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Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fighting a system that is suppose to be on our side.

Some events are treasured; ones you want to linger over, save, and rehash with great joy. Others are ones that we spend a great deal of time trying to forget. But the kind I am dealing with today is the kind that haunt you, that even if you try to forget, it keeps replaying in your head and you struggle to but some finality to, but can't.

That of which I speak is the IEP meeting for Keaton. As we gathered in the room it was eight against three, Kevin, Sandra our advocate, and me. As we began to go over the reports I had many questions; sections of the report where copied verbatim from a previous independent report, that the school told us was bogus and not well done, yet no credit was given. Academically she took information, such as grades and stated they were benchmarks, even though I had the benchmarks and grades with me and clearly they were different. The report even stated that he did not have NLD and quoted the prior report for the evidence of that. When I called her on it and told her that I had spoken to the prior dr and that was not her intent, and in fact her feeling was that he def had NLD due to Hydro, she stated she was not familiar with that and so it must not be true. Our advocate who I had sent the reports too, had done her research and contacted two very well known drs to evaluate them. Both concurred that Keaton is a high gifted child with a learning disability and discussed how they reached that conclusion. They also corrected the IQ by showing the errors that were involved in calculating it. Our advocate stated that Keaton was only the second child in all her years that she had seen as gifted in her practice. The school psych denied the mistakes made. However, Keaton's teacher who was trying not to get in trouble(I believe) by remaining neutral, stated that Keaton is a highly intelligent child who she believe can function much higher then his high average status in classwork, and that although other children at that level "get" the concepts and do well on paperwork, Keaton goes much deeper in his understanding of the concepts and that his thinking is much more advanced than most. Also accommodations on his 504 was examined as one, limited work, was on the report but not one of his 504 ever, Two accommodations she stated where provided to the whole class, excel, and therefor not an accommodation at all and there it was proven that he received no accommodations. One thing we all agreed upon was that the reason Keaton is doing so well, was the fact he was getting so much help at home.

Towards the end of the meeting, the head of special ed brought up her contribution by stating that she feels Keaton is getting too much help at home and that the strategies we have found work for him we should give up. This way, allowing him to fail at school, would make him look for strategies of his own. I found it ironic that on one hand he is succeeding because we are helping him, while on the other they want to take that away. That was the only accommodation they were willing to discuss, and then they felt like it was too late to continue. However, they did acknowledge that he has a learning disability in visual processing and speed of processing(7th percentile) according to our advocate, this was great news because now he qualifies for special ed according to the law, of course the school disagrees and feels he does not.

A report of the meeting was typed by the principal and given to us, the school psych tried several times to get me to sign it, but I was advised by my advocate not too. When I got home I read the paper and first of the report of the meeting was all pulled to the side of the school...i.e "the parents questioned some of the finding of the grades, but the school psych was able to clarify them" nothing was clarified as she couldn't fight the proof. Luckily our advocate taped the meeting. Also the paper she wanted me to sign stated, in small print, that by signing I state that I agree with the report and its findings.

Our struggle here is what do we do next. Do we accept that Keaton will receive no accommodations and probably max out below his abilities......or do we fight the system, send him for more testing, and get those things?

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about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.