealt with in the schools have been wonderful - its the administration - upper management that sucks and could give two $hits about our kids. Our administrator was looking for an easy way out.  She figured she'd tell us we couldn't go to the school and we'd go to where she said.  Well, I have learned a lot from our advocate. The only reason our home district allowed the CLC/Grand Rapids choice is that is was still cheaper than sending Daniel to the school district that he really should have been going to in the first place.  So, it didn't end up that they were looking out for his best interest, they were looking for the cheaper of the two options.  Unfortunately we aren't' moving anytime soon so I am sure at the end of this school year, we'll be asking the advocate for additional assistance.

If you have an IEP and the school district is NOT following it to a tee - I suggest you bring it to their attention, and if it isn't corrected - call an advocate - a good one.

An IEP is a contract.  I will pay for our advocate to come to every IEP for the rest of Daniel's school years.

So, to end this part of the story, although Daniel is not where we expected him to be going to school, it has ended up that we were able to have the school district pay for a program that we've talked about getting Daniel into for a long time but just couldn't afford the cost and the housing all at the same time, and for a whole school year.

Our family is divided up on different sides of the state, and we are changing how our whole family structure is for a year, it is a small sacrifice we will do to give Daniel the abilities to be more independent in the future. We travel back and forth on the weekends (until the weather starts to suck!)

---Oh and by the way ---I don't have Internet (I haven't figured out how to hook it up yet!)


Katy said...

Wow. That is something else. Really. I have no words, but I might be looking into getting one of those advocate people!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Are you kidding me? That is CRAZY! The advocate sounds wonderful! I have my first IEP meeting coming up this week and I am thinking that I will make a phone call to a woman so she can tag along. It is worth the cost!

MJStump said...

WOW! I can not believe all that you guys have had to go through for Daniel to get all that he deserves.

Makes me scared for the day when Kylie begins school.

So glad that your Bulldog got so much for Daniel! Just wish you didn't have to fight so hard for him to have what is in His best interest, not theirs.

Very, very happy that Daniel is in a great place! Wish it was closer to home though.

JSmith5780 said...

Hope you are both settling in well and that Daniel is enjoying school now.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask about your advocate. did you just look them up under advocates? is there a special term? are they expensive? I have a feeling we're going to need one eventually.

I can already see what you mean though. I feel that since LJ is only in school for 3 hours a day for 4 days I have to pick my battles. Yes, I want them to get equipment for him but at the same time I know he's not there for very long for him to use it anyway. I know I'm already seen as "that" mom. I really wouldn't care except I know it can influence attitudes toward my son.

It sucks that we have to go through so much just to know our options. I often wonder if I could get our district to pay for LJ to go to a school for the visually impaired but it's across state lines so I'm not sure they'd go for it. It would be way more appropriate for him though

Anonymous said...

I'm in the 'wow' crowd.

Hope you get internet soon! Want to read all about the Conductive school! Barbara