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Felt Like I Was Dying Today!!!! Felt Like I Was Dying Today!!!!

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Unread 03-04-2004, 05:26 PM
Felt Like I Was Dying Today!!!!

I too have fought with the school system. I have two children with very different learning levels. My daughter is a quick learner and in 1st grade, they said that she wasn't being challenged enough and they wanted to skip her to 3rd grade. I didn't go for it, but let my daughter know...quite the compliment to a 6 year old.

My son on the other hand has struggled continuously since kindergarten. I had gone to meetings with the teacher and voiced my concerns that he didn't know the alphabet and numbers or colors. Now these are all things we worked on at home too before school ever started.

At the end of the school year, that teacher went ahead and passed my son into first grade. I had applied to have him put into a magnet school here(a more specialized and different way(s) of learning). At the beginning of that school year I voiced my concerns with his teacher that I didn't think that he had learned enough in kindergarten and that I thought maybe he should repeat it at his new school. They told me that they would keep an eye out and let me know.

September 26, 1999 he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He had a tutor come out for one hour a day for two weeks. He missed about six weeks of school. They kept him in first grade. Then at the end of the year told me that they were going to have him repeat first grade. I was a little upset because I wanted him to start off new at the new school...in kindergarten. Anyway, my son had some major head injuries in that accident. In his second year of first grade they did some special education testing and told me that my son's IQ was 78...and labeled him a slow learner. There wasn't enough of a gap between his IQ and his learning ability to give him any help...he didn't qualify for any kind of special ed help. I totally was not satisfied with this. I signed up to have an outside evaluation done.

In this next testing, the doctor found that my son had ADHD, and many problems with his memory. He suggested neurological testing. That was all fine and well, but I had lost that job and no longer had insurance. I was a single parent with absolutely no help from his father. It took me two years to get good enough insurance to get the neurological testing done. Now, I had informed the school of the results of the outside testing I had done....they didn't want to do any testing until I had the neurological side done. At the school he was in at that time he had the same teacher for two years, because they looped the teachers with the students two years at a time. I had continued with my communication with this teacher. Every time we had a conference, she told me that she thought my son was playing into this for attention.

Boy, you talk about being LIVID!! I discussed this with the principal and our next conference he was there to supervise. Again with the "I think he can do so much more, he's just doing this for attention." My son has depression issues and would come home crying because his teacher was mean to him. I gather this was because she thought he was "faking" it.

Now I finally had the neurological testing done. The Dr. found that my son had a complex partial seizure disorder causing absent seizures. (These are the kind where the person looks like they are listening, but they are really having a seizure...its really hard to tell when they happen). He also verified that my son had ADD, along with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and many other things...although minor, they all add up.

I was talking to a neighbor of mine that had ADHD problems with her son and she was telling me about the neighborhood school that we were in and how they did all of the work to get her son the help they needed. I went immediately and spoke to that principal and voiced my concerns and she advised me that it sounded like their school was the one for my son. (Thank goodness finally!!) Transferred him over and requested special ed testing. They told me that they would have to wait until April to get it done.(It was January.) So I waited, and waited and finally the school year was over. They said that he would be first on the list for the next school year.

I enrolled him again to this school at the beginning of this school year. I spoke to his teacher (this was her first year of teaching) about my concerns and asked if they had said anything to her about the testing. She had absolutely no idea!! I went home and did some researching on the internet about the "No Child Left Behind Act". I found that in order to get the school to really take you seriously you have to have your request for testing put in writing. I immediately wrote a letter stating that I thought he was entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education...also know as FAPE. I told them I didn't feel this was happening.

We had just bought a house and we were going to be moving in November so I asked how long until they did the testing...they advised me they had 60 days to do the testing. I went ahead and pulled him out of that school and put him into my new school district and gave them a copy of the letter. That was the beginning of October....by December 4th we had his Individualized Education Plan.

My son loves his new school, and this is the first time that he has actually been excited about going to school. We got his first report card with 3's and 4's(equivalent to A's and B's), this put the biggest smile on his face EVER!!

I guess the moral to my story is to do everything you can for your child to the best of your ability...no one else will. The internet has a plethera of information on almost any subject you are interested in. If it wasn't for the internet, my son would still be lagging behind. Don't give up!!! It took me from 1999 to 2004 to finally get him the help he needs....but finally we got it and he is excelling!!
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Unread 03-04-2004, 07:36 PM
Felt Like I Was Dying Today!!!!

Oh (((Dana))) Your story sounds of all the hoops you had to jump through with your son sound so much like the hoops we had to jump through with our own son. In his case, he didn't qualify for much help because, despite having both an ADHD and CAPD diagnosis, he doesn't have an accademic deficiency. In our province, as long a the child achieves a passing grade, they don't qualify for special ed So, despite his ADHD being extreme, he had to try and cope in the regular classroom, much to everyone's despair.

