Sunday, June 14, 2009

Becca and her "Animals"

Which is more socially acceptable for a 19 year old with autism and anxiety who has to carry something with to be less anxious?


Becca's Service Dog Morgan--Can't Go to School, but Can Go Everywhere Else?

Becca has decided to "attend" drivers training this summer. She has NEVER before made it through 15 days of school without getting sick, but we have never tried in the summer. She was never given the opportunity to have extended school year even though missing l/2 the year due to illness, headaches or doctor appointments.

Becca has carried Morgan the 5 pound Morkie "Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese" into restaurants on airplanes, is welcomed with treats at multiple retail establishments, and is a frequent shopper at both Walmart and Target along with everywhere Becca travels.

Until now... the school will not honor the paperwork and add Morgan as a supplimentary aid or even on her "list of things Becca needs to be successful" through her IEP.

When asked if Morgan can attend the State Technical Schools sponsored Drivers Training class, Becca was told "NO", and told to bring something with but not alive. They are asking us to make her regress and start carrying the stuffed animal that took me years to break.

Morgan is in a carry case, she sits quietly, patiently when working (in her case) and when out her job is to be friendly to enable Becca to converse socially with anyone who can't resist the tiny social puppy.

The ADA has rules on service animals and with the article in the Wisconsin State Journal about Federal Service Dog Rules Becca is filing just another complaint. No one takes her dog away when she needs her most.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Confused? This Makes No Sense.

For the last 7 years of Becca's schooling I have been fighting the schools to follow the recommendations of her Medical Providers. They tell me they only have to "Consider" her medical information and they won't comply with the doctors orders, medical treatment teams recommendations for Becca's Home Instruction instead of heading to school. Least Restrictive Learning Environment for Becca is a place where it is sensory friendly, with someone who will be her paraprofessional "or Coach" as the neuropsych said she would need to be successful.

So for the last years she has faced many semesters without school or little schooling. The district took out all her aids and supports, assistive technology, paraprofessional services, textbooks on CD or computer, her computer reading software, headphones and then even lost the 7 pages of the Technology Evaluation we worked so hard to make happen in Michigan and even the Pages of the Notes of things to help Becca. They claimed they had never seen it before, but they had it buried in their files. They didn't want to see it. They said she didn't need it anymore??????? All her aids and accommodations were removed but someone writing for her or built up pens and pencils. This week they told Becca " isn't it easier if your parents can read for her, write for her, it is much more time consuming to have to do it yourself." What ever happened to help her to be independent, not even more dependent?

We have argued and they won't provide any Occupational therapy, won't provide an autism consultant and transition services. She doesn't need any. With hands that are falling apart, that is the medical worlds problem and it doesn't affect her learning. ????? In fact despite a State and Federal Mandate for transition goals at each IEP, we never get to talk about it only talk about Programming. Programming that will only happen IF she returns to school, despite a Neuropsychological report that states "probably won't be successful in a high school setting".
Her IEP is a joke, it means nothing. It is not FAPE, Not IDEA.

Becca signed up for the Classroom Drivers Training and today I contacted the head of Student Support Services at the Technical College, and they will have to approve her support services BASED ON MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION. The IEP wil help them understand the students challenges, but the MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION is what they need to approve supports for Becca.

They have reading software in the support services, they will accommodate lighting etc. They have transition planning services, but we have to wait to graduate to get there. Our district has kids who have dual enrollment, but when Becca asked if she could take classes from the Technical College, they told her they will consider it and then denied it by not adding it to her IEP.

The schools do not have to follow the American with Disabilities Act, they can do what they want.
They denied Becca a Free and Appropriate Public Education because they can discriminate against her because of her medical and sensory needs. They will not provide the technology but the College will? She should have been trained to use it, for her it is just too late once again.

But she can't take the courses to lead to a career in the medical fields because she has not had the Biology or Chemistry Classes she needs because they took "books on CD" and supports they don't have either course on tape as the books are too old. They have to find a comparable book with appropriate tools if it was written in the IEP, but they took out that she is dyslexic and has visual challenges and needs to have things read to her. Why? Because they will have spend money on her, they may have to "buy her a Biology Curriculum" which is not just some dumbed down curriculum and support her using technology.

Becca starts classroom drivers training and they are trying to accommodate her needs how come the school district will not do the same. I can't wait until she turns 21 1/2 so she can attend the community college, but she has to graduate first which won't happen because they will only give her one credit a semester and this fall only a half.

I love the school district for my kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I used to make excuses for their failure to school here as she is complicated, but no longer. They are just running down the clock to being rid of her I know their game.

I have not filed complaints, I did not want to go to those lengths, but the special education director has not followed through on what she promised to "look into". We just keep waiting for her to deny so we can appeal. But no longer, the complaints are coming and they will have to answer how they schooled Becca.

The new game, meeting after meeting running down the clock to try to avoid doing anything and not provide anything in writing. Waiting for the clock to run down till Becca is 21 a little over a year away.

What does this leave us with? Becca with no HS Diploma.