Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Monday, March 31, 2014

Advocate?


Due to our ongoing struggles with the school, we've decided that we either need to hire a lawyer or get an advocate.  I can't keep attending meetings for 5 kids where nothing is really accomplished.  My biggest issue is that even the administration seems clueless on how to teach ESL to level 1 LEP students.  I had 3 hours of meetings for 3 children in which NO ONE could answer a single question I had about ESL except to confirm that the ESL teacher had not been working with my kids as promised and that my kids weren't going to meet their ESL goals because no one had been working with them.

I've had to raise absolute hell and call the state board of education to get the school to evaluate "E" for speech.  As it turned out, he did indeed have a severe speech problem and is now receiving therapy 3X/week.  However, they wouldn't put anything into his IEP except for speech goals.  So, I requested complete evaluations for him, but that means the child study process has just been started and nothing will be in place to help him until next year.  I'm SO FRUSTRATED.  This kid needed extra help from day one and I SAID SO and asked for things and people just brushed me off.

The same thing for D.  He can't read in Ukrainian.  He can't read in English.  He can barely do 2nd grade math.  He's 11 years old.  I was very vocal about his delays.  WHY ARE WE NOT CONCERNED??  So, once again, "crazy mom" had to raise hell and demand meetings in which I insisted he be evaluated, but here we are at the end of March so nothing will be done to help him this year.      

M's IEP has been violated again, and this time she got injured on the school bus because of it.  This makes me question why I'm fighting to get IEP's for my other kids if they aren't even following hers.  I feel like its a constant game of trying to figure out what they might "forget" to do next.  Having your kid crying their eyes out at the bus stop because they were thrown out of their seat into the aisle because everyone decided the seatbelt requirement in the IEP is only for when its convenient is ya know... not cool.  She has CP and has had a stroke.  She doesn't need to be smashing her head around inside the bus.  This is just ONE of many many issues, but this was the last straw for me.

Soo...  does anyone have an advocate they recommend?  Wrightslaw wants me to read two books and compile dossiers on each child and THEN pay them hundreds of dollars to review it.  You can see why TIMES at least 3, this isn't feasible.

My other option is clicking a little "file a complaint" button.

I'm just weary of the constant struggle.  There are days that I feel like I put more time, effort, and tears into educating the school then they've put into trying to help my kids.  A few teachers are doing everything they can, but its not enough and its not their job.  The ESL teacher isn't even showing up many weeks so my boys aren't getting even ONE single ESL pull-out for weeks at a time when they should be getting at least 4 hours a day.

So, hit me up.  Its time for an advocate or a pro-bono lawyer.      

4 comments:

SammE said...

I wish I could advise you, but I'm not familiar with the U.S. education laws and such. I am, however, a disgusted retired special ed. and primary teacher. I have never seen anything like this happen in my former school system. it may, but I've never ever seen such neglect. I'm so sorry for the boys, and for you, and for little M who deserves the best too. I wish I could give you a huge hug. Actually I wish I lived nearby so I could help teach your beautiful boys English!
samm

a portland granny said...

Get an attorney! That school bus incident is a serious breech in her IEP, which is federally mandated. I think a letter from an attorney would make them sit up and take notice. As far as ESL teacher, that is also a federal mandate, I believe. You have lots of grounds for complaints and you may have to go to the national level.

Hope yu find a good att'y.

sasass said...

I am sure that you have googled all that you can but I found this on LD online. Lastly, if your child’s IEP is still not being followed, contact an educational advocate or special education lawyer. LD OnLine has a Yellow Pages directory that might be helpful to you and the Wrightslaw website has useful information. Remember to listen to your instincts and trust that you have tremendous insight and knowledge about your child.

Listen to those instincts. Do what you have to do.

Anna M said...

I'm in AK so I don't know the law in your state, but up here if there are seat belts installed in a school bus, they MUST be used by law. By everyone, adults included. We can't even drive if a child is not in a seat belt. We would lose our jobs if we drove children around unrestrained in a special needs bus.



We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson

 

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