It got so bad that, as of October, he was afraid of going to school: by then, he'd started high school and was simply unable to cope with all the teasing... it got to the point where he was complaining of head aches and would return home by 10:00 am

Finally, after another 3 week delay (by then he'd been out of school for over 6 weeks and was endangering his school year), we got him enrolled in a schooling program at the local psychiatric hospital. He's now in 24 hour stay (from Sunday night to Friday night) and things are going beautifully. They are identifying some underlying conditions, working on his self-esteem and he's, finally, acting like a normal 12 yo... and we're meeting with the hospital officials to discuss his reintegration in the regular school program

I agree: we need to fight, and continue fighting, in order fo our children to get the help that they deserve.
Unread 03-04-2004, 08:33 PM
Update on my Son

Hello Everyone!
I hope Everyone is well.
My son ,Dylan is doing 150 % better. He has been going to Huntington Learning Center for one month now. He has moved up two reading level in just 4 short weeks. My DH and I are so pleased with him. He really enjoys school now and loves to read now!!!
His teacher sent a note home just yesterday and said that he wrote in his journal why he loves school NOW and yesterday he asked if he could read a book to the class. She let him. She said he did great.
He needs to get 2 more reading levels to pass for the year. I hope we will get there. He has until the end of May, so we are very hopeful. He will continue Huntington, I cut him back to two days a week, he just goes for 2 hours at a time. This way he can play baseball for the little league in our home town. This is his first year playing and he is soooo excited about playing.
In response to the previous comments, his teacher:her experience. This is her first year teaching Montessori. She has taught 5th grade for 5 years. That is it. She has no experience teaching these kids Montessori. Noone seems to care about that though. They said she has to start somewhere. I personally think she needs to go back to 5th grade. She sends so much homework home it is crazy. My 6th grader does not have no where near this much homework.
I do keep up with everything that is going on, I get her to sign everything. The principal even told me that the only way they will provide a tutor for Dylan is if they retain him, he will get one next year, also if I decide to have him tested for any L. D. . He was tested at Huntington, He did not have any, he was just a slow reader.
The school has changed their toon since we are going outside the district for help. I want to know why that is? They are so nice. They know they don't have to do it now,(tutor him), and I took the heat off of them. Well, you let my child fail, we will see about that,
I feel like the school system has failed us, they really don't care either. It is a shame that I have to pay all of this money every month when there are resources here in my own town to help and the school won't help us out for free.
Ladies thanks again for all of your support. It really means alot.
I will keep you up to date.

Dottie Davis
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Unread 03-04-2004, 10:33 PM
Felt Like I Was Dying Today!!!!

I am so sory that you have had such a bad experience with this district. I have been a teacher for 15 years, and I am a mother of two sons--ages 15 and 8. I would like to tell you of my experiences, and make some suggestions. Our oldest son was a straight A student--read early--never any problems. Our second son was young for his class, with an August 28 birthday, and I , as a teacher of first grade at that time, knew that maturity would be a factor in his educational experience, especially reading/language arts--my experiences as a teacher as well as my training told me to be on the watch for these things even though it was obvious that he was of average to above average intelligence. (I would like to say both my kids are extremely gifted in all areas, but alas, I am a realist--ha/ha). Anyway, I closely monitored his progress throughout kindergarten, and I always felt he was not quite where he needed to be, even though his grades were great, and the reports from the teacher were great as well. I was lucky-- Our district offered a program called "Pre-First--students that weren't quite ready for first grade could go through this, acquire necessary skills, and then go on to 1st grade equal to, if not above their peers. The teacher was hesitant to recommend my child for this, but I was very uncertain about his fluency as a reader--to explain, he could read, and sound words out just fine,but when it came to reading comprehension over something he had just read, there were gaps caused by his hesitancy in sounding out those words instead of being able to recall them by sight. I fought to have him tested...then when he did not qualify...I fought until he was made an alternate for the program. I also had to fight my husband and in-laws, who saw this as being "left behind" or as " failing "or otherwise--it was unacceptable to think that that golden boy was any thing beyond perfection. To make a long story short, I got him in...it was the best move I ever made--he went to a smaller class size with more one-on-one attention, was given a little extra time to mature and develop as a reader, and he is bigger than the other boys he plays sports with( so important to my ex-college-football-playing husband and his dad). Needless to say, two years later, the kid is in 2nd grade, has never skipped a beat, is an excellent athlete, an avid reader, a straight A student, and loves school. My family has even come around, and can truthfully tell me they can see a remarkable difference in his reading and writing abilities. Now, I had to share that story, because I do not feel that I "held my son back"; on the contrary, I feel that I moved him forward by believing in him, as well as the system, and that I gave him an extra year to "catch up" and shine.
The other thing I want to say to you is, I see where you are from SC, and I am in TX, but I cannot believe that the rules are so very different--public schools are responsible for tutoring our children, and for bringing them up to grade level if they are not there. There is an accountability system in place, and although I am sure that it difers from state to state, I think if you investigate further, you will find that they are responsible for provining you son with what he needs to succeed This should be every educator's goal--there should be no need for you to have to pay from your own pocket, yet I applaud your desire to do so--what great parents this young boy has! Please take this further, and find out what the guidelines are in your state. A teacher that tells parents or students this early in the semester that the child will certainly fail is merely giving up, and would probably be happier as a car salesman somewhere. If you have questions, you may email me privately. I would love to talk with you.
Unread 10-17-2004, 08:24 PM

Hello Ladies.
My little boy has started back to school once again. He just finished his first 9 weeks. He is in 3rd grade this year. If you have read the previous posts, you will have noted that we had a terrible time last school year. He had problems reading and after the 2nd 9 weeks his teacher told us she was going to fail him. No help was going to be offered. We sent him to Huntington Learning Center. He went for a long time and he did very well. He passed the 2nd grade. His reading really improved.

He continued to read over the summer. We asked for a different teacher. She is wonderful. We just got his report card on Friday. He is reading above grade level his teacher said. She said his is a JOY to teach and she loves him.

Ladies, we never heard this last year. His teacher kept saying he was a problem. In 1st grade we had never had problems before.

Anyway, he is well on his way to a great year. she even told me that another student was struggling with some words while she was reading and my little boy got up and said I'll help you. And he did.

I'm so proud of him. This is just a complete turn around from last year.

Thanks for letting me ramble on.

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