Special Education/Selectively Mute/Gifted/Placed in EBD Self-contained
"My daughter was placed in a self-contained classroom because she has (Selective Mutism). She did not speak to anyone in preschool, but now she is in 7th grade and speaks to some children and adults that she has known from last year-but briefly. I have video taped her at home where she is the life of the party to show to teachers and they are shocked. In fact, she talks too much at home. However, she never asks for help or questions teachers. She was involved in a fight after a student deliberately stepped on her shoes in March 2013. Although she did not start the fight, her school expelled her and sent her to an alternative school for the remainder of the year. (As a result of the school's Zero tolerance policy) She stayed out of school for 1 month since there were no avail slots. She just got her CRCT test scores back and she exceeded in Reading and missed only 1 on the Math.(Her current special ed teacher was amazed) She passed Science & Social Studies with average test scores comparable to students on her grade level. But, she missed a ton of instruction her 6th grade year. So, it is amazing that she did so well. Now she has returned to her home school. They are starting her over in self-contained with no classes out, but giving her an opportunity to earn classes out. School started Aug 5, 2013. They have told her that she can only earn elective classes out if she scores 1500 points weekly. They know she is smart, she has never harmed herself, but she can get an attitude from time to time. She has told me that she is extremely bored in this class and they do nothing of substance all day in this self-contained environment. (She has to eat lunch in that class as well) My concern is that she will get behind; especially in math and her core classes-that bothers me immensely. What do you suggest that I do as a parent..? I have been active and attending all meetings and clearly expressing my concerns as an advocate for my child.(Selective mutism is so rare that no one seems to have any experience dealing w/it. Seems to me that they put her in self-contained EBD because they don't know what to do. Thanks in advance! I have attached a pic of my daughter as well."
I am amazed at the ignorance of your child's school. Her test scores alone should have caused them to exit your daughter from special education. Not speaking is a concern and the reasons for her choosing not to speak as she does at home should cause you concern and the need to discover why but does not in any way grant the school license to stifle her education.
they have blatantly denied her educational rights under the IDEA and have not even provided her with educational opportunities that fall under the provisions of a Least Restrictive Environment. They are in violation of many laws and my suggestion is that you do one of three things:
If you want to pursue action against the school you may have grounds, you would need to hire an attorney/ advocate to assist with your actions against the school. This is a long process but a good advocate can cause changes that will allow your daughter to be placed in a more appropriate setting (general education classes) and make sure that any services needed are provided.
The school district will most likely fight you and that causes contention and problems and the person affected the most will be your daughter, but I believe it's at least worth a visit or two to discover possible damages and solutions.
The next option is to immediately pull your daughter out of special education, it is your right to do so and demand that she be placed into general education classes for all of her classes. Again the district may fight you on this especially based on past incidents of behavior issues they perceive as problematic. They may not challenge your decision and all will be as it should.
The third option is to pull your daughter from that school and either find another public school or if available find a charter school. Charter school are also public but have a greater latitude toward education.
Thank you so much for the pictures, your daughter is a beautiful girl and I wish you all the best. Please feel free to ask for clarifications.