Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Updates...

I wrote two posts in the last month that generated a lot of comments. So, I thought I would update you on those issues.

First, I wrote about Ashley’s not sleeping much. I asked my readers for suggestions, and Melatonin was a constant response. Well, I have been giving Ashley 3mg of Melatonin each night for several weeks now, and I am happy to report that it seems to be helping. She still doesn’t sleep through the night, but she is only up 1-2 times, and if you’re read my ‘lack of sleep’ posts in the past, you know that is a huge improvement! I’m actually feeling physically better than I have in years. Thank you all for your encouragement and advice!

Secondly, I wrote about the complaint I filed the first week of school with my state Department of Education concerning the lack of qualified instructional assistant services for Ashley. Although her IEP calls for 6.75 hours each school day of services from someone who is “sufficiently proficient in sign and speech so as to provide a language role model” for her, the school district has not hired anyone. A classroom assistant has been filling in, and while she is more than qualified, there are times when she is not available for Ashley. Thus, I contended in my complaint that the IEP was not being followed.

The school district had 10 business days to respond to the Department of Education, and here is an excerpt from their response letter:

“[school district] denies that any state or federal regulation was violated related to the provision of special education services to Jacob.”

Wait – who’s Jacob? Even though the letter was addressed to me, and had a RE: at the top with Ashley’s name in it, the body of the letter referred to the mysterious Jacob.

I feel so much better about the complaint knowing that my school district thoughtfully considered their response to me and didn’t just plug Ashley’s name into their standard denial letter……

6 comments:

Sheri said...

We had an ugly incident happen at school when Dustin was in 1st grade. The principal told me that "Dustin was there by HER grace. And if she didn't want him there he wouldn't be there." and my favorite, "Maybe you and your husband should just give up and institutionalize him since that's where he will end up anyway." And this was a in public school.

I went home and (after throwing up) fired off emails to my state and federal representatives, our mayor, and our school board with info and her name as well as to the local Superintendent, the special education department and the State Superintendent of public instruction. We had a meeting the following morning and I saw a copy of the fax sent to the school from the state superintendent that said, "FIX THIS" written across my email.

They didn't like me much, but it got things done. And by the way, she "retired" soon after. We also got our local advocacy group involved. I don't know your state's laws, (or even your state for that matter) but this cannot be legal, regardless of what their form letter says.

Amazing_Grace said...

Before I even read the response from the Dept. of Ed. I knew it would be a standard denial letter. What did your lawyer say about it? I would consider going to the newspapers and show 'em what you got and what you haven't received for Ashley (ask your lawyer first before you go).

therextras said...

Save that letter - as 'evidence'.

Marla said...

Ugh. That letter from the school makes my blood boil.

I am so glad the Melatonin is helping. We were told that M could go up to 6 mg and we prefer the slow release kind. We had much better results with 6 mg. Might be something you would want to talk to your doctor about.;) Sleep tight!

MMC said...

Idjuts. Simply idjuts.
But at least we know you will never give up.

Momma Knows said...

WOW. Yes, save the letter. Copy it and send it to your largest local newspaper editor's Letters to the Editor. Contact your attorney, or get one, and fire off letters to everyone and anyone who are above your district's special ed department. Oh I'd be furious!